So I found out about the Broke and Bookish Top Ten Tuesday meme/prompt today (original here: http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html) and thought I should give it a shot! These are the authors whose books I will automatically buy, or at least put on the to-buy list, regardless of what genre it’s in or what the story’s about. I trust them to be damn good, or at the very least highly enjoyable. In no particular order:
1. Chuck Wendig
I dearly love pretty much everything Wendig’s ever written. I got into him through the writing advice at his blog, and later ended up picking up Blackbirds. Easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Chuck’s got sharp writing advice, and his fiction books are amazing. Taut pacing that only gives you a breath when you desperately need it, and great characters besides. I look forward to each of his new releases (even if I don’t managed to pick them up right away), and hope to get the rest of his backlog someday soon.
2. Delilah S Dawson
Delilah S. Dawson I found through Twitter. I think through her banter with Mr. Wendig, but don’t quote me on it. She’s been my way to dip my toes into reading a bunch of different genres, from romance and erotica to YA gothic supernatural fiction. I don’t think I’ve ever read a stinker from her. Plus, she seems like one of the nicest people in the world (as long as you’re not a jerk to her), and being an awesome person is a good way to get yourself onto my auto-buy list.
3. Jim Butcher
Back in the summer of 2010 I played in a game of the Dresden Files RPG without having a single idea what was going on in the universe. I really enjoyed what I saw, so I started picking up the books that Fall. A month and over $100 later, I’d plowed through the majority of the series, ending up reading up through Changes in about three months. His other series, Codex Alera, is similarly addictive, and both feature inventive worldbuilding and fun characters. I’ll always buy a new book of his the moment in comes out, and I know I’m in for a great ride every time.
4. Patricia Briggs
Briggs’s work in the Mercy Thompson universe (the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series) hits a special spot for me, a blend of paranormal romance and urban fantasy that just works. I like how her characters feel more emotionally well-rounded as compared to Butcher’s, and that the stories focus on the interpersonal relationships of the main cast just as much as the baddie of the week, with neither plotline detracting from the other. I have Dead Heat (the latest Alpha and Omega book) sitting on my to read pile right now, and am eagerly awaiting the next Mercy Thompson book, too. Give me my werewolf fix, yo.
5. Patrick Rothfuss
Patrick Rothfuss has some of the most beautiful prose I’ve ever read. I just love the way he writes. The Kingkiller Chronicles manage to draw me in and hold me there even as they break my heart, with Kvothe (the protagonist) sliding towards (author foretold) tragedy. Rothfuss has me waiting with baited breath for the next book, and that makes him in auto-buy. (In addition, the side story The Slow Regard of Silent Things is gorgeous, a short tale that puts into words a lot of what it’s like to have a brain that never feels quite right, and how that shapes one’s interactions with the world. Plus, Auri is the best. THE BEST.)
6. Neil Gaiman
Gaiman is one of those authors where I haven’t read nearly everything he’s written, but I completely trust him to write a damn good story every time. He has a sense of surreal fantasy which feels very different from others I read, and his work has a quiet emotional power that thrums throughout. And jesus, when he goes towards horror things get scary, fast, and never in a simple blood and guts way, which I really appreciate. Of special note is that Gaiman is a fantastic audiobook reader, too, so if you get a chance to hear him read any of his books I highly recommend it.
7. Terry Pratchett
I was read Discworld books as a kid, so Pratchett holds a warm, special place in my heart. Discworld manages to lampoon a lot of standard fantasy tropes while still being warmly affectionate to all of them, and reading the books as an adult makes me appreciate the satire and more mature themes interwoven into Pratchett’s writing all the more. And lets me catch and laugh at even more of the jokes. My personal favorite is the Guards set of books, but I have yet to be disappointed by any of Pratchett’s works. (Of special note is his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens. It’s hilarious throughout, and a few months ago when I was pulling out passages for a writing exercise I was reminded just how incredibly awesome that book is.)
8. John Scalzi
I got a copy of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War in a Humble Bundle a while back, and ended up reading it because I really wanted a sci-fi fix, but nothing on my physical bookshelf looked good. This is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I love Scalzi’s sense of humor, and the setting of Old Man’s War satiates my taste for semi-hard science fiction. He has a great voice and I’m looking forward to reading more by him.
9. Saladin Ahmed
Everyone go read Saladin Ahmed right now. He’s a fantastic writer, with beautifully spare descriptions of his setting that do a great job of evoking a world with just a few words. His fantasy is distinctly non-Western, too, focusing on Middle Eastern mythologies, and is a breath of fresh air in a genre full of knights, damsels, and an unhealthy number of castles. I’m psyched for the next book in the Crescent Moon Kingdom series. It’ll likely be a day one purchase.
This last one is an RPG line, because I am history’s greatest monster. (Or I just love RPGs. One of the two.)
10. Castles and Crusades
I’ve bought a stupid amount of books for Castles and Crusades, rivaled only by my collection of 2nd Edition Dungeons & Dragons books. These facts are intimately related. C&C does the best job I’ve seen so far of emulating 2nd edition’s feel, and so hits that special niche of old-school gaming that I love. It’s kind of wonky (although much more streamlined than 2E), possibly a little unbalanced (in the best way possible), and a damn good time. Someday I hope to get a proper campaign going, but for now it’s enough to just keep buying books and hoping. (Also, Troll Lord Games seems to be an amazing company, and I love to support them, so most of their material ends up being an auto-buy for me when I feel I have the funds. Support your awesome game creators, people!)
And that’s it! All authors whom I love, and who I trust enough to buy their books without a doubt. I’m now super-curious what authors are auto-buy for other people. You should write your own post and link to it here, or jot a few down in the comments. I’d love to see your lists!