Okay, okay, I know a lot of y'all are avid readers. But I don't think I know enough detail on whom each of you actually reads and why, and it means we are maybe losing out on some cool conversations
As for me, well, the top authors are there in the profile, but since "interests" is collapsed by default now, here's a recap (and extras; there may be a significance to the order in which they are presented... or not).
- Ray Bradbury: one of those childhood impressions that last forever. I don't think there are any "SF" or "fantasy" fans in existence who have never read his stuff.
- Michael Moorcock: if actual working gay propaganda exists, it's the Cornelius Chronicles. Anyway, the face of SF/F would've been considerably different without MM, and probably it would've been a much more boring one. Elric is the seminal character, of course, but - I've always been a fan of Corum and Dorian Hawkmoon. These guys had to go through much weirder stuff, IMO.
- Michael Kirkbride (aka Merry Eyesore the Elk): this guy is THE king of voice/style. He shifts effortlessly between registers. His prose IS poetry. His currently published written work mostly consists of various TES-related texts, but if and when he gets a novel out, it would not matter to me what it were about - I know Kirkbride means quality. This is one of my favourite TES texts of his, a more "traditional" narrative than, say, The Sermons of Vivec, but the way it mixes techniques, all for the purpose of telling the story and not simply showing off, well... it's amazing.
- Samuel R Delany: along with Moorcock, Mr Delany explored the "weirder" subjects and styles. Moorcock is aesthetically more "fantasy", while Delany is "science fiction", but all in all, genre delineations don't really matter. These are guys whom you have to read with a mind wide open.
- Glen Cook: I'm only familiar with his Garrett PI series, and I love it so much I'm kinda afraid of picking up anything else by him... "Fairytale noir" or "hardboiled hi-fantasy", whatever you call it, it's a setting as delightfully nonchalant about mixing aesthetics and images as TES, and interspersed with the whodunit action there are quite a few of relevant and poignant social observations. TunFaire is transdimensional. I know I live there, too.
- Douglas Adams: again, I think everyone is at least passingly familiar with his work. An unbelievable blend of satire, genuine SF inventiveness and brilliant use of English.
- Joan Vinge: she's a bit of an underdog, but her Cat series really made me think about a lot of stuff when I was a teen, and they're still very much re-readable.
- Ursula le Guin: I don't care for Earthsea, but, say, The Left Hand of Darkness is absolutely stunning. Nuff said. Read it if you haven't.
- Matthew Stover: who would've thought that a Star Wars novelisation could be one of the best SF novels I've ever read?! And yet, it is. A lot of "why", to me, is style - Stover is one of those few who can write prose-as-poetry consistently and beautifully, but a lot of his talent is also the ability to pick just the right POV, the right detail, etc to carry the message through. I haven't read his original works (not excited by the setting), but whatever SW stuff of his I managed to read is excellent.
- William Blake: he may not have had the sheer technical splendour of someone like Percy Bysshe Shelley, but I somehow love him best of all his peers. Now that is actual, rhymed poetry, and his body of work reflects a lot of personal development, so it's hard to discuss it all at once, but still. Oh yeah, and he was a visual artist, too...
- William Shakespeare: obligatory, right? But I really love the guy. He did everything well, historical stuff, comedy stuff, mystical stuff and even (gasp!) lovestory stuff. And he rhymed well. I mean, Walt Whitman was surely a great poet, but I hate him for killing the rhyme in the English-speaking poetry.
- dinmenel : a lot of what I said above about Kirkbride applies to this guy as well. But he's way younger, younger than me, actually. Which makes him kinda like twice the more special... Unfortunately, his latest collaborations with Toesock did not seem to make it onto his dA account, but they're there on the Beth lore forums. Hint hint yeah.
UPD March 05: awwww Wy-Naught stories went live on dA!! Everyone now, check'em out!
- Lady-Anakin : like Dinmenel above, she's one of those writers/artists who take a "fandom" and make it their own. She writes about problems that are familiar to her, from a distinctly non-mainstream perspective, and she finds a way to blend her vision perfectly with the SF setting of SW. These are the kind of writers the big franchises should be scouting for.
- IbenholtED : does the same kind of hi-class pwnage to Babylon5. I really feel I _should_ write something more meaningful, but I may've exhausted my supply of superlatives already. I'm jealous of this sort of talent, okay?
- Andrzej Sapkowski: even though the Russian translations are said to have numerous mistakes, they still manage to captivate. I don't know how much influence he's going to have on the up-and-coming international writers now that his stuff is being translated into English, but his works basically defined the best trends of Russian "fantasy" of the 90s and beyond.
...then there are a lot of others who are awesome but who have not changed my world; or those who do not write in English and have not been translated either, so I'm leaving them all out of this particular post.
Now, dear friends and watchers... your turn!