Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Favorite Authors...Who Are Yours?

Here is my list of my many favorite authors… and I’m sure I’ve left some out. ( I really do read a lot.)

Roger Zelazny’s Amber series knocked me out. I still find my mind walking in Amber… twenty years later.

Kurt Vonnegut is a master. Was a master, so sorry he’s gone. I used to love to think of him sitting out there… half crocked, farting away and belching. I have read everything he wrote and loved it all.

Robert Silverberg… Up the Line is my favorite of his. A fun read. One of the few authors who can hold my attention long with short stories.

The Older Biggies of Fantasy/ Sci-Fi ; T.H. White, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells,
L. Frank Baum
, and last but certainly not the least, the great, great Irish author Jonathan Swift. These fine men first filled my head with the love of words and stories. I owe them much.

Old Adventurers and Scoundrels ; Charles Dickens (My boys are lucky that their dad would not allow me to name one of them Pip.), Robert Louis Stevenson, John Steinbeck… especially Tortilla Flat, William Saroyan… who wrote about places close to my heart and home.

David Almond, who writes wonderful books for middle school kids that can entertain me.

Douglas Adams. I love the last line in So Long and Thanks for all the Fish. “There was a point to this story, but it has temporarily escaped the chronicler’s mind.”

Ray Bradbury who was introduced to me by a high school teacher named Loo with Something Wicked This Way Comes and got me totally hooked. Another short story writer that can keep me rapt. The October Country was a big favorite for shorts.

Terry Brooks. Knight of the Word series, though all seem connected through the Omsfords.

Orson Scott Card’s Alvin Maker stories as well as Ender’s Game series.

Pat Conroy Hey… how’d he get in here? Oh yeah, I loved the insanity of Beach Music. A family like my own. Crazy. “Max the great Jew” is a hero in my heart. But then I have rarely met or known of a Max I did not like… except for the serial killer named Max from Fresno, where I grew up. (He took out his grass and poured it full of concrete and painted it green so he wouldn’t have to mow his lawn. We should have been suspicious.)

David Eddings got me hooked on his Belgariad and beyond.

Philip Jose Farmer who is clever and also obscene from time to time.

Philip K. Dick who has written so many of the sci fi stories we have viewed in movies and on the various TV shows like Twilight Zone… and we don’t even suspect it half the time.

Melvin Burgess because I loved Billy Elliot.

John Grisham. I still cannot finish The Chamber or watch the end of the movie. It rips my heart up.

Robert Heinlen who blessed me with the first sci fi, as well as the first book I ever checked out of a library… (where I belong)…on my own, without an older sibling or parent along to suggest. I got on my bike, rode to the branch near our home and found it there, waiting to make me into a book slave. It was called Have Space Suit Will Travel. I have eaten his books repeatedly. He has made me fat with words!

Herman Hess for Siddhartha.

Peter Straub, the “connected man” who first gave me the joy of finding that his books were all connected to each other in playful ways that I had to search out and that a character can be a hero in one book and a side character in another who is not so well thought of. Interesting stuff.

Barbara Kingsolver who understands what makes women strong and what makes them insane.

Dean Koontz who is sometimes snubbed by book snobs as being a lightweight. But I love Odd Thomas and want to take him home with me.

Robert Lynn Asprin, my “myth-ic” man and for his part in Thieves World. In my head I have a room I’ve rented above The Vulgar Unicorn in Sanctuary. Tons of fun there!

Piers Anthony You know there’s something about a guy who lives in a castle made of cheese that is intriguing. And the Blue Adept was pretty different. Oddly erotic or was that just my problem?

Larry Niven who brought Ringworld, Inferno, Lucifer’s Hammer, The Mote in God’s Eye, N-Space, the Kzin, the Puppeteers, Protectors and worlds on worlds of pleasure… often with Jerry Pournelle (A great writer on his own.)and at least once or twice with Michael Flinn.

Joe Haldeman, Arthur C. Clarke, Issac Asimov, Pol Anderson, Theodore Sturgeon, Ben Bova, Theodore Sturgeon, Clifford D. Simak… the supermen! The men who made me want to become a writer myself.

David Brin for The Postman.

Philip Pullman for The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.

J. R.R. Tolkien of course!

John Irving for Garp, Setting Free the Bears, The Water Method Man, Cider House Rules, etc.

Richard Brautigan for Trout Fishing in America (not much about trout fishing actually), The Abortion, Revenge of the Lawn, Watermellon Sugar, the Pill VS. the Springhill Mine Disaster, A Confederate General From Big Sir, (Big Sir is one of my favorite places on the face of the earth!), and my all time favorite of his… Rommel Drives Deep into Egypt.

Marilyn French for The Women’s Room.

Stephen King for the Gunslinger books and all his wonderful horror... and again, a thing I find irresisable, the connections to seek out that are interwoven throughout years of books. If you haven't read Dumma Key, one of his newest, I liked it.

Looking back, it seems that there are un unequal number of men compared to women authors here. I will have to think on this.

Who do you love?


  1. Great List. I could probably comment on most of these. I used to correspond with Piers years ago. I have a few older Baum posts in my blog, most recently this one. Simak is indeed a superman: he greatly inspird me. Have you read Black House by Straub and King?

  2. Yes! Black House was great too. I love "Traveling Jack!" and was thrilled that he got into a second book after The Talisman. At our house we all use King lines... like "Right here and now woof!" I think my favorite group of characters in their collaberations (Straub and King) are the werewolves. I think that Jake from the Gunslinger books is very similar to Jack but I do not mind. Boys make the most marvelous heros.
    Boy I would be in heaven if I corresponded with Piers...though I'd probably have trouble thinking of something to say that didn't sound lame. Lucky you. That must have been fascinating.
    Hey, thanks for the link to the Baum. Cool beans. You are a treasure trove of wonders.
    I think my post was too large. I get wordy. I guess I really am oodles of funch!

  3. I have a lot of information and old images of the town of Trempealeau, Wisconsin. Peter Straub visited it and based French Landing in "Black House" on it. I know the area quite well and was able to see what he got wrong, and what he got right. I think I've done two or three Trempealeau posts already, and plan to do another soon.

  4. Will have to go back and check them out. Looking forward to the "soon". This is the sort of thing that I truly enjoy... finding these connections.

  5. wow that's a long list. have you tried voinovich and turtledove?

    i think you'd like turtedove's "in the balance" series.

  6. No, I have not. I have not heard of these. But I am eager to read them now that I know that they exist. I have been addicted to reading for a long, long time. thanks for the tip billy, you're a peach!