SciFi / Fantasy Author Influences


A touch of Farmer, a pinch of LeGuin
OryCon 33

My apologies for any misspellings or butcherings of names.
  • Ann Wilkes: Writes science fiction and fantasy, mostly short stories, one novel, compared to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Science Fiction and Other ODDysseys. 
  • Amy Thomson: Author of Virtual Girl
  • Andrew Fuller: Short fiction, scifi, fantasy, and horror. Also edit online magazine 3lodedeye.
  • Rat Vukcevich: Last novel is Boarding Instructions. Writes around the edge of scifi and fantasy. 
  • Claude Lalumière: writer, editor. 
  • Influences?
  • Claude: As bookseller back in the 90s, I was amazed by certain authors. “How did they do that?” So I would read and reread these authors to figure out what they did. Primarily their short fiction. J.G. Ballard. Bob Silverberg. R.A. Lafferty. Also Unquenchable Fire
  • Ray: My influences reflect my discovery of reading. Back in the 50s and 60s. Boy engineer and Boy scientists. Heinlein’s Have Spacesuit, Will Travel. Philip Jose Farmer’s World of Tiers series. Ray Bradbury -- he opens your eyes to what can be done with language. J.G. Ballard - his structure and vision. Precise and elegant. He can take big concepts like in Crash, and little things like Concrete Island. What you can do in a novel - I cannot recommend it too highly.
    • in school, in the 60s, protesting the war. kurt vonnegut turned out to be a major influence. Slaughterhouse Five.
    • R.A. Lafferty. 
    • Daemon Knight’s ...
    • Typed in an entire manuscript, just to understand what the author was doing. 
  • Ann Wilkes:
    • when I was a kid, I was watching TV when you guys were reading.
    • Douglas Adams. In the later books, the humor began to run thin. To keep doing the same tongue in cheek in the same voice without changing, it was too much.
    • David Brin
      • Practice Effect by David Brin: “How the hell did he do that?” He takes physics and turns it on its head. You take materials and the more you use them, the better they get. [This was one of my favorites too - Will]
      • Uplift Wars
    • Orson Scott Card: Ender’s Game. The scope of the cultures
    • Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
    • The Void trilogy by Peter Hamilton. 
  • Andrew Fuller
    • as a kid, it was steven king, lovecraft.
    • I have to thank a teacher who said “stop reading steven king and just read other stuff”
    • Ray Bradbury.
      • the nostalgia, the atmosphere.
    • Collection of short stories called Blow Up. The House Takeover. This family has to keep moving from room to room because there’s something taking over the house. 
    • Forever War
    • Mind Bridge
    • Octavia Butler
    • Wild Seed
    • short fiction by Ursula LeGuin
    • hardboiled: Hammett, Chandler.
  • Amy Thomson
    • I was like a lit match and gasoline: I took off with reading.
    • I read the entire Time Life science series because I could only get six books a day from the library.
    • Hans Christian Andersen. 
    • I would get $10/month to buy books from my mother. Back in 1971, 72, 73 that was a lot of f...ing money.
    • Ray Bradbury
      • where I discover prose style
    • Dunseney
    • Everything in the Ballinetine Fantasy series
    • Anne McCaffrey
    • Wilhelm and Sturgeon.
    • Read ton of Darkover
    • Every female superhero comic
    • After college, Gene Wolfe, Delany, Joanna Rush
    • Got  job as a Locus reader for short fiction. Jeff Reinman, ...
    • Octavia Butler
    • Travel books: My Journey to Lhasa
  • Who most influenced us that doesn’t write genre
    • Andrew: Mystery and hardboiled writers.
      • The History of Salt book. Kurlandsky. Cod and salt drive the British Navy and allowed them to colonize the world.
    • Ann Wilkes
      • Madeline Lingal
      • Eugenia Price: Atmosphere. Wrote a book set in islands of south carolina.
      • Spy novels: great for learning pacing. Jack Higgins. Leon Yuris - reluctant spy. 
    • Ray Vukcevich
      • William Burroughs: Junkie and Queer. Naked Lunch. Steamrolls over you with its honesty.
      • Italian: Dino Buzzati - The Falling Girl
        • Sudden Fiction collection. 
      • Ron Carlson
        • Bigfoot stole my wife
        • Can nail the emotional content right into the structure in a fascinating way
      • Truman Capote: his short fiction
    • Claude:
      • Breakfast at Tiffany’s
      • Jack Kerby - unbridled creativity. more ideas per page.
      • Major films of David Lynch - master of storytelling. What to reveal and not to reveal to properly tell a story. Blue Velvet. Mullholland Drive. 
      • LeGuin: 
        • Always Coming Home. Reverse archeology. She digs for a society that doesn’t exist yet.
          • A sense of yearning that is so powerful.
        • story of a fictional european country. very subtle stories. Learn how to leave at the right moment. Don’t overstay your welcome.
  • Influence writers active right now:

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