Sunday, December 9, 2007

Glenn Ponka's reading list

"Ilium" by Dan Simmons - this is an amazingly creative science fiction novel. The protagonist is a 20th century scholar of Homer's Illiad brought back to life in the far future, by the Greek gods living on Olympos Mons (the Texas-sized mountain on Mars). For the gods he has spent a decade secretly observing the battle between the Greeks and Trojans at Illium, covertly mingling with noble Hector and the man-killer Achillies. Well, he falls for Helen, and decides he can stop the war... And then there's two other major plotlines, one with babied post-literate humans on earth, and another about a small Shakespeare-loving robot and his friend, a two-ton, crab-like robot who is a Proust enthusiast. And they live around Jupiter. It might sound a little crazy, but it is impossible to sum up the novel in a few words, and that's good.

"Olympos" by Dan Simmons - this is the continuation of "Illium", and the madness continues on, fascinating and wonderfully interesting.

"Stardust" By Neil Gaiman - a fairy tale, new and wondrous. I haven't seen the film yet, but I hear it does a good job of adapting this lovely novel.

"A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson - this is a walk through science and history, it explains what we know of the universe, and tells us about the eccentric people who figured it all out. A great book to read and learn from.

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