Favorites: Some Labor Day Fun


With this being Labor Day Weekend, and with Monday being a national holiday, which typically means little traffic at the site, I thought I would post something a little lighter than usual.  If you happen across the post and feel like playing along, great.  If not, no problem.

Throughout this summer, which unofficially ends this weekend, we’ve talked about lots of things — villains, titles, many aspects of writing and creative process.  And I thought I would weigh in on a few of these in the most superficial way possible.  Sounds like fun, right?  I know.  I’m all excited, too.

So here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorites, either in category form or list form.  I can safely say that I heartily recommend every book and film mentioned in what follows. Enjoy!

Favorite Fantasy Title:  As I say, we’ve talked a lot about titles recently.  My favorite book title in fantasy is Expiration Date, by Tim Powers.  I love the way he takes a common phrase that we encounter all the time and turns it into something dark and frightening.  Brilliant.  And it’s an amazing book.

Favorite SF TitleSpeaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card.  Great book, too — the second volume in Card’s wonderful Ender cycle.

Favorite Fantasy HeroPaul Schafer from Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar Tapestry.  (Not to be confused with Paul Schafer, David Letterman’s creepy sidekick on CBS Late Night.  Him I can’t stand.)

Favorite SF Hero:  Yeah, I hate to go back to the well a second time, but there’s no getting around it.  My favorite SF hero is Ender Wiggin from Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card.

Favorite Fantasy Villain:  I feel like I need two sub categories here, one for all-powerful uber villains like J.R.R. Tolkien’s Sauron and Guy Kay’s Rakoth Maugrim, and one for normal villains.  But the truth is, I really don’t like the uber villains enough to have a favorite.  My favorite fantasy villain is probably Mister Wednesday from Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

Favorite SF Villain:  This one is easy, though I have to say that she might not truly qualify as a villain.  She’s more aptly called the antagonist:  Spanner, from Slow River, by Nicola Griffith.

Favorite Fantasy Jacket Art:  This is a tough one, because jacket art is so variable from edition to edition.  My favorite fantasy cover is probably from the original Bantam paperback release of Ursula K. LeGuin’s A Wizard of Earthsea.  The artwork is by Pauline Ellison, and actually the artwork for all three books in the original trilogy (The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore complete the trilogy), which were released as a boxed set, is gorgeous.

Favorite SF Jacket ArtHoly Fire, by Bruce Sterling.

Favorite Fantasy Movie:  No great mystery here.  I truly love the Peter Jackson adaptation of the Tolkien books, and I think that The Fellowship of the Ring is the best of the three movies.

Favorite SF MovieBladerunner, which was directed by Ridley Scott and based on Philip K. Dick’s  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the GalaxyThe Princess Bride, directed by Rob Reiner, based on the novel by William Goldman.  Couldn’t have a list that didn’t mention this film.  It’s just too good to ignore.  Anybody want a peanut?

Favorite Fantasy (and related genre) Television Series:  Also an easy one:  Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  In my opinion, nothing else comes close.

Favorite SF Television Series:  Much harder, perhaps because there’s more to choose from.  I loved Star Trek:  The Next Generation.  But I have to say that the new SciFi Channel version of Battlestar Galactica was brilliant.  Also, I should maybe have a subcategory for SF miniseries, because the SciFi channel’s Dune miniseries was fantastic — truly did justice to the book.  And I have to admit to being a big fan of that campy late 80s-early 90s series Quantum Leap.  I think I’ll go with Star Trek:  TNG.  If all of them were on TV at the same time, TNG is probably the one I would watch.

Favorite Fantasy Book that You’ve Never Heard OfIllumination, by Terry McGarry.  Full disclosure:  Terry is a friend of mine and has also copyedited at least half of my books.  She is a wonderful writer and Illumination is a magnificent book that should have gotten far more commercial and critical attention than it did.

Other Favorite Fantasy Book That You’ve Never Heard ofBeluthahatchie, by Andy Duncan.  Also a friend of mine.  This is actually a short story collection.  Andy’s work is strange and fun, with a distinctly Southern flavor.  He is a masterful storyteller.

Favorite Fantasy AuthorGuy Gavriel Kay, with honorable mention to Neil Gaiman.

Favorite Fantasy novelTigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Favorite SF AuthorFrank Herbert, with honorable mention to Orson Scott Card.

Favorite SF NovelDune, by Frank Herbert.

Favorite Non-Genre Authors:  Here I’ll go with a longer list, because there are too many to pick only one or two.  This is in no particular order —

Wallace Stegner, David Liss, Barbara Kingsolver, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John McPhee, that Shakespeare guy A.J. is always talking about, Charles Dickens, Annie Proulx, Michael Herr.

Favorite Book of All TimeAngle of Repose, by Wallace Stegner.

There you go — enough fodder for discussion, I think.  Anyone care to share a few favorites of their own?

David B. Coe


33 comments to Favorites: Some Labor Day Fun

  • Beatriz

    David, I’ve got to disagree with you:

    Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the Galaxy: Young Frankenstein

  • Favorite Jacket Art — Any of the Michael Whelan covers done for the OTHERLAND series by Tad Williams. These caught my eye while browsing and had me buying the first book (and eventually the entire, wonderful series). I’ve had covers pull in my interest, but no cover every grabbed me like these. I just had to see if the world between the covers flared my imagination as much as they did for Whelan.

    Favorite Non-Genre Authors — Like you, I have many. Here are just a few: John Jakes, Roddy Doyle, John Steinbeck, Norman Mailer.

  • Oh, I am such a sucker for lists!

    Favorite Fantasy Title:
    On Stranger Tides. It was intriguing – what happens on those tides? Where are they? The fact that it turned out to be a pirate book only made it more juicy and delicious.
    Favorite SF Title:
    The Last Stand of the DNA Cowboys. How can you ignore that title?
    Favorite Fantasy Hero:
    Jack, from F Paul Wilson’s Repairman Jack series. He lives under the radar, and solves problems the law can’t, especially the kind with a supernatural flavor to them. An anti-hero, my favorite kind.
    Favorite SF Hero:
    Hiro Protagonist – hacker, samurai swordsman, and pizza-delivery driver from Snow Crash
    Favorite Fantasy Villain:
    Horrabin, the clown king of the beggars in The Anubis Gates. Have you ever heard someone say “Can’t sleep – clowns will eat me”? This is the clown they mean. He’s utterly terrifying.
    Favorite SF Villain:
    Okay, they weren’t villains in the usual sense, but I’m choosing the Bene Gesserit of Dune. Determined to create the Kwisatz Haderach, they manipulated Paul cruelly in order to gain more power to themselves.
    Favorite Fantasy Movie:
    I have to agree with David – Peter Jackson’s LotR trilogy was amazing.
    Favorite SF Movie:
    The Terminator. I loved the closed-circle time travel idea (and don’t talk to me about the sequels, in my world they were never made.)
    Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the Galaxy: It’s a tie between The Princess Bride and The Matrix, depending on my mood.
    Favorite Fantasy (and related genre) Television Series:
    It’s a tie between The X Files and Miracles, a short-lived, badly-mistreated-by-its-network delight starring Skeet Ulrich as a former Vatican investigator who discovers that some of the things he’s been sent to debunk are more miraculous than he expected.
    Favorite SF Television Series:
    Firefly, and not just because I’m in a Western frame of mind these days. It took all the charm of the outer space wagon train idea that birthed Star Trek, and showed the backside of what a unified society was look like. (It would have qualified for most quotable, except it’s not a movie. Okay, yes, Serenity, but we don’t quote that much, so stop badgering me!)
    Favorite Fantasy Book that You’ve Never Heard Of:
    Tom Deitz’ Soulsmith trilogy. It’s set in contemporary Welch County, Georgia, and the heir to the Luck of Welch County reads the tarot by using the songs on a local rock and roll radio station. It breaks my heart that Deitz died before I could ever meet him, because I loved these books.
    Other Favorite Fantasy Book That You’ve Never Heard of:
    Katherine Kurtz’ Lammas Night. Hitler’s planning to use black magic in the war against Britain, so it’s up to John Graham to unite all the witches of England to stop him. The end of this book left me in tears for days.
    Favorite Fantasy Author:
    Tim Powers
    Favorite Fantasy novel:
    Aw, come on, only one? Not fair. I suppose I’d have to say The Anubis Gates because it honestly changed the whole game for me. I remember when I found it on the store shelf, and I remember how reading it woke something within me, something that had lain dormant until that moment. I can’t guarantee it’ll have the same effect on anyone else, but it’s a wicked good book.
    Favorite SF Author:
    William Gibson
    Favorite SF Novel:
    Dune, another game-changer, although in a different way. I was always shy in high school. In junior year, I worked in the school library during senior lunch. A senior boy I’d been pining after noticed what I was reading, and offered to lend me his copy of Dune, because he thought I’d like it. I read it, and talked with him about it, and suddenly I wasn’t afraid to talk to cute boys anymore. About books, anyway. Hey, it was a start!
    Favorite Non-Genre Authors:
    Jeff Lindsey (the Dexter books), Lindsey Davis (the Falco mysteries), Ellis Peters (the Cadfael mysteries)
    Favorite Book of All Time:
    There’s honestly not just one, but the books I adore most all reside in the nightstand next to my bed, so that in the event of a fire, I can conceivably throw the nightstand out the window and save them all at once. All the books by Tim Powers, Susan Cooper and my friends here at MW are on that stand. 😀

    And just for fun…
    Favorite line from a genre book:
    “Her hair fell, like grace exhausted…”
    It’s a line from a William Gibson book, describing a woman on a city street. I don’t even recall now which book, but the line has stuck with me for years. How tragically lovely must exhausted grace appear?

  • I’ll just add one more fav, while totally agreeing with Bea/Melissa.
    Fave fantasy movie scene. The *where wolfe, werewolf* scene from Young Frankenstein. I laugh just thinking of it.

  • Hrm… I’ll add to this, but not the whole list…

    Favorite Fantasy Character: Samuel Vimes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. There’s just something about him. (A close second is his Vetinari. I always hoped he’d do a book focused on that character). Vimes is so appealing, in part, because the characters around him are so great, too.

    Favorite Fantasy movie> (Let’s play “guess when Pea was a kid/teenager for this round!) Labyrinth. My only objection (even as a kid) was that Sarah (the MC) should totally have chucked her baby brother and stayed with Jareth (David Bowie). The film just really hit my imagination hard–I love the fact that it was overtly about stories. When she goes to face the villain alone, she tells her friends she has to because “that is the way it is done.” To which one of the sidekicks replies “well, if that is the way it is done, then that is the way you must do it!”

    Favorite REALLY OLD Fantasy books: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (author unknown), Le Morte DArthur (Malory) and Beowulf (author unknown). Oh, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gotta love fairies!

    Favorite villain is hard. I don’t know that I have one. I think Teatime in Hogfather is great. Outside of Fantasy and Sci-fi, it is Uriah Heep from Dicken’s David Copperfield. I’ve never wanted someone to get punished so badly before.

    Favorite Fantasy Author: has to be Terry Pratchett. I reread his stuff frequently. I love Tolkien, too.

    TV Series: Totally Buffy. Absolutely. Though I’m interested in “Walking Dead” starting on AMC (I think… the same channel with Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and Rubicon). It’s based on a graphic novel.

    Here’s one more random one:
    The book that made me want to write: Clive Barker’s “The Theif of Always.” Something about the opening lines (this would be a runner in my fave opening lines) just hit me. It starts out about “the great grey beast called February” and how it was eating Harvey alive. Such a great image (esp. since I was in high school or jr high when I read it!)

  • Bea, I will happily give Young Frankenstein honorable mention. Wonderful movie. But there’s nothing better than The Princess Bride. Except maybe a nice MLT — mutton lettuce and tomato. When the mutton is lean and the tomatoes are nice and ripe. They’re so perky. I love that.

    Stuart, thanks for playing along. I haven’t read Doyle or Jakes. I love Steinbeck. I’ve never been a huge Norman Mailer fan. And I only mention this because it’s the first evidence we have that you and I might not be the same person….

    Misty, yeah, I love lists, too. Thanks for yours. I’ll have to check out The Anubis Gates. And I love Ellis Peters, too.

    Faith, I need to go back and watch YF again. I don’t remember all the scenes as well as I should.

    Emily, thanks for your contribution. My “Book That Made Me Want To Write” is actually the first Thomas Covenant book by Stephen Donaldson. I know it’s a book a lot of people hate — you among them, if I remember correctly — but it was so different, so strange, that it really inspired me to think about creating my own worlds.

  • David> I don’t so much hate Donaldson as I couldn’t finish it. I couldn’t get over the rape in the first book. I’m all for a flawed MC, but that was too much for me. I know he’s a problematic protagonist, but I just couldn’t get past it. I might be able to now, but I find rape a hard thing to forgive–even in fiction–possibly because I look at my female students I know so many of them will experience some kind of assault (stats say 1 in 3 or 1 in 4). So, it is a great example of “not for me,” but not something I’d argue was poor writing.

  • Oh, I totally understand, Emily. The rape was almost too much for, too. I have too many friends who have been assaulted, and I have two daughters. I’ve seen the same statistics, and I know that there is a better than even chance that one of my girls could be an assault victim someday. I think if I had picked up the book for the first time today, I wouldn’t have gotten through it. But I read it more than twenty-five years ago. [Shrugs] Youthful ignorance. It disturbed me, but it didn’t make me throw the book across the room. I’m glad I read it, because it helped put me on the path I’m on now. But I completely understand why many people couldn’t get through the first book, much less the series.

  • Young_Writer

    Favorite MCs: Scipio- The Thief Lord. Eric (The Phantom)- Phantom of the opera.
    The Book That Made Me Want To Write: I’m a nerd. It was a history book 🙂
    Favorite Fantasy Book: Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Well, that really isn’t fantasy… I change my mind. Dragon Slippers.
    Fantasy Movie I Want To See: Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

  • Sarah

    My GOSH I just love these. Especially when I’m up against several job related deadlines and should be doing other stuff.

    Favorite Cover Art: paperback cover for The Left Hand of Darkness.

    Most quotable: Young Frankenstein gets second prize, but Princess Bride wins by a mile for me. And the book is hysterical too. “You’re tired. Get some rest. Terrible things can happen when you’re tired. I was tired the night your father proposed.” (Too bad Buttercup’s parents didn’t make it into the movie.)

    May I add Favorite Totally Under-read Fantasy Book: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. One of his reviewers said that it was the book that showed he’d finally grown up as an author and if he’d lived long enough to keep writing books like this he might have eclipsed Tolkien. I doubt it – they’re too different, but still, this book is amazingly beautiful. It’s the Cupid and Psyche myth told from the perspective of the jealous sister.

    Favorite TV series: Firefly! (still sad and miffed about that.)

    Favorite Short Story Author: Orson Scott Card. My gosh his short stories are weird! And I mean that in the best possible way. I used to read them under the covers at night so my parents wouldn’t see that the light was still on.

    Favorite Trilogy: LOTR – duh.

    Favorite Childhood Series: The Dragons of Pern by Anne McCaffrey

    Favorite Adult Series: Discworld by Terry Pratchett.

    Favorite Fantasy Movie: Oh, so many to choose! Disney’s Sleeping Beauty. No really – Maleficent still haunts my dreams and I can sing “I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream” on cue. Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, and Princess Bride have to come a close second.

    Book that should be a Movie: Guards, Guards! by Pratchett (“It’s a million to one chance” “Let’s hope so!”) or any of the Vimes books really.

  • Young_Writer re: Sorcerer’s Apprentice: I so wanted to love that movie. It was alright. It could have been better, but it was a lot of fun. And the kid they had playing the apprentice is cute. (Tells you my age that I look at him and think “aww… cute kid… but I’ll take the kookie sorcerer any day!) It’s worth seeing, just probably not worth full price at a theater! 😀 But I think it was cool that it was based on the Disney cartoon.

  • Alexa, Sarah, Emily, thanks for the comments. I’ve been excited about “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” too. Sorry to hear it’s not wonderful. And I really do need to read some Terry Pratchett. Too many people I know and respect rave about him.

  • Most Quotable Genre Movie: If I could put in my two cents, Monty Python and The Holy Grail. “What… is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?”
    But I’m sure many would disagree.
    Favorite Fantasy Movie: As much as I love the others mentioned, there is just something about Willow. I love the browies, and Madmartigan. When he rolls down the hill in a snowball… ’nuff said.
    Favorite Cover Art: The Plucker by Brom. In fact, the book is full of amazing illustrations.
    Favorite Sci-Fi Book: the Foreigner Series by C.J. Cherryh. Need to reread them again. I am awed by her creation of the Atevi. I wish I could just sit at her knee…
    And The Book That Started It All: The Blade of the Poisoner by Douglas Hill. I was going through a difficult period. There was a dark edge to it that was so different than anything I had ever read (much better than those silly unicorn stories) and the fantasy element provided a perfect escape…

  • “I dwell in darkness without you, and it went away??”


  • LOL
    “‘I love you Sorsha?’ I don’t love her, she kicked me in the face! I hate her… Don’t I?.”

  • Thanks for the comments, J. Who knew that my post would unleash Willow quotes?

  • “Now if only we had a wheelbarrow, that would be something.”
    Fave fantasy tv show: Buffy for sure. How cool was it when Willow ripped the skin off that guy who shot her girlfriend? Way cool is how cool.
    Fave SciFi: Well it would have been ST:TNG but then Stargate Universe came out and so far so good.
    Fave SciFi book: The Mote in God’s Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
    Fave Fantasy movie: Conan the Barbarian. “Do you want to live forever?”
    Fantasy book character: Arya from GRRM’s Dance and Song about Eternal Not Finishing.
    Favourite Trilogy: Not LOTR, I mean has anyone read that recently? It just goes on and on about nothing and the singing and the talking all the time and not just getting on with it. I appreciate it was pretty much the founding father of all things elves and dwarves but by today’s standard I don’t think it would get published. The editor would cross out whole chapters and ask “Do we really need the complete transcript of every song sung that night in the tavern?” So Fave Trilogy is probably a tie between Soldier’s Son by Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy and Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb.
    The Princess Bride rocks hard and if you are a nerd Monty Python’s Holy Grail is all you need to know.

  • Oh dear. I’m working very hard not to start quoting from Conan now… 😀

  • Love GRRM’s books. Have heard great things about Robin Hobb. But I have to say to both Scion and Misty that “Conan” never did it for me. The books I can see, but the movie, I thought, was simply awful. But that’s what makes these discussions fun.

  • Favorite Fantasy Hero: Either Mat Cauthon from Wheel of Time, Sam Vimes from Discworld, or Vin from Mistborn.

    Favorite Fantasy Jacket Art: Seeds of Betrayal by David B. Coe, Under Red Seas and Red Skies by Scott Lynch.

    Favorite Fantasy Movie: Excalibur or Conan: The Barbarian

    Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the Galaxy: Monty Python and the Holy Grail followed by a close second Princess Bride.

    Favorite Fantasy (and related genre) Television Series: Farscape or the animes: Paranoia Agent and Cowboy Beebop

    Favorite SF Television Series: Battlstar Galactica or The Prisoner

    Favorite Fantasy Author: Robert Jordan, Terry Pratchett, or Ray Bradbury

  • Misty, what is best in life?

    Conan is an awful movie but I think it was one of those movies that got me just at the right time in the right frame of mind, like most of Arnie’s films (I’m looking at you Predator) “Get to tha choppa!”

  • Conan is awful in the beer and cheetoes kind of way. Yeah they are bad but you still go back to them over and over.

  • I don’t feel well-versed enough in SFF to answer most of these! How sad. (More like, all my picks would be in the YA and/or urban fantasy subgenres, which don’t count here. Oops.)

    I do agree LOTR is the best fantasy movie trilogy, definitely.

    Tamora Pierce’s Alanna/Song of the Lioness quartet made me want to be a writer in the YA/fantasy genres.

  • Great idea for a post, David. Lots of good stuff (yours and in the comments). Made me think how cool it would be if our own stuff wound up on someone’s list one day!

    I confess some of the material cited is stuff I don’t know: so thanks for the reading suggestions.

  • Scion, crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!


  • I love this! Here’s my list:
    Fav. Fantasy Series – (older)Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, (newer)Kate Elliot’s Crossroad series
    Fav. SF Novel – Dune
    Fav. Fantasy Heroine – Can’t decide! Either Phedre from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series or Claire Randall Fraser from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.
    Fav. SF Heroine – Robert Heinlein’s Maureen Johnson
    Fav. SF Hero – Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan
    Fav. Fantasy Jacket Art – Tad Williams has been lucky with Michael Whelan. Not only for Otherland, but Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Shadowmarch series’ as well. Gorgeous!
    Fav. Fantasy Movie Series – LotR, absolutely.
    Fav. SF TV Series – Firefly or original Stargate
    Fav. Non-Genre Novel – Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird

  • Thanks to all for the additions to the various lists. This has been a lot of fun.

    Mark, yes, I can certainly see the Conan=cheetoes thing, and as a cheetoes fan myself I can understand the allure.

    Jess, UF certainly would count here, as would YA. Feel free to join in the fun.

    A.J., hope the con went well for you. It would be very cool to have our stuff showing up on lists like this eventually. Actually this was meant as a way to troll for compliments. Sadly, it hasn’t worked….

    EK, thanks for the list. I really need to rent the full season of Firefly….

  • Hepseba ALHH

    Trolling for compliments, huh? That’s easy:
    Book that saved my vacation: The Rules of Ascension by David B. Coe. SUCH a relief to pick this up and get VERY GOOD story-telling after struggling with another book with VERY BAD story-telling. Plus, where I picked it up from was a book-store’s shelf of employee favorites on the same shelf with Lynn Flewelling’s Bone Doll’s Twin.

    And, before I add a couple of my own to the list: I must strongly disagree about Sorcerer’s Apprentice. I can see why it might not have everything that some people are looking for, but if you’re a little nerdy, love slap-stick humor, and chock-full beautiful, intricate set-dressings, it’s FREAKING AWESOME and great in the theater! (im(nh)o)

    Favorite Fantasy book you’ve not read: Red Moon Black Mountain by Joy Chant – similar to the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, but somehow more to my taste (no talking animals…)

    Favorite genre satire: Galaxy Quest. Also close on some days to most-quotable genre movie ever. “Is there AIR!? You don’t KNOW!?”

    Favorite fantasy TV series: Avatar: The Last Airbender. Yes, more slap-stick, but talk about a character-driven storyline, and while the heroes are great, it’s the side-kicks that keep you coming back for more. (Have not yet seen the movie. Am sort of dreading it.)

  • Wow Rules of Ascension next to the Bone Doll’s Twin! High praise indeed. Thanks, Hep. Very nice of you to say. Glad you enjoyed Rules. Also nice to hear a positive review for Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Many thanks for the recommendations.

  • A bit late chiming in here, but really had to think on it. Ah well, here goes.

    Favorite Fantasy Title: The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff. Dunno if that’s cheating or not because it’s science-fantasy, but I’ve always just loved the title.

    Favorite Fantasy Hero: Hard to choose, since I can’t pick my own. 😉 Always been a fan of Hanse Shadowspawn, Andrew J Offutt’s assassin from Thieves’ World. Then again, Sparhawk from The Elenium Series by David Eddings was definitely a favorite. Bink from Piers Anthony’s Xanth novels… So hard to choose just one. I tend to get attached to a well written character.

    Favorite SF Hero: Even harder to choose since I haven’t read mass amounts of sci-fi because I’m kind of particular about my sci-fi, but barring movie heroes or my own characters, I’ll have to go with either Merlin from the short story Merlin’s Gun from Alastair Reynolds, or Nils Hansen from David Drake’s Northworld series. Reading Minla’s Flowers, the sort of second part of the tale of Merlin, I ended up having to go out and find Merlin’s Gun and Hideaway, which deal with the story of the same character. It was shortly after that when I started reading Alastair’s Revelation Space works. Guess there’s also Stile from the Apprentice Adept series by Piers Anthony or Rod Gallowglass from the Warlock of Gramarye series by Christopher Stasheff, but those again feel like cheating because they’re science-fantasy.

    Favorite Fantasy Villain: Hm. Oddly, the one that sticks in my head the most is Flagg from Stephen King’s novel, The Eyes of the Dragon.

    Favorite SF Villain: Oh, Darth Vader. 😉 Yeah, it’s a cop out.

    Favorite Fantasy Jacket Art: I’ve mentioned this before and it’s still the art from the cover of The Elfstones of Shannara. It was what got me to pick it up and beg my mom to buy it in the checkout line at the grocery store. I really wanted to know who the people were on the cover and what they were so worried about that was coming toward them. What was the blue glow in the hand of one of the men there? Was that the elfstones mentioned? The cover just struck a chord with me. The book was one of my favorites for quite a while, though lately I’ve read it again and am starting to find some of his crutches in the book…

    Favorite SF Jacket Art: Don’t really have a favorite.

    Favorite Fantasy Movie: Probably have to be Peter Jackson’s LotR. Every one of the trilogy was excellent, though I really wished they’d kept some of the scenes in they’d cut. I know they did it for time, but I really missed those scenes when they weren’t there. Then again, I’ll not pass up watching The Sword and the Sorcerer whenever it’s on, which is just pure fun. 😉

    Favorite SF Movie: I feel cheesy and all geek-like saying this, but I’m still a big fan of The Black Hole.

    Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the Galaxy: The Princess Bride, directed by Rob Reiner, based on the novel by William Goldman. Absolutely in agreement here with David. I’m so bad with it that no one wants to watch it with me because I can sit and actually quote the entire film while it’s playing. The second likely quotable for me would be Ponty Python’s Holy Grail or Yellowbeard. I’ve not watched Young Frankenstein enough times to quote more than just the monster singing puttin’ on the ritz or “abbey something…” or “It’s Frahnkensteen!”

    Favorite Fantasy (and related genre) Television Series: I was going to choose Buffy too, but I remembered that I’ve actually enjoyed the Legend of the Seeker series so far and, dunno if anyone remembers, but there was a fantasy series long ago called Wizards and Warriors. Probably wouldn’t feel the same now, but I loved that show when I was 12. 😉

    Favorite SF Television Series: Ya know, I loved the original BSG, I loved all the Star Treks, even loved Space 1999, and Buck Rogers…and I even watched Salvage 1 with Andy Griffith…. But I think my absolute favorite was Firefly by Joss Whedon.

    Favorite Fantasy Book that You’ve Never Heard Of: Well, a lot of people give me blank looks when I say, The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King. Usually I get, “he wrote a fantasy novel?”

    Other Favorite Fantasy Book That You’ve Never Heard of: The Splintered Sword. Doesn’t necessarily qualify as fantasy. It’s more of an Anglo-Saxon epic by Henry Treece. Got hooked on the Henry Treece Viking fiction books in Junior High and I’ve recently been buying them used from Alibris. Though I could also probably substitute with The Sundered Realm by Vardeman/Milan. The whole War of Powers series, actually. Aside from the couple odd sex scenes (one a sacrificial rape scene by a stone golem possessed by an evil God, which had me going, wha…?) it was a good series.

    Favorite Fantasy Author: Oh, I really don’t have an absolute favorite. I love quite a few for different reasons.

    Favorite Fantasy novel: You know, I think I’ll have to say, though not just one novel, the Elric saga by Michael Moorcock. Great series and tragic character.

    Favorite SF Author: Still looking, but I’ve been getting into reading Alastair Reynolds’ Revelation Space series. Timothy Zahn and David Drake are also pretty good. My problem is that I prefer epic (or space opera, but I prefer the term, epic) Sci-Fi and I haven’t found a lot of it lately, alas, that’s not EU specific.

    Favorite SF Novel: Neuromancer’s still one of my big faves that always comes to mind when this question comes up.

    Favorite Non-Genre Authors: Always liked Shakespeare. I honestly don’t read a lot of non-genre fiction. I know, I’m bad. Don’t know if Henry Treece qualifies here, but is so, then him too.

    Favorite Book of All Time: The Splintered Sword, I guess, by Henry Treece. Enough so that I actually called the school some years later where I’d originally read it and asked if they still had it. I also frequently checked the public libraries and finally found it through a company that locates hard to find books and after some correspondence he found a copy for me and I bought it. Bought a bunch of other Treece titles some time later when I found Alibris online.

  • Great list, Daniel. Another in a post filled with great lists. So many books and movies and TV shows to check out. Very cool. Thanks for the contribution.

  • fallen_saint

    Favorite Fantasy Title: Talion: Revenant by Michael Stackpole. I have read this book dozens of times. I have not read it in several years, but still can pick up and not get lost.
    Favorite SF Title: Blades of Tyshale by Matthew Stover. It is good book set in the future with good action scenes and anti hero.
    Favorite Fantasy Hero: Dirk Provin from Jennifer Fallon’s Second Son.

    Favorite SF Hero: I am going to have to go with Star Wars reference. It is either Wedge Antilles or Chewbecca.
    Favorite Fantasy Villain: Raj Ahten from David Farland’s Runelords series. He is a villain all powerful with a little help from magical endowments. The villain never seems to die.

    Favorite SF Villain: I do not read enough SF to pick one that is not a star wars reference.
    Favorite Fantasy Jacket Art: Looking over my list in Amazon media library. I am going to go with Swords of Eveningstar cover. At hand I do not have the book to look at the cover art. I am going to assume the person did the complete trilogy.
    Favorite SF Jacket Art: The Iron Fist cover in X-Wing series.
    Favorite Fantasy Movie: I cannot think of any right now, but 13th Warrior.
    Favorite SF Movie: Starship Troopers. It is something I cannot turn off once it is on.
    Most Quotable Genre Movie Ever Made in the History of the Galaxy: In Spaceballs. The password is 1-2-3-4.
    Favorite Fantasy (and related genre) Television Series: I am going to go with Hercules the tv series with Kevin Sorbo.

    Favorite SF Television Series: I am going to my youth and choose Exosquad cartoon. I think I have seen all of the episodes. Also with high regards to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    Favorite Fantasy Book that You’ve Never Heard Of: Peter David’s Sir Apropos of Nothing and The Woad to Wuin. The books follow anti-hero along and his pretty funny.
    Other Favorite Fantasy Book That You’ve Never Heard of: Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. Great book.
    Favorite Fantasy Author: George Martin with mention to David Coe, Patricia Bray, and Steven Erikson.
    Favorite Fantasy novel: I am looking over my list and I cannot choose between about 6. I am going to put one down anyway. Redwall by Brian Jacques. It started me reading fantasy and alternate history in my teenage years. It has the classic hero, funny characters, and evil villains or varmints in this case.
    Favorite SF Author: Michael Stackpole and Karen Traviss
    Favorite SF Novel: The Faded Sun by C.J. Cherryh
    Favorite Alternate History Novel: Texas by James Michner (his other ones are fantastic too)
    Favorite Alternate History Author: Harry Turtledove
    Favorite Non-Genre Authors: Here I’ll go with a longer list, because there are too many to pick only one or two. This is in no particular order –
    Jeff Shaara, George Orwell, Geoffrey Chaucer, Wilbur Smith, James Michner, Jung Chang, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.
    Wallace Stegner, David Liss, Barbara Kingsolver, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John McPhee, that Shakespeare guy A.J. is always talking about, Charles Dickens, Annie Proulx, Michael Herr.
    Favorite Book of All Time: Dark Glory War by Michael Stackpole

  • Thanks for the list FS, and also for the mention. I’m flattered. I haven’t read a lot of alternate history, though now that I’m writing historical fantasy I should try some out. I know Harry Turtledove — great guy — and I can’t imagine starting with any other author.