Monday, January 18, 2010

Who Read My Books? Taylor Preston.


I recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a BA in English and am currently in the process of applying for graduate school. I studied abroad in Oxford last summer and absolutely loved it. As soon as I have enough money I hope to come back. No technical or scientific background, but I love science and always have. Not enough people with English degrees appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world, and more’s the shame.

It’s safe to say I’ve read a lot of books, but I’m particularly fond of science fiction. Current favorites writing in the genre are Reynolds, Banks, Morgan, Kessel, Gibson (Gary, though I do like William as well), Hamilton, and, of course, Asher. I’m starting to reread many of the classics and I’ve found a lot to like in A.E. Van Vogt, Larry Niven, and Samuel Delany.

As well as reading, I also enjoy writing since my undergrad concentration was Creative Writing. I’ve taken fiction writing from John Kessel, which was loads of fun, particularly since he’s a science fiction writer and all around great guy.

8 comments:

XiXiDu said...

Do you cherry pick these people or is everybody who's reading your books a freaking genius?

:-)

Neal Asher said...

I'm just putting them up in the order that I received them. I think yours might be next, or after the next one.

XiXiDu said...

I've been joking of course.

Also it says more about who's reading your blog than your books anyway. And of those who are reading your blog, it shows what kind of people tend to answer your question regarding who's reading your books.

Answer: Of all people reading your blog, mostly very educated men tend to answer questions about who they are.

Now I'd be interested in the percentage of average women reading your books. Though reading your books already does defenestrate the attribute of being 'ordinary'... ;-)

XiXiDu said...

By the way, who's Kessel? Should I know him?

Neal Asher said...

Yeah, severe lack of female readers so far - I'll probably get accused of being sexist.

Taylor said...

XiXiDu,

John Kessel has written a couple of novels, Good News From Outer Space and Corrupting Dr. Nice (my favorite of his) and has a couple of short-story collections, The Pure Product and The Baum Plan for Financial Independence. He recently had a story in the Dozois anthology The New Space Opera 2 called "Events Preceding the Helvetican Rennaisance" and publishes stories regularly in Asimov's and Fantasy and Science Fiction. Though most of his stuff is less hard science-oriented, he has a good breadth of material. My two favorites by him are Corrupting Dr. Nice, a time-travel novel, and "Helvetican Rennaisance," a throwback to old school space opera.

Ian said...

Hi XiXiDu,

I believe Kessel must refer to
the author John Kessel. He made
his first impression on SF in the
middle 1980's with his short stories, most of them first published in Asimov's (many of these are gathered into the collection Meeting at Infinity) His novels include Freedom Beach, Corrupting Dr. Nice, and The Pure Product.

Kessel's work tends to be in a satirical vein, employing the tropes of SF to comment on the
more absurd aspects of the Human
Condition.

Recently he has collaborated with
fellow author James Patrick Kelly
on a series of anthologies issued
by Tachyon Books; they include
Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology, Feeling Very Strange:
The Slipstream Anthology, and The Secret History of Science Fiction

Kessel's website is worth a visit
if you are interested in learning
more

Ian said...

A few corrections to my (too hastily written) comments
on John Kessel:

The Pure Product is, of course,
a short story collection, not a
novel (as I erroneously stated)

The anthologies co-edited with
James Patrick Kelly are issued
by Tachyon Books, not Tachyon Press

My characterization of Mr Kessel as
a satirist is,I fear, too glib and facile; his body of work displays far more versatility and depth of sensibility than can be conveyed
by any simplistic labeling.

Apologies to all for my carelessness.