Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Gold and Kryptonite

Your favourite books*

List your favourite books. Which genres are the most represented? Would you like to write in this genre? Why or why not?

Following hot on the heels of yesterday's blog, we move from authors to books. Surprisingly, the two lists don't completely overlap. Not every book written by the authors I listed is on my list. Each of them has something that didn't resonate with me.

Of course, you have your standards: Foundation Trilogy, the Belgariad, the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. But not all that glitters is gold. The Lensman series by Doc Smith underlies a lot of my sensibilities for good old sci-fi.

Some books have impacted me in an uncomfortable way. Babel 17  by ... was a difficult read, but strangely the story has stayed with me. Dune, of course, for the depth of detail and richness of its worlds and people. I can't say I've liked much else from the Herbert (father or son) oeuvre.

Other books facsinate me. The Maltese Falcon is captivating in its story telling techniques. Classics like Moby Dick, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and especially the Epic of Gilgamesh have profoundly connected me to the past of literrature.

But there is one book that sits right smack dab in the middle of my genre. The Automatic Detective by A. Lee Martinez was almost exactly the kind of book I wanted to write. But it is a case of liking the book, the author not so much. The book ends with the main character setting up a detective agency with his friends. And that... is... it. The author 'doesn't do sequels.' His choice, I guess, and I suppose he wont miss a single reader who isn't really interested in his other stuff if that is his approach. It just seems weird to me that the author/reader relationship seems to be very one sided. It's not what I want for my readers.

There are books that have infuriated me (The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, Updraft (Bone Universe, #1)), others which have confused me (The Three Body Problem, Ancillary Sword etc.) and some which I simply refuse to finish (Hyperion, Snow Crash, Neuromancer).

Books are my kryptonite.

No comments:

Post a Comment