Six months isn't such a long time at all, really. It's the halfway point between birthdays; it's the time it takes for Winter to turn into Summer, for the snow to become sun; it's how often you go on holiday, if you're anything like me. But let me tell you. In internet years - they're like dog years, only more nebulous - The Speculative Scotsman is positively claiming its pension. Sometimes it feels like I've been at this for ever, and so it's a pleasure, from time to time, to hand over the reigns to someone else. I don't do it terribly often - I'm not at all good at letting go, even temporarily - but this one time, in aid of the ongoing celebrations here on the blog, I'm making an exception.
Without further ado, then, it gives me great pleasure to welcome the one and the only Mark Charan Newton to TSS. Mayhap you've heard of him?
But enough of my burbling. Over to you, Mark...
One of the things I'm conscious of, as a writer, is to leave a trail of clues littered through my books so that people can see where I've been inspired by other writers. It's important to acknowledge these things. So, textual clues aside, here are six books which helped shape the construction of my own books, to varying degrees.
4) The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. It's the definitive dying earth book, and outclasses Jack Vance's series for depth and imagery (though certainly not for madness). Whilst I can understand why readers would be frustrated with Wolfe's prose, I found this to be a beautiful book with so many layers, and it really captured the mood of how I viewed my own series. It informs much of how I view the dying earth sub-genre. I mean, you only have to look at the similar series title to see I'm conscious of this literary debt.