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THIS IS FOR PAM ADAMS, AND STEVEN HALTER, AND THE OTHER WONDERFUL PEOPLE I HAVE MET THROUGH THEIR COMMENTS ON
TOR.COM
.

 

Contents

Title Page

Copyright Notice

Dedication

    
1.
Introduction

    
2.
Why I Re-read

    
3.
A Deepness in the Sky,
the Tragical History of Pham Nuwen

    
4.
The Singularity Problem and Non-Problem

    
5.
Random Acts of Senseless Violence:
Why isn’t it a classic of the field?

    
6.
From Herring to Marmalade: the perfect plot of
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency

    
7.
“That’s just scenery”: What do we mean by “mainstream”?

    
8.
Re-reading long series

    
9.
The Dystopic Earths of Heinlein’s Juveniles

  
10.
Happiness, Meaning and Significance: Karl Schroeder’s
Lady of Mazes

  
11.
The Weirdest Book in the World

  
12.
The Poetry of Deep Time: Arthur C. Clarke’s
Against the Fall of Night

  
13.
Clarke reimagined in hot pink: Tanith Lee’s
Biting the Sun

  
14.
Something rich and strange: Candas Jane Dorsey’s
Black Wine

  
15.
To trace impunity: Greg Egan’s
Permutation City

  
16.
Black and white and read a million times: Jerry Pournelle’s
Janissaries

  
17.
College as Magic Garden: Why Pamela Dean’s
Tam Lin
is a book you’ll either love or hate.

  
18.
Making the future work: Maureen McHugh’s
China Mountain Zhang

  
19.
Anathem:
What does it gain from not being our world?

  
20.
A happy ending depends on when you stop:
Heavy Time,
Hellburner
and C. J. Cherryh’s Alliance-Union universe

  
21.
Knights Who Say “Fuck”: Swearing in Genre Fiction

  
22.
“Earth is one world”: C. J. Cherryh’s
Downbelow Station

  
23.
“Space is wide and good friends are too few”: Cherryh’s Merchanter novels

  
24.
“A need to deal wounds”: Rape of men in Cherryh’s Union-Alliance novels

  
25.
How to talk to writers

  
26.
“Give me back the Berlin Wall”: Ken MacLeod’s
The Sky Road

  
27.
What a pity she couldn’t have single-handedly invented science fiction! George Eliot’s
Middlemarch

  
28.
The beauty of lists: Angelica Gorodischer’s
Kalpa Imperial

  
29.
Like pop rocks for the brain: Samuel R. Delany’s
Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand

  
30.
Between Two Worlds: S. P. Somtow’s
Jasmine Nights

  
31.
Lots of reasons to love these: Daniel Abraham’s Long Price books

  
32.
Maori Fantasy: Keri Hulme’s
The Bone People

  
33.
Better to have loved and lost? Series that go downhill

  
34.
More questions than answers: Robert A. Heinlein’s
The Stone Pillow

  
35.
Weeping for her enemies: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Shards of Honor

  
36.
Forward Momentum: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
The Warrior’s Apprentice

  
37.
Quest for Ovaries: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Ethan of Athos

  
38.
Why he must not fail: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Borders of Infinity

  
39.
What have you done with your baby brother? Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Brothers in Arms

  
40.
Hard on his superiors: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
The Vor Game

  
41.
One birth, one death, and all the acts of pain and will between: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Barrayar

  
42.
All true wealth is biological: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Mirror Dance

  
43.
Luck is something you make for yourself: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Cetaganda

  
44.
This is my old identity, actually: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Memory

  
45.
But I’m Vor: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Komarr

  
46.
She’s getting away! Lois McMaster Bujold’s
A Civil Campaign

  
47.
Just my job: Lois McMaster Bujold’s
Diplomatic Immunity

  
48.
Every day is a gift: Lois McMaster Bujold’s “Winterfair Gifts”

  
49.
Choose again, and change: Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga

  
50.
So, what sort of series do you like?

  
51.
Time travel and slavery: Octavia Butler’s
Kindred

  
52.
America the Beautiful: Terry Bisson’s
Fire on the Mountain

  
53.
Susan Palwick’s
Shelter

  
54.
Scintillations of a sensory syrynx: Samuel Delany’s
Nova

  
55.
You may not know it, but you want to read this: Francis Spufford’s
Backroom Boys: The Secret Return of the British Boffin

  
56.
Faster Than Light at any speed

  
57.
Gender and glaciers: Ursula K. Le Guin’s
The Left Hand of Darkness

  
58.
Licensed to sell weasels and jade earrings: The short stories of Lord Dunsany

  
59.
The Net of a Million Lies: Vernor Vinge’s
A Fire Upon the Deep

  
60.
The worst book I love: Robert A. Heinlein’s
Friday

  
61.
India’s superheroes: Salman Rushdie’s
Midnight’s Children

  
62.
A funny book with a lot of death in it: Iain Banks’s
The Crow Road

  
63.
More dimensions than you’d expect: Samuel Delany’s
Babel-17

  
64.
Bad, but good: David Feintuch’s
Midshipman’s Hope

  
65.
Subtly twisted history: John M. Ford’s
The Dragon Waiting

  
66.
A very long poem: Alan Garner’s
Red Shift

  
67.
Beautiful, poetic and experimental: Roger Zelazny’s
Doorways in the Sand

  
68.
Waking the Dragon: George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire

  
69.
Who reads cosy catastrophes?

  
70.
Stalinism vs Champagne at the opera: Constantine Fitzgibbon’s
When the Kissing Had To Stop

  
71.
The future of the Commonwealth: Nevil Shute’s
In the Wet

  
72.
Twists of the Godgame: John Fowles’s
The Magus

  
73.
Playing the angles on a world: Steven Brust’s Dragaera

  
74.
Jhereg feeds on others’ kills: Steven Brust’s
Jhereg

  
75.
Yendi coils and strikes unseen: Steven Brust’s
Yendi

  
76.
A coachman’s tale: Steven Brust’s
Brokedown Palace

  
77.
Frightened teckla hides in grass: Steven Brust’s
Teckla

  
78.
How can you tell? Steven Brust’s
Taltos

  
79.
Phoenix rise from ashes grey: Steven Brust’s
Phoenix

  
80.
I have been asking for nothing else for an hour: Steven Brust’s
The Phoenix Guards

  
81.
Athyra rules minds’ interplay: Steven Brust’s
Athyra

  
82.
What, is there more? Steven Brust’s
Five Hundred Years After

  
83.
Orca circles, hard and lean: Steven Brust’s
Orca

  
84.
Haughty dragon yearns to slay: Steven Brust’s
Dragon

  
85.
Issola strikes from courtly bow: Steven Brust’s
Issola

  
86.
What has gone before?

  
87.
The time about which I have the honor to write: Steven Brust’s
The Viscount of Adrilankha

  
88.
Dzur stalks and blends with night: Steven Brust’s
Dzur

  
89.
Jhegaala shifts as moments pass: Steven Brust’s
Jhegaala

  
90.
Quiet iorich won’t forget: Steven Brust’s
Iorich

  
91.
Quakers in Space: Molly Gloss’s
The Dazzle of Day

  
92.
Locked in our separate skulls: Raphael Carter’s
The Fortunate Fall

  
93.
Saving both worlds: Katherine Blake (Dorothy Heydt)’s
The Interior Life

  
94.
Yearning for the unattainable: James Tiptree Jr.’s short stories

  
95.
SF reading protocols

  
96.
Incredibly readable: Robert A. Heinlein’s
The Door into Summer

  
97.
Nasty, but brilliant: John Barnes’s
Kaleidoscope Century

  
98.
Growing up in a space dystopia: John Barnes’s
Orbital Resonance

  
99.
The joy of an unfinished series

100.
Fantasy and the need to remake our origin stories

101.
The mind, the heart, sex, class, feminism, true love, intrigue, not your everyday ho-hum detective story: Dorothy Sayers’s
Gaudy Night

102.
Three short Hainish novels: Ursula K. Le Guin’s
Rocannon’s World,
Planet of Exile
and
City of Illusions

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