125 Things Meme: Day 6

Because Mondays are awful, I give you a SyFy themed listed today.

And, yes, I'm well aware that I'm the only person in the world who prefers the sci-fi channel's rebranding and that, technically, it does only refer to said channel, but SyFy is so much cooler than SciFi and easier to type, so... grin and bear it folks. Just like the fact that this is, techinically, 12 books.

26. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams:

It's safe to say that The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of the funniest science fiction novels ever written. Adams spoofs many core science fiction tropes: space travel, aliens, interstellar war--stripping away all sense of wonder and repainting them as commonplace, even silly.

This omnibus edition begins with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, in which Arthur Dent is introduced to the galaxy at large when he is rescued by an alien friend seconds before Earth's destruction. Then in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Arthur and his new friends travel to the end of time and discover the true reason for Earth's existence. In Life, the Universe, and Everything, the gang goes on a mission to save the entire universe. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish recounts how Arthur finds true love and "God's Final Message to His Creation." Finally, Mostly Harmless is the story of Arthur's continuing search for home, in which he instead encounters his estranged daughter, who is on her own quest.

Why you should read it: Because it is the funniest thing ever. Because it shows just how screwed up the world is. Because there's the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything. Because it's referenced in SGA's "Quarantine." Because it is so quotably quotable that I occasionally find myself saying lines from it - and referencing it my own work - without realizing it. Because I've listened to the books on audiotape more times than I can count while trying to fall asleep over the past few years, can quote it almost line for line, and still love it. Because I'm listing the omnibus as a single book because the whole series is just that good.

"One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical."

"The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them. To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem."

27. The Foundation Triology by Issac Asmiov:

A THOUSAND-YEAR EPIC, A GALACTIC STRUGGLE, A MONUMENTAL WORK IN THE ANNALS OF SCIENCE FICTION FOUNDATION begins a new chapter in the story of man's future. As the Old Empire crumbles into barbarism throughout the million worlds of the galaxy, Hari Seldon and his band of psychologists must create a new entity, the Foundation-dedicated to art, science, and technology-as the beginning of a new empire. FOUNDATION AND EMPIRE describes the mighty struggle for power amid the chaos of the stars in which man stands at the threshold of a new enlightened life which could easily be destroyed by the old forces of barbarism. SECOND FOUNDATION follows the Seldon Plan after the First Empire's defeat and describes its greatest threat-a dangerous mutant strain gone wild, which produces a mind capable of bending men's wills, directing their thoughts, reshaping their desires, and destroying the universe.

Why you should read it: At the complete opposite end of the spectrum from The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy (and lampooned therein), Foundation and the next two novels in this wholy amazing series, are, well, epically amazing. Emphisis on the epic. This is old-school, classic SyFy (who people will throw stones at me for not using the proper "science fiction" over). This is to die for. Completely unpredicatble, utterly logical, and a mecca for hard-core SyFy fans everywhere.

"Violence … is the last refuge of the incompetent."

"Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right."

28. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A Heinlein:
Robert A. Heinlein was the most influential science fiction writer of his era, an influence so large that, as Samuel R. Delany notes, "modern critics attempting to wrestle with that influence find themselves dealing with an object rather like the sky or an ocean." He won the Hugo Award for best novel four times, a record that still stands. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress was the last of these Hugo-winning novels, and it is widely considered his finest work.

It is a tale of revolution, of the rebellion of the former Lunar penal colony against the Lunar Authority that controls it from Earth. It is the tale of the disparate people--a computer technician, a vigorous young female agitator, and an elderly academic--who become the rebel movement's leaders. And it is the story of Mike, the supercomputer whose sentience is known only to this inner circle, and who for reasons of his own is committed to the revolution's ultimate success.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of the high points of modern science fiction, a novel bursting with politics, humanity, passion, innovative technical speculation, and a firm belief in the pursuit of human freedom.

Why you should read it: If the above didn't convince you, IDK what will. But everyone should read Heinlein, because he truely is as amazing as he's made out to be, and for those of you, like me, who find the strange sexual practices and stranger poltics of his other novels somewhat unsettling, this is the least, er, kinky, of all of them. Which makes for a somewhat better read, in my opinion.


"What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government powers to do something that appears to need doing."

"Excuse me, I did not mean to criticize your planet."

29. 2001 and 2010 by Arthur C Clarke:

When an enigmatic monolith is found buried on the moon, scientists are amazed to discover that it's at least 3 million years old. Even more amazing, after it's unearthed the artifact releases a powerful signal aimed at Saturn. What sort of alarm has been triggered? To find out, a manned spacecraft, the Discovery, is sent to investigate. Its crew is highly trained--the best--and they are assisted by a self-aware computer, the ultra-capable HAL 9000. But HAL's programming has been patterned after the human mind a little too well. He is capable of guilt, neurosis, even murder, and he controls every single one of Discovery's components. The crew must overthrow this digital psychotic if they hope to make their rendezvous with the entities that are responsible not just for the monolith, but maybe even for human civilization.

2001: A Space Odyssey shocked, amazed, and delighted millions in the late 1960s. An instant book and movie classic, its fame has grown over the years. Yet along with the almost universal acclaim, a host of questions has grown more insistent through the years, for example: who or what transformed Dave Bowman into the Star-Child? What alien purpose lay behind the monoliths on the Moon and out in space? What could drive HAL to kill the crew? Now all those questions and many more have been answered, in this stunning sequel to the international bestseller. Cosmic in sweep, eloquent in its depiction of Man's place in the Universe, and filled with the romance of space, this novel is a monumental achievement and a must-read for Arthur C. Clarke fans old and new.

Why you should read it: Because, as brilliant a movie as 2001 is, the book is better. Now, this is a four book series, but, for the life of you, don't read the last two. They will only invariably upset and annoy you. So just read 2001 and 2010. Because they are far more intimate, far more detailed, and far more thought-provoking than either of their movies. This isn't to say that the movies aren't fantastic, and that they wouldn't make a top-125 rec of movies to see at least once in your life, but the books are still better.

"The truth, as always, will be far stranger.”

“It must be wonderful to be seventeen, and to know everything.” 

30. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card:

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is.

Why you should read it: Say what you will about Orson Scott Card and the later works in this series, this book is wonderful. It's one of those which makes you think without realizing you're thinking, and... well, it's powerful. Go on and read the whole seires if you want (they all deserve to be read, but I'm really only a fan of Ender's Game and Shadow of the Giant, as in the sense I've reread the first a dozen times and reread the powerful, moving, and tear-jerking last two pages of the latter almost as many.) Read it and deside for yourself.

"The enemy's gate is down."

"Everyone thinks Hitler got to power because of his armies, because they were willing to kill, and that's partly true, because in the real world power is always build on the threat of death and dishonor. But mostly he got to power on words, on the right words at the right time.”

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them.... I destroy them.” 

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I haven't read it for a while but I have the complete set of the books they are just so funny like Terry Pratchett you red a page them have to go back because you them get the humour
Such is the status of this book in my house that one year we bought my mom a leather bound, guilded omnibus of the series for her birthday. It remains one of the favourite presents she's ever gotten.
Douglas Adams was pure genius. I was too young to remember the radio show of Hitch Hikers but when I was older I read the books. When ever I have a tombola or or played a number game I always go for 42. One of my lottery numbers is 42 and I know where my towel is (In the bathroom)
I was sorely tempted to hold off on rec'ing it until I got to day 9 (for 42), but today was just so Mondayish I had to do it today.

There is a towel you can buy online with the galactic coordinates of earth on it. I'm sorely tempted to buy it more often than I'd care to admit.
That series of books reach so many people who found the same love for Adams whacky humour.

Have you ever read Terry Pratchett?
I never actually have no. Sadly, as much as I love syfy, much of my reading seems to be in the nonfiction realms. le sigh. I must be getting old.
Maybe once I finish all the paper books I already have. I'm trying to finish my physical book collection before I ship out, and then do everything off my kindle. So I promised the parents I wouldn't buy any more books until then. le sigh.
I got to write a post tonight the next episode of my fandom lists

Might do special powers and beings in the SGA/SG1 universe just got to figure how to write it
Hmmm... should be interesting. (BTW, I keep meaning to mention this, but the dog in your icon is so cute, and I don't even like dogs.
HE wasn't even mine I spotted him on a photography walk to Foxton Locks. The rest of my group all focused on a spaniel puppy and I turned away and spotted him. Not sure if he is a Malamut or Huskey buit he was absolutely beautiful. I had a large image of him in my last exhibition entry.

If you want to use him as an icon you are welcome to same goes with any of my pics. Just let me know which. If you ever want a larger version to frame or use let me know and I can sent it to you
thanks for the offer, but I never like any icons I make myself, so maybe some other time when I've more faith in my abilities.

But he is a cute dog. I can see why you'd want a pic of him in an exhibition.
I am so intrigued by the books you recommended here :D

Like I said once before, I've only read the first two HGttG books (though I own all of them), and my copies are packed away...somewhere. But since we're not moving I can unpack them and re-read the entire series XD

I'm sort of torn on The Foundation Trilogy. They sound pretty damn awesome, but - but *politics*. No thank you. I inevitably end up bored. But at the same time...interesting plot!

I'm so new to science fiction - only a couple years into it, and mostly it's been tv shows. So I'm ashamed to say I've never read any Heinlein. I've always meant to rectify that, but I generally end up reading fic instead >.<

I've not read any Arthur C. Clarke either, but as soon as I read "HAL" I knew he'd be evil. I know his reputation! I had no idea there was a sequel, though :P

Ahhh, Orson Scott Card. I tried to read one of his books - Enchantment, I think? But I hated it. I liked the main character well enough, but the main female character just pissed me off. I ended up returning the book to the library without finishing, and I've been put a bit off his other work.

But I've heard nothing but good things about Ender's Game, and the plot sounds awesome. Also? The best way to get me to read something is if a crossover is written. And look! An SGA/Ender's Game crossover.
Intrigued? Intrigued is good.

Do read all the HGttG books. Please. It's well worth it.

Foundation isn't exactly heavy, it's just... thinky. The plot is very cerebral, very little action. If you can deal with that, I think you'll like it.

Heinlein's good, though I must confess to prefering his YA SyFy more. My first introduction to him was Stranger in a Strange Land, which a friend gave to me for my 14th birthday. I couldn't get through the first 100 pages, so I gave up and didn't come back to it until, oh, my freshman year of college. It was still hard to get into, but well worth it. Granted, I'm still kinda creeped out by some of the sex stuff in his adult books, but The Moon is a Harsh Mistress isn't as creepy as, say, Time Enough For Love. *shudders*

There's 2001, 2010, 2061, and 3001. As with most stuff by Arthur C Clarke, the first two are very, very good. The second two are very, very bad. The movie for 2010 isn't so bad either. Very different from 2001, but very good. All these worlds are yours except Europa, attempt no landing there. Use them together. Use them in peace.

Enchantment is a special book. As are most things by Orson Scott Card, as he falls into that Mormon-author trap of rewriting The Book of Mormon in most everything he does. Ender's Game is worth it though.

There's a crossover? I must read.
I'm definitely going to read all the HGttG. I loved the first two, and if the rest are of a similar vein...

Hmmm. I'll give Foundation a try, at the very least. They really do sound interesting.

You're piquing my interest with all this "creepy sex" stuff you keep mentioning. I'm tempted to look up Time Enough For Love just to see. If I enjoy The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, I may ask for more recs of Heinlein's :)

As with most stuff by Arthur C Clarke, the first two are very, very good. The second two are very, very bad.

I'll definitely keep that in mind XD

As are most things by Orson Scott Card, as he falls into that Mormon-author trap of rewriting The Book of Mormon in most everything he does. Ender's Game is worth it though.

Oh, is that what his problem is? He's pretty disliked personally, isn't he? At least, I think it was OSC that I remember reading people talk about what a douche he is in real life. I'm trusting your taste on Ender's Game - I've always wanted to read it, but the author stopped me.
You're piquing my interest with all this "creepy sex" stuff you keep mentioning.

I like to consider myself an open-minded person, but orgies and incest were never really my thing. It colours my opinion of Time Enough For Love too much to really enjoy it.

Orson Scott Card is one of the reasons I never want to know more about any author I read. It just ruins the experience after. Same with John Irving. He's a a**hole in RL, or so my mom tells me from interveiws she's read, and if I'm to enjoy his books at all I have to happily ignore the fact. But, yeah, the whole Book of Mormon thing is kinda there in all his stuff, if you look.
Orgies and incest, eh? Yeah, those really aren't my cup of tea. I think I'll take a pass on Time Enough For Love.

"...if I'm to enjoy his books at all I have to happily ignore the fact."

*nod* Me too. I usually don't start paying attention to an author until I've read more than one book of theirs that I liked.