(urth) Round 2 of NPR top 100 sci-fi books of all time

Lane Haygood lhaygood at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 20:32:57 PDT 2011

See, I've tried to read the Malazan books multiple times and just can't get into them. And I listened to Anathem as an audiobook, which may have helped. Stephenson's use of philosophy was surface-level at best, and I won't comment on the math, but it really "stuck with me" and had me thinking about universality and Platonism long after I finished. 

Really, in terms of pure prose, no one can hold a candle to Wolfe, LeGuin, Zelazny or Lieber (were the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser books on there?), but newcomers like Scott Lynch always get me excited to read their stuff. I think he and Jim Butcher display the greatest amount of potential among the new guard, so we will see how they develop. 

I also left off a lot of authors I enjoy but whom I haven't read enough of, like Delaney and Vinge. I need to fix it, but the time!

Sent from my iPhone

On Aug 3, 2011, at 10:26 PM, Marc Aramini <marcaramini at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- On Wed, 8/3/11, Lane Haygood <lhaygood at gmail.com> wrote:
>> From: Lane Haygood <lhaygood at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: (urth) Round 2 of NPR top 100 sci-fi books of all time
>> To: "The Urth Mailing List" <urth at lists.urth.net>
>> Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2011, 7:09 PM
>> I went with
>> 1. Book of the New Sun
>> 2. Gentleman Bastards (Lies of Locke Lamora)
>> 3. Prince of Nothing
>> 4. Song of Ice and Fire
>> 5. Chronicles of Amber
>> 6. Conan
>> 7. Black Company
>> 8. Elric
>> 9. The Left Hand of Darkness
>> 10. Anathem
> You know, I liked a lot of these but inexplicably I absolutely hated Anathem, i honestly thought it was one of the worst books I ever read, and I liked Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon. I was variously bored, apathetic, and just bothered by it.  Can anyone explain why it was so popular?  I don't find Stephenson a lyrical or memorable prose writer, I don't find his characters fleshed out in that one, I don't think a lot of the philosophy was applied correctly, mathetmatically or otherwise, and it was kind of a boring surface story.  did I miss something?  
> I don't remember the order but I put New Sun, Amber, song of ice and fire, bridge of birds, elric (but I really think some of Moorcock's other stuff is better), Norstrilia,  more than human, malazan, martian chronicles, and lord of light (because its better than Amber but not as likely to win anything).  Could easily have chosen a lot of other stuff, too.
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