Thursday, December 16, 2004

PSST, Santa: Here Is My Christmas Wish List

Dear Santa, I tried to keep my list smaller this year—remember 2001, when I tried to replace that crate of books that got lost in the move? But I've been really good this year, consciencious about keeping up my blog and cross-posting it to Blog Critics and now American Digest. So please consider this list December 24th as you load your bag!

  • The Science of Science Fiction Writing, James E. Gunn and James Gunn
  • A Devil's Chaplain : Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love, Richard Dawkins
  • The Shadow of Saganami, David Weber
  • Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and the Wilderness Hunter, Theodore Roosevelt, Stephen E. Ambrose
  • Polaris, Jack McDevitt

The authors' reputation is what draws me to want The Science of Science Fiction Writing. I read Kampus and The Listeners years ago, but still remember being pleased with the way the Gunns wove present and future science together to create realistic (and thought-provoking) fiction. (Is my ambition showing yet?)

Santa, I know you can get me copy of Richard Dawkins' A Devil's Chaplain before the 12/24 release date. I can hardly wait to read the essays on animal rights, jury trials and education "examined through the lens of natural selection and evolution". Even though I've already read the essay about Stephen Jay Gould elsewhere, I will look forward to having it collected with some thoughts I haven't read yet. (Oh, Santa! For this gift, Boxing Day will work too.)

The Shadow of Saganami launches a new series in David Weber's excellent Honor Harrington universe. While mainly covering the battle between socialist collectivist Republic of Haven and the Kingdom of Manticore, Weber's original series has also shown the internal conflict between a hereditary elite and a merit-driven aristocracy, between fundamentalist fascism and religious democracies, and between the politically motivated and those who just want to get the job done. The new series promises to deliver more of this insight, in the stories of the officers trained by Honor Harrington. (I know I never buy Weber's books hardbound, Santa, but I can make an exception for a gift.)

Santa, I haven't been able to find Teddy Roosevelt's Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and the Wilderness Hunter in the local bookstores, so I hope you can come through with this one. Mike Resnick quoted extensively from Wilderness in one of his Veldt-In-Space books (was it Under African Skies? The Outpost?) but Stephen Ambrose has collected them into a single volume. And Santa, would you please ask Mr. Ambrose to write something new? I loved Nothing Like It In The World!

One more wish for this Christmas, Santa. I know I have complained about how long it takes to read a Jack McDevitt novel, but I learned that Polaris returns to the characters in A Talent for War. The real relationships McDevitt manages to describe in the process of delineating his wildly speculative futures form the strong backbone to his writing—this is why reading McDevitt is worth the struggle! So please, Santa, I'd love to see a new McDevitt under my tree Christmas morning.


Blogger samraat said...

4/03/2010 9:20 PM  

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