Oh, man, almost all of the Golden Age and Silver Age dudes called "greats"--you know, the ones who defined the genres? I've read stuff they have influenced, and scads of new stuff in recent years, but not a whole lot of the actual classics. Only what my dad had on his bookshelf.
- I've only read Good Omens from Terry Pratchett, and that's half Neil Gaiman.
- I've never read Robin Hobb, except maybe one short story? Maybe?
A science fiction, fantasy or horror book I would recommend to someone who hasn’t read sf/f/h is:
What a weird idea--someone who has never read SF&F&H. Probably my favorites:
- Anything by Robin McKinley, Neil Gaiman, Peter S Beagle, Charles deLint
- The starts of series I love--City of Bones, Scarlet, Storm Front, Godstalk, Dragonsflight
- Short story collections or anthologies--I especially like the Year's Best anthologies done by Dozois
A science fiction, fantasy or horror book that’s terribly underrated is:
It's hard to talk about "underrated" in the genres; the whole category is underrated by the wider establishment, and it's divisive to talk about ranking something when all of it needs more attention, as far as I'm concerned.
- Godstalk, and the Kencyrath books that come after it, by PC Hodgell--under-rated to the point of hardly being talked about at all, so I talk about them whenever I can.
- Robin McKinley--respected, and revered, but I hardly hear people doing papers or talking about her stuff.
- Jasper Fforde--weird, yes, but also hugely inventive, very human, often funny as hell, very literate without being literary.
A science fiction, fantasy or horror book that’s terribly overrated is:
I don't like talking bad about other authors--everyone does their own thing to the best of their abilities, and even when I don't like their work I often do like the people. But there are writers I just can't get into, no matter how popular they are:
- James Patterson
- Michael Crichton
- I adore Stephen King's short stories and nonfic, but rarely like his novels; I don't know what the difference is.
- Same thing with Larry Niven; love the shorts, get frustrated and bored by the novels.
- I just couldn't get into the Shanara series, no matter how often I tried.
I'm not sure this counts as overrated so much as oversaturated, but:
- I like reading about Tolkien more than I like reading what he actually wrote; so much of what he's created has been so over-used that I just can't even.