Recommended Words

Here, in no particular order, are some of the books and/or authors that have inspired or influenced me.

Ray BradburyThe Martian Chronicles– A beautiful, poetic and inspiring collection of stories about man’s conquest of Mars and of our own folly here on Earth. One of the pantheon of Sci-Fi books and a “must have” on any bookshelf.

Roderick MacLeishPrince Ombra – A modern take on the hero archetype with a boy as the hero trying to face his fears.  There’s many small scenes that culminate in an imaginative twist on every boy’s real fear.

Tim O’BrienThe Things They Carried
, Going After Cacciato – I read Cacciato first and was entranced by the journey the platoon makes in chasing it’s AWOL soldier.  Both books are spellbinding in their meditation on war and duty and war stories.

Phillip K. Dick The Man In The High Castle. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, The Penultimate Truth – Wild, mind-bending, reality-blurring and deeply imaginative, the works of Phillip K Dick push the boundaries and challenge our perceptions.  Reading The Penultimate Truth made me deeply jealous because the plot is so simple and inventive it made me wish that I had thought of it.

Pablo NerudaTwenty Poems of Love, One Song of Despair – A beautiful collection of imagery and emotion.

Frank HerbertDune,The Jesus Incident – Read Dune and was instantly blown away by the creation of a world, a universe, a civilization.  Its scope amazed me and I wanted to mimic it (and tried in several long lost stories).  I liked the use of quotes at the beginning of chapters, at the use of thoughts to give insight to characters and the whole messiah complex.

William Gibson – Pattern Recognition, Neuromancer – His writing, peppered with pop culture references, immerses you in a world real and familiar.  Sometimes it can be cloyingly annoying but in his best books it adds to the narrative.

Paul Auster – Oracle Night – A quiet book that inspired me to write without having to create the “big story”.  Even though it does indeed have an involved plot, I recall it as simply covering a few days in the life of the characters.  Taught me that a novel doesn’t have to have a Grand Concept.

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