Friday, March 29, 2013

Alternative Booker Award

J.M. Blackman tagged me for The Alternative Booker Award. In which I share my five favorite books and then pass the torch to five others.

(And yeah. Narrowing it down was a bitch chore. Ask me for this list next week and I might tell you something completely different.)

In no particular order (because really, who has a single most favorite book?):

Children of Men by P.D. James - I picked this one up thinking I probably should read it before seeing the movie. The book was so incredible, I still haven't watched the movie (despite having owned it for several years now). I'm especially fond of the way the ending leaves me full of doubt whether the protagonist will actually make anything better now that he's in charge.

The Trial Begins by Abram Tertz/Andrei Sinyavsky - I have no memory of how I stumbled across this really short novel (published by a university press in the same volume as an essay - On Socialist Realism), but it blew my mind. Not only because I am still a history buff, but because it's such a surreal story about morals and politics and individuals caught in the midst of a government who fears its own citizens more than its enemies.

Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo - Technically it's six novels, but whatever. You couldn't fit all those pages into one book if you tried. And it's stunning. With heavy SF themes, brilliant artwork, and a constant critique of power and it's influence on the individual and society (and the individual in society). Any time I pick up any of the six volumes I instantly remember why I love this story so much.

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury - When I was about fourteen I sat up all night finishing this book. The writing is lyrical, the characters both ordinary and larger than life, and it has Bradbury's own worldview so deeply embedded in the story. I love this one enough to have more than one copy of it.

Norstrilia by Cordwainer Smith - I read this even before I read Bradbury. My dad had a collection of Cordwainer Smith books and I was immediately hooked. Animals with reprogrammed DNA that look human? Computers that can tell the future? Humans who live forever? It was all there in glorious detail. And Norstrilia was the biggest and best piece of that world.

(Looking at this list explains a lot about why I write what I do. It still surprises me.)

Now, to tag five other lucky folks.

1. Luke Kurtis
2. Caleb Monroe
3. Brenda Stokes-Barron
4. Alex Shvartsman
5. J. Deery Wray


J.M. Blackman said...

I'm so glad you decide to play along, as now I've got five great books to check out. Akira is a classic anime, but I typically don't read manga. I'll have to check it out song with your other recommendations. Awesome!

A.G. Carpenter said...

I've seen the anime version of Akira and it's... okay. The manga is much better (IMHO). And the artwork is so incredibly yummy.

Thanks for tagging me. :)