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1. First book to leave a lasting impression?
Dune by Frank Herbert. I'd just got into SF as a teen and was told to read Dune and I got totally lost in the mythology. I told middle son to read it at about the same age, and it affected him in the same way.

2. Which author would you most like to be?
Myself, if I ever got round to writing my selkie bunny! Started it more times than I can remember!

3. Name the book that has most made you want to visit a place?

Alan Garner's childrens books, 'The Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and 'The Moon of Gomrath'. Both set around Alderley Edge in Cheshire and the foothills of the Pennines and an area where the author lives. These 'out of fashion' books are the BEST of any 'Arthurian' based children's fantasies, with the possible exception of Susan Cooper's 'Dark is Rising' sequence. Alderley Edge is an utterly magical place and I visited it on the way back from Scotland a few years back.

4. Which contemporary author will still be read in 100 years?

Iain Banks. 'The Wasp Factory' is one of the most stimulating and brilliant books I've read recently.

5. Which book would you recommend to a teenager reluctant to try 'literature'?

Probably something like 'A Clockwork Orange'.

6. Name your best recent literary discovery.

If it wasn't number 4, then probably Orson Scott Card's 'Ender's Game' series, being a real SF fan at heart. Good stories, very gripping, incredibly moving in parts and with enough depth and philosophical discussion to keep you thinking.

7. Which author's fictional world would you most like to live in?
Storm Constantine's Wraeththu mythos. Without doubt.

8. Name your favorite poet?

I have a list! Probably at the top, Benjamin Zephaniah, who I heard live (and got a kiss from!) others are T S Eliot, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Walt Whitman, Thomas Hardy (much better than his novels) and those are just off the top of my head.

9. What's the best non-fiction title you've read this year?

I tend to dip into non-fiction, working in the library I am always picking up books and dabbling. Probably 'Banksy' that I got for Christmas, a book of his graffiti art.

10. Which author do you think is much better than his/her reputation?

Heh, Tolkien actually. It's fashionable to say how turgid he is and so on, but his Silmarillion is an amazing, underrated book.


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November 2010

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