offers up points me toward a book lovers quiz. So why not?
What books are your comfort reading – the ones you slink back to in times of stress?
A good SF novel, preferably hard, involving space.
What was your favorite book as a child, and why?
I was precocious. When I was young and had to go to the hospital for an injury, I was aghast that there was “only” children’s books available in the pediatric section. So I tried to jump up to higher books. But I will list an unusual choice: The Choose Your Own Adventure Books. Even then, I was sort of roleplaying characters via them.
What was your favorite book as an adolescent, and why?
It was a book of essays by Issac Asimov that I read and re-read: Asimov on Numbers. It was a bunch of his collected essays. I loved that book.
What is the most-unread category of books gathering dust on your bookshelf – the books you’ve bought but just never got around to reading?
Considering my books are scattered around a bit, I am not really sure. I also buy books faster than I can read them in all categories.
What kind of books would you like to say you read, but never do?
What’s the oddest book you ever read?
Oddest? It’s got to be one of the James Joyce novels I read in High School.
What’s the book you were never able to get through, despite the recommendations of people you respect?
Easy question. The True Game series, by Shari S. Tepper. Jim recommended it to me. Mike Levay likes it. But I couldn’t get into it no matter how hard I tried.
What’s the book it took you a couple of tries to get into, but was as good as people promised once you finally made it?
Gene Wolfe’s Urth Novels. Dense, packed, difficult, confusing, arcane. But well worth it, oh so worth it. When I later read the McAuley Confluence novels, I could see he had learned at Wolfe’s knee.
What’s your favorite short story… Or do you even have one?
I don’t remember the name of the story, but its the last one in the Martian Chronicles, when the earth family, escaped to Mars as Earth writhes in its death agonies, looks into the canal at the end, they themselves now the Martians. A haunting image, that.
The desert island. Three books (and collected works don’t count; if you want Lord of the Rings, it’ll cost you all three slots). Go.
Just Three??! The first one is non-negotiable, the other two are two of a much larger set.
Silverlock: John Myers Myers
Godel, Escher, Bach: Douglas Hofstadter
Cosmos: Carl Sagan