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perigrin (3495)

perigrin
  chrisNO@SPAMprather.org
http://chris.prather.org/
AOL IM: marceusx (Add Buddy, Send Message)

After Middle School Chris bounced through various high schools around the state of Florida for a bit. He ended up getting a BA (in English) from the University of Central Florida at about the time others his age were getting their MAs. His (now) wife, their child, and he went to Europe for a bit (there was a programming job in Scotland) and came back unemployed where upon he got offered a job in St. Paul. He moved on from that job after a few years to one where he was paid to do the things he previously did as a hobby. That sounds much more exciting than it really was. Really his life is based on two kids, two cats, and a bunny.

Journal of perigrin (3495)

Friday July 13, 2007
02:34 PM

Looking for a few good books...

[ #33800 ]

[Note: For context, my mom works in a library in North Georgia. ]

Chris,

Can you send me the names of some good Science Fictions Authors, other than the popular ones such as Robert Jordan? Susie’s looking for authors to add to the collections at the library.

Thanks,

Mom

Actually there was a series of books they published when we first moved to London that was brilliant:

My roomate and I would buy three or four of these when we’d run out of material while we were living there and then share them. Any of the authors of those books would be worthy, the ones I remember being particularly good were Sam Delany, Greg Bear, Brian Aldiss, JG Ballard, Theodore Sturgeon, and James Blish. In the fantasy section Hope Mirrlees and George RR. Martin. Fantasy books I liked not included in that series anything by Neil Gaiman. Ellen Datlow and Terri Wyndling have a series of collections they’ve edited together that have major SF&F writers re-telling fairy tales which is very well done (I have Black Heart, Ivory Bones). I’d point out Terry Prachett if I didn’t think he fell into the obvious ones (like Robert Jordan). If you can swing Graphic Novels into the mix as well Alan Moore would fit into this category and is completely brilliant (Watchmen, League of Extrodinary Gentlemen, V for Vendetta …).

Also they’re about to release a new move based off Richard Mathesons: I am Legend. and Rodger Zelany’s Lord of Light is in my pile of books to give to Mark actually since I think he’d love it.

I could probably be a librarian for a SF&F library section in and of itself :)

Who did I miss?

UPDATE: Susie replied directly to me:

Thank you so much for the great list of authors for me to wade through. I know nothing about Sci-Fi/Fantasy other than the well-knowns like Jordan, Tolkien etc. Any time you read a great book that you recommend please feel free to let us know. We’ve officially given you the position (sadly, unpaying) of Sci-Fi/Fantasy Advisor for UCPL.

I have to say I'm happy to have a large list of authors I haven't even heard of (and a few I have) in the comments below. A few that my former roomate in london brought up that I haven't seen mentioned below China Mieville, C.S. Friedman, William Gibson, and Kim Stanley Robertson.

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  • I'm almost half serious about this one.

    I read this when I was 10 or 12 or something, and I remember that it absolutely kicked ass. And it probably inoculated me against Scientology too, since I remember thinking "Um... the dude that wrote that started a religion? WTF kind of stupid idiot would you need to be to fall for that".

    That said, I went back and tried to reread it in my 20s and though it was horribly horribly cheesy and not very well written. All the simplicity and unsophisticated that made it very r
    • Yeah, I read it at about the same age and loved it. Tried it again maybe five years later, and, well, *cringe*.
    • Johnny Goodboy Tyler. Pretty much says it all. I couldn't even get over the name when I read it as a kid. But yeah, I did like the story.
  • Greg Egan, Octavia Butler, Iain M Banks (the M is important; the non-M stuff isn't SF), Ursula Le Guin (does she count as obvious?), Eleanor Arnason, Neal Asher, Sheri S Tepper, Mary Doria Russell. It might be worth making an effort to include feminist SF, and SF written by women. The LiveJournal Whileaway community [livejournal.com] could help here. Ditto SF by non-white people.
    • To name some more excellent authors who happen to be female and/or not-white ...

      * Jacqueline Carey
      * Steph Swainston
      * Elizabeth Hand
      * Nina Kiriki Hoffman
      * Sarah Monette
      * Walter Mosley (he wrote a couple SF things in addition to the Easy Rawlins mystery novels, which are also excellent)
      * Connie Willis

      The number of non-white SFF authors seems to be really, really small, and Mosley was the only one I could think besides Butler & Delany, who were already mentioned. I believe Stephen Barnes is a black man, bu
      • The first author I have to mention is Gene Wolfe. The reasons why I have to mention him should be obvious to anyone who's familiar with his work.

        I'd also recommend John Crowley, especially Little, Big.

        These two are authors who both tend to show up on other author's lists of favorites, and are often cited as examples of "literary" merit in the SFF genres.
      • The Roomate also suggested Connie Willis, she'd heard good things about her via her flist on Live Journal. I'll certainly have to add her to the list of people I want to read.
        • I quite like Connie Willis too. I was umming and ahhing about suggesting her, since I do feel her books are a bit samey, but this may be an unfair conclusion — I need to reread a bit.
  • It's youth sci-fi, but Douglas Hill wrote a great series called The Last Legionary which I really enjoyed around age 12 or so. I saw recently he was unfortunately in an accident, hit by a bus, and killed. At that time I learned he was a very prolific author and had several other sci-fi series. I'm not sure if they were all targeted at youth or not, but I'll bet they're good.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
  • I'm a big fan of his short stories; his long fiction can get a little cheesy though.
  • I'll let everyone else take care of "literary" side of things.

    Sharon Lee and Steve Miller with the Liaden books (korval.com [korval.com])

    Debra Doyle and Steve MacDonaold with the Magewar series

    The first two Magician books by Raymond Fiest

    The Morgaine books by C.J. Cherryh.

    I would also consider one of the monthly magazines. Either print (Asimov's or Fantasy & Science Fiction) or online (Jim Baen's universe [baens-universe.com]).