Some Pre-Election Fun


In keeping with the national theme of the week….

I have long been a political junkie, and so it’s not surprising that my books should have a fair amount of political intrigue in them.  I love writing complex political subplots into my stories — the castle intrigues of the Winds of the Forelands books were part of what made writing those books so much fun for me.  There’s really no secret to writing effective political suspense — just use your imagination and think about those things that make real-life politics interesting and work from there.

But because I’m thinking about politics right now, and because I’m so consumed with the campaign that I’m finding it a bit difficult to focus on a writing-oriented post, I thought I’d throw out a couple of lists and ask you to share yours.

First, my list of my five favorite sf/fantasy books in terms of political intrigue:

  1. Dune, by Frank Herbert
  2. A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin
  3. Tigana, Guy Gavriel Kay
  4. The Still, David Feintuch
  5. Speaker For The Dead, Orson Scott Card

Next, just because it’s my post and I can do whatever I want with it, my five favorite political movies:

  1. The American President
  2. Primary Colors
  3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  4. All the President’s Men
  5. Dave

And finally, my top five favorite political songs:

  1. Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Who
  2. Gimme Shelter, The Rolling Stones
  3. Gaia, James Taylor
  4. Boy In the Bubble, Paul Simon
  5. They Dance Alone, Sting

So, there you are.  My contribution to today’s political discussion.  Your turn.  What are your favorites?  Do you have a list that you’d like to add to these?  By all means, be my guest.  And don’t forget to vote tomorrow.


9 comments to Some Pre-Election Fun

  • Political song?
    Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road
    Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

  • Three of your novels appear on my list, too – I was a “Dune” fan back in high school. I initially read it to impress a boy, then discovered I liked the book better. *grin* My list would include Zelazny’s Chronicles of Amber – nobody’s better at vicious maneuvering than siblings.

    My favorite political movies are
    The Hunt For Red October (“The average Russkie don’t take a dump without a plan!”),
    V For Vendetta (“Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.”), and
    2010: The Year We Make Contact (“You just read that report? Took you this long to steal our secrets?”)
    No, none of them take place in the White House, but they’re darned political just the same.

  • L. Jagi Lamplighter

    I’m not good at lists, but I love both Game of Thrones and Amber.

    Dune, which I loved as a kid, has somehow been replaced in my memory by National Lampoon’s Doon, the Dessert Planet. I am absolutely horrible at remembering jokes or lines, but serveral of the humorous moments in that book are seared into my memory.

    One of the best is a scene where Paul’s father and another guy are trying to have a conversation in short, Dune-style, half sentences that trail off after insinuating what they mean. Halfway through, they nearly kill each other before they realize they’ve been discussing two different subject, leading t o one of my favorite lines in the book:

    “From now on, I decree that matters of state must be discussed in full sentences.”

    I saw a lot of political movies as a college student, but I forget most of the titles: Seige of State still stands out, though.

  • Political Intrigue books….

    Winds of the Forelands
    Wheel of Time

    Political Songs:

    Paint it Black
    “What’s that sound, everybody look what’s goin down…”

  • L. Jagi Lamplighter

    Okay…I was asleep. That’s State of Seige, not the other way around.

    Re: songs, what comes to mind are Signs and Alice’s Restaurant (which I have visited) though I know there are others I like even more.

  • Political intrigue books–hmmm. I’m absolutely with you on Tigana. The Queen’s Bastard by C.E. Murphy is wonderful.

    Polical songs: I’ll say Alice’s Restaurant also, and CCRs Fortunate Son, and Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start the Fire, and Peter Gabriel’s Biko and . . . wow. There’s no end to the really good songs, is there?

  • Thanks all for the replies. Alice’s Restaurant is a great choice for songs. Also Country Joe and Fish’s “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die.” And Mark, the title you’re looking for is “For What It’s Worth.” Buffalo Springfield. GREAT song.

  • Oh my, yes, “Biko” is gorgeous. And “Games WIthout Frontiers”, too. And can I add Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”?

  • Of course you can, Misty. There are no rules here.