The Great Genre Reader Questionnaire
January 11, 2011
Gail Carriger did this on her blog, and I thought it’d be a good excuse to talk about books, which I never seem to do for some reason.
Science Fiction, Fantasy, or Horror?
Usually fantasy, but not because I exclude anything else. I like a bit of everything, and avoid drawing genre-based borders.
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback or eBook?
Mass market, because I’m cheap, and because most books come out like that anyway. I’ll buy hardcovers for authors I really like, or books I can’t stand to wait for.
Heinlein or Asimov?
Neither. Can I pick Franz Kafka?
Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Hitchhiker, absolutely. My favourite book when I was younger. I never got into Terry Pratchett.
Bookmark or Dogear?
Bookmarks, though rarely the official kind; I’ll stick whatever piece of paper is lying around I’m currently using a ticket for a Dears concert.
Magazine: Asimov’s Science Fiction or Fantasy & Science Fiction?
Fantasy & Science fiction. I like the variety.
Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or random?
It’s a little bit of everything – author, theme, fiction/non-fiction – which I suppose makes it random.
Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
Usually keep. I give away – generally to charity – stuff I don’t think I’ll ever read again.
Novels, though I like short stories by certain authors. (Caitlin R. Kiernan, for one – The Ammonite Violin is a lovely collection)
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Neither, to be honest. I’ve never read Lemony Snicket, and got bored with Harry Potter halfway through the prologue of Order of the Phoenix.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
It varies. I try to make it to chapter breaks, but some books have really long chapters.
Buy or Borrow?
Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation, or Browse?
Generally by recommendation – Jeff Vandermeer’s Best of 2009 list was a goldmine. I’ll also automatically buy new books by favourite authors.
Lewis or Tolkien?
Hard SF or Space Opera?
Space Opera. It can often pass as Hard SF, since I have only a dubious grasp of science.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I love a good cliffhanger, but hate it when it’s just an excuse to drag things out. Y The Last Man did it properly.
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
All of the above. Also evening
Standalone or Series?
Standalone. At least start things out that way, and if you have more to say, then fine. But I’m not going to read five or six books just to find the ending to one story.
Urban fantasy or high fantasy?
Urban fantasy. I love high fantasy, but find it difficult to find any that doesn’t read like the author has only ever read Tolkien.
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I’m never sure what anyone else is reading. But let’s say The Red Tree by Caitlin R. Kiernan, because it’s fantastic and no one seems to talk about it.
Top 3 favorite genre books read within the last few years?
(I’m going to try not to repeat myself with these lists – The Red Tree would show up a lot, for example)
- Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
- American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
- The Use of Weapons, by Iain M. Banks
- Hard-Boiled Wonderland & The End of the World, by Haruki Murakami
- City of Saints & Madmen, by Jeff Vandermeer
- China Mieville’s New Crobuzon books. (Didn’t love Iron Council, but Perdido Street Station and The Scar are fantastic.)
- Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon books.
- Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space books, the highlight being the outstanding (and more-or-less independent) Chasm City.
- Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Threshold, Low Red Moon, and Daughter of Hounds.
- Iain M. Banks’ Culture novels. They’re actually kind of hit-and-miss, but the good stuff – the aforementioned Use of Weapons and Player of Games, for example – is outstanding.