The Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said that when he read the first line of Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis,” he didn’t know people were allowed to write sentences like that, and immediately began writing short fiction. Well, I had the exact same experience—with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Specifically, with his masterpiece One Hundred Years of Solitude.
I was not a big genre reader growing up. I liked horror quite a bit, but I rarely ventured into the science fiction and fantasy sections of the library. That is not to say I disliked science fiction—I was a huge Star Wars fan, I watched The X-Files religiously, and I attended midnight showings of the Lord of the Rings films. I just didn’t dabble much in speculative literature. There were a few exceptions, but by the time I was in college I was largely reading literary fiction, and not much else.