I can count, on one hand no less, the number of times I read a book that I just couldn’t put down and ended up finishing later that same day or, more usually, night. The first time I remember this happening was about a year after I graduated from college. I was looking for something to read and happened to see a copy of Rising Sun by Crichton that my parents had bought. I picked it up and the next thing I knew it was 3am and I had to get up for work in 3 hours. Just for the record, I probably wouldn’t do that again if I was able to re-read Rising Sun for the first time, even though I enjoy earlier Crichton stuff.
“But!”, I hear you cry,”that’s not SF!” You’re right. In sad point of fact, I have never read a, what most of us would consider, ‘true’ SF book all in one sitting. The closes I’ve come is with Matt Ruff’s awesome Bad Monkeys (review). That one time in my adult life there was the perfect confluence of time, a great story well told and the perfect novel length to allow me to start the book about 6pm and finish later that night around midnight. Although technically it wasn’t one sitting as I started during my son’s tennis practice so I had to stop to bring him home, eat dinner, help with homework and then get the kids to bed. Only then could I finish the book. Still, if I’d had the uninterrupted block of time to work with, I’d have punched that sucker out in a few hours and still had time to play some World of Warcraft.
So the challenge before you is simple: Name the SF(ish) books that you have read all at once, with all at once being defined as starting a book and finishing it within a 24 hour period. You are allowed to have taken breaks in between readings and you get bonus points for finishing late into the night. Tell us what your book(s) is/are and why! (I figure someone has to have read something SF in one sitting…)