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One Of Us: Writing Wonks
  • George R. R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, is a definite fantasy nerd. Listen to this. Preach on, brother...oh, uh, no, there's just something in my eye...
    • Martin also based the Wild Cards series on the Superworld tabletop RPG campaign that he and fellow local writers were involved in at the time.
    • Martin started out as a Big Name Fan in silver age comic book fandom. His first published stories were for Comic Book fanzines.
  • Every Author in the Literary Anthology Geektastic!is a self-proclaimed geek in one way or another.
  • Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld novels is known to be a fan of games such as Half-Life 2 and fan-missions of Thief and has had a part in developing the early game versions of his books. Also his daughter Rhianna Pratchett is a writer for video games such as the Overlord series, Heavenly Sword and Mirror's Edge. Check out his review of the Tomb Raider film on the VideoGameMoviesSuck quotes page. The really big clue might have been the fact that he is the author of fantasy novels that parody other fantasy novels as well as other, nerdier, things.
    • Pterry is a very serious fan of classic genre SF, and was a fixture in British SF fandom for years before he became a famous writer.
    • Also supposed to be a They Might Be Giants fan.
      • Confirmed by the Annotated Pratchett File. In fact, Foul Ole Ron's catchphrase "millennium hand and shrimp" came about as the result of running TMBG lyrics and a Chinese restaurant menu through a Markov-chain text generator.
    • About Pratchett as a gamer, there's the quote about the (terracotta) Red Army in Interesting Times:
    "What? Lemmings? Merely because the red army can fight, dig, march and climb and is controlled by little icons? Can't imagine how anyone thought that... Not only did I wipe Lemmings from my hard disc, I overwrote it so's I couldn't get it back."
    • There is also a suspicion, noted by fans versed in both ouevres, that Terry has more than a passing knowledge of the works of that great Gothic/heavy rock band, the Blue Oyster Cult. The "Latatian" family motto for the extended Mort family is in itself a dead giveaway: Non timetis messor, or Donít fear the reaper (later adapted as a motto in Terry Pratchett's own coat of arms, in proper Latin as Noli timere messorem). The song itself is used as a running gag throughout Hogfather, and evidence has been garnered from the books that points to homage references to other B÷C songs. Interestingly enough, the band themselves may be aware of Pratchett and may have reciprocated the homage, or paid homage of their own. Take a look at the back cover of Cult Classics and then go read Reaper Man. See here: [1].
      • And of course, there's the Yetis, which in his world can meditate, live out the next few minutes, die, and then time-jump back into their meditative self with the knowledge of what is going to kill them. In other words, quicksave and quickload.
    • By the way, he also has a hobby of growing carnivorous plants.
    • And he says he used to play Dungeons & Dragons and Blood Bowl. The former is pretty evident in the earlier books.
      • The Luggage is based on a magic item he invented while DM'ing- a chest on legs with infinite storage space that does what you tell it. Exactly what you tell it. Wonderful, until you forget to tell it to stop at the cliff edge...
      • Well, there are a few stories, all originating from Pratchett himself, about the origin of The Luggage. Another version is that he was inspired by rolling suitcases at an airport that you tugged with a leash. Pterry said even he doesn't really remember which version is true.
  • Neil Gaiman writes fanfic. Cthulhu Mythos mostly, he wrote a crossover fic featuring Jeeves and Wooster as well.
    • A Study in Emerald (Sherlock Holmes/Cthulhu Mythos crossover). He also wrote a Dark Fic about Narnia that shipped Jadis/Aslan.
    • Not to mention at least three of his works are pretty much Fanfics that put mythology in our world.
    • According to a recent blog post, he is apparently a fan of xkcd.
    • He has also mentioned being a fan of Gunnerkrigg Court
    • He's also a Doctor Who fan, as is pretty obvious in his episode "The Doctor's Wife".
    • He also wrote the only episode of Babylon 5 in Seasons 3, 4, or 5 on which J. Michael Straczynski received no writing credit ("Day of the Dead").
    • British RPG magazine Imagine was his first publisher with two of his early short stories, Featherquest in 1984 (#14) and How to Sell the Ponti Bridge in 1985 (#24).
    • Really, as per the main page, Gaiman probably doesn't need to be included here because,'s pretty obvious that he's a geek of gigantic proportions, just like Pratchett.
  • Mystery novelist and conservative commentator Andrew Klavan has made it clear that he enjoys videogames, and occasionally reviews them on his website. He's also made a reference to BioShock in one episode of his TV show, Klavan on the Culture.
  • Stephen King is pretty nerdy. He loves comic books, writes fanfiction (check out Nightmares and Dreamscapes — it has a Sherlock Holmes story, one or two Lovecraft-themed stories, and a story based on a picture in a Chris Van Allsburg book), and plays in a band composed entirely of authors, including Dave Barry and Amy Tan.
  • Lois McMaster Bujold started out writing Star Trek fanfic as a teenager. Later she published a fanzine. Until she became afraid of confusing her ideas with readers, she regularly read fanfics of her own work. She used to hook up a reel-to-reel tape recorder to record the episodes, audio-only (mother: "You girls are going to be so embarrassed when you grow up and remember how you acted over this program.")
  • Jennifer Rowe, aka Emily Rodda, is best known for writing the Deltora Quest series. As an interview with The ABC reveals, she and her children are also die-hard anime fans. That and OLM Incorporated promising to keep the books' storylines fully intact were the primary reasons why she gave the go-ahead for adapting her books into an anime series.
  • All right, we expect science fiction, fantasy, and horror authors to be geeks, but how about purveyors of "Proper Literature"? During an interview with Paul Gambaccini (see below), Umberto Eco expressed a wish to write Green Lantern. Thus far, DC haven't taken him up on it.
  • Another "Proper Literature" one: A. S. Byatt is a Discworld fan.
    • But she has expressed the opinion that adult Harry Potter fans should read a real book already. And went on to blatantly insult the intelligence of adult fans:
      Ms. Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. They are inhabitants of urban jungles, not of the real wild. They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had.
    • Eight years on and it's approaching Never Live It Down status, unfortunately; it's still brought up in discussions about literary snobbery. Telling millions of adult readers that their lives must be confined to "the worlds of soaps, reality TV, and celebrity gossip" was not the best way to express her disapproval of the books.
    • She's more moderate in her intro to the Pratchett short story collection A Blink of the Screen, where she explains why she prefers Sir Terry to other fantasy authors. Her personal difficulty with Harry Potter is apparently that she went to boarding school, and can't engage with any work that reminds her of it.
  • Scottish thriller writer Ian Rankin wrote an arc for Hellblazer, named "Dark Entries".
  • Daniel Suarez gets so many of the technical details right in his novel Daemon that he's obviously an accomplished hacker in his own right. So much so that you have to wonder how much practical research he may have done on how to write a Daemon like the one in the book...
  • If Douglas Adams was still alive with his wholly technologically obsessed self, he would be more than a match for Stephen Fry in the race of fanboying over Apple products - according to Fry, he was the owner of the first ever Apple computer in the UK (though some say Fry bought the first one). And before that, he was a huge fan of Doctor Who, having written affectionate parodies when he was younger before actually writing for the show, and if his books aren't referencing a band (particularly The Beatles), then you probably aren't reading Douglas Adams. Perhaps his nerdiness was just too much for the space-time continuum and he had to be removed.
  • Jim Butcher, of The Dresden Files, qualifies. He quotes on the forums. He's clearly researched everything. He's a big fan of Tolkien. In fact, he even mentioned that if Balrogs were to appear in the Dresden Files, they would have wings, since that's more annoying for Harry. That's not what makes this. No, what makes this is that he hangs out in boffer LARPs, and had already made Harry Dresden on City of Heroes, along with Murphy and Marcone.
    • He was also involved in a very hands-on capacity in developing a Dresden Files pen-and-paper RPG, and specifically added mechanics to the novels before he intended to so they could be added to the game. He's also gone on record that, despite being an avid RPG gamer, he will never play in a Dresden Files game as he would be that guy in the game. "That IS how it works and I'll put it in the next book just to prove it!"
    • Several of the Codex Alera books are dedicated to his old MUCK.
    • He also named a character in the Dresden Files after one from Warhammer Fantasy Battle. Heinrich Kemmler, if you were wondering.
    • He's heard of TV Tropes.
    I am somewhat flattered by how many Crowning Moments of Awesome I am credited with, and find it imperative to consider how to top the previous ones.
  • Naomi Novik, author of the Temeraire series, openly admits that she wrote Fan Fic for about ten years before becoming a published historical fantasy author.
    • Slash fanfic. Think about that, then go re-read ... any of the Temeraire books.
    • She's also a founding member and current chair of the Organisation for Transformative Works, a fan-run organisation dedicated to ensuring that "all fannish works are recognized as legal and transformative and are accepted as a legitimate creative activity" and defending said works from legal challenges. One of its major projects is an open-source fanfic archive.
    • She was also reportedly once the Director (head honcho) of Transformers 2005 MUSH, possibly the oldest still-running Transformers MUSH. She supposedly (at least) played Soundwave.
  • Brandon Sanderson is a fan of, among other things, Magic: The Gathering and The Wheel of Time, the latter of which he was chosen to complete after Robert Jordan's death.
  • Any Black Library writer grew up on Warhammer and all its variants
  • J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were both huge fans of epic fantasy and grew frustrated that no one seemed to be writing it anymore. Finally they both decided "If no one else is going to write the books we want to read, we'll just write them ourselves."
  • John Green: Between him and his brother Hank, they founded a community known as Nerdfighters. So not only does he take Proud to Be a Geek to a high level, he uses the Vlogbrothers videos to teach you how to insult like Shakespeare, educate you about the French revolution/giraffe sex/Obamacare/etc., and do other decidedly nerdy things.
  • Steven Brust, creator of Dragaera, wrote "My Own Kind of Freedom" a Firefly fanfic.
  • H.P. Lovecraft himself was a voracious Speculative Fiction reader before "science fiction" was even a term, wrote monographs on the subject, and spent much of his life corresponding and trading ideas with other geeks who shared this interest. Moreover, he considered literary devices, stylistic techniques and allusions to be Serious Business; had he been born a hundred years later, he'd probably be troping about Cosmic Horror Stories on this site right now!
  • Sportswriter Bill Simmons is a massive nerd, and spent so much of his column crossing over sports and pop culture that ESPN spun off so that he and others could continue. He's written lengthy articles on Madden NFL (coining the page quote for Rubber Band AI), The Wire, Jersey Shore, Survivor, Rocky, and Teen Wolf. The latter being notable because he actually calculated the stat lines for the basketball scenes.
  • The reclusive American Cosmic Horror Story author Thomas Ligotti once co-wrote a (very impressive) Script Fic for The X-Files entitled "Crampton". He's also an admirer of early King Crimson and the film Man on Fire.
  • Andrzej Sapkowski, creator of the Witcher books, is a huge fan of King Arthur and everything related to it. Once he and another writer took over a panel at convention and turned it into a duel who can prove to have greater knowledge about Sienkiewicz Trilogy. He also has a recommendation list of fantasy novels he thinks every true fan of the genre should give a try. Said list consiste a one hundred positions at this point and all series, even the long running ones like Discworld, are listed as just one position. And that's just books he liked.
  • Neil T. Stacey, author of Trespasser's will be prostituted, Delicious Pandas and Kill time or die trying is a huge geek. He:
    • Plays Magic: The Gathering seriously to have placed in the top 30 at the national championships of his home country.
    • Plays Dnd and has even DM'ed campaigns.
    • Has a Masters degree in Chemical Engineer
    • And the real kicker: claimed in one interview that he learnt how to write by reading TV Tropes.
  • Larry Niven, multiple Hugo Award, Nebula Award, and H.P. Lovecraft Award winning science fiction author, space-program booster, and generally all-around nice guy, has publicly stated that of all the projects he's been involved in, writing the "bible" for the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Green Lantern comic book series is probably his favorite, because it let him play with a lot of the "toys" he enjoyed "playing with" when he was younger.
  • Columnist David P. Goldman has read and liked The Lord of the Rings. He also cites elements from Monty Python and Mel Brooks movies in his articles. He also knows Harry Potter and Kung Fu Panda, but doesn't like them too much.
  • Charles Stross invented several iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters such as the death knight, the githyanki and githzerai, and the slaadi. Geekdom gets multiple nods in The Laundry Series, including a short story where protagonist Bob Howard plays Neverwinter Nights to keep the modding community from accidentally summoning eldritch abominations with it.
  • Australian writer Matthew Reilly definitely counts he, among other things, owns a Delorean as his day to day car, named a group in one of his books after a background character with no lines in 'The Empire Strikes Back' owns a life size Boba Fett helmet which sits on his writing desk and on the wall of his study is life size Han Solo frozen in carbonite.
  • Ryohgo Narita, creator of Baccano! and Durarara!!, was once asked how he felt about fans shipping and slashing his characters together in fanfic and doujins. His response? "Well, I ship Harumi/Chiri."
  • Philip K. Dick was a massive music geek, with a special fondness for the geekiest of all geeky musics, contemporary classical music. He named a character after the 20th century Finnish composer Einojuhani Rautavaaraa and his love for the music of 16th century English composer John Dowland is apparent in his use of Dowland's song "Flow my tears" in the title of his own novel Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said (which quotes the entire song.) He also had major crushes on Linda Ronstadt and the obscure singer-songwriter Bonnie Koloc.
  • Ayn Rand was a fan of Doctor Who, Charlie's Angels, The Twilight Zone and Star Trek, saying that her favourite character was Spock. She also enjoyed the James Bond films, particularly Dr. No.
  • How is Diane Duane not on here yet? She got her start writing Star Trek fic in the 70s, and has referenced writing Doctor Who and Lord of the Rings fic before that. She's very active on tumblr these days, reading and reblogging a lot of her favorite Sherlock fic and art. She's also... started writing fanfiction of her own books and posting them. It's weird for everyone.
  • Marie Lu, the writer of The Legend Series, has a Deviant Art account that shows she's a fan of Assassin's Creed, Kingdom Hearts, and InuYasha.
  • Author and scriptwriter Melinda M. Snodgrass has said that her career has been "one long nergasm." She's an Ascended Fan in many different categories: a Star Trek fan who ended up a scriptwriter for Next Generation; a Mass Effect fan who got picked to write some of the novels; a roleplaying gamer who, along with her good friend George R. R. Martin, turned their Superworld game into the Wild Cards series (and now is a writer/producer on the upcoming Wild Cards movie).
  • Larry Correia plays WarMachine, is writing some Expanded Universe material for it, and is involved in the creation of a tabletop RPG based on his Monster Hunter International series.
  • Cormac McCarthy is a hardcore science geek, to the extent that he'd rather be around scientists than writers. Because of this, he works out of the prestigious Santa Fe Institute (of which he is a trustee), reportedly knowing more about math and physics than many of its faculty. He's offered to edit science books that he enjoyed, much to the delight of their authors, making him an Ascended Fan of sorts.
  • Salman Rushdie loves Frank Zappa and was even present in the audience during Zappa's legendary Royal Albert Hall concert in 1968.
  • Roald Dahl was an admirer of CS Forester and was honored when he met his hero in person. It was even Forester who encouraged Dahl to start writing himself!
  • Tom Angleberger, author of the Origami Yoda series, is a huge fan of Doctor Who.

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