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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Ten Bests: Writing, Writers, and Such

So I figure for this blog I will put some of my personal top tens of things. These lists change periodically though, so while one day someone may be in the top ten, another day they won't be. Still, with my first chapter coming up it is remotely fitting.
I don't get to read as much as I would like. There are a couple reasons for this. First, I work and go to school and as such can't sit down and dig into a lot of books while doing homework and reading for school and dealing with the labors of a full time job. I combat this by reading like mad during non-school months or by listening to audiobooks at work. Second, I am so damned picky when it comes to books. Some people have long attention spans for books. I don't. If the book doesn't hook me by page 50, I usually will put it down and never read it again. This is why I can't read Stephen King or Tom Clancy. They take far too long to get into the interesting parts. I don't want to be bored! Entertain me! Audiobooks are a little different though. Generally I have a longer attention span for them.

Anywho, here goes!

Top Ten Scifi/Fantasy Writers
1. Poul Anderson
This guy writes some of the greatest shorts and short novels ever! Anything I have ever read by him has been fantastic. Never a disappointment. One of his best shorts in my opinion is Call Me Joe. He has a great writing style that seems to really grab you from the start.

2. Orson Scott Card
If you don't know who this guy is then you have been asleep. One of the greats in my opinion. Hart's Hope and Ender's Game are possibly some of the best written books there are in the fantasy and scifi genres, respectively. He has quite the knack for telling a compelling tale.

3. J. K. Rowling
I'm sure some will cringe at the fact that I have put J. K. Rowling at the third position on a top ten list. Well, sorry to disappoint anyone, but she has easily earned her reputation. The Harry Potter books are excellent. Well written, driven, powerful stories. Nevermind the exploding popularity and the movies. If I had picked up the first book of this series I would have kept reading even if the movies had never been made. They are great works of art.

4. Larry Niven
I've not read a lot of Larry Niven, but have read a few shorts and listened to several audiobooks. He gets a lot of flack for not being a real good hard scifi writer but I find that not to be true. His stories are just as compelling as everyone else's.

5. Ben Bova
Ever heard of his book Mars? If you haven't, you need to pick it up. It's not one of those "there's life on Mar's" alien type stories, actually, in all honesty, it's not that far fetched from reality at all. It's something we have the capability to do now, we are just so bogged up in all this "procedure" and "protocol" and "safety" bullcrap that we don't take risks for the betterment of mankind anymore. Seriously, Bova is a master of hard scifi. He knows how to write!

6. Richard A. Knaak
This author was the first to introduce me to hte world of fantasy. Granted, The Legend of Huma wasn't exactly the greatest of fantasies, seeing how it was placed in an already created universe (Dragonlance) and followed most of your typical cliches that fantasy is known for. Regardless, it was a great first book. His DragonRealm series is fantastic. It's truly a work of art. He also does a lot of other writing as well. You might know him by his works for the Warcraft and Diablo novels. I'm not too fond of those, but his other writing is fantastic.

7. Greg Bear
This guy just got on my list with Eon, one of the best hard scifi books I have ever read. I have yet to read his other works, but I know he has written a lot, has won several awards, and is a good writer. If Eon is any indication of his talent as a scifi writer then all of his works should be good.

8. George Orwell
1984. Need I say anything else? I do? You haven't read it? If you haven't read his greatest novel, a scifi tale for its time, then you are missing out on one of the greatest works of all time. It's one of the starters for all the dystopian novels you see out there, and he was influenced by We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, who in no way even stands up to the power of Orwell's writing and the way he developed the futuristic world dominated by an oppressive government. Think V For Vendetta only without the super hero element. That sort of world completely controlled in every way by the government. There is a bit of trivia right here too, and if you caught on then you are a smart cookie. In the 1984 movie adaptation to 1984, the gentleman who played the main character (the good guy) also plays, alternately, the role of the head of an oppressive government in V For Vendetta. Total switch of roles. It's quite neat.

9. Isaac Asimov
Most people know about his Foundation series, or should know about his robot works, of which the movie I, Robot was based on. I liked the first Foundation book immensely, hence why his is on my list. Some will hit me for having him at 9th, but as of yet I have not read any of his other works and as such can't put him any higher on the list. Greg Bear only beats him out because Eon was so fresh and new for me.

10. Crawford Kilian
A lesser known author I think, he crafted quite an amazing tale of time travel in a world where it is pretty much normal. I found that one of the interesting aspects in his works was that while time travel could be used for military purposes, etc. it had become a tourist attraction. Imagine, you could pay $1,000 to go back in time to see anything you would like to see? You could visit places that in your time period had been destroyed. It's interesting because all the other time periods are other Earth's, and as such our Earth influences those worlds with our travel. I loved his work.

So that's my top ten authors list :). Neat huh? It will likely change when I read something new and interesting though. It happens.

Anyone have any authors they really like that you think should be on here? Suggest a book. I'm always up for a new original read!

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1 comment:

  1. I'm working on a Thursday Thirteen list of authors and books. I will have to add Niven. I loved Ringworld Engineers. I have Addams, Asimov, Bradbury, Herbert, King, LeGuin, Orwell, Straub, Vonnegut, and Zelazny. And of course, The Holy Spirit. They don't call his work "The greatest story ever told for nothing!"