Today was the third time I’ve been tagged in one of these notes by Facebook friends, so I finally caved and made the damn list. I’m posting it here because I see no reason not to share it with the whole world:
Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes…
1. Isaac Asimov – I read every damn robot story I could get my hands on in middle school.
2. Ray Bradbury – I don’t remember anything specific about Dandelion Wine, but I get a certain ineffable feeling whenever I think about it.
3. Harlan Ellison – probably wouldn’t want to run into him on the street, but “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream” is a classic.
4. Dan Simmons – yeah, the Hyperion cantos gets a little crazy at times, but it’s an amazing epic.
5. Pat Murphy – one of the pro instructors in my first writing workshop.
6. Ursula K. LeGuin – the other pro instructor in my first writing workshop.
7. Connie Willis – I don’t need to explain this one, do I? It’s Connie Willis!
8. Neil Gaiman – personal trivia: I used to work with his son Michael at Google. Nice kid.
9. Daniel Keyes – “Flowers for Algernon,” which my high school produced as a one-act play.
10. Robert Heinlein – I couldn’t believe how well Have Spacesuit, Will Travel worked as a novel, but it did.
11. John LeCarre – I always found his politics and relationships more interesting than Ian Fleming’s derring-do.
12. Larry Niven – the recipient of my first actual fan mail (and request to reprint some of his old non-fiction in our high school club zine. He said yes! My faculty sponsor talked me out of it).
13. Vonda N. McIntyre – I used to read a lot of Star Trek novels.
14. Douglas Adams – the Hitchhiker’s books, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served?, and Red Dwarf forever altered my sense of humor in high school.
15. Orson Scott Card – again, not sure I’d want to meet him in person anymore, but Ender’s Game is unforgettable. And Speaker for the Dead was even better. Don’t talk to me about your subtext conspiracy theories.