Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:22 pm 
 

I picked up the series back in the 70's when fantasies were few and far between.  I only got part way through the first book.  Beautiful descriptions but nothing happened.  Maybe if I had kept at it something eventually would have.

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Post Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:45 pm 
 

The Ghormengast trilogy seems to lie at the edges of fantasy, for me: almost like medieval psychodrama.  This sprawling keep is maybe a metaphor for the human mind.  It's unusual, so worth reading.  It contains at least one scene that I found genuinely horrifying (more than anything else I've ever reading in a book); there's also one other scene that made me throw the book across the room and not pick it up for about a month.  I think that means he's an effective writer.

Are there any fans here of Michael Shea?  I think his Nift the Lean books are pretty interesting.  Also, I'm interested in what people think about George RR Martin.  He comes from a screen writing background, so each of his chapters is rounded and balanced; he also creates very interesting characters and vivid moments -- but I kind of feel as though reading him is like eating Chinese food: it seems very tasty and satisfying at the time, but later I always feel hungry, like his work is lacking something essential.

[Edit] P.S. Thanks for the many great reading ideas.  I'm starting to hunt for Wagner's Kane in particular.

  

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:31 am 
 

PaulKM wrote:Jason, I found the trilogy at a used bookstore for next to nothing.  $28.00!  ouch.  If you were closer I'd lend you my set :)

I saw two copies of the three-in-one Gormenghast compilation paperback in a Half-Price Books for $14.98 apiece.  One book was priced with a preprinted HPB-logo sticker, and one had remnants of a preprinted sticker, so they probably were part of a chain-wide purchase.

I just checked Amazon, and it has 15 used copies at or below $10 before shipping.  That's usually what happens when new books with pre-printed price stickers show up at HPB.

Ewww.  This post is indecipherable.  Long day, going to sleep now.  :)

  

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Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:24 pm 
 

I finally got my hands on a copy of this 1168 page monster!
When I get the other books that I am reading out of the way I'll tackle this.
The only book that I have never managed to read all the way through was Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, hopefully Gormenghast will not be the second.  :D


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Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:26 pm 
 

Endymion wrote:Thanks for the many great reading ideas.  I'm starting to hunt for Wagner's Kane in particular.


I've got a very used copy of Bloodstone.  If you live in the US, PM me your address and I'll send it to you.  I'll send it to you outside the US as well, but in that case would ask you to pay shipping.  :D

(Update on 12/23 - FYI - did not hear from Endymion, so am giving this book to another Acaeum member who requested it.)


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Last edited by lucyjoyce on Wed Dec 24, 2008 1:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:57 am 
 

Not sure if they've been already mentioned in this thread but paizo is publishing some interesting Sword & Sorcery (and sci fi) fiction, that was previously unpublished for some time. I thought those might interest you: Planet Stories
Planet Stories® presents classic fantasy, science fiction, and science fantasy novels and short story collections to a generation of new readers and lifelong fans. Unforgettable tales from acknowledged masters like Michael Moorcock, Leigh Brackett, C.L. Moore, and Henry Kuttner stand side by side with lesser known but no less worthy yarns from tomorrow's superstars. Introductions from popular modern authors like Joe R. Lansdale, Ben Bova, and Michael Moorcock provide amusing and informative entry points to each book. With new releases every month, Planet Stories promises a master class in the genre aimed at building the greatest fantasy and science fiction library ever assembled.

  


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 1:18 am 
 

Late to the discussion...

Has anyone mentioned Gene Wolfe?  "The Shadow of the Torturer"?

That was the first book of the 4 book series "The Book of the New Sun", followed 5 years later by a final book "The Urth of the New Sun".

I remember the first 4 books fondly, I read the series 3 times before I found out there was a 5th book...

And when I got the 5th book, I had to go back to the beginning and read the first 4 books a FOURTH time...

Which brings me to Ringworld/Ringworld Engineers/Ringworld Throne/Ringworld's Children.

Larry Niven used to be one of my favorites, if not THE favorite!  I loved his stuff, but he was "old", so I never expected to find another "Ringworld" novel.  But there it was!  "Ringworld Throne".

So I have to go back and reread Ringworld and Ringworld Engineers... and to be honest, Ringworld Throne was a bit of a dud!

Many years later, I've got a Christmas Gift Card for Barnes & Noble, and on a whim I'm looking for the one Larry Niven book I've never read, "World of Ptavs", and I come across "Ringworld's Children"

So I go back and reread Ringworld, Ringworld Engineers, slog through Ringworld Throne, so I can start in on Ringworld's Children...

Uck!

  


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:34 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:I finally got my hands on a copy of this 1168 page monster!
When I get the other books that I am reading out of the way I'll tackle this.
The only book that I have never managed to read all the way through was Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany, hopefully Gormenghast will not be the second.  :D


Jason, I hope you enjoy the books.  

I'll be looking for your comments, and I'm not going to refund your money if you hate them. ;)


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:49 am 
 

Just started reading Michael Moorcock's "Hawkmoon" series.

Read it before, more than 20 years ago.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 12:25 am 
 

With all the posts regarding Wagner's Kane I thought some of you may find the following of interest.

Death Angels Shadow was optioned by a small production company, Tonic Films, back in 2004-5. As things stand the movie will be an adaption of "Reflections". Judging by the lack of movement on the project I believe it was erroneously reported as "green-lit", it may languish in committee for decades…lol. Honestly that may be the best fate for it until the proper funding is available for this project, I don't know much of the people at the helm, and to their credit the writers were responsible for "Cabin Fever" and "Borderland"…..    However If it gets off the ground and is commercially successful Cold Light and Mirage to follow, turning Kane into a franchise. Lionsgate films will probably distribute it, noted for their top notch productions…..

I don't remember who commented on "Reflections for the Winter of my Soul" and Conan in the same post but… Reread the confrontations between Kane & Evingolis, then look at Conan and Baal-Pteor in "Shadows in Zamboula" and see if they don't strike you as extremely similar? Not to say anything negative whatsoever, Wagner and Howard were cut from the same cloth. And except for the accident of birth separating them forever I'd often felt Wagner would've gotten on quite well with the Weird Tales stable of writers, the Kane stories having the much of the Cthulhu Mythos on them in varying degrees.

Speaking of Lionsgate, John Milius will not do the new Conan flick (a blessing in disguise). Unfortunately the film has morphed from an adaption of "Hour of the Dragon" into "King Conan" (God No, not another de Campesque pastiche!) to probably animated. Look for Conan vs. The Scorpion King, True Fans you may now begin to weep.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 9:41 pm 
 

"The Chronicles of Covenant"?

Thomas Covenant, the unbeliever!

Anyone remember THAT?  I remember back in high school (24 years ago), I found a battered copy of "The Power that Preserves" up against my locker.

I kept it for nearly 20 years, never read it, because I hadn't read the first book.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:04 am 
 

Mouse Police wrote:"The Chronicles of Covenant"?

Thomas Covenant, the unbeliever!

Anyone remember THAT?  I remember back in high school (24 years ago), I found a battered copy of "The Power that Preserves" up against my locker.

I kept it for nearly 20 years, never read it, because I hadn't read the first book.


Great series! You should be able to pick them up entire on ebay reasonably inexpensive

  

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:37 pm 
 

Mouse Police wrote:"The Chronicles of Covenant"?

Thomas Covenant, the unbeliever!

Anyone remember THAT?  I remember back in high school (24 years ago), I found a battered copy of "The Power that Preserves" up against my locker.

I kept it for nearly 20 years, never read it, because I hadn't read the first book.


I loved the series, but it took half the first book before I was hooked.  Definitely not the case with the Nine Princes of Amber series by Roger Zelazny.  Five pages or less and you are hooked.  Simply amazing.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:04 pm 
 

I have always had a fondness for the Amber series.
The D&D game that I first played back in 1978 was based on the Amber universe.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:09 pm 
 

Benjoshua, I agree about Amber--a wonderful series, though I think the last two books could have been combined into one--the world shifting descriptions became far too long.   Now there is a classic series I should re-read. :)

However, my hated Stephen R. Donaldson is only surpassed by my utter loathing of Terry Brooks.


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 10:38 pm 
 

I found the anti-hero theme in the Covenant series somewhat fascinating and borrowed from it heavily for the first D&D world that I DM'd.

Along the way I began exploring different themes and eventually ended up with an unworkable D&D world that I had to scrap and start over. I think the breaker was weaving in a sub-theme where some of the non-human races such as Elves and Dwarves were fallen civilizations with high-tech remnants that they no longer understood.

My second D&D game was a dark and brutal world based on the Cthulhu mythos from the first printing of Deities & Demigods. Ah...good times!  :D


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Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:16 pm 
 

Jason:

Is there a fantasy "anti-hero" greater than Michael Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone"?

Seriously, I want to know!

Because like I said, I'm reading the Hawkmoon stories.  I just finished the 4 books of the "Runestaff" series, now I'm halfway through the "Castle Brass" trillogy.

I loved the six books about Corum (Swords Trillogy/Chronicles of Corum).

But even though Elric was the one who got me hooked on Michael Moorcock, I find I have NO interest in reading those books again.

Give me something NEW (or atleast new to me)!  Perhaps I'll go to Half Price Books and get the Covenant series!

  

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 12:03 am 
 

Mouse Police wrote:Jason:

Is there a fantasy "anti-hero" greater than Michael Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone"?

Seriously, I want to know!


Karl Wagner's Kane.  He makes Elric look like a whining brat.  If Kane ever got ahold of Stormbringer, the sword wouldn't have had a chance...

Because like I said, I'm reading the Hawkmoon stories.  I just finished the 4 books of the "Runestaff" series, now I'm halfway through the "Castle Brass" trillogy.

I loved the six books about Corum (Swords Trillogy/Chronicles of Corum).

But even though Elric was the one who got me hooked on Michael Moorcock, I find I have NO interest in reading those books again.

Give me something NEW (or atleast new to me)!  Perhaps I'll go to Half Price Books and get the Covenant series!


I'd recomend David Gemmell. Dark Fantasy at it's finest. He has several series, but the Drenai saga (loosely connected except for the Druss stories) is the best.  If he has a bad book I haven't read it yet.

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:37 am 
 

Badmike:

Never heard of Karl Wagner.

But I'll take a look, next time I'm up at Half-Price Books.

Did any of ya read Ursula K LeGuinn's "Earthsea" trillogy?

Back in junior high, someone reccomended it to me.

I finally read it, 20 years later.  I found it "good".

Then years later, SciFi Channel made it into a miniseries, I remember it had Danny Glover in it.  But by that time, I'd forgotten the whole plot...

  


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Post Posted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 6:48 am 
 

I listed Ursula K Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy a few pages back on my list of books not mentioned yet.  Great series for young adults:  J.K. Rowling stole a lot ideas from those books.

Jason, I'm not trying to rag on you--people have their own tastes and loves--but what about Donaldson did you like?  Maybe I need to re-read one, just in case.  I found his writing godawful and his ideas hackneyed (he's just "this" much above Brooks on the rip-off meter) when compared to the characters and worlds created by Moorcock, Zelazny, and Leiber to name a few.  That said, I'm with you on the whole Cthulhu mythos--lots of weird fun :)  

The first three books of Glen Cook's "Dark Company" series are okay if you're looking for a quick read. They're not great but a good airplane read ;)


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