Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week we’re celebrating the authors whose work we buy on spec, because we know we’re going to love it.
I instinctively thought this week’s topic would be easy, but when I stopped to consider I found it unexpectedly difficult. Suddenly all I could think of were authors whose work will always get my consideration, and examples of times when I’d chosen not to buy something they’d written.
Let’s take Yoon Ha Lee: The Fox’s Tower won my heart, and Machineries of Empire cemented Lee’s place on my list of authors who I will always get excited about. But I didn’t buy his latest novel, because it’s pitched as middle grade. I know I would end up frustrated, so I have steered clear.
Then there’s Dave Hutchinson: a new Hutchinson novel is an event for me. But I’m cautious about his upcoming release – both the title and the cover scream ’not for you, dear’, so I won’t rush out to buy it (although I probably will eventually, because Dave Hutchinson).
I automatically thought of Aliette de Bodard – but while I’ve picked up everything she has written these past few years, I haven’t yet acquired her entire back catalogue (I will, in time).
I’m being ridiculous, aren’t I? So let’s take those three as starters for ten – I will buy their works for adults (and probably anything slated as YA). Having acknowledged I’m claiming wriggle room, let’s who else makes my list.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia gets my consideration because her pitches are so interesting. Even when she wrote a novel that made me think twice (The Beautiful Ones – a belle époque romance) I loved it when I read it; I rarely find her books a comfortable read, but I do find them satisfying.
Laura Lam’s work has also captured my interest. I loved her two stand-alone Pacifica novels so much that I even got hold of her first erotic romance (although this confirmed that that genre is simply not for me). I’ll read anything she publishes as Laura Lam – and have picked up her YA debut in spite of my reservations about the target age.
Becky Chambers is an author who needs no caveats on this list. Yes, absolutely. Everything. Anything. Her contributions to The Vela gave it wings. Her Wayfarers sequence is sheer delight. Her upcoming novella is utterly intriguing (although I may struggle to swallow the pricing; but I suspect this will fall into the Murderbot category of being worth every penny).
Jo Walton is on my auto-buy list even if her books often then languish on my TBR. But she won me with The King’s Peace and Farthing, and cemented my loyalty with Lifelode and Among Others. I will eventually get round to reading My Other Children and The Just City (that one soon, even).
Oddly, I don’t consider myself a Peter Watts fan – I wouldn’t even say I enjoy his work most of the time – but I do find myself wanting to read it for the challenge it poses. It seems almost certain I’ll buy whatever he writes next.
Nick Harkaway, on the other hand, will get my money, my eyeballs (usually as soon as I can get my grabby hands on them on release), and my heart (about as soon as I start reading) for all his fiction.
And it’s not all about genre when it comes to auto-buy for me. Ironically, I’ll still buy anything by Donna Tartt even though two of her three novels have bored me to tears (they’re still awfully well written, though, and I can’t go past her). Michel Faber is also a staple on my shelves, although I’ve had mixed responses to his work. Thankfully, there’s always Sarah Moss, whose work always grabs my attention and has never disappointed.
We’re long past ten, but I can’t close without acknowledging there’s a slew of authors I’ve recently discovered who will be getting my instant consideration in future, although it’s too soon to say whether they’ll always tempt me to buy: Jen Williams, Melissa Caruso, JY Yang, Adam Rakunas, Gareth L Powell, Marie Brennan all make this list, sparking instant excitement when I hear they’re working on something new.
So it seems this wasn’t that hard after all, once I stopped over thinking it. Auto buy doesn’t mean I’ve bought them all yet, let alone read them all already. But I will, precious. I will.
Whose works do you buy automatically?