Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Hatch Book Meme

I don't normally do these, but Wilfred keeps doing them and I'm jealous, so when I saw one that was related to sci-fi books I decided to snag it from Eve who snagged it from some other blogger.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
An even mixture of Sci-Fi and Fantasty. I rarely read Horror. I read Amityville Horror back in elementary school and I think it scarred me for life.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
Honestly, I don't care. I even read online books occasionally, especially at Project Gutenburg. In 2005 I read Candide there. At home I have mostly Hardback and trades. I do avoid the Mass Markets for the most part because they fall apart so easily.

Heinlein or Asimov?
As far as Sci-Fi goes, it would be Heinlein, who I read voraciously as a horny teenage geek. I've read most of Asimov's Foundation series, and I've read a lot of his non-fiction as well. The man wrote an insane amount of books on vastly different topics.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
I buy a lot from Amazon, although I pick up an impulse buy a few times a year at a Brick and Mortar. I hit the local library a lot too.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
There aren't any Borders in Nashville that I know of, so I don't really have a choice usually. When I lived in Atlanta we would drive to the huge Borders in Buckhead several times a month. It was an insanely great bookstore and was big enough to require escalators. It had a huge selection of science, computer, and sci-fi/fantasy books.

Hitchhiker or Discworld?
I've been meaning to read some Discworld novels for years now, but I've never gotten around to it. I read the Hitchhiker books a lot when I was a teenager and loved them at the time. I tried to read the first Hitchhiker book again a few years ago and found it unappealing.

Bookmark or Dog ear?
About once a year, a certain someone in my house tries to be helpful and saves the place in a book I've left lying open by dog earring the page. This drives me completely nuts and there's usually an argument involved.

Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
Neither. I prefer Analog and I've read it for years.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
Totally random. Boxes of books laying around in the garage random.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
I did a huge purge several years ago and so far it hasn't built back up too much. I tend to use the library more now, so that helps. I also tend to gather up a pile and give them to Paul and he will do the same for me.

Year’s Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?
Haven't read either, so can't comment.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
I often take the dust jacket off to read and then lose it, so it's not a planned action.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
See previous entry.

Short story or novel?
I like both. I buy a few issues of Analog magazine every year and I'll tend to read an anthology every once and a while.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
I haven't read either. I'll probably read Harry Potter along with Jack when he gets old enough. I think Victoria read Lemony Snicket books a few years back.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Sometimes in the middle of a paragraph depending on how tired I am. If I've already stayed up too late but I really want to keep reading, I'll make a deal with myself to stop at the end of the next chapter.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Once upon a time.

Buy or Borrow?
I do both in equal measures. It's been a while since PC and I did a swap, so I may need to take a pile over to his house this Sunday.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?
I rarely read reviews, so it's usually a recommendation or browsing.

Lewis or Tolkien?
I've only read the first Narnia book and that was a looooonng time ago back in middle school I think. I've read The Hobbit and The Ring Trilogy by Tolkien. I tried to read some of his other stuff but it's like reading an atlas. On three occasions I've tried to slog through the Silmarillion, but I get bogged down about 1/4 of the way through.

Hard SF or Space Opera?
Hard Sci-fi all the way. I did recently read a great Space Opera though. Check out the 2006 reading list.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Both. I'm in the process of reading The Compleat Enchanter (collection) and The Enchanter Compleated (anthology), both about the character created by L. Sprague DeCamp.

Hugo or Nebula?
I've read many of the books awarded the Hugo and I've never been disappointed. Forever War is one of the best, as was A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge. I'm not very familiar with the Nebula so again I can't comment.

Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
New Wave for the most part. I'm not sure when the "Golden Era" stopped, but I tend to pick up a 1970's Sci-fi book every time I'm near Hillsboro Village and I'm able to stop in Book Man/Book Woman, which has an insanely great, if random, selection of old sci-fi paperbacks.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
Tidy. Cliffhangers suck unless there's another book to resolve it later.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Almost always at night. Sometimes I read at lunch, but lately I haven't been taking long lunches.

Standalone or Series?
I like series, but they usually bog down if they go longer than 3 books. The best example of this is the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. It started out being insanely great, but after the third book it slowly ground down until the last couple have been almost intolerably bad and boring. He says he's going to wrap it all up in one more novel, but I can't see how he will without rushing things and leaving a lot of plot lines open.

Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
I'm not sure what "urban fantasy" is. I pretty much like the traditional fantasy worlds where magic is rare, feared, and often misunderstood. I did enjoy the Thieves World books, but again, like most series they bogged down soon after the third book.

New or used?
I buy both, but often used. I tend to go to Book Man/Book Woman and buy a stack of used paperbacks for the same price a new hardback would cost.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I don't tend to read unknown books. Since I tend to read some of the older stuff, I'm sure a lot of people my age and younger have never heard of some of them. Check out anything by Alfred Bester, but if you only read one, read The Demolished Man, which won the first Hugo award. If you read two, go with The Stars my Destination, which is probably the original "Cyberpunk" novel.

Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)
A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin
The Night's Dawn Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton

Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)
Dune - Frank Herbert
Voice of the Whirlwind - Walter Jon Williams. (I re-read it every few years. Probably my favorite book.)
The Demolished Man - Alfred Bester
Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein
Battlefield Earth - L. Ron Hubbard (Yes, I love this book. I've read it multiple times since I was 16 and haven't seen any signs of Scientology in it. It's just a great big campy sci-fi book that's a lot of fun to read.)

X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)
A Song of Fire and Ice - George R.R. Martin
Wheel of Time (The first 5 books) - Robert Jordan
The Belgariad - David Eddings (You can safely skip The Mallorean, the sequel series.)
The Night's Dawn Trilogy - Peter F. Hamilton
The Riftwar Saga - Raymond E. Feist

Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)
I don't tend to remember short stories much after I read them. They're sort of like eating M&M's. I really enjoyed the Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber, and I need to read them again soon. The short stories in Thieves World and Wildcards were always enjoyable too. I've read a lot of sci-fi in Analog magazine over the years as well.

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