Sunday, July 13, 2008

Favorite authors and their Backlists

One of the best things about discovering a new favorite author is tracking down their previous novels to savor. As a bonus, since I read them all at once, I get a picture of how the writer develops her craft.

I'm encouraged to discover the ways prose improves, characterizations deepen, settings come into sharper focus and plots twist unexpectedly as I read their earliest works and progress through to the most recent. Here is a short list (in no particular order) with genres, of some authors whose backlist has proved rewarding reading for me. I have added a few hints of their style of writing so you may select your personal favorites.

Holly Lisle - fantasy (intense and with a dark flavor)
S.L. Viehl - science fiction, romance (original, action-filled with unique and lovable characters)
Gaelen Foley - historical romance (I've only read her backlist from The Duke to Her Only Desire, not her latest or earliest books; her research and prose improved markedly in 2004)
Karen Traviss - science fiction, military science fiction (the most alien aliens ever, and blow-you-away plots by a former journalist, also formerly in the military)
Elizabeth Moon - science fiction (deep characters, unusual plots, military sf from a former member of the military - genuine)
Linnea Sinclair - science fiction (original heroine, fun reading, light and smooth)
Madeline Hunter - historical romance (sensual and well-done)
C. J. Cherryh - science fiction (my personal favorite sf writer; incredibly creative stories)
Lisa Kleypas - historical romance (unforgettable characters)
Mary Balogh - historical romance (sweet and light with exceptional settings and characters)
David Brin - science fiction (brilliant professor of science writes heavy but fascinating sf)

I hope you may enjoy exploring these links and find many happy hours of reading from among them. Many of my books are in ebook, that is, digital, format. One of the advantages is being able to add comments in the form of 'bookmarks', without defacing a book. It gives me the opportunity to note my observations on exceptionally good (or occasionally, bad) examples of the writer's craft.


Marina said...

I've been meaning to try Holly Lisle for a while. Karen Traviss sounds good too. Have you read Lois McMaster Bujold? Another good military sf read.

Pandababy said...

Marina, what is your favorite Lois McMaster Bujold?

Have you read Karen McDonald's "The Outback Stars" and sequel "The Stars Down Under"? Military sf with an Aussie twist. She's American but spent years in the military. A new author - original and genuine.

I've read all of Holly's backlist at least twice and some of them three times through. She's amazing.

Marina said...

Not sure that I could pick a favourite. I really enjoyed the first one -- was that Shards of Honor? -- with the opposite-attract romance between Cordelia and Aral. In later books I was disappointed that these characters took a back seat to their son, but Miles is such a good character that I was soon reconciled to the change. I like the way Bujold keeps it real with his disabilities. They really do cause him problems and he fails as often as he succeeds. Too often such "character traits" are given to a character who then overcomes them by sheer force of will or his noble personality. I haven't read all of the books yet, but have liked the ones I've read, with Diplomatic Immunity possibly my favourite so far.

I haven't read Karen McDonald yet, though, funnily enough, I first heard of these books the day you posted this question. You don't often find books with an Aussie flavour, so I'll have to do the patriotic thing and read these too!

Pandababy said...

I'm very interested in reading Bujold from what you said about a character with disabilities. Not a type found often in fiction, especially science fiction. Elizabeth Moon's "The Speed of Dark" is one of the best I've ever read, inspired by her son who has autism.

Pandababy said...

Correcting my Brain fog - I did mean Sandra McDonald, of course - the author of The Outback Stars, etc.

Silvergull said...

Hi Panda I tried to send this the other day, but it didn't seem to save.

I love Bujold. The Miles Vorkosigan is wonderful.

And Cherryh has a new Cyteen coming out next year.

Love, Silvergull

Pandababy said...

Love back to my favorite gull and it is so nice of you to drop by.

A new Cherryh - wonderful!

I must get to know Miles - all the best people recommend his character:)