Favourite authors – fantasy and science fiction
- Douglas Adams. I first encountered Douglas Adams’ work on the radio, which is probably where it worked best. This must have been the late 70’s I guess. I can still remember the time and place, (if not the date). The books are a joy – try the Dirk Gently series as well.
- Tolkien. Teenage fiction perhaps, but captivating stuff. Outside the LoTR and the Hobbit, pretty unreadable. I have a sneaking suspicion that the films were better than the books, but it’s been a while since I read the latter.
- C.S.Lewis. Going back even further into my childhood now, but as an eight/nine year-old I found the Narnia series entrancing and magical. The Last Battle is a travesty of epic proportion, but forgivable as long as I don’t ever have to read it to my kids!
- Eoin Colfer. The Artemis Fowl series is for late pre-teens, and is very inventive, with some nicely dark stuff in there as well. Make sure you read them in the right order!
- Terry Pratchett. DiscWorld is an as well realised a creation as any other on this list.
- JK Rowling. What JKR does is so deceptively simple – when I first read HP and the Philosopher’s Stone I thought “I could do that” – but by the end of the series I was utterly hooked. It was great fun being part of the journey as well, and a fairly unique experience (yes, I know you can’t qualify an absolute, but you know what I mean) – no-one will ever read the Deathly Hallows again wondering if JKR would have the audacity to kill off her main character, as seemed inevitable at more than one point. No-one will ever do the midnight queue for the next instalment (unless Shades of Grey continues to sell in the way it has over the last few weeks)
- Roald Dahl. Pre-teen again – inevitably I guess given the topic. I am sure there is some adult sci-fi/fantasy out there but I just haven’t read it yet. Any recommendations? Some slightly more grown-up writers are…
- Kurt Vonnegut, for Slaughterhouse 5.
- Max Brooks – for World War Z. Zombie fiction can be very repetitive, but Brooks’ use of fractured first person statements works very effectively.
- Jasper Fforde – especially the Thursday Next books.
Just missing out – HG Wells, Jules Verne, as well as all traditional sci-fi writers such as Asimov and Clarke.