This is in no way a complete list of my favourite authors, but it’s a start:

SF & Fantasy
Simply put, Ms. Le Guin was one of the all-time greats of speculative fiction who penned many thought-provoking works including The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, as well as the YA ‘Earthsea’ trilogy. If you haven’t read anything by her, you should.

SF & Fantasy
Kage Baker is another wonderfully talented writer with a wry, keen sense of humour, and a deft touch at writing characters you long to meet. Never mind, she wrote rollickingly good stories you wish you had written. I was lucky enough to come across her work and chose The Empress Of Mars by way of introduction to her Company series, which I can highly recommend!

SF & Fantasy
The ever prolific Cherryh wrote one of my all-time favourite science fiction books, Serpent’s Reach, which while not a startling piece of fiction a couple of decades later, nonetheless made a huge impression on me at the time. Mostly due to the fact it had a young teenage female protagonist with whom I readily identified with. Female heroes were not something you saw featured very often in SF novels, way back in the emerging 70s.

SF & Fantasy
Vinge is another one of those authors with whom I figuratively grew up with back in the late 70s early 80s. It started with my sister (as it always did when it came to books and new authors) telling me to read this one or that one, as was her want. My first Vinge stories were, The Outcasts of Heaven Belt and The Crystal Ship.

SF & Fantasy
While she might not have been as prolific (yet) as Cherryh, Moon has, nonetheless, managed to write a handful of series that include some of my favourite stories: the Serrano Legacy (7 books in all); Vatta’s War (5 books to date); and a host of short stories featured in any number of anthologies these last couple of decades.

Not only is Ms. King well known for her award-winning Det. Kate Martinelli series, of which I am a huge fan, but she has also penned the highly acclaimed and likewise award-winning Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series. Check them out if you love thoroughly well-written mysteries with a very odd twist.

SF and Fantasy
Jim writes delightful stories and flights of fantasy that capture the imagination and will appeal to everyone, no matter their age, looking to escape into another world. Check out his Goblin series starting with, ‘Goblin War’. Great fun! Also, not to be missed, are his retelling of the fairytales, start with the Stepsister Scheme.

Probably not as well know as Tom Clancy or his ilk, or even in that strata, yet. Nonetheless, Eisler’s work is up there with the best of them because, not only does the author tell a damn good story but he populates them with kick-ass, all-too-human, fully fleshed out and flawed characters. If you enjoy gritty, realistic action and well-plotted intelligent thrillers, then I suggest you check out Barry Eisler’s work.

Okay, so maybe I am partially biased towards Bren’s works of short fiction (mostly for adults) not only because she’s an online friend, but because she writes kick-ass humour. Thankfully, for all of us, she writes both adult and YA and has started to generate a lot of interest with her latest works, including: How To Bee, The Dog Runner, and In The Dark Spaces! 

Mystery & Suspense 
Canadian author Louise Penny is now one of my ‘go-to’ authors when looking for a good read. Problem is, I’ve now managed to read my way through all 14 titles in her Inspector ‘Gamache’ series. A wonderful murder-mystery series set in the fictional village of Three Pines, which is lost in the rustic countryside of Québec. So how could I not love these books, they’re all written where I live? If you love superbly plotted works filled with quirky characters who seem like neighbours, then you cannot go wrong with these well-crafted mysteries.

Science Fiction
I found Gareth, way back when, his publisher contacted me to pre-review his (at the time) latest novel, Ack-Ack Macaque and, so intrigued by the title and cover, said yes. Here is an imaginative writer who knows his craft, has put in the time, and who writes thoroughly kick-ass genre crossovers that skilfully meld SF with alt history, and lashings of Steampunk vibes. I mean, what could be better? If you only ever read one book of his, make sure it’s Ack-Ack Macaque … and then, do yourself a BIG favour, go read the rest! 

Other favourite and go-to authors I’ve discovered in the last couple of years also include:

  • SJ Bennett
  • Steve Berry
  • Steph Broadribb
  • Karen Brooks
  • SA Chakraborty
  • Anders de la Motte
  • Karen Engelmann
  • Jane Harper
  • Harry Hunsicker
  • Kathleen Kent
  • Vaseem Khan
  • Joe R. Lansdale
  • James McGee
  • Angela Marsons
  • Becky Masterman
  • Steph Matuku
  • Barbara Nickless
  • Sara Paretsky
  • Sarah Penner
  • Kathy Reichs
  • Martin Cruz Smith
  • Andrew Taylor
  • Emma Viskic

and many more to come …

Another big influence on me as a child growing up in a house that didn’t really watch TV was the Grand Master of science fiction, Robert A. Heinlein. I’ve also read most of the SF classics and their authors: Asimov / Clarke / Herbert / McCaffrey