1. Favorite Books

Authors, Books and Other Media

Heinlein

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Robert A. Heinlein     “Door Into Summer”    “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress”    “Puppet Masters”    “Starman Jones”

These may be my favorite reads of all time.  Especially “Door…”, which reminds me so much of myself as an engineer/designer.  Next I think “Puppet Masters” is one of the most original perspectives on extraterrestrials ever written, and now possibly the most copied.  It’s also one of the most terrifying.  I dearly love “Moon…” a tremendous amount for the accuracy of the computer terminology and other space related science.  Being from a ‘space’ industry, communications satellites to be specific, I’m very pleased Mr. Heinlein did his homework.

Campbell

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Jack Campbell  (John G. Hemry)              “The Lost Fleet” series    “Beyond The Frontier” series    “The Lost Stars” series

Although I only spent four years in the Air Force, I think that that, combined with my two years in Military School, gave me an affinity with the military and military people.    John G. Hemry, the real name behind the pen name, is ex-military and does such an excellent job mixing military subjects, space fleet maneuvers and the interesting people involved, he makes the whole series very endearing to someone like me.  and it’s all a great, fun romp as well.

Hogan

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James P. Hogan          “Inherit The Stars”    “The Gentle Giants of Ganymede”    “Giant’s Star”

Like Robert A. Heinlein’s “Moon is a Harsh Mistress”, “The Minervan Experiment”  series, consisting of the three novel listed above, is greatly involved with computers and computer science.  Having been a Honeywell and IBM mainframe computer operator for many years, I sort of grew up with computers, from 1966 to the present.  Mr. Hogan was a computer engineer (passed in 2010) for Honeywell and DEC for years, so when he wrote about computers, those of us intimately involved with these machines, were assured he knew what he was talking about.  This series is one I will read over and over again.

Smith

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George O. Smith          “Highways in Hiding”

I find that some books can be reread over and over for a lifetime.  I feel that doing this with certain books is like ‘visiting with old friends’.  “Highways…’ is also one of the best telepathy subject books ever done.  Mr. Smith makes the subject, the people and the whole environment so believable, it help you feel like you know all this, you’ve been there, this is nothing new.  Of course I like it because it also involves driving fast cars and running all around the country.  It’s also timed in the 1950’s which is when I grew up and also feels very familiar.  This is one novel that would shine as an audio dramatization, with great sound effects and multiple actors performing.  All in all, an excellent, fun read.  Over and over.

Audio Books

I’m a very serious fan of Audio books as well.  When I don’t feel I have the time to read due to chores, I can put a book on the stereo or a portable player with headphones.  This actually started with the NPR “Star Wars” radio series.  I played those tapes so much I wore them out.  I finally have the CDs now.  Back in the ’80’s and 90’s, when I needed to wash the dishes or vacuum the house,  the common reference was I’m going to “Star Wars” the chore.  I even listened while I changed the oil on my old Virago motorcycle.

Although not yet recorded, at least as far as I can determine, I believe “Highways in Hiding” would be an excellent audio book.  I especially think of it more as a dramatization than read, with a cast, background sound effects and maybe even a bit of music.  Each time I read this, I have mental images of how it would be to hear it.  In all its reckless splendor.

So below are some of my favorite books on audio.

The full cast NPR  “Star Wars” Trilogy dramatization,  The Star Wars “Thrawn Trilogy” by Timothy Zahn.

“The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” , “Puppet Masters”  and “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein.    The performance by Lloyd James on “Moon…” is especially outstanding.  Christopher Hurt from “War of the Worlds” also does a nice job on “Stranger…”

“Treasure Island” by Robert Louis Stevenson, with an excellent performance by Neil Hunt.

“War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells, with a terrific performance by Christopher Hurt  (“Stranger in a Strange Land”).

“The Apocalypse Watch” by Robert Ludlum, with an amazing, versatile performance by Edward Harriman.

Many, many westerns by Louis L’amour, but my hands down all time favorite is;  “Four Card Draw”    This story on audio tape or CD is simply excellent.  The written short story is OK, but it’s the performance of the entire cast that makes this dramatization so special.

to be continued…

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