Friday, August 30, 2013

Follow Friday - A Chinese Checkers Board Has 121 Holes

It's Friday again, and this means it's time for Follow Friday. There has been a slight change to the format, as now there are two Follow Friday hosts blogs and two Follow Friday Features Bloggers each week. To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow both of the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read) and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow the two Featured Bloggers of the week - The Whimsical Mama and I Read, Ergo I Write.
  3. Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "Hi".
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the love . . . and the followers.
  7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!
  8. If you're new to the Follow Friday Hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!
And now for the Follow Friday Question: If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat . . . what would it be?

This is a tough question for me, because there are a couple of directions I could go, at least one of which I think subverts the intent of the question entirely. And a direction that I think will be somewhat surprising. One possibility would be for me to choose the 3.5e D&D Player's Handbook, not because of any particular literary quality, but rather because if I were equipped with this volume, I could play games for the rest of my life. This may be somewhat academic, however, because even if I didn't have the book, I could probably reconstruct a playable game from memory so long as I had paper and pencil. That's just one of the side effects of playing role-playing games for more than three decades. It wouldn't be a copy of any existent gaming system, but it would be playable, and that's what matters. Because of this salient fact, even though it would be tempting to choose this book, I won't.

But that leaves me without a book selected. The problem is that there are so many great works of science fiction and fantasy that picking one of them is insanely difficult. I love Ursula K. Le Guin, but paring her portfolio down to a single book is nigh impossible: Does one pick The Left Hand of Darkness? Or The Dispossessed? How about The Lathe of Heaven? What about Samuel R. Delany's books? I could choose one of them, but once again you have the problem of which one. Dhalgren? Nova? Triton? It is simply an impenetrable decision of Gordion knot proportions. And I haven't even touched on some of the giants of science fiction. Should I pick a book by Asimov? Heinlein? Clarke? Brunner? Anderson? The list of worthy candidate books goes on and on.

Because I love classic science fiction, and because I am something of a traditionalist, I am going to go back to some of the earliest fiction that was more or less intentionally written as science fiction and choose the Treasury of World Fiction: H.G. Wells. I admit that this may be cheating just a little bit, because it is actually a compilation of several of H.G. Wells' stories that are often published as individual books. On the other hand, the stories included are all quite short by modern novel standards, so I don't feel like I'm cheating too much. The volume includes The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, The First Man in the Moon, The Food of the Gods, and The War of the Worlds; essentially covering the high points of Wells' writing career, and most of the main thematic areas of science fiction as a genre. This is a fantastic collection, and one that I could reread over and over again, and for that reason, I'd pick this as my one book to get me through the rest of my life.

Go to subsequent Follow Friday: Jeanne Calment Was 122 Years Old When She Died

Follow Friday     Home


  1. You're right too much good books to choose just one!


    1. @Lucie: And the only possible solution is to choose a book that is actually a compilation of other books!

  2. Oooh, ooh, OOOOH! You got me, the D&D handbook is the best choice ever. Bravo!

    Old bloglovin follower!

    1. @Heather: That's probably the book I would actually keep with me. The book simply opens up so many creative possibilities for shared enjoyment.