Here’s a small selection of suggested authors and works in a variety of genres provided by Paul Brians, professor emeritus, and clinical faculty member and writer Buddy Levy, who last spring taught advanced creative writing to undergraduates.
Brians has several areas of expertise, including post-holocaust science fiction, and as a comparative literature professor and avid reader, he has sampled a wide selection of literature. Levy writes nonfiction accounts of historical figures and throughout his life he has been drawn to westerns and stories of adventures.
Science fiction (we plucked this straight from the reading list of Brians’ English 333 class):
- H. G. Wells: War of the Worlds
- Ray Bradbury: The Martian Chronicles
- Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451 and the Dystopian Tradition
- Walter M. Miller: A Canticle for Leibowitz
- Stanislaw Lem:Solaris
- Ursula LeGuin: The Dispossessed
- Philip K. Dick: Blade Runner
- Margaret Atwood: The Handmaid’s Tale
- William Gibson: Neuromancer
In an interview, Brians also brought up Isaac Asimov (I, Robot) and Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). Both authors have written stories that have been made into major motion pictures. Dick is especially popular in Hollywood. Adaptations of his works include Blade Runner, The Adjustment Bureau, and Minority Report.
For some early examples of gothic and horror, Brians suggests Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
To start a foundation in detective fiction look into Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” featuring detective C. Auguste Dupin is, according to Brians, the first in western detective fiction.
Levy’s favorite westerns include the works of Louis L’Amour and Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian). And for mystery/crime, he suggests authors Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard. Of course, the classic American adventure would be by Jack London.
Elsewhere on the web, check out “Patrick Rothfuss ’02—World Builder” and “Tribble Trouble.” And don’t miss a sampler of illustrator Nate Taylor’s work.