jbeauvert: (Default)
[personal profile] jbeauvert
Frankenstein (god and the devil, BUT also THE SHIP CAPTAIN IS GAY FOR Dr. Frankenstein)
The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay (BETTER THAN TWILIGHT, yet, I sold them HPB and still own Twilight "saga" and will re-read Twilight "saga" and will always airquote "saga")
The Great Gatsby (AMAZING)

Dhalgren (AMAZING)
Animal Farm (Like, 3 pages in)
Game of Thrones (Also, like, 3 pages in. 3 pages of the word "Sir" spelled "Ser" and there are reasons I don't read high fantasy, but I am going to push through this for teh oncoming gay)

On the list:
The Joy Luck Club
A Tale of Two Cities
Fight Club
The Blue Orchard (by the associate director of my writing program, what? It's never too early to kiss ass)
Huckleberry Finn
The Great and Secret Show
Wuthering Heights
Dancer from the Dance

Open to suggestion:

Date: 2012-03-19 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liquidmorpheme.livejournal.com
I should warn you, the "oncoming gay" you seek is not nearly as explicated in the books as it is in the show (HBO and sexposition being what it is).

This might be presumptuous of me to say, but I think mostly you can ignore Martin if you really feel like it. I suspect that, as mass-appeal as they are, the high fantasy thing is still going to trip you up, and they're not particularly important.

My two cents. You might spare yourself some headache.

Date: 2012-03-19 05:10 am (UTC)
rinue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rinue
Your comments on "saga" - LMFAO

I second Ciro's comments about Game of Thrones; I think it's not something you'll like much.

As far as adding to the list, I think Jonathan Lethem is a good bet, and if you haven't read much William Gibson, pick some of that up. (For Gibson, I think Pattern Recognition is a good entry point for you, or maybe Idoru.) For Lethem, any of it is awesome, but particularly kickass is the short story collection The Wall of the Sky, The Wall of the Eye, which is where "The Sleeping People" came from. You'd also probably really like Fortress of Solitude, which is super pop-culturally literate, and Chronic City.

I'm super in love with Donald Barthelme, who is the only po-mo author I can truly be said to love. 40 Stories is a better collection than 60 Stories. And for god's sake don't confuse him with his brother, Fredrick Barthelme, who is not good.

Date: 2012-03-20 04:34 am (UTC)
rinue: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rinue
Gibson's most famous book is Neuromancer, but it's famous because it's his debut novel and also what spawned the cyberpunk genre - nobody else had done that stuff before. Won all kinds of awards. But it's not his best work (although it's a fun read) because the ideas hadn't been challenged and deepened and thought through yet, and it's still a first novel. Reading it now is a bit like reading science fiction from the 1900s, in that there was a lot he did not understand about the Internet when he wrote it (because the Internet was brand new) that is commonly understood now to the extent that it seems as silly as the idea that you could send people to the moon without spacesuits.

I'm not trying to discourage you from reading it, but I don't think you'd take much from it; it reads like a Shadowrun sourcebook. Also, if you didn't like Idoru, I don't see you liking Neuromancer; Idoru is the sequel to Neuromancer. (They stand alone, though.) I really think something more recent, like Pattern Recognition or later, would be more helpful and interesting, because although knowing the roots of a genre is academically interesting, I think the later stuff is more relevant to the kind of thing you want to write - more genre-bending, more literary, more pop culture aware, with more skilled use of the craft (and especially writing dialogue).

Date: 2012-03-20 05:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] liquidmorpheme.livejournal.com
Gibson has actually become a strongly literary writer, and his popular culture savvy is good enough to restore him to prophet-like status — but it's hard to pick an individual piece from the new work, I find, because they show him well, but they are not themselves brilliant. I should add that unlike his cyberpunk stuff, they are all present day and deal with mostly plausible rather than fantastical things.

These are some additions you don't necessarily need right now, but I think you should also seriously consider picking up some JG Ballard (the sheer virtue of name-checking him has street cred). He wrote the novel for the Cronenberg film Crash about sexual car crash fetishists, but he's much bigger in literary SF, so much so that most sci-fi fans pretty much hate him. The Crystal World might be a good start, and the short story collection by the powerhouse Elizabeth Hand, Saffron and Brimstone (speculative fiction or magic realism with strong sexual commentary and really visceral imagery). Hand is another one of the few authors who write literary speculative fiction that's been ghettoized into genre, and is consequently disliked by genre fans.


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