Right, so, the usual bit of context: Weekly Blogging Challenge over at Long and Short Reviews. Hit their homepage to see the current week's responses, and add a link to your own if you're so inclined.
This week's challenge is Favorite Authors in X Genre. Since my fiction reading is a mix of Fantasy, Speculative Fiction, and Horror (along with a smattering of Romance), and since those are all genres that tend to get a little blurry at their borders I'm just going to sort of jump in.
First up, I suppose, are authors I recommend fairly regularly:
-Martha Wells, in particular Murderbot (SF) and Books of the Raksura (Fantasy), but honestly anything she writes is going to be worth reading.
-Lilith Saintcrow, who works mostly in SF and Fantasy and interesting blends thereof, but actually has books in a wide variety of genres and flavors.
-Roger Zelazny, who again worked mostly in SF and Fantasy. ("I'm writing a philosophical romance shot through with elements of horror and morbidity," he says, when one of his characters accidentally stumbles across him in the basement of the castle at the heart of the worlds.)
But since I've recommended them (or at least mentioned them as influences) before, how about some that I don't talk about nearly so much?
-L.E. Modesitt Jr. writes in Fantasy, Science Fiction, and some worlds that partake of both. I'm currently working my way back through his justly-popular Recluse series, which combine elements of social and political commentary, discussion of economics and various crafts (Order-mages generally have to make a living in a trade, so his characters are carpenters and blacksmiths and coopers as often as warriors of great renown) with some good old escapist male power fantasy.
-Neil Gaiman, whom I originally discovered through the Sandman comics; he co-wrote Good Omens (the video version of which is currently -- and rightly -- getting a lot of attention on Amazon Prime), and has a number of fairly well-known books and shows (Neverwhere, American Gods, Stardust).
-Spider Robinson, probably best known for his Callahan's stories, but always a reliable source of thoughtful, hopeful Science Fiction.
-Clive Barker is... I don't think I can overstate the profound effect that Cabal had on me and a number of my friends, and of course he has plenty of other eerie and enchanting works.
-Jennifer Crusie is still my primary romance author - the one whose books I go back to and periodically re-read.
-Emma Bull, while not as prolific as some of the writers on this list, has written some really great stuff; War For The Oaks is probably the genesis of the entire Urban Fantasy genre (and well worth the read, especially if you're fond of eighties music).
-Alan Dean Foster on the other hand is hugely prolific, writing novelizations (Alien, Aliens, The Abyss) as well as projects entirely his own (the Flinx and Pip books, the Spellsinger books, and various stand-alones and short stories).
...That's a full Top Ten List worth of authors, so I really ought to stop there, but I just thought of one more:
-Steven Brust, probably best known for his Jhereg books, but with a number of stand-alone projects as well (including among them one of the most interesting vampire books I've read).
Right, yes, I think that covers it now.