Shelf Awareness’ Q&A

On your night­stand right now:

Fic­tions by Jorge Luis Borges, thanks to an essay in William Gibson’s Dis­trust that Par­tic­u­lar Fla­vor.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Strange­ly, it was prob­a­bly The For­ev­er War by Joe Halde­man.  I grew up in a house where my father’s sci­ence fic­tion nov­els dom­i­nat­ed every book­shelf — and there were a lot of book­shelves.  I didn’t under­stand a tenth of what was real­ly going on in the book, but I read it over and over all the same.

Your top five authors:

In no par­tic­u­lar order, Michael Swan­wick, William Gib­son, Joe Halde­man, Elmore Leonard, and Ter­ry Pratch­ett.  I like lit­er­ate SF/F, I like quick, clean prose, and I like to laugh.

Book you’re an evan­ge­list for:

Sta­tions of the Tide, by Michael Swan­wick.  It’s the tale of a bureau­crat tasked with chas­ing down a magi­cian who is spread­ing pro­scribed tech­nol­o­gy on a world about to be con­sumed by a great flood, and it’s based on Shakespeare’s The Tem­pest. It also fea­tures tantric sex lessons from a witch.

Book you’ve faked read­ing:

Hmmm.  I nev­er man­aged to fin­ish The Da Vin­ci Code; I went to see the movie just to see if I had missed any­thing. (Nope.)

Book you’ve bought for the cov­er:

Freaky Deaky by Elmore Leonard.  It was the first nov­el of his that I read.  I was hooked by the end of the first scene.

Favorite line from a book:

The man in black fled across the desert, and the gun­slinger fol­lowed.”  — The Gun­slinger, by Stephen King.  Com­ing in at a very close sec­ond:  “We real­ize this means the destruc­tion of solar sys­tems, but con­sid­er the alter­na­tive.”  — A Fire Upon the Deep, by Ver­nor Vinge.  And:  “The bureau­crat fell from the sky.”  — Sta­tions of the Tide, by Michael Swan­wick

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The entire­ty of Stephen King’s Dark Tow­er saga.