Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gary Corby

Gary Corby is a novelist and former systems programmer at Microsoft. He lives in Australia with his wife and two daughters. His new novel is Sacred Games.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading.  Corby's reply:
I have books strategically positioned about the house and pick up each whenever I stop. Since we have an estimated 4,000 books on our shelves this is very easy. So here, by position, are the books I'm currently reading:

By the sofa:

Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Christie. Yes, really. I know it was written sixty years ago but I love to reread those old Golden Age mysteries.

New Scientist. We're subscribers. Before I was a mystery writer I was a mathematician and computer programmer. I still follow this stuff. (And recently wrote a piece about the Higgs Boson on my blog that to my astonishment got a lot of attention.)

By my writing desk:

I'm supposed to be writing! But as it happens there are a few books into which I delve.

The Oxford English Dictionary. I use the two volume edition. As far as I'm concerned this is the only dictionary on the planet. Editors occasionally mumble something about Merriam-Webster, but I ignore them.

The Histories by Herodotus. The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides. It will probably come as no surprise that a writer of classical mysteries reads these! I particularly recommend The Histories to your TBR stack. It reads like a Boys' Own Adventure series.

By the bed:

The Rhinemann Exchange by Robert Ludlum. It seems I'm having a retro period. My own book titles follow Ludlum's style: The Pericles Commission, The Ionia Sanction. Sacred Games is the exception that proves the rule, just as Ludlum broke his standard when he wrote Trevayne. I revert to standard with the next book, which has working title The Marathon Conspiracy. Robert Ludlum remains one of the best thriller writers ever, especially for his plots.

Doctor Mirabilis by James Blish. The wonderful fictional biography of the 13th century monk Roger Bacon. Roger Bacon was the greatest scientist of mediaeval times. He was the first person ever to write the all-important words scientia experimentalis -- scientific experiment -- and in the process began the long, slow haul out of Dark Age ignorance to Renaissance light. Almost nothing is known of Roger's life and Blish has done a superb job of making him real.
Visit Gary Corby's blog.

The Page 69 Test: Sacred Games.

--Marshal Zeringue