Book reading progress

I’ve been doing well.


Hitchhiker’s Guide collected, minus “Young Zaphod Plays it Safe” by Douglas Adams

I read the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in Jr. High and enjoyed it, never realizing there were more until I was a Junior or Senior, and by then I was too cool to read. I found a :cough cough: internet version a few months ago and blew through them, and then read “Young Zaphod Plays it Safe” while killing time in the library a few weeks ago.

Question: SPOILER! In Young Zaphod, is the escaped identity Aurthur Dent?

Previously in life I’ve read ALOT of Greek stuff including the Odyssey, I’ve read alot of Asimov, Clarke, Hugo winners, collected works, etc., in fact, the only thing that dad has that I haven’t touched is the entire Dune series (including the encyclopedia), Dragonriders books, and “Adolph Hitler” by Toland. I probably should read those, though. Seeing how much I enjoyed the Elric saga and Saberhagan’s sword books, I’d probably like Dragonriders.

1st week:

Collected works of Philip K. Dick vol. 2
Collected works of Philip K. Dick vol. 3
Collected works of Philip K. Dick vol. 4

This is a five part set, of which the Kansas City Public Library Main Branch only has the middle three.

These stories are anthologized roughly chronologically, and I can see a clear evolution from volume to volume, as would be expected from a young to maturing author. In the first volume, the end of the story was obvious early on, and quite transparent, but even in knowing the ending still held a good bit of drama.

The second book shows a stronger shading without giving away the ending, but often employed gimmicky, or deus ex machina endings in order to veil itself so that the ending wasn’t as transparent as the earlier stories.

The third volume really showed Dick reaching maturity, losing the transparency and the gimmicry from earlier works, but this loss somehow made the later ones less compelling. Somewhat irritating was his often writing stories labeling early SF writers as precogs and toolings a story around that idea.

I did, however, get tired of the “Claws” stories. Mr. Dick has a very bleak view of the future, eh?

Second week:

Book of the Swords vol. one, Fred Saberhagan
Book of the Swords vol. two, Fred Saberhagan
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

These books I enjoyed when I was about thirteen or so, Dad had the prologue (Lost Book of the Swords) and the first Book. I would like to find the third book to finish the series, but eh. No great impulse. Good read.

Gee whiz gimmicrack, Fear and Loathing is ball bustingly funny. Nothing makes me want to get higher or trippier than reading a passage from that book. It’s my new mantra. Good God it’s funny. Must read for EVERYONE. I’m gonna read it to my kid for a bedtime story.

Third week:

Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlen
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlen
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

The ‘invisible’ story behind Starship Troopers isn’t, so we won’t discuss it. This book seemed to be a bully pulpit for Heinlen to talk about his views on moralism, politics, and militarism, while putting a tasty wrapper on it to increase sales. After all, who wants to read “Moralism, Politics, and Militarism by Robert Heinlen”? Okay, put your hands down.

When I was in High School, I read the first part of Stranger in a Strange Land and didn’t finish it, so I picked it up again. I really, really enjoyed it this time. It was excellent. It also had a rather transparent allegory so we won’t talk about that either. It seems, from what I’ve read of Heinlen (all of two books) that he enjoys writing books that are thinly disguised fronts for enspousing his own views on, this time, society, religion, faith, and the supernatural. However, with Stranger in a Strange Land, while this motive is again obvious, it still makes out for a very enjoyable read.

I really liked Ender’s Game. I wish that the Kansas City Public Library stocked more than Ender’s Game and Ender’s Shadow. I want to read them in order, but they don’t have Speaker for the Dead or Shadow of Hedgemon or Xenocide et al. Such a shame. Very, VERY good book. I can really empathize with Ender. I’d say sympathize, but y’know, crazy as it sounds, I’ve never been forced to man Earth’s last battle fleet against militaristic hive minded aliens.

This week I’ve picked up Callahan Chronicals by Spider Robinson, which is the first three books in the Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon series, Nebula Awards Winner 31 and 32, which are 1997 and 1998 respectively. I thought about getting all the Callahan books the library had, but I didn’t want to commit myself to a dozen books that I didn’t like, so I’m testing the waters first. I also thought about getting a load of Terry Pratchett books (of which they have about 30) as I really enjoyed Pyramids, but I think I’ll hold off on that. I don’t want to hit magic/fantasy until after I’m read up on classic Sci-Fi.

Well, so, hey. I got my work cut out for me. I still haven’t found Snow Crash in stock yet, though, and I’ve not the cash on hand to buy it. I’m slowly getting the books I know I need to read (:D) out of the way, though, so I can get on to the books recommended to me in the Sci-Fi thread I started a few weeks ago.

I honestly want to read Locke, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Machavelli and Nietzsche but don’t know what works to look up, or why I should read them. I just know that “smart people do it” and I like to consider myself one of them… so… seriously, though. I want to know firsthand what the fuss is about. I’ve already read some Plato and most recovered Greek poetry, so I figure I’ve got a foothold, small as it may be. :shrugs:

Thanks for reading.