.. and what do you get from it?
Recently, I've been re-reading Moorcock, Pratchett, Harrison, Niven, Robert L Forward, Alan Garner and a host of others.
And part way through R L Forward's "Dragons Egg" it struck me that (for me at least) it is the mind-boggling concepts that these authors put to us. Concepts that make us think, that create a sense of wonder in us, that make us sit back and go "wow!"
And to link in to another thread somewhere in A|N, I feel a "spirituality" in these books, more than I ever felt when reading the bible or a tract that had been thrust into my hand by a passing fundy.
I like books that inspire me to think beyond the "official" ending, that make me continue the story in my head, even if it never gets written down.
Books that you'd want your children to get hooked on!