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UPDATED: I’ve Been Tagged

Ack! I’ve been tagged by Jose at Meme Therapy to perpetuate the 21st-century equivalent of chain letters. And why shouldn’t I? Just because my own meme spectacularly imploded upon itself and went nowhere, why should I be bitter and deny others of the hollow euphoria that only comes from assuming the role of Puppet Master?

1. One book that changed your life?

If I had to pick one, I would say Babyhood by Paul Reiser because my daughter changed my life. [As audience Awwwwwws, move on to next question before they call me on it and I’ll have to admit that no book has really changed my life.]

2. One book you have read more than once?

Dune. First time, loved it. Second time, bored by it.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?

The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume 1.

4. One book that made you laugh?

I’ll avoid the obvious Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and say The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, my first and only Pratchett book.

5. One book that made you cry?

What? Me, cry? Although…I do seem to remember reading Frederik Pohl’s Gateway way back when and being saddened by some accidental situation where interstellar travel meant some guy’s true love was long dead and buried. I think maybe I must have been having some turbulence in my own relationship at that point because today I’m thinking, “Stop acting like a girl.”

6. One book you wish had been written?

How to Get Filthy Rich by Blogging About Science Fiction and Supermodels in 1 Day

7. One book you wish had never had been written?

A Scanner Darkly

8. One book you are currently reading?

The Space Opera Renaissance edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer

9. One book you have been meaning to read?

Where to start? I have boxes and boxes of books that I want to read. Let’s pick, oh, The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester.

10. Now tag five people.

Oh goody! A chance to punish people who have been kind enough to comment on SF Signal!

UPDATE: All of them have responded.

i) John C. Wright [Done]

ii) Andrew Wheeler @ Antick Musings [Done]

iii) James Bloomer @ Big Dumb Object [Done]

iv) Jeff Patterson @ Gravity Lens (Done)

v) Fred Kiesche @ Eternal Golden Braid [Done]

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.

11 Comments on UPDATED: I’ve Been Tagged

  1. Working on it! Not sure if I can top a title like “How to Get Filthy Rich by Blogging About Science Fiction and Supermodels in 1 Day” though!

    πŸ˜€

  2. Done. Up and tagged it forwards.

  3. I hope, gentlemen, that I get credit for being a good sport for playing along. I do have a day job.

    1. One book that changed your life?

    There are many books that have changed my thinking on certain issues, including the ENCHIRIDION by Epictetus and HUMAN ACTION by Ludwig van: but if the question is taken literally, there is only one book that actually changed by life: AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN by Anthony Robbins. I was trapped in a dead-end job as a newspaperman, harassed by the IRS, dishonorably seeking the protection of the Bankruptcy Court, and reading this book gave me the spleen and backbone I needed to go get a job as a newspaper editor at another paper.

    It is one of those self-help, rah-rah, you-can-do-it tracts that were so popular in the optimistic 80’s. I moved my family to a new state. I liked it because Tony Robbins preaches a version of Korzybski General Semantics popularized in SF circles by A.E. van Vogt’s WORLD OF NULL A, the theory that the personality is shaped by the nature of the abstract concepts we use to think about the world.

    2. One book you have read more than once?

    The question is unfair: In my youth, I never bought a book unless I expected to reread it at least three times. Every book in my collection I have read and reread.

    LORD OF THE RINGS by JRR Tolkien is the book I have reread the most often and with greatest reward. When I was younger, and I had more reading time, and joy and pleasure lay waiting behind each sunrise, brighter in those days than in these Novenmberish years of rain, I would reread this treasure at least once a year.

    3. One book you would want on a desert island?

    BOY SCOUT’S HANDBOOK by Robert Baden-Powell. Or the KING JAMES’ BIBLE by Moses and various authors (God, ed.). The first to let me survive on the island, the second to let me pray for rescue.

    4. One book that made you laugh?

    National Lampoon’s DOON by Ellis Weiner.

    “Arruckus–men call it Doon, the Dessert Planet. It is a sugar-covered wasteland entirely devoid of entrees, patrolled by a terrifying species of giant pretzel. The savage world is the setting for an apocalyptic drama. On one side is the evil Baron Vladimir Hardchargin. Opposing him: young Pall Agamemnides, the teenager who may (or may not) be the Messiah. Pall’s only allies are the planet’s nomadic tribes, the fiercely religious sweatsuit-wearing Freedmenmen. These forces clash in a deadly contest over Doon’s one precious resource, a substance found nowhere else in the Universe: the mind-altering liquid known as /beer/…”

    5. One book that made you cry?

    THE GOLDEN AGE by John C. Wright, when I saw how many typo’s were in it. WEBSTER’S UNABRIDGED THIRD EDITION, when I saw that it listed “Gender” as a synonym for “Sex”, and on that horrid, horrid day I realized that the Agents of the Dark Powers were everywhere, and I could no longer trust that Dictionaries would tell me the truth of what words really meant.

    Aside from that, I get misty-eyed when I read any book about Mother’s love, babies, puppies, kittens, that sort of schmaltz. When I was young, I was callous and shallow, and no tear ever dimmed my Vulcan’s eye, disdainful, cool and hard as ice. Now that I am married with kids, I am just a big sissy. I cried when ET died in that manipulative Spielberg flick fer chrissake, and it was just a bug-eyed sock puppet. (Spoiler Warning: he gets better. These aliens are always recovering from death. Him and Klaatu should form a club or something. With a T-shirt: SEE EARTH AND DIE).

    6. One book you wish had been written?

    SILMARILLION by JRR Tolkien. I wish the professor had lived long enough to finish his great work. I also would not mind seeing Spencer’s FAERIE QUEENE finished, or DE RERUM NATURA by Lucretius, an excellent work, peerless.

    7. One book you wish had never had been written?

    ULYSSES by James Joyce.

    Three generations of mankind have been robbed of hope, of joy, of beauty, of pleasure, and of goodness by the literary movement from which this monster comes. May the Nine of Helicon torment in hell the soul of Joyce for his crimes against them! For every missing punctuation mark, mark and puncture him with knives, Parnassians! For every dreary mention of a proximate erection, impale his private parts with the white-hot needle of a stingray, O Goddesses Divine of the Hippocrene!

    8. One book you are currently reading?

    BEFORE THE DAWN by Nicholas Wade. Eye-opening and breathtaking. What to know why dogs bark? How can head-lice tell us when clothing was invented? What does Mad Cow Disease have to with ancient cannibalism? What is the only other animal, aside from man, who makes war on his own kind? Read it and find out.

    Some of these ideas are sure to make it into my next fiction work. (Maybe I can write about a masochistic albino Monk from Opus Dei trying to kill DNA researchers to prevent them from discovering the secret origins of man. I can make my main character a biogenetic symbologist, and give him a sexy French girlfriend who is the lovechild great-grand-daughter of Mohammed and the Virgin Mary. I can call it THE DNA CODE. Eh? Eh? Good, huhn? Original?)

    A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE by Paul Johnson. You think you know history? You don’t know history. Read this masterpiece. Every paragraph is fascinating.

    9. One book you have been meaning to read?

    One? Here are four: THRESHOLD by David R. Palmer. I like EMERGENCE so well, this is on my must-read pile.

    FEAST FOR CROWS by Geo RR Martin. He has redefined what it means to write fantasy: fantasy now means The War of the Roses, not the War of the Ring.

    THE KILLING OF WORLDS By Scott Westerfeld. RISEN EMPIRE was wicked-cool and want to finish the story.

    OREGON TRAIL by Parkman. First and most famous book about the American West. If you have ever heard boy scouts griping, this book is all that, plus bison.

    Links:

    ENCHIRIDION by Epictetus

    HUMAN ACTION by Ludwig van Mises:

    AWAKEN THE GIANT WITHIN by Anthony Robbins.

    A.E. van Vogt’s WORLD OF NULL A

    LORD OF THE RINGS by JRR Tolkien.

    BOY SCOUT’S HANDBOOK by Robert Baden-Powell.

    KING JAMES’ BIBLE (C’mon. Get serious. You need a link to find the Holy Bible? Check into a non-PC hotel: the Gideon society probably put one in the drawer.)

    National Lampoon’s DOON by Ellis Weiner.

    SILMARILLION by JRR Tolkien.

    Spencer’s FAERIE QUEENE

    DE RERUM NATURA by Lucretius

    ULYSSES by James Joyce.

    BEFORE THE DAWN by Wade

    A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE by Paul Johnson.

    THRESHOLD by David R. Palmer.

    FEAST FOR CROWS by George R.R. Martin.

    THE KILLING OF WORLDS By Scott Westerfeld.

    OREGON TRAIL by Parkman.

  4. Good work in spreading the infection John. We must do this again sometime with something a bit more specificaly SFnal.

    I’d have another go at your meme spreading thing but use less questions next time.

  5. Paging James and Jeff! Paging James and Jeff!

    :O

  6. James is done. Jeff is the only one left. I realize that Gravity Lens’ format does not lend itself well to meme-ing, but he’s welcome to use this comments page to complete the task. πŸ™‚

  7. I think my onward tagged people are a little ambitious πŸ˜€

  8. I’m gonna post on my site within the hour.

  9. Apologies to John C. Wright whose comment on Tuesday August 01, 2006 at 3:15 PM was ceremoniously flagged as Junk by Movable Type even though he was a trusted commenter. The comment now appears above and he does indeed get bonus points for playing along. πŸ™‚

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