My husband and I have alot of books they are everywhere so I am sure I have missed one or two and will kick myself later but I fudged out some of the 'real special to me ones'.
Brightness Falls From The Air & The Misenchanted Sword.
James Tiptree, Jr. Award is given in her honour each year for a work of science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender.
Next is The Misenchanted Sword and it is probably one of my top 5 favourite books of all time. It wont win any outstanding books of the century awards but I don't care as the story spoke to me and I love it. It's just the way the main character is in the book he does not want to be a hero at all he just wants to mind his own business and get on with his life. It starts with Valder who was a scout and is being pursued by the enemy (one of them a sorcerer) and has been for some nights and days when he stumbles into a marsh . When he notices a dry area he sees a small hut and a man and calls out to him they meet and Valder explains he was separated from his unit and could he have some assistance. The old man takes him into his hut . There Valder realises that the old man is a wizard . All is OK until the old man realises that Valder has lead the enemy to them and looses his temper as he was living in the marsh to avoid being involved in the war that is going on. In the panic at the enemy getting closer the wizard flicks through some of his old books and randomly picks out a spell to try and protect them and fools the enemy into thinking that he and Valder are dead. Then before Valder leaves the wizard enchants his sword for him to give him a hand in escaping further. Valder is not really sure what the spell is until later when he draws his sword and finds that it cant be re sheathed until it has killed... It also gives its wielder incredible sword skills so that it never misses a kill. However there is a catch, the spell will last until 100 enemy lives are taken at which point the sword will turn on its owner and slay him in turn. Now that is the basic premise of the story. But as it goes on you find Valder who really just wants to get rid of this sword gets turned into an assassin for his side in the war and forced into it and by this he is using up his kills and getting closer to the end of the spell where the sword will kill him. What ensues is a fantastic and funny story of his misfortunes and adventures. You feel for him he does not want to kil,l he hates it, he tries to get rid of the sword but he cant as even when he tries to loose it, it finds him. Near the end he retires and buys an inn and has a chance encounter with the wizard once again...and then there is a small but rather funny twist.
I just loved this story and indeed most of the stories by Lawrence Watt Evans (his Basilisk stories are particularly good) it was one of those stories that just really stuck with me and I urge anyone to read this as its so enjoyable and such a change from the normal 'hero' we get in books.
Heart Of Shadows
Apart from that the two main hero's, I guess you would call them, in this are great. The male teenager the son that was sent to value the Heart in the first place is a great character but the strength of the story lies with his sister Meglan the other teenager, she puts up with/goes through so much! she retains her cool most of the time and is thoughtful and clever and above all very, very brave. Honestly this girl would have Xena for breakfast Katniss for lunch and still have room for Wonder Woman for dinner. The royalty tries to take advantage of her she becomes the main objective for the gross and evil Skalatin' to possess and generally has to put up with alot of chauvinism. For example she arrives after a particularly stressful time to an inn as she needs to see a professor the clerk there 'Looked Meglan up and down, seeming to have difficulty in accepting what he saw before him. narrow lips twitched and affronted expression clouded the man's features. 'What did you say? ' I wish to speak to Professor Ractoban. Is he here? 'That is not possible' 'It is important I must' The clerk looked her insolently in the eye and said quietly, you are a woman' Meglan stared him down, narrowing her eyes 'I am quite aware of that!' '' Needless to say he regrets what he said to her there. Honestly this is a fantastic adventure and well worth a read. It was one of those books that after reading it sticks with you for ages.
The Practice Effect
The Stars My Destination
, to this until an apparent rescue ship passes him and deliberately ignores. This finally triggers something in him and he becomes enraged and decides to exact revenge. He this is motivated to repair the ship but then gets captured by a cargo cult who tattoo a mask of a tiger on his face. He eventually escapes but is captured again and put in a jaunte-proof prison. To find out what Jaunte means you will have to read the book. He ends up going through many guises he becomes such a vile character. He is selfish, violent, and bent on revenge. Its a different way of looking at a main character as you don't like him as such as he is so vile but you find yourself trying to sympathise with him sometimes...
He seeks out the captain of the ship that passed him by when he was marooned and kidnaps a telepath to enable him to interrogate the captain who he cant torture as she has had all her sensory nerves disabled so is immune. There are many more twists and turns and I cant write about all of them without major plot spoilers but needless to say its an excellent read and again one that really did stick with me . I was unable to read anything after this for quite a while as it does play on your mind and it sits at no 5 in the SF Masterworks collection so pretty near the top of the pile.
''Gully Foyle is my name
And Terra is my nation
Deep space is my dwelling place
The stars my destination''
Anyway Helward turns ''650 miles'' old and is sent to the guild of 'Future Surveyors' there are different types of guilds where the children are bought up to be different types of workers. Only men are allowed to work . Women are bartered for in nearby villages where they have a need of supplies as the city does not seem to produce females. Only men are allowed outside the city. Helward is given a wife and she hates that he is not allowed to speak of the outside world as he knows it. He leaves for a mission (which details I shan't say or I will spoil the story) when he returns he discovers that time moves differently outside and in the city of Earth years have passed. His wife has given him up for dead and remarried.
He goes on another mission to 'Future Survey' for the tracks to go down and meets a woman called Elizabeth who says she came from England a few months ago. He gets excited thinking that the city of Earth will be rescued soon. But she cant understand what he means as....... and I can't say anymore as I will totally ruin the story. It does have a big twist at the end and is an excellent read. Again I think this could make an excellent film. After all his other novel has been made into one. I hope they attempt this as well.
I cant put all my favourite books on here as the list will be massive and I am getting tired of typing and need new glasses. The jist of this post was to put on books that impacted me and made me think in a diffident way. Which these did. I cant go however without mentioning Robert Heinlein books:-
I just put a few in this picture here but I have loads!. I love almost all of them and he was an outstanding writer who really did, to sound clichéd, challenge the thinkings of his time . One of my favourites of his (not pictured) is Farnham's Freehold which blew my mind a little when I first read it. If you are going to have a first read of his books I recommend that one first just to give you an idea of what's in store if you read more.
I do read normal non fiction and autobiographies and the like but I do urge you even if you are not a sci fi fan to try some of the above and see what you are missing. Common misconception that sci fi is just for nerds and geeks and that the stories are all the same is old fashioned and wrong.
What books changed the way you think? or impacted on you? Comment and please follow.