Jeanne M. Dillard
Poppy Z. Brite
ISN Anchor Desk - Favorite Authors
I have quite a few authors whose works I enjoy on a regular basis. There are a few who have a style of writing that I enjoy so much that I would consider them to be favorite authors of mine. Generally, an author I enjoy will have a series of books, or will write in a series Iím reading, and that is how I discover them.
Jean Lorrah was the first Star Trek author I read. While I was out from school sick for a long period of time - 2 or 3 weeks, if memory serves - my mother saw her book Survivors, the fourth Star Trek: The Next Generation book, on the shelf at the pharmacy, and brought it home for me to read. I read it cover to cover so many times that both covers literally fell off and parts of the spine were held together using tape. I soon found her other Trek books Vulcan Academy Murders, IDIC Epidemic, and Metamorphosis, and practically memorized them.
Because of Jeanís work in the Trek series, I started reading others in that series. Some were of breathtakingly excellent work, worthy of every award in the universe, while others were so trashy that I fully expected an Enquirer reporter to be nearby. There are certain writers that I have learned to avoid - specifically Gene DeWeese, whose books are so deadly dull and just plain stupid that I cannot understand how in the world he published one book, let alone 4. In fact, there was a book credited as being written by Margaret Wander Bonanno, called Probe, that was set between Star Trek IV and Star Trek V - her original version was a wonderful piece of art. The editors at Pocket Books, not understanding that the word quality is spelled with a Q, made the decision to have Mr. DeWeese rewrite Ms Hamblyís work, and it now stands in the anals of Trek trash. (yep, I spelled it the way I think of it!).
On the positive side, however, I discovered wonderful works from authors such as J.M. Dillard, Barbara Hambly, Howard Weinstein, Peter David, Brad Ferguson, and A. C. Crispin - During the 80ís and early 90ís, when Pocket was publishing quality material, Brad Ferguson, Howard Weinstein, and Ann Crispin weaved their stories in and out of each other, so instead of a lot of books that were stand-alone books with zero connection to one another, youíd find a character or situation created by Howard, come back in Annís book, and Ann adds her twist, which Brad then takes and makes his own ... it was an incredible work ... one which has, since, died. Ah, but we have our memories. ;-)
My favorite authors tend to point to each other. Because of Jean, I read Trek books. The first Trek book other than Jean that I read was Time for Yesterday, by A.C. Crispin, which led me to the several books by J.M. Dillard. Jeanne Dillard wrote the book Spectres for a new series of books called Abyss, published by Dell. The Abyss series of books were a different breed from what had come before. Yes, they were horror, but they were psychological horror. Instead of haunted houses, and monsters, and aliens, they were something different, something to challenge the mind. And boy, did they!!
The first book I picked up after finishing Dillardís book was Dusk, by Ron Dee. It was a book about a group of vampires who were very erotic - they were not heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual. They were just plain sexual. They had control over their urges, could walk during the day, and his writing style ... has to be read to be understood. After these two books, I started buying each Abyss book as it was published. A year or two into the program, Abyss announced they would be publishing their first hard cover, by an author unpublished at that time. I thought Well, ok, itís a new one, so they might not write very well, but Iíve loved em all so far ... and put in my pre-order for Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite.
Lost Souls is the only book that survived the fire in my house in 1993. In fact, the fire didnít even touch the book. There is no fire smell, no burn damage, no water damage, itís in new condition. How typical of Poppyís work that it would survive such an experience. The book seems on the surface to be like so many other vampire tales ... a 15 year old boy finds out he was adopted, and that his real father was a vampire, and sets out to find them ... This same vampire and his two flunkies are on a rampaige in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Sounds like a simple premise, doesnít it? Hereís a hint ... nothing is ever what it seems when it comes from the twisted mind that is Poppy Z. Brite.
I have included a list of all the books I can find by each of these authors. Short stories will be in Italics. The books I have by them are in bold-face. Yep, Iím missing quite a few, but Iím working on it. J.M. Dillard and Ron Dee also write under pseudonims, so I am induding that information as well.