Aubrie over at Flutey Words created a brand-new award for us in the spec fic genres: the Fantasy / Sci-fi Blogger Award! Pictured above ... so pretty. ;-)
(Btw, I tried repeatedly to get more carriage returns into this post and it just refused to accept them, so - sorry about the text bunching!)
The award requests that you talk about five favorite SF/F books or movies (and I think that in some way inspired you, though I'm not sure I'm adhering to that), so I thought I'd mix the old and the new.
1. Willow -- This movie was my favorite fantasy flick for a long, long time ... and arguably still is. It was one of my introductions into the genre, and it has so many of the traditional elements: prophecies, sorcerous combat, fairies, love potions, shapeshifters ... action, comedy, romance. I read somewhere - and still maintain it sounds true - that George Lucas actually wanted to make Willow, not Star Wars, but the computer technology wasn't up for the morphing. (And I also have to admit that every time I see the Gandulf / Saruman staff battle in Lord of the Rings, I think, "... dang. Was that a purposeful rip-off?") It's a very strong, archetypal story.
2. The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander -- These, by contrast, were the first fantasy books I ever read ... and reread ... and reread, to the point where my copies (which I still have) are sort of tattered. I think they also started me on my way to my fascination with Welsh myth, though it was years before I was able to look back at the story and appreciate the way the novels are inspired by the myths without cloning them.
3. The Thursday Next novels by Jasper Fforde -- These really are readers' books, turning literature into a wild adventure where no subject is sacred. As a writer, too, I love the fanciful turns of how stories are created in this universe. I recommend these books as medicine. For me, at least, they just make you feel better.
4. Sojourn by Jana Oliver -- An absorbing science fiction time travel mystery, why this book makes this list in particular is how deftly Oliver handles the different sets of knowledge each character has. She does a fantastic job of helping the reader keep this straight and generating tension from something they know that character X or Y doesn't ... while still presenting viable surprises on top of that. This is a skill set I'd dearly love to be able to master.
5. Murder By Magic ed. Rosemary Edghill -- I love anthologies and short fiction, so I really have to put an anthology on this list ... and what better than an engaging assembly of mystery-meets-fantasy stories created by writers in both genres? This anthology runs the gamut from hilarious - oh, how I love Laura Resnick's short works - to touching ... and, of course, it represents a capsule package of something I'm trying to do. When I stop and think about it. ;-)
This list could be much, much longer - but there's five.