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My SF Book Meme

I thought I’d jump on the meme bandwagon and start one of my own, mainly centered on genre fiction books. Well, actually, only on science fiction, fantasy and horror.

You know how this works: Copy the questions and give your own answers…


Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

Science Fiction. Although I do like to sneak in other genres and even non-fiction from time to time.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?

Mass Market Paperback. Easier to store and cheaper. Not that I’m cheap, mind you. Cheaper means more books for my book-buying dollar and biblioholic ways.

Heinlein or Asimov?

Asimov. Always enjoyable. Heinlein’s later stuff is (I hear) weak.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Brick and mortar. I’m more of a Gatherer than a Hunter.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

B&N

Hitchhiker or Discworld?

Hitchhiker, but only because I haven’t read Discworld yet. (I’ll slap myself for you.)

Bookmark or Dogear?

Yikes! Ruin a book? Bookmark.

Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

Asimov’s tends to have better stories, but I’m not a steady reader of either.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?

Alphabetize by author’s last name. Duh.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?

Keep. A book is like a trophy that says, “Look at me! I can read!”

Year’s Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?

Dozois’ series is usually of higher quality. Of course, I only read 2 from each series.

Keep dustjacket or toss it?

Keep.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?

Remove it.

Short story or novel?

Both. Novels require a bigger commitment of time. Short stories are like quick fixes that hold me over until I have the time for a novel.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

I’ve yet to read either although I’ve seen two of the Potter movies.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Chapter breaks.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

“Once upon a time”

Buy or Borrow?

Buy. See previous comment on Gathering.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

Definitely Browsing. I like the physicality picking up a book from a shelf, reading the cover, sampling some pages. Oh, and if I find something recommended by others, all the better!

Lewis or Tolkien?

Tolkien. I had a hard time with Lewis’ Space series. I’ve yet to read Narnia.

Hard SF or Space Opera?

Hmmm. Tough one. I’ll go with Space Opera since it (hopefully) has the sense of wonder that I enjoy from hard sf but with the added intrigue/drama.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Anthology. I get to sample more authors that way.

Hugo or Nebula?

Doesn’t matter. My track record is hit-or-miss for enjoying award-winning books.

Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?

Golden Age. It has a flavor unmatched by the newer stuff.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

Tidy ending

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?

Nighttime is the only time I can get.

Standalone or Series?

Standalone. Starting a new series is a way bigger commitment. (OK, I’m starting to see a pattern. Do I have commitment issues?)

Urban fantasy or high fantasy?

Urban fantasy.

New or used?

Used. It’s the only way to support my bibliophilia. And my current backlog of books means I’m never left without something to read.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

Dead Heat by Del Stone, Jr.

Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)

1. The Risen Empire/The Killing of Worlds by Scott Westerfeld.

2. Nightwings by Robert Silverberg.

3. Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds.

4. To Marry Medusa by Theodore Sturgeon.

5. Singularity by Bill DeSmedt.

Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)

1. More than Human by Theodore Sturgeon.

2. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham.

3. Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke.

4. The Man Who Fell to Earth by Walter Tevis.

5. Millenium by John Varley.

X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)

1. Night’s Dawn by Peter Hamilton.

2. The Gap by Stephen R. Donaldson.

3. The Dingillian Family by David Gerrold.

4. Asimov’s Robot books.

5. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman.

Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)

1. “The Cold Equations” by Tom Godwin.

2. “Diamond Dogs” by Alastair Reynolds.

3. “Downloading Midnight” by William Browning Spencer.

4. “Fondly Fahrenheit” by Alfred Bester.

5. “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes.

About John DeNardo (13013 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

15 Comments on My SF Book Meme

  1. Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Meme

    All right, its a science fiction and fantasy books meme courtesy of SFSignal. Get comfortable, this one’s going to be long.

    Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

    Fantasy followed by Science Fiction, never been much of a Horror reader myself

    Hardb…

  2. Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

    SF

    Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?

    MMPB

    Heinlein or Asimov?

    Heinlein. I feel early Heinlein is a much bette writer than Asimov. And given the choice, I’d read anything by RH up until, say, Stranger in a Strange Land. Asimov is a more consistent writer, and I’d read just about anything by him, but I’d still read early RH over Asimov.

    Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

    Amazon

    Barnes & Noble or Borders?

    B&N

    Hitchhiker or Discworld?

    This is tough. The first books of HHGttG are great. It starts to slide from there. Discworld has a certain humor level, with some books rising above it. The first two DW books are in that category. Hmm, probably Discworld.

    Bookmark or Dogear?

    Bookmark. Why ruin a book if it isn’t John’s?

    Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

    Asimov’s

    Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?

    Author. Then by title/series.

    Keep, Throw Away or Sell?

    Keep.

    Year’s Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?

    Dozwaa. I don’t think I’ve ever read Hartwell’s books.

    Keep dustjacket or toss it?

    Keep

    Read with dustjacket or remove it?

    Remove

    Short story or novel?

    Unlike John, I’n not afraid to answer this question. Novel.

    Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

    I’ve only ever seen the LS movie. But, if the movie is any indication of the books, I’d say Snicket, for its dark humor. Oh, and for its lack of an angry, angst ridden Harry.

    Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

    Try try try to hit the chapter breaks.

    “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

    “Once upon a time”, especially if it leads to undead, time-travelling Nazi zombies.

    Buy or Borrow?

    Borrow. Why buy when John is around?

    Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

    Browse. Either in a store or in magazines or on a web site. And I don’t mean reviews. I mean reading the synopsis of the book.

    Lewis or Tolkien?

    Tolkein

    Hard SF or Space Opera?

    Its my feeling that today’s space opera is hard SF, for the most part. Hmm. Cool science, or rousing action with lasers and crap. Why can’t I have both? I can. So, both.

    Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

    I don’t care either way.

    Hugo or Nebula?

    Again, doesn’t matter to me.

    Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?

    Hmm. New Wave being modern SF? Modern.

    Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?

    Tidy ending.

    Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?

    Night.

    Standalone or Series?

    Doesn’t matter. Either one, as long as they are good. Unliks John, I don’t have commitment issues.

    Urban fantasy or high fantasy?

    Do I have to choose a fantasy sub-genre? Ugh. Ok, then anything without elves, or dwarves, or ocs, trolls.

    New or used?

    I propose a third alternative: John’s. I choose John’s.

    Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

    A Secret History.

    Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)

    1. Singularity, DeSmedt

    2. The Risen Empire, Westerfeld

    3. Redemption Ark, Reynolds

    4. Altered Carbon, Morgan

    5. The Golden Transcendence, Wright

    Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)

    1. Childhood’s End, Clarke

    2. Anubis Gates, Powers

    3. Startide Rising, Brin

    4. Use of Weapons, Banks

    5. Hyperion, Simmons

    X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)

    1. Night’s Dawn Trilogy, Hamilton

    2. Hyperion Cantos, Simmons

    3. Foundation Series, Asimov

    4. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Donaldson

    Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)

    1. Surface Tension, Blish

    2. The Cold Equations, Godwin

    3. Antibodies, Stross

    Probably some more I can’t think of right now.

  3. Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

    Science Fiction.

    Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?

    Mass Market Paperback are easier to store. Trade paperbacks are the easiest to read, but hardcovers make the best weapons.

    Funny how e-books or audiobooks aren’t listed.

    Heinlein or Asimov?

    I assume this means ?Which to you prefer reading?? It could mean something else. They are both dead people who had a cantankerous streak, both have had criminally shitty adaptations of their stories produced, and they both loved the ladies in their younger days. I go with Isaac ?cuz of those mutton-chops.

    Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

    Both. But someone needs to open a bookstore called ?Brick & Mortar.?

    Barnes & Noble or Borders?

    B&N. I love those line drawings on the old bags.

    Hitchhiker or Discworld?

    Hitchhiker. Never read dicsworld. I hear it?s funny, but it is nine hundred books long. That?s like trying to ?get into? Zappa. He had 1000 albums. Good luck.

    Bookmark or Dogear?

    I bookmark with an actual dog?s ear. Don?t ask how I got it.

    Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?

    Asimov’s. Analog has been unreadable for a decade. I pick up about one issue a year, depending on whose contributing.

    Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?

    Like the guy in High Infidelity, I sort autobiographically.

    Keep, Throw Away or Sell?

    We?re still talking about books, right?

    It depends on the book. If the book is fair-to-bad it goes in a pile and gets brought to my local used book store for credit.

    If the book was really bad, to the point where I feel robbed of my time and like less of a person for having read it, I openly defile the book. This usually involves defecating on it, or, in certain cases, letting an animal defecate on it.

    In my younger days I once did a piece of performance art where I publicly shat on every volume of the Gor series. It was the 1980s, and the drugs were really good.

    Keep dustjacket or toss it?

    Keep. I should really start discarding them. Lately dust jackets have become slick things that mar with the slightest fingerprint.

    Read with dustjacket or remove it?

    Remove it. It is impossible to read a hardcover book with the jacket on. Impossible. Firstly, the cover flaps are never creased, so as soon as you open the book the jacket flies off. If you try to hold the book with one hand while sipping a drink, the jacket slides up over the top. Plus there?s papercuts.

    Short story or novel?

    Either. Plus Novellas and novelettes. And there should be more categories. Novelitas. Novel-bits. Like boxing weight catagories.

    Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

    Harry Potter is a rip off of Tim Hunter from the Books of Magic comics, so I do not read them on principle. Never heard of Snicket.

    Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

    What does ?stop reading? mean?

    “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

    Huh? So my choice is between bad writing and tired formula writing?

    How about “The seven asian sisters deftly coaxed Jeff’s pants off and began giggling with delight.” Now I’m interested.

    Buy or Borrow?

    Either. Stealing is good, but involves crossing moral boundaries.

    I’ll do the rest later.

  4. Thanks Jeff, that was funny read!

  5. Is there a BrickAndMortar.com? I’m at work so I don’t wanna check for fear that it’s synonymous with carttonnetwork.com and whitehouse-dot-com.

    stupid filter wont let me post the other spelling of “whitehouse-dot-com”

  6. i don’t know if anyone else noticed, but jeff used his quotation marks flawlessly by always putting his period, and question mark before the closing quote.

  7. Thanks for noticing, Peter. My girlfriend is a professional copyeditor and any infringement of the rules of punctuation or grammar results in a denial of sex.

    (And she notes that I mispelled “discworld,” which means it’s an issue of Penthouse for me tonight.)

  8. Dude this post is WAY too long – people who take the RSS feed will hate you.

    I almost went and edited large portions of this into the body text but wasn’t sure if this is the way you wanted it or not…

  9. There. I changed it, RSS Nazi.

    You know, for someone who was blasting RSS not too long ago, you sure have become quite the fanboy. 😉

  10. You know, our RSS feed is setup to send the entire post, excerpt and body. So it doesn’t matter what it looks like on the front page. And I prefer RSS feeds to give me the whole post instead of cutting it off at kneed.

    Sorta like Jeff’s girlfriend….

    I kid! 😉

  11. Hi there! I found your meme through Google and I just did it!

    SF Book Meme

    It’s probably the longest meme I’ve done. 😀

  12. The meme lives!

  13. I almost went and edited large portions of this into the body text but wasn’t sure if this is the way you wanted it or not…I prefer RSS feeds to give me the whole post instead of cutting it off at kneed.

    i don’t know if anyone else noticed, but jeff used his quotation marks flawlessly by always putting his period,

  14. Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
    Science Fiction mainly (well for the last few years), still enjoy fantasy but not so much at the moment. I expect my preferences will flip in a few years and i will catch up on all the fantasy i am missing.

    Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
    All, depends on the author, the deals and what amazon sends (I am a vine reviewer)

    Heinlein or Asimov?
    Both, but prefer Clarke.

    Amazon or Brick and Mortar?
    Amazon, makes my money go further but I still support my local Forbidden Planet (UK chain of SF&F stores).

    Barnes & Noble or Borders?
    Have access to neither

    Hitchhiker or Discworld?
    Diskworld by a country mile.

    Bookmark or Dogear?
    BOOKMARK!!!!! Dogearing should be a capital offence!.

    Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
    Neither, but I do read both their anthologies.

    Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?
    My own system, grouping by authors but authors placed by preference and shelf space.

    Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
    Keep, KEEP!!! (I even have book cases on my stairs)

    Year’s Best Science Fiction series (edited by Gardner Dozois) or Years Best SF series (edited by David G. Hartwell)?
    both

    Keep dustjacket or toss it?
    Keep.

    Read with dustjacket or remove it?
    Remove it.

    Short story or novel?

    Novels, I only tend to read shorts in anthologies.

    Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
    Harry Potter, one of those rare occasions were something actually comes close to the hype..

    Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
    when my reading time runs out I will close the book, if I have a spare minute or 2 I will read a page.

    “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
    “dark”

    Buy or Borrow?
      both

    Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

    Mixture of all 3, but mostly browsing.

    Lewis or Tolkien?
    Tolkien easily, I loved the history he put into his world probably more than the Hobbit/LotR, Narnia is good but it lost its way in the later novels.

    Hard SF or Space Opera?
    Depends on which way the wind is blowing, I love both but if I have to choose I will go for or.

    Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?
    Anthology. I get to sample more authors that way. SNAP

    Hugo or Nebula?
    Doesn’t matter. My track record is hit-or-miss for enjoying award-winning books. SNAP

    Golden Age SF or New Wave SF?
    How can I choose between them, both have so much to offer, so same answer as hard or opera.

    Tidy ending or Cliffhanger?
    Untidy ending, tidy ones tend to annoy me as they are often rather cheesy. Cliffhangers are OK but sequels need to be good and quick in coming.

    Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
    When awake, I read throughout the day whenever I can find a few spare minutes/hours. I pretty much always have a book within easy reach 24/7.

    Standalone or Series?

    Both

    Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
     High fantasy, to be honest I am getting increasingly bored and frustrated with urban, it seems to be incredibly clichéd and actually rather sexist(if the male and female roles where swapped these books would be being burnt by feminists I am sure)

    New or used?
    Both, I prefer new because I dislike getting used books that haven’t been looked after to my high standards (I have 500 page novels that I have read a couple of times that are in mint condition)

    Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
    Monarchies of God series by Philip Kerr

    Top X favorite genre books read last year? (Where X is 5 or less)

    Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)

    X favorite genre series? (Where X is 5 or less)

    Top X favorite genre short stories? (Where X is 5 or less)

     

    Sorry I can’t answer these last 4 questions for the same reason, every time I am happy with one list and move on to the next I end up going back to re-edit the previous lists.

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