Favorite Books & Authors

    I primarily read science fiction (usually more towards the "hard science" end of the spectrum), although I have been slowly getting more into the fantasy genre, as well. Until college, science fiction and WW2 history (non-fiction, particularly Pacific Theatre) were my mainstays of book choices. During college, I read many different types of books for classes and as recommended by friends (e.g. Heike Monogatari, various comparative world religion texts). I have also always been a fan of the Greek and Roman classics, such as Virgil's Aeneid (in the original Latin, if you can, to truly get the flow and subtleties), and Homer's Illiad and Oddysey as well as many plays and tragedies (e.g. Euripides, Aeschylus).

Favorite Authors

  • John Varley (science fiction) - My favorite author, Varley has written books such as the Gaean Trilogy (Titan, Wizard, and Demon) and Steel Beach, the latest in his Ophiuchi Hotline universe. One of my favorite kinds of stories he writes are where he takes common taboos of societies and runs with them, exploring how technology and changing mores might affect them. Praised by other authors such as Tom Clancy and Spider Robinson.
  • E. E. "Doc" Smith (science fiction) - One of the old-time greats, my father introduced me to Smith's works at a young age. Best known for his Lensmen series.
  • David Brin (hard-science fiction) - A writer of strong technical knowledge, this astrophysicist-turned-author has penned such greats as The Postman (and I don't mean that abomination of a movie based on it), Heart of the Comet (with Gregory Benford), and Startide Rising.  His collections of philosophical essays, such as Otherness, are also delightfully thought provoking.
  • Jeffrey Carver (science fiction/fantasy) - A close second to Varley in my library, I particularly like his Star Rigger series and other books such as The Rapture Effect.
  • Tom Clancy (military fiction) - The master of technically accurate military "what-if's" (Hunt for Red October, Red Storm Rising, Cardinal of the Kremlin), I thought he was out of a job when the Cold War ended, but he has continued on strongly with excellent novels such as Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Without Remorse (wherein we finally learn who the msyterious but super-competent "Mr. Clark" really is), and Executive Orders.

Other Books I Highly Recommend

  • Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card. A classic of science fiction, this story takes a look at the results of ruthless pursuit of goals, and how humans deal with destructive situations.
  • The Dragonriders of Pern series, by Anne McCaffrey. While she is far from the best writer, I constantly find myself drawn into the world she has created, despite often unsympathetic characters or poorly written prose. I just love the world itself.

Last modified: Mon, 21 Nov 2005, 08:17 PM PST