Whoooo, boy. Kate sucked me into this thing yesterday (as Kate quite frequently does) wherein Matt Wallace decided to have us all make lists of our #DTTATDIWSF. I haven’t read Kate’s list because I’m contrary and don’t want her to influence my decision.
Specfic is difficult to nail down, and so I’m just going with my gut on this one, guys. In no particular order, these are the books I’d take with me were I stranded with only 10 novels.
- The Long Walk – Richard BachmanI know, I know – you’re probably all shocked that THIS is the Stephen King work I chose. It was really hard (twss!), but I finally decided on this one because it’s self-contained and the list specifies novels, which I think would mean I can’t take 6 books (cos why would I want WaG with me on a desert island? I WOULDN’T) in one spot. Since there is no (yet) single volume containing the whole series, I choose this one.
- Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron – Jasper Fforde
Taking the “what if?” part of speculative seriously, my FfordeFfangirling comes into effect here. Shades of Grey takes place at an uncertain time in the future, wherein a caste system has evolved based on what section of the spectrum you’re able to see. The greys are (obviously) lowest on the totem pole. This is supposed to be part of a series, but as Fforde has several other series going at the moment, I already feel as if I’m on a desert island waiting for him to write more.
- Job: A Comedy of Justice – Robert Heinlein
I read this for the first time probably before I was old enough to really GET it. The “What if…?” here is something you can probably guess from the title, but it’s a lot funnier and more irreverent than the biblical tale of Job. Same overall premise, though. Funny and thought provoking, and still my favourite Heinlein.
- Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas AdamsFuck you, I’m not picking just one. I want them all and I can HAVE THEM ALL. So there. I’ve written enough about these books that I don’t need to tell you again why I love them. If you haven’t read them, I feel really sad for you.
- The Man in the High Castle OR A Scanner Darkly OR The Penultimate Truth – Philip K Dick
Shit, shit, shit. This is one where I can’t decide. If I HAD TO…I would probably pick A Scanner Darkly. HAD TO. But if I REALLY had my druthers, I’d take this:
Because the Library of America kicks ass and knows exactly what I want. SO. I take this. FIVE NOVELS. Suck it, monkeys.
- The Lights in the Sky are Stars – Fredric Brown
WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ THIS YET?! This book captures all of my feels about the space program, why I’ll be a “Starduster” for life, and gave me a character I have empathized with like no other. Go. Go read this. Now. NOW, I SAID.
- The Windup Girl – Paolo BacigalupiA lot, a lot, A LOT of people gave up on this book after a certain scene at the very beginning. Too bad for those people, I say. Because while it’s pretty horrific to read (especially if you’re like me and your imagination plays everything as a movie in your head), it definitely sets things up in a way that lets you know you’re not in for a pretty story. It’s not pretty. It’s pretty horrible, actually, but that’s definitely why this book works. This is one of those books that I finished and didn’t know whether to start it over again or just give up on reading for a while. Yeah. Like that.
- The Flame Alphabet – Ben MarcusI’m just going to go ahead and say it. This book has a low rating overall (not even 3 stars on goodreads) because people didn’t fucking get it. The blurb makes it read like some sort of psychological thriller, which is NOT WHAT IT IS AT ALL. This book is beautiful and haunting and I am so glad I read it with Heather because we had some of the liveliest text conversations about it. Don’t read it by yourself. Read it with someone you enjoy discussing books with (even if you’ll hate the thought of talking once you get into it), because reading it alone is such a waste.
- City of Dreaming Books – Walter MoersI have already professed my love for this book in all the words I can manage here. I’m sad it took me as long as it did to find it, and it’s a treasured favourite already. I would move to Zamonia if I could, were I not worried about being the only human in a land full of…other creatures. If you haven’t yet picked up this one based on my recommendation, I just can’t do anything for you. Sorry. If you don’t love it within the first 10 pages, chances are you won’t love it at all and that means (to me) that you’re just dead inside.
- Saga – Brian K VaughanI know. I KNOW. I know it says NOVELS and I am fully aware that this is a COMIC. But I’m not going to even try to compile a list of Desert Island SpecFic comics and I want to take this with me, damnit. Look at that cover. Yes. That is a woman breastfeeding (the child she is giving birth to on the first page). Listen. I <3 Fiona Staples with all of my little fangirl heart and as long as this whole desert island situation can hold off until BKV and Ms Staples have finished this series, I will TAKE THE WHOLE DAMN RUN WITH ME.
There. My Definitive Top-Ten All Time Desert Island Works of Speculative Fiction (for now).
I know I missed a bunch, but I kind of don’t care. I’m pretty happy with this list. What books are on yours?