Life is Easy; Comedy is Hard

cat-booksSure, I'm a writer, but I'm also a reader with opinions. I like comedy, especially absurd comedy, witty comedy, biting comedy. I co-wrote a retro-SF comedy called Hooray for Holopticon, which I'd call a romp. I wrote a screenplay called “It's Your Bank” that's a farce. It's hard to write good comedy, and I deeply admire people who can balance their genre(s) and humor. If you do, too, here are some comedy books you might like.
Thud_TerryPratchett_coverIn classic SF, I like Harry Harrison (The Stainless Steel Rat books especially) and Ron Goulart (practically anything he wrote, but especially his Jack Conger books and the original Barnum books) as some of the best in science fiction. In fantasy, Piers Anthony handled puns like no one else in his Xanth series (though Robert Aspirin had some doozies in his MythAdventures series), and Terry Pratchett's knighthood is richly deserved for his Discworld series. Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge fantasy series neatly balances action plots, multiple points of view, and some hilarious dialogue, and she's carried it into her “Dragon Blood” steampunk series, starting with Balanced on the Blade's Edge

RetirementHomes_MikeBefeler_coverMystery novels with humor leaven the pain/violence/death that mysteries often entail—I love the quirky humor of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and I'll give a shout-out to Mike Befeler, who lives nearby, for his funny and sometimes poignant “geezer-lit” mysteries, starting with Retirement Homes Are Murder
In the paranormal/futuristic romance world, Eve Langlais's hot and steamy romances all have humor in them, likewise Cheryl Brooks' first few books of her unapologetically erotic Cat Star Chonicles series. The Regency romance subgenre has balanced sweet romance and a comedy of manners for years, although I think some authors rely too much on quirky supporting characters to create the humor. In urban fantasy, the humor tends to be more biting, to go along with the trend of kickass, hard-to-kill but sometimes hard-to-like main characters. I know there are plenty of funny contemporary romances, but to be honest, I don't read many of them. If you do, please feel free to share your recommendations in the comments.