Haven't written much about books lately, mayB cos I haven't bn READING much new stuff lately. But I should correct that.
What follows is a quick list of what I feel R really great science-fiction, fantasy & horror novels. I tried 2 stick w/ books that I think R really high-quality, mind-boggling, life-changing events -- Xcellent writing & really great Ntertainment. The blessing 4 a list like this might B that there Rn't really THAT MANY of them.
Some of these I've read multiple times & can vouch 4 their lasting quality. As a reader, I Cm 2 lean toward a mix of action & thot -- enuf action going on so I stay involved, & enuf 2 intrest the mind 2 keep that rolling along 2. Blievable characters & good, solid, gripping, Ntertaining writing above all.
The nominees R:
Gael Baudino: GOSSAMER AXE.
Ray Bradbury: THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES.
John Brunner: STAND ON ZANZIBAR.
Arthur C. Clarke: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, CHILDHOOD'S END.
Samuel R. Delany: EMPIRE STAR, THE EINSTEIN INTERSECTION.
Stephen R. Donaldson: LORD FOUL'S BANE, THE ILLEARTH WAR, THE POWER THAT PRESERVES, THE WOUNDED LAND (Donaldson can B frustrating, but his big dramatic scenes & epic scale R tough 2 resist).
Diane Duane: THE WOUNDED SKY.
James Ellroy: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL, THE BLACK DAHLIA, THE BIG NOWHERE. (Some would say Ellroy's novels R crime/police-procedurals -- I'd counter that horrible things happen in each of them & the focus is on stopping the horror.)
Thomas Harris: THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, RED DRAGON.
Robert A. Heinlein: THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS.
Frank Herbert: DUNE.
Jack Ketchum: HIDE AND SEEK.
Stephen King: IT, THE STAND.
Kathe Koja: SKIN, THE CIPHER.
George R.R. Martin: DYING OF THE LIGHT.
Frederik Pohl: GATEWAY.
Lewis Shiner: GLIMPSES.
Robert Silverberg: DYING INSIDE, THE BOOK OF SKULLS, DOWNWARD TO THE EARTH, THE MAN IN THE MAZE.
George R. Stewart: EARTH ABIDES (Bn YEARS since I read this, but it's 1 of the best after-the-Nd novels, lotsa great nostalgic atmosphere).
Peter Straub: KOKO, THE THROAT.
Alfred Bester: THE DEMOLISHED MAN.
John Brunner: THE SHEEP LOOK UP (vivid but Dpressing).
Philip K. Dick: THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH (a little clunky, but gritty & realistic, & it'll turn yr mind in2 a pretzel).
William Gibson: NEUROMANCER (Characters R weak, but Gibson's visions of cyberspace R amazingly vivid, as in his short stories).
K.W. Jeter: MANTIS (tricky, VERY downbeat & disturbing horror).
Jack Ketchum: THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, SHE WAKES, JOYRIDE, OFF SEASON, THE LOST.
Damon Knight: THE MAN IN THE TREE (1st 1/2 is amazingly good & vivid story about Growing Up Strange in the American Northwest; 2nd 1/2 is disappointing).
Ursula K. LeGuin: THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (The climactic trip across the ice is Xciting & moving, the rest of the story Cms told from an icy distance).
George R.R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle: WINDHAVEN (last 3rd of the book's pretty 4gettable, rest is brilliant).
David R. Palmer: EMERGENCE.
Joanna Russ: THE TWO OF THEM, WE WHO ARE ABOUT TO.... (1st 1/2).
Neal Stephenson: SNOW CRASH (weak Nding, up til then funny & neon-vivid & involving).
James Tiptree Jr.: BRIGHTNESS FALLS FROM THE AIR (A bit over-cutesy, but vivid, involving, moving).
J.R.R. Tolkien: THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY (long & wordy).
John Varley: STEEL BEACH (weak Nding, up til then involving & funny).
James White: THE DREAM MILLENNIUM (Standard generation-starship setting, but very vivid sections -- WAY better than I Xpected).
Roger Zelazny: CREATURES OF LIGHT AND DARKNESS (Bginning & Nding R weak, middle's vivid, involving, hilarious.)
...I think that's about all, just offa the toppa my head & from checking a couple of my faverite refrences. If I think of NE more I'll add them.
NEbody else out there read NE of these & wanna compare notes, or have others they think R great that they wanna add?
If U knew how many novels I've started & could never get thru, how many I gave up on after 100 pgs (it useta B my faverite trick w/ novels, 4 YEARS), how many I still haven't given up on.... well, this would B a much longer post. In fact, I tried 2 do a list of all the stuff I've given up on awhile back (see "Dumped! Stalled!" back in Aug or Oct, I think....).
I don't read much novel-length fiction NEmore cos I need something that keeps my attn focused, & fiction doesn't always do that 4 me NEmore (it Cms). I have better luck w/ non-fiction these days, w/ my short attn span....
...& I read at the monthly SF-news website Ansible (http://news.ansible.co.uk/, also available thru Locus at http://www.locusmag.com/) that Norman Spinrad -- 2 of who's books I just skimmed thru (SCIENCE FICTION IN THE REAL WORLD & STAYING ALIVE: A WRITER'S GUIDE) -- is undergoing treatment 4 stomach cancer. That sucks. Spinrad's an Xcellent critic & a talented fiction writer, who was always very much on top of the connections Btween SF & The Real World. MayB his best story is the brilliant "Journals of the Plague Years" from the anthology FULL SPECTRUM (1988), & I've bn looking 4 a copy of his SF/Rock&Roll novel LITTLE HEROES so I can give it 1 more try....