Tuesday, July 16, 2013

TTT: Writers who Deserve More Recognition

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
In the age of uber-celebrity writers like Stephenie Meyer and E.L. James, I get a little angry that mentions of favourite books and authors are met with "huh?" "who?" "never heard of it/him" by anyone outside of the book blogging community. If it doesn't involve an abusive relationship between a dull brunette and an aggressive but super-omg-hot guy with copper highlights, or if it isn't linked to a successful film or TV franchise, then it's not worth reading.

So of course I'm taking part in TTT this week, I'm going to share the author love and before long my favourite authors will take over the world and I will be SO HAPPY. This isn't just a list of new authors, or authors who have never been heard of except in the most obscure of readers circles, it's just a bunch of authors that I love and think should receive as much attention as possible.

Author: Ben Templesmith
Genre: graphic novels/horror
Read if you like: Warren Ellis, dark humour, supernatural themes.
Why you should read him: I was introduced to Templesmith's art through the 30 Days of Night graphic novel series and I was absolutely delighted when he turned his hand to writing as well. His art is phenomenal, there's something very HP Lovecraft-y about his style (I think it might be the prevalence of tentacles) and the way he colours is just...I can't even describe it. His writing is much the same. He gravitates to horror and the supernatural, and manages to blend humour, nihilism, tortured protagonists and tentacle beasts in a way that isn't just completely derivative or hack.

Author: Layton Green
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Read if you like: Dan Brown, cults and the paranormal, cat and mouse investigations
Why you should read him:  Layton Green's Dominic Grey series, is addictive reading. It follows in the vein of Dan Brown's supernatural/phenomenon investigative style, but I find these books so much more interesting and fulfilling. They weave fact with fiction brilliantly, inspiring mid-read wikipedia and google searches, and frequently leading to conspiracy theory websites which is about the most ridiculous and hilarious thing you can ever do (seriously, people are cray). Maybe that sort of thing isn't your cup of tea, but I actually really love when a book inspires me to do a little investigating of my own, rather than just take their information as fact (or knowing it's 100% fiction).

Author: Richard Matheson
Genre: Horror/sci-fi
Read if you like: The Twilight Zone,  Stephen King, nihilistic protagonists
Why you should read him:  He's just really, really good alright. I Am Legend is one of my favourite books, if not my MOST favourite book, and I just find the way he crafts stories mind-blowing. He is genre fiction, he's an influential player in just about every element of horror and science fiction, an honour usually withheld for anyone except the earliest adopters of a genre. And yet people who aren't actively involved in those genres don't usually know anything about him, or rather, they don't realise that a lot of those tv shows and movies they love are based on his writing, or that he wrote anything other than I Am Legend. He passed away a few weeks ago, so I think it's even more important to get people talking about him.

Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Genre: fantasy/childrens/YA
Read if you like: Magic, eccentricity, Harry Potter, colourful characters, Miyazaki films
Why you should read her: It wouldn't be a TTT post without a mention of DWJ, but seriously, how do you even survive childhood without this being required reading? The worlds created by DWJ are so vibrant, creative and wonderfully visual. The characters trip through parallel universes, use seven-league boots, are cursed by witches, and have multiple lives which they lose quite regularly (occasionally by cricket bat to the head). They're a lot of fun, but like any good children's story, they're full of morals and lessons imparted in the least didactic and most wonderful ways possible.

Author: Ernest Cline
Genre: Sci-fi
Read if you like: popular culture, video games, Dungeons and Dragons, John Hughes films
Why you should read him:  Ready Player One is his first novel and it is one of my favourite reads of 2013. It's a brilliant mash of popular culture, science fiction, social commentary and RPGs. If he manages to bring this much love and excitement to the rest of his books then i'm pretty sure he's going to have a long and incredibly fun career ahead of him. But seriously, everyone loves this book, regardless of whether they spent their childhoods geeking over the same things as Cline.

Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA/NA, general fiction
Read if you like: Nora Ephron romantic comedies, quick wit, popular culture references.
Why you should read her: Full disclosure, I've only read one Rainbow Rowell book. That's only because I loved Attachments so much I'm trying to spread the rest out so I don't die of sadness when there are no new books to read (by the by, she has a new book due out next year!). But yes, read Rowell's books. She's smart, funny and her stories will make your stomach do flips of happiness (that's a thing right? Just me?). Her characters are so realistic and lovable and I just can't put into words how happy and content I was when I finished Attachments. 

Author: Joe Hill
Genre: horror/sci-fi
Read if you like: Stephen King, HP Lovecraft,
Why you should read him:  Joe Hill gets me excited to read. He's the son of Stephen King, the mastermind of the phenomenal Locke and Key graphic novel series, and his book Horns is about to come out as a film starring Daniel Radcliffe (I needed any excuse to post that picture of Daniel Radcliffe from the film because, reasons). He's about to explode and you know you want to be riding that wave so that you can cockily say "yeah, I read him before he was huge" to all your less well-informed friends. But also, he's a really neat writer. He manages to reinvigorate staid genres or tropes (check out his short story The Cape), bring characters to life and write satisfying conclusions (something papa King isn't always the best at). He flops between fiction and graphic novels with an ease that just isn't fair, and his twitter is both hilarious and introspective. Just read him already OK?

And because I'm lazy I'm going to end my list here, but if you have any recommendations then let me know in the comments!


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