All reviews are from Amazon.com.
I did not write any of them, although I have read them all. I have read most of them at least twice.
The list includes science fiction and surreal contemporary literature. They are in no particular order.
God Game by Andrew Greeley
This is the dilemma that faces our hero, who quickly finds that being given the kingdom, the power, and the glory is dangerous -- but addictive. The troubles of the people he sees flashing on his computer screen are all too real -- and his troubles are just beginning. . .
Dhalgren by Samuel Delany
What is Dhalgren? Dhalgren is one of the greatest novels of 20th-century American literature. Dhalgren is one of the all-time best-selling science fiction novels. Dhalgren may be read with equal validity as SF, magic realism, or metafiction. Dhalgren is controversial, challenging, and scandalous. Dhalgren is a brilliant novel about sex, gender, race, class, art, and identity.
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Here is the novel that started it all, launching the cyberpunk generation, and the first novel to win the holy trinity of science fiction; the Hugo Award, the Nebula Award and the Philip K. Dick Award. With Neuromancer, William Gibson introduced the world to cyberspace--and science fiction has never been the same.
Burning Chrome by William Gibson
Ten brilliant, streetwise, high-resolution stories from the man who coined the word cyberspace. Gibson's vision has become a touchstone in the emerging order of the 21st Century, from the computer-enhanced hustlers of Johnny Mnemonic to the techno fetishist blues of Burning Chrome. With their vividly human characters and their remorseless, hot-wired futures, these stories are simultaneously science fiction at its sharpest and instantly recognizable Polaroids of the postmodern condition.
Santiago by Mike Resnick
When I bought SANTIAGO, I was expecting a "space opera" type of novel. That is, a melodrama typified by shallow characterization, simple plot line and lots of action. What I wasn't quite prepared for was a "space western". That's what this is, though. It reads like a cowboy story complete with bounty hunters, a lawless frontier culture, and aliens calling themselves "the Sioux nation" and living in tee-pees.
The Dark Lady by Mike Resnick
Another excellent work by Mike Resnick. Told from the viewpoint of an alien (something most authors have trouble doing), this book spans the galaxy in the quest for the Dark Lady. Is she Death? Is she a Goddess? The Bjornn art dealer Leonardo is driven to learn all he can about her, and what she means for his future, the future of his race, and the future of Mankind.
The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
…I want to add that the writing of this novel was amazing. Rarely do I read a contemporary book that captures my attention with delectable diction or captivating structure, but The Rule of Four does just that. This book is worthy of a reading, if for nothing else, then for its exquisite language.
The Magus by John Fowles
Filled with shocks and chilling surprises, The Magus is a masterwork of contemporary literature. In it, a young Englishman, Nicholas Urfe, accepts a teaching position on a Greek island where his friendship with the owner of the islands most magnificent estate leads him into a nightmare. As reality and fantasy are deliberately confused by staged deaths, erotic encounters, and terrifying violence, Urfe becomes a desperate man fighting for his sanity and his life. A work rich with symbols, conundrums and labyrinthine twists of event, The Magus is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining, a work that ranks with the best novels of modern times.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The plot is unendingly inventive as it treks its way across the country. From Chicago to Rhode Island, and Seattle to the magical town of Lakeside, Shadow's journey seems to follow the back roads of America. The people he meets are gritty, and the gods are even grittier. Gaiman creates believable characters with quick brush strokes and builds vivid landscapes that belie their mundane origins. Gaiman, recently moved to the U.S. has invited us along on his own quest to discover an America uniquely his own.
lost boy lost girl by Peter Straub
It is hard to discuss this story without giving too much away, but the underlying theme is the persistence of memory (if I can steal a phrase from Dali). People and events do not simply happen and disappear, some part continues. Perhaps as ghost or atmosphere, perhaps in us, or perhaps as something waiting for an opportunity for fulfillment and closure…Mark stumbled across its last and greatest secret: a ghostly lost girl who may have coaxed the needy, suggestible boy into her mysterious domain.
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
The nine insights are:
1. Life is full of meaningful coincidences
2. Mankind decided to focus from 1500-2000 on simply creating a happy material life
3. An invisible energy field exists everywhere, based on beauty
4. Mankind competes for this psychic energy - feeling good at each other’s expenses
5. If you appreciate beauty and love people, you share psychic energy rather than steal it
6. You need to understand your childhood-based issues to overcome them
7. Trust in your intuitions; listen to your dreams
8. Others bring you new insights, but avoid being addicted to a person for energy
9. Groups energize members jointly helping all to become happier.
There is no wisdom to be imparted here, soul fans! Not even the slightest intimation of an original concept. Regurgitated 60’s mantra music, from the newly anointed guru of pop spiritualism. Redfield makes Richard Bach look positively profound, by comparison.