Orpheo's 5 favourite books

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Posted by Orpheo (1st Apr 2003, 13:55)

Originally published in Wyrmtongue April 2003.

Greetings all and welcome the the last of the "recommended readings" this year. This time it is me, your resident editor, who is throwing his two pence worth into the ring... And with so many good books to choose them narrowing it down to a mere five was tough, so tough in fact that I ended up with two lists of recommendations! The first list of books I came up with were the those that I would recommend because they are classical texts which everyone should read, the second were the books that I enjoyed the most. Since space was limited, I have only printed one. I chose to tell you about the books I found most entertaining, for, in my opinion, that is the first goal of literature, to entertain. So here they are, my favourite five:

(Incidentally, if any of you are curious as to what my five nominations for books that everybody should read were I'd be happy to tell you. Catch me sometime and ask me, I am usually in the bar between five and seven... And while your at it you could by me a drink too... Just kidding :oP )

Sphere - Michael Crichton

Interesting claustrophobic novel. An abandoned spaceship is found deep under the Pacific Ocean and a team of scientists are sent down to investigate it. What they find puzzles them... and then the messages begin... A great book, that spawned a not so great movie, with a few interesting ideas thrown in. An entertaining read.

Neuromancer - William Gibson

The original cyberpunk novel. Hacker Case, maimed when he double-crosses a client, is offered his old life back in return for an assignment. This was the book that every other cyberpunk novel stole from. Read it, it is great.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll

A weird and wonderful tale, a children's book written for adults. This is a book that everyone must read. When Alice follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole she is transported into a bizarre world of eccentric characters and even stranger things. A fantastically entertaining exercise in wordplay, turns the ordinary into the extraordinary, and who could forget the Cheshire cat's smile...

Polar City Blues - Katherine Kerr

Entertaining pseudo-political murder mystery. An alien attaché is found murdered; an incident that sets of a chain of events that sends the universe tumbling towards war. An black-market "fixer" and a psychic team up to unravel the mystery of the murder, in the hope of avoiding the inevitable, but find there is more to it that meets the eye. Pseudo-politics meets pseudo-science with some very silly aliens in this complex game of cat-andmouse. The result is a colourful "noir" thriller with a lot of pace, but an unfortunate number of references to baseball. Not one to be taken too seriously. A good fun read.

("Polar City Nightmare", the sequel to "Polar City Blues" was published recently. "Nightmare" is not bad but it is nowhere near as good as "Blues". One to pass over.)

Gateway - Fredrick Pohl

Classic Space SF romp. Gateway is an abandoned space station in the asteroid belt. It was built by a mysterious race whom have long since disappeared. In the station are many spaceships each of which have a programmed destination. Prospectors and explorers from all over the world come to find out where these ships go. Some come back fabulously wealth, some come back brutally murdered, some don't come back at all. The story surrounds a Robinette, a prospector who dared to play the ultimate game of Russian roulette and won, but at a price. The story is told in flashback with chapters alternating between his time at Gateway and conversations with his computer analyst Sigfrid. It is classic Fredrick Pohl, an entertaining tale, which is turned on its head at the end with an amazingly thoughtful last chapter. A must read.

About item:

- Alice's Adventures In Wonderland
- Gateway
- Polar City Blues
- Sphere
- The Sprawl 1: Neuromancer

Related items:

- Polar City Nightmare
- Sphere

About author:

- Carroll, Lewis
- Pohl, Frederik
- Kerr, Katherine
- Crichton, Michael
- Gibson, William

Related authors:

- Kerr, Katherine
- Video

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