1. Loren Eaton says:

    John Christopher’s “The White Mountains” made me love SF, and Ray Bradbury’s “The October Country” turned me toward (classical, non-splattery) horror.

  2. bainespal says:

    It was a combination of Tolkien and a little-known text adventure game/interactive fiction called Wearing the Claw, which was in an adventure game bundle that was on one of those CDs full of late 90’s shareware.

  3. Ty Briggs says:

    I learned to read with the Berenstein Bears and continued to be an insatiable reader throughout elementary school, but I think the most influential time was when I first got my hands on Roald Dahl books. I’m fairly sure I read everything he wrote, from The BFG, The Twits and The Fantastic Mr Fox to the more we’ll known like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Matilda.

    My Nintendo 64 brought my reading to a hiatus until after high school when I picked up a copy of Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s First Rule on a friend’s recommendation. I’ve been hooked on spec-fic ever since.

  4. Probably Azimov Foundation Series and Heinlein”s Stranger in a Strange Land, plus RingWorld are remembered out of hundreds. Of course Dune, and Anne McCaffery’s Dragonriders of Pern and Ursula LeGuin’s EarthSea. There were so many before they got so weird…

  5. Then, of course, I met the Lord in ’74 and read no heathen fiction until the 90s.

  6. sparksofember says:

    I mostly learned to read from my parent’s Peanut’s collection. But what sparked my love for reading, and spec fic, was in 3rd grade when my father bought me the Narnia series. They promised me an Aslan t-shirt when I finished the series so I started reading, logging the date I finished each book on the inside covers. My mother did the same – we competed to see who would finish first. (Though looking back now, I see what they did there!)

    I don’t remember a time when I haven’t loved reading. But my parents say I struggled with it and did not love it until the 3rd grade. So I credit their creativity with that Narnia series in sparking my life-long love of books.

  7. Joanna says:

    Narnia, when my dad started reading the books to me when I was 5. That introduced me to fantasy, which I insisted was my only love.

    Then I’d reached the crisis movement at age 12 when I’d read every book in my house (not quite literally, but certainly most story books/novels) and I was forced to finally try the science fiction book my dad had bought a few years ago from a used book sale. But it was with no high expectations – I hated science fiction, I was sure.

    But three chapters into “Firebird” by Kathy Tyers (the Bethany House edition) I was deeply hooked and in love with the story to a point of a book binge where I read most of the evening, woke up the next morning and read right through the morning to the end. (Really – who could put the book down once they were headed to Hunter Height?) 😀

    And so I found a second love – I’m still more a space opera person than hard science fiction, but I’ll give anything a try.

  8. Matthias M. Hoefler says:

    I’m sketchy on the details, but I know a comic book series called “The Micronauts” gave me the sci-fi bug early. I wrote and illustrated a couple sci-fi books. I read about Asimov’s robots, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Hobbit, all before I was saved.

    I’ve been really into folktales since college, ever since a children’s lit class I took while studying to be a teacher.

  9. dmdutcher says:

    Hmm. Man, this is hard. I’m not sure of the chronology, but these are the earliest books I remember reading.

    Dragonfall 5 and the Space Cowboys was the first kids SF series I remember reading.

    I also read the usual stuff. Narnia, A Wrinkle in Time, The Dark is Rising, etc.

    I read Asmiov’s Lucky Starr juveniles, Janet Asimov’s Norby the Robot books, the second Tom Swift series,  and Andre Norton’s Star Ka’at books.

    Also the kids anthologies of the 70s. If you can find them, they are some amazing horror. Baleful Beasts and Eerie Creatures is probably the best of them.

    A huge influence on me loving comics was Marvels The New Mutants. Before that, I had a subscription to the Fantastic Four, during the John Byrne years.

    For Christian fiction, John White’s Geburah books, Stephen Lawhead’s Dragon King Trilogy, Calvin Miller’s Guardians of the Singreale, and John Bibee’s The Magic Bicycle.

  10. Becky says:

    The Chronicles of Narnia started it all. I can’t remember a time when we didn’t have that series in our house.  For a long time though, I was more of an action-adventure girl than a speculative fiction girl. Frank Peretti’s The Cooper Kids series is still a favorite. Then, in junior high, I discovered The Hobbit and my love of fantasy kicked into high gear.

  11. ionaofavalon says:

    I had always loved Disney movies, but I caught the Spec-fic bug when I read an easy reader called Sir Small and the Dragonfly, about a tiny knight who battles a dragonfly. (I lost my copy in a house fire, but found it in a bookstore and just had to snag a copy!)  I was a voracious reader of whatever caught my eye, historical fiction was my favorite for a long time, but then I latched on to Tolkien, Lewis,and Lawhead, especially his Endless Knot series (one of my own characters is named after one of his), before being hooked by Martin the Warrior in the Redwall series. I had wanted to write for a long time, but it was Redwall that convinced me to give the whole writing thing a try.

  12. I loved Charlotte’s Web and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. They were both done as in-class read-alouds; best part of elementary school other than learning to read. It was Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles that got me into sword-and-sorcery fantasy. I loved A Wrinkle in Time as an eleven-year-old, but when I reread it as an adult it didn’t make much sense to me anymore. But my daughter read it around middle school age and loved it as well. Maybe you have to be a pre-teen girl to get that story.

  13. Julie D says:

    When I was in third grade, my mom started reading LWW to me for school. I got fed up with how long she was taking and finished it myself. That’s how it all started….

What do you think?