Everyone has their favourite and go-to authors. Some we still love and have been following for decades, others are new to us, and recently discovered or arrived on the scene. How ever we find them, and how ever long they stay with us, we love what they write and have written.
Novels that have moved us, expanded our horizons (literally) and taken us on countless journeys to places near and far. Novels populated by characters that resonate with us, and who stay with us long after we’ve finished reading about them.
“We read books to find out who we are. What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become.”
Today I want to share with you a handful of my favourite authors who have written countless books between them, and created some truly memorable characters.
URSULA K. LE GUIN
SF & Fantasy
Simply put, Ms. Le Guin was one of the all-time greats of speculative fiction who penned many thought-provoking works including The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, as well as the YA ‘Earthsea’ trilogy. If you haven’t read anything by her, you should.
SF & Fantasy
Kage Baker is another wonderfully talented writer with a wry, keen sense of humour, and a deft touch at writing characters you long to meet. Never mind, rollickingly good stories you wish you had written. I was lucky enough to come across her work and chose The Empress Of Mars by way of introduction to her Company series, which I can highly recommend!
C. J. CHERRYH
SF & Fantasy
The ever prolific Cherryh wrote one of my all-time favourite science fiction books, Serpent’s Reach, which while not a startling piece of fiction a couple of decades later, nonetheless made a huge impression on me at the time. Mostly due to the fact it had a young teenage female protagonist with whom I readily identified with. Female heroes were not something you saw featured very often in SF novels, way back in the emerging 70s.
JOAN D. VINGE
SF & Fantasy
Vinge is another one of those authors with whom I figuratively grew up with back in the late 70s early 80s. It started with my sister (as it always did when it came to books and new authors) telling me to read this one or that one, as was her want. My first Vinge stories were, The Outcasts of Heaven Belt and The Crystal Ship.
SF & Fantasy
While she might not have been as prolific (yet) as Cherryh, Moon has, nonetheless, managed to write a handful of series that include some of my favourite stories: the Serrano Legacy (7 books in all); Vatta’s War (5 books to date); and a host of short stories featured in any number of anthologies these last couple of decades.
LAURIE R. KING
Not only is Ms. King well known for her award-winning Det. Kate Martinelli series, of which I am a huge fan, but she has also penned the highly acclaimed and likewise award-winning Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Check them out if you love thoroughly well-written mysteries with a very odd twist.
JIM C. HINES
SF and Fantasy
Jim writes delightful stories and flights of fantasy that capture the imagination and will appeal to everyone, no matter their age, looking to escape into another world. Check out his Goblin series starting with, ‘Goblin War’. Great fun! Also, not to be missed, are his retelling of the faerytales, start with the Stepsister Scheme.
Probably not as well know as Tom Clancy or his ilk, or even in that strata, yet. Nonetheless, Eisler’s work is up there with the best of them because, not only does the author tell a damn good story but he populates them with kick-ass, all-too-human, fully fleshed out and flawed characters. If you enjoy gritty, realistic action and well-plotted intelligent thrillers, then I suggest you check out Barry Eisler’s work.
SF & YA
Okay, so maybe I am partially biased towards Bren’s works of short fiction (mostly for adults) not only because she’s an online friend, but because she writes kick-ass humour. Thankfully, for all of us, she writes both adult and YA and has started to generate a lot of interest with two of her latest works: How To Bee and In The Dark Spaces!
Mystery & Suspense
Canadian author Louise Penny is fast becoming one of my ‘go-to’ authors when looking for a good read. Problem is, I’ve now managed to read my way through all 12 titles in her Inspector ‘Gamache’ series. A wonderful murder-mystery series set in the fictional village of Three Pines, which is lost in the rustic countryside of Québec. So how could I not love these books? If you love superbly plotted works filled with quirky characters who seem like neighbours, then you cannot go wrong with these well-crafted mysteries.
GARETH L. POWELL
Although it is true that I’ve only read a couple of Gareth’s novels, to date, it’s only because I’ve just discovered him. His publisher contacted me to pre-review his (at the time) latest novel, Ack-Ack Macaque and, so intrigued by the title and cover, said yes. Here is an imaginative writer who knows his craft, has put in the time, and who writes thoroughly kick-ass genre crossovers that skillfully meld SF, alt history, with lashings of Steampunk. I mean, what could be better? If you only ever read one book of his, make sure it’s Ack-Ack Macaque … and then, do yourself a favour, go read the reast!
Other favourite and go-to authors also include:
Sara Paretsky / Jane Harper / Steph Broadribb / Kathleen Kent / Karen Brooks / Harry Hunsicker / Angela Marsons / Steve Berry / Andrew Taylor / Becky Masterman / Joe R. Lansdale / Karen Engelmann / Anders de la Motte / and way too many to continue with this list …
And who are your favourite authors?