It wasn't until Andre Norton where I discovered reading Science Fiction. I actually started out reading some of Norton's Witch World books and then, because I enjoyed them so much decided to give one of her "other" books a try. And I began devouring any Andre Norton book I could get my hands on. I received many as birthday and christmas gifts. I saved up my money and took the long bus ride from the Bronx to Cross County Mall to buy some. I even read whatever the school library had.
We recently moved and half of my books are still in boxes (where they will remain for a while as I don't have enough shelf space for them all). Today, I was rearranging my boxes, specifically moving my Andre Norton box up to the top when I decided to count how many Andre Norton books I actually own.
It turns out I own 47 Andre Norton books. And I know I've read at least 20 more from libraries over the years.
This places Andre Norton at the top of my most read and most owned author.
And in case anyone is interested I'd have to say The Crystal Gryphon is probably my favorite.
That said, Here Abide Monsters and the Witch World books have been more influential than anything except Tolkien's work on my early development in world building and storytelling.
I've heard for many other people Andre Norton was a similar bridge from Fantasy to Science Fiction.
Do you have an author who opened up a whole new reading world for you?