05 September 2011

My Current Favorite Authors

If you ask me my favorite author, I usually say an author whose book I recently read, or I'll say an author whose latest book is coming out soon. And because I'm talking about this now, I'm going to give you a list of authors who I've either recently read or who have books coming out soon. Therefore, the following are now my favorite authors until they are no longer. All book titles are linked to their page on Goodreads and series names are linked to the first book in the series. In no particular order:

Laini Taylor
Ms. Taylor wrote The Faeries of Dreamdark and Lips Touch Three Times. I loved Dreamdark because of the dialogue and the simple language that said so much in so few words. The descriptions were beautiful in their simplicity. Furthermore, you might as well have plucked the land of Dreamdark from the edge of your dreams because it probably was. But my favorite parts were the dialogue. The faerie slang was so natural I found myself saying "Jacksmoke" every time I needed to swear.

I'm currently reading Lips Touch and it's just as fabulous. Lips Touch is a series of three novellas about kissing. The creativity behind the magical worlds baffles me. These are the sort of worlds that make you think "This is so obvious. Why didn't I think of it first?" Like the Dreamdark books, the descriptions are simple and beautiful and the similes barely expand more than five words. But those five words tell so much.

Ms. Taylor's latest book, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, comes out later in September. I'm very, very excited to read it.

Holly Black
Ms. Black writes the Curse Worker series which includes White Cat and Red Glove. Both are about Cassel Sharpe, a young man whose family works closely with a mob crime lord. Cassel's voice in both books sucks you in and keeps you there. He is real, rounded, knowingly makes bad decisions, looks at girls, critically thinks about the mysteries surrounding his life, and really needs a hug. His love life is the most painful and defining part of his character. I also love the world of the Curse Worker series and how the world is defined through Cassel's actions. Small things like his feeling of vulnerability when his gloves are off really sets the tone for the rest of the world.

Sadly, the third installment Black Heart won't be released until April 2012.

Scott Westerfeld
Author of the Midnighters and Uglies series, Mr. Westerfeld's latest series follows two teenagers in the middle of an alternate World War One. The moment you crack open Leviathan, you don't look up until you finish Behemoth. The characters might as well jump out of their illustrations. Their worries are worries one would legitimately have while on board an air vessel made out of a whale. And the illustrations are beautiful --- detailed and expressive and able to be stared at for long periods of time without tiring of them. If you're going to read anything by Mr. Westerfeld, read Leviathan and it's sequel Behemoth. The world is believable and riddled with English slang and German curses. You won't be disappointed.

The last book in the series, Goliath, is released later in September.

John Scalzi
I recently read Fuzzy Nation, which is a reboot of H. Beam Piper's Little Fuzzy written in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. I haven't read the original, but I highly enjoyed the remake. The main character was such a jerk to everyone he met, and his character was consistent throughout the entire novel. His character was what really made the connection with me. Another part was the actual storytelling itself. No detail was left unresolved. When a character is mentioned, he bears no significance until later in the story even if you don't realize it. Those kinds of details always fascinated me, because the author is introducing you to a fact that you'll probably forget until later when it is brought up again. It is my dream to write a story with something like that in it.

Also, John Scalzi has my dream job. He is a freelance writer with a weekly column at Filmcritic.com about science fiction movies, has several novels out including the Old Man's War series, Agent to the Stars, and The Android's Dream. He's president of the SFWA (Science Fiction Writers of America -- which nominates and votes for the Hugo Awards). AND he maintains the blog Whatever, which has been running since 1998. Dude does a lot. I want to be just like him when I grow up, down to the famously geekly best friend. (No, really, he's close with Wil Wheaton.)

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