Science Fiction Writers discussion

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Literary influences.

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

When I first started writing, I was reading pretty much exclusively realist fiction such as Franz Kafka and Carson McCullers, whose styles really rubbed off on me early on. I was also reading a lot of Jack Kerouac, but I don't think his style has really affected mine in the same way Kafka and McCullers have.

It is only in the last two years or so that I have become heavily interested in science fiction. The novel I am working on was originally going to be more of a straight utopian thriller in the vein of Orwell, but has become a bit more cyberpunky and politically heavy based on the influences in particular of Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

Who are your literary influences?


message 2: by F.J. (last edited Jan 02, 2011 05:00PM) (new)

F.J. Hansen (fjhansen) | 8 comments I have always been writing science fiction. But, six years ago, I started reading Anne McCaffrey and Alan Dean Foster. Their writing has really helped to shape mine.

Before them, though, I have to mention J. Michael Straczynski, best known for the TV series BABYLON 5, which is basically a book made for television. I was getting into that show just as I was beginning to create my own science fiction series. I believe that BABYLON 5 really helped me to develop my characters more than I had been up to that point.


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I have never read McCaffrey or Foster, nor have I seen Babylon 5. Should probably get around to it at some point. I'm not really into much fantasy, so McCaffrey probably won't be my scene, but I'm willing to give it a go. When it comes to fantasy, I like a harder edge; I've read a bit of R.A. Salvatore's stuff and quite liked that, but generally I just stick to sci-fi.


message 4: by F.J. (new)

F.J. Hansen (fjhansen) | 8 comments McCaffrey writes science fiction. The Doona trilogy, the Planet Pirates series, the Brain Ship series. Her Dragonriders of Pern series may seem fantasy at first glance, but it's actually more science fiction. The series is about a planet that was colonized by Humans escaping a war-torn Earth. The origin of the dragons is very science fiction.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, that does sound cool. BTW finished Draconia, my review is up. Really enjoyed it.


message 6: by F.J. (new)

F.J. Hansen (fjhansen) | 8 comments And, a very nice review. Much thanks. :)


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I would definitely now add Paolo Bacigalupi to my list of literary influences. His sci-fi has really changed the way I look at modern science fiction and has absolutely rubbed off on the way I think about what I'm working on.


message 8: by Robin (new)

Robin Burks (robinburks) | 2 comments I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, more so than science fiction. Most of what I read are self-published authors and I'm quite fond of Joe Lallo (who writes both fantasy and sci fi) and S.M. Boyce.

Being a science/tech writer, though, also inspires me a great deal.


message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I'd have to say that my biggest influences have been William F. Nolan best known for his Logan's Run books and Frank Herbert (I know Matt you're not a DUNE fan). I'm currently reading A Song of Ice and Fire series, incredible writing.

I've been reading Robert E. Howard like crazy lately. His prose stands up strong even after nearly 80 years.

Also as of late I've been reading a lot of classics, Edgar Rice Burroughs, H.G Wells, H.P Lovecraft.
I just enjoy reading!!


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm reading Samuel R. Delany's Babel-17 and I'm incredibly jealous of how clever Delany is.

I've also been reading more Philip K. Dick, just finished Ubik, which was outstanding. I'm trying to go back and read a bunch of classic writers I've missed, but so many aren't available digitally yet.


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree Matt. I wish Logan's Run was on digital. I've warn out my trade paperback of the trilogy.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Yeah, tons of classics only in print, like A Canticle for Leibowitz, Frederik Pohl's Gateway, most of Delany's work... Irritating.


message 13: by A.K. (new)

A.K. (akbutler) | 9 comments I've always read dystopians. My very first full novel that I adored was The Giver (read when I was about 9) then I went on to books like A Wrinkle in Time and 1984. I graduated to the likes of Atwood and McCarthy eventually, but those early dystopians really left their mark. I'm also heavily influenced by TV: the character development in shows like Sherlock, the story arc structure of shows like Doctor Who, and the perfection of sci fi in shows like Firefly. I really like classics, but I don't think they influence me. Oliver Twist would never, ever, ever be popular today, it's a different era. But yeah, I gobble up dystopians, still to this day. I love speculative fiction and devour it.


message 14: by James (new)

James Neilson | 2 comments I would say that my major influences are Arthur C. Clarke in my teens, Ursula K. LeGuin in my youth, and a melange of Ken MacLeod and Peter F. Hamilton in my middle age.


message 15: by Andr (new)

Andr Moș | 1 comments I read a lot of Edgar Rice Burroughs in my youth as well, but when I discovered Larry Niven, I dropped away from ERB (I found him formulaic, though his influence is undeniable). Robert Forward was fascinating as well. Most recently, I've been enjoying Andy Weir and Martha Wells.


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Babel-17 (other topics)

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