One of my all-time favorite authors, Gail Carriger, wrote this fantastic post about the ten science fiction/fantasy books that have stuck with her. By now you’re all aware of my love for all things Agatha Christie and possibly know about my Regency obsession, but I thought it would be fun to compile a list of just these specific genres (science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, steampunk) and see which ones you, my lovely readers, have read and loved.
In no particular order:
1. The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley. Also mentioned by Gail Carriger and some of my other friends. This was possibly the first fantasy book I ever read (besides the Chronicles of Narnia), and definitely the first that had a sword-wielding female main character.
2. The City of Gold and Lead - John Christopher. My first exposure to post-apocalyptic fiction. And not just any post-apocalyptic fiction, but with aliens! Of course, being me, I wished there’d been more romance. Some of my very earliest attempts at writing involved post-apocalyptic landscapes and a better balance of girls and boys. Because everything’s better with romance. ;-) This was also the seed for what would eventually become Dragon Wars.
3. The Stand – Stephen King. I read the unabridged version, of course. And in paperback long before Kindle. It probably explains why I have tendinitis! It’s still one of my favorite books and I now have the Kindle version for re-reading.
4. The Passage – Justin Cronin. The unusual take on vampires was interesting. The blend of science fiction, post-apocalyptic adventure, and beautifully crafted literature blew my mind.
5. Urban Shaman – C.E. Murphy. One of the earliest urban fantasy books that crossed my path. In many ways it began my obsession with the genre which eventually led to my writing the Sunwalker Saga. Scenes from the book still cross my mind from time to time.
6. Grimspace – Ann Aguirre. Another book that blew my mind. Elements of hard science fiction mixed with a healthy dose of romance to create the perfect blend. A strong female character that I could relate to. The whole series is great, but the first book is amazeballs. It reawakened my love of scifi and helped birth the Omicron ZX series. Also, aliens.
7. Soulless – Gail Carriger. Quite Possibly one of the best steampunk series out there, in my opinion. Soulless was the book that really hooked me on steampunk and led to my reading the Iron Seas books by Meljean Brook and the Apparatus Infernum books by A.A. Aguirre. It’s the perfect blend of steampunkery and paranormal romance with a liberal splash of hilarity.
8. Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K Hamilton. When I first discovered this series lo, these many years ago, I loved it with a passion. It was such a perfect blend of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. It had so much action, wasn’t too overly gushy, and had a strong female lead. Unfortunately, after the first 4 or 5 books, the series totally jumped the shark. I miss those early books. So very much.
9. Slave to Sensation and Angel’s Blood – Nalini Singh. I’m cheating here by mentioning two books, but they’re both by the same author. So, there. The first is full on PNR, and the second is more UF with strong PNR elements. I love them both. So, so much. The world building is epic. I seriously have a girl crush because of world building alone.
10. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen. Although technically this book doesn’t fall under any of the above genres (at least when trying to find it at the bookstore), in my opinion it encompasses both fantasy and paranormal romance with a touch of contemporary romance. It’s shades of Practical Magic. Gentle, whimsical, and definitely magical.
Which books have stuck with you?