Category Archives: Books

Your favourite Sci-Fi and Fantasy books as a child

 

I remember that I read many books throughout my childhood. Some where chosen by me, and many others by my parents or teachers.

I remember that I couldn’t get through “The Treasure Island”. Even Jules Verne’s or Moby Dick didn’t engage me, maybe I hadn’t the right age. Also I was too young when I tried “2001 A Space Odissey”  for the first time. I preferred to read short stories by Edgard Allan Poe or easy tales by Isaac Asimov.

Some of the books that I fondly remember where books that I found among the shelves of my father and my grandfather and that they would have never suggested to me. They were books able to spark my imagination and engage me till the end with eager to finish them.

There were also books that finally bored me but that at the begining gave me  a rush, one of these books is “The goblin reservation” by Clifford D. Simak (1968). I just needed to read the back cover summary to get excited:

Professor Peter Maxwell is in desperate straits. En route to an interplanetary research mission, he was snatched by a strange, shadowy race to a previously uncharted planet. Ancient beyond comprehension, this planet is a storehouse of information that would be invaluable to the people of Earth- even an Earth so far advanced that perfected time travel allows goblins, dinosaurs, ghosts, even Shakespeare to coexist. His attempts to interest the rulers of Earth are thwarted, however, by a startling discovery- Maxwell was ingeniously duplicated. The “other” him came back before he did, and soon after was “accidentally” killed. Now no one will believe the original Maxwell really exists…

 

I don’t think I would be able to read it again. That blend of fantasy and science would be too much for me these days, but at twelve or so, the duplicated Maxwell was a mind blowing idea. I don’t remember if I finally liked it, I guess it progressed to dullness but I can’t forget the excitement of the first days.

Another book, this time borrowed from my grandpa was “The Gods Themselves”, a 1972 science fiction novel written by Isaac Asimov. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972, and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973. This one was a complete shock. I remember it’s end after all these years. I remember how I was anxious to advance chapter after chapter.

 

It’s OK to give good books to kids but what if they don’t like them? As children we don’t care about the quality of the prose, we want something to blow our minds away and sometimes this isn’t found on the books praised by the critics or the majority.

We are all different and we are compelled by different things but I’d like to know what book or comic do you remember as one of your first amusing reads. Don’t be shy if it seems silly today,  I want to know what inspired you when you had no prejudices.

Hardwired T-shirt

Hardwired is a 1986 cyberpunk science fiction novel by Walter Jon Williams. It’s one of the most important works in the cyberpunk genre. If you are into cyberpunk but you haven’t read it I encourage you to do so.

I couldn’t resist to make a  T-shirt with a “Glow in the dark” design that tells that you are also hardwired.

Hardwired T-Shirt

It’s a good name for a cyberpunk novel but it can also have some other connotations related to the way our brain works in many aspects, so this could also have been in the Science section. I have drafts for a more elaborate typography but so far I have followed the line of Neuromancer and wintermute for a readable and elegant shirt. Over time I may add an alternative design but not by now.

It’s already available in the shop (USA and Europe).

“The Windup Girl” a good reading for this summer

The Windup GirlThis is the book I’m going to read this summer. Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Windup Girl” was announced winner of the  Nebula Award on May 15. The book is a biopunk science fiction novel about Biotechbology, Bioterrorism, Global warming, Seedbanks and Megacorporations.

It was named by Time Magazine as one of the ten best novels of 2009.

“Bacigalupi is a worthy successor to William Gibson: This is cyberpunk without computers.”
Time Magazine, Best Books of 2009

“It’s ridiculous how good this book is… Bacigalupi’s vision is almost as rich and shocking as William Gibson’s vision was in 1984… I hope he writes 10 sequels.”
–Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians

An excerpt from Night Shade Books:

Anderson Lake is a company man, AgriGen’s Calorie Man in Thailand. Under cover as a factory manager, Anderson combs Bangkok’s street markets in search of foodstuffs thought to be extinct, hoping to reap the bounty of history’s lost calories. There, he encounters Emiko…

Emiko is the Windup Girl, a strange and beautiful creature. One of the New People, Emiko is not human; instead, she is an engineered being, creche-grown and programmed to satisfy the decadent whims of a Kyoto businessman, but now abandoned to the streets of Bangkok. Regarded as soulless beings by some, devils by others, New People are slaves, soldiers, and toys of the rich in a chilling near future in which calorie companies rule the world, the oil age has passed, and the side effects of bio-engineered plagues run rampant across the globe.

What Happens when calories become currency? What happens when bio-terrorism becomes a tool for corporate profits, when said bio-terrorism’s genetic drift forces mankind to the cusp of post-human evolution? Award-winning author Paolo Bacigalupi delivers one of the most highly acclaimed science fiction novels of the twenty-first century.

I’m already waiting for it to arrive!