Reading List – June 2019

Something I’ve done in the past was try to catch up on the mass of classic sci-fi that I inevitably haven’t read yet.  This month, I continue the goal of reducing my ignorance by reading some of the works that continue to inspire and amaze.

The Naked Sun – Isaac Asimov

91xfg5eyeclAsimov is usually one of my favorites, and I enjoyed both i, Robot and Caves of Steel.  This third (or second, if you don’t count i, Robot) installation is the last of the Robot series written by Asimov in the 50’s and, as such, I suspect it’s his last good one (I didn’t like when Foundation went off the rails, and that stuff happened when Asimov got older and did a cash grab).  I look forward to this murder mystery.

Starship Troopers –  Robert Heinlein

51a2bjzrpn3lIn November 2018, I read Stranger in a Strange Land.  

It’s now one of my least favorite books.  EVER.  I powered through it, but I wanted to DNF it so many times that I entirely regret making it to the end.  I hated everything about it and I will not get those hours of my life back.

But my father-in-law insists that Starship Troopers is different.  Now, my father-in-law may be a weirdo, but he’s definitely not the kind of weirdo that would like Stranger in a Strange Land.  In that case, I assume Starship Troopers may give me the fairest way to assess Heinlein’s legacy without writing him off entirely as ‘author I don’t enjoy,’ which is what I did to Frank Herbert after I read Dune (which, while fantastically detailed, I found horribly unscientific and gut-wrenchingly stupid from a social aspect) and The White Plague (same issues, but more poorly written).  So here’s my second, potentially final, shot at Heinlein.

Babel-17 – Samuel Delany

51arksdnfvlI saw things about this book when I read Solaris last year.  It’s supposed to be about a language that, by the sheer act of knowing it, turns you into a traitor.  Now, I’m not sure what that means exactly, but it sounds super cool and I’m all in when it comes to weird sci-fi right now.  I also hadn’t really heard of this author before (someone just gasped and unfollowed me, I know), but now I’m going to fix it!

The Leftovers: Something from YOU?

Do you have a published book and a method of purchasing it that isn’t sketch as hell?  I have a few slots left for indie books that I’m reading this year!  Let me know if you’ve published a book on a non-sketchy site (I do Kindle really easily) and I’ll see if it’ll fit my needs!  You may get a pleasant surprise!

See my old reviews here

16 thoughts on “Reading List – June 2019

  1. crimsonprose says:

    Heinlein and Asimov. Wow, those names take me back so many years; woven in with Gene Wolf and Michael Moorcock, they formed the foundation of my literary genius (still waiting to bloom and bear fruit!) My thanks to you for the memories

  2. theceaselessreaderwrites says:

    H.R.R., when I was a teen devouring my uncle’s closet full of musty, crumbling, yellowed SF paperbacks, Heinlein, Asimov, & Herbert ruled my summers. I was especially fond of Heinlein, and for many years I considered Tunnel in the Sky, Glory Road, and Starship Troopers to be my top 3 favorite sci-fi novels. They yet retain a special place in my esteem.

    Early in the 21st century, as an adjunct professor teaching Freshman Composition, I required my students to read those 3 books (among others), write papers about them, and discuss them in class. Re-reading them the summer before classes began, I found that Heinlein’s cultural & political ideas & attitudes had not weathered the test of time and my own maturation very well. He was overly militaristic and an unapologetic male chauvinist. In his defense, though, so were most other white American males of his generation. My students didn’t much care for the novels, but their complaints formed the basis of many good, serious classroom discussions throughout the semester.

    I hope you’re able to find some value in Heinlein’s books, and if Starship Troopers isn’t wholly intolerable to you, I do recommend Tunnel in the Sky and Glory Road.

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      Spoiler – I always read the books ahead of time, and I’ve already gotten through Starship Troopers… and I found it ‘acceptable,’ but the points you included about the works being militaristic and chauvinistic were, indeed, things I disliked. I think the chauvinism and racism were the things I found extremely distasteful in Stranger in a Strange Land.

  3. Jules says:

    Most of my reading comes from books gifted by a family member who is a veracious reader, yard sales and the Library Cafe book store. There have only been a few that I just couldn’t get passed. I actually read the book version of StarTrek the Rath of Kahn, which unfortunately the movie followed almost verbatim… talk about lost hours of life on two counts.

    Anyway I enjoy ‘fun’ murder mysteries, Sci fi and (- gasp) an occasional mindless) romance. 😉

    • H.R.R. Gorman says:

      I enjoyed Wrath of Khan, but I’m rather a big trekkie! Still, borrowed or suggested books are often the best. If you trust the suggester, it’s always at least worth the plunge to try it!

  4. Jade M. Wong says:

    So I’m not a huge sci-fi reader, which probably explains why I hadn’t realized Asimov wrote I, Robot. I will be adding Asimov’s works to my reading list! I hope you update this post with your reviews of the books when you’ve finished reading them.

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