Yikes. I spent so much time catching up on The Rumblers that I ran out of time to post. I have to get up in the morning, but thankfully not at the crack of dawn. I'm just going to link to Richard and Elisson who both have this list up that's going around Blogtopia. It's the 50 most influential sci-fi books.
I've read about half of them and there were some I didn't recognize although I think of myself as a pretty big sci-fi fan. LOTR was and is my lifelong favorite and it taught me to love the fantasy genre. I've always thought that was the most brilliantly drawn world. I mean the man invented languages to go with the characters. How cool is that?
Maybe it was because it's the first book I ever read while I was stoned, but he was a real inspiration to me. I've read everything written by Tolkien and most everything written about him. If you like fantasy I'd recommend Terry Brooks who was on the list. I've read most of his work. He did a number of series novels and also designed a credible world. I'd also recommend Mists of Avalon if you like the Arthur legend. I've probably read every interpretation of that story and that was a good one as I recall.
For something more traditionally sci-fi but with a fantasy edge I'd recommend Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle. That ran seven books and I was reading them as they came out. Great series. I was also watching for the latest arrival on that one. I can't believe they didn't make the list but it was light on that genre anyway and maybe Weis isn't high brow enough for the list.
Anyway, for something a little more fun, Parkway Jim has a hilarious set of winners of word contests. One invents new words by changing a letter and the other invents new meanings for existing words. Funny stuff. It left me agrog - (laughing uproariously while drinking adult beverages).