The question this week is: ” What book (or show, or movie) got you started reading fantasy and/or science fiction?”
For me, this question took some thinking. I grew up as a little geekling in a geeky house. Both my parents read Darkover and Pern books and my dad read me Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy before I was old enough to get any of the jokes. Fantasy and SciFi were just a part of my life, which was awesome, because I loved them, so pinning an exact moment is hard. But, if I had to pick just one, just one work that set me on my current path more than anything else, it was probably the Ralph Manheim translation of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. These were the original stories, full of bloody magic and horrible death and princesses who made their lovers cut off their own heads as a sign of faithfulness. I ate these things up. This is the first book I can remember reading. We had the enormous, bible-sized hard cover version, and I know every story in there backwards and forwards, rolling cheeses, glass mountains, little blue dwarves and all.
Lots of other works had a deep impact on me, especially the Last Unicorn and Patrica Wrede’s Enchanted Forest series, and Le Mort d’Arthur (I loved that as a kid), but it was the world of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that really set the stage for all future fantasy in my mind. Seriously, if an traditional fantasy author doesn’t set their setting, they get stuck with little German villages for a backdrop in my head. Let this be a warning!