Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 16 of 28123 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 ... 262728
Author

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector

Posts: 4750
Joined: Oct 31, 2004
Last Visit: Oct 29, 2021
Location: Garland, TX

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:18 am 
 

I've spent more time reading over the last few months than I have the last couple of years.  Just a few of the really memorable reads:

Swan Song by Robert McCammon
Just After Sunset, a bunch of Stephen King short stories (IMO some of his best works are of the shorter variety).
Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson.  Too bad Jordan didnt have Brandon Sanderson around to help him write all of the books.  His pace is faster and he doesnt repeat himself like Jordan did.
The Complete Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen
The Face in the Frost by John Bellairs (probably the 5th time I've read through this one)
World War Z by Max Brooks.

Books I slogged through just to get them finished:

Luke Skywalker & The Shadows of Mindor by Matthew Stover.  God this was a boring read by an author I normally like.
Under the Dome by Stephen King.  Actually didnt finish it.  Got through about a third of it and put it back on the shelf.  I'll try again another day.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy.  Man this guy's prose is screwy.  Maybe I shouldnt have watched the movie before trying to read the book.

Getting ready to start either Joe Abercrombie's First Law series, another of Gemmell's Drenai books, or Armageddon's Children by Terry Brooks.


You don't like your job, you don't strike. You go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. - Homer Simpson

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:29 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
I picked up a ton of William Morris on my kindle for free from Amazon and need to sit down with it. For $1.99 I bought the Robert E. Howard Omnibus (after picking up a number of the recent trade sized Howard collections). I just finished Gods of the North and Queen of the Black Coast.

For $1.99 the Howard Omnibus has 99 Howard stories, but only 12 of the Conan stories (I think there were 16 or 18) but I saw another collection for .99c that has the complete Conan.

The amount of material available for free on these ereaders is amazing (I have 780 stories and collections on mine right now).

I've been reading through some of the authors that inspired Lovecraft, just finished a few Algernon Blackwood, namely the Wendigo which is very Lovecraftian.

I'm going to start on Howard's Shadows in the Moonlight.


How is the Howard Omnibus running on your Kindle?  I have not purchased it because Nook Color reviews warn that it runs very slow.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 3828
Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:53 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:
How is the Howard Omnibus running on your Kindle?  I have not purchased it because Nook Color reviews warn that it runs very slow.


So far it runs fine. It is a huge file. One screen at regular text size is 8 locations on a kindle, the entire omnibus is 40k locations (I have no idea how that breaks down into bits). If you are listening to the story with the text to speech device it takes about 1 hour for it to read 500locations aloud. So to have the entire omnibus read to you would take about 80 hours.

I've been reading through it one story after another so I don't know if it is slow to search to find stories from the table of contents, or if it slows down the further you get into the file. So far it has been worth every penny of the $1.99 and then some.

NOTE:BE CAREFUL because there are other ebooks calling themselves the Howard Omnibus. The one I bought was the Halcyon Press ltd. Revised edition (may 2010) Sold by amazon digital services/

Just checked the kindle store. For $1.99 it is 3441KB here is a list of what you get.

Conan Stories


Gods of the North
Queen of the Black Coast
Shadows in the Moonlight
A Witch Shall be Born
Shadows in Zamboula
The Devil in Iron
The People of the Black Circle
Red Nails
Jewels of Gwahlur
Beyond the Black River
The Hour of the Dragon
The Hyborian Age


Boxing Stories

Alleys of Peril
Blow the Chinks Down!
Breed of Battle
Champ of the Forecastle
Circus Fists
Cupid vs. Pollux
Dark Shanghai
Fist and Fang
General Ironfist
Night of Battle
Sailors' Grudge
Sluggers on the Beach
Texas Fists
The Bull Dog Breed
The Iron Man
The Pit of the Serpent
The Sign of the Snake
The Slugger's Game
The TNT Punch
Vikings of the Gloves
Waterfront Fists
Winner Take All
Alleys of Darkness
Apparition in the Prize Ring


Detective Stories

Graveyard Rats
Fangs of Gold
Names in the Black Book
Skull-Face
The Tomb's Secret
Aha! or The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace
Halt! Who Goes There?
Unhand Me, Villain!


Fantasy Adventure Stories

Almuric
The Treasures of Tartary
The Voice of El-Lil
The Valley of the Worm
The Garden of Fear
Witch from Hell's Kitchen


Kull Stories

The Shadow Kingdom
The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune


Bran Mak Morn Stories

The Lost Race


Cormac Fitzgeoffrey Stories

Hawks of Outremer
The Blood of Belshazzar


Wild Bill Clanton Stories

She Devil
The Purple Heart of Erlik


Historical Adventure Stories

Lord of Samarcand
Gates of Empire
The Lion of Tiberias
The Shadow of the Vulture
The Sowers of the Thunder
Red Blades of Black Cathay


Horror Stories

People of the Dark
Black Canaan
Moon of Zambebwei
Black Talons
Black Vulmea's Revenge
The Cairn on the Headland
The Fearsome Touch of Death
The Haunter of the Ring
The Hyena
The Fire of Asshurbanipal


Solomon Kane Stories

Solomon Kane
Skulls in the Stars
Rattle of Bones


Western Stories

A Gent from Bear Creek
Cupid from Bear Creek
Evil Deeds at Red Cougar
Guns of the Mountains
High Horse Rampage
No Cowherders Wanted
Pilgrims to the Pecos
Pistol Politics
Sharp's Gun Serenade
Texas John Alden
The Apache Mountain War
The Conquerin' Hero of the Humbolts
The Feud Buster
The Haunted Mountain
The Riot at Cougar Paw
The Road to Bear Creek
The Scalp Hunter
War on Bear Creek
The Vultures of Whapeton
While Smoke Rolled
Boot-Hill Payoff
"Golden Hope" Christmas
Mountain Man


"You get more with a kind word and an excruciator than with just a kind word."

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 526
Joined: Oct 26, 2005
Last Visit: Nov 19, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 8:13 am 
 

If you're not reading Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series, you should be.

These books are just fantastic.  The lead character is a wizard/private detective based in modern day Chicago with an evil fairy godmother, a vampire half-brother and squad of werewolf allies.  (You just have to trust me, it all works)

AND to top it off, he plays D&D.

What more could you possibly ask for?


The owls are not what they seem...

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 7969
Joined: Jun 23, 2003
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021
Location: DFW TX

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 10:57 am 
 

I recently re-read Joe Ambercrombie's First Law trilogy to read his latest book (The Heroes), since a lot of the characters appear in each book. I'd highly recommend all of his stuff (the trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes).  It's not everyone's cup of tea, his "heroes" are flawed and often barely above the villains in likability, but his writing is a dream. By the last book his overwhelming plot comes together perfectly and you realize what he's done.   Some of the evil characters prosper at the end, and some of your favorite characters don't make it.  The ending is like a punch to the gut, but it makes sense, and Joe plays fair.  You do have to read them in order, they all take place in the same "universe" and have recurring characters.  I think it's the best fantasy series written in the last 30 years but I'm sure a lot of traditionalists would disagree.

The First Law Trilogy reads like LOTR stood on it's head, cynical and grim.  Best Served Cold is a spaghetti western set in fantasy times. The Heroes is a unflinchingly realistic look at fantasy warfare with very few fantastic elements at all.  A great writer who hopefully still has a lot of writing left to go.

Mike B.


"THE MORE YOU THINK ABOUT WHY i DONE WHAT i DONE THE MORE i LAUGH" Cougar
"The Acaeum hates fun" Sir Allen
"I had a collecting emergency" Nogrod
Co-founder of the North Texas RPG Con
http://www.ntrpgcon.com

 WWW  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 12:44 pm 
 

I second the Dresden Files recommendation.  Those are good stories...well written.  It's a shame the TV series did not hit quite the right tone.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 371
Joined: Feb 28, 2009
Last Visit: Oct 08, 2021
Location: Seattle, WA

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:00 pm 
 

I just finished The Further Chronicles of Conan by Robert Jordan. I have not ready any other Conan in recent years, so I can't accurately compare it to previous material. Having said that, it was an enjoyable hack-and-slash romp with the big man himself, various hotties, and a host of bad guys over a span of three stories.


"We dwarves are natural sprinters. Very dangerous over short distances!"
My lead-centric blog: http://theleaddragon.blogspot.com/
Also known as soccer_dad66 on eBay.

 WWW  


Active Collector

Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 18, 2009
Last Visit: Nov 08, 2011
Location: Costa Mesa, California

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:40 pm 
 

Here's an off-the-top-of-my-head list of some of my "desert island" f/sf books. I guess there's nothing too surprising here, mostly classics...

William Hope Hodgson - The Night Land
David Lindsay - Voyage to Arcturus
R.E. Howard - Conan stories
C.A. Smith - Hyperborea, Xiccarph, Xothique collections
H.P. Lovecraft - All short stories
M. John Harrison - The original Viriconium books
A.E. Van Vogt - The World of Null-A
Philip K. Dick - Ubik
Jack Vance - The Dying Earth
Stanislaw Lem - Polaris
Gene Wolfe - Book of the New Sun

  

User avatar

** Banned **

Posts: 1213
Joined: Aug 04, 2009
Last Visit: Nov 02, 2013

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:50 pm 
 

I read the first Viriconium book (The Pastel City). I need to pick up the others.


Ithaca Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 3828
Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:37 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:I read the first Viriconium book (The Pastel City). I need to pick up the others.


There is a soft cover collection of all 4 Viriconium books. I have it around somewhere I will have to see what the title and isbn are.


"You get more with a kind word and an excruciator than with just a kind word."

  

User avatar

** Banned **

Posts: 1213
Joined: Aug 04, 2009
Last Visit: Nov 02, 2013

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:03 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
There is a soft cover collection of all 4 Viriconium books. I have it around somewhere I will have to see what the title and isbn are.


Cool, thanks. I think I've seen it on Amazon, but whenever I do I don't have money, and whenever I have money I forget to look for it. I guess that's what wish lists are for, but I spend less money this way :).


Ithaca Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:04 pm 
 

One of the best books in my collection is a compliation by Zelazny titled, The Great Book of Amber.

It is a collection of both series of Amber novels in one volume.

I head back to re-read at least the first series once every decade.  It fascinates me how my understanding of the source material behind the story has grown over the years since my first reading.


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

** Banned **

Posts: 1213
Joined: Aug 04, 2009
Last Visit: Nov 02, 2013

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:06 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:One of the best books in my collection is a compliation by Zelazny titled, The Great Book of Amber.

It is a collection of both series of Amber novels in one volume.


Yeah, it's a great omnibus if you take a razor knife and carefully cut out the last five books  :lol: .

I head back to re-read at least the first series once every decade.


Me too. The first five (Nine Princes in Amber through The Courts of Chaos) are classic. The second five are the most disappointing sequel series ever, IMHO. They make the last three Dune books (EDIT: by this I mean the ones by Frank, I wouldn't read the others at all, so wouldn't know) look like masterpieces :).

The first-person perspective Zelazny uses (a rare thing in SF/F) gives the whole thing a hardboiled detective kind of feel which works great. The amnesiac godling angle is great, too. My favorite line: "Out of every life a little blood must flow. Unfortunately it was my turn again."


Ithaca Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

  

User avatar

Grandstanding Collector
Acaeum Donor

Posts: 6720
Joined: Jul 16, 2005
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:11 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
Me too. The first five (Nine Princes in Amber through The Courts of Chaos) are classic. The second five are the most disappointing sequel series ever, IMHO. They make the last three Dune books (EDIT: by this I mean the ones by Frank, I wouldn't read the others at all, so wouldn't know) look like masterpieces :).


Zelazny seems to have set out to write another Amber series without remembering what made the first series great...a sense of wonder in a relatively high fantasy setting.

His next series, full of incongruous wizards who cast spells, is low fantasy with no sense of wonder.  It is interesting to read about Amber after the crisis of the first series...but...without the first series, the second series might as well have been printed for the young, female readers market.

Still, there are some good lines....

"What's the chance of meeting a Prince of Chaos here?"

"One in one."


"But I have watched the dragons come, fire-eyed, across the world."

  

User avatar

** Banned **

Posts: 1213
Joined: Aug 04, 2009
Last Visit: Nov 02, 2013

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 5:36 pm 
 

Not sure if I've ever posted my "short list" (i.e., top ten), so here goes, in no particular order of preference:

1) Lovecraft - later work over the early stuff.
2) Frank Herbert - just Dune.
3) Cordwainer Smith - "You will" truly "never be the same."
4) James Tiptree, Jr. - indescribable.
5) Clark Ashton Smith - Zothique first, though his Hyperborean and other stuff is good too.
6) Alfred Bester - The Stars my Destination (Gully Foyle is my name/Terra is my nation/Deep space is my dwelling place/The stars my destination)
7) Peter S. Beagle - a much neglected mega-talent that deserves to be read; if you think The Last Unicorn is all he has to offer (as if that wouldn't be enough) you're sorely mistaken.
8) Lord Dunsany - uneven, but his best stuff is very good.
9) Michael Moorcock - Elric for gloom, Dancers at the End of Time for hilarity.
10) William Gibson - Neuromancer was brilliant; too bad he has been unsuccessfully trying to recapture the magic that happened there ever since :(.

Plus anything by Leiber, PKD, Zelazny, Avram Davidson, or W. Olaf Stapledon. Okay, call it a top 20-ish list.


Ithaca Dragon
-==(UDIC)==-

  

User avatar

Long-Winded Collector
JG Valuation Board

Posts: 3828
Joined: Jul 12, 2007
Last Visit: Dec 01, 2021

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:05 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
Me too. The first five (Nine Princes in Amber through The Courts of Chaos) are classic. The second five are the most disappointing sequel series ever, IMHO. They make the last three Dune books (EDIT: by this I mean the ones by Frank, I wouldn't read the others at all, so wouldn't know) look like masterpieces :).

The first-person perspective Zelazny uses (a rare thing in SF/F) gives the whole thing a hardboiled detective kind of feel which works great. The amnesiac godling angle is great, too. My favorite line: "Out of every life a little blood must flow. Unfortunately it was my turn again."


I'm quite happy with the Amber book club edition two-volume set of the first five books. The Boris cover leaves a lot to be desired (and they used the same picture for both volumes) but it is nice to have the series in two manageable hardcovers rather than a single unwieldly edition (such as msost LotR one volume hardbacks).

One of my favorite quotes come from the very beginning of the book.

It was a very foul blow, about four inches below the belt buckle, I'd say, and it left him on his knees.

"---- ---!" he said, after a time.


After that exchange I knew I'd like this book. Absolutely nothing like I first expected when I picked it up. (I had the paperback copy with the knight in armor on the white background as a cover illustration).

The series just kept on getting better from there.


"You get more with a kind word and an excruciator than with just a kind word."

  


Active Collector

Posts: 52
Joined: Sep 06, 2009
Last Visit: Feb 02, 2013

Post Posted: Mon Apr 18, 2011 7:54 pm 
 

Two others I didn't see mentioned and a decorative question mark to close.

Patrick Rothfuss - the Name of the Wind - might be the best fantasy novel debut in the last 10 years but plainly feels like 1/2 a book.  Second novel was solid-to-good.
Sanderson - Mistborn - great series.  Good first book, better as a trilogy.  The 'metals system' is elegant and screams for RPG treatment.
R Scott Bakker - I can't decide if this is crap or great.  And there's no middle ground.  It borders on incomprehensible and visionarily great, within the same damn paragraph.

Sunrunner44 - a man with a fix for bad fantasy

PS - ditto Amber, Erickson, Jordan, le Guin, etc.

PPS - Gord the Rogue was crap but massively enjoyable crap.  Tharizdun, baby, Tharizdun!  He makes Graz'zt into a freakin dog, fercrissakes!

PPPS - In my vote for worst fantasy series, whatever that horrible Eddings series was where the 'poor downtrodden kid' was really the king.

PPPPS - really, there's:
1. great fantasy (Tolkien)
2. enjoyable fantasy that's average (Goodkind, let's say (Atlas Shrugged with his Magic Sword!, I called it))
3. Guilty Pleasure Fantasy (Gord the Rogue)
4. Baaaaad fantasy

  

User avatar

Prolific Collector

Posts: 178
Joined: Mar 22, 2011
Last Visit: Mar 29, 2021
Location: Steeler Country

Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:26 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
         Yes, a Kane fan! I also am surprised at his lack of popularity...I run into fantasy afficianados all the time who have never even heard of him (?).  I think it hurts that all of his works are now out of print (except in very pricey specialty edition), he's dead (not writing any new works), and that his output was so sporadic (only three novels and two short story collections in his career, plus a few scattered short stories in the mid 80's).  Unfortunately alcoholism really destroyed his skills long before he actually died.  In some of the critical analysis I've read from his friends, he was ahorrible procrastinator.  Apparantly the Conan novel he wrote (the name escapes me right now) had to be rewritten in like one weekend because he had kept putting it off and finally turned in a load of crap that was rejected by the publisher.  His Bran Mak Morn novel (Legion from the Shadows) was far superior and is the best non Conan pastiche written (vomit on the Offut Cormac Mac Art stuff...)
     I think another reason he's not better known, when you think about it, no one writes like him.  His greatest creation is an anti-hero (the FIRST anti-hero, Kane of the bible).  His stories often end with no triumph for good, and the "heros" dying pretty awful deaths, although Kane's plans are sometimes foiled he always escapes.  I can't imagine a writer trying to pitch the concept of a Kane series  to any publisher and not being laughed out of the office
  The strengths are the writing. KEW is simply the only author of the last 30 years I would dare to compare to Howard. His characters are memorable, his plots intriguing, his views of human nature chilling (but true).  There are several scenes in his works that will stick with you for years.  His battle scenes are some of the best I've ever read, Darkness Weaves has not one but two gigantic ship battles that are breathtaking.
         I would agree with Mark "Reflections" is a superior werewolf story, not to mention a very atypical Kane tale (he falls in love, for one) and a great plot for a DM to adapt to a D&D setting (a manor that is snowed in for the winter is beset by a werewolf that turns out to be one of the people inside the manor!).  As a matter of fact, "Cold Light" and "Lynortis Reprise" would also make great D&D scenarios. I would also agree with Mark that the short stories are generally superior to the novels, but Darkness Weaves is pretty incredible (I've read it, oh, maybe 20 times the last 20 years, and enjoyed it every time....)
   Mark, have you ever read "Misericorde"?  The best Kane story ever written and IMO one of the best fantasy stories bar none written the last 20 years. It's only found in the "Barbarians II" short story collection and in a few other various collections....hard to find, but well worth the search.

Mike B.


Do you have to read Kane in any order? Tom

  
PreviousNext
Post new topic Reply to topic Page 16 of 28123 ... 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 ... 262728