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SF/Fantasy Top 100

Aug. 18th, 2011 | 09:50 am

Bold for read it
Italics for planning to read it (I didn't italics anything... my book pile is way too big already)
Underline for partially read
Strikethrough for never ever reading- only used once, in combination with underline.

1.  The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

22. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

23. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood

24. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

25. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

26. The Stand, by Stephen King

27. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

28. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

29. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

30. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

31. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

32. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Biggest surprise: There's an Asimov book on the list that I haven't read (or don't remember, I went through a lot of Asimov when I was ~12).

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(no subject)

May. 1st, 2009 | 02:00 am

Mostly for Monty's benefit- Thursday of Bare mixer power supply fun!

Dunno if it's just the fuse, 'cause I came back from radio shack with the wrong size 6.3A, 250V slow blow fuse. We'll find that our very early tomorrow.

Tonight we ran with mics 1-4 on the Guild's Mackie 1202 VLZ (yay 4 mic preamps only!), 5,6, and 13 using spare channels on the Allen and Heath board (also mixing orchestra) and 7,8,9,10,12,and 14 on the Guild's Mackie something or other powered mixer, both Mackie's feeding channels on the MixWizard.

So instead of 16 faders for cast, and another 8 faders for orchestra (usually monitors mixed on the MixWizard, then fed direct to the Eurodesk), all with *extremely handy* LED meter bridge, I got 3 faders for cast, 6 faders for orchestra, and 10 damn little knobs for cast, with no metering beyond what I can PFL or Solo.

It was an adventure. I can not do 12 knobs with two hands at once, I can't even tell which guitarist turned their amp up too much (or released the -amilliondB disortion pedal) without pausing to PFL, and I'm still don't even know what the curve on the knobs is, say nothing of be able to mix as smoothly as with a nice 100mm fader with a logarithmic curve *that I've been used to for years*.

All in all, the result for the audience was fine. Missed a lot of the subtlety, there were some just blatant wrong bits, and the drummer got a lot of cast pre-fader in his monitor briefly in Act 2, but I've been to worse sounding Guild shows, much worse sounding other shows in local community theater, and much worse sounding (at least from our seats) real tours at real theatres.

Here's hoping the right fuse fixes everything tomorrow morning, and I don't have to run around trying to find a new power supply, whole new console of some sort, or doing this again tomorrow night.
The temporary setupCollapse )

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(no subject)

May. 1st, 2009 | 01:44 am

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Define "irony":

Jan. 4th, 2009 | 11:05 am

"After returning from VT to see how bad the water damage from the leaky roof in his apartment was, Alex found there was no running water due to a frozen water main."

The good news is the heat's working, at least right now.  The squirrels in the walls have been quiet, though I did see one go in and out of the hole in the roof this morning.  And the giant ice chunk fell and smashed the railing outside our front door while we were away, so nobody was hurt.

If any of those five issues had only come up once and then been fixed, we'd be less pissed off.  And we've stopped asking about the potential renovations to the kitchen and living room that we were semi-promised back when we first moved in two and a half years ago.

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Oct. 25th, 2008 | 07:39 pm

Today we picked up the newest resident in the French-Harty household:

Milo And Colleen On Day One

Milo (short for Miles O'Brian Griffin, after everybody's favorite TNG transporter chief and Family Guy novelist) is a ~20 month year old black lab male.  He came to us from Kentucky via Adopt-A-Lab.  He probably isn't 100% lab, for one thing he's very small- around 50lbs, and probably full grown.

So far, the cat's are doing relatively okay. They've gotten kind of used to Rondo in VT, and seem a little more comfortable on their home turf too.

Milo has been very calm so far- he was chill for the 1:45 ride from Enfield, CT to Belmont, he was even chill for a quick doggie shampoo in our shower.  Meeting a few dogs (on leash) at the dog park went fine.  He loves flopping on the couch, which has good and bad sides, but it's awfully comfortable right now.

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what what what WHAT?

Aug. 25th, 2008 | 09:44 pm

There's going to be a new Terminator movie with Christian Bale playing John Connor? 

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As beautiful as shoving a butterfly back into a cocoon

Aug. 4th, 2008 | 09:50 pm

The job world:
In addition to consulting part time with the Circulating Tumor Cell isolation project at MGH, I'm now employed part time by WMR Biomedical, which might actually have morphed into Arsenal Medical or will soon.  'Cause I work for companies that have TLAs, then change their names to words starting with A.

Both companies employ me mainly to just be me.  I write some code, I tend to work with/around/inrelationto some sort of automated microscopy, and there's a bunch of biology that I totally don't understand.  And I expend 90% of my mental effort faking that I do understand.  Ah, yes, endothelial, of course.  And how 'bout CD31, always one of my favorite anti-bodies.  

Its flexible, the pay's good, it works for now.  But if anybody happens to know what I really want to do with my life, please comment here.

The vacation world:  
We haven't flown to the West Coast in like two months, so we're probably due soon... but instead the West Coast (in this case comprised of Cool Aunt Robin and Cute 18-month Cousin Maeve) will be in VT in September for a week, all of which Colleen and I are taking off.

But, more to things that have already happened- A few weeks ago we took a solid 7 business days in VT.
First  we spent a few days with my mother at a little cottage on Lake Champlain in VT.  Little swimming, little biking, lots and lots of reading (more on books later).  Very relaxing.

Then we spent six days camping at Silver Lake state park with Colleen's family.  It's twenty minutes from home for all of us, so Colleen's sister goes to work each day, someone goes home to feed the cats each day, and so on, but still super relaxing. 

Lots more reading books, lots and lots of playing with Rondo, the 16 week old chocolate lab puppy, a good amount of kayaking and swimming, a little frisbee golf at the Randolph course (we're pretty intrigued by frisbee golf now, or 'frolf' as the 'Dolphers refer to it).

A nice side effect is that Colleen and I are super excited about camping now.  We're going on a weekend trip to York or Wells Maine with her little sis and her boyfriend, and working out the details of an October trip with both of our families together.  If I thought the cats could live in a tent, I'd think about selling all my belongings and camping year round, though there might be some other problems with that plan too.

If anyone wants join us for a camping weekend here or there this summer/into the fall, feel free to send a singing telegram.

The world of media intake of all sorts:
I won't bother dredging up the link, but Gizmodo (I think it was Gizmodo) had a very cool video tour of the main Lego factory in Europe a few weeks ago, worth watching for Lego fans and/or engineers.  The coolest part is without a doubt the giant cathedrals (huge warehouses where parts are stored before being assembled into kits, 100% roboticized).

We finally saw The Dark Knight last Friday, and in hugenormous IMAX.  I'm not going to bother cutting, 'cause it has been out for weeks and I'm not going to say anything too specific.

First of all, I'm super-psyched about Watchmen, but Colleen is super-not-psyched.

The first fifteenish minutes of TDK were awesome.  Most of the rest was pretty meh.  The plot was about seventeen movies in one, it had no ark, it often didn't make any sense, it rarely built up any emotion or tension.  At first we thought it needed better editing, looking back I think it needed better editing way before anything was shot.

Heath Ledger is good.  I also love Jack Nicholson's Joker in the Michael Keaton/Tim Burton Batman, one of my favorite movies of all time.  This one is very different, I think they're equally dark in their own ways, neither is the ultimate defining performance.  And, while I say Heath Ledger was good, the story arc of the Joker in the movie is hugely lacking in satisfaction in a variety of ways (say, a beginning, or an end).

Morgan Freeman and Christian Bale are each surprisingly mediocre, same with Aaron Eckhart.  Michael Caine is his usual ultra-awesome Aflred, and Gary Oldman as <Title> Gordon is fantastically likeable, the one good guy you really believe in and root for.

On another movie front, via Netflix, King Of Kong is AWESOME.  It's a documentary about a guy trying to get the officially recognized all time high score on Donkey Kong, struggling with the competitive classic video game establishment.  Steve Wiebe, the challenger, is (at least as portrayed by the film makers) just absolutely the nicest, most polite, well mannered, well meaning friendliest most wholesome guy in the universe, and the old record holder is... not.  I haven't been this emotionally involved in a movie in a long time.

Off movies, there was a lot of book reading on the vacation, and over the weeks before that (that was the upside to >>100% employment, now I'm pretty close to 100% again).

Freakonomics, the ultra-trendy semi-intellectual hit of a few years ago, really is good.  I just want more of the same, and I want "now with special bonus material" in the latest printing to be something new, not an old newspaper article that's like the Cliff's Notes for the book.  But, a fascinating book.  Every two pages you want to turn to someone and say "did you know... it says here...", and so on.

I finished the Bourne trilogy, which I don't think I've posted about.  Good books.  I'm a little hesitant to get roped into other Robert Ludlum, just cause he's got a lot and easy to get stuck in, the last book especially sort of slowed down.  But a great trashy techno-thriller nonetheless (well, there really isn't much techno, but not just a thriller...).  Huh... I wonder if Clancy's written anything since... whatever was the last Clancy I read.  I don't think so.

I finished Philip K. Dick's The Simulacra, which was good, then I read The Penultimate Truth.  It might be my favorite Dick book at this point (I've read ~25 of the... I think 32 full novels he wrote).  When I get through #32, I'm going to have to start over again, 'cause the good stuff makes me think there's probably a lot to some of the other books that I just didn't get before.

Most importantly, Charles Stross.  I picked up Halting State after reading about it in Cory Doctorw's blog, and went through the whole thing the first day in Milton.  A near-future technothriller with almost impossible to read Scottish accents, focused on MMPORGs, following three different characters IN THE SECOND PERSON.  It was awesome.

Since then, I zipped through Toast (a collection of short stories) and am most of the way through Accelerando.  After that, there are another half dozen novels or so I think, and I'm excited about all of them. 

I'm definitely not going to get too fan boyish and claim that Stross is visionary, but his writing, and some of the writing about his writing in the foreword to Toast, is really interesting.  Maybe a post sometime in the future that actually discusses that in a well reasoned manner.


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I bought a red lunch box style cooler today

Jun. 29th, 2008 | 06:56 pm

I think the closing credits of WALL-E contained about the same total mass of amusement that I would expect from most movies.

And amusement ratio of movie to credits was about usual.

If anyone wants to go see a matinee, this week I'm free in the afternoon on days ending in -y.

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(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2008 | 10:47 pm

FY'alls I, I now have a Facebook (account?  page?  what do the kids call these things?).  It's... you know, my name.

So, I'll expect all future communications with any human beings to come either via text message or writing on my wall.  Phone calls, emails, face to face conversation, and singing telegrams should be saved for extreme emergencies.

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Dear ABC Sports

Jun. 8th, 2008 | 10:27 pm

That guy wearing a nice suit in a studio somewhere anchoring the color commentary during the half?  His glasses are crooked.  Like thirty degrees crooked.  It's 'cause of the over-the-ear mic jammed over his left ear, underneath his glasses.

I wouldn't complain if you were a local access show run by junior high kids, but in somebody in the wardrobe or sound department really needs to man up and find some sort of fix for this difficult technical problem.

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