5 writers I keep meaning to read

Yesterday I listed 11 writers that I always read. Today I’m going to list 5 writers that I keep meaning to read. These are authors who are active and who I may have read once or twice before and who I may have even met, but for some reason, I just really haven’t read their stuff. I’ve meant to, but just haven’t gotten around to it. There are only so many hours in a day. Don’t judge.

1. Elizabeth Bear

I’ve only read two things by Elizabeth Bear: “Tideline” and “Sonny Liston Takes the Fall.” The latter I heard at a reading at Readercon and was blown away by what I heard. I’ve followed her blog for years and met her once or twice at conventions. You’d think I would have read more of what she’s written but I haven’t. I want to.

2. Robert Reed

A few years back I read Robert Reed‘s novella “Marrow” and it was another one of those stories that blew me away. Somehow I managed to miss it in its original appearance in Science Fiction Age. I have on occasion read a Reed story here and there and I’ve always enjoyed them. I want to read more. The thing that amazes me about Robert Reed is how prolific he is. His name is everywhere and I am always reading and hearing good things about his stories.

3. Mike Resnick

I love Mike Resnick‘s Dialogues column which he writes with Barry N. Malzberg in the SFWA Bulletin. But I don’t believe I have ever read any of Mike’s fiction. (I can hear that sucking in of air as those reading this post gasp in shock.) This is not because I don’t like Mike’s fiction; I have no means to judge. I simply haven’t gotten around to reading him, despite always wanting to. Mike is one of those writers that I’ve been holding in my back pocket, so to speak. He is incredibly prolific and his stories and novels are wildly popular and so I figure that when I do finally get around to reading him (hopefully soon), it will be like gorging on a midnight buffet.

4. Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The first “personal” rejection letter I ever received was from Kristine Kathryn Rusch when she was editing F&SF. That was a big moment for me. I know it sounds funny to speak of rejection in such a positive way. Writer’s out there will understand. That was back in 1995 or so. In all the time since, I’ve read only one piece of fiction by Rusch: “Rescuing Apollo 8”–and I absolutely loved it! Naturally I want to read more. Once again, it just comes down to finding the time to read more.

5. Michael Swanwick

Michael Swanwick is another popular and prolific author of whom I have read nothing. I’ve met Michael, chatted with him at some length at Balticon, and many of his story titles and novel titles are familiar to me. But I still haven’t read them.  But once again, I want to.

Some of these writers I’ve been wanting to read for years and simply haven’t gotten around to it. If anyone out there is willing to recommend a good place to start with one or more of these writers, please leave your suggestions in the comments. I would really appreciate it. In a way, I think it is exciting that I haven’t read these authors yet. You never know when you are going to find something that is new to you, that you love and that you just want to keep reading. Five possibilities like this exist out there for me right now.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some writers whose work I’ve attempted to read and struggled with for one reason or another.


  1. On my way to the Worldcon in Boston I was reading one of Robert Reed’s stories in a Hartwell Best SF collection and suddenly realize that he was sitting in the window seat of the plane (I was on the aisle). I had met him before, just hadn’t noticed him until I was in the middle of his story.

    1. Steven, great story. I’ve occasionally imagined reading a book (say, a Stephen King novel) and look over to see Stephen King sitting next to me. Might be awkward if you don’t know the person, but in your case, it just makes for a great story.

  2. Gah…there is plenty you might go with.

    Given you are more SF than fantasy, then start with the singleton Carnival. I think that will give you a good taste of her writing style without committing to a series.

  3. Jamie,

    You like short stories as well as novels: So for Swanwick read Gravity’s Angels or Tales of Old Earth for story collections. For novels – Stations of the Tide or Vacuum Flowers.

    I agree with Carnival for Bear but I also liked Dust, Chill and Grail which is a trilogy in the SF/Zelazny vein.

    Reed I like a lot more as a short story writer – his collections Cuckoo’s Boys and The Dragons of Springplace are good places to start.

    Read Kininyaga for a good start on Resnick It’s a series of connected short fiction.

    For Rusch I like her short fiction better than her novels – get collections Stories for an Enchanted Afternoon and Recovering Apollo 8.

    You’ve got some great reading ahead!

  4. Michael Swanwick is worthy of becoming number 12 on your “Writers I always read” list.

    The best time to start would be after you finish the March 1942 issue of your Golden Age vacation – the one with A.E. van Vogt’s “Recruiting Station”. Take a pause after page 46 and find a copy of Swanwick’s Hugo Award winning novelette “Legions in Time” (most recently in “The Best of Michael Swanwick”).

    “Legions” is a love letter, parody, deconstruction, homage, burlesque, update, satire, and all-in-all a big wet sloppy kiss of and to all things van Vogt. It is one of the best full-blown recursive SF works ever.

    Read it.

    1. Mark, I’ve read a few things by Michael now and I’ve liked them. I’ve made a note and will take your advice after the March 1942 issue. Incidentally, I used to see Michael at conventions and was too nervous to approach him; he’s rather gregarious. But I finally did at Balticon and we chatted for a while before a panel. He’s a nice fellow.


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