So, then. I'm giving a feast. I can have ten authors around the table. No rules - they can be dead or currently alive, any genre, any age.
Here's my feast table - six greats, and four friends (Just because I can):
1) J R R Tolkien. (Oh come on, you KNEW that.)
2) Roger Zelazny (I met him once. Only once.I would have loved a chance to do it again.)
3) Ursula le Guin (because she is STILL who I want to be when I grow up)
4) Oscar Wilde (what, you wouldn't relish a chance to trade quips with him over the turkey?)
5) Neil Gaiman (because he's brilliant, that's why)
6) Guy Gavriel Kay (because no such feast would be complete without the author of Tigana)
7) Lyn McConchie (because she is a fantastic storyteller)
8) Catherynne Valente (because she is magic)
9) Jay Lake (because he is himself)
10) Nisi Shawl (because of the beauty of her soul)
and oh, what the hell, why not a dozen?
11) Matt Ruff and
12) China Mieville,
both of the above for the same reason, because I've read everything they've written and I honestly believe they are both WONDERFUL.
So, what's YOUR table look like?
(oh, and here's a bonus.)
The second table, over there, it has ten favourite characters sitting there. Here they are:
1) Dianora (from "Tigana" by Guy Gavriel Kay)
2) Myrdiin (from Mary Stewart's Merlin books)
3) Lessa (from Anne McCaffrey's Dragon books)
4) Aragorn (from "Lord of the Rings")
4) Severus Snape (PARTICULARLY if he comes along as played by Alan Rickman)
5)(can I invite one of my own?) Anghara (from the "Hidden Queen"/ "Changer of Days" books)(you're all welcome to drop by and meet her)(and I have to stop the rash of parentheses now)
6) Han Solo (but I'd require he leave his gun outside, just in case he wants to shoot first)
8) Eleanor of Aquitaine (oh, so she's historical, so what? She's in enough historical novels to count)
9) Alex Randall from M M Kaye's "Shadow of the Moon"
10) the Tenth Doctor (sorry, the rest of you. ONLY Number 10.)
Who would you ask?