Favorite Authors

George R. R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire is a good series. There's always lots of characters and lots of plot lines going on, and the people you like don't always win.

Orson Scott Card - he can write some awesome stories. The only problem is his sequels aren't that good. Hmm, maybe I should reword that: the first book in any one of his series has always been extremely well done; many of them I consider among my favorites of all time. His sequels, however, start to lack something. His writing still kicks, but the plot lines and the ideas become more complicated and less interesting. Overall, though, one of my favorite authors.
Recommended books: Treason, Ender's Game, Enchantment, Wyrm, Seventh Son, The Worthing Saga, The Memory of Earth

Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange Land is pretty good. Some of his other stories aren't half bad either. After reading too many of Heinlein's books, though, you realize 90% of his characters are EXACTLY THE SAME. In too many of his books they're all incredibly easy going, flexible, and say whatever is on their mind, constantly. Which makes alot of his books pretty one sided in terms of character interaction. I would strongly recommend reading a few of his higher rated books and leaving the rest alone.
Recommended books: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Puppet Masters, Starship Troopers (a bit different from the movie), The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

R.A. Salvatore - I don't know what to think of him. Most of his books are pretty mediocre, but I think Drizzt is just too cool of a character.
Recommended books: Homeland, Exile, Sojourn, The Crystal Shard, Streams of Silver, The Halfling's Gem

Raymond Feist - The first couple books in the pug series are lots of fun, and I highly recommend them. His later books become somewhat formulaic though.
Recommended books: Magician: Apprentice, Magician: Master

Joan D. Vinge - Her short story 'Tin Soldier' is really good. GO READ IT. Her novel 'The Snow Queen' is pretty damn good too.

David Marusek - 'We Were Out of Our Minds With Joy'. Tin Soldier reminded me of this one. I really loved this story. It really makes you think.

Neal Stephenson - Snow Crash is one of the best sci-fi novels I have ever read. It manages to do the cyber-future thing while staying lighthearted. Cryptonomicon is fairly good, more realistic, but also not as much fun. I also liked one of his earlier books: The Big U. It is very similar to Snow Crash, but not as refined.

Ayn Rand - Ok, the only book I've read is Atlas Shrugged, but I have some thoughts on that. I really liked it at first, especially the emphasis on realizing your own worth and the value of intelligence. However, I disagree entirely with the conclusion she comes up with, which is that government should be entirely hands off in economic matters. And I got the point after 400 pages of repetition, you don't have to keep repeating it for 400 more (ack! that 50 page monologue sucks!). Also, you know, capitalism is good and all, but I also like to walk outside without wearing a face mask and worrying about my health. And while SOME companies may voluntarily choose to respect things like the environment and human rights, I seriously doubt such companies would survive for long when it's so much cheaper to abuse the resources at hand rather than cultivate them. The reason government 'intervention' is not against capitalism is that certain resources often thought of as 'cheap' and 'freely available' in 'infinite quantities', is not actually so. So how do we charge for the use of these resources? We set up organizations (usually governmental ones) that monitor their use and charge companies that reduce the quality or quantity of the resource. Ok, enough on that rant.

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