Damien's favored books, comics, music, series, etc.

13 March 2006
Nothing here is guaranteed or likely to be complete.


Novels I most often re-read these days: Terry Pratchett, Lois Bujold, P. C. Hodgell, McKinley's Sunshine, Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. Past frequent re-reads have included Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, McKinley's The Hero and the Crown and Beauty, Steven Brust, Gordon Dickson's Soldier, Ask Not. Novels I most often recommend are Hodgell (the little-heard of cult factor) and Sunshine. I'm a big Tolkien fan, and have read The Silmarillion and some of Chris Tolkien's What I Found in my Father's Drawers. Cherryh's Cyteen affected me a lot, and a lot of her other books are good too: Chanur series, Morgaine, Serpent's Reach, Voyager in Night, Rider at the Gate. Oh, and of course, the Hitchhiker books. I've enjoyed all of Jane Austen's novels and some of her juvenilia. I liked Wilkie Collins, though haven't re-read him. The Bronte sisters I don't remember much of. For recent science fiction I'm enthralled by Greg Egan, Iain Banks, Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross, and Alastair Reynolds. Vernor Vinge, of course. For recent fantasy Jo Walton and China Mieville rock. For ancient fantasy there's Hope Mirrlees's Lud-in-the-mist

Non-fiction: I've read all of Douglas Hofstadter and Richard Dawkins, and much of Daniel Dennett. Richard Conniff has two books of biology essays which I really like, Spineless Wonders and Every Creeping Thing. Last Chance to See may be Douglas Adams's best book. Robert Axelrod has great books on computer models of cooperation. John Holt wrote on what's wrong with schools, and good about homeschooling/self-learning. Jane Jacobs's first book is a classic on cities; her economics books are provocative and alarming, though I don't know how valid their reasoning is. Never seen much of a review. Berned Heinrich's books were informative both about ravens and about the science of studying them. Marvin Minsky's Society of Mind shaped my reasoning; so, in different and earlier ways, did Raymond Smullyan's books on logic and retrograde chess.

There's always my booklog.


Beyond and before my webomics, I've bought Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Stardust, Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, V for Vendetta, Watchmen, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mike Carey's Lucifer and Hellblazer, much of Books of Magic, Phil Foglio's Girl Genius, Carla Speed McNeill's Finder, Layla Lawlor's Raven's Children, and Kurt Busiek's Astro City. Series was into for a while but fell away from include Strangers in Paradise and Bone -- I've read most or all of them, but wouldn't recommend them so much.


I grew up with classical music radio in the background, which mostly had me treat classical music as background music, to my mother's disgust. Sometimes she'd have me try to identify whether a piece was by Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart; I might have had a better-than-average gut-feeling rate, but I had no conscious sense of the differences. Late in high school I was introduced to Steeleye Span and Alan Stivell, and liked them, then right before freshman year winter break I met a cute friendly girl into Steeleye Span, and I delved into all the records. By junior year I'd expanded into Irish, then Celtic, music in general: Clannad, Makem and Clancy, the Dubliners, Silly Wizard, and whatever I felt like taping off Fiona Ritchie's Thistle and Shamrock public radio program. I've also got a Count Basie CD (useful for swing!), Chopin, Bach, Babylon-5 soundtracks, Buffy musical soundtrack, the Jethro Tull songs Jethro apparently didn't like, Gypsy Kings, Into the Woods, and Tom Lehrer. Oh, and a bunchof filk.

TV series

Babylon-5, Buffy the Vampire Slayers, Angel, Roswell, Simpsons, Futurama, Firefly, Stargate-SG-1.


Robotech (close enough), Record of Lodoss War, Kimagure Orange Road, Scrapped Princess, Gankutsuo, Witch Hunter Robin, Mai-HiME, Karin. I liked what I saw of Last Exile and of Maria-sama, but only saw stuff near the end. I liked Bleach, but it's starting to feel stretched out. Hikaru no Go was fun, and got me playing Go again for a while, but if I never saw it again I might not care. Whereas I haven't finished Scrapped Princess yet but will obsess about it nicely. For movies, Spirited Away, Ghost in the Shell (sequel not so much), Castle Cagliostro, Tokyo Godfathers, My Neighbors the Yamadas.


Heh, I don't see so many of these, except when I visit my parents. Serenity, Addams Family Values, Clueless, Cruel Intentions, But I'm a Cheerleader, Michael Collins, Songcatcher, Catch Me If You Can, Shawshank Redemption, L. A. Story
Back to me.