J.P. Oakes is a writer and creative director living on Long Island, where he drinks too much tea, overthinks dumb action movies, and indulges in profound nerdery. Follow him on social media @jp_oakes for flash fiction and thoughts on the writing process, or if you want to engage someone for many long hours on the topic of Bioware Games.
Today, he tells us about his Six Books
1. What book are you currently reading?
The Solomon Curse by Clive Cussler and Russell Blake. I love a good-old fashioned adventure romp, and Cussler and his various co-authors usually deliver. As soon as hidden treasure, sunken cities, and jungle hijinks are involved you can sign me right up.
2. What upcoming book you are really excited about?
Alecto the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir. Honestly, one day I want to grow up and be as cool as Tamsyn. In my opinion she’s writing some of the coolest, weirdest, most exciting fiction available at the moment, and I love it to pieces.
3. Is there a book you're currently itching to re-read?
Scar Night by Alan Campbell. The New Weird movement was a big deal for me. It was amazing to see a group of authors just blow the doors off traditional genre boundaries and write works of fiction that went all over the place, and did so many exciting things. For me, Campbell was a writer who never quite got his due, and the whole Deepgate Codex trilogy is a bit of an overlooked gem.
4. How about a book you've changed your mind about over time--either positively or negatively?
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien. As a kid I tried reading this about 3 times and never made it past Tom Bombadil. The Hobbit was one of my favorite books, but LOTR never quite caught for me. Then, in college, I had to read some of it for a course in children’s literature, and the bug bit me hard. I blew through the whole trilogy and mainlined the Silmarillion all in one go. I still love it now.
5. What’s one book, which you read as a child or young adult, that has had a lasting influence on your writing?
The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Chapman. Technically three books, I realize, but I read it all in one compendium volume so I’m hoping that buys me a pass. Still, as cheesy as this series sometimes seems to me now, it introduced me to important ideas: that balance might be more important than one side winning outright; that heroes can die (I’m looking at you Sturm Brightblade); and that heroes can be villains and vice versa (pretty much Raistlin all the time).
6. And speaking of that, what’s *your* latest book, and why is it awesome?
City of Iron and Dust by JP Oakes. In terms of what makes of it awesome: drugs, ultraviolence and fairies. It’s about fae living as an underclass in a modern city ruled over by goblins. The only way they can still access their magic is by taking a drug called Dust. When a vast package of Dust arrives in the city, it threatens to topple the whole existing power balance, and rebellion, revolution, and redemption follow in its wake.
POSTED BY: Paul Weimer. Ubiquitous in Shadow, but I’m just this guy, you know? @princejvstin.