Saturday, April 27, 2013

What writers will be remembered 100 years from now?

It's a question that comes up from time to time on blogs and various online forums. Sometimes it comes up at conferences and conventions, sometimes on Facebook, Twitter, or just between two writers talking.

What writers will be remembered 100 years from now?

There's no way to know, of course, unless one is the Doctor, and everyone seems to have their own opinions. To some extent, one can look back a hundred years at the authors who were popular then and see if they are still popular today, then kind of guess if similar writers will remain popular in the future, but I say "kind of" and "to some extent" because that doesn't really work either.

All we can do is make our opinions. And below are some of mine, with the author's name first, followed by my answer to the question. My thoughts on this are not based solely upon the quality of work of the author, nor only upon their sales numbers, but takes into consideration how well they resonate throughout the U.S. and world cultures at large.

  • Stephen King
YES
  • J.K. Rowling
YES
  • James Patterson
NO
  • John Grisham
MAYBE, but I'm leaning towards NO
  • Neil Gaiman
MAYBE, and I'm leaning towards YES because he's still relatively young and has a lot of writing left in him 
  • Joe Hill
NO, but he's also young and has potential
  • Terry Brooks
NO
  • Terry Goodkind
NO
  • Steven Erikson
As much as I hate to say it, NO
  • George R.R. Martin
MAYBE, but I'm leaning towards NO
  • Chuck Palahniuk
MAYBE, with a slight leaning towards YES, at least by the literary crowd
  • Danielle Steel
NO
  • Dan Brown
NO
  • Stephenie Meyer
MAYBE, but strongly leaning toward NO
  • Nora Roberts
NO
  • Janet Evanovich
NO
  • Tom Clancy
NO, which is funny because a couple of decades ago I would have say "yes"
  • Jodi Picoult
NO
  • Nicholas Sparks
MAYBE, but leaning towards NO
  • Anne Rice
MAYBE, I'd say it's 50/50 
  • Maya Angelou
YES by the intelligentsia, but NO by the general reading public
  • Cormac McCarthy
MAYBE, leaning towards YES
  • Larry McMurtry
MAYBE, leaning towards YES at least for the literary crowd
  • Clive Barker
MAYBE, but leaning towards NO
So, there are my predictions concerning some of the better-known authors of today. It's only my opinion, not worth arguing over, and I freely admit my thoughts on the subject matter might change at some point. I'd be interested in seeing what others predict.

3 comments:

The Wasp said...

You must really think Evanovich has no legs. Fun list indeed

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm thinking King for sure. Patterson and Brown, probably not. Cormac McCarthy, probably yes.

Ty Johnston said...

I'd forgotten about Cormac. I'll have to add him, and maybe some others that have come to mind.