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Because firecat loves book lists

Here is a post from Readercon about a committee's first attempt to create a "slipstream canon":
http://community.livejournal.com/theinferior4/91464.html

(insert cf.why_there_are_problems_with_canons)
Also, the comments in the original post about just how definitive one might consider this list are very funny.
Also, if you don't know what slipstream is—I don't—the comments contain some links that might enlighten or further confuse you.


Below the cut are the top 115 books in their canon (some of which are "complete works," so some appear twice). (If you want to know why 115, it's explained in the original post.) I've bolded the ones I've read, italicized the ones I've started and not finished, made various comments, and so on.

I haven't read very many of them, but I've liked enough of the ones I read that I will be using this list to pick other books from. If you liked or disliked particular ones I'd love to hear about it.

1. Collected Fictions (coll 1998), Jorge Luis Borges
2. Invisible Cities (1972, trans 1974), Italo Calvino
3. Little, Big (1981), John Crowley (LOVE LOVE LOVE)
4. Magic for Beginners (coll 2005), Kelly Link (I own it but haven't started reading it yet)
5. Dhalgren (1974), Samuel R. Delany (I need to try again. The last attempt was during my teens.)
6. Burning Your Boats: Collected Short Fiction (coll, 1995), Angela Carter (I've read some Angela Carter short stories but I don't know if any of them are in this collection.)
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967, trans 1970), Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. The Ægypt Cycle (1987-2007), John Crowley (I'm currently 3/4 of the way through the first book. Very cool so far.)
9. Feeling Very Strange (anth 2006), John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly (eds.)
10. The Complete Short Stories of J.G. Ballard (coll 2001)
11. Stranger Things Happen (coll 2001), Kelly Link
12. The Lottery and Other Stories (coll 1949), Shirley Jackson
13. Gravity's Rainbow (1973), Thomas Pynchon (I got almost all the way through. I read it because all the hip kids in college were reading it, and I think I quit less than 100 pages from the end as a rejection of all the hip kids in college).
14. Conjunctions 39 (anth 2002), Peter Straub (ed.)
15. The Metamorphosis (1915), Franz Kafka
16. The Trial (1925), Franz Kafka
17. Orlando (1928), Virginia Woolf
18. The Castle (1926), Franz Kafka
19. The complete works of Franz Kafka (I've read a bunch of the short stories. My favorite is "The Burrow".)
20. V; (1963), Thomas Pynchon
21. Nights at the Circus (1984), Angela Carter
22. The Best of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet (anth 2007), Kelly Link and Gavin Grant (eds.)
23. The Heat Death of the Universe and Other Stories [UK title Busy About the Tree of Life] (coll 1988), Pamela Zoline
24. Foucault's Pendulum (1988, trans 1989), Umberto Eco
25. Sarah Canary (1991), Karen Joy Fowler
26. City of Saints and Madmen (coll 2002), Jeff VanderMeer
27. Interfictions (anth 2007), Delia Sherman and Theodora Goss (eds.)
28. His Monkey Wife (1930), John Collier
29. Waiting for Godot (1952), Samuel Beckett
30. The Satanic Verses (1988), Salman Rushdie
31. Carmen Dog (1990), Carol Emshwiller (LOVE LOVE LOVE)
32. Mason & Dixon (1998), Thomas Pynchon
33. The Fantasy Writer's Assistant and Other Stories (coll 2002), Jeffrey Ford
34. Changing Planes (coll 2003), Ursula K. Le Guin
35. Bibliomancy (coll 2003), Elizabeth Hand
36. Novelties and Souvenirs (coll 2004), John Crowley
37. The complete works of Thomas Pynchon
38. Naked Lunch (1959), William Burroughs (At my college radio station we had a spoken word LP including selections from this book read by Burroughs. That was very cool, but I wouldn't want to read it if I couldn't have Burroughs reading it to me.)
39. Giles Goat-Boy (1966), John Barth
40. Lost in the Funhouse (1968), John Barth
41. Ada (1969), Vladimir Nabokov
42. Love in the Time of Cholera (1987), Gabriel Garcia Marquez
43. Beloved (1987), Toni Morrison
44. Verging on the Pertinent (1989), Carol Emshwiller
45. The Start of the End of It All (coll 1990), Carol Emshwiller
46. Was (1992), Geoff Ryman
47. The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye (coll 1994), A.S. Byatt
48. Black Glass (coll 1997), Karen Joy Fowler
49. Ciphers (1997), Paul Di Filippo
50. Brown Girl in the Ring (1998), Nalo Hopkinson
51. The Vintage Book of Amnesia (anth 2001), Jonathan Lethem (ed.)
52. In the Forest of Forgetting (2007), Theodora Goss
53. The Complete Stories (coll 1971), Franz Kafka
54. Finnegans Wake (1939), James Joyce
55. The Haunting of Hill House (1959), Shirley Jackson
56. Chimera (1972), John Barth
57. The Woman Warrior (1976), Maxine Hong Kingston
58. Slapstick (1976), Kurt Vonnegut (Have read lots of other Vonnegut but not this.)
59. Engine Summer (1979), John Crowley
60. Fundamental Disch (coll 1980), Thomas M. Disch
61. Sixty Stories (coll 1981), Donald Barthelme (I have read a few of his stories, I think from this collection but not sure.)
62. The House of the Sprits (1982), Isabel Allende
63. The complete works of Samuel Beckett (I read a few)
64. Moonwise (1991), Greer Gilman
65. Brittle Innings (1994), Michael Bishop
66. Pussy, King of Pirates (1996), Kathy Acker
67. Humpty Dumpty: An Oval (1996). Damon Knight
68. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1997), Haruki Murakami (I haven't read this one, but I have read Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, upon which the marvelous anime Haibane Renmei is vaguely based. It was pretty cool.)
69. A Season in Hell (1873), Arthur Rimbaud
70. Ulysses (1922), James Joyce (DIdn't get very far)
71. Lolly Willowes (1926), Sylvia Townsend Warner
72. Steppenwolf (1927), Herman Hesse
73. The Waves (1931), Virginia Woolf
74. The Gormenghast Trilogy (1946-1959), Mervyn Peake (I read the first two and loved them, but never read the last one because everyone told me it dribbled off into nothing, and I didn't want that disappointment.)
75. Lanark (1981), Alasdair Gray
76. Blood and Guts in High School (1984), Kathy Acker
77. The Bridge (1986), Iain Banks (Not this one, but Player of Games, very good.)
78. The Hidden Side of the Moon (1987), Joanna Russ (Have read other Joanna Russ, but not this.)
79. Vineland (1990), Thomas Pynchon
80. Adventures in Unhistory (coll 2006), Avram Davidson
81. As She Climbed Across the Table (1997), Jonathan Lethem
82. The Godhead Trilogy (Towing Jehovah, Blameless in Abaddon, The Eternal Footman) (1994-99), James Morrow
83. In the Stone House (coll 2000), Barry Malzberg
84. Perdido Street Station (2000), China Mieville (I thought it was pretty good, but it was very turgid and ugly so only if you like that sort of thing.)
85. Kappa Child (2001), Hiromi Goto (Very interesting.)
86. Sister Noon (2001), Karen Joy Fowler
87. Report to the Men's Club and Other Stories (coll 2002), Carol Emshwiller
88. Set This House in Order (2003), Matt Ruff (LOVE LOVE LOVE, and unlike a lot of the works on this list, which are DIFFICULT SERIOUS FICTION, it goes down really easily)
89. Black Juice (2004), Margo Lanagan
90. The Labyrinth (2004), Catherynne M. Valente
91. Map of Dreams (2006), M. Rickert
92. Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921), Luigi Pirandello
93. The Glass Bead Game (1943), Hermann Hesse
94. Ice (1967), Anna Kavan
95. City Life (coll 1970), Donald Barthelme
96. Grendel (1971), John Gardner
97. Strangeness (anth 1977), Thomas M. Disch and Charles Naylor (eds)
98. The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1984), Milan Kundera (LOVE. And it's very unlike the movie, so don't base your opinion of whether you'd like it on that.)
99. Empire of the Sun (1984), J.G. Ballard
100. Days Between Stations (1985), Steve Erickson
101. Tainaron: Mail From Another City (1985), Leena Krohn
102. Forty Stories (coll 1987), Donald Barthelme
103. Medea: The Sorceress (1991), Diane Wakoski
104. X, Y (1993), Michael Blumlein
105. The Wall of the Sky, the Wall of the Eye (coll 1996), Jonathan Lethem
106. Godmother Night (1996), Rachel Pollack
107. Big Fish (1998), Daniel Wallace
108. House of Leaves (2000), Mark Danielewski
109. The Library (2002), Zoran Zivkovic
110. The Impossible Bird (2002), Patrick O'Leary
111. The Lovely Bones (2002), Alice Sebold
112. Pattern Recognition (2003), William Gibson (Have only read Neuromancer)
113. Cloud Atlas (2004), David Mitchell
114. Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (2004), F. Brett Cox and Andy Duncan (eds.)
115. The Girl in the Glass (2005), Jeffrey Ford

Tags:

Comments

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
xiphias
Jul. 12th, 2007 08:07 pm (UTC)
See, what I'd be interested in is children's literatue in the Magical Realism genre.

Holes comes to mind. And I might make a case for the Lemony Snicket books.
ailbhe
Jul. 12th, 2007 09:43 pm (UTC)
Isabel Allende was very accessible to me as a child.
supergee
Jul. 12th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC)
I share your love for Set This House in Order; in fact, I suggested it to grahamsleight when he was setting up the preliminary list.
wild_irises
Jul. 12th, 2007 08:55 pm (UTC)
I've read a good many of them (probably about 30-40%) and like almost everything on there that I've read.

That being said, I don't believe in "slipstream," and see no way to distinguish it from the other genres that it's supposed to slip between. And reading Interfictions, which I just finished recently, and which is co-edited by a close friend, didn't help at all.
firecat
Jul. 12th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
That being said, I don't believe in "slipstream," and see no way to distinguish it from the other genres that it's supposed to slip between.

Yeah, that's the impression I get from the above list.
kightp
Jul. 12th, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I've read maybe half of the list, and it includes some of my very favorite books - and writers, most particular Garcia Marquez, John Barth, Italo Calvino and Geof Ryman.

When I see them listed all together, yes, I can almost make out a distinctive genre. Until now, I've only thought of them as "those sorts of books that appeal so strongly to me."

Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale belongs to the same set.
loracs
Jul. 13th, 2007 04:51 am (UTC)
I would also give "Set This House in Order" my LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! I haven't read very many of these books - so many books, so damn few minutes.
treacle_well
Jul. 13th, 2007 11:53 am (UTC)
I've read over twenty of those--am surprised it was so many. Some of them are favorites. I strongly recommend Chimera. It's of my favorite all time books, and one that survived The Great Book Purge.

(If you have trouble finding it, let me know. I could send you my copy.)


firecat
Jul. 13th, 2007 05:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the recommendation and the offer! (Amazon has them used for 99 cents, so I won't deprive of you of your copy. :)
aquaeri
Jul. 14th, 2007 04:38 am (UTC)
Comments on stuff I've read you haven't:

1. I've really enjoyed all the Borges I've read, although it's not that much. It really puts my mind into an alternate place and I feel like I need time to digest.

24. I read Foucault's Pendulum, I didn't like it as much as Name of the Rose. I didn't think he pulled off what he was aiming for. (you know the thing about not conveying the characters' boredom by boring the reader? Well, don't try to convey the characters' extreme bewilderment by extremely bewildering this reader.)

30. I haven't read Satanic Verses, but I did read (and enjoy) Midnight's Children. A lot of people seem to say MC is the better Rushdie, and SV just got caught up in the hype around the fatwah.

75. I've tried Lanark several times but seem to have trouble getting into it, which I feel vaguely guilty about.

aquaeri
Jul. 14th, 2007 05:04 am (UTC)
And having gone and read the full list, I see Keri Hulme is in the list of women slipstream writers, but not on either of the actual lists (I recommend Bone People highly), and I notice that Peter Carey is mentioned in the comments (Bliss, and his short stories, also recommended).

(In the interests of pushing antipodean writers)
treacle_well
Jul. 14th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
I liked Name of the Rose very much, and Foucault's Pendulum not so much. I don't think it's for the reason you state, but I'm not sure what it is. Mostly I think it's because I grew impatient with all the circling around (and onto sidepaths) before getting to the end. And though a similar technique was used in Name of the Rose, I enjoyed the experience without impatience. Could be also that I just liked the characters more.

And maybe it was for the reason you state. Perhaps I only felt impatience/boredom with the circling and sidepaths because it was so darned bewildering.
opus119
Jul. 14th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
Interesting list. I am unfamiliar with most of the stuff on it, except for Delany, Crowley, Kafka, Pynchon, and Nabokov. So this gives me some new things to explore in my non-copious free time. (I would have put Engine Summer at the top of my list, but it's very difficult to find, and was overshadowed by the popularity of Little, Big.)

One curious thing I've noticed about these kinds of lists is that they are inevitably weighted very heavily towards stuff published in the last five or so years. But I guess that is only natural due to the nature of human memory.
firecat
Jul. 14th, 2007 08:03 pm (UTC)
But I guess that is only natural due to the nature of human memory.

And, in the case of lists created at conventions of writers, due to the nature of people wanting to promote their own books and those of their friends.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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