A couple of weeks ago I picked up Songs of the Dying Earth, Subterranean Press’ collection of short stories as an homage to Jack Vance’s Dying Earth stories. In the forward, Dean Koontz explains how, after reading his fist Dying Earth book, he rushed out and bought every Vance book he could find.

That got me to thinking about how often that has happened to me, and it hasn’t happened as often as you might think. In total? 4.

I’ll list the authors in no particular order:

  • David Brin – Somewhere around 1989 09 ’90, I picked up Brin’s Startide Rising. I was so blown away with the setting and the story, I went out and bought and read everything I could of Brin’s at that time. That included The Practice Effect, Sundiver, The Postman and Heart of the Comet, among a couple of others. I’ve read everything he’s put out since then.

  • Iain M. Banks – Around the same time as I was picking up Brin’s stuff, I ran across a little book called Consider Phlebas, which was filled with all kinds of juicy space opera goodness, an awesome setting and a bit of dark humor. I just had to read more about the Culture and its citizens. So, of course, I picked up everything I could find of his, which, sadly, at that time was only Phlebas, Use of Weapons and The Player of Games. So I did the unthinkable: I branched out and actually picked up one of his non-SF (I know!) books as well, The Bridge. Since then, I’ve read every SF novel Banks has produced, because he’s that good.
  • Tim Powers – Here I sorta of carefully walk off the 100% pure SF reservation. I picked up The Anubis Gates (I’ve noticed a trend here, I’ve binged on all of these authors somewhere between 1989 to 1991) and thought it was incredible. So you know what happens next. Powers had written several books by then, including The Drawing of the Dark and Dinner at Deviant’s Palace (where you can really see his later slant on stories really emerging). I’ve read everything Powers has produced since then, including what I consider his best book, Declare.
  • Last up, Dan Simmons. You probably know which book I’m going to refer to. Yup, Hyperion. That was the book that I would say to others, “You have to read this!” Of course, at that time, his only other books out that I could find were Carrion Comfort and Summer of Night and The Fall of Hyperion, so I read, and enjoyed, all those and I’ve read everything his read ever since.

But what about you, our readers? What authors impressed you so much that you rushed right out and bought everything you could find of their’s to read? Tell us in the comments!

Filed under: Books

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