Some thoughts on my major influences...
edited: Friday, July 12, 2013
By David J. Thompson
Rated "R" by the Author.
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2013
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About the influences on my novels, both literary and otherwise.
The 2 books which first turned me towards spic and contemporary fantasy were "Glory Road" by Robert A. Heinlein and "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The first novel had a Vietnam vet more or less tricked into going on an otherworldly adventure by a woman, who quite early on tells him he's the hero she wanted and now loves him. A trained fighting man, "Oscar" Gordon falls for the beautiful witch and self-confessed "bitch" and behaves as a hero should but doesn't really consider himself one (most of the time he is wondering if it's a dream and he's still lying in the jungle dying).
As it turns out, he has been shaped to fit his role, even learning to fence in high school (not taught at very many American schools, I imagine). And, to his utter surprise, he finds himself the consort of the Empress of the 20 Universes....and about as useless as a lap dog now the adventure is through.
He longs to return to his Earth and universe and does. The problem is he suffers from culture shock: Earth is much more dirty and crowded than the fabulous places he has seen, the major powers are gearing for global war and he finds himself feeling horribly out of place. At the end, he longs to be back on the dangerous "Glory Road" and he finally gets his chance...
As I posted one time was: LotR is an admirable piece of work. Tolkien was a 20th century author writing in a 19th century style: huge cast of characters, every point on his maps had a history, and details, details, details! The Hobbits stand in for the Englishmen from the countryside, who I believe the Professor had a deep fondness. I found the One Ring to be an excellent symbol of great power and how, even with the best intentions, it can go awry. I've read it many times.
Stephen King was my source of horror plus the hammer horror films of the 60's. King's habit of springing something awful on his heroes when they (and you) least expect it is a stroke of genius, I think. I believe his horror novels have inspired any use of that genre in my Saga.
Finally, a tip of the hat to Professor Stephen Hawking and popularization of such topics as quantum physics, The Uncertainty Principle and the Multiverse, without which I would not have had a springboard for my works.