Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:40 am 
 

DiscoDadda wrote:Do you have to read Kane in any order? Tom


Opinion - I think it's probably best to read them in random order...although the novel Darkness Weaves seems to reference the other stories.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:54 am 
 

DiscoDadda wrote:
Do you have to read Kane in any order? Tom


Nope, they do take place in an "order" but Wagner was never really concerned with that too much.  Personally, I'd start with one of the short story collections to get a feel for the character, then dive into the books as ou find them.  

Darkness Weaves (novel, IMO his best complete work);
Bloodstone (novel)
Dark Crusade (novel)
Death Angel's Shadow
Night Winds

If you can, try to locate the short stories "Misericorde" and "The Other One", both worthy additions to the Kane canon and not included in the above collections (if you want them cheaply they are in the "Barbarians" and "Barbarians II" collection by Robert Adams).  Misericorde is one of my favorite fantasy short stories, ever (although I seem to recall Formcritic hated it!!!). Avoid any of the "future" Kane tales that take place in the present day; they are pretty much awful.

Other decent Wagner: "Legion from the Shadows", probably the best Bran Mak Morn novel out there not written by Howard; "In a Lonely Place" and "Why Not You and I?" (rare and difficult to find collections of Wagner's horror tales, showing a huge Lovecraft/Machen influence; I believe "In a Lonely Place" was voted in some poll or other one of the ten best horror collections of the 20th century);  and the Adrian Becker short stories: Satan's Gun, Hell Creek and One Paris Night (these are about a civil war era gunslinger in the Jonah Hex mold, he has encounters with zombies, werewolves and other supernatural villains, fun stuff and very pulpy).  The Becker stories can be found scattered among various collections or in the (hard to find) collection Exorcisms and Ecstasies (which also has many more stories and lots of bittersweet reminiscing from his friends).

His death by alcoholism was just a damn waste. He was a helluva talented writer.

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:29 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
(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.


Hey everyone,

Yeah!! Fellow Amberites. :)
I also owned the paperback copy that Jason described.

Then picked up the Avon paperbacks after that, and eventually the Omnibus. Still have hardcovers of the 2nd series on the bookshelf.

Just out of curiosity have any of you ever read the other Amber books by John Gregory Betancourt?

I heard they were authorized by the Zelazny estate but received lots of mixed reviews.

I figure I'd pass on them, as not the same unless they were written by the man himself.

I heartily recommend his collection of short stories "Unicorn Varations", and the novel "A Night in the Lonesome October".

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 2:47 am 
 

rhynne wrote:
Hey everyone,

Yeah!! Fellow Amberites. :)
I also owned the paperback copy that Jason described.

Then picked up the Avon paperbacks after that, and eventually the Omnibus. Still have hardcovers of the 2nd series on the bookshelf.

Just out of curiosity have any of you ever read the other Amber books by John Gregory Betancourt?

I heard they were authorized by the Zelazny estate but received lots of mixed reviews.

I figure I'd pass on them, as not the same unless they were written by the man himself.

I heartily recommend his collection of short stories "Unicorn Varations", and the novel "A Night in the Lonesome October".

Best regards,
Ronald


I haven't even managed to choke down the slim volumes of the second series by Zelazny yet. I've picked up and dropped Trumps of Doom three or four times over the years but could never get into it.

There is a lot of good Zelazny out there, and a lot of fun stuff too, even if it isn't the best, but not too fond of his books written with others, or by others, or however they were created.

Lord of Light is excellent, the Divlish books are fun, Roadmarks was fun. I've tried the Masks of Loki and the Black Throne but never got into them.

The best of Zelazny's stuff is easy to come by because most of it was turned into Book Club editions. He was a very good writer with some great stories, and some crap, mostly at the end of his carrier.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:40 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
I haven't even managed to choke down the slim volumes of the second series by Zelazny yet. I've picked up and dropped Trumps of Doom three or four times over the years but could never get into it.

There is a lot of good Zelazny out there, and a lot of fun stuff too, even if it isn't the best, but not too fond of his books written with others, or by others, or however they were created.

Lord of Light is excellent, the Divlish books are fun, Roadmarks was fun. I've tried the Masks of Loki and the Black Throne but never got into them.

The best of Zelazny's stuff is easy to come by because most of it was turned into Book Club editions. He was a very good writer with some great stories, and some crap, mostly at the end of his carrier.


My thoughts exactly.

Zelazny's collaborative work is subpar--things like Donnerjack, or even the ones where he was the "junior" author such as Deus Irae (with Dick). For some reason they always read like a novel by the other author, but not a good one..?

I (to my eternal shame) did actually purchase the first Betancourt Amber book. I don't even recall the title. It sucked. My understanding is that JGB purchased the rights to the Amber franchise from the Zelazny estate, and that he was in no way chosen by RZ himself as the one to continue the series (which as mentioned, should have been ended after Courts of Chaos anyway :)).


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:51 am 
 

All-

Brian Ruckley The Godless World Trilogy is a Classic... Very Dark, Great Battles, Lotsa Vengence, Good Wins but just barely and you could ask yourself what exactly did they "Win"?  I also found myself rooting for some of the "Bad Guys" And when he wrapped up the Trilogy I was wanting more......... First Book is Called Winterbirth...

Good Read.

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 19, 2011 9:32 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
I (to my eternal shame) did actually purchase the first Betancourt Amber book. I don't even recall the title. It sucked. My understanding is that JGB purchased the rights to the Amber franchise from the Zelazny estate, and that he was in no way chosen by RZ himself as the one to continue the series (which as mentioned, should have been ended after Courts of Chaos anyway :)).


Hey Metamorphosis,

Thanks for the review, saved me what amount of dollars I would have spent buying those Betancourt Amber novels. :)

Best regards,
Ronald

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 2:03 pm 
 

Thanks to All for the leads...

In the last couple days I've picked up:

By Wagner:

Darkness Weaves - PB
Bloodstone - PB
Dark Crusade - PB

By Belliars:

The Face in the Frost - a Nice 1st Edition

By Saberhagen:

Woundhealer - a Nice 1st edition

Also I already have in my library Solomon Kane... Which it seems some of you like even more than Conan....... So this will be read.... Also the search has begun for Erikson and some others...

Thanks Again for your thoughtful responses.

Tom aka DiscoDadda

PS... If anyone interested in a nice BCE edition of the Sword of Shannara just let me know.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:44 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
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 :).


Sorry this took so long to find. It was at the bottom of a large pile of books stacked to the ceiling on one of my bookcases.

The copy I have is called Viriconium, a soft cover. A bantam spectra trade paperback ISBN 0-553-38315-9

Inside the cover it says
ISBN-13: 978-0-553-383157
ISBN-10: 0-553-38315-9

It has an introduction by Neil Gaimen and contains

The Pastel City Pg1
A Storm of Wings Pg109
In Viriconium Pg255
The Lamia & Lord Cromis Pg341
Viriconium Knights Pg361
The Luck in the Head Pg370
Strange Great Sins Pg401
Lords of Misrule Pg413
The Dancer from the Dance Pg425
A Young Man's Journey to Viriconium Pg445-462


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 10:53 pm 
 

Has anyone else read the "Song of Albion" trilogy by Stephen Lawhead?

I thought the series was excellent. Definitely easy reading, but very well done.

Other favorites include -

Michael Moorcock (The Corum and Elric books)
Fred Saberhagen
Terry Brooks - Landover novels (not Shannara...blech!)
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman - The first and most recent trilogy

I tend to enjoy the lighter side of fantasy novels and like to enjoy an "easy read." Every once in awhile, I'll pick up something by Lin Carter just for laughs.

Sorry I'm a latecomer to this thread :)


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 20, 2011 11:25 pm 
 

Center_Stage wrote:Has anyone else read the "Song of Albion" trilogy by Stephen Lawhead?

I thought the series was excellent. Definitely easy reading, but very well done.

Other favorites include -

Michael Moorcock (The Corum and Elric books)
Fred Saberhagen
Terry Brooks - Landover novels (not Shannara...blech!)
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman - The first and most recent trilogy

I tend to enjoy the lighter side of fantasy novels and like to enjoy an "easy read." Every once in awhile, I'll pick up something by Lin Carter just for laughs.

Sorry I'm a latecomer to this thread :)


I've tried a few Lawhead books but never got into them. Moorcock is a excellent writer, but I hate what he writes about with Elric and Corum. I'm just starting the Runestaff books (Jewel in the Skull).

I've only read Lin Carter as an editor writing introductions to other collections (Like Flashing Swords). What has she written on her own?


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:00 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:

I've tried a few Lawhead books but never got into them. Moorcock is a excellent writer, but I hate what he writes about with Elric and Corum. I'm just starting the Runestaff books (Jewel in the Skull).

I've only read Lin Carter as an editor writing introductions to other collections (Like Flashing Swords). What has she written on her own?






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This series, for one, as well as A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos, which is a sort of biography of Lovecraft and a commentary on his stories.   Although he was no great writer, Lin Carter was a big name in fantasy literature for decades.



I recall the title, Down to a Sunless Sea as well as other works.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:11 am 
 

My favorite Lin Carter novel is a pulp fantasy style book called "Hurok of the Stone Age."

It's bad but good, sort of in a "Hawk the Slayer" kind of way.

Hmmm..."Hawk The Slayer" could be the making of a whole new thread.

8)


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 6:11 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:The copy I have is called Viriconium, a soft cover. A bantam spectra trade paperback ISBN 0-553-38315-9

Inside the cover it says
ISBN-13: 978-0-553-383157
ISBN-10: 0-553-38315-9


Thanks, I'll look this one up. I could use a good read, and I enjoyed The Pastel City well enough that I remember bits of it even after a decade. Plus, I'm into Gamma World atm (have you noticed :)), and these have a solidly (but unconventionally) post-apocalyptic vibe.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:36 am 
 

Moorcock - Hmmmmm.

I am (slowly) making my way through the Eternal Champion saga.  I'm on volume 8 (UK series).

I think some of Moorcock's work is pulpy and formulaic.  I think even he admits this of his early work, much of his inspiration is pulp/genre fiction and he cranks books out at an astonishing rate.  I think this shows.

That said I really adore the Oswald Bastable trilogy and I thought the Warhound and the World's Pain was excellent (the rest of the Von bek stuff was good but not as good as the first).  I also really liked the Ice Schooner and the Black Corridor.

I am less keen on the Corum and the Elric stuff so far and have similar feelings about the Hawkmoon stuff.  The stories seem very formulaic to me.

I am looking forward to reading all of the stories and indeed getting to the later stories and thsoe volumes that have not be collected as part of the Eternal Champion saga (either in the UK or US), like the Colnel Pyat stories.  I udnerstand his more recent work is more likely to be considered literature rather than genre fiction.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 12:47 pm 
 

You're reading the Eternal Champion backwards!

Start with Elric...then Hawkmoon...then Corum...then read the Cornelius novels to give you perspective on how not-good Elric, Hawkmoon and Corum could have been.

Don't read any Elric novel written after Stormbringer.

I liked the first VonBek novel.  I am hating the protagonist in the second novel because he is almost completely passive.

The others can be taken at random, with Erekose being the least important (like The Dragon in the Sword where nothing actually happens the entire novel...with our characters actually wandering about unarmed for much of the story, like kids from an after-school special).


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:04 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:Don't read any Elric novel written after Stormbringer.


I second the motion, though if you're reading the omnibuses it's sometimes difficult to tell without actually researching it which ones were written when. Stormbringer was actually one of the first Elric stories written.

The ones that MM inserted into the timeline long after the rest were published are questionable. Fortress of the Pearl and Revenge of the Rose aren't too awful, but still not the greatest.

Anything written after that (in the nineties) is pure pseudo-intellectual trash. The latest three could be retitled, "How Elric teams up with the von Beks and beats the Nazis with his bastard offspring, using his immense phallic symbol".

"Elric at the End of Time", though, is just roar-out-loud funny. At least Moorcock has (had?) a sense of humor about his early work.

The others can be taken at random, with Erekose being the least important (like The Dragon in the Sword where nothing actually happens the entire novel...with our characters actually wandering about unarmed for much of the story, like kids from an after-school special).


The first Erekose book (The Eternal Champion) was actually MM's first novel. It shows :). Like you say, the rest of them go downfill from there.

I actually quite liked the Oswald Bastable stuff (and all of the miscellaneous League of Temporal Adventurers-related work). I could do without the Cornelius Chronicles (ugh).

BUT, the absolute worst novel MM ever wrote... (drumroll please)... The 250 page excuse for soft lesbian porn and S&M known as "The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century" (yeah, I s41t you not, the cover even depicts the two of them buck naked with firearms).


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2011 1:37 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:
The first Erekose book (The Eternal Champion) was actually MM's first novel. It shows :). Like you say, the rest of them go downfill from there.

I actually quite liked the Oswald Bastable stuff (and all of the miscellaneous League of Temporal Adventurers-related work). I could do without the Cornelius Chronicles (ugh).

BUT, the absolute worst novel MM ever wrote... (drumroll please)... The 250 page excuse for soft lesbian porn and S&M known as "The Adventures of Una Persson and Catherine Cornelius in the 20th Century" (yeah, I s41t you not, the cover even depicts the two of them buck naked with firearms).


You need to post a scan of this (for research purposes of course).


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