So, I’m supposed to talk about my favorite authors. Well then. I’m going to start with the dead ones. Why the dead ones? Mostly because I can ask what they were on when they wrote their masterworks.
Frank Herbert – Dune Chronicles, The Green Brain, The White Plague, The Santaroga Barrier…. ect ect ad infinitum.
The most honest answer is that his writing is pure drugs. It’s imaginative, out there, descriptive and profound. He manages to do all that, while telling an amazing, unpredictable story. I scoured the used book stores for most of my post 14 year old life, hoping to find another treasure. My mom would get my any of his books she’d come across in her own shopping. She even recorded the SciFi miniseries for me when I was in high school, and watched it with me. (Thanks mom!)
But, Herbert didn’t start my love of far out science fiction. No, in fact, it was another author (and Star Trek, thanks Mom) that started it all.
Monica Hughes. She’s an English Canadian YA author. It destroyed me when I found out she’d died in 2003. (Kind of like learning Frank Herbert died when I was 3.)
She writes science fiction. I got in trouble many, many times in the fifth grade because her books were more interesting and enriching than class. I would so do it again. I loved her sympathetic and strong, non-functionally retarded female main characters. I grew up in a small town, and “you’re a girl, you’re not supposed to like science/math/books…” was a local mantra from my peers and many misguided adults. (Now, I can tell you to all go eat a bag of dicks. I’m great at science, math and books. And boys like me just fine, little miss prissy pants. That’s another rant, though…)
In a lot of ways, Monica Hughes gave me hope for a future where I wouldn’t be put in a comfortable little box, one were I could take on the world and win. Her books were filled with a depth beyond whatever else filled my elementary school’s sparse bookshelves. They let me to go other planets, day dream about alien vistas and look a little deeper into humanity itself.
Carl Sagan. Not because of Contact, but because of Billions & Billions and The Demon Haunted World. Yes, they’re science popularizes, but when I discovered him at 14 or 15 it completely changed my perspective and outlook on life. Sagan himself died a few months before I discovered him. It made me very sad.
Okay. I’m going to get sad if I keep talking about all of these awesome dead people. Let’s go for the living ones. I should become a necromancer.
Stant Litore. In addition to being an awesome human being, he wrote The Zombie Bible. It’s an amazing re-imagining of Biblical stories, in the context of a world plagued by zombies. I’m not religious, but his stories still spoke to me in a powerful and humanistic way. I hope Stant lives forever, and I’m going to make sure he knows I said that.
Earleen Devine. Okay, she’s my mom, but she wrote a book. A very powerful, awesome book. That book was my best friend for a few weeks, it was a confidant, a mentor and an experience. The prose is beautifully formed, and you really do get invested in her characters. Please finish your next book soon, and live forever too.
Rick Gualteri. I just love his sense of humor, and I don’t want to go all gushing geek, but he’s just right on my wavelength. Bigfoot Hunters was some great action/horror, and Bill the Vampire was a roller coaster of hilarity. His books exude a charm and charisma that I don’t see too much of anymore–so much I read seems very mass produced, but I can see his books standing out for years.