William Gibson - Neuromancer, Pattern Recognition. He invented a whole genre of literature with his first book.
Isaac Isamov - Foundation, I Robot.
Robert Heinlein - Starship Troopers, Stranger In A Strange Land, The Moon Is A Hard Mistress, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls.
Brett Easton Ellis - Less Than Zero, American Psycho, Glamorama.
Douglas Coupland - Generation X, Microserfs.
Jay McInerney - Bright Lights, Big City, Model Behavior.
Douglas Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide, etc.
Chuck Palahniuk - Fight Club, Lullaby.
Didn't realize it until I wrote that list that all of these authors have something in common - they each had brilliant insights/observations about human nature and liked to use irony and satire to make their points.
Charles Darwin rocks! On the Origin of Species is the most epic story ever written.
Originally Posted by LJD
Another great question. I don't think I could list every author whose work has touched me, but a partial list of them in no particular order is:
Joe Nick Patoski
Billy Gibbons (His own book, and several forewords. Always unique and interesting.)
Most every biography and autobiography I've ever read has given me something to take with me, so I owe a debt to all of those writers and ghost-writers. Unfortunately, I don't remember their names to list them here. Likewise for the true crime authors I've read.
P.S. - There was someone else nagging at me that I couldn't remember. FINALLY it came to me: Poe. I'm ashamed I didn't remember him to begin with.
Anyone who read this will understand that the Coen brothers took this book and turned it into "The Matrix"....stole total sequences, not to mention the base of Zion and the entire concept of "Plugging into the matrix". Never checked, but I wonder if he got screen-writing credits or script consultant credits? Still, if Ridley Scott didn't acknowledge Philip K. Dick's script for "Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep" in "Bladerunner" (which was not used) then I wouldn't be surprised if Gibson was ignored in the film credits to "The Matrix".
Originally Posted by Serious Poo
Old Stephen King ( It Carrie Salems Lot etc )
Mordecai Richler - Anything at all. As a Canuck, I think it should be required reading as civic duty.
Hemingway - I really like his descriptions of tastes and smells. Especially short stories, like The Snows of Kilimanjaro, or A Clean, Well-lighted place.
Roddy Doyle - This guy wrote the book that was turned into a great music film of the same name "The Commitments". His characters are great, and he weaves history into his fiction in some pretty interesting ways.
Henning Mankell - If you dig any of those "Dragon Tattoo" books, or are into crime novels, these are just about the best I've found.
Milan Kundera - I like all of them, and "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" is the most well known, but "Immortality" is also a fave of mine. I read a lot of his books while getting my degree in Political Science, and had a prof turn me on to him as I studied a lot of Communism. Great imagery and surrealism in people's dreams. It's also really jarring at times. I think that I will start re-reading some of this this holiday.
There's a few more... I'm a big reader.
Ah! A czech author! I believe you read him in french...?
Originally Posted by jarek anderson
Both French, and English. All of his books have made it into English, but I've read The Unbearable Lightness in both. He lives in France now, I do believe?
Originally Posted by Albrecht Smuten
He does, and I think he writes in french past years (hence my assumption) and translates his earlier works from czech to french himself...
Originally Posted by jarek anderson