The Top 10 Books for our current Dystopia

The world’s gone a little crazy recently. I’d say especially in America, but I know we’re not the only ones having issues. I was talking with a friend and we were talking about books that we recommend, even though we may not be fans of them. And we realized that they were an essential handbook for the dystopia we see looming. So, we think you should read them too. Even if you don’t like them, they’re important.

  1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
    1. In the world of the near future, who will control women’s bodies?
  2. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
    1. In his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden.
  3. 1984 – George Orwell
    1. A masterpiece of rebellion and imprisonment, where war is peace, freedom is slavery, and Big Brother is watching…
  4. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
    1. Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
    1. The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it.
  6. Night – Elie Wiesel
    1. Everyone knows about Anne Frank and her life hidden in the secret annex – but what about the boy who was also trapped there with her?
  7. Native Son – Richard Wright
    1. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.
  8. The Giver – Lois Lowry
    1. Lowry’s unforgettable tale introduces 12-year-old Jonas, who is singled out by his community to be trained by The Giver.
  9. A Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    1. A darkly satiric vision of a “utopian” future—where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order.
  10. All the President’s Men – Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein
    1. The most devastating political detective story of the century: the inside account of the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate scandal.

Find all of the books here on this Powell’s Bookshelf.

Books Read June 2017

This is actually a compilation of the past few months because work has been crazy busy and I haven’t had a chance to post anything.


Short Stories

Street Magic ed. Paula Guran


Crimson Peak – Nancy Holder

Oryx and Crake – Margaret Atwood

Beauty – Sarah Pinborough


1 Unpublished manuscript


Monster Rally – Charles Addams


Graphic Novels 



Long-Form Articles


Goodbye, Mr. Bradbury

Most of the time, the death of a public figure doesn’t make me do anything but go, “Oh, that’s too bad.”

Ray Bradbury’s loss made me cry.

I do not say this lightly. Ray Bradbury was a huge part of my life. I’ve read (almost) everything he’s written. I adore The Zen of Writing. Fahrenheit451 is the scariest movie I’ve ever seen and the scariest book I’ve ever read. It scares me to look around the world and realize that people haven’t been listening to the warnings inherent in his science fiction.

That being said, Bradbury’s stories are not about technology. They’re about people. About parents and children. About love and loss. About childhood and the scariest part of growing up. His stories are also about wonder. The world he sees is to be lived in, explored, and loved.

They make me laugh, make me cry, and make me stare in wonder at what we can achieve if we try.

I never met Ray Bradbury. I never sent him a letter.
And yet, his death is a personal as losing a close friend.

Goodbye, Mr. Bradbury. I wish I’d met you in person. But I loved you and always will.

You will be remembered.

The Mistressworks of SF

I snagged this from Antick Musings because I simply cannot pass up a list of books.

The rules are simple (so feel free to do your own version of the list): As usual, the rules are: set titles in bold if you’ve read them and in italics if you own it but haven’t read it yet. It is also allowable to bold a series if you’ve read all of it.
(I’m adding italics to author’s I’ve read.)

* 1 Frankenstein, Mary Shelley (1818)
* 2 Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)
* 3 Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928) (in progress)
* 4 Lest Ye Die, Cicely Hamilton (1928)
* 5 Swastika Night, Katherine Burdekin (1937)
* (6 Wrong Side of the Moon, Francis Leslie Ashton (1951), removed because Francis Leslie Ashton is a man)
* 7 The Sword of Rhiannon, Leigh Brackett (1953)
* 8 Pilgrimage: The Book of the People, Zenna Henderson (1961)
* 9 Memoirs of a Spacewoman, Naomi Mitchison (1962)
* 10 Witch World, Andre Norton (1963)
* 11 Sunburst, Phyllis Gotlieb (1964)
* 12 Jirel of Joiry, CL Moore (1969)
* 13 Heroes and Villains, Angela Carter (1969)
* 14 Ten Thousand Light Years From Home, James Tiptree Jr (1973)
* 15 The Dispossessed, Ursula K Le Guin (1974)
* 16 Walk to the End of the World, Suzy McKee Charnas (1974)
* 17 The Female Man, Joanna Russ (1975)
* 18 Missing Man, Katherine MacLean (1975)
* 19 Arslan, MJ Engh (1976)
* 20 Floating Worlds, Cecelia Holland (1976)
* 21 Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, Kate Wilhelm (1976)
* 22 Islands, Marta Randall (1976)
* 23 Dreamsnake, Vonda N McIntyre (1978)
* 24 False Dawn, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro (1978)
* 25 Shikasta [Canopus in Argos: Archives], Doris Lessing (1979)
* 26 Kindred, Octavia Butler (1979)
* 27 Benefits, Zoe Fairbairns (1979)
* 28 The Snow Queen, Joan D Vinge (1980)
* 29 The Silent City, Élisabeth Vonarburg (1981)
* 30 The Silver Metal Lover, Tanith Lee (1981)
* 31 The Many-Coloured Land [Saga of the Exiles], Julian May (1981)
* 32 Darkchild [Daughters of the Sunstone], Sydney J van Scyoc (1982)
* 33 The Crystal Singer, Anne McCaffrey (1982)
* 34 Native Tongue, Suzette Haden Elgin (1984)
* 35 The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1985)
* 36 Jerusalem Fire, RM Meluch (1985)
* 37 Children of Anthi, Jay D Blakeney (1985)
* 38 The Dream Years, Lisa Goldstein (1985)
* 39 Despatches from the Frontiers of the Female Mind, Sarah Lefanu & Jen Green (1985)
* 40 Queen of the States, Josephine Saxton (1986)
* 41 The Wave and the Flame [Lear’s Daughters], Marjorie Bradley Kellogg (1986)
* 42 The Journal of Nicholas the American, Leigh Kennedy (1986)
* 43 A Door into Ocean, Joan Slonczewski (1986)
* 44 Angel at Apogee, SN Lewitt (1987)
* 45 In Conquest Born, CS Friedman (1987)
* 46 Pennterra, Judith Moffett (1987)
* 47 Kairos, Gwyneth Jones (1988)
* 48 Cyteen, CJ Cherryh (1988)
* 49 Unquenchable Fire, Rachel Pollack (1988)
* 50 The City, Not Long After, Pat Murphy (1988)
* 51 The Steerswoman [Steerswoman series], Rosemary Kirstein (1989)
* 52 The Third Eagle, RA MacAvoy (1989)
* 53 Grass, Sheri S Tepper (1989)
* 54 Heritage of Flight, Susan Shwartz (1989)
* 55 Falcon, Emma Bull (1989)
* 56 The Archivist, Gill Alderman (1989)
* 57 Winterlong [Winterlong trilogy], Elizabeth Hand (1990)
* 58 A Gift Upon the Shore, MK Wren (1990)
* 59 Red Spider, White Web, Misha (1990)
* 60 Polar City Blues, Katharine Kerr (1990)
* 61 Body of Glass (AKA He, She and It), Marge Piercy (1991)
* 62 Sarah Canary, Karen Joy Fowler (1991)
* 63 Beggars in Spain [Sleepless trilogy], Nancy Kress (1991)
* 64 A Woman of the Iron People, Eleanor Arnason (1991)
* 65 Hermetech, Storm Constantine (1991)
* 66 China Mountain Zhang, Maureen F McHugh (1992)
* 67 Fools, Pat Cadigan (1992)
* 68 Correspondence, Sue Thomas (1992)
* 69 Lost Futures, Lisa Tuttle (1992)
* 70 Doomsday Book, Connie Willis (1992)
* 71 Ammonite, Nicola Griffith (1993)
* 72 The Holder of the World, Bharati Mukherjee (1993)
* 73 Queen City Jazz, Kathleen Ann Goonan (1994)
* 74 Happy Policeman, Patricia Anthony (1994)
* 75 Shadow Man, Melissa Scott (1995)
* 76 Legacies, Alison Sinclair (1995)
* 77 Primary Inversion [Skolian Saga], Catherine Asaro (1995)
* 78 Alien Influences, Kristine Kathryn Rusch (1995)
* 79 The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell (1996)
* 80 Memory [Vorkosigan series], Lois McMaster Bujold (1996)
* 81 Remnant Population, Elizabeth Moon (1996)
* 82 Looking for the Mahdi, N Lee Wood (1996)
* 83 An Exchange of Hostages [Jurisdiction series], Susan R Matthews (1997)
* 84 Fool’s War, Sarah Zettel (1997)
* 85 Black Wine, Candas Jane Dorsey (1997)
* 86 Halfway Human, Carolyn Ives Gilman (1998)
* 87 Vast, Linda Nagata (1998)
* 88 Hand of Prophecy, Severna Park (1998)
* 89 Brown Girl in the Ring, Nalo Hopkinson (1998)
* 90 Dreaming in Smoke, Tricia Sullivan (1999)
* 91 Ash: A Secret History, Mary Gentle (2000)

Huh. Well, that’s interesting. One would think with the amount of sci-fi I’ve read in my life, I’d have stumbled onto more of these. I’m not sure if that’s because I’ve simply read my parents’ collection or if I simply was never intrigued by the books. I’ve read some of the authors, but not the books on this list. I’m wondering if I simply shade more to fantasy and horror than sci-fi. I used to be a hard-core hard-Sci-fi person, but that changed at some point in HS. I’ll have to explore some.

Books to Read March 2011

Where Good Ideas Come From – Steve Johnson

Leave Me Alone, I’m Reading – Maureen Corrigan

Hacking Work – Bill Jensen & Josh Klein

Game of Cages by Harry Connolly
Child of Fire by Harry Connolly

Miss Don’t Touch Me by Hubert & Kerascoet

A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder