Tuesday, February 26, 2008

down to Thomas Covenant

When I had a mess of books shipped to me last year, I calculated things so that I'd be done with all the novels in my shipment by the time I was ready to leave Korea. Since late last year, I've gone through:

Michael Crichton's Prey

Mark Salzman's Lying Awake
Mark Salzman's The Soloist
Mark Salzman's Iron and Silk

Richard Adams's Watership Down

Mark Leyner's The Tetherballs of Bougainville
Mark Leyner's Tooth Imprints on a Corndog
Mark Leyner's Et tu, Babe?

Stephen R. Donaldson's Daughter of Regals and Other Tales
Stephen R. Donaldson's Reave the Just and Other Tales

Steve Krodman's Shorts in a Wad

Larry Niven's The Integral Trees
Larry Niven's The Smoke Ring
Larry Niven's Limits

Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers

Isaac Asimov's Foundation
Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Empire
Isaac Asimov's Second Foundation
Isaac Asimov's Foundation's Edge
Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Earth
Isaac Asimov's Prelude to Foundation
Isaac Asimov's Forward the Foundation

I also reread Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, parts of Carl Sagan's The Demon-haunted World, passages from Huston Smith's Why Religion Matters, and bits of M. Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled.

Capping things off, I just finished four Tom Robbins novels: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Another Roadside Attraction, Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, and my favorite, Jitterbug Perfume.

That leaves me with six books I plan to savor (don't be surprised if the blogging suffers; these are childhood favorites): the First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson. I expect to be done with them all by the time I leave Korea around April 25--

Lord Foul's Bane
The Illearth War
The Power That Preserves

The Wounded Land
The One Tree
White Gold Wielder

The adventures of Thomas Covenant, whose story is a deliberate subversion of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series, are cosmic in nature. What better prep for a cosmic adventure of my own?



kwandongbrian said...

I probably read the chronicles when I was too young to understand all the material.
Attempts to reread the series (heck, this is Hairy Chasms -I mean 'serieses') have failed. Perhaps I should try again.

What do you think of Salzman? I think someone recommended his books to me but I never had the opportunity. Should I get myself a copy?

I seem to recall that in the 1900s, Asimov's foundation series was awarded trilogy or series of the century. Not sci-fi series - all serieses. I think the estate of Asimov must have turned a few screws or greased a few palms or reminded people that they knew where the skeletons were buried because the series was okay, not fantastic.

Sci-fi critics nowadays seem to shy away from the idea of slavery in a distant and higher-tech future. Did no-one think about that in the 1900's?

Unknown said...

If you need a home for those books when you go on your walk, let me know.

Or if you want to sell them all, I would be interested.

Do you have some sort of control over your word verification? I've gotten interesting words in the past, but this time I got:
I know you're planning a religious walk, but what kind?

Elisson said...

Impressive list of tomes. Most of 'em, anyway.

I still remember that "Ohhh, yeah!" moment when I finished Asimov's Foundation trilogy (yes, back then it was a trilogy) when I was a senior in college.

Adams's novel Shardik is also very worthwhile.

You'd have a ball checking out my Home Library, I suspect.

Jeff in Korea said...

Kevin... Don't forget the first two books of the planned four-book series "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant"

The Runes of the Earth
Fatal Revenant

I was hesitant to start this final series, but it is quite well written. Don't leave them out of your reading plans.