Your Favourite SF&F non-fiction books.


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Dec 8, 2007
Somewhere near Jupiter
What helpful tomes do you turn to when you need enlightenment or inspiration? I used to have a few but now I just have the mighty Encyclopedia of Science Fiction from 92(?) by Clute etc,a fabulous book even tho its a bit out of date. Was a christmas present ages ago,a valued treasure on my shelf. I also used to have a book on SF movies which was fun.
I'd love a good history of SF, Billion Year Spree,that kind of thing.
I have the Fantasy counterpart of the encyclopedia you mentioned; Encyclopedia of Fantasy also by John Clute, which I find very informative and insightful. Unfortunately thats just about the only thing I have related to the field aside from a few biography's...But I do have non-fiction favorites which I turn to again and again, related to Science (somewhat)...

Cheers, DeepThought
Alright, these are my absolute favorites:

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking - Theoretical Physics explained in a way that a lay person can understand and this, from the foremost genius in the field. Mind-bending, though-provoking, really quite astonishing.

The C Programming Language
by Brian W. Kernighan, Dennis M. Ritchie AKA K&R - Ritchie is the creator of the language (C[] was used to write almost all modern Operating Systems; Windows, Linux, MAC etc.) This is the first computer language I learned and had the book for ages and read it countless number of times. Now I don't even need a PC in front of me to enjoy it. I could read it like a novel.:)

Heroes of The Computer Revolution by Steven Levy - Biography of sorts of Bill Gates (MS), Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniack (Apple Computer), Richard M. Stallman aka RMS (creator of Free Software Foundation; FSF[]) etc. etc. Also a very inspiring romp through the heydays of MIT (Massachussetts Institute of Technology) and its AI department.

Just for Fun
by Linus Torvalds, David Diamond - Biography of Linus Torwalds, creator of the Linux[] Operating System. Linus along with Richard Stallman were my idles growing up and my major inspiration to become a programmer.

From the Birth of Numbers by Jan Gullberg - My favourite math book, Gullberg is a medical doctor though he was fascinated enough by the subject that he spent ten years of his life to compiling this 1100 page tome. Every conceivable topic on the subject is in here, from simple concepts such as Numbers up to Calculus (Differential Equations)! and everything in-between.

Cheers, DeepThought
Ah i was thinking more of books about SF rather than text books. BTW I have that Hawking book,not read it yet tho. Also had an interesting book on The Atom but had to leave it behind.
Clute and co. are working on a new edition of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, due in 2009, just to let people know.

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