Archive for August, 2011

oo, Sci-Fi / Fantasy book meme!

I’m still catching up from being in MN last week for the SERC workshop, so I’m a bit behind on participating in the NPR sci-fi / fantasy book meme. ¬† But this is one of my favorite genres (is it really two???), so better late than never ūüôā

Previous participants:

The basic rules, get the list here or¬†at NPR, bold the books you’ve read.

Note:¬†NPR did not include “children’s fiction” so some of my all time favorites are missing. ¬† I also seem to read quite a bit more “girly fantasy” than is represented on this list…

My count: 24


1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien РI only got through ~50 pages & was recently scorned by an 11-year old who had read the series MULTIPLE TIMES


2.¬†The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams


3.¬†Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card


4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert


5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin


6. 1984, by George Orwell


7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury


8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov


9.¬†Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley – I was “forced” to read this for a GS badge in high school; really, really did not like it


10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman


11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman Рpeople keep stealing my copy!


12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan


13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell


14.¬†Neuromancer, by William Gibson – OC’s favorite author, so it was lying around


15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore


16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov


17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein


18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss Рread about 10 pages before just abandoing


19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Рsomewhere I have pics of the appropriate section of Dresden


20.¬†Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – volcanic eruption lead to this book ūüôā


21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick


22.¬†The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood


23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King


24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke


25. The Stand, by Stephen King


26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson


27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury


28.¬†Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut


29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman


30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess


31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein


32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams


33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey


34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein


35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller


36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells


37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne


38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys


39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells


40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny


41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings


42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley


43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson


44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven


45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin


46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien


47.¬†The Once And Future King, by T.H. White – I have a copy bouncing around somewhere…


48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman


49.¬†Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke


50. Contact, by Carl Sagan


51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons


52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman


53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson


54. World War Z, by Max Brooks


55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle


56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman


57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett


58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson


59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold


60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett


61.¬†The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle


62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind


63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy


64.¬†Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke – could not get past 100 pages…


65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson


66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist


67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks


68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard


69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb


70.¬†The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger


71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson


72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne


73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore


74.¬†Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi


75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson


76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke


77.¬†The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey


78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin


79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury


80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire РI finished it but swore never to pick up another book from Maguire ever again


81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson


82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde


83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks


84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart


85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson


86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher


87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe


88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn


89.¬†The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan – its on my iThingy unread…


90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock


91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury


92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley


93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge


94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov


95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson – started the first one then purposely set it free on a plane


96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle


97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis


98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville


99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony


100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis


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We return to the same beach in SoCal, though this time I’ve moved further west on the beach.

hand of M for scale; Paradise Cove beach area

(M is the mathematician friend who questioned my choice of subjects.  She is a petite woman, so her hand is probably <16 cm long.)

Besides a neat feature, it had implications for the #1 pictures.

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Obviously, my logic for taking pictures is fairly clear to geologists because my first “Series to be named later” photo was quickly identified as a fold.

Here’s the same picture but annotated:

synform on the Paradise Cove beach

I’ll post the next picture in the sequence shortly (its from the same beach).

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(I explain the background for this new set of posts here.)

I’m going to start off with the SoCal photos that caused even random strangers to question my sanity.


Paradise Cove in Malibu, CA

We started at the pier and started walking west along the shore.   Neither of us were especially well dressed for walking along a beach (I was wearing an ankle length skirt), but we simply ignored the practicalities for the prospect of waves, sun and sand.

At the end of the first large section of beach, we came to some rocks:

eastern-most of following pictures

at this point, there first set of strangers asked me what I was doing.

As we walked further down the beach to the west, I noticed & took this picture:

western-most of set

this sight caused me to back-track a bit and start to wade out into the surf.   Why?   Because I really, really wanted to get the next picture and was willing to risk a full-scale dunking to do so:

middle image

Ok, so why did I was out into knee-high water that had a strong undertow?

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I like taking pictures. ¬† I started getting serious about it back in junior high with my Dad’s Pentax ME Super when I joined the short-lived photography club. ¬† In college, I still was using the Pentax when a number of the other students around me had moved on to more automated SLR’s with bells and whistles. ¬† The Pentax ran on one watch battery and had a light meter–that was it. ¬† But I enjoyed having to decide what the aperture was going to be, so life was good. ¬† And the pictures looked good (at least in my opinion), so there was little reason to change.

In grad school, I realized that it would be “easier” to take pictures for geology use with a digital camera and so I was given a Nikon Coolpix 4500 (it had a cool swivel lens). ¬† I still used the Pentax for some of my more “serious” photography, but the Coolpix quickly ended up being my standard field trip / travel camera. ¬† It was slightly frustrating to give up so much control after using the Pentax, but the ease of porting pictures won out.

The Coolpix, however, had a limited life and starting showing signs of wear & tear by the end of my graduate career. ¬† I knew I had to replace the camera and I was leaning back towards an SLR, so I ended up with a Nikon D80. ¬† And because of an aversion to carrying two lenses around (which I had done with the Pentax), I upgraded to a VR 18-200 mm lens. ¬† The Pentax at this point retired to a shelf in my living room (where it still is 4 moves later…). ¬† I do love my D80. ¬† I don’t usually set it to automatic, but instead either use the aperture priority or complete manual setting. ¬† It has the ease of portability of my first digital but the control of the old SLR, so basically all is good. ¬† Well, except the weight. ¬† Its heavier than the old Coolpix. ¬† But you can’t have everything ūüôā

Ok, so that’s the physical cameras, but how about what I was taking pictures of? ¬† I will fully admit that my pictures rarely have people in them. ¬† Tourist-wise, I like buildings, scenic views, and strange patterns. ¬† In geology, people are a useful form of scale, so occasionally they do end up in my image collection. ¬† But I haven’t spent a lot of time taking pictures of people with the exception of godchildren, nephews, and a few weddings.

I do now take many many more pictures then when I was using film. ¬† I took the D80 out three times in the last month and ended up with 62 pictures of a Sox-Mariners game, 212 photos taken over two days in SoCal, and 204 images from a three-day geology field trip in northern MN. ¬† And in none of those cases was I anywhere near the capacity of my memory card…

Where am I going with this? ¬†While out in SoCal with a friend (who’s a mathematician), I started taking pictures not only of the pretty scenery but of the local rocks. ¬† My friend asked me what I was doing. ¬† Random strangers on the beach asked me what I was doing. ¬† My family asks why there are rock pictures. ¬† And suddenly I had an idea: why not post a series of pictures on my blog & ask the wider blogosphere if they could figure out what had caused me to snap a given image.

So the setup: I’ll post one+ images that I took while technically on a “vacation” or “travel” trip. ¬† People are welcome to comment on why I chose to add that picture to my collection. ¬† I will give appropriate background info on where the trip was and some form of scale.

For the moment, I haven’t figured out an appropriate name for the series, so we’ll go with “Series to be named at a future date” though I will welcome title suggestions (both silly & serious) in the comment section.

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