Was talking to a mate about sci-fi films and TV series and did the old Google thing to see what's what. It's amazing what's included - Harry Potter, Angel, Buffy, Medium. Now, I know it's a pretty broad church, but I've never considered this type of stuff to be sci-fi; more like fantasy or whatever.
For my birthday I got two Asimov robot books - dead chuffed, but you've got to be careful what you mention when my lot are around. His style is pretty primitive by today's standards, but the stories are excellent. I've not always liked sci-fi, but came to it about ten years ago when I thought I'd better have a look at what was around. I'd done the HG Wells / Jules Verne thing when I was young and enjoyed them all - rattling good yarns and certainly able to keep a teenager occupied over a foul winter weekend. Moved on to John Wyndham and then to JG Ballard when I was in the navy, but sort of lapsed then. The usual suspects are among my favourites, so probably no surprises there. Still ploughing through a big James Blish and P.K. Dick can keep me occupied for ages.
Fantasy is something else. Done the obligatory Tolkein stuff and still enjoy it now and again and read the Stephen Donaldson Thomas Covenant series, but God knows why. Not my biggest treasure trove of inspiration, but I still enjoy the odd one. Best lately was the Orcs series by Stan Nicholls. I enjoyed the trilogy immensely - unputdownable as they say. They were Orcs as real characters, not just portrayed as mindless thugs.
Favourite of all is Neil Gaiman - excellent writer and what an imagination! There's also Terry Pratchett, but I can only take his stuff in small doses, a book at a time. My son Chris (gets confusing, doesn't it?) loved him when he was a teenager. Chris and Jude have latched onto the Robert Rankin books, which I find good, but a bit samey.
Well, that's torn it. Got all inspired now so I'm off for a browse over on Amazon.
Oh yeah, today's toy:
This is a little 15mm scale C18th general and his staff. These boys are the genuine article - thoroughbred wargames figures and veterans of quite a few engagements.
Right, off to Amazon.