I received this award from writer Angie Lofthouse. Very cool and much appreciated!
Aubrie Dionne created the award for blogs that promote the genres of Fantasy and Science Fiction through writing, reviews and interviews. The rules to pass on the award are that recipient must state five favorite sci-fi/fantasy books or movies that have inspired them in some way.
There are many to select from, but here five of them (books only) from the top tier, in no particular order:
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks: Many years back my sister borrowed this book from the local library and I was the one who read it (and re-read it) for the better part of the month--and I borrowed it again on my card a month later. It really sparked my imagination and put me on the path toward reading fantasy.
The Illearth War (actually the first entire First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant) by Stephen R. Donaldson: He created The Land, a world as broad and intricate as Tolkien's Middle Earth, but totally unlike Middle Earth. Populated with unique peoples and creatures (the Haruchai and Ur-Viles, for example) the story's scope, conflict and language really kept my attention. There's a reason the wedding bands of my wife and I share are white gold. ;)
Jhereg (part of the ongoing The Vlad Taltos series) by Steven Brust: A friend mentioned this series when I was in college, but I didn't pick up on them until much later. The snappy dialogue and the way each novel in the series is a bit different in structure and focus has kept my interest and has helped me along as a writer through the different techniques used.
The Guns of Avalon (really the first five books in the Chronicles of Amber) by Roger Zelazny: Although I've read these, the audio versions read by Roger Zelazny himself, really brings the story and characters to life. A great read that involves mystery and politics (in the royal court sense) matched with a creative storyline and characters. His use of first person POV to create a world (actually universe) with such diverse characters and conflict provided me with a host of ideas how to write in that POV.
The WorldWar series by Harry Turtledove: A great alternative history series based around an alien invasion during the height or World War II. I really enjoyed the historical aspect and characters combined with science fiction. The way Turtledove used different characters (human and alien) to bring so many aspects of the global conflict to the reader, I found very effective. How he introduced so many characters, and made them memorable to the reader, provided a great example for me to employ (but on a smaller scale).
I would like to pass this award on to:
Erica Hayes, Urban Fantasy Author (The Shadowfae Chronicles)
Kim Smith, author of the recent release, A Mirror in Time.
If you get a chance, visit their blogs and check out their works!
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In addition to the five, I want to mention just a few of the other authors who've had a big influence on my writing: C. Dean Andersson, Elizabeth Boyer, Michael Moorcock, JRR Tolkien, Sterling E. Lanier, Dennis McKiernan, Fred Saberhagen, and Frank Herbert (among others).