Top 5 Authors

For my final post tonight, I thought of my passion for reading; especially in bed at night.

Ever since I could string words together, I have loved reading; mostly fantasy or sci-fi.  Over the last few years, I’ve expanded into crime, thrillers and the odd biography.  So this Top 5 was tough, there are so many great authors out there; creating worlds and characters that stick with you.  Like the small skirmish post, I set myself criteria –

  • Influential story
  • Memorable characters
  • Great writing
  1. Orson Scott Card, from fantasy to sci-fi; Card has the ability to draw you into his characters and make you believe they are real.  Anyone who has read Enders Game or Enders Shadow, will know exactly what I mean.
  2. Melanie Rawn – I have always had a passion for medieval dragons (rather than oriental), so seeing a book with a dragon and the title of Dragon Prince on it; I was hooked.  For me Rawn is a better storyteller, than McCaffery will ever be.  Her characters have such depth to them, you feel everything they go through.  Like George RR Martin though, she is not above killing off characters.
  3. Joel Rosenberg – I’ve just had a shock, I just looked him up and noticed that he died this year.  Guardians of the Flame, is perhaps the most influential series of books for me.  What started out as a RPG cross over, became a fight for justice and equality.  I particularly remember the character of Ahira aka James Finnigan, a young lad with a disability; who actually becomes his RPG character.  It struck a cord with me, that no other book has since.  RIP Joel, so many thanks for the inspiration.
  4. Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman – If you don’t know who these ladies are, then you have obviously never roleplayed.  Hickman/Weiss, create the mythical world of Krynn; from which Dragonlance was born. Like nearly everyone I know, Tasslehoff Burrfoot, has to be my favourite character *ever*.
  5. Stephen Laws – This guy is no Stephen King, Stephen Laws is better than King will ever be.  Laws has to me, an almost Lovecraft edge to his writing.  Able to translate on to paper, the Macabre and Daemonic horrors he is imagining.  He also has, perhaps one of the most twisted minds, I have every come across in a writer.
So there we go, my 5 favourite authors of all time.  If you want your kids to learn life lessons, or escape to fully realised, living breathing worlds of fantasy. Ditch the dull, boring and bland crap of Harry Potter and Twilight books; let them sink their teeth into some real literature.

11 thoughts on “Top 5 Authors

    • And your basing your ‘critique’ against what other novels? Compared to the novels I mentioned (Harry Potter and Twilight), the statement I made is valid. I don’t disagree there may be other authors, who could be considered better; but without examples I can’t judge. I am surprised you don’t agree on Card, considering the type of books on your blog. Maybe it’s just that I see the relevance of the story, to many points in history (Manhattan Project, Genocide of the Jews, Slaveryetc). Where human kind has either had a moral choice of action or in action, or taken that one step too far; plunging the world into chaos. Anyway, thanks for your comments and I wish you luck with your own endeavours.

      • I have no pretensions that what I review is literature — it is genre literature written predominately for 14 year old boys (at least the 50s, 60s, 70s works)– very very very few sci-fi novels (Ursula Le Guin, a few by Compton, etc) rise enter the realms of the well-written, beautifully constructed, gorgeous sentenced, literature.

        Card is a hack. I despise his work (personal opinion, which I’m willing to defend) — however, I understand that many people start reading science fiction due to Ender’s Game — which I appreciate! Definitely…..

        I’m also willing to defend the manifold MERITS of science fiction and fantasy — of course life lessons are to be learned and even ones first exposure to feminist theory. BUT, again, besides a few works (VanderMeer’s Shriek: An Afterword, Tolkein) they are not pieces of literature!

      • I get it now, your a purist. So when I stated Real Literature, you thought I was talking about Classic Literature. The likes of Newton, Darwin, Homer or Shakespear. Fair do’s, I guess we all have to enjoy something. Me? I prefer Modern Literature, which just like your Classics; is nothing more than the ancient art of story telling.

      • No, you’ve missed my point entirely — I’m not talking about Classic Literature I’m talking about modern/contemporary literature which is NOT what you’re calling modern literature — you’re talking about Modern Genre Fiction!!!

        Murakami, Ishiguro, John Updike, Louise Erdrich — there’s nothing classic about them, they’re writing now or just died…. I’m talking about people who win Pulitzers — i.e. contemporary literature.

        You’re terms are all in a muddle. Stephen Laws and Card are genre fiction writers….

        I would never shake a pear at Shakespeare either 😉

      • Sounds like your breaking it down, even worse than Heavy Metal music. It’s all the same thing, no matter what you want to call it. Either way, we all enjoy different things. I’ll stick with my books, irrespective of what people want to define them.

  1. A Thomas Pynchon novel, a Borges short story, Jose Saramago novel (Nobel Prize winner for Literature) are IN NO WAY THE SAME as genre fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, mystery, urban fantasy, steampunk, comic books, graphic novels, etc)….

  2. Hehe, exactly, you don’t know what you were arguing about. But, I, like you, read predominately genre fiction 😉 there’s no problem with that! It’s just a mater of terms…. but, 90% of people know these basic terms.

    Oh, don’t pay attention to what I say about Card, he’s just doesn’t strike the right cord with me — I dislike his work…. That doesn’t mean he’s that bad. I prefer Philip K. Dick, even Heinlein, Herbert, and the other greats… I tend to read sci-fi from the 60s and 70s. I find ultra-jingoistic pieces of sci-fi dangerous — hence, Ender’s Game.

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