I was going to pick ten, but then I overshot.
I was feeling like I should do a list for authors I love but I haven’t read eight or more of their books (because they haven’t necessarily got eight books out yet). So this list is mostly for authors that I couldn’t put on the eight-or-more list, though there’s some overlap.
Also, some of my favorite authors are not *necessarily* autobuy authors. CJ Cherryh for example; she’s mostly autobuy, but if she were to write more in the Rusalka universe, well, I’m not even going to look at it. Guy Gavriel Kay; after RIVER OF STARS — beautiful but terribly tragic in exactly the way I dislike most — I will be more cautious before picking up another of his.
It’s easy to start off:
1. Laura Florand. She has a few more than eight out now, I think. She’s the only author where I have more than once bought a book and started reading it that same day, because her contemporary romances are just so easy to slip into and don’t jar me out of my own work.
2. Elizabeth Wein. Her books can sit on my TBR shelves for ages, though. They are not at all the kind that I can read while working on my own projects. Not even slightly.
3. Megan Whelan Turner. Like everyone else, I would love to see a new entry in The Queen’s Thief series.
4. Ilona Andrews. None of their books are in my all-time-top-ten list, but on the other hand, I’m likely to pick up anything they write at this point, whether it’s in the Kate Daniels series or not. But if it *is* in the series, I’ll probably read it right away; otherwise, who knows?
5. Andrea K Höst. Definitely.
6. Lois McMaster Bujold. Of course.
7. Martha Wells. Naturally. Well, probably not any more Star Wars tie-ins. Just not very interested in that universe. But anything that isn’t a tie-in, for sure.
8. Niccola Griffith. I didn’t really care for AMMONITE, but I loved THE BLUE PLACE trilogy so much. Depending on HILD . . . which I still haven’t read, I can hardly believe it . . . I will definitely buy anything she writes.
9. Merrie Haskell. I can’t wait to see what she brings out next.
10. Sage Blackwood. Ditto.
11. Steven Brust. I haven’t liked all of his. TECKLA, definitely two thumbs down. But even his experimental works that I don’t really like are interesting — I’m thinking here of BROKEDOWN PALACE — and I’m not in the least bored by the Vlad Taltos series, either.
12. Brian Katcher. I know, I know, I’ve only read exactly one of his books so far. But he is indeed an autobuy author for me, right now at least. I definitely want to read THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ANA AND ZACK when it comes out later this month, because he did a reading from it one time and it sounded like so much fun. Then I will probably read his other two titles. After that I’ll know more about whether he’s truly an autobuy author or me!
13. Django Wexler. Kind of the same as the above. So far I’m really enjoying this THOUSAND NAMES series. In a few years, I’ll see whether he’s really an autobuy author for me or not, but right now he is.
14. James Cambias. After THE DARKLING SEA, definitely. Very impressive debut.
15. Andy Weir. Same as the above: after THE MARTIAN, I’d be glad to try another of his, if he writes another.
16. Robin McKinley. Not sure why it took this long for me to think of her. I wish she’d finish the unfinished PEGASUS.
17. Emma Bull. AARGH IF SHE WOULD ONLY FINISH the long-unfinished TERRITORY.
18. “Katherine Addison”. Onward with that pseudonym. I would most love a sequel or two to THE GOBLIN EMPORER, but I’d try anything Sarah Monette wrote under the Addison name.
19. Sarah Addison Allen. Right. Of course.
20. Okay, come on. Surely stopping at 19 is just silly. FINE WHATEVER. Who am I obviously missing who ought to go in this spot? Or who would you definitely put in this spot yourself?
Oh, a related question: how many not-that-great or not-for-you titles does it take before an author wears out their autobuy status? I guess that depends on how many of their book you’ve already read and loved, and whether you think a new title of theirs is not quite up to snuff or just dreadful. Oh, and whether you see a real decline in writing quality, *cough* Laurell Hamilton *cough*.
One “just dreadful” title could definitely shut down a series for me, but not the author’s work overall if I’ve already decided I love that author. But how many books does it take to decide I love an author? The Touchstone trilogy and AND ALL THE STARS made me an Andrea K Höst fan. The Raksura trilogy and the Ile-Rien trilogy did the same for Martha Wells. (Those are two more recent-for-me authors, which is why I can remember what of theirs I read first.) That suggests just two stories are enough to either make me start collecting an author’s backlist or put them on my autobuy list for future books.
Update: Wow, so many great suggestions in the comments!
I can’t believe I forgot about Patricia McKillip. Consider her added right at the top. Others for me would be Peter Beagle, Robin McKinley, Patricia Wrede, and yes, probably Patricia Briggs as well. I didn’t like all her backlist as well as her UF series, but I would actually like to see her do some more secondary world fantasy. She’s grown a lot as a writer since her first couple.
I could see others being added to the list as I read more of their books. Frances Hardinge, for example. Elizabeth Bear. Naomi Novik . . . possibly. I rather lost interest in the Temeraire series, but I’m SO looking forward to UPROOTED.
Lots and lots of authors you all mentioned that I ought to try.
And I am happy and flattered that some of you mentioned me, too. Thank you!