Originally Posted by Cascadian
Spider Robinson - when I started this thread I googled him - his wife died at the end of May this year - she was a dancer and a Zen monk. Very interesting person.
I was reading through and stopped dead at this. I saw the two of them at a bookstore a year or so ago. I didn't stop, because I had no idea he was going to be speaking, and my family were waiting in the car, but...that just blows my mind. I had no
I really enjoy old Spider Robinson (the early Callahan books, Telempath and a few others I can't think of right now), but haven't been impressed by his more recent work, honestly. The last few Callahan books were...weak...just really weak. OTOH, he wrote a short story called (I think) "God is an Iron" that really stuck with me - very much a throwaway in a lot of ways, but something about it stuck with me.
The authors you listed in the OP aren't what I think of as "old school", except maybe Zelazny (somehow, I've never picked up a de Lint book - not sure why), but....
Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, "Good Omens". But, I first read one of the Discworld books ("Pyramids") a long time ago, and was totally unimpressed. It just didn't click for me at all. Then, years later, I met dh, who is a Discworld fan, and he brought me a few to read, including the one I'd read before. I didn't want to tell him that I thought the book sucked, so I read the 3-4 he'd given me, including the re-read. And...it clicked. I love
them now. I know they're not for everybody, but I definitely think it's worth trying 2-3 of them even if the first one doesn't seem that good, yk?
Anne McCaffrey. I first discovered her when I read "Restoree" in 8th grade. She's got a few weak links here and there, but I enjoy almost everything she's written (including her romance, "Stitch in Snow", and I'm not a romance reader). I do think the Pern books suffer a bit from sequelitis, as do the Rowan books, to a lesser extent, but she spins a good story.
My favourite author is Robert A. Heinlein, and his "Stranger in a Strange Land" has already been mentioned here. I used to say it was my favourite book, but I'm not sure I have
a favourite. I read it for the first time when I was 11, and re-read it every couple of years for a long time. It was a different book every time until I was in my mid-20s. I may read it again soon - it's been a few years - as I suspect it will be a very different book again, after some of my life experiences in the last few years. I also enjoy the stories of Lazarus Long, especially "Time Enough for Love". A lot of people find him sexist, but I don't.
I loved Ender's Game, but most other Card books I've read slipped right back out of my memory. I recall enjoying a few other Ender books, but don't really remember them. I didn't like the Alvin Maker series, but also don't really remember it.
Zelazny. I've read a few of his books, and his style isn't my favourite, but I have a major soft spot for the Amber series (Nine Princes in Amber was the first). I'm not sure what it is about them, but I could read them over and over.
Lackey. I read her and read her and read her, and I have no idea why. I even re
-read her. I don't even think she's a good author, and I find myself being irritated by various aspects of her writing all the time
, but I keep reading. I do think the Last Herald-Mage trilogy was very good, but the rest? Not so much...but I keep reading. Popcorn books, and full of...not exactly plotholes, but inconsistencies, imo...and the italics!! OMG. She uses more italics than any other three authors I can think of.
Lois McMaster-Bujold. She's the most recent addition to my favourites, although I guess it's been over 10 years since I discovered her. She's a solid writer, has an amazing sense of humour, and Miles Vorkosigan may be my all-time favourite protagonist. I also enjoyed the Sharing Knife, which I read a few months ago after having seen it recommended in several threads of this type.
Let's see...who else? I hate Samuel Delany's writing. I really enjoy most of what I've read by Robert Silverberg, especially the Majipoor stories.
There are soooo many. I went through a major Frank Herbert phase when I was younger (although I only ever read the first 4 - maybe 5? - Dune books). I've only re-read a few of them, though. Many of them are very good, but also...disturbing. The White Plague and Hellstrom's Hive are both thought provoking, but not always in a positive way. The former left me bummed out for weeks (not sure if it would now, though).
Midnight at the Well of Souls by Jack Chalker is another of my all-time favourites - just absolutely blew me away when I first read it, and I still really love it, but he milked the concept to death in the later books. I find a little bit of Chalker goes down well, but after a while, I feel as though I'm reading the same book over and over again.
You know...I'm looking at a shelf with a few hundred spec fiction books of various kinds on it, and I'm coming up blank...
People have mentioned Cherryh. Marion Zimmer Bradley is pretty good, but I find her a litlte hit and miss (actually, I feel the same way about Cherryh sometimes) I seem to recall Julian May's "Saga of the Pliocene Exiles" was pretty good, but it's been over 20 years since I read them (I have all four, but never seem to be able to locate them all at once, and I hate reading partial series). I don't remember them very well.
I'll probably be back...