Fantasy and Sci-Fi Novels
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Post Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:34 pm 
 

Joe Haldeman's "recent" works
According to the bibliography list on his Wikipedia entry:

# The Coming (2000)
# Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century (2001) - as editor
# Guardian (2002)
# Camouflage (2004)
# Old Twentieth (2005)
# War Stories (2006) - short story collection
# A Separate War (2006) - short story collection
# The Accidental Time Machine (2007)


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:14 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:Joe Haldeman's "recent" works
According to the bibliography list on his Wikipedia entry:

# The Coming (2000)
# Best Military Science Fiction of the 20th Century (2001) - as editor
# Guardian (2002)
# Camouflage (2004)
# Old Twentieth (2005)
# War Stories (2006) - short story collection
# A Separate War (2006) - short story collection
# The Accidental Time Machine (2007)


Have you read The Accidental Time Machine?  I love time travel stories.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 2:24 pm 
 

Keith the Thief wrote:Have you read The Accidental Time Machine?  I love time travel stories.


No I have not read that one. I'll have to add that to my "must acquire" list. Thanks Keith!


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:32 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:
No I have not read that one. I'll have to add that to my "must acquire" list. Thanks Keith!


I didn't word that post very well.  I was actually wondering if you had read it.  Sorry about that.  

I checked on Amazon, and it hasn't been released yet.  Bummer.


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Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 9:22 am 
 

If any of you enjoy science fiction novels set in the near-future, you might check out the novels by Robert J. Sawyer.   A personal favorite is Calculating God.  Some other good ones include the Neanderthal Parallax series, and a good SF/mystery titled Illegal Alien.  (I'd steer clear of Starplex however.)

Sawyer's characters are one of his main strengths.  He does a good job of creating three-dimensional protagonists.

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:20 am 
 

Quick question for any weird tales/pulp fans kicking around (FormCritic, I'm looking in your general direction).  I'm trying to remember the name/author of a story I read a while ago.

The story in question is similar in nature to Robert E. Howard's The Fire of Asshurbanipal: protagonist, being chased by raiders/brigands/what-have-you, takes refuge in an abandoned city. In the city, in a prominent place, is the corpse of a king/priest/somebody important, with some sort of riches on them. (I believe in this case it was either a necklace or a crown.)

The brigands/raiders follow the protagonist into the city, and engage in a battle which the protagonist loses. One of the brigands/raiders mounts the stairs to retrieve the treasure from the corpse and dies shortly after touching it, thereby scaring off the rest of his companions.

In the story I'm thinking of, there's a less preternatural explanation to the man's death: a snake has made a nest in the corpse's skull, and promptly bites the man when it is disturbed.

I'm positive I'm not imagining this story, as my SO's pretty sure she's read it as well. I'm thinking it may be Clark Ashton Smith, but I won't know until I've had a chance to search through all the stories I have by him (and then all my other weird tale books, if it isn't him).

Any ideas?

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 9:30 am 
 

g026r That sounds an awful lot like The Fire of Assurbanipal by Howard.

In the Robert M. Price introduction to the story in Chaosium's Nameless Cults he mentions that it was originally written as a non-supernatural story.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:43 am 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:g026r That sounds an awful lot like The Fire of Assurbanipal by Howard.


That's actually the story that jogged my memory of it.  It could very well be an early version of it, but I have no idea where I would have read it in that case.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:22 am 
 

According to the bibliography section of The Last Celt by Glenn Lord (Berkley Windhover Book 1977) the
Straight Adventure Version
was in The Howard Collector Spring 1972.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:31 pm 
 

Has anyone mentioned Dune (Frank Herbert)?
Earthsea (Le Guin)?
Or the continuation of the Star Wars saga by Timothy Zahn?

All very good reads in my opinion.


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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:49 pm 
 

jasonw1239 wrote:According to the bibliography section of The Last Celt by Glenn Lord (Berkley Windhover Book 1977) the  was in The Howard Collector Spring 1972.


I went digging and I found the straight adventure version.  It was in fact it.

Odd that both versions got published without so much as a title change.

  

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Post Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 11:38 pm 
 

I recently re-read The Fires of Assurbanipal in a paperback compilation of Howard's mythos stories.

I wondered at the inclusion of a supernatural element....and assumed that I must have mis-remembered the original story.

Funny how the brain works.   :shaking2:


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:24 am 
 

My own five cents (inflation, you understand):

Fantasy/Sci-Fi:Earthsea (why has no one made an RPG of this?)
The Wheel of Time (just finished The Great Hunt)
Dragonlance (the first few series were good, the later ones less so, but I always found them entertaining)
Michael Moorcock (I took a lot of heat in high school reading him, because of his name, but I really dug the Elric series and recently read the Hawkmoon series. Excellent!)

Non-F/SF:
HP Lovecraft (my favorite author, bar none. I'm also a collector of HPL)
Patrick O'Brien (The film Master & Commander inspired me to pick up the book, and I was hooked
John Saul (potboiler horror/thriller, but entertaining)
Stephen King (I thought Hearts in Atlantis kinda sucked, but The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon was fabboo, and the Dark Tower series is just out of this world. Are they going to make that into a movie? I have the comics.)
Kurt Vonnegut (Writing stuff based in the future doesn't always make one a SF author)


Currently I'm reading A Brief History of Fighting Ships: Ships of the Line and Napoleanic Sea Battles, 1793 - 1815 by David Davies. I've been reading a lot of this kind of stuff lately, to sort of get an historical context for the Patrick O'Brien novels.  This is a great book. Short and to the point.
I'm also reading Ghosthunting Ohio, which is about exactly that. That's my other great interest, though I dunno if I'd call myself a believer. I'm more scientific about it.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:29 am 
 

Oh yeah, someone mentioned Laurell Hamilton. I looked her up on Wikipedia to see what D&D book it was she wrote, and I found some amusing information:
Many readers and former readers expressed dissatisfaction with Hamilton's increasing focus on her character Anita Blake's infection with the ardeur (a supernatural hunger necessitating the person to feed it via direct or vicarious sexual energy) and added metaphysical powers. Some readers contend that these situations occur without the development of character or plot, and also force sex and dependency on a formerly independent female character. [4] Others have commented upon the exploitation of sexual abuse, incest, and rape through its casual use in later books.


And her response:
In a post in her blog made in December 2006, apparently aimed at a small number of participants on the Laurell K. Hamilton forums[6], Hamilton acknowledged readers who, disappointed in recent Anita Blake novels, have chosen to stop reading her work altogether. She added that "life is too short to read books you don't like," and acknowledged that the books are "not comfortable." She suggested that these readers would prefer to read "books that don't make you think that hard."


I always find it entertaining when authors react to criticism by insulting their critics.  :lol: I listed to one of her books on tape, Danse Macabre, I think, and it was supposed to be about strippers getting murdered, but it seemed to be more of Penthouse Letters meets Cemetery Dance. Not mention loaded with enough cliches to choke a horse. My motto: Avoid cliches like the plague.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 11:57 am 
 

silver_beetle wrote:Oh yeah, someone mentioned Laurell Hamilton. I looked her up on Wikipedia to see what D&D book it was she wrote, and I found some amusing information:


I always find it entertaining when authors react to criticism by insulting their critics.  :lol: I listed to one of her books on tape, Danse Macabre, I think, and it was supposed to be about strippers getting murdered, but it seemed to be more of Penthouse Letters meets Cemetery Dance. Not mention loaded with enough cliches to choke a horse. My motto: Avoid cliches like the plague.


The funniest thing, is that the change in her books came about as part of a change in her life. Hamilton recently got a divorce and remarried, right before her series took a sudden death spiral into soft core porn, bondage, fetish trash. It's very noticible, and several of her former fans/now critics have commented on it.  Not to mention she has said before a continuing character (a werewolf) was supposed to be her now ex-husband, he used to be the main characters "lover:, now she's turned him into a whining, emasulated, insane, insecure retard that acts (oddly enough) completely out of character of how he was in the beginning of the series....coincidentally become a loser, oh, about the time Hamilton got that divorce and found a new boyfriend.... :wink:
It can't be said enough, stay far, far away from this crap because it's some of the worst Mary-Sue fiction ever written in fantasy/horror (Laurell is Anita Blake, her ex-husband is the lunatic and emasculated werewolf, her current husband is the sexy vampire that Anita is screwing constantly,  her critics are the clueless best friend who "doesn't understand what Anita is going through", and so on....)
 BTW, this is from my wife.  I have only flipped through the books where my wife told me the "plot" was just Anita Blake screwing everything that moves (hey, I thought, what the hell, but it's not even decent porn, it bites...!) Also count my wife as oneof her former fans..she can't stomach the stuff anymore.

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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:06 pm 
 

It is a common tactic to claim that the intent of a work is to "make you think" when what the artist is really doing is defending bad art.

I notice that writers of soft porn often use this as a defense.  They are trying to "make me think" by "challenging my perceptions" and being "edgy."  Apparently, abnormal sex is "edgy" because it is abnormal and therefore worth thinking about.  Apparently, it is "challenging" to me in some way.

This brand of arrogance is specific to writers and visual artists, but also infects musicians.

I once read advice from Kurt Vonnegut that a writer must have a soapbox in order to be a good writer.  "A writer must have something to say."  There is, however, a difference between having something to say and covering up crap writing with blather about how significant it all is and how it's too bad how stupid everyone is for not understanding the edgy nature of it all.

And then, there's Conan, who pretty much kills people like Anita Blake.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 1:51 pm 
 

jkason wrote:Has anyone mentioned Dune (Frank Herbert)?
Earthsea (Le Guin)?
Or the continuation of the Star Wars saga by Timothy Zahn?

All very good reads in my opinion.


I like A Wizard of Earthsea and Dune.

I also like Le Guin as a poet...and I thought The Lathe of Heaven was a great idea.

Both Herbert and Le Guin seem to have disliked or gotten tired of their original works.  The Tombs of Atuan and The Farthest Shore (is that its name?) were entirely different types of work than A Wizard of Earthsea...depressing, in fact.

If the goal of Herbert's later Dune books was to twist our perceptions and place his characters in more and more bizarre situations....then he succeeded.  One would ask why...for what purpose?

There is something about writing a popular series that makes the author slowly get interested in psycho-sexual drivel.  Asimov starts having sex with robots.  Herbert starts having his characters psycho-sexually enslave each other.  There are others...Fritz Lieber springs to mind.

Some writers start out with bizarre sex and never leave the genre.  Anne Rice and Jon Norman fit this category.  A number of female fantasy writers fit into this category, for some reason.

I agree with Philip K. Dick, who's main character in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? wonders why anyone would want to have sex with a replicant.  Personally, I wonder what makes a vampire sexually attractive.

Although he goes light on the sex, one has the feeling that Robert Jordan must finish each new Wheel of Time novel with a sigh self-loathing and then write in his journal, "Please, God, don't make me write another one!"  One wonders why anyone would want to have sex with one of his characters, who would all be better off not reproducing.


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Post Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 2:52 pm 
 

FormCritic wrote:
I agree with Philip K. Dick, who's main character in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? wonders why anyone would want to have sex with a replicant.  Personally, I wonder what makes a vampire sexually attractive.


Yeah, I always thought part of the tragedy of vampirism was the fact that you couldn't have sex.


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