Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:41 pm 
 

I was redoing my shelves and just came across a must read for anyone who enjoys Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith or Karl Edward Wagner:
Brian McNaughton's "Throne of Bones" isa great collection of enterconnected short stories fashioned around a world much like those of CAS's stories.  Most ofthe stories deal with the undead and ghouls in particular, and the late McNaughton worked out a very interesteing and consistent cosmology for ghouls that should be assigned reading for any Lovecraft or Call of Cthulhu fans.  Oh, and NO happy endings in the entire bunch, sorry  :cry: Great characterization is another plus from Brian, and he has a way of telling a story from a psychotic's point of view that makes them seem almost sympathetic (almost).
 BTW the book won the World Fantasy Award, a pretty good indicator of quality fantasy fiction...here is a very good review for those who might be interested:

http://www.burningvoid.com/weblog/reviews/2006/06/the_throne_of_bones_brian_mcna.html

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:39 pm 
 

So many good books mentioned, but one of my all time favorites has to be The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:02 pm 
 

El Diablo Robotico wrote:I know a few people have mentioned him already, but George R. R. Martin is in the midst of probably the best fantasy series ever put to ink - The Song of Ice and Fire, which includes, so far, A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows.

These books are brilliant, IMO (of course). Deep plot, lots of detailed characters, rich setting and background. It's great. I love it. If I only had to bring along one fantasy series with me to a desert isle, this would be it.

Oh, and for Howard fans, I loved the recent collection of Solomon Kane stories. Fun stuff.


BTW I'm in the middle of this monster now.  Unfortuately for some reason I thought Feast For Crows (4th book in the series) was going to be the finish, but there are another three books left.  I hate to start a series when it is still ongoing, I had so much trouble reading the Black Company series when every couple years I had to remind myself who the various 100 different characters were.  Ice and Fire has at least that many also, BTW  :cry:
    But anyway, it's a helluva read, just the thing to take up your entire summer. The bad thing is at the rate I'm going, I'll finish Feast of Crows way too soon (the next month or so) and have to wait until Christmas for book five and then several years for the concluding two books  :cry:

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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:00 am 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:So many good books mentioned, but one of my all time favorites has to be The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers.


I started The Drawing of the Dark expecting to hate it.  I was pleasantly surprised.  It is one of the better books in that particular niche of the fantasy genre (avoiding plot spoilers here).

I have modeled my long-term campaign on some of the settings in that book.  Nice to know someone else remembers it.

Mark   :D


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Post Posted: Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:23 pm 
 

On the literary side of fantasy, I recommend:

Figures of Earth
The Silver Stallion
Jurgen
by James Branch Cabell

I cant really explain Cabell, google him instead.


The Arabian Nightmare
and Satan Wants me
by Robert Irwin

The Arabian Nightmare: englishman in 14th century Cairo gets caught up in an occult conspiracy involving dreams and stories within stories within stories.

Satan Wants me has been nicely described as "a cross between The Devil Rides Out and Withnail and I"

Borges' short stories
fantastic ideas and gets to the point.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:02 am 
 

Currently in the midst of a careful re-reading of Dune.

El wow-o. :)

I think I was too young the first time; I'm really, really enjoying the intrigue and politics this time around.

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 8:51 am 
 

MShipley88 wrote:I am mostly a non-fiction reader these days...hardcore history.


I am reading a group of books now by Stephen E. Ambrose about WWII.  He is the author that wrote "Band of Brothers" that Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks made into a mini-series for HBO.  After I watched that series, I picked up the book and read it.  It was so damn good that I picked up all the other books that he wrote about the war.  I am currently reading the book "D-Day" and when I finish that will read "Citizen Soldiers" and "The Wild Blue".

If you have any interest in WWII at all I highly recommend these books.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:25 pm 
 

Kingofpain89 wrote:
I am reading a group of books now by Stephen E. Ambrose about WWII.  He is the author that wrote "Band of Brothers" that Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks made into a mini-series for HBO.  After I watched that series, I picked up the book and read it.  It was so damn good that I picked up all the other books that he wrote about the war.  I am currently reading the book "D-Day" and when I finish that will read "Citizen Soldiers" and "The Wild Blue".

If you have any interest in WWII at all I highly recommend these books.


You will begin to notice a certain amount of repeated material between the books.  Ambrose mines the same sources quite a bit.

I liked D-Day quite a bit.  In most war narratives our interview subjects are the lucky ones who avoid the harrowing dangers.  In D-Day, the characters remember thinking things like, "Wow, this ship is really vulnerable.  If we get hit then all of this is gonna blow up."  Then, the ship gets hit and blows up.

One of Ambrose's last books was sort of a sequel to Citizen Soldiers.  It is called The Victors.

Mark  8)


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:06 pm 
 

Thought I would give this thread a bump!  :D

Has anybody read this? Is it any good?

http://www.lulu.com/content/1081164


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Post Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 3:44 pm 
 

No one ever responded to this, so I'm going to give it a go a year and a half later.
Mars wrote:I keep on meaning to read Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry and Jack Whyte's Skystone.  Has anyone read these?

Pulling the details from memory here, but I've read The Fionavar Tapestry.  It's good, but not great.  There are some definite Tolkien influences to it (not surprising, given that Kay helped finish up The Silmarillion), but over all it's a much lighter read than Tolkien.

I'd say it's a decent book to give to somebody who's had little experience with fantasy, but probably not going to end up as the favourite book of anybody who's read a fair amount of the genre.  Doesn't mean it's not worth reading though.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2007 6:04 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Thought I would give this thread a bump!  :D

Has anybody read this? Is it any good?

http://www.lulu.com/content/1081164


No.

It is, however, a piece of gaming history...from the era in which Gygax left TSR and branched out into novels.

Some people read the Gord the Rogue novels and loved them.  I found them tiresome and derivative...specifically of Fritz Leiber.

Gygax is writing about a D&D character, so the combat all has D&D overtones and the story is D&D driven...to the detriment of the overall action and plotline.

However...as I said above...some people loved the series and read every book.  It is Gygax, after all.

Mark


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:25 pm 
 

Well, to be honest, I don't tend to read a lot of high-fantasy. Sci-fi wise, i'll always love the 1950's stuff, I highly recomend getting a hold of The Golden Age of Science Fiction for anyone who's never had the pleasure of reading some of the wierd scifi of the 50s. It's a great collection, very varied.

As for other books, well, my favorite author is Neil Gaiman (yeah yeah, typical I know but he's great) yet my favorite book of all time is The Neverending Story. I really do enjoy children's fantasy.
When my son is old enough, we're sitting down with my first edition copy of TNES and reading it together. Unfortunately all subsequent printings are too hard to read thanks to the stupid italicised font. Green and red text was far far better!

Other than that, well.. i'm a comic girl.. I love my comics and graphic novels.. heh.


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Post Posted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:04 pm 
 

I read an Asimov compilation a few weeks ago, and I have to admit I was highly impressed, and I am NOT a SF nut.


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:16 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:I read an Asimov compilation a few weeks ago, and I have to admit I was highly impressed, and I am NOT a SF nut.


Wierd...I was just scrolling down from flying_purple_monkfish's post and I was going to say almost exactly the same thing as you just said, Frank.  8O

I bought four Asimov short story compilations (for 45 cents each at St. Vincent De Paul) and I have been reading them whenever I have a spare moment in the car (where I keep the books...ferry rides, waiting for football practice to end, etc...).

Asimov had a couple of bad habits as a writer, but his imagination is wonderful.  There is a whimsy to his stories that makes them quite charming.  

One of the books is a compilation of all the robot stories.  They are his best stuff.

Later in life, Asimov became interested in Mother Gaia and having sex with robots (don't read the second Foundation trilogy...stop with the first three books).  

The stuff he wrote in his prime is very entertaining.

Mark


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:24 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Wierd...I was just scrolling down from flying_purple_monkfish's post and I was going to say almost exactly the same thing as you just said, Frank.  8O

I bought four Asimov short story compilations (for 45 cents each at St. Vincent De Paul) and I have been reading them whenever I have a spare moment in the car (where I keep the books...ferry rides, waiting for football practice to end, etc...).

Asimov had a couple of bad habits as a writer, but his imagination is wonderful.  There is a whimsy to his stories that makes them quite charming.  

One of the books is a compilation of all the robot stories.  They are his best stuff.

Later in life, Asimov became interested in Mother Gaia and having sex with robots (don't read the second Foundation trilogy...stop with the first three books).  

The stuff he wrote in his prime is very entertaining.

Mark


    Interestingly, I found a couple of Harlan Ellison compilations and like you tossed them in the back of the car for "light" reading when I'm out and about. Hadn't read his stuff in ages, when it blew me away in college, well it still does.  What a frikken genius the man was/is...too bad he's such an absolute lunatic in real life.  But stuff like "I have No Mouth and I Must Scream", "Deathbird", and "The Beast that shouted Love at the Heart of the World" were so far ahead of their time....  Many don't know it but he started out as a "true crime" sort of writer, with stories about gang life.  Some of his crime stories have also won awards and are pretty impressive efforts.  
 Also was great friends/rivals with Asimov when he was still alive...apparantly their "roasts" of each other at SF conventions were legendary, people literally rolling on the floor in laughter as the insults flew....

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:30 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:  Also was great friends/rivals with Asimov when he was still alive...apparantly their "roasts" of each other at SF conventions were legendary, people literally rolling on the floor in laughter as the insults flew....


It's just a small taste of it, but Asimov's intro to Dangerous Visions (and his intro to Ellison's stories in some of the Hugo winner collections) contain bits of their "rivalry".  Mainly shots at Ellison's height, if I recall correctly, but also a few digs at his determination/stubbornness/willingness to get in fights.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:39 pm 
 

Sex with robots? That's a bit weird. I guess there'd be some bonuses, though; none of that cuddling crap, be as quick as you want, and it wouldn't complain about making you a sandwich afterwards.
I know I've read "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream" before.........


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 12:41 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
    Interestingly, I found a couple of Harlan Ellison compilations and like you tossed them in the back of the car for "light" reading when I'm out and about.

Mike B.


Speaking of light reading....Harlan Ellison did some work for Marvel Comics back in the day.  He had a couple of short stories that were adapted into graphic form for Epic Illustrated which imo were quite good.  Those magazines had some really great stories and putting artwork to the stories made them even better (for the most part).


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:37 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Later in life, Asimov became interested in Mother Gaia and having sex with robots (don't read the second Foundation trilogy...stop with the first three books).  

The stuff he wrote in his prime is very entertaining.

Mark


You may or may not know that not long after the whole Hugo Awards began, there was a one-time award for "Best All-Time Series" in 1965.  Up for nomination were;
Foundation Series by Asimov,
Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs,
Future History series by Robert A. Heinlein,
Lensmen series by Edward E. Smith, and
The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.  
Asimov's Foundation Series won.

http://www.nesfa.org/data/LL/Hugos/hugos1966.html

I also like Micheal Moorcock's Stormbringer series and Roger Zelazny's Amber series.  Great stuff!


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Post Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 3:06 pm 
 

Harlan Ellison was the creator or a Canadian TV science fiction series back in the early 70's called the Starlost. Interesting concept with cheesy special effects and dull acting.

Still, when I was about 12 it was the highlight of my TV week although it was a one season wonder.

Ben Bova spoofed the whole thing in his novel Starcrossed.

Harlan Ellison in protest of the poor production qualities refused to allow his name to be placed on the product and had it replaced using Cordwainer Bird.


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