Sfsignal – What book Introduced you to Fantasy?

Recently, SFsignal asked a bunch of authors about how they got introduced to fantasy. (Myself included.)

It was interesting to see what the other authors listed. Some mentioned old familiars, and I picked up a few new titles for me increasingly long “To Be read” list.

It’s an interesting collective interview. If you want to check it out, it’s over here.

Edit: A helpful fan found a link to the read-along record I talk about in the interview. It’s over here.

As for the raffle, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that things are going really well. We’ve already raised over 6000 dollars. Woo!

The bad news is that paypal doesn’t like me using my account for anything resembling gambling. I’ve sent them an e-mail to hopefully straighten things out, and make it clear that this is really just a charity fundraiser with an incentive that just *looks* like a raffle.

I’m waiting to hear back from them. But the moral of the story is that if you want to donate online with paypal, it might be better to do it sooner, rather than later. I might be forced to take the paypal link down, and if that happens, I’ll have to muddle my way through figuring out google checkout or some shit like that. And if it’s close to November 15th (the end of the name fundraiser) I might not bother.

Or you can take the safe and simple route and just mail your entry in. Easy peasy.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, but you’re interested in maybe getting your name in The Wise Man’s Fear, you can get all the details over here.

More news soon.


This entry was posted in Fantasy, InterviewsBy Pat55 Responses


  1. marky
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Winnie the Pooh?

    My first was Mythago woods, and I still love that book to this day.

    Hopefully, the PayPal site will stay open until Tuesday. I get paid my forty British pounds and three sacks of tatties every month. I’m the Rockefeller of spuds.

    Six thousand big ones already! Great stuff, Pat.

  2. Mike
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    I have always been a voracious reader, I can remember getting in trouble in 7th grade as I would prop a book (Hardy Boys or Encyclopedia Brown) in my desk and read when I was supposed to be paying attention.

    My first fantasy book was probably one of my fathers that he had laying around, and I do not remember the title. But the one that got my hooked on fantasy would be The Sword of Shannara, a cousin worked for Random house and gave me a big box of books and after reading that one, I was hooked for good.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    I hated reading. Then in 5th grade, we had to do a reading project and we had a list of about 100 books to choose from.

    The Hobbit was on the list — I don’t know why I chose it but I remember that I had heard the name before from an older cousin or someone.

    I remember only reading the first 12 pages on the first night but getting hooked instantly. I finished it in 5 days, which was really fast for me at the time.

    That summer I probably read 20 books and haven’t stopped since.

  4. logankstewart
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Just think, Pat, that some kids are going to say that a book called The Name of the Wind opened their eyes to fantasy. That’s awesome.

    Myself, I think it was probably Terry Brooks’ Sword of Shannara or Tolkien’s masterpiece. I forget which came first…

  5. Aerron
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Poorly run D&D at the age of 9 was my first introduction.

    The High King by Lloyd Alexander was my first fantasy book and began my love of reading.

  6. Ken Harris
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    Started with Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising. And then I got The Hobbit in paperback at the school book fair in sixth grade. (Do they even do school book fairs anymore?)

    Since then I usually read The Hobbit around Christmas time each year. (Unless I’m trying to re-read Martin or Jordan or Erickson so that I can remember what the heck is going on for the next book…)

  7. Jonathan Entwisle
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    I can’t really remember my first true fantasy novel, ive always read books from about the age of 7 up but i didnt really bother with all the “young adult” books until much later. I just sort of went from picture books to hardcore fantasy.

    My first was probably on from mums fantasy collection. Three or four shelves worth of fantasy and sci fi from the 1980’s. I can say, having read most of them that it wasnt the greatest decade for literature.

  8. Nik
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    $6k? Very nice.
    Still nto got mine in as I don’t get paid until monday.
    Finger crossed Paypal holds up until then as I don’t know when I can next get to a post office to send international mail!

  9. icarpenter
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    I have a difficult time knowing how to answer. Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Ooblek is arguably fantasy, as is The Wizard of Oz. So many children’s books have fantasy elements: talking dragons, magic, heroic quests. Puff the Magic Dragon was my favorite song when I was very young. I watched the early anime movie Alakazam the Great on TV at least three times when I was 5 years old in Calfornia. I’ve been reading fantasy all my life then, I guess. The very first self consciously fantasy book I ever read may have been The Gammage Cup when I was 10 or 11.

  10. Skyler H.
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

    The very first one that introduced me was The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, but what got me hooked was Harry Potter. In the fifth grade our teacher read it to us in class and that really turned me onto reading in general and now I don’t ever stop reading fantasy, despite all the college reading >.>

  11. Chris
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Oh noes! My Chances to win are already down to under 1%. Well, still much better than the lottery and cooler too.

  12. Saban
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    Like i said to my friends. The Name of the Wind was the best book that i read. So my question is: When your second book come to Brazil? =D.

    Ps: Sorry my poor english Patrick

  13. kwil15
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    I’m surprised no one in that list mentioned any of the Redwall books. I know as a kid those were the first books that got me interested in reading in general, to say nothing of fantasy in particular.

  14. Kathy Wise
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    I have always loved to read. But I was stuck reading the mindless drivel of Sweet Valley High till my brother stuck Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card in my hand. I know that’s SciFi but man did it sure break the preteen girlie rut. Since then I’ve been an avid Fantasy and SciFi reader and my brother has still been the one to hand me the best books; he gave me Name of the Wind in fact. As a side note I gave our little sister ( who is 9 years younger than me) Pat’s book for Christmas and now she has finally joined in on the family tradition!

  15. Sassy Geek
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    This reply isn’t to the post, but I wasn’t sure where else to get this to you.

    You may not remember me, but I bumped into you at CONvergence 2009 in Mpls. It was about 3am. I was very drunk. I proceeded to tell you how to write your books. >.< I recorded it. Personally, I think it’s hilarious, but if you don’t want it linked here, feel free to delete the comment. Here’s the link:

  16. Travis H.
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, kinda weird but Paypal dosent have an option to leave a commetn with my 50$ donation to get into the contest, how to I tell you what name I want in hte book???

  17. icarpenter
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Wow! I just read the interview and had an almost visceral response to Kate Elliott mentioning the books of Thornton Burgess. I loved those when I was in 2nd grade!! Gradnfather Frog – chugarum! Old Mother Westwind and the Merry Little Breezes! I read them to my sons when they were about 4 years old but I don’t know if they remember them. What a wonderful memory, thanks.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted October 23, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    The Hobbit and Watership Down were probably the first two fantasy books I read, though it wasn’t until a co-worker from long ago introduced me to Terry Brooks and the Sword of Shannara. At that time only the first trilogy had been published, which I read one after the other. That trilogy was followed up by Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant The Unbeliever, and then books by Roger Zelazny.

  19. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 12:00 AM | Permalink

    When I was 11 or 12 I read every Michael Crichton book I could find.
    I didn’t get into fantasy until my first year of high school when I saw a kid reading in the hall after lunch.
    The cover looked really cool with warriors and dragons. I wrote down the title.
    That book was from the original Dragonlance Chronicles.
    Dragonlance change my reading habits forever, especially when I figured out there was so much better fantasy out there! lol
    But seriously, those books will always hold a special place in my heart.

  20. Zack Truel
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

    Just making sure that you will not loose all of our information if they make you take the link down correct? I mean when we donated through paypal we sent all of our suggestions and contact info through paypal. I just wanted to make sure that would not be lost.

    Thanks :)

  21. Jacob
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

    In 2nd grade one of my friends (who was also in second grade) lent me a book. That book was “Dragons of Autumn Twilight” by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman.

  22. Rachel-G
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 5:16 AM | Permalink

    My first sci-fi book that I picked and read was “Fuzzy Sapiens” by H Beam Piper. It was 1987, I was 13 at the time, and by the time I went looking for the other Fuzzy books they were out of print.
    In 1988 at age 14, during summer vacation I read my second Sci-Fi which was “Dragonsinger” by Anne McCaffrey. At about the same time I started looking for the Fuzzy books, I started reading Ms. McCaffrey’s other works.
    The rest is to many books and authors for my house to handle as I don’t have a room to make a study/den/computer room (whatever you want to call it) to shelve them in.
    That problem leads me to wonder: As book lovers we all know actual paper books are the best, but when space becomes an issue and your list of authors ‘that you MUST read all new books they write’ keeps growing is it maybe time to goto a digital reader? A Kindle, Sony’s thing, or maybe BN’s about to arrive Nook?
    Of course there are some authors you have to have the actual book. For me its all of S.Kings works, and now also Mr. Rothfuss’s (I gave away my paperback to someone who loved The Name of the Wind as much as I, so that a) they could read it again and share it and b) I had a good excuse to get a hard cover which would fair better during rereads.)
    If anyone has any thoughts/opinions on digital readers could you please share them with me? My email address is dragonbabbleATgmailDotcom

  23. Vae
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    thanks much for the heads up Pat.

    also, my first fantasy was The Chronicles of Narnia, and The Hobbit, which my mother read to me as a child.

    Unless you count the numerous children’s books out there that are clearly a type of fantasy, such as Where the Wild Things Are and all that stuff. If so, then I couldn’t tell you what my first is, as I have been reading fantasy my entire life.


  24. Neil
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    I never commented on a blog before and am nopt certain if I am doing this correctly. Here goes:

    I read your blog about why Wise Man’s Fear is not out yet. You take as much time as you need to come up with a sequel that is equal to Name of the Wind. I enjoyed the book so much!

    I think Steven’s Point is a nice town. Most of my people come from Abbotsford. I live in Moscow, Russia and am waiting, patiently, for the next book. And after that, I’ll wait patiently for the next installment.

  25. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    After I read the blog I directly decided to use the PayPal option (am from Germany), but it looks as if I was already too late, because all it was telling me was:

    “This recipient is currently unable to receive money.”

    So they already kicked you out of the system? Or is it only not working over a short period of time?

    Would be great if you could check it out, really want to get my boyfriends name into the book ;)


  26. wirelessrobin
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Ahhhh, I remember reading Chronicles of Narnia, Watership Down, and then no fantasy stuff till I was like 18 and read The Hobbit, and the Lord of the Ring books….. Not until about 3 years ago I saw NOTW in a grocery store and picked it up thinking it looked cool and my boyfriend, who is an avid fantasy reader, would like it too. It has officially taken my #1 favorite book place. I make all my friends read it cuz it’s that bad ass! Now I can’t stop reading Fantasy!

  27. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    “Asking what book introduced me to fantasy is kinda like asking me what book introduced me to English”

    That was the same with me! My mom was a reading specialist and used books as a bribe since I was little.
    I think my first fantasy was The Hobbit which I read in 6th grade and I also remember reading Tamora Pierce’s Immortals serie.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    Im not actually sure what the book was but what got me hooked was my mum reading to me at like 4 or 5. The story involved a talking mystical frog and 3 witches and various other bits and pieces. My first book i read would be the Hobbit.

    My mum has her own library (well 4 cieling high bookshelves anyway) of fantasy books and ive read most of them.. the sword of shannara was the only book i ever found impossible to read because, no offence to fans or the author (brooks?) the first 10 chapters were boring so i could never be bothered to plough through it. Do like the plot of the shannara series though.


  29. Chris
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander began with the words “Taran wanted to make a sword.” I was hooked. I’d probably seen the Hobbit filmstrip (Booop! Next slide…) and even read it before I’d read the Prydain series, but it was that story of assistant pig-keeper becoming a hero that started my fantasy readership in earnest.

  30. Neil
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    For me, no question. It was Dune.

  31. Anonymous
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    The first fantasy book i ever read was the first Harry Potter book. But the book that really got me hooked on fantasy was In the Name of the Wind. It was in my school library and I need a book for a project so i picked it.

    Since then I started reading George Martin’s Song of Fire and Ice and countles other fantasy books.

  32. mattbeck
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    The Earthsea novels of Ursula K. Le Guin set me down the path. They were and still are some of my favorites.

  33. Caitrin
    Posted October 24, 2009 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

    “Asking what book introduced me to fantasy is kinda like asking me what book introduced me to English”

    Me too! My parents were both hard-core fantasy readers. I’d say though, I went from reading Tom Clancy and John Grisham in the 4th/5th grades to Dennis McKiernan, Kate Elliott, George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan.

  34. Peat
    Posted October 25, 2009 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Was this the Hobbit read-along book you had?


    I had that one, and it was a huge influence on my childhood. I must have listened to it a thousand times.

  35. Kristina
    Posted October 25, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    I was introduced to fantasy in the fourth grade and didn’t even know it. My fourth grade teacher used to read to us at the end of the day and my favorite book he read was “The Witches” by Roald Dahl. From there I read “Matilda” and James and the Giant Peach”. Then in high school I had to read “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card and became a hard core SciFi/Fantasy addict. I read everything Card ever wrote and then was introduced to Harry Potter and you, Pat, through his “Uncle Orson Reviews Everything” Column. I’m so thankful I did!

  36. Anonymous
    Posted October 25, 2009 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    er, I have to confess it was probably Star Trek, the series got me into reading the books and from there I tried mainstream SF and Fantasy.
    Nick in the UK

  37. wirelessrobin
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    OMG forgot about Dune….. I love that series! Hard to get into but totally awesome once you do :-)

  38. Writing_Girl
    Posted October 26, 2009 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    When I was 7 or 8 my mother bought me the Narnia series. I had not been a huge reader prior to that but once in – there was no turning back. (That was almost 30 years ago!)

    Not only was I reading like mad, I started writing too. I love everything about books, especially sci-fi and your book is no exception. I definitely appreciate your addition to the wonderful world of reading.

    Looking forward to your next one! Keep doing whatever it is that makes you happy – I know that will ensure your books continue to make us readers happy too. Cheers!

  39. Anonymous
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

    I remember reading David Eddings books that really got me into fantasy. I went on to read all of his books. Then I brached out into other ones. That was about 15 yrs ago and I love finding a new ones to read.

    Can’t wait for book two and I am reading Name of the wind Again.

  40. Ogre_rage
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Its hard to say what got me into reading and recently begin to write fantasy are two different books but are linked in the fact that I want to write them because I’ve been reading other inturpritations of the many different fantasy worlds out there. What got me to read fantasy was my mom bought me a the harry potter book when I was in the 7th grade and I dint read it until I had to do a book report then I was hooked I started to read it over and over and then I moved on to Tolkien and McCaffrey then so on. I was introduced to Terry Pratchett and his books amazed me the mixture of comedy and fantasy was pure genius. Then I read Name of the wind and it inspired me that I needed to write the stories that built up in my head when I wasnt reading.

  41. Jaime
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    I had much the same thing for The Hobbit, except mine was on cassette instead of vinyl. Even had the Rankin-Bass artwork.

    I never had to be introduced to fantasy; I was surrounded with it from birth. Tolkien, Cherryh, Heinlein, Donaldson – all the major fantasy and science fiction authors of the 60s and 70s were a part of the house library.

    I was fated to be a nerd.

  42. Bob
    Posted October 28, 2009 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    I feel like Rip Van Winkle. My first fantacy, action adventure was James Fenimore Coopers Pathfinder, Deerslayer, Last of the Mohegans. You should give it a read

  43. Anonymous
    Posted October 29, 2009 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    Hard to say what my first one was, since it was decades ago. I know early on I read some ee doc smith (skylark, lensman), some asimov, arthur c. clarke, some marion zimmer bradley (darkover!). Perhaps the books that got me going the most were Donaldson’s Covenant books. I love those to this day, and am committed to reading the latest series, though they are scheduled some 4 years apart! michael

  44. Anonymous
    Posted October 30, 2009 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    When I was about eight I started a world all my own locked inside my head. It started with hobbits and went from there. I wanted a world of magic, honor, and something I cannot describe. I am very selective about who can be there. Mr. Potter was fun and has a place on the shelf as a re-read but didn’t make the ranks. All of Tolkien is there. Some of Orson Scott Card, Younger characters from far away days like Mr. Mole and Badger. TH White, Douglas Adams, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie (I loved the mystery remember?) I just finished reading TNOTW, took a day off and read it again. Kvothe took the voyage. He is now out on adventures with Strider.


  45. Anonymous
    Posted November 3, 2009 at 11:29 PM | Permalink

    The earliest thing I remember picking up was East of The Sun, West of the Moon when I was 8, and then The Prydain Chronicles and Chronicles of Narnia not too long after.

  46. Anonymous
    Posted November 4, 2009 at 2:48 PM | Permalink


    The Redwall series when I was about ten, plus the Depthford Trilogy, then Discworld. I picked up Legends volume one because it had a Pratchett story in it. This lead me to Anne Mcaffrey, GRRM and Robert Jordan. GRRM in turn lead me to Robin Hobb.

  47. Heathman
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    David Eddings – The Pawn of Prophecy – and i was hooked

  48. Peter E. Frangel
    Posted November 5, 2009 at 11:08 PM | Permalink

    Mine was the Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Faist. Such an amazing series that is, I still love it.

  49. jenine
    Posted November 6, 2009 at 3:46 AM | Permalink

    mine was the king of elflands daughter by dunsany. it was wonderful.

    can’t wait for the next book. loved name of the wind!

  50. Anonymous
    Posted November 7, 2009 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

    The Chrysalids and the Hobbit read them in grade ten and since I work for Chapters have been going through the fantasy section a author at a time

  51. Askeladd
    Posted November 8, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    Mine was an David Eddings The Ruby Knigth, the second book of the Tamuli trilogy. At that time I didn’t read anything but romances, after that I went on to read Goodkind, then Jordan, then so on. I’ve been reading fantasy for eight years now, I’ve also branched out to sci-fi, historical, crime and other genres. So far tho, I haven’t given non-fiction books a try.

  52. Anonymous
    Posted November 10, 2009 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    what is it with people being fans of Terry Brooks and the Sword of Shannara? i suppose i understand if it was the first fantasy book you ever read, but if you read a bunch more fantasy u will soon realize that Terry just grabs other author’s plots and characters, mashes them together, dumbs them down and regurgitates them out into a boring, predictable, shadow of the books from which he copies.
    sorry for being so negative, but i see that book mentioned far to often. if you think its good, read the original, its called The Lord of The Rings :)

  53. rebecca
    Posted November 15, 2009 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    My dad read me the Hobbit when I was suuuuper little. Too little to retain any of it, I’ve since read it about ten times.
    Do the Bailey School Kids and Animorphs count?? hehe. 3rd grade.
    And of course, Narnia, then the Time Quartet, 4th grade. Closely followed by His Dark Materials (my all-time favorite) and Harry Potter!

  54. Sarah
    Posted December 1, 2009 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    I didn’t learn how to read until about halfway through the year of third grade. At that time I started getting handed books by both my tutor and my parents that the average girl of that age group would enjoy, I think I read a bunch of the box car kids novels and some Nancy Drew and while I did enjoy them it wasn’t until I got Eragon by Christopher Paolini that I started to devour books. I got as many fantasy novels as library card would allow and reread my favorites over and over again. My original copy of Eragon has a busted spine that I’ve taped over multiple times and my copies of the second two books in the series are also lovingly worn. I even dated a man because of our duel hate for the movie and how they butchered the book.

  55. Anonymous
    Posted December 12, 2009 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

    This question is more complicated than it seems. I’ve always been a avid reader. I read ‘Narnia,’ ‘The Hobbit,’ ‘Watership Down,’ and Madelein L’Engle’s series in elementary school. And I loved them. But I was not a ‘fantasy reader.’ My friend Molly gave me the Dragonlance books in high school, followed by Robert Jordan. Again, LOVED them (although Jordan made my beloved kender seem a little lame).

    I would have to say the turning point, the book that made me a true fantasy fanatic, was Robin Hobb’s “Assassin’s Apprentice.” And I had to read that one twice before I got caught up in the frenzy. But a special shout-out must also go to Brandon Sanderson’s brilliant ‘Mistborn’ series for my complete conversion. Someone I work with gave me NOTW, and it now holds a special place on my shelves with the best of the best I dig out of the fantasy section at the book store.

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