Down Memory Lane

I got this from Martin who got it from Larry (see also Adam‘s post); the idea is to list the books that shaped you as a reader. I did something similar when Farah Mendlesohn was running her survey a couple of years ago, but it’s always an interesting exercise. My memory is as bad as Martin’s, if not worse, so I’ve gone for 2-year brackets as well, and I couldn’t swear that I’ve got everything in the right place. Commentary in square brackets where I couldn’t help myself.

8
Heidi and sequels, Johanna Spyri
Little House on the Prarie series, Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Adventure series, Willard Price
The Famous Five series, Enid Blyton
The Magician’s Nephew, CS Lewis [and the rest of Narnia, of course, but for some reason it’s this, and to a lesser extent The Silver Chair, that stay with me]

10
The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle
Swallows and Amazons, and most of the sequels, Arthur Ransome
A Rag, A Bone and a Hank of Hair and Trillions, Nicholas Fisk
The Animals of Farthing Wood, Colin Dann
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

12
The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K Le Guin
The Complete Robot, Isaac Asimov
A lot of Peanuts, Charles M Schulz
An awful lot of Dragonlance, especially the Chronicles and Legends trilogies, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman [I could have included “even more Dragonlance” on my next list]

14
Foundation and sequels, Isaac Asimov
The Chrysalids, John Wyndham
Rama and sequels, Arthur C Clarke (and Gentry Lee)
Various Calvin & Hobbes anthologies, Bill Watterson
The Amtrak Wars and Fade-Out, Patrick Tilley

16
Interzone, ed. David Pringle
Voyage, Stephen Baxter [although I had been reading him for some time before this]
Axiomatic, Greg Egan
Red Mars and sequels, Kim Stanley Robinson
The Reality Dysfunction and sequels, Peter F Hamilton

18
The Sparrow, Mary Doria Russell
The Stone Canal, Ken MacLeod
Asimov’s Science Fiction, ed. Gardner Dozois
A Fire Upon the Deep, Vernor Vinge
Final Fantasy VII, Squaresoft [this was the hardest of the age bands to do; I think I stopped reading for a couple of years when I went to university. But I spent many an hour playing FFVII, and it sits very close to the book-space in my head.]

Posted in Books, Reading. Tags: . 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Down Memory Lane”

  1. Martin Says:

    Yes, I really should have put Interzone on my list too. I got a subscription for my fourteenth birthday and it had a huge effect and exposed me to a vast number of authors.

    Axiomatic and Red Mars only missed off because I limited myself to five books per bracket.

  2. Adam Roberts Says:

    Axiomatic and Red Mars“.

    Now that would be a mash-up I’d like to read. Greg Stanley Eganson.

  3. Martin Says:

    I believe Brian Aldiss and Roger Penrose actually wrote that novel. And it was rubbish.

  4. Paul Kincaid Says:

    I started all this with an off-hand comment on Mike Harrison’s blog – and I couldn’t for the life of me do a list. It’s simply so long ago that I have no idea what I read when. All I can say for sure is that there would have been no science fiction (and probably precious little fantasy) until my early teens (probably around 1966 when I was 14 and ill with one of those interminable childhood diseases and a neighbour gave me a novelisation of the Time Tunnel TV series to read. I’m pretty sure that was my first sf novel.

  5. Niall Says:

    Paul: so you did. I suppose one reason to make the list is to ensure that it exists for future reference …

  6. Martin Says:

    I should also mention the first science fiction book I ever read: Peter Davidson’s Book Of Alien Planets. I was eight, I bought it at a school jumble sale and I found it hard work.

  7. Martin Says:

    I should probably have included one of the Fighting Fantasy books as well.

  8. Niall Says:

    Well, if we’re going to go down that route I should have had the Warhammer 40,000 rulebook.

  9. Martin Says:

    I was a roleplayer who never roleplayed. So the Shadowrun rulebook and the GW Codices had a major impact on my literary and imaginative development but I never played a game.

  10. Nick Says:

    I never read the Shadowrun rulebook, but I did read a whole bunch of the novels. I wonder if any of them will hold up if I re-read them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: