Favorite fantasy/sci-fi literature other than Tolkien
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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:34 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:This seems to be a good forum to ask this question:

I just got the final Silver John novel (by Manly Wade Wellman) in the mail today.  The Voice of the Mountain

I bought it for cheap.  (I know that for many here a $35+ book would not be especially expensive, but it is for me.  Anyone?)

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http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl ... 20mountain

I prefer to collect hardbacks and all but one of my Wellman books are former library copies.  (No, I didn't steal them, but someone else might have, I guess.)  (The Voice of the Mountain came from Oconee County Library in Watkinsville, Georgia.  It was last stamped for checkout in April of 1991)

I actually prefer former library copies, which is good because I usually can get them for less.  They are much tougher and the plastic casing on their slip covers looks good and protects against accidents

For you guys who know more about book collecting....does a library copy carry less value because of the modifications to its dust jacket and/or possibly stamping inside the cover?

This seems to apply even to books that are not especially rare, such as Lawerence Schick's Heroic Worlds.  My copy was a former library copy and it sold for less than the other large paperbacks:

http://www.bookfinder.com/search/?ac=sl ... %2520games

What do you think?  Library copies....good or bad?


Mark;

Yes, ex libris copies often fetch quite less on the open market than regular copies.  This usually has to do with the fact they have been "defaced" with stamps and markings, and in a lot of cases are damaged due to heavy reading. However, for a lot of rare books it is one of the only way to find these, since in many cases there are "library only" editions.  For example, if you collect Three Investigators mysteries, there is a specific hardcover set that was only available to libraries, and some of the copies run to three figures....  Likewise, I once sold a set of hardcover "library only" set of Tom Swift books (the newer series from the 90s) that miraculously had no library markings on them (they buyer told me they were almost impossible to find that way).  

Personally, I only buy an ex libris copy if I just want to read it, for my personal library I don't like these because they rarely look good on the shelf.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:40 pm 
 

I guess I differ on how they look on the shelf.  I prefer them because I think they look good.

I haven't read The Voice of the Mountain yet.  I'm kinda saving it up till I have time to read it straight through.


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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:00 pm 
 

Badmike wrote: Likewise, I once sold a set of hardcover "library only" set of Tom Swift books (the newer series from the 90s) that miraculously had no library markings on them (they buyer told me they were almost impossible to find that way).  


When I was growing up, maybe 7 or so, my dad showed me his collection of both Tom Swift and Tom Swift Jr books he had collected. They single-handedly opened my eyes to the joys of reading in general, and sci-fi/fantasy specifically. WAY cooler than the Hardy Boys. When I have kids of my own (which is looking to be more realistic now than ever heheh) I need to find the older (60s) versions of these in hardcover so I can pass them on to my kids to read, and hopefully develop the same love of books I have.

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Post Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:46 pm 
 

I really enjoyed the Silver John series by Wellman and just realized that it has been close to twenty years since I read them.
It might be time to pull them out and give them a reread.
I have no clue about the values of library copies and how they differ from other versions.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:36 am 
 

Have loved the KEW Kane stuff, thanks to this thread.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Summer-Ends ... 1933618973

Saw this, any thoughts on his Horror stories from those in the know?

Thanks,
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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:59 pm 
 

jonjhargreaves wrote:Have loved the KEW Kane stuff, thanks to this thread.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Summer-Ends ... 1933618973

Saw this, any thoughts on his Horror stories from those in the know?

Thanks,
Jon


Wagner's two horror/pulp books are fantastic. Sticks is up there with the best of Lovecraft's stories.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:05 pm 
 

jonjhargreaves wrote:Have loved the KEW Kane stuff, thanks to this thread.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Summer-Ends ... 1933618973

Saw this, any thoughts on his Horror stories from those in the know?

Thanks,
Jon


He is one of the best American Horror writers of the 20th century, hands down.

Jump all over this one when it's finally available.

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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:34 pm 
 

Badmike wrote:
jonjhargreaves wrote:Have loved the KEW Kane stuff, thanks to this thread.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Summer-Ends ... 1933618973

Saw this, any thoughts on his Horror stories from those in the know?

Thanks,
Jon


He is one of the best American Horror writers of the 20th century, hands down.

Jump all over this one when it's finally available.

Mike B.


I am wondering about their initial price as opposed to their actual price.  These seem a bit over-priced to me, even if Wagner is unavailable elsewhere.

I found the two Wagner books while searching around for Wellman this week.  I notice there is also a re-issue of Wellman's John Thunstone stories in progress.  It is over-priced as well.

With the re-issue of REH stories that took place in the last few years, this is a good time to be seeking out your old fantasy favorites.


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Post Posted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:12 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
Badmike wrote:
He is one of the best American Horror writers of the 20th century, hands down.

Jump all over this one when it's finally available.

Mike B.


I am wondering about their initial price as opposed to their actual price.  These seem a bit over-priced to me, even if Wagner is unavailable elsewhere.

I found the two Wagner books while searching around for Wellman this week.  I notice there is also a re-issue of Wellman's John Thunstone stories in progress.  It is over-priced as well.

With the re-issue of REH stories that took place in the last few years, this is a good time to be seeking out your old fantasy favorites.


I think once they have been out awhile, you might get them cheaper. However, try finding a copy of "In a Lonely Place" or "Why Not You and I?" (His two primary horror collections) for less than the price of the new hardcovers, it's dang difficult.  I'd love a to get a reasonably price John Thunstone collection also. It's sad that most of the collections of the best pulp writers are vanity sets for a lot of money as opposed to cheaper sets actually meant to be read (one reason to check out Paizo's Planet Stories collections, they are reasonably priced and feature many hard to find pulp writers).

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 8:40 pm 
 

Ok, since this is basically our "What are you reading now" thread, I feel the need to send out a warning. I was on vacation last week and I always grab a book to read on the beach. Sometimes I grab one from home -  REH, Lovecraft, etc. This year I ran over to Barnes and Noble with the kids on the first day. I ran across a paperback "Aliens: Steel Egg" by John Shirley. Since I love aliens running rampant, I was easily hooked. By Aliens I mean as in Alien the movie.
Anyway, the book started off ok and it basically tells the story of an early encounter with the aliens (prior to the movie Alien). It goes on to sort of explain a bit more about the aliens (how they grow, different stages, etc.). Ok I am in. Then, all of the sudden there is a paragraph about global warming and flooding in New York. WTF? Then it moves on. Ok, moving on.
A bit later, after the aliens start killing everyone, another diversion into "going green on earth" and reference about another group of aliens who visited earth and talked to the dolphins. Now I am getting a bit irritated. I just want to read a book about aliens destroying us humans and I keep running into modern "Green" nonsense. Then near end I get the coup de grace! An earth space ship called the Al Gore arrives on the scene. I had to set the book down and go for swim (the ocean was a bit chilly, but I had to do it!). I finished the book and of course there was some other green reference in the final chapter.
Now that I am done ranting, for the most part, I can say the book had some interesting perspectives on the Aliens. That is not an endorsement. I guess I was just shocked to see contemporary "issues" so blatantly pushed.


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:08 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:Ok, since this is basically our "What are you reading now" thread, I feel the need to send out a warning. I was on vacation last week and I always grab a book to read on the beach. Sometimes I grab one from home -  REH, Lovecraft, etc. This year I ran over to Barnes and Noble with the kids on the first day. I ran across a paperback "Aliens: Steel Egg" by John Shirley. Since I love aliens running rampant, I was easily hooked. By Aliens I mean as in Alien the movie.
Anyway, the book started off ok and it basically tells the story of an early encounter with the aliens (prior to the movie Alien). It goes on to sort of explain a bit more about the aliens (how they grow, different stages, etc.). Ok I am in. Then, all of the sudden there is a paragraph about global warming and flooding in New York. WTF? Then it moves on. Ok, moving on.
A bit later, after the aliens start killing everyone, another diversion into "going green on earth" and reference about another group of aliens who visited earth and talked to the dolphins. Now I am getting a bit irritated. I just want to read a book about aliens destroying us humans and I keep running into modern "Green" nonsense. Then near end I get the coup de grace! An earth space ship called the Al Gore arrives on the scene. I had to set the book down and go for swim (the ocean was a bit chilly, but I had to do it!). I finished the book and of course there was some other green reference in the final chapter.
Now that I am done ranting, for the most part, I can say the book had some interesting perspectives on the Aliens. That is not an endorsement. I guess I was just shocked to see contemporary "issues" so blatantly pushed.


This is a good point. Writers who blatantly shove their personal beliefs awkwardly into stories take you completely out of the subject matter and do a disservice to their own tale.

I remember a Grendel (comic book character) graphic novel a few years back where the villain was a Catholic priest and the entire series was virulently anti-Catholic.   It was pretty disconcerting, and I happened to read an interview with the author who stated that because he had an ex-girlfriend that was a Catholic and they had broken up on bad terms, he deliberately made the villain in his comic a Catholic to stick it to her (hoping she would read it, I guess).  I thought that was pretty piss poor motivation for a story and I never bought another Grendel issue. It was mostly just because even while reading it I figured he had an agenda he was pushing and wasn't being honest with the reader by hammering that agenda instead of telling a good story.  I read once that a Marvel Comics writer once turned a well-known Marvel character (Patsy Walker-Hellstrom) into a sex slave/zombie in a comic because his ex-wife was named Patsy and he wanted to stick it to her in print....supposedly he was booted off the book after he bragged to fellow staff members what he had done.  

I wonder if writers can see how much eye-rolling goes on in reader-land when they desperately push their own agenda to the exclusion of story, plot and characterization.  Readers are a lot smarter than they think.  One of my favorite mystery writers recently went full-on environmental earth warrior and it's been obvious to all his readers as evidenced by comments in the Amazon reviews (the majority very negative).  I wonder if he thought he was just sneaking in a few personal opinions or if he truly is such a bad writer he meant to whack us on the head with his own viewpoint in lieu of telling a good story (his writing quality, oddly, has declined with his sudden interest in environmental activism).

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:09 am 
 

Green Ronin Publishing actually made an RPG setting about this sort of literature.

It is called Blue Rose, and it sets D&D in the world of the modern fantasy novel where liberal politics are the key campaign issues and evil is defined as being insensitive to minorities, disrespectful to women and harmful to the environment.  Depending on your political bent you can regard the Blue Rose setting as either a new high in gaming or a wonderful satire on modern fantasy writers.

There are, however, some equally cloying examples from conservative politics.  Robert Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land mostly to comment on modern culture and religion.   He wrote Starship Troopers as a commentary on the anti-war movement of the Vietnam Era.  Starship Troopers actually includes multiple scenes where characters spew hippy rhetoric and other characters demonstrate how stupid their Leftist arguments are.

Dune is a thinly veiled metaphor about oil and Islam.

Aslan has a few speeches in the Narnia stories, but he gets a pass because lions are cool and the books never pretended to be anything but metaphor.

I prefer my metaphor more honest.  I like Wagner's Cold Light, which is about how extreme devotion to law and good can become more evil than the evil it fights.  In Wagner's stories, real evil is far older than mankind, and human attempts at evil are kind of pathetic against the real horrors hiding around their world.  I like Moorcock's Elric stories, where Elric is just slightly less disgusting than the asshats he kills.  But, I suspect that the anti-hero appeals more to my generation than it does to the younger generation of readers....judging by the crap they buy and read.  (How Mercedes Lackey ever published a second book is a mystery to me.  It was probably the same publisher who read one Wheel of Time novel and still wanted to read another one.)


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:14 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:Green Ronin Publishing actually made an RPG setting about this sort of literature.

It is called Blue Rose, and it sets D&D in the world of the modern fantasy novel where liberal politics are the key campaign issues and evil is defined as being insensitive to minorities, disrespectful to women and harmful to the environment.  Depending on your political bent you can regard the Blue Rose setting as either a new high in gaming or a wonderful satire on modern fantasy writers.

There are, however, some equally cloying examples from conservative politics.  Robert Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land mostly to comment on modern culture and religion.   He wrote Starship Troopers as a commentary on the anti-war movement of the Vietnam Era.  Starship Troopers actually includes multiple scenes where characters spew hippy rhetoric and other characters demonstrate how stupid their Leftist arguments are.

Dune is a thinly veiled metaphor about oil and Islam.

Aslan has a few speeches in the Narnia stories, but he gets a pass because lions are cool and the books never pretended to be anything but metaphor.

I prefer my metaphor more honest.  I like Wagner's Cold Light, which is about how extreme devotion to law and good can become more evil than the evil it fights.  In Wagner's stories, real evil is far older than mankind, and human attempts at evil are kind of pathetic against the real horrors hiding around their world.  I like Moorcock's Elric stories, where Elric is just slightly less disgusting than the asshats he kills.  But, I suspect that the anti-hero appeals more to my generation than it does to the younger generation of readers....judging by the crap they buy and read.  (How Mercedes Lackey ever published a second book is a mystery to me.  It was probably the same publisher who read one Wheel of Time novel and still wanted to read another one.)


You're just mean.  :cry:


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:19 am 
 

jonjhargreaves wrote:Have loved the KEW Kane stuff, thanks to this thread.

http://www.amazon.com/Where-Summer-Ends ... 1933618973

Saw this, any thoughts on his Horror stories from those in the know?

Thanks,
Jon



I just re-read this post.

I have a problem with a $45 compilation book from an author who did not really write all that much...and the $45 book has "Volume 1" in its title.  PDT_Armataz_01_02      But, wow!  We're getting such a good deal at $27.95!  :roll:

Today, I bought a double CD set of The Essential Neil Diamond...but it seems that "Come Dry Your Eyes" was not deemed essential enough while a song with the words "crunchy granola" in the title was apparently deemed essential as all hell.   :x   (I paid $3.99)


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:33 am 
 

JasonZavoda wrote:
FormCritic wrote:There are, however, some equally cloying examples from conservative politics.  Robert Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land mostly to comment on modern culture and religion.   He wrote Starship Troopers as a commentary on the anti-war movement of the Vietnam Era.  Starship Troopers actually includes multiple scenes where characters spew hippy rhetoric and other characters demonstrate how stupid their Leftist arguments are.

Dune is a thinly veiled metaphor about oil and Islam.

Aslan has a few speeches in the Narnia stories, but he gets a pass because lions are cool and the books never pretended to be anything but metaphor.


You're just mean.  :cry:


Yeah, but dead on this time, for the most part :).

Aslan doesn't get a pass from me, though. Even when I was 11 and reading these, I got to the part where he surrenders himself as a sacrifice to save Edmund, and face met palm. I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it before that point, and it only goes downhill from there. Lewis was a hamfisted hack, IMO.

And except for Dune. There's a whole lot more going on there than commentary on Islam and oil. The book may be allegorical on some level, but it's more complex than that, and there's certainly no one-to-one correspondence between people/organizations/events in the book(s) and real life. Those Fremen (free men) dudes are American-style revolutionaries of some sort, for starters...


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:40 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:I just re-read this post.

I have a problem with a $45 compilation book from an author who did not really write all that much...and the $45 book has "Volume 1" in its title.  PDT_Armataz_01_02      But, wow!  We're getting such a good deal at $27.95!  :roll:


If you like the dead tree format and quality book design/construction, it doesn't get much better than Centipede Press. I'm not purchasing this title because I'm not interested in KEW's work, but $45 is dirt cheap for a hefty (360 pages) collection of out-of-print stories by a relatively obscure author in a new, top notch edition. I recently bought Centipede's two Leiber novel reprints (Our Lady of Darkness and Conjure Wife) and they're gorgeous and solid as bricks.

I find it a little ironic that on a site frequented by people who would spend hundreds on several loose leaf pages in a ziploc bag, or 1500% of retail for an adventure module signed in a different color ink by the author, high end small press books seem overpriced :).


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:13 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:I guess I differ on how they look on the shelf.  I prefer them [ex-library books] because I think they look good.


Incidentally, you can buy those mylar dustjacket covers (Brodart, can find them on eBay, buy the archival ones) and put them on non-library hardcovers yourself. I do it with all of mine. I like ex-lib copies too, as long as they don't have a catalog sticker at the base of the spine.


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:04 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:He wrote Starship Troopers as a commentary on the anti-war movement of the Vietnam Era.  Starship Troopers actually includes multiple scenes where characters spew hippy rhetoric and other characters demonstrate how stupid their Leftist arguments are.


Not to be nitpicky, buy I am pretty sure Starship Troopers was written in the late 50's and predates Hippies and the Anti-war movement. It doesn't invalidate your point though. He does skewer hippy-esque thinking and was obviously very pro-military.

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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 12:39 pm 
 

Correct, Starship Troopers was written in the late '50s. It's been a while since I've read it, but as a I recall it probably had a lot more to do with Heinlein propounding his rockribbed individualist/militarist and near-paranoid anti-communist views (not to say I think he's wrong, but he definitely comes across as overly strident at times).

The chief Vietnam-inspired novel that comes to my mind is The Forever War, by Haldeman, which of course takes a nearly opposite viewpoint to Heinlein's (i.e., warfare is pointless, futile, and destructive to both sides).

Both are overly simplistic in my view--frothing bloodlust on one side and head-in-the-sand peacenik nonsense on the other. Can't win with military SF, which is why I don't read it anymore.


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:15 pm 
 

MetamorphosisSigma wrote:Can't win with military SF, which is why I don't read it anymore.

Even though they are far from literary masterpieces, I really enjoyed The Lost Fleet series by Jack Campbell and a few of John Scalzi's books.  Old Man's War and The Ghost Brigades were quick and enjoyable to read.  Lots of stuff exploding, some decent bloody fighting, and some off-the-wall tech makes all the difference.  Who needs deep characterization and feelings when you have nukes and particle beams wiping out entire cities?  :twisted:


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