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    • CommentAuthorPooka
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    I just got an early christmas present in the form of a beautiful copy of Six Stories from my wonderful husband. :)
    I'm a big Stephen King fan. I started reading his books when I was in second grade ( and is probably why I'm so messed up today). I always found that if I wanted a book I could lose myself in for hours, I could just pick almost anything by King and I would be amused. I've collected everything by him and got all the first editions of the Dark Tower comic, but I thought I'd actually own a copy of Six Stories. Before i got internet access, it was a mythical book that I couldn't find anything about except that it was listed tauntingly with the other novels he'd done.
    I mean, I'm a poor comic book store owner...we tend to get our grubby hands on some pretty awesome stuff... I recently got a signed first print of a Suydam Zombie Moonknight print...we picked up some sweet ass early early Fantasitic Four issues for free because some guy just wanted to get rid of his comics...
    But I haven't had my hands on anything worth as much as this book is to me (not to mention the going price of $1350.00 for a slightly damaged copy!)
    I am a happy Pooka.
    I am a very happy Pooka.

    So other than me just bragging, I'd like to turn this into an actual discussion. Growing up, what books influenced you the most? Mine were the stephen king books, and the Time Life, Enchanted World series. My dad read stories about Beowulf, dragons, monsters, vampires, and faries, and I became a little obsessed with mythology and mythological creatures as i grew up. In highschool all I'd draw were dragons and art teacher was a baptist preacher. He made me paint landscape paintings instead and said I shouldn't spend time on so much evil garbage, that it wasn't art.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    A Wrinkle in Time and The Berenstain Bears were a pretty big deal to me when I was a wee one.

    Teenage years were full of all things Tolkien, and Preacher by Garth Ennis changed my life.

    Honestly even though I've been a lifelong reader, I wasn't a total bookworm until my 20's at which time I discovered Kerouac, Burroughs, Rushdie, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Hesse, and countless others. Since then Fury by Salman Rushdie has been my biggest Holy Living Fuck moment.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Pooka - I'm sorry you had such a horrid art teacher. I've been blessed with a near-universally good experience with art teachers and professors, so to hear about one calling their student's work garbage makes me want to do something with Helter Skelter in the background.

    Stephen King is also one of the gods in my pantheon, starting with the first three Dark Tower books and steadily progressing to everything else. You have my jealousy for having received Six Stories, not least because I'd really like to read Blind Willie.

    Neil Gaiman, William Gibson, Mr. Ellis, and Jim Butcher are probably not just my favorite writers, but the ones that have taught me the most, about writing and about living.
  1.  (174.4)
    Growing up, my constant companions were King, then Harlan Ellison, Heinlein, Asimov, Dick and Clarke - basically the SF of the time. Then odder stuff like Illuminatus! got into my range.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    As with you, Cat, Asimov, Heinlein and Clarke were huge. Ray Bradbury changed my life and the way I perceived storytelling (also scared me quite bit). Same with Orwell. Reading 1984 at the age of eleven was deeply terrifying.

    Lots of my dad's old MAD Magazines.

    Later on, Arundhati Roy, Anne Carson, Haruki Murakami, and Italo Calvino. Sam Shepard, Richard Wright, and James Baldwin. The list could really go on.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    I had a huge hard-on for Asimov when I was a teen. So much so that I would read nothing but him. I had a job at the school library at that time and the librarian was an amazingly cynical woman, but very nice. One day she came up to me while I was re-reading Caves of Steel for the bibblionth time and said "You're in a rut.". She then handed me a copy of Neuromancer. From that point I found books like Dangerous Visions, an amazing collection of SF stories edited by Harlan Ellison, Snow Crash and Tiger! Tiger!.

    I also played A LOT of Spectre VR thanks to that librarian.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Spectre VR was the game of my youth. Seriously. Came out when I was about seven, I think.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Did yours come with a copy of Snow Crash? I remember having dreams that I was The Deliverator in a Spectre VR universe for a while.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Time Life Enchanted World series

    Awwww, jeah!!

    I used to watch those ads on television. I wanted those books and wanted those books and wanted those books so bad.... but I was still too young to be able to do anything about it, really (read: mom wouldn't bite despite the begging). So I bided my time... but by the time I had any disposable cash, they were for all intents and purposes gone (no more ads, no way to look them up).

    Thankfully, the Mysteries of the Unknown series was out and I just started getting those of my own accord (and paying for them with money orders, I might add).

    There was this goofy kid who had a terrible, obnoxious crush on me (no, this didn't happen very often) in middle school. Yes, I admit it: I took advantage of these affections to get my hands on the Enchanted World books. He had a set.

    About 10 years ago, when first opened its doors online... the very first thing that came to mind was those damn books. I found an entire set for $200, I think. Snatched them up. I still remember sitting in my apartment, opening the box. I drew the line at bawling with happiness, but believe me, I was close.

    I am a ginormous dork.

    ps: do a search for "enchanted world" on YouTube...
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Madeleine L'Engle was a biggie for me, especially A RING OF ENDLESS LIGHT. My husband read it when we were dating and he was just floored how much of it I'd internalized. I hadn't read it in a while, so I had no idea what he was talking about. And then I read it again... uh, very illuminating. :)

    Growing up 10 minutes away from Stephen King's house and seeing him around town and such made me kind of indifferent to his books... and the horror thing hadn't hit me yet. (But I do remember when Pet Sematary was filmed at Mt. Hope, which is one of my favorite places in the world... I keep searching for his cameo on YouTube but can never seem to find it.)

    Now, of course, I admire the dickens out of him and love his stuff. If you're a big King fan, definitely check out his son's work if you haven't already. Joe Hill. Tremendous writer, that guy.

    Terri Windling's editing and the writers she discovered helped shape my landscape, as did Jane Yolen.
    • CommentAuthorsamishah
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    King was a huge influence on me too. I read The Stand when I was 12 and it really had a profound effect on me. Since then I've read pretty much everything of his (except for the "Six Stories" damn you!).

    Other than King, my fave writers growing up were Ursula K Le Guin (her Earthsea books were my introduction to Fantasy) and I lurved Asimov.

    I got to my favorite comic writers much later (after I turned 20) and since then consider Alan Moore, Garth Ennis, Gaiman, Ellis and Morrisson my favorite writers in any medium. Throw in a whole lotta Neal Stephenson and Bill Gibson and you get a fairly solid idea of where I come from.
    • CommentTimeDec 5th 2007
    Does anyone remember that King story with the kids who had to keeping marching until they all died, save the last one? Our crazy language arts teacher read that to us in the eighth grade a section a week until it was done. Chilling stuff.
    • CommentTimeDec 8th 2007
    @ C.c.
    The Long Walk, yeah, I love that book. One of the Bachman books, so guaranteed chilling. My favorite King books are the Bachman books and the Dark Tower series. For entirely different reasons, obviously, they're nothing alike.
  2.  (174.14)
    I just read the first 16 pages of the Duma Key. It's in first person, which fits nicely with his folksy style.
  3.  (174.15)
    Two brazilian writers. Monteiro Lobato as a kid, and later on Marcos Rey, as a YA. They made me like reading, made me discover the joy of a good book and a good story.

    Before writing for kids, Lobato wrote for newspapers and magazines, always with a sharp tone in every line, keeping it mostly about social and political criticism. When he began to write for kids, he said: "Kids understand what I'm talking about. Politicians don't".

    Rey wrote everything. Plays, novels, novellas, TV, radio, short stories etc., etc. You namet it, he did it. But to me, and to all young adults I knew in mid-eighties, he was a crime writer. His ya books are like a really enjoyable dessert, if you know what I mean. Fun, easy, all around a great experience. And as a kid, you couldn't help but being hooked for life.

    The Paul Street Boys, by Frederic Molnár was a big influence too.