Monday, January 16, 2012

The House That Stood Still


I really enjoy science fiction. I like reading old novels, I love watching movies from all eras, robots and aliens and other galaxies and anything else that seems remotely futuristic. In my opinion novels are the best because they are easy to get sucked into--while the setting, storyline and character details are provided there is still a great deal of interpretation performed by your brain. I have started and stopped collecting science fiction paperbacks throughout my life and recently counted and scanned in the covers of my collection. I have 59 sci-fi paperbacks and hope to increase that. When I buy new books I totally judge the book by its cover, I love the pictures of the alienscapes or a depiction of the pinnacle moment.

The Prodigal Sun is one of my favorites--I thought the cover was totally awesome and the story is great too (which is also a bonus). The story is about a human boy who is abducted and raised by Martians, only to be returned to Earth as a young man. He is super smart and also possesses certain mind abilities from growing up on a different planet. Instead of being welcomed and celebrated there is trouble and it really plays out well.

A. E. Van Vogt is one of my favorite authors and this is one of the first paperbacks I acquired by him. I really really like the cover and was even recently considering this as a design for my next tattoo.

Jhereg is the first in a long series written by Steven Brust. It is a story about a guy named Vlad Taltos who is an assassin, a sorcerer and a witch. He is hired to kill people but each novel he is also solving a mystery. He lives on a planet like Earth that has several species and a hierarchical system that humans are kind of outside of. Vlad has a familiar named Loiosh who is pictured on the cover. Loiosh is really sarcastic and gives Vlad a hard time.

I'm currently reading this one So far it is a quick read and I swear I read half the other day on the bus. And so far the cover has nothing to do with the story but I thought it was creative so I picked the book up. The book is actually about most of North America waking up to find they've been turned to metal and the rest of the world has a blue hue to their skin. There are giant alien enemy invaders of some sort the rag-tag group of charachteres are trying to figure out.

Another interesting thing about this book is that it was written in the 50's so there's a lot of slang, sexism and subtle racism written into it--not so much slurs but general attitudes and phrasing that was accepted at that time but since regarded as inappropriate. For example, there's a charachter who is a Japanese Servant and throughout the book the author refers to him as "The Japanese." At first I thought that referred to the entire culture (i.e. The Japanese People) but by chapter 3 realized it was just written in a different era. Also there's a lot of jokes about how women aren't capable of fixing or doing stuff.

I haven't read this one in a long time and I think it's worth a re-read. I bought it because I thought the cover was great!


This is another great one, it talks about life on Mars and a Martian culture, and inevitably at some point there's an Earth/Mars conflict that occurs and someone who unites the two or neutralizes the situation.

This is book 5 of a very awesome 5 part series called The Cluster Series. Of course anyone who reads science fiction and fantasy knows that Piers Anthony is a genius and writer of many many books and series that are easy to get sucked into. I can't say enough about this series and think it's one of the more exciting and well thought out series I have read. I haven't been this exited about a series since Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman came out with The Deathgate Cycles books.

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