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A Fictional Youth

by Mike Singleton - Mikeydred 2 months ago in literature · updated 2 months ago
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How My Reading Was Influenced Down The Path of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mythology and More

My Reading

In The Beginning

My reading preferences like many things in my life put me on the outside of what people consider to be acceptable reading

This is a vague timeline of books, authors and series that I have read, and I think that a lot of people will look and just say Mike is so weird, but the books I read have taken me to other worlds, universes, lands and times

In Primary Scool I was exposed to various mythologies, Greek, Roman, Norse, And Eastern pus the Bible to some extent so the fantastical stories really caught my imagination.

You may be surprised to know, that while I loved these two guys I find their books difficult to read, but have enjoyed the film and TV adaptations of their books.

Stephen King

I have only read "It" and "The Stand" and the only thing I took from them was that "The Stand" was way too long. I loved the film of "Christine" and many more but King's sales show that I am in a tiny minority.

Terry Pratchett

The only book of Terry Pratchett’s that I read was “Mort” and I loved that character but often found his names and concepts too contrived for me, but I loved the TV adaptations and like with Stephen King his sales show that I am in a tiny minority.

It Probably Started With A Hobbit

In my first year at Grammar School, one book grabbed my attention, The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. This wasn’t mythology, although in a way it was. Dwarves, Hobbits (they were new to me), Wizards, Dragons and The Ring. This whetted my appetite and I then found this was a precursor to “Lord of The Rings” which I immediately devoured and have revisited several times.

Hawkwind, Dorian Hawkmoon and Michael Moorcock

In my teens, I picked up on the Space Rock of Hawkwind, and their close collaboration with Michal Moorcock led me to his Runestaff books, with the hero Dorian Hawkmoon. This was very much science fantasy and though the books were quite short they packed so much in and made me want to read more.

I discovered Elric the Albino and his soul-stealing black blade Stormbringer, then Corum of the Silver Hand drawing heavily on Celtic mythology.

Stephen Donaldson -The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

Stephen Donaldson’s “Chronicles of Thomas Covenant” was an effort to plough through but the concept was excellent, a leper who has access to an alternate reality where the adventures take place. So while it was difficult and depressing at times I read all of the books and was glad that I finished them.

Julian May - The Saga of the Exiles

Again we are in a Fantasy world, and thinking of this it is unbelievable how many books I have actually read. This was another with a 22nd-century group going back six million years and staring on a series of adventures.

How JG Ballard became My Favourite Author

The thing I love about JG Ballard is the way he takes the familiar and then twists it into a world of danger, or something completely unexpected.

“High Rise” and “Concrete Island” are prime examples of this, but he also takes other routes such as “Crash” equating motor accidents with sexual gratification. Sex does play a part in many of his stories so maybe that initially grabbed me as well.

Frank Herbert's Dune Saga

The Dune books were complex, but the Spice and Sandworms and political machinations drew me into this, although these were heavy volumes that have been brought to the screen several times.

HP Lovecraft and The Cthulhu Mythos

This is fantasy horror in one of its finest incarnations, lots of short stories although “At The Mountains of Madness” was published as a novel.

Cthulu is still with us today showing how this concept latched on to the fantasy psyche.

Clive Barker Showed Me The Imajica

Many years ago I got a Book Club Associates volume of Clive Barket’s “Weaveworld” about a magic carpet in Liverpool. This took you into realms of fairies and creatures in lost deserts and a quest to protect the inhabitants of the carpet.

I investigated his horror and enjoyed them including the first “Hellraiser” film, but it was “Imajica” featuring five dominions, magic and reconciliation and has become my favourite book which I am permanently reading on my Kindle Fire.

Philip Jose Farmer and Riverworld

I have read many of Farmer’s books but the Riverworld concept is probably the most striking one, where everyone is reborn on a world which has a huge river running pole to pole and the events that happen which various historical entities are thrown together.

Conclusion With Many That Also Caught My Imagination

These are just a few that brought me into science fiction, fantasy, mythologies and more types of fiction. I have missed so many off like Brian Aldiss, Harry Harrison, Lary Niven and so many more. I hope at least one of these makes you think “I wonder what that is about?”

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About the author

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Mike Singleton writes,blogs,makes music,loves,explores,and helps

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  • Jason Hauser2 months ago

    Many of your early books were the same as mine, although I did like King. Loved IT and The Stand, although I'm not a diehard fan and haven't read most of his stuff, just maybe a third.

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