I need a Geek reading list

Tonight I went to a “Gay geeks of NYC” trivia night.
It was really fun and there were a lot of cool questions from all the area of “GEEK”-dom you would expect…comics, sci-fi (NEVER Syfy) TV and film, cartoon sci-fi, fantasy film, video game, but almost nothing from the classics of sci-fi, fantasy and speculative literature.
Yes some “Harry Potter” questions and Sookie Stackhouse stuff, but those are both pieces of lit from the last ten years…and translated into other formats.
I spoke to the people who run the event about the lack of trivia about literature,and they tasked me to come up with some works of literature from the genre of sci-fi, fantasy and speculative fiction.

What I would like to know from people here, what 10-20 works would you suggest. I dont want obscure works. I am looking for 20 book that any “Geek” might have read ( and by boos, I mean series of works like “Harry Potter” or “LOTR”)

Here would be mine

  1. 2001 - Arthur C Clarke
  2. Dragons of Pern (original trilogy)
  3. Starship Troopers (or other Robert A. Heinlein.)
  4. Startide rising - David Brin
  5. Some work from Ursula Le Guin (it is a gay Geeks group, so her or Sam Delaney should be mentioned)
  6. Foundation - Asimov
  7. Anything from Lankhmar - Fritz Lieber
  8. Discworld - Terry Pratchet
  9. LOTR (obviously) - JRR Tolkien
    10)Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  10. Enders Game - Orson Scott Card (yes I know, he hates us gays, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great writer)
  11. any of the following 4 series - More for young readers, but we should have all read them growing up
    a) Narnia - CS Lewis
    b) Prydain - Lloyd Alexander
    c) Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
    d) Murray Family - Madeline L’Engle
  12. The Fionavar Tapestry - Guy Gavriel Kay (the actual author of the Silmarillion!)
  13. Known Space - Larry Niven
  14. Neuromancer - William Gibson
  15. Dune - Frank Herbert (only his stuff, not his son’s)
  16. Stephen King - his work is so self referential and crossed over, it would be hard to say just one

Ok, thats just off the top of my head,

A few sets of work I feel wouldn’t work, simply because they might be “Shared world”
Star Wars - The expanded universe -
Dragonlance - Come on, isn’t TSR still trying to flogg that dead horse
Thieves World - it helped created the idea of “shared world”

OK People, let me know what you think , or your list, or why something on my list should be taken off?

Le Guin isn’t gay, AFAIK?

I don’t see any Banks. There should definitely be Banks.

I have to disagree about the original Dragonlance trilogy. You can’t get a geek badge without knowing what a Kender is, or the difference between a Gnome and a Gully Dwarf.

Add to your list:
Any Heralds book by Mercedes Lackey (Arrows flight, Arrows of the Queen, Arrows fall)
Something from the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher

Brin is good, but I’m not sure you could expect any Geek to have read them. If you’re after stuff that a geek might have read then go for the other Gibsons or the other Heinleins.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson. (And possibly other books by him, but that’s the one which the geeks I know have all read.)

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

Maybe some Lovecraft?

I would nominate It as the Stephen King novel, it’s one of his best and the cosmic themes fit well for a nerd list. The original Barsroom trilogy by Edgar Rice Burroughs needs to be up there. Not the nerdiest books in and of themselves but they’ve been extremely influential for the genre. To be quite honest I would probably remove Ender’s Game if only because it’s commonly read in schools and the Marine Corps which in my mind makes it unnecessary for a nerd list.

Surely for a gay geek reading list, you’d want the Vanyel books – Magic’s Pawn, Magic’s Promise, Magic’s Price.

Add to your list Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan novels.

Geek Love

It’s, um, not what you think. Or maybe it is. But hey, you asked!