Open Thread: Under the Influence

Lonespark suggests the following as an open thread topic:

Authors who have influenced you. The meme I saw asked for 15…we could break it down to different genres or media…they specifically said to include poets, but that could be its own list. Plus I did put playwrights, but really I think that could be a different category…

What do you think? For those who write, who inspires you? For the ready of us, have the berm writers that have changed your outlook or influenced how you think of act in the world?

As a reminder, open threads are about all things to all people. Prompts are provided to get the conversation started, but take it where you need it to go. Additionally, open thread ideas are always welcome at all times.

9 thoughts on “Open Thread: Under the Influence

  1. lonespark42 March 25, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Here’s the meme as it came to me:

    The Rules: Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen authors (poets included) who’ve influenced you and that will always stick with you. List the first 15 you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag at least 15 friends, including me, because I’m interested in seeing what authors my friends choose.

  2. lonespark42 March 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Oops, I meant to delete that last sentence.

    My list:

    J.R.R. Tolkien. Kurt Vonnegut. Sherman Alexie. N.K. Jemisin. Ursula LeGuin. Audre Lourde. Fred Clark. Maurice Broaddus. Alaya Dawn Johnson. Nisi Shawl. Jason Pitzl-Waters. Crystal Blanton. Marion Zimmer-Bradley. George Orwell. Robert Heinlen. Arthur C. Clarke. Fred Small. Stephen Jay Gould. Mary Oliver. Marge Piercy. Wendell Barry. Peter Gould & Stephen Stearns. Mercedes Lackey. Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire. Diana Paxson. Maurice Sendak. Dr. Suess. Some people who wrote this Christian holy book thing called The Bible, and some other people who translated it into English. Victor Hugo. Douglas Adams. Connie Willis. Adrienne Rich. Jean M. Auel. Jean Craighead George.

    There are lots more poets, but I am having a wicked hard time thinking of names.

  3. lonespark42 March 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    What? I think maybe I lost people in the copy and paste. Nalo Hopkinson, Tobias Buckell and Charles Dickens are the only ones I remember.

  4. alexseanchai March 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    Anne McCaffrey. Mercedes Lackey. Orson Scott Card (yes, I know). CS Lewis. JK Rowling. Seanan McGuire. Elizabeth Bear. Tanya Huff. William Shakespeare. Emily Dickinson. Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Sappho. P!nk. More Internet people than I can count; particular nods to Anne B. Walsh and MadGastronomer, though I don’t know if the latter self-identifies as author or poet.

    On the off chance that MG is reading this: your comments on Slacktivist on Typepad years ago are a large part of why I’m pro-choice. Thank you.

    I know perfectly well Anne is not reading this and also she knows what she did to my head already.

    About Card. Yes, the man has appalling political views that shine through in his writing, as his religious views do. That’s actually what I admire about him: that he can write a compelling (however flawed; y’all are following Something Short and Snappy, right?) story making a political point or ten, without the story losing any of the compellingness in the process of making the point. That’s a skill I admire and wish to emulate.

  5. DawnM March 25, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    J.R.R.Tolkein, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Jay Gould, Lewis Carroll, Carolyn Keene (I know she’s not a real person), Willie the Shakes, Robertson Davies, Jane Austin, E.M. Forster, James Alan Gardner, William Goldman, Erica Jong, C.S. Lewis, Thomas King, Alice Walker.
    (Not every one of these was a ‘good’ influence…)

  6. depizan March 25, 2014 at 7:20 pm

    J.R.R. Tolkien, Diana Wynne Jones, Brian Daley, Lois McMaster Bujold, Dorothy L. Sayers, Elizabeth Peters, Harry Harrison, Mercedes Lackey, Terry Pratchett, Mary Stewart, Lloyd Alexander, Alan Dean Foster, Agatha Christie, Clive Cussler (if for nothing other than enthusiastically writing for fun), and others.

  7. madhabmatics March 25, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Haha, I’m going to assume it doesn’t just mean positive influence, so:

    G.K. Chesterton, Watchman Nee, C.S. Lewis, Tolstoy, Muhammad Asad AKA Crowd Pleasah (sorry, psych joke, aka Leopold Weiss), Khaled Abou el Fadl, Viteslav Gardavsky, Andrei Znamenski, bell hooks, Gloria Steinem, Jorge Luis Borges, L. Sprague de Camp, Mike Resnick, Gene Wolfe, Bill Bridges.

  8. lonespark42 March 26, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I forgot Erma Bombeck and Dave Barry. And Letty Cotton Pogrebin. That was a huge oversight. Possibly also Robin McKinley?

    (Probably I could keep going forever… I still haven’t included most of the poets…)

  9. froborr March 26, 2014 at 11:33 am

    JRR Tolkien, Terry Pratchett, Isaac Asimov, Daniel Pinkwater, Margaret Atwood, Philip Sandifer, HP Lovecraft,* Carl Sagan, SJ Gould, Ursula LeGuin, Jane Yolen, Patricia Wrede, Roger Zelazny, Jorge Luis Borges, JMS.

    *Yes, his work is frequently appallingly racist and classist, and his word choice is often clumsy and sesquipedalian. But he is an absolute master of creating an atmosphere of existential horror, and his use of horror, the absurd, and the grotesque to represent the fundamental purposelessness of existence has been a big influence. Mostly on my GMing, but on the rare occasion I write fiction, it tends to show up sooner or later.

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