When I get into conversations with friends about books, we often fall into discussion of not just our favorites, but those that have influenced our thinking the most. I can trace certain things about myself directly to novels (and legends, and sometimes movies) because of how strongly some elements affected me, and that is at once both fascinating and a bit frightening.
Janny Wurts’s Wars of Light and Shadow series, which went halvsies with Star Wars on the bulk of my daydreams for quite a while, I credit with my early tendency to utterly distrust any sort of sweeping claim of moral superiority, no matter how pleasantly it is presented. Jacqueline Carrey’s Kushiel’s Legacy taught me that my sexual orientation existed, among many other things most people probably wouldn’t want a twelve-year-old thinking about…. (And yet those books were probably the genesis of many of my healthier attitudes/viewpoints about interpersonal relationships and sex.) The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons was one of the major influences that began my interest in transhumanism in college.
And you can laugh all you like, but Labyrinth gave me quite a bit more than an eternal fangirl complex for David Bowie and an acute appreciation for 80s music.
What stories (be they in books, movies, or otherwise) have influenced you the most? How have they done so? How do you think the timing of when you read/watched certain things affected that influence? What narrative themes resonate the most strongly for you?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.