Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:47 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
Peter S. Beagle wrote The Last Unicorn (I think)

Cordwainer Smith wrote science fiction (a series of books that are slightly absurd). It is a strange future history series wih a planet settled by australians who raise giant (100ton sheep) for an immortality serum.


Yeah, Beagle wrote The Last Unicorn in 1968, and then fell off the map for about 25 years. More (relatively) recently there was The Innkeeper's Song, which is a lot edgier (there are sword fights, assassins, and the only tastefully done group sex scene in SF and F I've seen since Heinlein), and a slew of short stories in the 2000s which are quite good.

Cordwainer Smith IS a strange bird, and there is definitely some (intentional) absurdity in his stories. Norstrilia (short for Old North Australia, pronounced NorSTRILia, LOL) is the name of the novel and the planet featuring the 100-ton sick sheep that produce the immortality serum. He's sort of a thinking person's Douglas Adams.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 7:57 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
Yeah, Beagle wrote The Last Unicorn in 1968, and then fell off the map for about 25 years. More (relatively) recently there was The Innkeeper's Song, which is a lot edgier (there are sword fights, assassins, and the only tastefully done group sex scene in SF and F I've seen since Heinlein), and a slew of short stories in the 2000s which are quite good.

Cordwainer Smith IS a strange bird, and there is definitely some (intentional) absurdity in his stories. Norstrilia (short for Old North Australia, pronounced NorSTRILia, LOL) is the name of the novel and the planet featuring the 100-ton sick sheep that produce the immortality serum. He's sort of a thinking person's Douglas Adams.


Hmmm... I put Douglas Adams way, way, way up there... and Cordwainer Smith as a writer I've rread and don't plan on rereading. Smith had some interesting ideas but I would have been perfectly happy picking up someone elses book and never reading Smith's. I feel fairly blah about his writing.

With Adam's, I will probably reread Hitchhiker's guide someday, but I will definitely reread his Dirk Gently books.

I do think that you can tell fairly quickly if you will like Smith or not and the books I had by him were not long.

Everyone has different tasts, personally I cant stand Jordan and that wheel of time series, the Game of Thrones series by Martin, Terry Goodkinds series, and probably most of the best selling modern series novels that tend to come in those 7 or 8 hundred page books.

  


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:15 am 
 

Adams is right up there as an all-time great.

The Gently books are superb. I have both on audio-book too, read wonderfully by Adams himself, which seems to add something :)


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 8:21 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
Hmmm... I put Douglas Adams way, way, way up there... and Cordwainer Smith as a writer I've rread and don't plan on rereading. Smith had some interesting ideas but I would have been perfectly happy picking up someone elses book and never reading Smith's. I feel fairly blah about his writing.

With Adam's, I will probably reread Hitchhiker's guide someday, but I will definitely reread his Dirk Gently books.

I do think that you can tell fairly quickly if you will like Smith or not and the books I had by him were not long.

Everyone has different tasts, personally I cant stand Jordan and that wheel of time series, the Game of Thrones series by Martin, Terry Goodkinds series, and probably most of the best selling modern series novels that tend to come in those 7 or 8 hundred page books.


I liked the Dirk Gently books, too, better than Adams' other stuff. Yes, Smith's style is something that'll either immediately turn you off or suck you in. I do think his stuff repays repeat readings, but his output certainly was somewhat uneven in quality (Norstrilia, for instance, is not the place to start). I'm happy to agree to disagree about him.

I'm with you 100% on Jordan, Goodkind, Martin, etc. I knew I wasn't into the Wheel of Time when about halfway through the second book I was desperately hoping that Ran-alwhatshisface would die soon, and knew he wouldn't because there were like 8 books left to read. It's never good when you want the main characters to perish because you're so bored with them. One thing I will say for GRRM is that this isn't the case with him--in his books, it seems like everyone dies eventually, usually when the character in question is just getting interesting... I was okay with him until his boneheaded move of putting out half of a book 5 years ago (A Feast for Crows) and promising the second half the following year and not delivering (still no release date for A Dance with Dragons). He's been relegated to my, "Yeah, maybe I'll read something by him again someday, if there's literally nothing else left," shelf.

You seem to have a good background in SF, Jason. Any authors from the 50s/60s/70s I might have missed that you particularly like? I've read most of the "big names" (Asimov, Niven, Heinlein, etc.), but not so many of the lesser-known guys.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:14 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I liked the Dirk Gently books, too, better than Adams' other stuff. Yes, Smith's style is something that'll either immediately turn you off or suck you in. I do think his stuff repays repeat readings, but his output certainly was somewhat uneven in quality (Norstrilia, for instance, is not the place to start). I'm happy to agree to disagree about him.

I'm with you 100% on Jordan, Goodkind, Martin, etc. I knew I wasn't into the Wheel of Time when about halfway through the second book I was desperately hoping that Ran-alwhatshisface would die soon, and knew he wouldn't because there were like 8 books left to read. It's never good when you want the main characters to perish because you're so bored with them. One thing I will say for GRRM is that this isn't the case with him--in his books, it seems like everyone dies eventually, usually when the character in question is just getting interesting... I was okay with him until his boneheaded move of putting out half of a book 5 years ago (A Feast for Crows) and promising the second half the following year and not delivering (still no release date for A Dance with Dragons). He's been relegated to my, "Yeah, maybe I'll read something by him again someday, if there's literally nothing else left," shelf.

You seem to have a good background in SF, Jason. Any authors from the 50s/60s/70s I might have missed that you particularly like? I've read most of the "big names" (Asimov, Niven, Heinlein, etc.), but not so many of the lesser-known guys.


Glad you asked.

H. Beam Piper

Piper is my favorite sf author. His output was minimal (about 7 books and a few anthologies).

He has a future history series and a time travel series. His universe makes sense (and the TRAVELLER rpg uses some of it for their campaign. His future history stories have inspired (or been used) by several authors including Pournelle (who is Piper's disciple in SF writing).


Space Viking - It is the best sf interplanetary war novel I have ever read. It is too freaking short like all his novels. His ship to ship combat is straight fifties ideas but they make great sense and are wonderfully consistent.

Uller Uprising - It is a SF version of the Sepoy Mutiny. It is fun, bloodthirsty and not politically correct.

Cosmic Computer - This novel always makes me want to go and clean out my garage and rebuild a car engine, or start an engineering company. This is a kind of take on the world novel.

The Fuzzy books - these are incredibly good books. They aren't children's books. They have some pathos but I find it balanced very well. There is action in them, but they aren't military or action SF. The first is the best, the third is the worst, but they are so thin that you can read all three in a day.

Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen - This is an incredible novel. It has inspired a ton of other time travel stories and series (including that SOB Flint who says he hates Piper, may Flint burn in Hell, yet takes the concept for his 1632 series, the bastard). Do not read the sequels by Green and Carr. They are a like reading a castrated version of the series. Robert Adam's did a good book that used this concept (though Adams went freaking insane and crazier with each book in the series). Leo Frankowski did his version with his crosstime engineer series, and Turtledove with several of his including a direct Piper tribute.

Again this is short book but it is Piper's way of showing how one man in the right place at the right time can take hold of history and shape it.

Paratime - which is not a Lord Kalvan story but covers the time/dimensional travelling society.

Federation - an anthology

Empire - another anthology.

Worlds of - which covers some non-sf writing

there are a few more including continuations by other authors (at least two awful Fuzzy books) and at least one partial manuscript completed by someone else, and a recently discovered mystery novel Ive never read.
Its been awhile and I am probably forgetting a few books

As for other authors, you've probably read them and Im missing bunches (and not mentioning the bigger names like Moorcock, Leiber, Zelazny, Heinlein...)

A.E. Van Vogt
Clifford Simak
Theodore Sturgeon
Poul Anderson
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
John Wyndham
John Myers Myers
Gordon R Dickson
Robert Silverberg

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:49 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:A.E. Van Vogt
Clifford Simak
Theodore Sturgeon
Poul Anderson
Larry Niven
Jerry Pournelle
John Wyndham
John Myers Myers
Gordon R Dickson
Robert Silverberg


Thanks, always looking for new reading material, and suggestions are always helpful.

I know Piper, somewhat. I've read the Fuzzy books, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, and the collection of stories you mentioned, Empire, which I think were set in the same milieu if I remember rightly. Yeah, I've read Zelazny, Moorcock, Leiber, etc.

I haven't read too much from the others you listed, except for Niven (everything) and a little bit of Simak and van Vogt; also the odd short story or two from some of the others.

With Sturgeon, I just don't know where to start. The man wrote like a thousand short stories. They can't all be great, and I'd hate to start with the wrong stuff. Is there a "Best of" collection out there for him (I guess I'll just go look), or should I start with something like More than Human? Same with Silverberg, the man is a machine.

I'm not too much into the military scifi scene, which I gather from what I've heard that Pournelle is the poster boy for. I've read his collaborations with Niven, which were okay, but I'm a little wary of the David Drake-esque stuff I hear he writes on his own. Am I wrong? Not that there's anything wrong with the subgenre, but I've had more than my fill of Starship Troopers, Forever War, and that sort of thing over the years..

Wyndham - Is Day of the Triffids the place to start?


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 9:55 am 
 

Anybody else read the Asprin books with Skeeve? I found those very amusing.

Another comedy series was the Cineverse cycle by Craig Shaw Gardner, but I did read that just after I left school, so memories may be diluted to its quality.  8O

I'm guessing Pratchetts Discworld has been covered earlier in the thread, but with his illness, its a shame those will stop too early. :(


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:29 am 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
Thanks, always looking for new reading material, and suggestions are always helpful.

I know Piper, somewhat. I've read the Fuzzy books, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, and the collection of stories you mentioned, Empire, which I think were set in the same milieu if I remember rightly. Yeah, I've read Zelazny, Moorcock, Leiber, etc.

I haven't read too much from the others you listed, except for Niven (everything) and a little bit of Simak and van Vogt; also the odd short story or two from some of the others.

With Sturgeon, I just don't know where to start. The man wrote like a thousand short stories. They can't all be great, and I'd hate to start with the wrong stuff. Is there a "Best of" collection out there for him (I guess I'll just go look), or should I start with something like More than Human? Same with Silverberg, the man is a machine.

I'm not too much into the military scifi scene, which I gather from what I've heard that Pournelle is the poster boy for. I've read his collaborations with Niven, which were okay, but I'm a little wary of the David Drake-esque stuff I hear he writes on his own. Am I wrong? Not that there's anything wrong with the subgenre, but I've had more than my fill of Starship Troopers, Forever War, and that sort of thing over the years..

Wyndham - Is Day of the Triffids the place to start?


Triffids is a good place to start and usually the easiest to come by. Pournelle, try Mote in Gods Eye which is more SF than military, though I like military SF if done well (Drake is one of the best at it, though Drake is infleunced by Pournelle, rather than the other way round).

Sturgeon can be a little funky and philosophically surreal. For short story The Worlds of Theodore Sturgeon (ACE 1972), More than Human. The Dreaming Jewels (also titled The Synthetic Man).

Silverberg, Lord Valantine's Castle is a good starting novel, there are also Best of for his short stories (such as The Best of from Pocket Books 1976). or for a quick light read of his The Gate of Worlds.

Have you tried Alan Dean Foster - Many decent novels out of him (and some crap).

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 10:34 am 
 

ashmire13 wrote:Anybody else read the Asprin books with Skeeve? I found those very amusing.

Another comedy series was the Cineverse cycle by Craig Shaw Gardner, but I did read that just after I left school, so memories may be diluted to its quality.  8O

I'm guessing Pratchetts Discworld has been covered earlier in the thread, but with his illness, its a shame those will stop too early. :(


That's Sir Terry Pratchett, knave!

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:11 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:Triffids is a good place to start and usually the easiest to come by. Pournelle, try Mote in Gods Eye which is more SF than military, though I like military SF if done well (Drake is one of the best at it, though Drake is infleunced by Pournelle, rather than the other way round).


I've read Mote; it's co-authored by Niven, so I came to it that way.

Sturgeon can be a little funky and philosophically surreal. For short story The Worlds of Theodore Sturgeon (ACE 1972), More than Human. The Dreaming Jewels (also titled The Synthetic Man).


I like funky and philosophically surreal, otherwise I wouldn't be a Cordwainer Smith "enthusiast" ;). Seems like you meant it in a disparaging way... I'm getting the impression that our tastes don't overlap too much :), which is of course fine. You seem to go more for the hard scifi and space opera side of things, whereas I'm at the other end of the genre spectrum. I'm guessing you're not a huge fan of Philip K. Dick? Tom Disch?

Have you tried Alan Dean Foster - Many decent novels out of him (and some crap).


Yeah, I've read a bunch of Foster over the years, mostly a loooong time ago.. The Flinx and Pip (or is it Pip and Flinx?) books, the humanx stuff, and some of his early Star Wars tie-ins (Splinter of the Minds Eye comes to mind, I think that was him). I tend to put him in the same category, perhaps unfairly, as Kevin Anderson...sharecropper.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 12:34 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I like funky and philosophically surreal, otherwise I wouldn't be a Cordwainer Smith "enthusiast" . Seems like you meant it in a disparaging way... I'm getting the impression that our tastes don't overlap too much , which is of course fine. You seem to go more the hard scifi and space opera side of things, whereas I'm at the other end of the genre spectrum. I'm guessing you're not a huge fan of Philip K. Dick? Tom Disch?


Yeah, I've read a bunch of Foster over the years, mostly a loooong time ago.. The Flinx and Pip (or is it Pip and Flinx?) books, the humanx stuff, and some of his early Star Wars tie-ins (Splinter of the Minds Eye comes to mind, I think that was him). I tend to put him in the same category, perhaps unfairly, as Kevin Anderson...sharecropper.



I enjoy surreal as well as funky philosophy if it is done well. You should try Tim Powers and Blaylock (if you haven't already) or Neal Gaimen who should never have wasted time on comics (which were good) because he is much, much better with his novels (American Gods and Anansi Boys are two of his best).

It has been a long time since Ive read Sturgeon and while I liked some of his ideas and the way he said them his stories didnt stay with me. Disch I tried and didnt like and Phillip K. Dick, I've read more about him than I've read of his writing. What I did read I didn't care for, which is sad because from what I understand he was truly insane and that can result in some memorable writing (or not in the case of Heinlein and his descent into madness and bad fiction).

For funky and surreal I like a number of non-sf/fantasy writers. Hesse, Pynchon, Salinger, Kerouac, Kesey. Huxley, Dalmas (though he also writes SF) Shea & Wilson, Kafka, Dusty-Evsky the Russian cowboy...

I do think you are giving Foster a bad rap. He can be a decent writer, but he also writes for the bucks sometimes, especially novelizations. I found Splinter of the Minds Eye (the first Star Wars novel, and one that took a completely different spin on the first movie) to be a good book, and some of his other novels are decent as well, Icerigger comes to mind, and in the same setting Mission to Moulekon (sp). I think he is worlds better than Anderson  could ever hope to be, though not what I'd call a great writer by any means.

  


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:10 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
That's Sir Terry Pratchett, knave!

Intentionally Being able to write humor is a rare, rare gift. For some reason British writers received more than their fair share.


:lol: Humble apologies! :)

But surely not as many as the Germans...


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 1:21 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:

I enjoy surreal as well as funky philosophy if it is done well. You should try Tim Powers and Blaylock (if you haven't already) or Neal Gaimen who should never have wasted time on comics (which were good) because he is much, much better with his novels (American Gods and Anansi Boys are two of his best).

It has been a long time since Ive read Sturgeon and while I liked some of his ideas and the way he said them his stories didnt stay with me. Disch I tried and didnt like and Phillip K. Dick, I've read more about him than I've read of his writing. What I did read I didn't care for, which is sad because from what I understand he was truly insane and that can result in some memorable writing (or not in the case of Heinlein and his descent into madness and bad fiction).

For funky and surreal I like a number of non-sf/fantasy writers. Hesse, Pynchon, Salinger, Kerouac, Kesey. Huxley, Dalmas (though he also writes SF) Shea & Wilson, Kafka, Dusty-Evsky the Russian cowboy...

I do think you are giving Foster a bad rap. He can be a decent writer, but he also writes for the bucks sometimes, especially novelizations. I found Splinter of the Minds Eye (the first Star Wars novel, and one that took a completely different spin on the first movie) to be a good book, and some of his other novels are decent as well, Icerigger comes to mind, and in the same setting Mission to Moulekon (sp). I think he is worlds better than Anderson  could ever hope to be, though not what I'd call a great writer by any means.


I've read American Gods, and thought it was pretty good, though maybe a little bit like a reworking of concepts already mined by previous authors; I kept thinking to myself, "Zelazny could have written this," and such. I guess all authors do this to some extent, but I find Gaiman more derivative than most.

Tim Powers' name keeps coming to my attention; I think I need to check him out.

I do need to broaden my horizons outside of the genre, too. Not that I haven't read anything outside of SF, but not much.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 2:31 pm 
 

There's a reason so many PKDick novels have been made into movies lately, I suspect a lot of screenwriters now got their SF starts on some of the seminal PKD novels of the 60s.  In some cases the movies are better than the source material, especially when they take the core idea and update it (Minority Report being one of them, despite the excreable presence of Tom Cruise), but most of the time the books have to be read to get the full effect. The Man in the High Castle, Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, A Scanner Darkly are simply brilliant. The fact PKD, even though he was totally bonkers, was held in such high esteem by fellow writers goes to show the force he was in SF. His short stories a still ahead of their time, and "Upon the Dull Earth" has been called by no less an authority as Ramsey Campbell as the one of the greatest horror stories ever written (it is certainly one of the bleakest end of the world story ever told).

Anything by Al Bester is worth a read, not just his two classics (The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination) but some of his later works.  The later stuff (The Computer Connection, The Deceivers and Golem 100) are IMO very good, but suffer next to the brilliance of his two classic novels.

I always enjoyed John Varley, but felt his short stories were far superior to his novels. Some of the concepts in his stories are amazing. He's won a ton of awards (although not recently). His Gaea trilogy (Titan, Wizard, Demon) is a good source to mine for D&D adventure settings. The stories take place on a satellite world revolving around Saturn, ruled by a mad goddess, with lots of interesting creatures, concepts, and locales.

Harlan Ellison, in case you haven't yet.

Connie Willis gets a thumbs up. Why "Firewatch" hasn't been made into a motion picture yet I don't know.  The Domesday Book very successfully blends time travel and historical novels.

Looking through my books I'm actually surprised to see how little SF I read nowadays.....

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:27 pm 
 

PKD - Yeah, there's a reason Dick was once widely referred to as, "the best science fiction author on any planet." His best stuff is truly great. His worst stuff is so crazy that it's still worth reading just because only he could have written it. Try Counter-clock World (You're full of food!) or Clans of the Alphane Moon sometime, preferably while on something psychedelic.

Bester's The Stars my Destination is hands-down the best standalone SF novel ever written, IMO. I still try slogging through The Demolished Man once in a while, but for whatever reason it hasn't grabbed me yet; maybe I'm just not giving it enough of a chance. I haven't given his later work a chance, yet, mostly from reputation (the story being he was so deep into his alcoholism at that point that they're total trash--evidently not completely true).

Varley's another name I've seen and heard often, and should try out.

Oh yeah, I'm all over Ellison; small doses are best, though. Bad things could happen if one read too many of Harlan's tales in too short a time-frame. Almost everything is depressing, but almost everything is brilliant, too.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:31 pm 
 

Anybody read any James Tiptree, Jr. (aka Alice B. Sheldon)? I just started his/her collection Her Smoke Rose up Forever. Good stuff so far.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 5:36 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:PKD - Yeah, there's a reason Dick was once widely referred to as, "the best science fiction author on any planet." His best stuff is truly great. His worst stuff is so crazy that it's still worth reading just because only he could have written it. Try Counter-clock World (You're full of food!) or Clans of the Alphane Moon sometime, preferably while on something psychedelic.

Bester's The Stars my Destination is hands-down the best standalone SF novel ever written, IMO. I still try slogging through The Demolished Man once in a while, but for whatever reason it hasn't grabbed me yet; maybe I'm just not giving it enough of a chance. I haven't given his later work a chance, yet, mostly from reputation (the story being he was so deep into his alcoholism at that point that they're total trash--evidently not completely true).

Varley's another name I've seen and heard often, and should try out.

Oh yeah, I'm all over Ellison; small doses are best, though. Bad things could happen if one read too many of Harlan's tales in too short a time-frame. Almost everything is depressing, but almost everything is brilliant, too.


It is amazing the difference in tastes. I read Bester and will have to reread him, but I barely remember the story, so I couldn't call him memorable let alone great. PKD did absolutely nothing for me. I found his writing to be fragmented and his storys unlikeable. Ellison falls into the unlikeable story category for me as well. I have a couple of his Ive been moving around my shelf avoiding, I will have to give these guys another try (though I sold off most of my PKD when he was hot (he went cold on ebay a few months back). I still have a few left.

I cant stand Pohl, so if it turns out we have fairly opposite tastes you may want to give him a try.

Did not care for Varley's trilogy either.

Currently the best SF writer I've come across is Lois Bujold. Her break into fantasy is mixed. Hallowed Hunt is an amazing book. She has created an incredible fantasy setting with Chalion series. Curse of Chalion is good, Hallowed Hunt is fantastic, Paladin of Souls is very good.

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:02 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:Anybody read any James Tiptree, Jr. (aka Alice B. Sheldon)? I just started his/her collection Her Smoke Rose up Forever. Good stuff so far.


Think I've read some short stories but nothing comes to mind.

Anyone read Cherryh? Her gate series is pretty good. Paladin is one of my favorite novels.

Elizabeth Moon's Deeds of Paksinarion is fun since it is basicly a AD&D campaign novelized. Not to fond of her SF.

Weber's Mutineers Moon series is a lot of fun, though his Honor Harrington stories are inexcusably bad.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, or Darkover, Pern and Witch World are classics but they aren't on my reread list or my bookshelf. Coludn't stand Kurtz's Dernyi novels.

Tried rereading the Thieves World series which I loved as a teenager, but became distratced after the third book and set it down and forgot to pick it up. I will have to make another go.

Robert Adams' Horseclan books are okay, as are his two other series, both much shorter, only he gets crazy and fixated at certain points (and his fixation which partly has to do with evil lesbians [and not in a good way] grows more and more pronounced in his later books).

Arthur Landis wrote a fun trilogy A World called Camelot (first book in the trilogy) and a single novel whose name escapes me, which are all fun sf/fantasy books.

Have to take a tour of my bookshelves tonight and think of some more.

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:23 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:It is amazing the difference in tastes. I read Bester and will have to reread him, but I barely remember the story, so I couldn't call him memorable let alone great. PKD did absolutely nothing for me. I found his writing to be fragmented and his storys unlikeable. Ellison falls into the unlikeable story category for me as well. I have a couple of his Ive been moving around my shelf avoiding, I will have to give these guys another try (though I sold off most of my PKD when he was hot (he went cold on ebay a few months back). I still have a few left.


Ah, there's no accounting for taste. Part of it is probably political orientation, general worldview, etc. (one can't help but be drawn to writers that echo one's own standpoint, or are at least convincing). I'm sure there are a number of other authors we would agree on. Tolkien, Lovecraft?

Ellison is supposed to be unlikeable. I'm pretty certain he tries to be unlikeable. I don't like him as a person, just as an author. Whatever else you can say about his stories, one thing is for sure..he bleeds himself dry into them.

Contrariwise, I'm sure Heinlein was a stand up guy, and from all accounts he was a generous and caring human being (he once gave PKD a large sum of money with no strings attached, because he heard Dick needed it, wasn't even asked)... but a close reading of his fiction makes him look like a total douche... at least to me.

I cant stand Pohl, so if it turns out we have fairly opposite tastes you may want to give him a try.


I've been considering it for some time :).

Did not care for Varley's trilogy either.


I have to admit I've never been drawn to them by the covers or the blurbs on the backs of the paperbacks. But I've passed by a lot of other authors I've later come to like, so who knows.

Currently the best SF writer I've come across is Lois Bujold. Her break into fantasy is mixed. Hallowed Hunt is an amazing book. She has created an incredible fantasy setting with Chalion series. Curse of Chalion is good, Hallowed Hunt is fantastic, Paladin of Souls is very good.


Ugh. I'm not feeling very Vorkosigan today. Whatever that might mean.


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Post Posted: Mon May 03, 2010 6:28 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
Think I've read some short stories but nothing comes to mind.

Anyone read Cherryh? Her gate series is pretty good. Paladin is one of my favorite novels.

Elizabeth Moon's Deeds of Paksinarion is fun since it is basicly a AD&D campaign novelized. Not to fond of her SF.

Weber's Mutineers Moon series is a lot of fun, though his Honor Harrington stories are inexcusably bad.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, or Darkover, Pern and Witch World are classics but they aren't on my reread list or my bookshelf. Coludn't stand Kurtz's Dernyi novels.

Tried rereading the Thieves World series which I loved as a teenager, but became distratced after the third book and set it down and forgot to pick it up. I will have to make another go.

Robert Adams' Horseclan books are okay, as are his two other series, both much shorter, only he gets crazy and fixated at certain points (and his fixation which partly has to do with evil lesbians [and not in a good way] grows more and more pronounced in his later books).

Arthur Landis wrote a fun trilogy A World called Camelot (first book in the trilogy) and a single novel whose name escapes me, which are all fun sf/fantasy books.

Have to take a tour of my bookshelves tonight and think of some more.


I'm ashamed to say that Tiptree is the first female SF/F author I've ever even tried. Oh, except for LeGuin, whose Earthsea bored me to tears, and whose Left Hand of Darkness I pretended to read for an English course in college.


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