Tal Cohen's Bookshelf: A Collection of Personal Opinions about Books


Science Fiction


Computer Science

Book In-Jokes
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The Fiction Collection
“I wonder... What's in a book while it's closed... Because as soon as I open it, there's a whole story with people I don't know yet and all kinds of adventure and deeds and battles... All those things are somehow shut up in a book. But it's already there, that's the funny thing. I just wish I knew how it could be.”
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story
The Science Fiction Collection
“A wild dream and a far one -- but no wilder and no farther than some of the dreams of man.”
Clifford D. Simak, City
The Non-Fiction Collection
“That's the reason they're called lessons: because they lessen from day to day.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
The Computer Science Collection
“Think of a computer program. Somewhere, there is one key instruction, and everything else is just functions calling themselves, or brackets billowing out endlessly through an infinite address space. What happens when the brackets collapse? Where's the final “END IF”? Is any of this making sense?”
Douglas Adams, Mostly Harmless
Book In-Jokes

Here I try to maintain a list of book in-jokes: little jokes that most readers won't notice, hidden in otherwise serious books (for more about what “in-jokes” are, see at the end of the list).

I'll need your help: if you find any such in-jokes, let me know. Please include the word “injoke” in the subject.

The books are listed in no particular order.

Book Reviews Book Reviews: Fiction Science-Fiction Book Reviews Non-Fiction Book Reviews Computer Science Book Reviews

Here is a comparative review of two books by Michael Crichton: The Andromeda Strain and Sphere. The surprising similarities between these two works provide some interesting insights.
[Science Fiction]
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The second title in Brunner’s American Trilogy, The Sheep Look Up is not nearly as good as the first.
[Science Fiction]


The first title in John Brunner’s American Trilogy, Stand on Zanzibar is probably Brunner’s best book, and certainly a science-fiction classic.
[Science Fiction]
Read more... Comments so far: 1


Roger Penrose’s attack on strong AI, as presented in his book The Emperor’s New Mind, is not an easy book to read (especially if you fear physics). The reader will learn much about physics and computing, but little, I’m afraid, about the book’s real subject: artificial intelligence.
Read more... Comments so far: 1


More than just a must-read for any science-fiction fan, Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is the history of the colonialization of Mars, told as to make a brave man weep.
[Science Fiction]

[See earlier reviews]
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