Book List

If you are ever at a loss as to what to give me for birthday/Christmas/any other occasion, here is NPR’s Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy books, that I would love to have, with a (hopefully) current status of whether I read them or not:

 

Book NameStatus
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. TolkienRead
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas AdamsRead
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott CardNot Yet
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank HerbertNot Yet
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. MartinNot Yet
6. 1984, by George OrwellRead
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray BradburyRead
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac AsimovNot Yet
9. Brave New World, by Aldous HuxleyRead
10. American Gods, by Neil GaimanNot Yet
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert JordanNot Yet
13. Animal Farm, by George OrwellNot Yet
14. Neuromancer, by William GibsonRead
15. Watchmen, by Alan MooreRead
16. I, Robot, by Isaac AsimovRead
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert HeinleinNot Yet
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick RothfussNot Yet
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt VonnegutNot Yet
20. Frankenstein, by Mary ShelleyNot Yet
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. DickRead
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret AtwoodNot Yet
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen KingNot Yet
25. The Stand, by Stephen KingNot Yet
26. Snow Crash, by Neal StephensonNot Yet
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray BradburyNot Yet
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt VonnegutRead
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil GaimanNot Yet
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony BurgessNot Yet
32. Watership Down, by Richard AdamsNot Yet
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffreyNot Yet
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert HeinleinNot Yet
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. MillerNot Yet
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. WellsRead
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules VerneRead
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel KeysNot Yet
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. WellsNot Yet
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger ZelaznyRead
41. The Belgariad, by David EddingsNot Yet
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer BradleyNot Yet
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon SandersonNot Yet
44. Ringworld, by Larry NivenNot Yet
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuinNot Yet
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. TolkienNot Yet
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. WhiteNot Yet
48. Neverwhere, by Neil GaimanNot Yet
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. ClarkeNot Yet
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan SimmonsNot Yet
52. Stardust, by Neil GaimanNot Yet
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal StephensonRead
54. World War Z, by Max BrooksNot Yet
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. BeagleNot Yet
56. The Forever War, by Joe HaldemanNot Yet
57. Small Gods, by Terry PratchettNot Yet
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. DonaldsonNot Yet
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster BujoldNot Yet
60. Going Postal, by Terry PratchettNot Yet
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry PournelleNot Yet
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry GoodkindNot Yet
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthyNot Yet
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna ClarkeNot Yet
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. FeistNot Yet
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry BrooksNot Yet
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. HowardNot Yet
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin HobbNot Yet
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey NiffeneggerRead
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon SandersonNot Yet
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules VerneRead
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. SalvatoreNot Yet
74. Old Man's War, by John ScalziNot Yet
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil StephensonNot Yet
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. ClarkeNot Yet
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline CareyNot Yet
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuinNot Yet
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray BradburyRead
80. Wicked, by Gregory MaguireNot Yet
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven EriksonNot Yet
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper FfordeNot Yet
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. BanksNot Yet
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary StewartNot Yet
85. Anathem, by Neal StephensonNot Yet
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim ButcherNot Yet
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene WolfeNot Yet
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy ZahnNot Yet
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana GabaldanNot Yet
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael MoorcockNot Yet
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray BradburyNot Yet
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinleyNot Yet
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor VingeNot Yet
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac AsimovRead
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley RobinsonNot Yet
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry PournelleRead
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie WillisNot Yet
98. Perdido Street Station, by China MievilleNot Yet
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers AnthonyNot Yet
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. LewisNot Yet

Jobs etc

I have been recently trying to remember all the menial jobs I ever had before “hitting it big” in the corporate world. Here is a comprehensive list, for posterity:
  1. Ice cream sales from a bike* – first job in Canada!
  2. Grocery store clerk – first job that consistently paid.
  3. Gas station in Newmarket – just for fun, had to drive an hour outside of the city to work for 5 hours and make $50.
  4. Packing polyurethane foam into bundles* – it is pretty much rock bottom when you have to wear a respirator at work.
  5. Intercon Security* – first decently paying job AND I got to wear a clip-on tie!
  6. Condominium concierge* – a real tie this time!
  7. Research analyst at Pollara – first office job where I got to use some of my brains rather than solely relying on my good looks.

* – jobs that really make me appreciate where I currently am in my career/life.

job perception chart

P.S. Forgot to include #5.5 – assembling polystyrene insulation panels for pouring concrete.

About #$@%~ Time!

That’s right, I finally did it! I finally remade my childish self-made-nickname.com into a full vanity presence on the web! Say hello to antonkobelev.com – THE definitive resource of all things me on the web!

Now, if you are reading this post and think that this is sooo pretentious and self-centred, do check out the homepage antonkobelev.com! What do you think now!

Anyway, enough smart-assedness. The real reason why I renamed the site is because I want people to find me here if they Google me for some reason. I want the homepage to be my virtual resume on the web. Think what you may!

I am also finally giving up with the self-hosted photo album search and will host all my pictures on PicasaWeb. 20GB is only $5/year now!!! I plan to eventually upload all my photo albums from 2001 on to there!

Do you think I finally lost the plot? Do you think I need to go to false-celebrity rehab? Do you have any tips? Do you? Let me know!!!

Thanks for putting up with me!

Anton

Reading suggestions

Hey all,

Sorry for being gone for a while, it’s been hectic.

I have been, besides working, on a listening and reading binge. Well, mostly listening to audiobooks, just because of the convenience of the format. As you can see, if you’re not in Google Reader, there is a new sidebar on my site – Goodreads bookshelf. Tells you the books I am reading and if you click on the link you can go see the ones I have read/listened to and read my reviews. I highly recommend you go and create an account there and make some recommendations and what not. What is yet another social network if we already have a gazillion!!!

About audiobooks, I’ve been a firm fanboy of Audible for a few months now. I think I pay something like $15 a month and I get two books included, doesn’t matter (mostly) what they are. As a sign up bonus they will give you a whole two books for free, if you sign up for a Platinum account. If two books a month is too much, sign up for a Gold account.

If you want to get those two books free, use the code twit2 when signing up. Courtesy of Leo Laporte at TWIT.tv

Any book recommendations?

The Collider, the Particle and Everything!

I was listening to TWiT this morning and Leo mentioned this article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and it’s never ending quest to find the Higgs boson. For the uninitiated:

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, intended to collide opposing particle beams of either protons at an energy of 7 TeV per particle or lead nuclei at an energy of 574 TeV per nucleus. It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as much as 175 metres (570 ft) beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland.

The LHC has been having all sorts of malfunctions that prevent it from conducting a full-scale experiment. So now, a pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather.

I have a theory of my own, which is similar to theirs:

The year is 2012 and the LHC finally conducts its experiment and finds the elusive Higgs boson. Since the Higgs was never meant to be found the higher powers retaliate. This is the end of the world and a huge catastrophic event happens, wiping out almost the whole population of Earth. The mankind goes back to Dark Ages and spends the next millennium inventing a time machine.

Once the time machine is invented the people in charge of it hope to prevent the apocalypse by interfering with the past and first send a series of brain waives to the engineer, responsible for one of the magnets, back in time to the year 2008, resulting in ruptured coolant line and a delay.

After this proves ineffective, they send another series of brain waves back in time to the chiefs of the LHC, resulting in general paranoia and increased safety regulations, resulting in another delay.

When nothing changes in their timeline they get really frustrated and send a bird Terminator carrying a baguette (no doubt to implicate the French) to be dropped in one of the ventilation shafts, hoping that the mankind in the 21st century finally get a clue of what is to come.

Let’s hope something worked and got people at CERN all spooked. If the US$ 6 billion project’s only contribution to the society is Internet 3.0 and not the Higgs boson, we should still be happy!

The story described here is purely fictional and I have no clue what will really happen. It is also Copyrighted and all sorts of Patents are pending.

Many Happy Returns!

It was exactly five years ago that I was procrastinating in the computer section of E.J. Pratt library at the University of Toronto and I wandered off to godaddy.com and registered fantonim.com. Whoa, it feels like it was just yesterday and at the same time like it was over twenty years ago.

The design of this site has gone from bad to worse to better and finally landing on simple. You can check Wayback Machine for some versions, but it will not give you a good picture. That’s too bad that I did not keep the copies of previous incarnations, although I do believe I have the archives of our forum somewhere on the hard drive. It would definitely be a riot to put it back online in another 15 years and have a read!

I will wrap this up before I get all teary-eyed here and wish my first baby a Happy Birthday! May the years ahead bring you cheaper hosting, better bandwidth and many visitors!

The Other Trek

This post is unrelated to our Dublin Trek, although the subject of it was the inspiration, at least for the name itself. I am talking about Star Trek The Next Generation. Non-geeks, tune out…

What is probably the best Star Trek franchise, and the one that almost made me cry when it was over, Star Trek TNG was incredibly lame at the start. Okay, I admit it now, although I was very much in love with every single lame portion of it when I was recently re-watching it.

What brought this post up? Well, I discovered a bunch of TNG actors on Twitter recently and stumbled on Wil Wheaton’s blog. Wil Wheaton played Wesley Crusher, a young child of the Doctor on the ship, and was very annoying at the beginning. Imagine the 14 year old being the smartest guy in the room, being destined for great things as predicted by some alien who dropped out from a different dimension and a masterfully makeuped pimple-faced piece of annoyance that was fitting every hole in the episodes. Why I like Wil Wheaton so much is because in his upcoming book and the currently running podcast where he reads excerpts from the book, he is not that big of a fan of Wesley Crusher either.

The podcast has EXPLICIT rating on iTunes and is full of pokings on each episode and on Wesley Crusher in particular – he really goes all out. Wil is only on his third podcast, but it is promising to be a wild and hilarious ride. I am definitely buying the book when it comes out, or even better, the audiobook on Audible if Wil ever makes one.

For all the Trekkies, I recommend you search iTunes for WWdN – In Exile: Memories of the Futurecast or hear over to Wil’s blog. If you’re not an iTunes kinda guy/gal you can download the mp3’s from his blog as well. His latest episode is here. His book is due to be out very soon, it’s a matter of months now.

Tweet flurry

For those of you following me on Twitter, let me explain what the flurry of tweets this morning was all about.

29050608

photo credit http://twitpic.com/hanlc

I was at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Digital Media as a Profitable Business Tool conference – quite a decent event, I must say. Although one of the first speakers, AOL exec at that, gave us the introduction to the internets, the subsequent ones were quite engaging and informative.

A few points of interest from the conference:

Continue reading Tweet flurry