ED: Here’s an old draft that I published elsewhere. Stuff is busy today, so I’m bailing on blog posts that are actual work.
There’s supposed to be a short snippet at the OWG about your favorite SF novel. I can’t do it. I just can’t. 50 words about a single title is just too confining.
I guess I will have to settle with which changed me the most in a lasting way. With this, I have narrowed it down to three. They are… Fairy Land, The Diamond Age, and A Brave New World. Fairy Land is a book I read in 2001. It broke my head. Beautifully written, a compelling story with a gut wrenching twist at the end. The style is reminiscent of “When Gravity Fails” except the world is even more layered vivid and intense.
The Diamond Age is a wonderful character driven story that happens to be about how people socialize and learn. Expect the usual zany Stephensonian world features, and the death of cyberpunk. But, it was a good death.
I don’t even have to write about A Brave New World. So I won’t.
Woah, wait! That’s not fun! We can’t have what’s good for you be The Best Science Fiction ever. It’s about which was the most exciting and engrossing SF, right? I guess I could come up with three. Fun is a big category, and it’s hard to measure, let alone rank. Those are– man, do I have to choose? There are a fist full of Bujold, so I will arbitrarily pick Brothers in Arms. Weber gave us Honor Harrington– we’re up in the 20-30 range? Pick one. Take two, they are that good.
I’m also partial to Cherryh, from The Pride of Chanur to The Foreigner series. One of my favorite Elizabeth Moon SF stories is “Remnant Population”. Then there’s Sarah Hoyt. Her short stories are overlooked, but let’s make our life simpler and stick to novels. What, you mean I have to pick… one?!
Oh, no, it’s about mind altering worlds and strange concepts and the wonder in the universe. So Count to A Trillion by John C Wright tops that list.
Should it be all dancing about architecture? well, maybe not. We are storytelling about science. Science in real life is filled with great stories, many of whom are never told. This is why the System of the World trilogy is technically science fiction. Even if its’ also historical fiction,and a swashbuckling epic romp through at least eight novels woven together into three great ox stunning books.
So… you see the problem? Wait… this is a PROBLEM?!