Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Hopper Best-Ofs!

Category: Best Fiction

Man Plus, © 1976 by Frederik Pohl

Well, The Lord of the Rings is technically disqualified, since it was a re-read. That being said, I didn’t read as much SF this past year as I normally do, primarily due to my Phases (see below). There were a handful that were all good, all worthy reads – the runner-ups: Cycle of Fire, Inherit the Stars, Casey Agonistes, The Star Diaries, Orbitsville, Big Planet, and Time for the Stars. But like a free-for-all cage match to the death, there can only be one winner. And in 2011, it was the unable-to-put-down, just-the-right-size, just-the-right-blend-of-SF-and-horror, Man Plus.

Category: Best Non-Fiction

Tertium Organum, © 1912, by Peter Ouspensky

Just wish I could finish the darn thing! A few years back I got about a hundred pages in. This summer I got about three hundred in. The book is half-a-thousand pages of philosophy – but one I find strangely compelling. Ouspensky begins with epistemology but quickly moves on to the geometry of higher dimensions, and uses that to explain everything from motion and change to love and purpose. I’ll get to it again in a couple of years.

Category: Worst Book

Nerves, © 1956 by Lester del Rey

Hated hated hated this book! If you really want to know why, see here.

Category: Best Movie

Limitless, © 2011, starring Bradley Cooper and Robert DeNiro

This movie absolutely fired my imagine! Just put the title in the little search thingie to the left to see the posts I did on it. Indeed, it’s been a subliminal undertheme in my daily existence ever since high school. The movie was a well-executed, extremely entertaining (if a bit gory in one or two scenes) flick that’ll make you think, pun intended.

Runner-Up: Rise of the Planet of the Apes, © 2011, starring James Franco and the guy who did Gollum in the Lord of the Rings movies. A great, emotional surprise with one of the best after-the-credits ending I’ve seen.

Category: Best Documentary

Deep Water, © 2006

Based on the tragedy of Donald Crowhurst and the 1969 Golden Globe around-the-world sailboating race. Nine men enter, one man finishes, one man dies, one man attains nirvana. A documentary that will give you goose bumps and choke you up. An extremely emotional punch; a study of men being tested to the edge of their sanity.

Category: Best Hopper Phase

Shakespeare! May – September 2011

Read through eight of his thirty-seven to thirty-nine plays, and pretty much enjoyed them all. Favorite, though, was Henry IV part I, least favorite was Twelfth Night, which I just couldn’t get into, visualize-wise. As a corollary, I enjoyed just about every single BBC DVD of the plays I read; a great way to enjoy the Bard.


The Donald Crowhurst tragedy, February – March 2011
Zane Grey Westerns, June – July 2011
The Civil War history, October – November 2011

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Wishing you great reading for 2012!

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Oops! Almost forgot the Hopper Official Song of 2011!

In years past the honor’s gone to such tunes as Dio by Tenacious D and Grab a Chicken by Peter Frampton. But this year –

It’s a tie!

Between –

One Rainy Wish by Jimi Hendrix


Heart of the Sunrise by Yes

Google and enjoy!

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