Re: Recommendations for Juvenile SF

From: John Grigg (
Date: Fri Sep 07 2001 - 20:59:20 MDT

My own recommendations for young minds...

"The Gods Themselves" by Isaac Asimov

"Wandering Stars : An Anthology of Jewish Fantasy and Science Fiction" introduction by Isaac Asimov

"The Golden Compass" by Phillip Pullman

"Shade's Children" by Garth Nix

"Sabriel" by Garth Nix

"A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle

"Johnny The Homicidal Maniac : Director's Cut" by Jhonen Vasquez(maybe this title should wait....)

This boy just needs to visit their local Barnes & Noble to find some good sf titles. Hey, that could be a good father and son activity!

And now for my thoughts about Eliezer's recommendations.

Eliezer wrote:
>Dragonlance, "Chronicles" and "Legends".
>"Advanced Dungeons and Dragons", various handbooks.

So, you would recommend these, but not the Masquerade rpg books?

And, of course:

>"Engines of Creation" by K. Eric Drexler.

>"QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter" by >Richard Feynman (this was one of my favorites when I >was nine).

Wow.... At best then I was perusing Isaac Asimov's pop science books for the masses.

>Collections of Martin Gardner's "Mathematical Games" >columns.
>"The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright (you're *never* >too young to start learning about evolutionary >psychology).

Yes, so you will understand the cruelties of the teenage mating game...

>"Metamagical Themas" by Douglas R. Hofstadter (ditto >game theory).
>"The Incredible Bread Machine" by R. W. Grant.
>"Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman" by Richard >Feynman.
>"The Tao Is Silent" by Raymond Smullyan.

>Don't forget to LEARN A PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. Do >this as early as possible while you still have the >brain plasticity. I recommend Python followed by >Java followed by C++.

I must remember this for when I successfully reproduce...

>If you want to learn a foreign language, you have >only one year left to do it before puberty kicks in >and your auditory cortex freezes over.

I wish from "genetic memory" my mother had passed on her ability to speak Spanish... Or simply taught me in the home.

>Do stay away from:

>Stephen R. Donaldson
>John Barnes
>David Feintuch
>"Vampire: The Masquerade"

To mature for young minds? I would think so.

>All of Heinlein's *later* books (this should go >without saying). The books Anne McCaffrey wrote >because they locked her up and wouldn't give her any >food until she wrote more Pern novels.

>Ditto, >Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman and the >sophisticated >AI devices churning out upwards of >sixty Dragonlance >books per day.

So, that's how they crank out so many of them! They must have taken the technology from the romance novel genre! ;)

>And if you read anything of David Eddings', borrow it >from the library rather than buying it, or make >really sure you buy it used at a quarter price, >because you and all your friends will suddenly >outgrow David Eddings over a two-week period.

I have never read an Eddings novel. A reviewer once mocked how Eddings elves sometimes used California slang.

Eliezer, did you accidently leave out, "Godel, Escher, Bach : An Eternal Golden Braid," or should he wait to read it till he turns eleven? ;)

best wishes,


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