* The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick. Gritty steampunk
fantasy. child slavery, sex magick, love, death, drugs, violence
and college. And so much more, but I can't give away the
* Most anything by Neil Gaiman. He's had horrible luck with film/TV
* The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. Very atypical fantasy
setting. Strong female characters drive both the 'good guys' and
the 'bad guys', no knights in shining anything, one dragon and it
doesn't fight anyone or have a hoard of gold. Plus three unique,
intense and fascinating mentally scarred male anti-hero types that
would put a Wolverine or Punisher to shame.
* Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy. 'Young adult'
steampunk with philosophy, theology and quantum physics =
* Only Begotten Daughter by James Morrow. The Second Coming is a
female, and Christians kill Her. Then things get interesting.
* Douglas Adams. From the Hitchhiker's series to Dirk Gently.
Wonderful sense of humor, 'random nonsense' that turns up at the
other end of the book, or in another book entirely, to actually
make perfect sense and explain EVERYTHING. Holistic Detective
Agency. Impossible Couch. 'Nuff said.
* VALIS by Philip K. Dick. How much of this is directly
autobiographical and how much was embellished to make for better
Fiction reading, I don't know. But if even a small chunk of it is
accurate, it's an intense experience. And the book will twist your
brain in to funny shapes.
* Dune by Frank Herbert.
* Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land.
* Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke.
The Magus by John Fowles. The literary equivalent of Schroedinger's
cat or a Rorschach test. I'm still not sure precisely what the meat
of the plot is about, and I think I prefer it that way. Don't read
it if you don't want to think.
* Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. Using fiction to deliver a real-world
* 'Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal' by
* I don't read much realistic fiction, so this one won't reach
* Prometheus Rising by Robert Anton Wilson. His works tend to
repeat each other often, but this one says the most in the best way
in my opinion.
* Freedom is a Two-Edged Sword by John W. 'Jack' Parsons. Not only
was he a brilliant mind in the field of rocketry, but this provides
a great glimpse in to the thoughts of such a dynamic personality
beyond that field as well.
* Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.
* Quantum Self by Danah Zohar. (This has a particular sort of
synergy when read immediately after or before the previous
* The Chalice and the Blade: Our History, Our Future by Riane
* Immanuel Velikovsky.
* Godel, Escher, Bach by Douglas R. Hofstadter
* The Passover Plot by Dr. Hugh J. Schonfield
* Undoing Yourself with Energized Meditation and Other Devices by
Christopher S. Hyatt, Ph.D.
* From the Ashes of Angels by Andrew Collins.
* Principia Discordia & Apocrypha Discordia
* The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. Not so much a story as a series of
inspirational quotes strung together loosely by a narrative.
Beautiful ideas though.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche. I don't understand
why people see his ideas as so gloomy and negative and destructive.
I didn't get that at all from it.
Various & sundry religious or spiritual scriptures and
treatises. The rarer or more unusual the better.
Movies: Too many to name thoroughly, so I'll pick one for each
letter of the alphabet.
American Beauty. Now that I've finally seen it, it replaced Amélie
as my A.
City of Lost Children
F - Crap, a tie. Fifth Element or Fight Club.
Godzilla movies (a type, not a title, but still.)
Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back
Labyrinth, though Ladyhawke came in right on its tail.
Mel Brooks movies.
Payback. Ooh, or Paycheck.
Romeo + Juliet
Serenity. Closely followed by Secret of NIMH and Secret of Roan
V for Vendetta
What Dreams May Come
Young Frankenstein. And if that doesn't count 'cuz Mel Brooks is
already covered, Young Einstein.
...My problem with movies is I have a talent for being more
tolerant than most people of bad movies. Some I like BECAUSE
This is a difficult one to cover thoroughly enough. I like at least
a little bit from every genre. Seriously. Name any genre, and if
I've ever heard it I can name at least something I like in it. If I
HAVEN'T heard it, I'll thank you for expanding my horizons.
I like atypical time scales, as well as complex & intricate
melodies. Especially intricate bass melodies.
particularly great music gives me an immediate physical
Also, Jonathan Coulton