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Oscar Wilde

Classic Literature

If you resist reading what you disagree with, how will you ever acquire deeper insights into what you believe? The things most worth reading are precisely those that challenge our convictions.

-- unknown author

The following is a short list of sites that have great literature or just interesting reading.

Interesting or Fun Reading

Fourmilab is the Home Page of John Walker, founder of Autodesk, Inc. and co-author of AutoCAD. I came across his site when I downloaded the "demoroniser" (He has lots of neat utilities for Linux/UNIX users). John Walker has written some excellent short science fiction stories and has some on-line copies of some great sci-fi classics. See the link on his page to "Science Fiction" / "Original Stories" and "Some Classics".
Start with Free Electrons by John Walker September 13th, 1987

Oscar Wilde wrote some great novels, short stories and plays such as "The Importance of Being Earnest", "The Portrait of Dorian Gray" and "The Ballad of Reading Gaol". Dozens of links to the text of these and others can be found at: Oscar Wilde Resources on the World-Wide Web. This site also has a link to the text of the `classic' Monty Python's Oscar Wilde Sketch. (Warning: this later link is a Geocities.com site that uses web bugs, small invisible 1x1 gif's)

Classic Literature

The following is a short list of some excellent books or authors that I have read over the years follows, in no particular order. You can probably obtain them from the Project Gutenberg Web Site, the Classics Archive or Alibris (slow site) but browsing your second hand book store is more fun. You are also more likely to find something interesting that you were never looking for in the first place.

Aldous Huxley
    Brave New World Huxley's classic dehumanised world of the future.
    Island The antithesis to "Brave New World".
    The Doors of Perception Huxley's description and ravings about his experience with the drug Mescalin.
Sir Thomas Moore
Utopia One of the earliest stories of a Utopia, written in 1516 and a vehicle for Moore's ideas on society.
Darcy Wentworth Thompson
On Growth and Form A marvellous tour of Natures use of mathematics and mechanics.
Samuel Butler
Erewhon A mythical land where not just animals but vegetables have rights too. A satire on many social ideas.
Jules Verne
Journey to the Centre of the Earth Whenever I go caving I am always on the lookout for the signature "A.S."
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea One of Verne's best stories. The adventures of Ned Land, Professor Aronnax and Conseil as reluctant guests on board Capt. Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus. Subtly nestled within the story is the theme of slavery, liberty and "Mans inhumanity to man".
Olaf Stapelton
First and Last Men and Last Men in London Written in 1930 and 1932 respectively these two books chronical the next 4 billion years of mans history. An epic science fiction story, a little long but very moving.
Mary Shelley
Frankenstein Forget the films; read the book! A sensitive and intelligent creation, rejected by humanity, turns and begins a relentless torment of its creator.
G. Viereck
My First Two Thousand Years A story of the wandering Jew and his companion.
C.S. Lewis
Out of the Silent Planet
Voyage to Perelandra
That Hideous Strength
A series of three books; the last is a strange tale being a mixture of science fiction and religion.
E.A. Abbott
Flatland: a Romance of Many Dimensions A classic short satire on English society. You will be able to find, via any good search engine, "The Internet Wiretap Electronic Edition of Flatland".  It's a Public Domain Text.
George Orwell
1984 In some ways our society has indeed arrived.
William Golding
The Inheritors A tale of the coming together of Neanderthal and Cro Magnon man and the inevitable outcome.
H.G. Wells
There are so many great books by Wells. They range from his seven great science fiction novels to social novels, numerous short stories and essays. All of them are his vehicle for his ideal world socialism.
Edgar Allan Poe
The master of suspenseful horror tales. His poems are superb.
Charles Darwin
The Voyage of the Beagle
On the Origin of Species
Winwood Reade
The Martydom of Man
Horace Walpole
Stanislaw Lem (see the site here: Lem's Web Site)
The Cyberiad
Jacques Ozanam
Recreations in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy
The Republic
The Last Days of Socrates
John Taine
The Time Steam
Neville Shute
J.W. Dunne
Experiment with Time
Ernest Hemmingway
Daniel Defoe

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