Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ten Influential Books

On Facebook, I was tagged to List 10 books that have affected you in some way. They don’t need to be the ‘right’ books or great works of literature. Tag 10 friends including me: (Basically, if you want to do it, TAG)

 1) Julian May's Pliocene Exile series (all 4 books, but especially The Many Colored Land) We just figured out how much this influenced my Eight Thrones series. She also introduced me to gay characters as part of the landscape. From riverboatmen to nuns to aircraft engineers, they were everywhere.

 2) Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars series, the first three, and Mastermind of Mars. There is more than a little of Ras Thavis in my Davids.

 3) Brian Dailey's Han Solo trilogy. Taught me about writing action, backstory and generally how to keep a plot rolling.

 4) Friday by Robert Heinlein. Lots of worldbuilding here that has influnced a great deal of my own future visions. Like many SF geeks, I suffer from Heinlein damage and think polygamy might not be terrible if you can pull it off.

 5) The Windflower by Laura London. My favorite pirate romance ever. Also my first introduction to subtext.

 6) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I never read this as a dystopia. Everyone had a job they were well suited to do. Plenty of sex, plenty of entertainment in a world free from pain, illness, poverty and age. I'm glad I'm a Beta...

 7) 1984 by George Orwell. The big bad granddaddy of all dystopias.

 8) The Stories of Ray Bradbury. The man is a master of horror, SF, and even slice of life. Everything I know about writing short stories from this and 9. I can still quote a great many of them. And I am overdue for a re-read

 9) Strange Wine by Harlan Ellison. Brilliant, angry short story writer. Ellison engages love, death, terror and modernity in this collection. "From A to Z in the chocolate alphabet" is my favorite.

 10) The Stand by Stephen King. The post-apoc book that started it all. I learned more about human nature reading this book than I did in 2 semester of psych class.

Honorable mentions:
Lord of the Rings
The Chronicles of Narnia
Calvin Miller's The Singer, The Song and The Finale
A MidSummer Night's Dream
The Myth-Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve
Ray Harry Harrison's Deathworld Trilogy
A Stainless Steel Rat
The Dragonlance Twins trilogy
Slavegirl of Gor. (bad influence. I threw it across the room, announced I could write better smutty fantasy and DID)
Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape by Susan Brownmiller (not one of the better places to get your sex ed)
The Hite Report on Female Sexuality (I know, I know, terrible methodology, but a revelation to an isolated bi-girl in rural 1980s America)

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