Brain To Books: Game Of Threes

SF blog tour bannerWelcome to stop #7 on the Brain to Books SF blog tour! Yes, it’s the Game of Threes where I ask each featured author to pick their three favorite SF authors. Let the games begin!

Chess Desalls
Chess Desalls
  1. Edwin A. Abbott. I’m enamored with the classics, even today. Flatland is a fascinating read, and rife with satire. I like being able to learn something in a book as well as be entertained.
  2. Douglas Adams. His blending of humor and sci-fi makes for such a fun reading experience.
  3. Madeleine L’Engle. I suppose I started to enjoy time travel books as an early reader. :o)

US-based Chess is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. Books 1-3 (complete with stunning covers) are available on iBooks, Nook, and Kindle. Find out more about Chess at

JD BrinkJD Brink
  1. Frank Herbert: DUNE is one of the very few books I’ve read more than once. The scope and depth of it is amazing. There’s a reason it’s a pillar of not only only SF but literature in general. And while I’ve only ever read the first book, he created a series that spanned millennia and has spawned entire new series.
  2. Robert A. Heinlein: STARSHIP TROOPERS is one of the other books I’ve read more than once. (I think maybe DRACULA is the third.) Aside from just being a great, iconic book, that book also spoke to me as a military member. His “rules of business” for writers is also a valuable resource for many of us.
  3. Kurt Vonnegut: Yes, I’m going to go ahead and call him an SF writer. I went through a phase where I read several of his books over a few years and at one time called him one of my favorite writers, period. (Now, unfortunately, I don’t have time to have a favorite writer.) There’s a sprinkle (or more) of SF in most of his books, and a heaping helping of literary meaning as well. And, they’re all fun as hell to read.

Originally from Clyde, Ohio, JD is living in Japan right now. (Definitely planning to find out more about that during the convention!) You can enter a GoodReads giveaway for his superhero/SF title Invasion and be sure to check out his web site at

Kate Colby
Kate Colby
  1. Hugh Howey: I’ve read Wool and Shift by Hugh Howey, and in just 1,000-plus pages, he’s skyrocketed up my list of favorite authors. What makes Howey’s writing so great? First, he’s a big concept thinker, and his world is well-formed and captivating (and an apocalypse – which is my favorite kind of world). Second, his characters are engaging, flawed, and fierce. And last, even though his books are tomes, he doesn’t mince words – his writing is straightforward, concise, and not lacking in action. Full disclosure: I may be a little biased – I see a lot of themes from my own writing in Howey’s work.
  1. Jonas Lee: Jonas Lee is an author to watch. He’s just starting out on his writing career, but he’s already an up-and-comer. His debut trilogy, The Legend of Carter Gabel, is a young adult time travel series, with a twisting plot and – crucial for this subgenre – a realistic set of world rules. A few Lee trademarks you just may love? Movie and pop culture references, teenage boy-style humor, a dash of flirtatiousness, and a whole lot of snark.
  1. Grant Morrison: Grant Morrison is one of the few creatives that I would call a genius and really mean it. His graphic novels may fall in traditional genre lines – science fiction, superhero, etc. – but he isn’t afraid to add his unique flair and countercultural ideas into his work. My favorite comic of his (so far!) is We3, a story in which three innocent pets are transformed into mechanized killing machines – it made me hold my breath, it made me cry, it made me smile, and it made me think. What more can you ask of one story?

Kate writes SF, fantasy, and nonfiction and is the author of the steampunk dystopian series, Desertera. Check out the striking cover for the first in the series, The Cogsmith’s Daugher. Kate lives in the US with her husband and furry children. Find out more about her at

MT McGuire
M.T .McGuire
  1. Terry Pratchett. I know he isn’t sci-fi strictly but I love the way he writes, the humour in it and the jokes. I like that he puts things in which are so esoteric that only one or two people will get them – he did some jokes about Newton like that in one book and called him ‘Woolsthorpe’ which is actually the name of Newton’s house. As a reader, I love that level of attention to detail and it’s what I’d aspire to as a writer. I also end up belly laughing at a lot of the jokes, and names like Badass and the line about vampires wanting a tampon to make a nice cup of tea. He does quietly get away with murder in his books.
  2. Douglas Adams … because … Hitchhikers… and the Meaning of Liff and his take on the world. In one book he posits a theory that if you lose something, you can never find the thing you are looking for, only the thing you were desperately trying to find last week, but don’t need any more. So the theory was that if you can look for the thing you are going to lose next week, you’ll be able to find the keys you are turning the house upside down to find right now. I love that kind of totally off the wall approach, coupled with the surreal bits, like the towel.
  3. A F E Smith is a new author and I really enjoyed her books, Darkhaven and Goldenfire. They’re set in a parallel reality, the concept is clever and the characters are believable and interesting. I got really sucked into it and can’t wait for the next in the series. So if you are after a cracking read it’s worth looking her up.

M.T. hails from Bury St Edmunds (yes, it’s a real place!) in Suffolk, England. You can download her latest book, the intriguingly-titled Escape From B-Movie Hell via her web site and follow her on her blog.

Belinda Crawfor
  1. Janet Edwards is a recent find, although her first book, Earth Girl, has been out for a few years. It’s set on a far-future Earth that was long abandoned by humans, but is now a hive of archaeological activity, and follows the story of a girl who refuses to be defined by what others perceive as a defect. I love the heroines “stuff you, I’m going to do this” attitude and unraveling how this future Earth, and the culture it spawned, developed from what we know today.
  2. Kristine Smith, because her books just get better with age (my age). I first picked up her Jani Killian series when I was in high school and really liked them then, but it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to reread the first two books earlier this year that I fell in love. Smith’s books are fast-paced and her heroine is smart, canny and, quite literally, broken. What’s not to like?
  3. David Weber is another of my favourite sci-fi authors. He writes military-style space opera, which can be a little heavy on the detail, but his action scenes are amazing, and the stories are really good too. One of my favourite scenes of his is in the first chapter of Path of the Fury. It’s a beautifully written vision of violence that sucks you in and sets the tone for the rest of the story. I love it.

Belinda is from Melbourne Australia. Hero is the first book in her YA sci-fi adventures series Hero Rebellion, and she’s now hard at work on the sequel. Find out more on her web site

And last, but not least…

David M. Kelly
  1. Robert Heinlein was the first writer who really “spoke” to me. Before reading his stuff I felt like nobody must have the kinds of thoughts I did on what made sense in the world. He put all my confusion into words and I realized I wasn’t the only one. Heinlein’s writing is often very challenging and I loved the fact that it really made you think.
  2. Isaac Asimov was similar in many ways to Heinlein, but approached things from a more humanistic direction. I also really liked his sense of humor and how this often crept into his writing.
  3. Harry Harrison. I fell in love with the Pythonesque style of the Stainless Steel Rat series. They brought fun to science fiction while still having some very wry observations on humankind and its behavior. When I expanded into some of Harrison’s other books I discovered he was equally adept at being painfully and chillingly serious. Very much a writer who could turn his hand to many different styles.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions. A great mix of classic and new authors here. This was a fun post to put together.

You can meet our SF blog tour authors right now! Just click on the names to go to their author booths at the Brain To Books convention fairgrounds on Goodreads.

Chess | JD | Kate | M.T. | Belinda | David

And don’t forget to head to Stop #8 on the blog tour for the link to the Science Fiction Jackpot Giveaways!

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