I was thinking about writers the other day. There are a lot of books I really enjoy but there are not that many writers who I really enjoy consistently.
For instance, I love the book ‘Neuromancer’ but don’t consider William Gibson to be one of my favourite writers. He is an interesting person for sure but is work overall doesn’t really resonate with me. ‘Neuromancer’ does but just that one specific work. So I got to thinking about writers who I consistently read and have go to the point with that I simply read whatever they publish regardless of the topic.
The below are the ones I cant NOT read.
Mr Morrison is known mostly as a comic book writer. He has written some things that I love such as Zenith the 1987 title from 2000AD and Animal Man for DC comics. He also wrote one of my favourite comics of all time ‘The Invisibles’ for Vertigo.
His work outside of comics include the excellent “Supergods” a book about the history of super heroes and a pretty great article called ‘pop magick!’ that was published in ‘The book of lies’ (2003) that is at this point legendary among readers of occult topics.
Its not all amazing though he sometimes writes things that seem like a reflection of his madness more than a planned narrative and when he goes down this hole its bad. I mean borderline nonsensical. But even then I enjoy being along for the ride.
I sometimes feel like here are two Grant Morrisons. One genius who produces well crafted and well thought out stories that draw from his own view of what reality is and how fiction is a place we can visit. Then there’s the version of him that takes it too far and it honestly feels like he’s just way deeper into something than the reader is.
Whenever I see his name on a work, I know for sure that it will be interesting.
In my mind, the absolute king of science fiction. He spent a career elevating the genre of science fiction from dry technology obsessed mission reports to character driven stories.
His habit of not explaining how a technology works but instead explaining how it is used moved the focus away from fantasy futurism and brought it instead to the impacts of technology on the people who used it. The sort of science fiction that I love.
His Foundation series is my all time favourite series of books. Its gripping intricate and masterfully woven in a way that no other series ever quite managed.
He wrote a lot of books and a lot of them are multiple book series that interlock.
The things we wrote about in the 40’s still feel fresh now. Sure the odd word may seem dated but the overall idea is timeless. He’s like Shakespeare but with space ships (hyperbole alert… No! Actually, that stands up!)
On YouTube you can see TV interviews from him that really project a sense of who he is. When he starts talking about futurism and his expectations of mankind there is a love and a hope within him that simply glows. I don’t know if we will ever become the people that Asimov thought we could be but I would love it if our species were all a little more like him.
To me there is not greater story teller in any genre and in the science fiction genre there is not writer even in the same league as him.
J. Michael Straczynski
While best known as the mind behind the TV show ‘Babylon 5’ Mr Straczinski has followed me around for pretty much my whole life. (through his work that is. He’s not stalking me… That would be AWESOME!)
He first touched my life when I was very young. He was a writer on the cartoon He-man, which I have been obsessed with my entire life. Then in my teenage years when I was way too into ‘Murder, She wrote’ I discovered that he was a writer/producer on that.
One time in my early twenties a friend strongly urged me to read is odd horror book called ‘Demon Night’. I don’t usually read horror but I gave it a shot. It was excellent and only years later did I realize that it was Straczynski’s first novel.
And as mentioned, Babylon 5. I came to it late but its great. Literally the best science fiction that has ever hit the screen. Story, drama, depth. It has everything (except good effects)
I even read his book on writing recently and I’m pretty sure he is the wisest man alive.
There are more writers I like but those few I listed are the ones I adore. Its strange though how they stick out among all the writers I have read. For instance I love the Magic 2.0 series by Scott Meyer but don’t consider him to be an amazing writer. I just like those books. Then there’s John Scalzi, Alfred Bester, Robert A. Heinlein and others who’s work I love but for whatever reason don’t quite make it into my mind as favourites.