03 September 2005

Reading List (Update)

I really ought to get round to maintaining a proper online books list somewhere like All Consuming, rather than keeping on posting them here. But I still haven't. So for reference (my own, largely), here's the current list of what would be in my "To Read" pile if I had one (which, being anal about shelving all my books in the proper order at all times, I don't).

As you'll see from the following, I haven't managed to read many of the books I intended to over the summer. Getting through About Time 5 was something of a mammoth haul -- it's looking as if the entire six-volume series is going to weigh in at something like a million words. That's the length of Clute and Nicholls' Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, entirely devoted to Doctor Who. But who needs a sense of proportion when you have cultural investigators of the calibre of Messrs Miles and Wood?

I did manage to get through The Dancers at the End of Time, Warring States, The Time Traveler's Wife, Einstein's Dreams and of course Wildthyme on Top, two of which I'm still intending to post about shortly. Bizarrely, it's only now that I realise that every single one of these is about time-travellers, alternative formulations of time or both, and that most of them have "time" (or "thyme") in the title. I'm not as obsessive as this makes me sound, honestly.

Current reading consists of Short Trips: Seven Deadly Sins (largely for Paul Magrs' Iris Wildthyme story, "Suitors Inc.") and The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction, which has somehow become a great deal more difficult since I decided to give up coffee. (Oh yes, I need to post about that at some point too. It's just a temporary thing, with any luck.)

So, here's the revised list (new stuff added since last time in bold):

Karen Armstrong, The Battle for God.
Brian Bates, The Real Middle Earth.
Mark Chadbourn, World's End.
Umberto Eco, Foucault's Pendulum.
William Gibson, Pattern Recognition.
Gwynneth Jones, Bold as Love.
China MiƩville, Perdido Street Station.
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas.
Simon Morden, Another War.
Vladimir Nabokov, Ada or Ardor.
Christopher Priest, The Space Machine.
Christopher Priest, A Dream of Wessex.

And, once again in the "not sure I can be arsed" category...
Jacqueline Rayner, Winner Takes All.
Gary Russell, Spiral Scratch.

The Morden and the Armstrong were bought at, or arising from, Greenbelt, although the festival bookshop wasn't particularly helpful there. They didn't stock The Battle for God, despite Armstrong's research into fundamentalism being what she was speaking (very interestingly) about; and they very quickly sold out of her more recent book on Islam. Another War they only had in stock because Simon (who spoke on "Christian fiction" and why it's all so awful) had brought along some of his own copies. Stocking Peculiar Lives and Of the City of the Saved... was pretty much out of the question. Never mind.

Some rather more substantial posts about books and stuff should follow over the course of the weekend, with any luck. This past week has all been a bit manic.

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