FAQ > The Book of Joby > Q: What books or authors have influenced you or your writing?


A: I am a fantasy reader almost exclusively - very little science fiction - and thus, many profoundly important and deserving authors are absent from this list, which, I fear, will contain few if any surprises: Tolkien (read to our class by an enlightened 4th grade teacher in the early 60s, The Hobbit launched my whole interest in fantasy literature. I am, of course, unique in that regard), Ursula LeGuin (who, in my opinion, defines the phrase “lyrical prose,” and writes profoundly meaning-stuffed novels with greater consistency and frequency than any other author I’ve encountered), John Crowley (whose book, Little Big, once changed the course of my life — for the better, of course), T.H White (by whom my own first novel is in no small way informed), Greg Bear (whose fantasy duology, Infinity Concerto and Serpent Mage - now all in one volume called Songs of Earth and Power - helped define my own sense of what a fantasy novel ought to be), Patricia McKillip (whose every novel moves and mystifies me in the most delightful and thought provoking ways), Orson Scott Card (whose Ender’s Game forever changed my once intolerant disinterest in Science Fiction), R.A. MacAvoy (whose Damiano Trilogy remains a perennial favorite and not too subtly informs some of my first novel as well), Guy Gavriel Kay (whose novels Last Light of the Sun, Sailing to Sarantium, and Lord of Emporers moved me literally to tears at times… please don’t tell anyone), Lois McMaster Bujold (who also defied all my worst assumptions about science fiction, and whose Challion series once helped me to think very differently through some difficult times), Sean Stewart (whose books have also occasionally made me cry - largely because I fear I will never write that imaginatively), Holly Black (whose urban fantasy always feels viscerally credible in truly delightful ways, and whose website is really, really entertaining, though I’ve never had the cheek to speak when visiting), Jasper Fforde (who is responsible for a number of chronic laughter-related injuries), and too many more to list here.