Anyway, authors whom I've read 10 or more books by. Apologies in advance for this being scifi/fantasy heavy. Hang on, no - I'm not embarrassed about it like many literary snobs feel I should be. Open your mind.
- Joan Aiken - the best writier of short stories, and some genuinely creepy horror books.
- Diana Wynne Joans - like Vanessa says, the Chrestomanci cycle is far superior to the whole Harry Potter monstrosity, and The Homeward Bounders is one of the best books EVER
- Iain Banks - both his scifi and 'straight' fiction are marvelous.
- Michael Leunig - do cartoons count? I reckon they should and this man is the best.
- Herge - well of course, hasn't everyone read all the Tintin books?
- Kurt Vonnegut - who I'm still struggling to actually like but his books always make me think.
- Ursula Le Guin - if you have even a passing interest in fantasy books read the Earthsea trilogy. And The Dispossessed is wonderful scifi.
- Shakespeare - the Bard. Need I say more?
- Terry Pratchett - he's been slipping lately but still funny and occasionally provocative (well, for humourous fantasy).
- Tim Powers - brilliantly weaves fantasy with historical fiction. And is not beyond really hurting his main characters.
- Jack Vance - The Dying Earth is deservedly a classic of it's kind.
- David Eddings - um. A vice, I'll admit.
- Brian Aldiss - good stuff.
- Patricia Wrightson - The Nargun and the Stars and the Wirrun series I haven't read for decades (eek! I'm old..) but I still remember vividly.
- Issac Asimov, Arthur C Clarke - not so much any more but still interesting for their time. Dated a bit in many cases but still great imaginations.
- E E "Doc" Smith - what was I thinking?!
- Robert Heinlein - I have no excuses..
- Piers Anthony - *hangs head in shame*
- Enid Blyton - *shifts nervously* well, haven't we all? *getting defensive* I mean, it's not a sickness, it's just a phase..
- Willard Price - *small voice* oh crap.
- Raymond E Feist - I'm sorry! I'm sorry! *weeps* I won't do it again!
- Larry Niven - *contemplates suicide*
- Ray Bradbury - *rallies* see, I'm not a complete loss. This guy was a strange and wonderful writer.
- Phillip K Dick - NOW we're talking! So ahead of his time that his time has yet to truly arrive. Read A Scanner Darkly, you won't regret it.
Um, I'll leave the list on that high(ish) note, before I unearth any more tragic authors.
Note that this is just those of whom I've read 10 or more, I have read Dickens, James, Austin, Frame, Huxley, Orwell, Hemingway, Lawrence, Joyce, et al (except for Tolstoy - I speet on your Warr and Peeeeses..) just not more than 10 books. Often only one. Just so I can drop it suavely into conversation at parties.
Let's face it, often a writer only has a few good books. Sometimes only one (come in JD Salinger). Occasionally they spin a shitty series out of that one book (come in Frank Herbert). Some die before making 10 books (RIP Douglas Adams) but the ones they left are delicious, forever-tantalising, morsels.