Comics Creators

What non-comics are you reading these days?


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You are a gentleman and a scholar.

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Assembling a list of the best science fiction novels is really difficult for me. Once I get past Dune and Neurmancer, it gets really difficult because there are lots of good books, but few truly great ones.

Rendezvous with Rama and Childhood’s End are both good, but I can’t say they’re demonstrably better than Foundation, Forever War, or Stranger in a Strange Land. And most good sf novels fall into that grey area; good, but hardly sui generis.

And Dick did a lot of interesting things, but no single book stands out, and with him it’s more like a body of work than a single novel. I also find him to be a dry and pedestrian stylist with a lot of brilliant ideas, which is frustrating, because I want to enjoy his books more than I do.

It also doesn’t help that a lot of sf tends to run in series rather than standalone novels, and those tend to have diminishing returns. As much as I liked Simmons’ Hyperion, it wasn’t a complete story, and the next three books in the series got progressively worse.


My phase of buying old scifi books based on their cover and nothing else continues. The talking whale robot boat on the cover is on of the main characters. Another human main character gets cut in half in the opening pages. Human society evolves/devolves to live like insects. Robots have more personality than humans. Odd unannounced jumps in time. A dude fucks a fruit machine. Weird.


Just started Nancy Isenberg’s WHITE TRASH: THE 400-YEAR UNTOLD HISTORY OF CLASS IN AMERICA. The title is a mouthful, but the text is interesting so far.


That’s been recommended to me a bunch of times recently

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One interesting tidbit I learned already is that the British precursors of “white trash” in the 1500s and 1600s were referred to as “Waste”, which is the term that Greg Rucka uses in LAZARUS to describe anyone who isn’t a member of the Family and hasn’t been lifted to the level of “Serf”.


I thought I was at least aquainted with most of the classic SF authors, but T. J. Bass is a new name to me. So I googled him:

T. J. Bass , real name Thomas J. Bassler, MD [1] (July 7, 1932 – December 13, 2011) was an American science fiction author and physician, having graduated from the University of Iowa in 1959. Bassler is also known for his controversial claim that nonsmokers who are able to complete a marathon in under four hours can eat whatever they wish and never suffer a fatal heart attack.[2][3]

John Robbins has noted that Jim Fixx approvingly quoted Bassler in his bestselling book, “The Complete Book of Running”. Fixx died from heart failure at 52 while running.[4]



Knowing the level of research Rucka does that’s probably no coincidence.

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In fairness its maubr a stretch to call him a classic. He only wrote the two books a D was a doctor by trade.


A lot of these on-line petitions are pointless, but here’s an important one I think we should all get behind:


Comparative Indo-European Linguistics