|Meme's are certainly not what this site is about. That said, Jay Tomio (best blog around!) has tagged my up for a really neat one, and rules are there for the bending.|
Updates to this site have been few and far between of late due to a lot of business travel on my part. The good news is that
I've been reading a lot of good (and not so good) stuff, and the updates/reviews/articles will be coming rapidly for a quite some time.
And so, the meme:
1. One book that changed your life?
My standard answer would be A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. Until reading this tome, I was merely a fan of genre fiction, not the Fan I am today.
In a truly dark time in my life, set against the backdrop of a war-ravaged central Europe, a very close friend of mine died. While cleaning out his personal belongings to send back to his wife, I came across a copy of A Game of Thrones. I had been a fantasy fan, (Tolkien, Jordan, Feist) but had not come across Martin before. (Though I had seen my friend reading it.) He had tried to get me to read it a few times, but it wasn't Jordan, after all, so why bother?
Somehow I deemed it his final wish for me to read this tattered, well-read fantasy novel, and that night I did so. The following day, I read it again. It was exactly what I needed in that dark time; an escape worthy of a life I had a hard time facing. I had held no previous inkling that fantasy could be so damn good, so real; ring so true. I was hooked.
This series of books were the cause of me getting involved in online discussions of books; in my going to my first convention. George himself made me feel at home in fandom and opened up my eyes to authors such as Jack Vance, Fritz Leiber, and Robert E. Howard. I had been hooked on genre fiction before, but now I was utterly lost to it. I was a collector.
2. One book you have read more than once?
Re-reading is a common occurrence for me. I could literally list a thousand novels I have read to pieces. The most recent book I have re-read, however, is River of Gods by Ian McDonald. A new classic; destined to be one of the defining science fiction books of this decade.
3. One book you would want on a desert island?
Tough call. Perhaps Robinson Crusoe for ideas? Treasure Island? Gravity's Rainbow so I am certain to actually finish it? A Dance With Dragons, or is that cheating? Probably the answer would be my trusty old U.S. Marine Corps Survival Guide. (It contains gems such as why not to drink coconut milk as your main sustenance -- it's a potent diuretic, will cause you to become incredibly dehydrated, and in volume will cause horrific diarrhea.)
4. One book that made you laugh?
Well, the book that has caused me to laugh the most would be Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore. If there is a funnier book ever written, I've not come across it.
5. One book that made you cry?
Again, the book that made me cry the most was Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Patterson. A Newberry Award winner for best children's book of the year, A Bridge To Terabithia tells a tale of childhoods lost to fantasy, and how the only way in which to endure horrific tragedy exists in the mind and the imagination. A must read for fantasy fans of all ages.
6. One book you wish had been written?
A novel by H.P. Lovecraft? The Last Dangerous Visions? I try not to think about what has not been written, there are so many great works that I still need to read.
7. One book you wish had never had been written?
This could get exhausting. I'll settle for Ulysses by James Joyce. Masturbatory claptrap at its worst. Responsible for leading thousands of talented young novelists into writing unreadable trash, and perhaps the worst standard of literature in existence. Has anyone actually ever enjoyed it? (Or do they just pretend to?)
8. One book you are currently reading?
I'm currently re-reading On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers. It's a powerful pirate novel by one of the best in the business.
9. One book you have been meaning to read?
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge. I keep meaning to get around to it.
10. Now tag five people.
Uhh. I hate tagging people for Meme's. If you desire to fill out this form, please consider yourself tagged and let me know where to read your answers. I'm intrigued.