Balticon 50 Reading List
April 8, 2016 6:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm heading to Balticon 50 and want to expand the awesomeness. What should I read?

They've invited all living prior Guests of Honor; many accepted, so an amazing number of cool writers are congregating in one wonderful space/time! I'd like to arrive having recently read (or re-read) a book from each of these writers.

So many books to choose from: highlights from 50 years of my favorite flavor of fiction. I'm having a hard time deciding. I am open to your suggestions: which are your favorites by these authors, and why? Or would you pick a particular book as representative? Or should I, for example, steer clear of one because it's the first of an epic series that will devour the next three months of my life?

(Martin I'm skipping, because I've been following my son's adventures in reading GoT this year, and consider myself current.) (Consider this permission for Metafilter's traditional love-fest for To Say Nothing of the Dog.)
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Definitely To Say Nothing of the Dog by Willis, but also, if you haven't already read them (or want to re-read them), I really love Uncharted Territory, Bellwether, and All Seated on the Ground.

For Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, I'd say it's got to be something in the Liaden Universe, maybe either Agent of Change (which looks like it's currently free on Kindle!) or Fledgling. Since there are so many books spanning so many generations, there's no one obvious place to start, but both of those are the beginnings of character/plot arcs in the universe.

My husband likes most things that he's read by Charles Stross, but he particularly loves the Merchant Princes novels (the first one is The Family Trade).

I'm pretty embarrassed to say I haven't read most of the other names on the list (!) so I'll definitely be watching the other recs here with interest!
posted by bananacabana at 8:41 PM on April 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'll second bananacabana's recommendations.

The usual place to start for Niven is Ringworld, but I didn't like it. Long, episodic, didn't much care for the characters, and the alien sexy was a little icky.

If the mechanics of interstellar travel at less than the speed of light are your thing, there's Protector.

You could try his short stories - the Hugo winners are all good.

The only thing I've read by R. A. MacAvoy is "Tea With the Black Dragon". It's been a while, but I remember it being a love story, kind of sweet.
posted by The Incredible Gnome at 9:29 AM on April 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

The reason To Say Nothing of the Dog is a lovefest recommendation constant is because it is, indeed, that awesome. However, if you haven't checked out her shorter works, they're also great. I just saw that there's a collection of her short stories out.

I really like Jo Walton's Tooth and Claw, which is Anthony Trollope/Jane Austen novel with dragons. All the comedies of manners issues, but adapted to Dragons. The rituals around death are both a really smart thinking of entailment and Victorian mourning culture and hilarious. It's a fun romp. Also, it's a quick read, which would be useful for your purposes. I haven't read Among Others yet, though it is on my to-read list. I wasn't really fond of her alternative WW2 universe books, which start with Farthing.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 7:12 AM on April 24, 2016

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