Friday, August 13, 2010

Shawn's Awesome List of Favorite Writers

I'm the late comer to this list of favorite writers thing that's been going on here. You would think that going last would make it easier, but the truth is I'm a little intimidated by what everyone else has read. Not ashamed, not by any means, but a little intimidated. Truth is, I've never really been interested in reading the classics or the greats. Look at my bookshelves and you'll see that fantasy has dominated my repertoire. Look closer, and you'll see much of it is from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It's not that I don't like the newer stuff, but rather I've been reading fewer novels as I do more writing (and read more comics).

Let's get to it, shall we?

Here, in alphabetical order, are my top10.

Brian Michael Bendis. If you've paid attention you've seen me wax poetic about this guy before. In my opinion, Brian Michael Bendis ranks among the best of those currently writing comics. I've never tried writing a comic, but I think it would be every bit as challenging as writing a novel. It's incredibly sparse writing and it's a terribly difficult medium in which to convey emotion and character development. Brian Michael Bendis is one of the masters. If you have any doubts about that, read Powers Vol 7: Forever.

Orson Scott Card. There are only two books I’ve ever read in their entirety in one day in one day and Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is one. This book blew me away when I read it in high school and it’s still one of my all time favorites.

Stephen King. I need to read more Stephen King. Outside of The Dark Tower books, I’ve only ready a few of his books but The Dark Tower series is a modern classic. Sure, the last book in the series kinda left me wanting, but really, how do you end something like that? And the rest were stunning, so he gets a bye.

Ronald D. Moore. An odd choice maybe, but this guy is a master story teller. He played a major role in production and script development for Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and he was the architect of the new Battlestar Galactica, all of which are in my top TV shows list.

J. K. Rowling. Harry Potter. Need I say anything else? By the way, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the other book I read in a day.

Dan Simmons. I met Dan Simmons at a book signing at Dreamhaven - many moons ago. He was a super nice guy and someday I hope to meet him again. His books Hyperion and Fall of Hyperion are not only among the best books I have ever read, but they are direct influences to my current WIP. Interesting side note: he has also written Carrion Comfort, which is a novel about vampires and was written WAY before the current vampire craze. All you vampire junkies should check it out. ;-)

J. Michael Straczynski. JMS wrote the vast majority of Bablyon 5, which is still one of my top TV shows of all time. He also writes comics, movies and novels. I read one of his novels, which was decent, but his comics are top notch. Midnight Nation is still one of my all time favorite graphic novels.

Judith Tarr. Judith Tarr is a beautiful writer. She writes a lot of historical fantasy and she has an enviable talent for bringing the past life. Almost all of her books have strong female characters, which is commonplace today, but was a bit unusual back in the early 90’s at (what I would consider) the height of her career. Her work is another direct influence to my WIP.

J. R. R. Tolkien. Here's another author who I don't need to introduce. And it should be no surprise to anyone who has read my WIP that The Lord of the Rings is another direct influence. Epic fantasy, baby. LOVE IT!

Joss Whedon. This is probably the most frivolous choice on my list, but I couldn't pass up sticking him in. And really, why not? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Serenity, the graphic novel Fray, And Doctor Horrible’s Sing-along Blog are all full of awesome.


Jon said...

Great post. I can really see a lot of those names reflected in your work. We share a lot of the same ones, too.

If you think Powers is good, then you need to read his Ultimate Spider-man. It lets him do all the stuff he's really good at. I think it's his best work.

Also, for modern Fantasy, check out:
1. George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones - soon to be on HBO with Sean Bean!).
2. Richard K. Morgan (The Steel Remains - He plays with some tech vs. archaic stuff here too, like you do. Not the same way, of course...).
3. Joe Abercrombie (The First Law series is great stuff. Really great.).

Mark Teats said...

Nice post, Shawn. You've given me more stuff to check out. One of my co-workers was looking over my shoulder as I read this post and said, "Hey, I have the Dan Simmons book"--so she is bringing it in for me to read. For the all S. King I've read I never got into the DARK TOWER series. Read the first book and it didn't grab me at the time... I must go back and try it again. Happy weekend!

Qlaudie said...

Joss Whedon, hells yeah! No need to 'splain!
Good list, sir.