A little over a week three months ago I was asked “Who are your favorite sci-fi authors?”
I’ve been thinking about how to answer this question… I could list all the sci-fi authors that I like, a la my favorite songs, but that would be an extremely long list… or I could pick just one, but to be honest I have no idea who I’d chose…. in the end I decided to list the top nine and my favorite book by those authors.
-note- As I compiled this list I found a startling fact, only the top two are still living… what does that say about my opinion of modern sci-fi?
9. Arthur C. Clark
Actually, I’m not a huge fan of Arthur C Clarke. He’s at times overly opinionated and Rendezvous With Ramma is misspelled. And too long. And Boring as hell.
But, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey are a hell of a book series, with 2010 being a personal favorite of the group. I even like the movie, which I’ll admit I saw before reading the book.
8. Philip K. Dick
This is another odd one for me as I guess I’d have to say that Philip K. Dick is not a very strong author. He had amazing ideas, but was weak in execution.
Of course that all means that some of the best Science Fiction movies have been based on his works. Total Recall, Bladerunner and Minority Reports are some of my favorite movies all based on We can Remember It For You Wholesale, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Minority Report respectively.
Probably the world’s first admitted Stand-up Philosopher.
He wrote A True Story, a simple tale of a man being whisked off to exotic and alien worlds, 1800 years ago
6. Kurt Vonnegut
If you haven’t read Slaughterhouse 5 or Mother Night, go do so now, but Breakfast of Champions (my personal favorite) is even better. All three have been made into movies, with varying results.
Slaughterhouse 5 is probably the best known, but Breakfast of Champions is more likely to get played on my stream…
5. Douglas Adams
Admittedly this is an easy inclusion, Adams practically cemented humorous scifi to the world with the absurdist Hitchhiker’s Guide, but personally Long Dark Teatime of the Soul is his magnum opus.
A strange tale of what happens to gods when people start believing in Pop Music and Ticket Counters more and also about why you can’t get a pizza delivered in London.
4. H.P. Lovecraft
There are enough people out there to extol the virtues of Lovecraft, so I’ll just say the Mountains of Madness is a classic of descriptive horror.
3. Jules Verne
Voyage Dans La Lune is now and will ever be the best space travel book ever written and may have really made it possible for humans to have the imagination to go to the moon. Verne was a treasure and is rightly deified in France, and should be on the bookshelf of even non-scifi readers.
2. Peter David
Remarkably the first living author on my list, as of Dec. 31 2011, and my second favorite. Peter David has worked on just about everything from Live TV to Cartoons to Comic books and Novels, and his Star Trek work is unmatched so far.
New Frontier was the first time I had read a Star Trek book where the characters changed and the plot moved from one story to the next. It was amazing to see that the ST universe actually moved along when the cameras were turned off.
The New Frontier series is still going, and hopefully will for a while to come.
1. Howard Waldrop
Also a living author, though his output has never been as high as Peter David, but his quality is higher.
Though he has written novels, The Texas-Isreali War: 1999 is one, hid short stories are far superior.
Night of the Cooters is my favorite and describes an Alien attack on a small Texas backwater town. I would recommend buying his books, though almost all are out of print now, but a good library should have them… and with as obscure as he is you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one of his works…
…what they need to be doing, is creating an environment that’s safe for people to disagree, that’s safe for them to be wrong, that’s safe for them to question authority, that’s safe for them to be able to say outrageous things and have those arguments that we desperately need to have, because if they’re not happening on our universities, they’re not happening anywhere.
Please help these people out, there is a reason the First Amendment was first…
Now, right off the bat, I can see two glaring errors in that statement, and anyone who followed my twitter feed from yesterday would have gotten an earful…
American Psycho, is nigh on one of my favorite movies of all time, ranking up there with Arsenic and Old Lace, BuckarooBanzai and LaCitédes EnfantsPerdus. It’s my favorite Christian Bale movie, and I’m a dyed in the wool Batman fan…
I’ve seen it more than 30 times and have never seen the ‘R’ rated version. I can tell you where you are in the movie from a snippet of dialogue, I know the differences between the business cards…
I really do love this movie. It doesn’t need to be remade!
I know that I didn’t see a lot of Oscar contenders this year, I focused more on my personal tastes after being tricked into seeing Black Swan (Natalie “I’m Sorry” Portman, I blame you), but I don’t know half of these “Stars.”
Who is Viola Davis1 and Rooney Mara2? Why is Brad Pitt dressed up like Henry Spencer? Who is George Clooney supposed to be? Why does Gary Olman look like Walter Keonig? Why is the guy from OSS 117 shadowboxing?
And for the love of fuck, stop trying to make us believe Kirsten Dunst is pretty…
1.) I have since found the answer to this question: Viola Davis was in The Help, which was a movie based on a book written to make Rich White Southern women feel better about Jim Crow Laws. 2.) Rooney Mara is going to be in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as well as: The Social Netwrok, A Nightmare on Elm Street (the remake) and Youth in Revolt. Guess which of those I’ve seen? All images in this post: Credit: Alex Prager for The New York Times
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
It’s been a hard week for good character actors… Harry Morgan past away today. Morgan was at least in his twilight years at 96, but that does put Eli Wallach on a timer, and that is a horrible thing to think on…
For many, Morgan was Col. Potter, though I do remember him from Dragnet, the TV show not the Movie (though he was in both).
Well, boys – it would be hard to call what we’ve been through fun, but I’m sure glad we went through it together.
I now know why this movie spent three years on a shelf…
This looks like complete horseshit, and I’m being deadly serious. What the FUCK Joss!?! How do you screw up a Cabin in the Woods horror movie, WHEN THE TITLE OF YOUR MOVIE IS THE CABIN IN THE WOODS???
It looks like the kids have unwittingly stumbled upon a high tech, scifi Hostel-like world with force fields, creatures and mysterious overlords with the ability to change the very landscape around the cabin. We’re in. – io9.com
WHO WAS ASKING FOR THAT!?!?! I HAVE SO MUCH RAGE FOR THIS PIECE OF SHIT!
And this guy:
Don’t get me start on this back-birth… every time he speaks his voice grates a layer of my soul away.