Andrea has found a list of 10 Sci-Fi Novels People Pretend to Have Read. (I’m glad he said “sci-fi”. “SF” is so pretentious.) I do not pretend to have read books. First, I have actually read enough classic, highly acclaimed, really big books to impress almost anyone I might want to impress. Second, most of the people I run into in “real life” (i.e. not on the Internet) are impressed (or sometimes puzzled) that I read any books at all, especially science fiction. And third, I would hate to get caught pretending.
It seems like an odd list. Why these 10 books. I have read some of them and I want to read others but not all of them.
1. Cryptonomicon – Yes, I’ve read it. It was an interesting and fun book.
2. Dune – Yes! (I include the first three books in the series) I read these several times before the movie came out. There’s nothing like reading Dune for the first time. Really blew me away.
3. Gravity’s Rainbow – No. I might or might not read this someday. To be honest, I generally find WWII era Germans to be dull and tedious but curiosity will likely lead me to read it eventually.
4. Foundation – No. Don’t know if I’ll ever read it or not. I know this is practically heresy but I haven’t liked any of Asimov’s fiction that I’ve read so far.
5. Johnathon Strange & Mr. Norrell – No. Never heard of it before but I am somewhat interested. I’ll put this one in the “definitely maybe” category.
6. 1984 – Yes. I feel that a lot of people don’t really get this book but I won’t comment because I’m sure someone would think I don’t get it either.
7. First and Last Men and Star Maker – No. Never heard of these either but they sound sort of interesting and they’re old enough to be available for free on Project Gutenberg so I will definitely read them.
8. The Long Tomorrow – No. The title sounds slightly familiar. I doubt I’ll ever read this one. Doesn’t sound like my cup o’ tea.
9. Dhalgren – No. Another slightly familiar title. Although I’m not a huge fan of Samuel R. Delany this sounds just interesting enough that I might give it a try.
10. Infinite Jest – No. Another one that doesn’t sound like my cup o’ tea.