I sat and plotted, trying to decide the best path for Atom to follow to the conclusion of his latest adventure. My eyes wandered, my mind meandered, my feet roamed… and I found myself sitting on the edge of my bed, staring at my sci-fi/fantasy bookshelf.
It is an old screw-together, composite-board affair sitting in the corner of my bedroom and I’m amazed it hasn’t collapsed yet. The shelf has seen eight homes over its life. The books have often been double stacked and I’m sure the weight capacity of words has been exceeded for the majority of the time I have owned it. There are scuff marks where tape ripped the finish off from the concert fliers I collected as a kid.
To put it mildly, this shelf is beat up.
But it still holds the books dearest to my heart.
So I sat. Looking over the titles, I wandered through the years it took me to read them all. Which of them influenced me the most? Which titles had guided me and inspired me to write science-fiction? Who that came before me, laid the groundwork for Atom Ulvan to walk the plains of the God’s Hand Galaxy?
There is a good mix of classic and contemporary sci-fi on my shelf.
I have the ancient ones – Wells and Burroughs. I have the pillars – Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, and Herbert. I have my childhood – Forstchen, Card, and Lewis. I have contemporary – Weir, McCarthy, Dantec, and Corey. I even have my thoroughly enjoyed off-track sci-fi – Priest, Shea, and Sakurazaka.
There are plenty more that fall into each of my categories, but these are the authors who jumped out to me.
So, I pondered. Which meant the most? Which author inspired me? Which of these titles would I grab and save as the house burned around me?
I don’t know which I would save. But staring at this shelf, it would come down to my hardcover copy of Lord of the Rings and my vintage Gizmo stuffed animal I have sitting on top of the shelf.
As to the influential, I would have to say Heinlein, Card, Weir, and Shea. The others have helped form my writing, but I feel that these four contributed something more directly to Atom & Go.
Robert Heinlein taught me to create stories that are driven by character.
Orson Scott Card showed me that children and family capture almost any reader.
Andy Weir taught me the importance of dialogue in moving a story.
Kieren Shea demonstrated that a book can be rip-roaring fun.
Some or none of these might show up on your book shelves, but they are on mine. They run the gamut of style and story, but they speak to me.
Anywho, enjoy the brief insight into my bookshelf. I never named the shelf, so I haven’t gone off the deep end, but it is a familiar piece of me and my life.
I am finally getting into my pre-pub checklist, so expect to see updates and early cover designs coming soon. I don’t have a firm publication date, but I’ve been told to expect Atom & Go: Genesis sometime in early July. Feel free to check me out on Facebook to keep tabs on updates and thoughts
In the meantime, keep reading (maybe check out something by one of the authors above) and keep flying the Black.