Visions of Paradise

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Authors I Would Like to Read More of (Part 1)

A lot of critics discuss their favorite writers, and at times I have done that too, discussing the likes of Robert Silverberg, Roger Zelazny, Clifford D. Simak, Michael Bishop, John Varley, C.J. Cherryh, George R.R. Martin, Kim Stanley Robinson and others.

But what I would like to discuss here are a group of writers whose works I have read enough of to have whetted my appetite for more but, for one reason or another, I have not done so. So as a companion to my various Reading Wish Lists, consider this my Authors’ Wish List! For simplications’ sake, the list is in alphabetical author.

1. I’ve read a handful of Kage Baker stories, including Company stories as well as three delightful novellas set on a near-future colonized Mars (“The Empress of Mars” series). I’ve never read any of her Company novels though because I did not want to start in the middle of a series, and the thought of reading 10 books is somewhat intimidating. But now she has several stand-alone books, including The Anvil of the World (whose title novella I read and enjoyed in Asimov) and The Empress of Mars, presumably containing those wonderful Mars stories. I am anxious to read one or more of those books.

2. I have read many Stephen Baxter short stories in various original anthologies and best-of-the-year lists, so I bought his collection Resplendent, which was absolutely delightful and convinced me I want to read more Baxter fiction, especially one or more of his novels. But in the crush of unread books and newly-published books to read, I keep eying the award-winning The Time Ships, his epic Evolution, and his xeelee trilogy Coalescent, Exultant and Transcendent, but have yet to buy any of them. I need to change that situation real soon now.

3. When I was inventorying my sf collection this past summer, I realized that I have a total of 4–count ‘em four–books by Arthur C. Clarke. What?! I am ashamed to admit that I only have the fabulous Childhood’s End, the award-winning The Fountains of Paradise, the two-novella book The Lion of Comarre and Against the Fall of Night, and the collection The Nine Billion Names of God. That’s it. No The Sands of Mars, Earthlight, The Deep Range, A Fall of Moondust, etc. I need to rectify this failing soon.

4. I absolutely loved E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, one of my favorite books ever, and I have since bought other Doctorow books, such as The Book of Daniel, Billy Bathgate and The March. But have I read any of them? No! So what the heck am I waiting for, especially since he has other highly-regarded books on my wish list, such as World’s Fair and Loon Lake. This is a serious omission since the books are actually sitting on my bookshelf unread!

5. I loved both books I have read by Cecelia Holland, Floating Worlds, an sf book, and The Death of Attila, and she has several books on my wish list, including her Soul Thief series and such novels as Jerusalem, Belt of Gold , Pillar of the Sky and The Angel and the Sword. She and Doctorow are my two favorite historical novelists, and I need to dip into both of them much more so than I have.

To be continued...


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