Back in May this year the inimitable imyril created the Desert Island Reads tag/challenge/prompt, based on the classic BBC radio show, Desert Island Discs. Now, for SciFi Month, the game gets a swift name change and we jump out of our tattered shorts and t-shirts and into our spacesuits. A solar flare has knocked us for six and we’re stuck on a lonely lunar base for the foreseeable. Fortunately, we’ve packed for this eventuality – welcome to Remote Moon Reads.
The rules are as follows:
“For Remote Moon Reads, you may choose:
- Eight (audio)books
If you want to take a series, each book counts as one of your eight unless a collected edition has been published. So you can’t take the whole of The Expanse (dammit).
No fully loaded e-readers or other digital media. Those solar flares wiped the rest of your stash.
- A podcast, TV show or movie – for when you really can’t read any more.
If you choose Podcast/TV show: yes, you get all the episodes/seasons.
If your choose Movie: since I’m being lenient, yest, this can be a full series/franchise.
- A personal item: one more thing that you just can’t do without.
A favourite food, something comforting, a console game, a touch of luxury – this can be pretty much whatever you like, so long as it’s inanimate, can’t help you escape and doesn’t require off-base comms. Unlike Desert Island Reads, you have electricity!”
My Remote Moon Reads…
This was my first ever Reynolds and, as such, it has a special place in my mental library. It’s also overdue a re-read and being loooossstt iiiin spaaaaace seems like the perfect opportunity.
I really enjoy Weir’s formula in both The Martian and Project Hail Mary, but the latter wins out because of Rocky. I loved the humour and the humanity in Hail Mary, but most of all I loved that little Eridian engineering genius who just needs someone to watch over it while it sleeps. (And, yeah, I know Weir labels Rocky a ‘he’, but I don’t wanna).
*ahem* … so, I realise this trilogy hasn’t been published as one volume and that I’m totally going to get in trouble for this, but I’ve cleverly taped all three of the Ancillary novels together to create one fat volume that I’m counting as my third book *grins sheepishly*.
I don’t have to cheat for this one, as the Binti novellas have conveniently been published in this one beautiful volume that I still have on my shopping list. I love Binti. She is radiantly clever, capable and curious and she bravely faces forward no matter what life throws at her. Perfect company for my lonely lunar stay.
A predictable choice perhaps, considering the hype surrounding the new movie. I remember first reading Dune as a teenager and being blown away by it. It was one of the first scifi books I read and thought ‘I want to read more books like this’ (up until that point I’d picked up and read whatever came my way without any real attempt to sift through for particular tropes or themes. After Dune I was obsessed for a long time with finding stories about alien worlds – something that’s never quite worn off).
I love this mad-as-a-bag-of-cats Marmite book. It’s glitter and glam, it’s humour and it’s batshittery are absolutely what I want with me on my lunar-cation.
But I’m also going to need something so stunningly, beautifully written that it reminds me to keep on believing in people (some of them, at least) even while I’m basking in the magnificent silence of my moon.
The first seven books were so easy to choose, but when it came to my eighth and final pick I got stuck (I started writing this post about a week ago). I should have published this post this morning, but I still couldn’t think of a suitable book.
Fortunately for me, the marvellous Ollie of Infinite Speculation tweeted about his own Remote Moon Reads and Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man was one of his choices. Seeing Bradbury’s name was like the sun coming out from behind a cloud. Yes! Of course I’ll need some Bradbury in my solar-flare-induced seclusion! Not The Illustrated Man for me, (although I applaud Ollie’s choice), but this lovely, large volume of collected stories. I’ve had it years now and still haven’t read them all. Seems like the perfect pick.
TV, Movie or Podcast…
So many greats to choose from!: any and all of the Star Trek movies (except Star Trek: The Motion Picture – I couldn’t go through that again, even if I were stranded on a remote moon), Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Abyss, Dredd, Batteries Not Included, The Matrix, Galaxy Quest, Alien, Aliens, Independence Day, Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, Contact, Edge of Tomorrow, Ghost in the Shell (all of ‘em), John Carter, Arrival, Minority Report, Pitch Black, Alita: Battle Angel, Monsters, Denis Villeneuve’s new Dune … and I feel bad for not picking any of these, but it has to be The Fifth Element. It’s massively rewatchable, it’s colourful (I’ll need the visual stimulation while stuck on a barren space rock), and despite the whole save-the-world-for-love thing, it never fails to cheer me up.
I Can’t Do Without…
It was a toss-up between my toy panda and my notebook last time and I went with panda. I figured that, out in the open and in the dark I’d need the emotional support that only panda can provide. This time round I’ve got the lunar base to shelter in. Those walls make all the different, so I’m going with my notebook this time round.
Then again, maybe I’d be better off with that chocolate bar I almost managed to sneak past imyril last time. I’m thinking food in space isn’t going to be super interesting … Chocolate could make the difference between sanity and an airlock incident.
It’s a tough call, but … yep … it’s gotta be the chocolate.
OK, now it’s your turn! Which eight books would you have chosen? Which movie or TV show? What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without while stuck on a remote moon?