View Full Version : If you had to...

09-30-2005, 10:51 PM
say one author was your all time favorite, whom would it be?

Myself, it's H.P. Lovecraft

09-30-2005, 11:00 PM
Mine is Diana Gabaldon who has written a series of books of a time travel from 1945 to 1743 in Scotland pre Scottish Rebellion or the "'45 Rising" with Bonnie Prince Charlie.
She currantly has 5 books out in the series. The sixth in the series came/comes out the end of Sept. 05. Can't wait to get it.
I love her characters... Claire Beauchamp from 1945 and Jamie Fraser from 1743 Scotland.

If anyone is interested.. the first of the series is "Outlander"

:) Suzy Q

09-30-2005, 11:20 PM
I love that series! I read it every year!

Fave author? Hmmn...I have lots. Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, Clive Barker, etc etc etc... :D

10-01-2005, 12:16 AM
J.R.R. Tolkein

The depth of the descriptions takes you to another world.

10-01-2005, 12:46 AM
Alfred Bester.

10-01-2005, 02:36 AM
Fave author? Hmmn...I have lots. Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, Clive Barker, etc etc etc... :D

Just one Mynx... but I'm in the same boat, I've read almost as many books as I've seen movies... again, because my Dad's Library was 1/2 the size of a used book store. Mostly Science Fiction, Fantasy & Humour.

Down to one? Sorry no can do.


10-01-2005, 09:35 AM
Mynx, have I told you lately that I love you? *grins* And Wrathe, you have hit the nail on the head. My personal library could BE a used bookstore. Piers Anthony, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, Laurell K. Harding, L.M. Montgomery, L. Frank Baum, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov - and these are just the ones that I have more than 8 books by, definitely my favorites.

Pick one? Impossible.

10-01-2005, 12:14 PM
Virginia Woolfe, Colette, and Henry James. Anita Brookner. Jorge Amado. I also spend a lot of time reading cookbooks as if they were novels.


10-01-2005, 12:33 PM
Oh yes, add Jack Whyte, Tolkien, Guy Gavriel Kay (heir to Tolkien IMO), Pratchett, and Neil Gaiman to the list. And like Miriam I have cookbooks galore (making Thai tonight for the first time as a matter of fact!)

Between the boy and myself our library is ~600 books (the majority of those are mine). I've run out of shelves!

10-01-2005, 01:00 PM
For me, it's Joseph Conrad, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, and C.J. Cherryh, in no particular order other than my mood at the moment. Emily Bronte was my all-time favorite when I was a boy, satisfying my teen angst, but I'm not that passionate anymore, thank the Goddess. And, like most of you, I have lots and lots of individual favorites by other authors.


10-01-2005, 02:31 PM
Dean Koontz, Niel Gaiman, Poppy Z Brite, Clive Barker, V.C. Andrews, Mark Twain, Connie Willis, Edgar Allen Poe, Donatien Alphonse Francois, Marilyn Vos Savant, William Gibson, Spider Robinson, Robert A. Heinlein, Lewis Carroll, Larry Niven, L. Frank Baum, H.G. Wells, Brothers Grimm, Jules Verne, Verner Vinge, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Harry Turtledove, Walter M. Miller, Isaac Asimov, Hal Clement, Thomas Harris, Miyamoto Musashi, Sun Tsu...

Top the the list of my favorite authors, but, the first name that comes to mind is always Lovecraft.


10-01-2005, 03:04 PM
Ok, Since it's compilation time...

William Gibson, Neil Stephenson, Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Spider Robenson, William S Burroughs, Anne Rice, Anne Rampling, Hunter S. Thompson, Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Umberto Eco, Ayn Rand, Piers Anthony, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Anton LaVey, Robert Anton Wilson.


10-01-2005, 03:26 PM
I have a passion for young adult literature. I've been working on a novel in that genre myself. My favorite children's lit/YAF authors are M.T. Anderson, Lois Lowry, Philip Pullman, Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Madeleine L'Engle, Laurie Anderson, Libba Bray, Scott Westerfield, Cynthia Voigt, Robert Cormier.

My favorite adult writers are Denise Giardina, Frank Herbert, Juliet Marillier, Federico García Lorca, Stephen King, Octavia Butler, Pablo Neruda, Rosalía de Castro, Gabriela Mistral, Jose Saramago.

10-01-2005, 03:58 PM

The Douglas Adams series jumped out at my from the bookcase right after I posted that list.


10-01-2005, 04:09 PM

If you liked William Gibson's "Neuromancer" then you'll dig Neil Stepenson's "Snow Crash" and "The Diamond Age". His newer works are Damn fine too!


10-01-2005, 04:28 PM
Thank's Wrathwilde,

I'll pick them up. I don't recall reading anything by Stepenson, and nothing by him in the bookcases.

What did you think of Ginsons The Difference Engine?


10-01-2005, 05:38 PM
It's really hard to narrow it down, but if it's one it would have to Homer's The Iliad and the Odyssey . I first read them in English, then Latin and started in on it in Greek a while back. Too bad I can't speak ancient Greek to feel it the way it was originallky performed, but maybe someday.

The first line of the Iliad tells you you're in for a rocket-sled ride:

Rage - Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
hurling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
feasts for the dogs and birds,
and the will of Zeus was moving toward its end.

Anyhow, I mostly read history, science fiction, fantasy and some espionage/intrigue/adventure as well.

So I like Ovid, Herodotus, Mallory, Charles Beaumont, Michael Moorecock, Frank Herbert, Brian Lumley, Joe Haldeman, Tim Powers, Bentley Little.



10-01-2005, 06:21 PM
I've always had a fondness for Ray Bradberry and Isaac Asimov.

10-01-2005, 07:05 PM
What did you think of Gibson's The Difference Engine?

Still need to read that one, and Pattern Recognition. But so far nothing has gripped me like his 1st three Cyberpunk novels.


10-02-2005, 12:48 AM
if i had to choose one: Robert A. Heinlein

more choices would include: Orson Scott Card(Enders Game), RObert Jordan, Crichton, Peirs Anthony, JRRT.


10-02-2005, 01:18 AM
Worst author of all time - Stephen King, bores me completely... one of the very few authors who put me to sleep every time I try to read his work. His ideas, imagery and dialog are all third rate, drab and boring. I read a collection of his short stories, back in the early nineties, suggested by a friend who was totally into his writing and thought it might give me an introduction to the scope of King's writing talents... it did, next to none! Yawn!

The Movies based off his stories that I've actually enjoyed... are universally the ones he didn't direct and hates the most. Like the Shining, which seems to be why he had it made into a mini-series. Personally I thought the book was mediocre... but that Kubrick's adaptation was brilliant. After reading four or five of King's books, plus the collection of short stories... I've given up on him as a writer. Clive Barker is worlds better.

Wrathwilde (Opening a can of worms)

10-02-2005, 01:43 AM
heh, I agree with you on that Wrathwilde. I'll toss any book, regardless of wrote it, that takes effort to read. If the writing style and story line don't pull me into and through the book it goes in the circular file.

What I like most about Hard Science fiction, it pique's my curiosity, inspiring research into the theories and science explored in the story. My two favorite Hard science fiction movies are Enemy of the State & Gattaca.

One thing these movies have in common, Technology has yet to reach the level of maturity depicted in the stories.


10-02-2005, 01:51 AM
Yeah, bad books are only good for starting the barbeque. I like to go the Goodwill down the street before I go and buy a book to see how many copies of it are on the shelfs there. If I see a few of them I usually pass.

Wrath, I think SK was excellent up to the Shining, after that he pretty much just started writing pretty crummy stuff for TV and the movies. If you haven't read anything by Bentley Little or Tim Powers you should check them out. They're both local OC writers, and my buddy was just a few houses down from Bentley Little as he was growing up so we would run into him from time to time. The Drawing of the Dark, by Tim Powers is excellent since it's about a special Ale and the travails associated with it. Check it out.

Remember the first book of KYFHO!


10-02-2005, 02:44 AM
Anthony, if you like hard SF with a really cool spin, try The Duke of Uranium by John Barnes. This is the ONLY hard SF space opera I've ever read or even heard of. Really fun, and it shows that you don't have to break the laws of physics as they are currently understood in order to write a rip-roaring yarn!

As for Stephen King, I truly think the man missed his literary calling (he certainly caught the gravy train!): he has a nearly unparalleled ability to depict small town New England life in the 20th Century with care, deep-felt emotion, and respect. The fact that these depictions appear in bestselling (so-called) horror novels makes them especially ill-fortuned, and easily over-looked.

I once heard a rumor -- and it's only that, mind you -- that at some point in the early 90's, King was utterly burned out, and seriously contemplating retirement. His publisher responded by hiring a bunch of ghostwriters, hand-picked for their ability to emulate his style, and who would take King's written outlines and turn them into bestsellers. There have been several popular authors in the past who could produce work after work like King (Anthony Trollope comes to mind), but not many of them, and NONE with the staggering pressure to fill coffers like this fellow. I don't think his horror is anything to write home about, but he has skill and talent nonetheless.


10-02-2005, 03:50 AM
Hey David,

The man can paint with words, no doubt about that, and thats exactly what I don't care for about a lot of his work.

I read in much the same way I look at paintings. I'm interested in the detail, the craftsmanship of the artist and the over all effect of his/her work. Yet I have no desire to examin every line, left by each hair of the brush.

There's just one word that comes to mind when I think Steven King... Verbose.

And thank's, I'll look for that book,


10-02-2005, 06:40 AM
Wrath, I think SK was excellent up to the Shining, after that he pretty much just started writing pretty crummy stuff for TV and the movies.

Maybe that's the problem, the books I've tried to read of his were from The Shining forward.

Remember the first book of KYFHO!
??? In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary... Come Again?

Enemy of the State & Gattaca.

Both EXCELLENT movies... Gattaca being one of the few movies positively depict what one can achieve through personal devotion, even when all the cards are stacked against you. They are merely obstacles to overcome... but it will demand personal dedication, sacrifice and an unwavering belief in yourself.


10-02-2005, 07:15 AM
Remember the first book of KYFHO!

Hmmm, An Enemy of the State was one of my favorite books by F. Paul Wilson,

One of my favorite acronyms comes from it.

KYFHO - Keep your F*****g Hands Off

A must read if you've not already. He also wrote The Keep



10-02-2005, 08:20 AM
Don't read much but ....
Martin Eden, by Jack London was one that sticks out.
Different..... but moving and with ... lessons on life


10-02-2005, 09:32 AM
Since I listed Stephen King as one of my favorite authors (and since I only got 5 hours sleep and no coffee in sight yet) I felt like I really should add something to this. First of all, my husband, like Anthony, has made the statement that he can't read Stephen King because he is much too verbose and does too much description. My husband read very very slowly, and frankly makes not so nice comments about me when he sees that I have finished my brand new Piers Anthony book in a couple of hours. Yet this is the same man who plowed through almost all of JRRT's works (he was in the middle of the Silmarillion when he had to start working after college and lost most of his free time). Tolkien, for crying out loud!!! We have a joke in our circle of friends about the length of Tolkien's descriptions - 4 pages to describe how an elf stepped on a blade of grass. And he says King's descriptions are too long, sheesh.

I'm one of those people who HAS to read. And I read voraciously. If I'm not in the middle of a book, or have a magazine I have been known to read product labels in the restroom. And I read fast (typical Xanth novel, start to finish is 2-4 hours). Luckily I also have a really cruddy memory so I can reread stuff after a year or so. But because of my reading habits, I have several levels of reading in my library which range from no-brainers (just something to keep me occupied until I get a new book), brain candy (sweet little fluff that is almost meaningless but tastes good - like Xanth), my "I want someone to force me to think books" (mostly Dan Brown), recently have gotten into reading classic sci-fi by some of the masters (like Asimov), just a whole range of stuff that is all dependent on how hard my brain wants to work.

Stephen King is in my "brain candy" section. No he's not Lovecraft (the ultimate in horror IMHO), but he makes a decent quick read that keeps me from rereading catalogs for a day or two. And he's prolific, which with my reading speed, I always appreciate.

Oh, and I would like to say on a totally different note that JK Rowling would definitely get my vote for Best author of the milennium. Not cuz she's that great an author (although she is a good author and I love my HP books), but simply because of the surge in the DESIRE to read due to her books. She could write absolute schlock as far as I am concerned and still be the greatest author currently living. My husband hasn't read anything for fun in the past 10 years (since the Sil), and he actually grabbed my copy of Book 6 and read the hardback version, because we weren't financially able to get him his audiobook version (he only started on audiobooks this year, and was I happy when he did - I can't understand not reading for fun). And my cousin is one of the typical products of the American school system who couldn't enjoy reading thing beyond Calvin and Hobbes. In the past two years, he has read all of the Harry Potter books, most of Dan Brown's, and is currently working his way through Narnia. It's unbelievable to me.

Dang - I rambled. Going to go find coffee now. Sorry bout this. *grins*

10-02-2005, 10:02 AM
Different Seasons, was the last book by Steven King I liked.

10-02-2005, 11:15 AM
Wow, I missed this string taking off.

I will add some more to my single 'favorite', but for particlular reasons. First, C.S.Lewis' 'Narnia' series is magnificant to me since I was read his books when I was very small. Likewise with Arthur Ransom's 'Swallows and Amazons' series. The 'Potter' books are also in the same genre, appealing to the youthful side. She writes very well and engages the children to think (I also went to a boarding school in England so I appreciate the atmosphere depicted at the school).
Douglas Adams ranks up there, as does Terry Pratchett, more for their humor than anything else.
For Fiction, Robert Ludlum.
I would suggest that people try Steven Levitt's 'Freakonomics' if they want to read something that points out some of the oddities of our society. Good book, well written.


P.S. Yes, King's books went downhill after the Shining.

10-02-2005, 01:06 PM
I started reading Stephen King in second grade because of, well, tv! The crappy Twilight Zone of the 80s was running and I saw an episode based off that short story he did, I think it was called Gramma. I thought it was the Coolest Thing Ever so my daddy put a book entitled Skeleton Crew in my hands and I was hooked.

I definitely agree that he has a gift for portraying with aching realism life in small town New England. What he does with small town Maine, I am dying to do with where I grew up in West Virginia.

He definitely wrote some bad ones. Gerald's Game was the worst, I thought. But the Dark Tower...

10-02-2005, 07:47 PM
And I read fast (typical Xanth novel, start to finish is 2-4 hours).ins*

Same here... I read approx 100 pages + an hour for your standard SciFi Paperbacks. This was my Schedule at 20 years old... I had a subscription to about 20-30 magazines going at once, all the major news Mags, Popular Mechanics, Electronics, a number of Science mags, PC Magazine, PC Weekly, Architectural digest, 3 photography mags, Political Mags... right & left leaning. I also used to read 3 newspapers a day (except the Sports Sections... those went right in the trash), every article in all 3... including the duplicate articles because we all know papers edit to slant, so between the three I was usually assured of getting the full story. Those usually took up my morning breaks & lunch. After Work I'd go out and socialize for a few hours, get home between 10-12 climb into bed with a book and wouldn't go to sleep until I finished it. So for 2-3 years I was literally reading a book a day. Atlas Shrugged was an exception, it took me two and a half days to finish... then I couldn't sleep for 3, my mind wouldn't slow down. ;D It was like Ayn Rand reached into my mind and said "I'm going to take all of these disparate beliefs you already hold and organize them, when I'm done you will become conscience of your belief structure and the philosophy you've been living your whole life. Still the most amazing book I've ever read. I have slowed to about a book a week. :-[