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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.

Setting:

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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