I know Carrie Fisher did so much more than just Star Wars, but that's what I remember her for. She is one of the people that thank for setting me on the path to proud and happy geekdom that I find myself on now. Along with swashbuckling Han Solo, brooding Luke Skywalker and the comedy duo of R2D2 and C3P0, I remember, as a young girl, watching Princess Leia kicking some serious ass and wanting to be just like her. From that moment I was lost forever to the world of Disney princesses. I didn't want to be flouncing around in posh frocks being all pretty and delicate, I wanted to be Leia, with her badass attitude and even more badass hairdos, saving the universe and winning the heart of Han Solo along the way.
Princess Leia taught girls that you can be rough and tough and beautiful at the same time, and there can't be a more important lesson than that.
Carrie Fisher, every Sci Fi fan's special princess, taken far too soon.
Richard Adams, by contrast, was fortunate enough to live a long and full life, and write the book that I will always identify as one of my very favourites, Watership Down. He wrote a lot of other books as well, for instance Shardik and the Plague Dogs. I've read them both, but Watership Down was and always is the one that captured my imagination and stayed with me the most.
In Watership Down, Richard Adams didn't just write a story about rabbits, he created an entire rabbit ciivlisation and culture, based around their natural behaviour and that's what made the book so engaging, and shocking, because in truth rabbit society isn't fluffy and cute and full on Beatrix Potter, it's downright brutal.
Richard Adams was one of several authors, too many of whom are no longer with us, that I credit for my love of stories, and reading generally.
I've just completed a seven-film Star wars marathon oer the Christmas period and now I feel another read of Watership Dowm may be on the horizon very soon
To conclude, here's my favourite passage from Adams' bunny bible - a story within the story.