Discussion:
[I] Don't like much other fantasy
(too old to reply)
Luna
2003-12-05 05:08:32 UTC
Permalink
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive Barker, I
have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil and Clive write a
particular type of fantasy, modern and dark. I read Lord of The Rings
because, well, I felt like it was essential to my education, and it was
well written but not something I would ever go back and read again. I
liked the Narnia books as a kid, and I liked the Xanth books as a preteen.
I have tried and failed to enjoy many fantasy books given or lent to me by
friends, most of them from the 1980's and later, most of them pretty good
sellers, most of them parts of series, and all of them dull dull dull. I
couldn't name them all because I don't keep books that I don't like, and I
don't remember most of them because they all seemed so undistinctive. A
few that I do remember reading, but can't really recall the plots of, are
The Mirror of Her Dreams, Lord Valentine's Castle, one of the Amber series
(don't remember which one) one of the books by that woman who writes a lot
about dragons, and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of these
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So what's the
problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Stacie Hanes
2003-12-05 05:52:54 UTC
Permalink
Luna wrote:
<snip>
recall the plots of, are The Mirror of Her Dreams, Lord
Valentine's Castle, one of the Amber series (don't remember which
one) one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar to
"sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of
these were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold.
So what's the problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my
brain? Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
Okay, I haven't read any of these. I apologize in advance if there are fans
here--I'm about to report hearsay. I have heard all of those works discussed
by the same people as not good books. I believe I have encountered all of
them on afp or abp as things to avoid--I suppose Google could find that.

I've talked about Xanth as being marketed at preteens; I believe that only a
*very* special kind of adult could like them. You grew out of it, which
seems normal for Xanth.

As for Narnia, I just read the whole series for the first time this past
weekend; C.S.Lewis, whatever you may think of the theology, used the
language beautifully, and I found the books a joy to read. There's something
to be said for grace and good construction--and those things are hard to do.
The difficulty is why I'd say that many modern novels fall flat for you.
Whether you liked the Narnia books as a kid, or like them now, doesn't
really affect the reference to the lack of grace in a high percentage of
modern work--there's just so much of it.

No, fantasy doesn't suck. There's the Discworld, for one thing. But you like
it dark. Okay.

Well, I like the Wheel of Time, but it's not everyone's cup of tea, and I
could see where you might find it boring. Robert Jordan can't resist the
word "ostentatious," either, but I think that's a small thing. There are
other criticisms, and unless you find the story gripping and the detail
fascinating, it's a hell of a pile of words.

I like Harry Potter. Many don't. It also isn't very dark.

I like CS Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy. Parts of it are very creepy, and it
is dark. I've read some critical reviews, but I liked it. And it's dark. Not
very modern, though.

Stacie
Aleks A.-Lessmann
2003-12-05 13:10:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
brain? Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
Well... I'm more of an SF reader. In fact, after LOTR Discworld was the
first fantasy I touched in years and years. After that I tried some of
the modern fantasy with of course mixed results.

I've read two Myth books by Robert Asprin and didn't like them at all.
But am reading Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy, am almost
finished with the first book, and have enjoyed it very much.
Post by Stacie Hanes
No, fantasy doesn't suck. There's the Discworld, for one thing. But you like
it dark. Okay.
I suppose in Fantasy an in most everything there's about 10% that are
good, 90% are crap. But we'll never agree on the 10 or the 90.

Well, yeah, IN THIS NG we'll agree to put Pterry in the 10%.

;-)
Aleks
---
"I have no doubt that the fundamental problem the planet
faces is the enormous increase of the human population"
David Attenborough
Richard Eney
2003-12-07 00:42:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
<snip>
recall the plots of, are The Mirror of Her Dreams, Lord
Valentine's Castle, one of the Amber series (don't remember which
one) one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar to
"sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of
these were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold.
<snip>
Post by Stacie Hanes
Okay, I haven't read any of these. I apologize in advance if there are fans
here--I'm about to report hearsay. I have heard all of those works discussed
by the same people as not good books. I believe I have encountered all of
them on afp or abp as things to avoid--I suppose Google could find that.
Actually, I liked Lord Valentine's Castle, though I don't like much of
Silverberg's work. Luna would probably prefer the rest of Silverberg and
not like LVC.

Brooks's Shannara stuff is pretty universally condemned in the circles I
inhabit, though I've never tried to read it myself. McCaffrey's dragons
are the Pern series; White Dragon was good of its kind but I burned out
on the series long ago. I liked Zelazny's Amber series, but I like most
of Zelazny's work.

I think my preferences are almost opposite Luna's. Luckily I can tell the
difference between 'a book I liked' and 'a book that is really good for
almost everyone' (there is some overlap but it's far from 100%).

=Tamar
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-07 00:58:29 UTC
Permalink
Date: 07/12/03 00:42 GMT Standard Time
Brooks's Shannara stuff is pretty universally condemned in the circles I
inhabit, though I've never tried to read it myself.
<pokes head above parapet>

I'd just like to say I quite liked it. Okay, it's very much "in the spirit of
Tolkien", hem, hem, but it's done with the sort of enthusiasm which suggests
Brooks is writing a book he really wants to read, unlike most EFPs which read
like the author is writing a book (s)he really wants to sell...

Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy kingdom in the
future (

I don't even mind that the "Scions" trilogy is essentially the first three
stand-alones turned into one story. Especially since I get a feel from it (and,
more blatantly, in the "Voyage") that I've otherwise only ever got from Pterry;
namely that the cultures of this secondary world[1] actually develop, rather
than being stuck the way they're described at the start unless transformed by
cataclysmic events.

[1] If it counts as a secondary world. The reason I'm not sure about this is
that, just as Tolkien placed Middle Earth in our long forgotten past, Brooks
set the Four Lands in a post-apocalyptic future, not that this is a blatant
part of either world.
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
David Chapman
2003-12-07 01:15:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy
kingdom in the future
Pern...
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-07 01:55:57 UTC
Permalink
Date: 07/12/03 01:15 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy
kingdom in the future
Pern...
There's nothing actually *fantastic* about Pern. I mean, the fire lizards are
pretty unlikely, I'm not sure about the plausability of the genetic engineering
performed on them, and don't even get me started on the psychic powers, but I
think it just falls on the implausible-SF side of the extremely fractal fence.

The Shanarra novels OTOH, may have dwarves that are implied (AFAICR) to be
mutated humans, but it also has elves which are quite definitely elves,
immortal spellcasters and various other things that would fit perfectly into a
D&D campaign, but be quite out of place on Pern, pseudo-medieval society or
not...

IMO.
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Peter Ellis
2003-12-07 08:11:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 07/12/03 01:15 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy
kingdom in the future
Pern...
There's nothing actually *fantastic* about Pern. I mean, the fire lizards are
pretty unlikely, I'm not sure about the plausability of the genetic engineering
performed on them, and don't even get me started on the psychic powers, but I
think it just falls on the implausible-SF side of the extremely fractal fence.
Er... it also has time travel. As far as I can see, it's extremely
generic fantasy with a remarkably bad pseudo-science exposition bolted
on in the later books without much regard for whether it's consistent
with the earlier ones.

Peter
Marian
2003-12-07 09:18:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ellis
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 07/12/03 01:15 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy
kingdom in the future
Pern...
There's nothing actually *fantastic* about Pern. I mean, the fire lizards are
pretty unlikely, I'm not sure about the plausability of the genetic engineering
performed on them, and don't even get me started on the psychic powers, but I
think it just falls on the implausible-SF side of the extremely fractal fence.
Er... it also has time travel. As far as I can see, it's extremely
generic fantasy with a remarkably bad pseudo-science exposition bolted
on in the later books without much regard for whether it's consistent
with the earlier ones.
When I was in the US this summer I reread Pern 1. The drudge
that becomes dragonlady is shown in the first chapter as having
incredibly psi powers. She causes the fight between Fax and the
guy who becomes her husband. She causes the mismanagament of
Ruatha. BUT she still is hiding as a drudge.

Puh-lease.

-M
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-07 21:38:05 UTC
Permalink
Date: 07/12/03 08:11 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 07/12/03 01:15 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy
kingdom in the future
Pern...
There's nothing actually *fantastic* about Pern. I mean, the fire lizards
are
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
pretty unlikely, I'm not sure about the plausability of the genetic
engineering
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
performed on them, and don't even get me started on the psychic powers, but
I
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
think it just falls on the implausible-SF side of the extremely fractal
fence.
Er... it also has time travel.
Er, yes. Is time travel not considered an SF idea these days?
As far as I can see, it's extremely
generic fantasy with a remarkably bad pseudo-science exposition bolted
on in the later books without much regard for whether it's consistent
with the earlier ones.
I'm not sure I'd call it "pseudo-science" (except the telepathy) , just bad
science (and it gets marginally better once Dr Jack gets involved). And I'm
pretty sure it was always there, although my Mum's copies of the original Pern
trilogy were lost in the house fire, so I can't be sure. Certainly the infodump
intro about the colony's history and the dragons' origins is in place as early
as "Dragonsong".
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Maaike
2003-12-08 00:55:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 07/12/03 08:11 GMT Standard Time
[Pern]
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
As far as I can see, it's extremely
generic fantasy with a remarkably bad pseudo-science exposition bolted
on in the later books without much regard for whether it's consistent
with the earlier ones.
I'm not sure I'd call it "pseudo-science" (except the telepathy) , just bad
science (and it gets marginally better once Dr Jack gets involved). And I'm
pretty sure it was always there, although my Mum's copies of the original Pern
trilogy were lost in the house fire, so I can't be sure. Certainly the infodump
intro about the colony's history and the dragons' origins is in place as early
as "Dragonsong".
ISTR an interview (or possibly it was in the introduction to
something) with McCaffrey where she said that at the time she started
writing Pern, SF was considerably more respected than Fantasy, to the
point where the easiest way to write fantasy was to disguise it as SF
(usually by setting up some sort of apocalypse with mutations which
produced elves etc., or a lost colony ship that just *happened* to
crash on a planet with animals that looked oddly similar to
mythological creatures).

-Maaike
Richard Eney
2003-12-08 06:58:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Maaike
[Pern]
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
As far as I can see, it's extremely generic fantasy
with a remarkably bad pseudo-science exposition bolted on
in the later books without much regard for whether it's consistent
with the earlier ones.
I'm not sure I'd call it "pseudo-science" (except the telepathy) , just
bad science (and it gets marginally better once Dr Jack gets involved).
And I'm pretty sure it was always there, although my Mum's copies of the
original Pern trilogy were lost in the house fire, so I can't be sure.
Certainly the infodump intro about the colony's history and the
dragons' origins is in place as early as "Dragonsong".
The pseudo-science was there from the beginning, at least in intent,
according to McCaffrey herself, though it wasn't spelled out right away.
Post by Maaike
ISTR an interview (or possibly it was in the introduction to
something) with McCaffrey where she said that at the time she started
writing Pern, SF was considerably more respected than Fantasy, to the
point where the easiest way to write fantasy was to disguise it as SF
(usually by setting up some sort of apocalypse with mutations which
produced elves etc., or a lost colony ship that just *happened* to
crash on a planet with animals that looked oddly similar to
mythological creatures).
I remember hearing her speak at a convention, describing the process of
inventing the background - IIRC, she began by setting up a problem for the
settlers to fight that would require them to ride something native that
was big enough to fly - so, dragons. Then it had to be something they
could destroy with a method that was native to the planet - so,
firebreathing dragons. The SF sort of came first, but she definitely
wanted SF justification for dragons.

=Tamar
Richard Eney
2003-12-07 01:33:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Post by Richard Eney
Brooks's Shannara stuff is pretty universally condemned in the circles I
inhabit, though I've never tried to read it myself.
<pokes head above parapet>
I'd just like to say I quite liked it. Okay, it's very much "in the spirit of
Tolkien", hem, hem, but it's done with the sort of enthusiasm which suggests
Brooks is writing a book he really wants to read, unlike most EFPs which read
like the author is writing a book (s)he really wants to sell...
Lots of people seem to like it. I just haven't been able to get into it.
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy kingdom
in the future
He may have been the first post-Tolkien imitator to do so, but the Sword
of Shannara is copyright 1977.

Jack Vance set the fantasies of _The Dying Earth_ in Earth's far future
back in 1950.

Christopher Stasheff's Escape Velocity (1968) that started his Warlock In
Spite of Himself/King Kobold series is set on a planet that was settled by
Earthly medievalists who had money and their descendants developed psychic
abilities that molded the local sensitive flora into creatures and beings
that matched those in their imaginations, that then bred true.

Still, it's unusual enough, and it's a point that I don't remember being
mentioned elsewhere about those books.

=Tamar
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-07 02:01:31 UTC
Permalink
<Terry Brooks' Shannarra>
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy kingdom
in the future
He may have been the first post-Tolkien imitator to do so, but the Sword
of Shannara is copyright 1977.
Jack Vance set the fantasies of _The Dying Earth_ in Earth's far future
back in 1950.
Flip. Flipflipflipflipflipflipflipflipflippinflip.

How the *heck* did I forget that one?
Post by Richard Eney
Christopher Stasheff's Escape Velocity (1968) that started his Warlock In
Spite of Himself/King Kobold series is set on a planet that was settled by
Earthly medievalists who had money and their descendants developed psychic
abilities that molded the local sensitive flora into creatures and beings
that matched those in their imaginations, that then bred true.
That I would *probably* classify as SF pretending to be fantasy, but I'd have
to read it before deciding.
Post by Richard Eney
Still, it's unusual enough, and it's a point that I don't remember being
mentioned elsewhere about those books.
Like I said, he doesn't make a big deal about it, any more than JRR did about
Middle-Earth being Earth in the past. But it's definitely there.
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Richard Eney
2003-12-08 07:04:01 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Post by Richard Eney
Christopher Stasheff's Escape Velocity (1968) that started his Warlock In
Spite of Himself/King Kobold series is set on a planet that was settled by
Earthly medievalists who had money and their descendants developed psychic
abilities that molded the local sensitive flora into creatures and beings
that matched those in their imaginations, that then bred true.
That I would *probably* classify as SF pretending to be fantasy, but
I'd have to read it before deciding.
Just the first one or two, unless you decide you like it. The later books
are weaker and weaker. I'd call it fantasy pretending to be SF, myself,
but it doesn't matter. It's about as hard SF as McCaffrey's Pern.
Psychic powers and advanced science mixed, used to allow "magic," some of
which is a bit beyond the usual psychic abilities.

=Tamar
Stacie Hanes
2003-12-08 07:07:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
<snip>
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Post by Richard Eney
Christopher Stasheff's Escape Velocity (1968) that started his
Warlock In Spite of Himself/King Kobold series is set on a planet
that was settled by Earthly medievalists who had money and their
descendants developed psychic abilities that molded the local
sensitive flora into creatures and beings that matched those in
their imaginations, that then bred true.
That I would *probably* classify as SF pretending to be fantasy,
but I'd have to read it before deciding.
Just the first one or two, unless you decide you like it. The
later books are weaker and weaker. I'd call it fantasy pretending
to be SF, myself, but it doesn't matter. It's about as hard SF as
McCaffrey's Pern. Psychic powers and advanced science mixed, used
to allow "magic," some of which is a bit beyond the usual psychic
abilities.
I concur. I like _Her Majesty's Wizard_ very much, and the Warlock in Spite
of Himself ones were okay, but I trailed off reading them.

Stacie
--
"If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible
warning." Catherine Aird, _His Burial Too_
Rhiannon S
2003-12-07 11:40:48 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: [I] Don't like much other fantasy
Date: 07/12/2003 01:33 GMT Standard Time
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Post by Richard Eney
Brooks's Shannara stuff is pretty universally condemned in the circles I
inhabit, though I've never tried to read it myself.
<pokes head above parapet>
I'd just like to say I quite liked it. Okay, it's very much "in the spirit
of
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Tolkien", hem, hem, but it's done with the sort of enthusiasm which suggests
Brooks is writing a book he really wants to read, unlike most EFPs which
read
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
like the author is writing a book (s)he really wants to sell...
Lots of people seem to like it. I just haven't been able to get into it.
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy kingdom
in the future
He may have been the first post-Tolkien imitator to do so, but the Sword
of Shannara is copyright 1977.
Jack Vance set the fantasies of _The Dying Earth_ in Earth's far future
back in 1950.
I have vague memories of a book called "echoes of the fourth magic" in which a
submarine crew was caught in the bermuda triangle and emerged into a post
apocalyptic fantasy world, complete with elves. I don't remember much else
except the fourth magic of the title was technology and everything was solved
with a gun. Which I felt rather let the story down.


--
Rhiannon
http://www.livejournal.com/users/rhiannon_s/
Q: how many witches does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: depends on what you want it changed into!
Richard Eney
2003-12-08 07:06:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rhiannon S
I have vague memories of a book called "echoes of the fourth magic" in
which a submarine crew was caught in the bermuda triangle and emerged
into a post apocalyptic fantasy world, complete with elves. I don't
remember much else except the fourth magic of the title was technology
and everything was solved with a gun. Which I felt rather let the story
down.
<Google> by R.A.Salvatore, 2000.
Never read it myself, but I agree, that's kind of an old-fashioned
thud-and-blunder style "solution". It's hard to make that kind of story
work nowadays.

=Tamar
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-07 01:57:27 UTC
Permalink
Date: 07/12/03 00:58 GMT Standard Time
Also ICBW, but I think Brooks was the first to set his fantasy kingdom in the
future (
Brooks
set the Four Lands in a post-apocalyptic future
I meant to delete the first bit, while I was deleting what came after that
bracket, since I thought the second was probably a better place for it.
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Luna
2003-12-07 03:43:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Eney
Actually, I liked Lord Valentine's Castle, though I don't like much of
Silverberg's work. Luna would probably prefer the rest of Silverberg and
not like LVC.
Yeah, I really loved "Dying Inside" by him.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Mary Messall
2003-12-05 08:43:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive Barker, I
have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil and Clive write a
particular type of fantasy, modern and dark.
<snip>
Post by Luna
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind. I like her a lot,
actually, but I'll admit it's melodramatic stuff. Melodrama isn't my
favorite sort of story either, but I can still appreciate good
melodrama when I read it. Probably the same applies to the Amber
stories.
Post by Luna
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara?
Sword of Shanara, probably. Terry Brooks. To which I can only say
"Ugh." Can't stand the man, or the half of a novel that I read.
Post by Luna
Something like that. All of these
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So what's the
problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
Some things you have to learn to appreciate on their own terms. Can't
say criticize salt for not being sweet enough, if you see what I mean.
Fantasy is almost always epic, one way or another, so you have to be
able to forgive the excesses that go along with epics.

But if you want to get away from the sword-stuff, try Phillip Pullman,
"His Dark Materials." Or Lois McMaster Bujold, "Curse of Chalion."
Orson Scott Card has quite a bit of non-traditional fantasy, including
one rather dark and modern one called "Homebody" which has a little bit
to do with ghosts, and a series in which the folk beliefs of the
American frontier are literally true, and a first novel called
"Traitor" which is, no question about it, really original. I'll
recommend Connie Willis's short stories too, because I love them.

To go back to swords briefly, I must say that if you haven't read _The
Once and Future King_ then you can't really know fantasy. One of my all
time favorites, and definitely free of simiplistic white-hat black-hat
battles.

And finally, I have to recommend a television show. I'm not sure if it
will make you like fantasy novels, but it would be a shame if you
missed it, given that you like Gaiman and Clive Barker so much. It's
called "Carnivale" and it currently airs Sunday nights on HBO (at least
in the US.) http://www.hbo.com/carnivale/

-Mary
Peter Ellis
2003-12-05 08:52:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Messall
To go back to swords briefly, I must say that if you haven't read _The
Once and Future King_ then you can't really know fantasy. One of my all
time favorites, and definitely free of simiplistic white-hat black-hat
battles.
I tried to reread that recently, and couldn't get past the first few
chapters - you know, the peon to the huntin', shootin', fishin' life.
Irritated the heck out of me, it did.

Peter
Mary Messall
2003-12-05 09:25:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ellis
Post by Mary Messall
To go back to swords briefly, I must say that if you haven't read _The
Once and Future King_ then you can't really know fantasy. One of my all
time favorites, and definitely free of simiplistic white-hat black-hat
battles.
I tried to reread that recently, and couldn't get past the first few
chapters - you know, the peon to the huntin', shootin', fishin' life.
Irritated the heck out of me, it did.
Oh, I suppose The Sword in the Stone can be safely skipped, if you're
not the nature type. (White was. Had animals, I think including
tortoises, living in every corner of his house, liked nothing better
than a day of angling without catching anything. There's lots more
huntin' and fishin' in his diary, "England Have My Bones," and also an
account of the flying lessons he took in 1934, when flying lessons
really meant something...)

But you'd miss the jokes, the allegory, the humorous rhymes, and the
strange stories about Robin Hood and castles made of butter... I think
the real purpose is actually to provide some happiness for these
characters, and a feel for the daily life of this imaginary England, so
that when the epic tragedy starts, it means something. Magic and
adventure happens, but everyone takes it entirely for granted (after
all, one does take fairy tales for granted as a child) and so it all
seems perfectly real, and natural. And all populated by such likable
characters and decorated with such pretty words.

-Mary
Kegs
2003-12-05 19:48:07 UTC
Permalink
Mary Messall <***@ups.edu> writes:

[snipped Once and future Huntin' shootin' and flyin']
Post by Mary Messall
But you'd miss the jokes, the allegory, the humorous rhymes, and the
strange stories about Robin Hood and castles made of butter
Which doesn't actually appear in the original edition of The Sword in the
Stone, the butter castle and its occupant that is, they go on a very different
adventure with Robin Hood, which confused the hell out of me when I read the
rest of the books, which were in a collected edition that had the later
version of the first book.

I preferred the original version and would dearly love to read the original
versions of the rest of the books, as they were re-editted to be consistant
with the changes to Sword in the Stone.
--
James jamesk[at]homeric[dot]co[dot]uk

"Eighty percent of success is showing up." Woody Allen
Jon
2003-12-05 09:59:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Peter Ellis
Post by Mary Messall
To go back to swords briefly, I must say that if you haven't read
_The Once and Future King_ then you can't really know fantasy. One
of my all time favorites, and definitely free of simiplistic
white-hat black-hat battles.
I tried to reread that recently, and couldn't get past the first few
chapters - you know, the peon to the huntin', shootin', fishin' life.
Irritated the heck out of me, it did.
I didn't think they let peons do huntin shootin and fishin.

Seriously (no, no, come back) I know what you mean, but I'm always prepared
to forgive White on the grounds that he writes well and makes me laugh.
Merlin knitting his beard always slays me. And then later on he doesn't make
you laugh anymore, indeed it's very sad - it's the story of a tragedy, after
all, but he still writes well and makes me think. I don't have to agree with
an author's socio-political outlook in order to appreciate and enjoy their
writing (although there are limits to this tolerance, obviously); I regard
Waugh's /Sword of Honour/ trilogy (revised version) as one of the finest
works of fiction written, but I'm damn sure I wouldn't agree with Evelyn
Waugh about much.

How about other folks? How much are you willing to put up with the
expression of views you disagree with, perhaps even actively dislike, if the
writing is good enough? Or does it destroy any chance of you enjoying the
work?
Marian
2003-12-05 11:41:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jon
How about other folks? How much are you willing to put up with the
expression of views you disagree with, perhaps even actively dislike, if the
writing is good enough? Or does it destroy any chance of you enjoying the
work?
Speaker-to-the-Dead ... or some similar kind of title, by Orson
Scott Card.


I -think- it was the first sequel to Ender's Game (which, by the
way, is fantastic).

I didn't like a single person in the whole story.

I couldn't care one bit about what happened to them.

If they got hit by an unnoticed comet and died it would have been
fine.

But there was something about the writing.

And I had to finish the book and see what was going to happen.

Unlike Wuthering Heights where I didn't care one bit what
happened to them but had to finish the book because it was an
English class assignment.

-M
Andrew Gray
2003-12-05 14:03:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Marian
Post by Jon
How about other folks? How much are you willing to put up with the
expression of views you disagree with, perhaps even actively dislike, if the
writing is good enough? Or does it destroy any chance of you enjoying the
work?
Speaker-to-the-Dead ... or some similar kind of title, by Orson
Scott Card.
I -think- it was the first sequel to Ender's Game (which, by the
way, is fantastic).
I didn't like a single person in the whole story.
I couldn't care one bit about what happened to them.
If they got hit by an unnoticed comet and died it would have been
fine.
But there was something about the writing.
And I had to finish the book and see what was going to happen.
Heh. I'm trying to remember SttD; was that the one where trying to write
about children as adults didn't quite seem to work? Hrm. I have the
first and the third, no second, can't check just now...

There have been a couple of books I've read, once, and *wanted* to stop
reading; I think I persuaded myself to finish them on the grounds that
even if the characters all perished in tragic accidents the next day, it
would probably be less depressing to actually have the novel finished
and closed. /1968/, by Joe Haldeman, is the only one I can remember now.
Perhaps I should read it again.
--
-Andrew Gray
***@bigfoot.com
Jen Birren
2003-12-05 15:07:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jon
How about other folks? How much are you willing to put up with the
expression of views you disagree with, perhaps even actively dislike,
if the writing is good enough? Or does it destroy any chance of you
enjoying the work?
It depends partly on what mood I'm in- sometimes I quite like arguing
with a book.

There is definitely something about the writing, though. It isn't
necessarily how good or bad a book is, but how the views are presented
within the story. I'm often happy to think "OK, I don't think this is
really how a society would work, but it's part of the worldbuilding
here" [1] but sometimes the worldview of the author is too obtrusive.

Sheri Tepper- some of whose ideas I agree with!- has become almost
unreadable for me in her later books because she doesn't just set up her
society in a way that assumes her ideas (or even showcases them); she
preaches at you.

Jen

[1] Silly eg, I don't think the Greek gods exist but the Iliad doesn't
bug me.
Alec Cawley
2003-12-05 21:40:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jon
How about other folks? How much are you willing to put up with the
expression of views you disagree with, perhaps even actively dislike, if the
writing is good enough? Or does it destroy any chance of you enjoying the
work?
It depends upon whether the book is written as a polemic or is just a
more-or-less unconscious reflection of the authors world view. For
example, I can read Kipling with pleasure for entertainment. If I were
to analyse the actions of his characters in accordance with my own
personal world view, I would end up foaming at the mouth. However, for
the duration of the story I am ready to look at the world through his
eyes.

Which is why I have real troubles with the later Heinlein. In his
earlier books, he was telling a grand yarn,. And his political viewpoint
was merely a cast on the picture ha painted. But later, when ha had
acquired his second wife and the mantle of a Grand Old Man, he became
preachy, and the bias which had been acceptable early became intolerable
(to me, at least).
--
Alec Cawley
Jen Birren
2003-12-05 14:53:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Messall
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive
Barker, I have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil
and Clive write a particular type of fantasy, modern and dark.
Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
There is a *lot* of bad fantasy. Many people seem to like Extruded
Fantasy Product, and it can drive good stuff off the shelves, but the
good stuff does exist. (Diana Wynne Jones's Tough Guide to Fantasyland
is a very funny skewering of a lot of the cliches of unthinking
fantasy.)
I'm quite lucky in that I quite enjoy switching my brain off to read
from time to time, so I can find books more easily than someone who gets
irritated easily by rubbish.
Post by Mary Messall
But if you want to get away from the sword-stuff, try Phillip Pullman,
"His Dark Materials." Or Lois McMaster Bujold, "Curse of Chalion."
<nods vigorously>
I'd also recommend Martha Wells- particularly Death of a Necromancer, if
you like darker stuff. It's a dense read, drags you in.

Also, oh, Ursula le Guin, Pamela Dean, Diana Wynne Jones herself- they
all seem to me to avoid the bland, repetetive, cardboard writing that
seems to creep into a lot of fantasy. (In different ways, obviously.)
Jen
Luna
2003-12-05 17:19:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jen Birren
Post by Mary Messall
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive
Barker, I have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil
and Clive write a particular type of fantasy, modern and dark.
Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
There is a *lot* of bad fantasy. Many people seem to like Extruded
Fantasy Product, and it can drive good stuff off the shelves, but the
good stuff does exist. (Diana Wynne Jones's Tough Guide to Fantasyland
is a very funny skewering of a lot of the cliches of unthinking
fantasy.)
I'm quite lucky in that I quite enjoy switching my brain off to read
from time to time, so I can find books more easily than someone who gets
irritated easily by rubbish.
Post by Mary Messall
But if you want to get away from the sword-stuff, try Phillip Pullman,
"His Dark Materials." Or Lois McMaster Bujold, "Curse of Chalion."
<nods vigorously>
I'd also recommend Martha Wells- particularly Death of a Necromancer, if
you like darker stuff. It's a dense read, drags you in.
Also, oh, Ursula le Guin, Pamela Dean, Diana Wynne Jones herself- they
all seem to me to avoid the bland, repetetive, cardboard writing that
seems to creep into a lot of fantasy. (In different ways, obviously.)
Jen
Ok, cool. I may try some of those. Does Bujold also write science
fiction? Because that name sounds familiar.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Carol Hague
2003-12-05 18:19:12 UTC
Permalink
Luna <***@NOSPAMmindspring.com> wrote:

n
Post by Luna
Ok, cool. I may try some of those. Does Bujold also write science
fiction? Because that name sounds familiar.
Not surprising - they're always wibbling on about her on rasfw, where I
think I've seen you a time or two :-)

Whether you'll like her sf depends on whether you like Miles Vorkosigan
really. I do (and I really must get some more of her books) but mileages
vary wildly.
--
Carol Hague
"The glassblower's cat is bompstable"
- Dorothy L. Sayers, _Clouds of Witness_
Damien R. Sullivan
2003-12-05 18:28:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
Ok, cool. I may try some of those. Does Bujold also write science
fiction? Because that name sounds familiar.
All but 3 of her many books are science fiction. Good science fiction. The
recent fantasy books (Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls) are also very good.
Not that Spirit Ring (different universe) was bad, but it gets less respect.

CoC and PoS have dark aspects, but they're not depressing. As fantasy, I
think they also betray a certain science-fictiony thought to them... there's a
logic to the 'magic' which you don't find in Robin McKinley (whom I also like)
for example. (Not to say McKinley is "illogical". But her magic is more
mysterious, self-willed almost, "stuff happens", 'magical'.)

The fantasy author I usually rave about and recommend is P. C. Hodgell, whose
first two books are collected in the badly titled _Dark of the Gods_. Dark
funny fantasy. Well, funny while Jame's around. The new stories in the new
_Blood and Ivory_ were just dark.

-xx- Damien X-)
Richard Eney
2003-12-06 01:23:28 UTC
Permalink
In article <bqqiok$43s$***@hood.uits.indiana.edu>,
Damien R. Sullivan <***@cs.indiana.edu> wrote:

[about Bujold:]
there's a logic to the 'magic'
which you don't find in Robin McKinley (whom I also like)
for example. (Not to say McKinley is "illogical". But her magic is
more mysterious, self-willed almost, "stuff happens", 'magical'.)
I just finished Robin McKinley's _Sunshine_. The magic isn't exactly
illogical, it's just not as completely explained as in some universes.
The book is set in a different universe from ours, and her alternate
Earth is significantly different yet familiar enough so that it took
me a while to realize it wasn't just another post-holocaust story.
I don't like things that are dark for its own sake, but the darkness
in that book has its place. I don't know whether there is a sequel
planned but there are plenty of hooks for one to be attached.
The fantasy author I usually rave about and recommend is P. C. Hodgell,
whose first two books are collected in the badly titled _Dark of the
Gods_. Dark funny fantasy. Well, funny while Jame's around. The new
stories in the new _Blood and Ivory_ were just dark.
Funny, I wouldn't have thought of her books as fantasy, though they have
many of the trappings. I guess I've been thinking of them as a kind of SF
that doesn't happen to mention rocket ships even though there are other
planets involved. I forget whether _Seeker's Mask_ is before or after
_Blood and Ivory_.

=Tamar
Damien R. Sullivan
2003-12-06 17:33:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
for example. (Not to say McKinley is "illogical". But her magic is
more mysterious, self-willed almost, "stuff happens", 'magical'.)
I just finished Robin McKinley's _Sunshine_. The magic isn't exactly
illogical, it's just not as completely explained as in some universes.
I haven't read that one yet. I was thinking more of the kelar in _The Blue
Sword_ and _The Hero and the Crown_. Especially in the latter. Aerin hardly
seems to know what she's doing, or to be doing anything intentionally. And if
she was, we weren't told about it, so it was still mysterious to us.
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
The fantasy author I usually rave about and recommend is P. C. Hodgell,
Funny, I wouldn't have thought of her books as fantasy, though they have
many of the trappings. I guess I've been thinking of them as a kind of SF
that doesn't happen to mention rocket ships even though there are other
planets involved. I forget whether _Seeker's Mask_ is before or after
Wow. It would never have occurred to me to not consider them fantasy -- magic
and divinity run amok in those books. They go from world to world, but I
think of that more like slipping between universes than skipping planets in a
universe as we know it.

She did have a very early non-canon story with the Kencyrath on Earth, but if
that was SF it was a pretty wacky SF, like _The Last Stand of the DNA
Cowboys_. Fantasy invading the real world is more how I'd class it.

Seeker's Mask is the third novel (the collected two being God Stalk and Dark
of the Moon). The first Blood and Ivory stories were the above one, an early
version of a chapter in God Stalk with an extra religious ceremony and a nice
description of Jame's curiosity about anything and everything, a story which
could have been a chapter in God Stalk, and a 10-year future story which I
think Hodgell says is canon although it feels 'off' to me.

The new version has a story of Ganth becoming Highlord and a story of
child-Jame being driven out, plus a little thing in between.

-xx- Damien X-)
Richard Eney
2003-12-07 00:59:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
for example. (Not to say McKinley is "illogical". But her magic is
more mysterious, self-willed almost, "stuff happens", 'magical'.)
I just finished Robin McKinley's _Sunshine_. The magic isn't exactly
illogical, it's just not as completely explained as in some universes.
I haven't read that one yet. I was thinking more of the kelar in _The Blue
Sword_ and _The Hero and the Crown_. Especially in the latter. Aerin hardly
seems to know what she's doing, or to be doing anything intentionally. And if
she was, we weren't told about it, so it was still mysterious to us.
It's still pretty mysterious in _Sunshine_; she feels things through, but
she does do things intentionally and even had a lesson once.
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
The fantasy author I usually rave about and recommend is P. C. Hodgell,
Funny, I wouldn't have thought of her books as fantasy, though they have
many of the trappings. I guess I've been thinking of them as a kind of SF
that doesn't happen to mention rocket ships even though there are other
planets involved. I forget whether _Seeker's Mask_ is before or after
Wow. It would never have occurred to me to not consider them fantasy --
magic and divinity run amok in those books. They go from world to world,
but I think of that more like slipping between universes than skipping
planets in a universe as we know it.
I think it was the planet-hopping history that made me think of it as SF,
that and the genetic background. The rest can be taken as a universe in
which there are non-solid entities with needs we define as recognition and
worship, which can co-exist comfortably with SF.
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
She did have a very early non-canon story with the Kencyrath on Earth, but
ifthat was SF it was a pretty wacky SF, like _The Last Stand of the DNA
Cowboys_. Fantasy invading the real world is more how I'd class it.
Seeker's Mask is the third novel (the collected two being God Stalk and Dark
of the Moon). The first Blood and Ivory stories were the above one, an early
version of a chapter in God Stalk with an extra religious ceremony and a nice
description of Jame's curiosity about anything and everything, a story which
could have been a chapter in God Stalk, and a 10-year future story which I
think Hodgell says is canon although it feels 'off' to me.
That would be the 1994 Hypatia Press edition.
Post by Damien R. Sullivan
The new version has a story of Ganth becoming Highlord and a story of
child-Jame being driven out, plus a little thing in between.
Wasn't one of those published in a magazine somewhere? I almost remember
reading one like that, and I know I don't have the new edition.

=Tamar
Luna
2003-12-05 17:17:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive Barker, I
have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil and Clive write a
particular type of fantasy, modern and dark.
<snip>
Post by Luna
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind. I like her a lot,
actually, but I'll admit it's melodramatic stuff. Melodrama isn't my
favorite sort of story either, but I can still appreciate good
melodrama when I read it. Probably the same applies to the Amber
stories.
Oh, yeah, I tried one of those too. I guess that's part of the problem,
melodrama doesn't appeal to me. Most of the fantasy I've read tastes like
a romance novel or a day time soap opera. The more serious and noble and
righteous the characters get, the more I end up giggling at them.

<snip>
Post by Stacie Hanes
And finally, I have to recommend a television show. I'm not sure if it
will make you like fantasy novels, but it would be a shame if you
missed it, given that you like Gaiman and Clive Barker so much. It's
called "Carnivale" and it currently airs Sunday nights on HBO (at least
in the US.) http://www.hbo.com/carnivale/
-Mary
Yeah, that looks like a good show, haven't been able to catch it yet, but
it looks like the kind of thing that would appeal to me.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Rhiannon S
2003-12-06 14:15:38 UTC
Permalink
Subject: Re: [I] Don't like much other fantasy
Date: 05/12/2003 08:43 GMT Standard Time
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive Barker, I
have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil and Clive write a
particular type of fantasy, modern and dark.
<snip>
Post by Luna
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind. I like her a lot,
actually, but I'll admit it's melodramatic stuff. Melodrama isn't my
favorite sort of story either, but I can still appreciate good
melodrama when I read it. Probably the same applies to the Amber
stories.
Post by Luna
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara?
Sword of Shanara, probably. Terry Brooks. To which I can only say
"Ugh." Can't stand the man, or the half of a novel that I read.
His 'Magic Kingdom for Sale' books were quite good and, I felt. in quite a
different style to the Shanara ones.

I'd quite recommend Juilet E Mckenna's 'Tales of Einarinn, which can all be
read independantly or as part of an ongoing series.

Also Jan Siegel's 'Prospero's Children' and it's sequels are a very good, dark
modern fantasy.
--
Rhiannon
http://www.livejournal.com/users/rhiannon_s/
Q: how many witches does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: depends on what you want it changed into!
ingenious paradox
2003-12-06 21:32:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Messall
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind.
Mary, you are weird [1].

I just assumed she meant Anne McCaffrey. Many people may include
dragons, but "a lot" surely means Pern?

[1] but you knew that already ;-)

LBs

Julie
Mary Messall
2003-12-07 01:44:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by ingenious paradox
Post by Mary Messall
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind.
Mary, you are weird [1].
I just assumed she meant Anne McCaffrey. Many people may include
dragons, but "a lot" surely means Pern?
[1] but you knew that already ;-)
It's literally been ten years (goodness, I feel old) since I read a
Pern story... The last McCaffrey that I read, oh, five years ago, was
"Freedom's Landing." And I repressed the memory. So.

-Mary
Stacie Hanes
2003-12-07 01:52:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Messall
Post by ingenious paradox
Post by Mary Messall
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind.
Mary, you are weird [1].
I just assumed she meant Anne McCaffrey. Many people may include
dragons, but "a lot" surely means Pern?
[1] but you knew that already ;-)
It's literally been ten years (goodness, I feel old) since I read a
Pern story... The last McCaffrey that I read, oh, five years ago,
was "Freedom's Landing." And I repressed the memory. So.
-Mary
Iread a couple of Pern books in high school, when I was still on Fantasy for
Beginners, like the Dragonlance series.

The other dragon novelist who springs to mind is Melanie Rawn. I like the
_Dragon Prince_ and those.

Stacie
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-07 07:08:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
Post by Mary Messall
Post by ingenious paradox
Post by Mary Messall
one of the books by that woman who writes a lot about dragons,
Could cover a lot, but Robin Hobb leaps to mind.
Mary, you are weird [1].
I just assumed she meant Anne McCaffrey. Many people may include
dragons, but "a lot" surely means Pern?
[1] but you knew that already ;-)
It's literally been ten years (goodness, I feel old) since I read a
Pern story... The last McCaffrey that I read, oh, five years ago,
was "Freedom's Landing." And I repressed the memory. So.
-Mary
Iread a couple of Pern books in high school, when I was still on Fantasy for
Beginners, like the Dragonlance series.
The other dragon novelist who springs to mind is Melanie Rawn. I like the
_Dragon Prince_ and those.
Patricia Wrede...I'm told her dragon books are superb though I've yet to
read them...her short stories are top class
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
Richard Eney
2003-12-08 07:09:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
Patricia Wrede...I'm told her dragon books are superb though I've yet to
read them...her short stories are top class
Dealing With Dragons, etc? I loved them. Luna would probably dislike them
because they aren't dark, even though they have a very strong female
protagonist.

=Tamar

R Dore
2003-12-05 09:58:39 UTC
Permalink
"Luna" <***@NOSPAMmindspring.com> wrote in message news:lunachick-***@news06.east.earthlink.net...
All of these
Post by Luna
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So what's the
problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
Eddings is good; very tongue in cheek and not afraid to laugh at itself.
There are a few different series of books. Incidentally, one of them
features a charachter called Torak but the Torak who posts here has never
read the books and doesn't like being asked!
--
Róisín Dore
reply to roisindoreatyahoodotcom--
Post by Luna
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
Ed Weatherup
2003-12-05 13:33:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
All of these
Post by Luna
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So
what's the problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain?
Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
Eddings is good; very tongue in cheek and not afraid to laugh at
itself. There are a few different series of books. Incidentally, one
of them features a charachter called Torak but the Torak who posts
here has never read the books and doesn't like being asked!
Post by Luna
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
I like the first series -- The Belgariad -- but from there on it becomes too
self-conscious for me.

Eddings did provoke me to fury in the companion volume The Rivan Codex,
where he had a pop at use of the word "teenager" and then went on to refer
to a king being "coronated" - ugh!
--
Ed.
Guitar Huw
2003-12-05 15:09:48 UTC
Permalink
In article <bqq1ff$icq$1$***@news.demon.co.uk>, Ed Weatherup
says...
<snip>
Post by Ed Weatherup
Eddings did provoke me to fury in the companion volume The Rivan Codex,
where he had a pop at use of the word "teenager" and then went on to refer
to a king being "coronated" - ugh!
Ah, the Rivan Codex... The book where Eddings proudly told us how
he'd written the same story twice and suckered us in to buying it :)

I honestly enjoyed the Belgariad, but the similarities in the
Mallorean were just so obvious - I bought them all hoping for a
different outcome!
--
Huw
R Dore
2003-12-05 16:36:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guitar Huw
Ah, the Rivan Codex... The book where Eddings proudly told us how
he'd written the same story twice and suckered us in to buying it :)
I honestly enjoyed the Belgariad, but the similarities in the
Mallorean were just so obvious - I bought them all hoping for a
different outcome!
Yup. I fell for that one too! I just kept thinking he wouldn't dare but he
did!
--
Róisín Dore
reply to roisindoreatyahoodotcom> --
Ed Weatherup
2003-12-05 18:00:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Guitar Huw
says...
<snip>
Post by Guitar Huw
Ah, the Rivan Codex... The book where Eddings proudly told us how
he'd written the same story twice and suckered us in to buying it :)
I honestly enjoyed the Belgariad, but the similarities in the
Mallorean were just so obvious - I bought them all hoping for a
different outcome!
There was one series I read -- can't remember the name[1] --- where the same
story was used over and over but author cunningly explained this as Celtic
spirals and cycles. :-)

[1] It was quite a good read, just years ago.
--
Ed.
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-05 18:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Date: 05/12/03 18:00 GMT Standard Time
Post by Guitar Huw
says...
<snip>
Post by Guitar Huw
Ah, the Rivan Codex... The book where Eddings proudly told us how
he'd written the same story twice and suckered us in to buying it :)
I honestly enjoyed the Belgariad, but the similarities in the
Mallorean were just so obvious - I bought them all hoping for a
different outcome!
There was one series I read -- can't remember the name[1] --- where the same
story was used over and over but author cunningly explained this as Celtic
spirals and cycles. :-)
[1] It was quite a good read, just years ago.
Sounds like Katherine Kerr's Deverry series. And it didn't do it to *quite* the
same extent, or as blatantly, as Eddings' "Of course! We're following the same
prophecy twice." And yes, it was a good read.

Iteration can certainly work in stories ("Then the wolf went to the *second*
little pig's house, and said..."), but Eddings, IMO, got it wrong.
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Ed Weatherup
2003-12-05 18:36:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 05/12/03 18:00 GMT Standard Time
Post by Guitar Huw
says...
<snip>
Post by Guitar Huw
Ah, the Rivan Codex... The book where Eddings proudly told us how
he'd written the same story twice and suckered us in to buying it :)
I honestly enjoyed the Belgariad, but the similarities in the
Mallorean were just so obvious - I bought them all hoping for a
different outcome!
There was one series I read -- can't remember the name[1] --- where
the same story was used over and over but author cunningly explained
this as Celtic spirals and cycles. :-)
[1] It was quite a good read, just years ago.
Sounds like Katherine Kerr's Deverry series. And it didn't do it to
*quite* the same extent, or as blatantly, as Eddings' "Of course!
We're following the same prophecy twice." And yes, it was a good read.
Iteration can certainly work in stories ("Then the wolf went to the
*second* little pig's house, and said..."), but Eddings, IMO, got it
wrong.
Ah well spotted - a thousand thanks -- not remembering would have bothered
me until either I forgot what I had forgotten or remembered the series.
--
Ed.
Diane L.
2003-12-05 22:01:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
All of these
Post by Luna
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So
what's the problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain?
Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
Eddings is good; very tongue in cheek and not afraid to laugh at
itself. There are a few different series of books.
Or at any rate, there are a few series of books with different names.

Diane L.
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-05 09:58:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
You know, other than Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and some Clive Barker, I
have not read much other fantasy that I like. And Neil and Clive write a
particular type of fantasy, modern and dark. I read Lord of The Rings
because, well, I felt like it was essential to my education, and it was
well written but not something I would ever go back and read again. I
liked the Narnia books as a kid, and I liked the Xanth books as a preteen.
I have tried and failed to enjoy many fantasy books given or lent to me by
friends, most of them from the 1980's and later, most of them pretty good
sellers, most of them parts of series, and all of them dull dull dull. I
couldn't name them all because I don't keep books that I don't like, and I
don't remember most of them because they all seemed so undistinctive. A
few that I do remember reading, but can't really recall the plots of, are
The Mirror of Her Dreams, Lord Valentine's Castle, one of the Amber series
(don't remember which one) one of the books by that woman who writes a lot
about dragons, and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of these
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So what's the
problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
EFP...extruded fantasy product IIRC...sucks IMO...I don't have the gene
for escapism, so there isn't anything there for me

I generally enjoy fantasy that lies on the borders of sf...it tends to
have a harder edge...and, perhaps because it sits uncomfortably on the
boundaries of the genres, tends to be better written and better thought
out

try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written

The Practise Effect by David Brin is a lot of fun...and The Infinity
Concerto by Greg Bear does a fabulous job of relating the Sidhe to
reality...both amongst my favourites

Amber is worth trying again...Zelazny is a superb stylist on his day, and
though some of the books contain patches of what I can only assume is
writing to a deadline, some of the writing is wonderful

The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin are quite readable, but for a story
based around learning magic I far prefer Humility Garden by Felicity
Savage...though it isn't a particularly pleasant read, it's one of the
darkest fantasy books I've read

the classic has to be Fritz Lieber's Swords stories...the original Westala
and Villtin...written with tremendous wit and verve...frequently copied
and rarely equalled

that's it, as far as I'n concerned...though I have books by Guy Gavriel
Kay and Mercedes Lackey on the to read pile
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
CCA
2003-12-05 11:51:45 UTC
Permalink
Eric Jarvis wrote

[Fantasy recommendations]
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...The Practise
Effect by David Brin is a lot of fun...and The Infinity
Concerto by Greg Bear does a fabulous job of relating the Sidhe to
reality...Amber is worth trying again...Zelazny is a superb stylist on his
day...The Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula Le Guin...Humility Garden by Felicity
Savage...
that's it, as far as I'n concerned...
*Ahem...*
CCA:)
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-05 13:26:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by CCA
[Fantasy recommendations]
*Ahem...*
but, but, but Luna didn't ask for wonderfully witty Hammer House of Jane
Austen recommendations

if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
Andrew Gray
2003-12-05 14:06:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
but, but, but Luna didn't ask for wonderfully witty Hammer House of Jane
Austen recommendations
if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
Whilst I remember - much to my mild surprise, I found a copy in Foyles
three weeks ago...

(This gave about the same amount of shelf-space as Connie Willis, but
that's a little rant for another day)
--
-Andrew Gray
***@bigfoot.com
CCA
2003-12-05 16:11:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Andrew Gray
Post by Eric Jarvis
if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
Whilst I remember - much to my mild surprise, I found a copy in Foyles
three weeks ago...
What?!!!
Which Foyles? Whereabouts?
(So as I can write to them and get them to stock more hopefully...)[1]
CCAmazed:)
[1] Yes, my publishers should be doing this. My publishers, unfortunately, are
spectacularly not-very-good.
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
Andrew Gray
2003-12-05 16:57:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by CCA
Post by Andrew Gray
Post by Eric Jarvis
if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
Whilst I remember - much to my mild surprise, I found a copy in Foyles
three weeks ago...
What?!!!
Which Foyles? Whereabouts?
Um, there's more than one? Big shop, Charing Cross road, now has carpet
and internal walls, which it seemed to be vacillating about last time I
went there, lovely technical section.

I'm fairly sure I'm actually remembering this, but I was possibly
flu-maddened at the time. Jennifer should be able to confirm, if she's
reading this.

A quick check of their website (foyles.co.uk) shows:

*****

Family Bites

Author: Lisa Williams

List Price: £8.99

Format: Paperback
Published: The Vanguard Press  31 Jan 2003
ISBN: 1-84386-019-8
Availability: Usually available for dispatch within 1-2 weeks.

*****
--
-Andrew Gray
***@bigfoot.com
Jennifer Gray
2003-12-05 18:32:20 UTC
Permalink
And then, at 16:57:14 Fri, 5 Dec 2003, while fighting an evil Balrog,
Post by Andrew Gray
Post by CCA
Post by Andrew Gray
Post by Eric Jarvis
if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
Whilst I remember - much to my mild surprise, I found a copy in Foyles
three weeks ago...
What?!!!
Which Foyles? Whereabouts?
Um, there's more than one? Big shop, Charing Cross road, now has carpet
and internal walls, which it seemed to be vacillating about last time I
went there, lovely technical section.
I'm fairly sure I'm actually remembering this, but I was possibly
flu-maddened at the time. Jennifer should be able to confirm, if she's
reading this.
That you were flu-maddened? Yeah, suppose I can confirm that.


But yes, there was certainly a copy of the book in the shop. [nods]


Love from
Jennifer
CCA
2003-12-05 21:09:49 UTC
Permalink
Jennifer Gray wrote

[Family Bites]
Post by Jennifer Gray
But yes, there was certainly a copy of the book in the shop. [nods]
Thanks! :-)
Will get more information from publishers...
CCA:)
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
CCA
2003-12-05 16:07:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
Post by CCA
[Fantasy recommendations]
*Ahem...*
but, but, but Luna didn't ask for wonderfully witty Hammer House of Jane
Austen recommendations
Ah, right...I just saw the word 'fantasy' and the lightbulb over my head
switched on.
CCA:)
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
Luna
2003-12-05 17:20:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
Post by CCA
[Fantasy recommendations]
*Ahem...*
but, but, but Luna didn't ask for wonderfully witty Hammer House of Jane
Austen recommendations
if we can add vampires and werewolves there is also Fred Saberhagen...and
Family Bites by Lisa Williams
Hmm. I liked Saberhagen's sci-fi work, and I loved the show Buffy the
Vampire Slayer, so I may track down some of his stuff.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Damien R. Sullivan
2003-12-05 18:31:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
Hmm. I liked Saberhagen's sci-fi work, and I loved the show Buffy the
Vampire Slayer, so I may track down some of his stuff.
Fred also had more straight fantasy (with future history + mutated physics
components, but mostly fantasy) books which I liked when I read them: Empire
of the East (although I still see Cold War allegory fumes spilling off it),
the Books of Swords trilogy, and then the Books of Lost Swords, although I
didn't like the ending.

They are at least re-readably engrossing.

-xx- Damien X-)
Carol Hague
2003-12-05 18:19:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
Post by Eric Jarvis
Amber is worth trying again...Zelazny is a superb stylist on his day, and
though some of the books contain patches of what I can only assume is
writing to a deadline, some of the writing is wonderful
Also his _A Night In The Lonesome October_ , narrated by a dog and
telling the tale of strange goings-on among oddly familiar characters...
Post by Eric Jarvis
that's it, as far as I'n concerned...though I have books by Guy Gavriel
Kay and Mercedes Lackey on the to read pile
Lackey is definitely EFP, but strangely addictive, to me at least.
--
Carol Hague
"The glassblower's cat is bompstable"
- Dorothy L. Sayers, _Clouds of Witness_
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-05 18:34:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
I think it's both

IIRC..."I'm not sure whether to be ashamed or proud that I laughed like a
drain all the way through this book"

I now have to become a successful author so that it can be used as a plug
on the cover of the nest edition...unless I can persuade somebody famous
to say it for me :)
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
all these years I've waited for the revolution
and all we end up getting is spin
Richard Eney
2003-12-06 01:35:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
I greatly preferred _Villains by Necessity_ by Eve Forward.
It begins where most EFP leaves off: after Good has defeated Evil.
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
Amber is worth trying again...Zelazny is a superb stylist on his day,
and though some of the books contain patches of what I can only assume
is writing to a deadline, some of the writing is wonderful
Also his _A Night In The Lonesome October_ , narrated by a dog and
telling the tale of strange goings-on among oddly familiar characters...
Zelazny wrote many books besides the Amber series. _Jack of Shadows_
might be of some interest. Generally I'd say find a bibliography (or just
check the Library of Congress website, or do a search on www.abebooks.com)
and try books written in the middle of his career. A few of his later
books seem to me to be more experimental, fleshed out vignettes but not
quite novels, and often have only one 3-D character.
Post by Carol Hague
Lackey is definitely EFP, but strangely addictive, to me at least.
I stopped reading her years ago when I realized how bad a problem she had
with male characters; I haven't tried to read the collaborations (which
may have solved it by letting the other author do that part).

=Tamar
Stacie Hanes
2003-12-06 01:50:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also
gloriously written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as
subtle as Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find
it gross.
I greatly preferred _Villains by Necessity_ by Eve Forward.
It begins where most EFP leaves off: after Good has defeated Evil.
<snip>

I posted something about _Villains by Necessity_ on abp in the past few
days, if you want to read another snippet about it.

Stacie
Daibhid Ceannaideach
2003-12-06 12:44:43 UTC
Permalink
Date: 06/12/03 01:35 GMT Standard Time
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
I greatly preferred _Villains by Necessity_ by Eve Forward.
It begins where most EFP leaves off: after Good has defeated Evil.
I'm not familiar with that one, but it sounds worth checking out.

On a similar theme (probably), has anyone recommended the "Villains!" anthology
yet? Written by the "Midnight Rose" collective (essentially the group,
including Gaiman and Gentle, that Pterry refers to as the "HP Lovecraft Holiday
Fun Camp"), its stories look at EFP from the villainous POV, with their tongues
in various positions, but never completely outwith the cheek.

Er, it's satirical fantasy about the bad guys. I don't know why I couldn't just
*say* that 8-)...
--
Dave
The Official Absentee of EU Skiffeysoc
http://www.eusa.ed.ac.uk/societies/sesoc
Joe: What do you think *you* can do?
The Doctor: Resist them. Surprise them. Oh, and possibly perform a few show
tunes.
-Doctor Who: Scream of the Shalka
Ssirienna
2003-12-06 14:44:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Daibhid Ceannaideach
Date: 06/12/03 01:35 GMT Standard Time
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
I greatly preferred _Villains by Necessity_ by Eve Forward.
It begins where most EFP leaves off: after Good has defeated Evil.
I'm not familiar with that one, but it sounds worth checking out.
On a similar theme (probably), has anyone recommended the "Villains!" anthology
yet? Written by the "Midnight Rose" collective (essentially the group,
including Gaiman and Gentle, that Pterry refers to as the "HP Lovecraft Holiday
Fun Camp"), its stories look at EFP from the villainous POV, with their tongues
in various positions, but never completely outwith the cheek.
Er, it's satirical fantasy about the bad guys. I don't know why I couldn't just
*say* that 8-)...
--
*giggle*

True! But you're right - it's a fun read!

Ssirienna
Brian Burger
2003-12-06 13:03:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
"Grunts" is both gross & funny, and it's also a well deserved piss-take on
the whole Extruded Fantasy Product genre's conventions. (Memo to self:
re-read Grunts!)

*Anything* by Mary Gentle is worth it, actually. "Rats & Gargoyles" and
"The Architecture of Desire" are linked (by setting, mostly) and
excellent. Both urban fantasy, which again is a nice change from the
pastoral-medieval-horsedung school of fantasy publishing...

That women doesn't write fast enough, though! "Ash" was her last, and it's
several years old now...

Brian.
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-06 14:24:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Burger
Post by Carol Hague
Post by Eric Jarvis
try The White Crow or Ash, A Secret History by Mary Gentle...both
nominally fantasy of a sort...both far from escapist, and also gloriously
written
Or _Grunts_ by the same author, which is parody, albeit not as subtle as
Terry's. Some people think it's very funny, others find it gross.
"Grunts" is both gross & funny, and it's also a well deserved piss-take on
re-read Grunts!)
*Anything* by Mary Gentle is worth it, actually. "Rats & Gargoyles" and
"The Architecture of Desire" are linked (by setting, mostly) and
excellent. Both urban fantasy, which again is a nice change from the
pastoral-medieval-horsedung school of fantasy publishing...
That women doesn't write fast enough, though! "Ash" was her last, and it's
several years old now...
1610: A Sundial In a Grave has just escaped and should at least be
available on Amazon

I'm not sure it's that Mary Gentle doesn't write fast enough so much as
there simply not being enough writers willing to do grievous bodily harm
to cliches on a regular basis...a slight twist on the standard storyline
is all very well, but now and again it's nice to see the blighters go
through some seriously painful contortions
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
Carol Hague
2003-12-06 17:17:20 UTC
Permalink
<Mary Gentle>
Post by Eric Jarvis
Post by Brian Burger
That women doesn't write fast enough, though! "Ash" was her last, and it's
several years old now...
1610: A Sundial In a Grave has just escaped and should at least be
available on Amazon
I saw it in Waterstones in Hull this Thursday if that helps. :-)
--
Carol Hague
"Don't speak Latin in front of the books." - Giles, BtVS
Kegs
2003-12-05 19:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
Nah, lots of "Fantasy" novels are incredibly bad, Raymond E Feist and some
of the David Gemmel books are good. David Eddings is OKish, though once
you've read one series you don't need to read the others, as he is very keen
on recycling.

Apart from Terry Pratchett and LoTR the only fantasy novels I reread
with any regularity are the Lankhmar Books( Fritz Leiber)[1], Steven
Eriksen's "Malazan Book of the Fallen" series, and China Mieville's books.

I do quite like Phillip Pullman's "His Dark materials" trilogy, much
darker, more interesting and better written than the Harry Potter books,
IMO.

[1] Most fantasy novels owe at least as much to Fritz Leiber as they do
to Tolkein, very very good, and not as po-faced as most fantasy.
--
James jamesk[at]homeric[dot]co[dot]uk

"Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer." Muhammad Ali
g***@hotmail.com
2003-12-05 20:43:51 UTC
Permalink
Hi there,

On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 05:08:32 GMT, Luna
Post by Luna
few that I do remember reading, but can't really recall the plots of, are
one of the Amber series (don't remember which one)
Despite the precis that each book more or less starts off with, Amber
really needs to be read from the start with Nine Princes in Amber.

IMO Roger Zelazny is one of the most amazing "fantasy" writers ever (I
put fantasy in quotes because in his works the line between SF and
fantasy is extremely blurred, but in a good way).

He created some of the most unique "fantasy" worlds and produced some
of the best writing I've ever seen. Damnation Alley is probably his
best known (that and the Amber series), but stories like This
Immortal, To Die in Italbar and Roadmarks are fascinating and strange,
but also inspired and believable.

Cheers,
Graham.
Large Dave
2003-12-05 21:07:15 UTC
Permalink
***@affordable-leather.co.ukDELETETHIS wrote:

<snip>
Post by g***@hotmail.com
IMO Roger Zelazny is one of the most amazing "fantasy" writers ever (I
put fantasy in quotes because in his works the line between SF and
fantasy is extremely blurred, but in a good way).
Well said that man.

I find it strange (unless I've missed it) that no-one has mentioned Alan
Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" books. By the same author there is the modern
day fantasy "Into the Out Of", one of my favourite books.

IMHO, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books are The Lord of the Rings
for grown-ups [1]. Utterly Brilliant!

Large Dave, hoping for a sig for Christmas

[1] Apologies, of course, to any die hard JRRT fans but it is only *my
opinion*.
raymond larsson
2003-12-06 01:57:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
<snip>
Post by g***@hotmail.com
IMO Roger Zelazny is one of the most amazing "fantasy" writers ever (I
put fantasy in quotes because in his works the line between SF and
fantasy is extremely blurred, but in a good way).
Well said that man.
See _Jack of Shadows_.
Post by Stacie Hanes
I find it strange (unless I've missed it) that no-one has mentioned Alan
Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" books. By the same author there is the modern
day fantasy "Into the Out Of", one of my favourite books.
The Spellsinger books decline in quality but are generally light
humourous fantasy; The Journeys of the Catechist is one of my favourite
reads of the last few years but some might find it lacks characterization
and plot and its end revelations are disappointing, it has the feel of
tribal folk tales.
David Chapman
2003-12-06 11:36:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by raymond larsson
Post by Large Dave
I find it strange (unless I've missed it) that no-one has mentioned
Alan Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" books. By the same author there
is the modern day fantasy "Into the Out Of", one of my favourite
books.
The Spellsinger books decline in quality but are generally light
humourous fantasy;
Qualifier: the first six are of high quality. Son of Spellsinger is fun but
much weaker. Chorus Skating is a hoot, but still not as good as the
original six.
g***@hotmail.com
2003-12-07 22:17:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi there,
Post by Large Dave
Post by g***@hotmail.com
IMO Roger Zelazny is one of the most amazing "fantasy" writers ever
Well said that man.
Eyethankew!
Post by Large Dave
I find it strange (unless I've missed it) that no-one has mentioned Alan
Dean Foster's "Spellsinger" books. By the same author there is the modern
day fantasy "Into the Out Of", one of my favourite books.
I tried Spellsinger, but couldn't get into it. ITOO was interesting,
but there seemed to be too many "clever bits" in it that were,
presumably, supposed to hint at a "deeper background", but I just
found annoying because they were tossed in with little thought or
relevance to the rest of the story.
Post by Large Dave
IMHO, Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books are The Lord of the Rings
for grown-ups
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever are original and
interesting and deep and strange and could do with a *damn* good
editing! (A few less "Leper! Outcast! Unclean!"'s for a start!)

The first series is half a book too long (more if you count
Gildenfire) and the second is a whole book (The One Tree) too long!
TOT could have (and, IMO, should have) been removed from the series
because the series is all about the story of The Land and TOT just
makes it fuzzy and less well defined.

Cheers,
Graham.
Ssirienna
2003-12-05 21:14:16 UTC
Permalink
"Luna" <***@NOSPAMmindspring.com> wrote in message news:lunachick-***@news06.east.earthlink.net...

(snipped books that have been tried)
I waited until I'd read through the whole thread before posting - didn't
want to
repeat someone.

Apart from enthusisatically endorsing Family Bites (*waves at Mentor*),
I would also recommend the following:

Simon Green - Goes for the darker fantasy - try Blue Moon Rising,
Down among the Dead Men, Blood & Honour, or Hawk & Fisher series.
He also does more modern - Shadow Fall and Drinking Midnight Wine
or even Sci-fantasy - Death stalker (and the like - not read them, but my
husband has!)
I like him a lot - he's gritty and dark with nice twists of humour in odd
places
I'd probably rate him as my favourite new fantasy author (Mentor's
permitting)

Also - you might like Neverwhere - author escapes me now ... hang on ....
oooops! google says Neil Gaiman - so you may already have read it!

The Last Rune is a series of books by a "new" author - Mark Anthony which
are
interesting - have got the first 3 and was quietly impressed - not hopping
up and down.

I would agree with those people who've mentioned Eddings - it seems to
depend
on which series you read first as to which you prefer! I prefer the Elenium
(3 books)
amd the Tamuli (next 3 books) but the others are OK. DON'T get sucked into
the
spinoffs unless you REALLY want to read the same story from various
perspectives.

Ssirienna
--
AFPfiancee to Delectable Jon the Warm Chocolate Bather!
AFPfiancee to Aquarion (the Phoenix-like!!!)
AFPrey to sjb351
Chocolate Covered Devotee of her Chocolate Covered Mentor, CCA
CCA
2003-12-05 21:34:32 UTC
Permalink
Apart from enthusisatically endorsing Family Bites (*waves at Mentor*)...
<Waves back at Devotee>

Extra points for you! :-)
Also - you might like Neverwhere - author escapes me now ... hang on ....
oooops! google says Neil Gaiman - so you may already have read it!
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it made me
feel even worse.

CCA:)
Chocolate-Covered Mentor to Ssirienna
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
Luna
2003-12-06 04:42:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by CCA
Apart from enthusisatically endorsing Family Bites (*waves at Mentor*)...
<Waves back at Devotee>
Extra points for you! :-)
Also - you might like Neverwhere - author escapes me now ... hang on ....
oooops! google says Neil Gaiman - so you may already have read it!
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it made me
feel even worse.
CCA:)
Chocolate-Covered Mentor to Ssirienna
I've read it, and I loved it. What did you find depressing about it?
Sure, some scenes were depressing, but I thought it was ultimately
fulfilling. BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-06 11:12:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
Post by CCA
Apart from enthusisatically endorsing Family Bites (*waves at Mentor*)...
<Waves back at Devotee>
Extra points for you! :-)
Also - you might like Neverwhere - author escapes me now ... hang on ....
oooops! google says Neil Gaiman - so you may already have read it!
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it made me
feel even worse.
I've read it, and I loved it. What did you find depressing about it?
Sure, some scenes were depressing, but I thought it was ultimately
fulfilling. BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
a lot of Oz in there, along with masses of fairy tale stuff...I wouldn't
use the word "depressing", but like much of Neil's stuff it is deceptively
dark if you dig under the surface and look beyond the immediate storyline
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
Brian Burger
2003-12-06 12:57:01 UTC
Permalink
If you're into dark & textured fantasy, look up China Mieville's work.
"Perdido Street Station" & "The Scar" are roughly sequels (sort of), and
set in the same universe. Think "Jules Verne on light drugs" and you'll
get it... odd 19th Century feel most of the time, lots of unique races &
stuff, and good plots, too.

I get SO bored of "yet another medieval fantasy world"; it's nice to see
just that change in setting!

Also Iain M. Banks (who also publishes as Iain Banks). Most of his stuff
is SF (and brilliant) but "Inversions" is fantasy, and also brilliant.

One last: Jacqueline Carey. New author, with one trilogy - "Kushiel's
Dart", "Kushiel's Chosen", "Kushiel's Avatar". Genuinely *adult* fantasy -
the main character is a holy prostitute of sorts. Sometimes disturbing,
but with a brilliant setting and great characters.

Oh, and anyone who hasn't read Gaiman's "American Gods" really, really
needs to track down a copy.

Likewise Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon", which I just finished. Not fantasy,
not really, but excellent. (his best since "Diamond Age", I think)

My $0.02, at 0500 local time (why the heck am I still up?)...

Brian.
Luna
2003-12-06 17:46:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Burger
If you're into dark & textured fantasy, look up China Mieville's work.
"Perdido Street Station" & "The Scar" are roughly sequels (sort of), and
set in the same universe. Think "Jules Verne on light drugs" and you'll
get it... odd 19th Century feel most of the time, lots of unique races &
stuff, and good plots, too.
I did read PSS, and though I respected the fact that it wasn't medieval, I
also didn't think it was very well written. I did not like the overly long
descriptions of the city, just as I don't like overly long descriptions of
medieval worlds. It made my appreciate Terry even more, the way he can
give you the feel of Ankh-Morpork and make it seem so real with just a few
sentences, and then get back to the story. And well, the plot seemed to be
verging on deus ex machina in more than one instance.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
Damien R. Sullivan
2003-12-06 17:49:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by Brian Burger
Likewise Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon", which I just finished. Not fantasy,
not really, but excellent. (his best since "Diamond Age", I think)
I liked Cryptonomicon; it's usually classed as SF, with spoilsports calling it
technothriller. It does have some odd elements, possibly enhanced in the
Quicksilver prequel, which I've seen a lot of disappointment with.
Post by Brian Burger
Also Iain M. Banks (who also publishes as Iain Banks). Most of his stuff
is SF (and brilliant) but "Inversions" is fantasy, and also brilliant.
Well, medieval world with some things the natives can't explain.

spoiler at bottom
Post by Brian Burger
One last: Jacqueline Carey. New author, with one trilogy - "Kushiel's
Dart", "Kushiel's Chosen", "Kushiel's Avatar". Genuinely *adult* fantasy -
the main character is a holy prostitute of sorts. Sometimes disturbing,
but with a brilliant setting and great characters.
Oh, and anyone who hasn't read Gaiman's "American Gods" really, really
needs to track down a copy.
My $0.02, at 0500 local time (why the heck am I still up?)...
Brian.
Technically it's a Culture novel. The guy is an emigre, the Doctor is a
Culture or SC agent with knife missiles, and possibly an independent drone as
well -- I think there's a scene which depends on Culture tech but which she
seems unlikely to have willed herself. But it's been a while. There are
subtle references to Orbitals, and I think the people in the bodyguard's story
may have changed sex before coming to the world.

But you don't need any of this to enjoy the book, and maybe it can work seeing
them as refugees from Elfland or something.

-xx- Damien X-)
Matthew Seaman
2003-12-06 14:46:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
Post by Luna
Post by CCA
Post by Ssirienna
Also - you might like Neverwhere - author escapes me now
... hang on .... oooops! google says Neil Gaiman - so you may
already have read it!
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did,
and it made me feel even worse.
I've read it, and I loved it. What did you find depressing about
it? Sure, some scenes were depressing, but I thought it was
ultimately fulfilling. BTW, anyone else besides me see how
obviously it was a twisted Wizard of Oz?
a lot of Oz in there, along with masses of fairy tale stuff...I wouldn't
use the word "depressing", but like much of Neil's stuff it is deceptively
dark if you dig under the surface and look beyond the immediate storyline
All this discussion of Fantasy with a darker tinge -- serious fantasy,
if you will -- and no one has yet mentioned M. John Harrison's[1]
Viriconium stories. About as different from pTerry as you can
possibly get and still end up in the same section of the bookshop.

These are books where any attempt to describe them to a potential new
initiate will make them sound terrible and depressing (unless you're
Iain Banks, who does give good foreword). "Look. Just read it! It's
really good."

Cheers,

Matthew

[1] I think this is the same Mike Harrison who is one of the
dedicatees of G!G! The name 'Plaza of Broken Moons' sounds very
Harrison-esque to me too.
--
Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil. 26 The Paddocks
Savill Way
PGP: http://www.infracaninophile.co.uk/pgpkey Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614 Bucks., SL7 1TH UK
Richard Eney
2003-12-07 01:08:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Seaman
[1] I think this is the same Mike Harrison who is one of the
dedicatees of G!G! The name 'Plaza of Broken Moons' sounds very
Harrison-esque to me too.
Out of context, it reminds me of "the boulevard of broken dreams",
which is from an old song.
# And Pierrot and Pierrette
Still sing a song and dance alnog
The Boulevard of Broken Dreams... "

=Tamar
CCA
2003-12-06 12:23:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
Post by CCA
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it
made
Post by CCA
me
feel even worse.
I've read it, and I loved it. What did you find depressing about it?
Sure, some scenes were depressing, but I thought it was ultimately
fulfilling.
Hmmm...well, I suppose any book you read while depressed can be sort of tainted
by how you feel. It's not the sort of thing that'd make you feel bad if you
weren't already feeling that way, though.
Post by Luna
BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
Spoiler space...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Don't know about the Wizard of Oz, but I couldn't help being reminded of the
eighties television series Beauty and the Beast. 'London Below' seemed like a
darker version of the secret world in that series, except without a man who had
the features of a lion, obviously.
I think it was the way troubled people were drawn to London Below, in the same
way that they were drawn to Vincent's world in Beauty and the Beast
CCA:)
--
Family Bites Website and sample chapter at http://www.falboroughhall.co.uk
Live Journal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/ciciaye
Mary Messall
2003-12-06 15:27:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Luna
BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
Speaking of a twisted Wizard of Oz, there's a book called _Wicked_ by
Gregory Maguire, which tells the story from the Wicked Witch's point of
view. It's definitely the kind of fantasy that appeals to people who
don't really like fantasy... It was marketed as mainstream. I think
he's got a new one now, too, though I can't remember which story it
adapts.

There's actually a sort of genre of re-imagined fairy tales. I read a
series of them by different authors -- that's where I first discovered
Pamela Dean, who definitely does deserve mention. She wrote a version
of Tam Lin for this series which is haunting and compelling. Tanith Lee
and Jane Yolen also have a reputation for dark, intelligent fantasy in
general, and have also contributed. Here's a link:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/sim-explorer/explore-items/-/0312875495/0/

-Mary (has decided that the "lady who writes about dragons" is probably
Anne McCaffrey, who is nowhere near as good as Robin Hobb, IMO.)
Eric Jarvis
2003-12-06 19:18:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mary Messall
Post by Luna
BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
Speaking of a twisted Wizard of Oz, there's a book called _Wicked_ by
Gregory Maguire, which tells the story from the Wicked Witch's point of
view. It's definitely the kind of fantasy that appeals to people who
don't really like fantasy... It was marketed as mainstream. I think
he's got a new one now, too, though I can't remember which story it
adapts.
Another Oz adaptation, though not fantasy, is Was by Geoff Ryaman [1]...it
looks at Dorothy as a child, Judy Garland as a child, and follows an adult
investigating the reality behind the books...it's dark and painful at
times, but the characters are so well drawn, and Judy and Dorothy such
strong people, that it's also quite life affirming and optimistic

[1] I will continue pimping Geoff Ryman books at afp until everyone
realises that he's a truly superb writer that should be in the pantheon
alongside Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks
--
eric - afprelationships in headers
www.ericjarvis.co.uk
"live fast, die only if strictly necessary"
ingenious paradox
2003-12-06 21:50:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Eric Jarvis
[1] I will continue pimping Geoff Ryman books at afp until everyone
realises that he's a truly superb writer that should be in the pantheon
alongside Neil Gaiman and Iain Banks
oooh, ooh, me sir please sir!

I've recently read his "253" which my mother in law, of all people,
bought me for my birthday (I don't know whether anyone advised her,
but even if so it's ample indulgence for all the
scent-and-soap-set-type presents of a decade ago).

Rats, I forgot to put him on my Christmas list. (I forgot an awful
lot of things. Since the Great Hard Drive Crash of June I have had to
start from scratch, because of course I didn't take bacups...)

LBs

Julie
Luna
2003-12-06 17:49:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by CCA
Post by Luna
Post by CCA
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it
made
Post by CCA
me
feel even worse.
I've read it, and I loved it. What did you find depressing about it?
Sure, some scenes were depressing, but I thought it was ultimately
fulfilling.
Hmmm...well, I suppose any book you read while depressed can be sort of tainted
by how you feel. It's not the sort of thing that'd make you feel bad if you
weren't already feeling that way, though.
Post by Luna
BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
Spoiler space...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Don't know about the Wizard of Oz, but I couldn't help being reminded of the
eighties television series Beauty and the Beast. 'London Below' seemed like a
darker version of the secret world in that series, except without a man who had
the features of a lion, obviously.
I think it was the way troubled people were drawn to London Below, in the same
way that they were drawn to Vincent's world in Beauty and the Beast
CCA:)
It was totally Wizard of Oz. Regular person gets drawn into fantasy land,
gathers companions on her/his journey to the mysterious yet powerful being,
all he/she wants is to get home, mysterious being turns out not to be what
it is proclaimed to be.
--
-Michelle Levin (Luna)
http://www.mindspring.com/~lunachick
http://www.mindspring.com/~designbyluna
g***@hotmail.com
2003-12-07 22:17:41 UTC
Permalink
Hi there,

On Sat, 06 Dec 2003 17:49:25 GMT, Luna
Post by Luna
Post by CCA
Post by CCA
One point though - don't read Neverwhere when depressed. I did, and it
made me feel even worse.
BTW, anyone else besides me see how obviously it was a twisted
Wizard of Oz?
Spoiler space...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
It was totally Wizard of Oz. Regular person gets drawn into fantasy land,
gathers companions on her/his journey to the mysterious yet powerful being,
all he/she wants is to get home, mysterious being turns out not to be what
it is proclaimed to be.
Sorry, but I really don't see this. Richard Mayhew is an innocent
abroad who is dragged into events and plots that he has no idea of.

He is pulled and shoved through all sorts of wierd and wonderful and
terrifying places until, when he *gets* home, after discovering that
the mysterious being is actually totally evil and self-serving (as
opposed to being a fraud with no power), he discovers that getting
home *wasn't* what he wanted after all and he realises how shallow his
life has been up to the present.

Any similarity to the Wizard of Oz is definitely in the mind of the
reader!

(It was just a pity about the wooden Door in the TV series...!)

Cheers,
Graham.
Graycat
2003-12-05 22:42:49 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 05:08:32 GMT, Luna
Post by Luna
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of these
were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold. So what's the
problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my brain? Or does most
fantasy really suck that bad?
Yes, Shanara. There are currently three Shannara seres I think. I've
read the second one (didn't like it much) and the first book of the
third, which was ok.[1] They were written by Terry Brooks, who also
wrote a book called Magic Kingdom For Sale; Sold, which I liked though
I've never wanted to pick up any of the sequels - for me the story was
finished, and I would have respected him more had he left it at that.
He also wrote the Knight of the Word series, which I also liked.

But anyway, on to the advise: The easy way is to stay away from
anything that comes in more than three books, unless it is a
children's series widely read by adults.[2]

This rule is presently serving me well.

A bit of personal reading history. I read the Lord of the Rings when I
was 8 and after that I started devouring any fantasy I encountered.
Much of this happened to be epic fantasy in long series (because
that's the most common type). A while ago (couple of years or so) I
was finally fed up with reading the same story written by different
authors - the end came with me reading The Wheel of Time and the Sword
of Truth [3] simultaneously. Since that I've made sure to only buy
things that I either know I like from previous experence, or things
that don't have more than two sequels. [4] That way, you avoid most of
the horrible stuff.

Another good way is to look for certain key words in the blurb - if
it's a story of china or based on medieval kenya; give it a try, at
least it won't be run of the mill. On the other hand, stay away from
"epic", "in the vein of Tolkien/Eddings/Jordan" and anything hinting
at a young man from a rural background having to go on a quest.[5]
Also usually stay clear of dragons or assorted people on horseback in
a forest/on a cliff in the cover picture.

Right now I like (though obviously, your mileage will vary):
Guy Gavriel Kay
Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea sequence and Eye of the Heron
Barry Hughart
Peter Beagle
The Little Prince by Antione De Saint-Exupery

Apart from that I've sort of moved slightly away from fantasy lately -
using the method of going to the library (english language section)
and then, starting from A, grab about 6-7 books which look
interesting, take them home and read. Sometimes they're great,
sometimes I never start them, sometmes I don't finish. Either way it's
an intetresting way of expanding my reading.

[1] Picked it up at the library because I loved the feeling of the
title: Ilse Witch
[2] Such as Susan Cooper or Philip Pullman. I also like Meredith Ann
Pierce's Darkangel books, but I think that they are angled towards
early teenage girls.
[3] The Sword of Truth takes a very odd turn in "Faith of the Fallen",
which makes it actually sort of interesting - if only because it s
very unexpected. The series starts out very much like any standard
epic fantasy series (farmer boy actually of wizard stock, evil empire,
cataclysm in the past, bunch of companions on quest, etc) and then
turns more and more political. Faith of the Fallen is actually a
political philosophy essay á la Ayn Rand.
[4] Occational exceptions made for "classics", stuff that was written
before the fantasy-is-mainstream revolution which flooded the market
with crap.
[5] Unless it's written by Barry Hughart and the boy is Number Ten
Oxen. In that case the book is actually excellent and should be read
immediately.
--
Elin
The Tale of Westala and Villtin
http://www.student.lu.se/~his02ero/index.html

From adress valid, but rarely checked. Use Reply-To to contact me
Stacie Hanes
2003-12-06 01:07:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@hotmail.com
On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 05:08:32 GMT, Luna
Post by Luna
and something that I vaguely recall having a title similar
to "sha-na-na." Shanhara? Shanara? Something like that. All of
these were highly recommended to me, and all of them left me cold.
So what's the problem? Is it me? Am I missing some part of my
brain? Or does most fantasy really suck that bad?
<snip>
Post by g***@hotmail.com
Guy Gavriel Kay
Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea sequence and Eye of the Heron
Barry Hughart
Peter Beagle
The Little Prince by Antione De Saint-Exupery
<snip>

A note about Kay....I have read maybe half a dozen of his books. They really
have to be your "thing", or they're going to be very boring. They're
political and, unless I forget, not action-oriented. That's okay, but if
you're looking for the other kind, you're giong to be bored with Kay. That
said, I like the Fionivar Tapestry.

Stacie
Carol Hague
2003-12-06 20:26:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stacie Hanes
A note about Kay....I have read maybe half a dozen of his books. They really
have to be your "thing", or they're going to be very boring. They're
political and, unless I forget, not action-oriented. That's okay, but if
you're looking for the other kind, you're giong to be bored with Kay. That
said, I like the Fionivar Tapestry.
Apart from Fionavar, the only Kay books I've read are _A Song For
Arbonne_ and _Tigana_. While I'd certainly agree that they're political,
there's a fair bit of action in there too IIRC - there's at least one
battle scene in both, I think, not to mention assassination attempts and
other nefarious goings-on. I'm not the sort of reader who delights in
books with political machinations and nothing else, but I was thoroughly
drawn in to both of these....

I find books come in two categories - ones which "flow" - you get drawn
in effortlessly and your mind sort of floats along on the story - and
ones which don't (they may still be perfectly readable, just not in the
same way). Kay generally flows for me...
--
Carol Hague
"Don't speak Latin in front of the books." - Giles, BtVS
Ssirienna
2003-12-06 14:43:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by g***@hotmail.com
On Fri, 05 Dec 2003 05:08:32 GMT, Luna
A bit of personal reading history. I read the Lord of the Rings when I
was 8 and after that I started devouring any fantasy I encountered.
*grin*
Nice to know there are more "wierdos" out there :-)

(snipped)
Post by g***@hotmail.com
[2] Such as Susan Cooper or Philip Pullman. I also like Meredith Ann
Pierce's Darkangel books, but I think that they are angled towards
early teenage girls.
Ooooh! Yes to Cooper - Must reread them again - thanks for that!
It's probably been *just* long enough in between to be able to read them
again. Wonderful stories :-)
Post by g***@hotmail.com
[5] Unless it's written by Barry Hughart and the boy is Number Ten
Oxen. In that case the book is actually excellent and should be read
immediately.
*gasp*

How COULD I forget Hughart!!!!
I must severly chasitise myself.

Bridge of Birds is BRILLIANT and Story of the Stone and
8 Skilled Gentlemen are good (but not *as* good IMHO) but still well
worth a read :-))

Ssirienna
Richard Eney
2003-12-07 01:12:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ssirienna
Post by Graycat
[5] Unless it's written by Barry Hughart and the boy is Number Ten
Oxen. In that case the book is actually excellent and should be read
immediately.
*gasp*
How COULD I forget Hughart!!!!
I must severely chastise myself.
Bridge of Birds is BRILLIANT and Story of the Stone and
8 Skilled Gentlemen are good (but not *as* good IMHO) but still well
worth a read :-))
But they also all work together as one long work.

=Tamar
Ssirienna
2003-12-07 19:38:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard Eney
Post by Ssirienna
Post by Graycat
[5] Unless it's written by Barry Hughart and the boy is Number Ten
Oxen. In that case the book is actually excellent and should be read
immediately.
*gasp*
How COULD I forget Hughart!!!!
I must severely chastise myself.
Bridge of Birds is BRILLIANT and Story of the Stone and
8 Skilled Gentlemen are good (but not *as* good IMHO) but still well
worth a read :-))
But they also all work together as one long work.
*grin*

Quite true (as I have proved to myself on many occasions ;)
In fact in reverse too :-))

Ssirienna
Peter Znamenski
2003-12-05 23:56:50 UTC
Permalink
Could I use this thread as an opportunity to recommend Bulgakov's
_Master and Margarita_ to you and all other afpers? It's an excellent
book and probably my favourite. Wether it is actual fantasy I couldn't
say, although it does have a chess-cheating cat in it.

Quite a lot of it is actually social satire, so some knowledge of the
30's USSR or an annotated edition is recomended. If you get bored,
just skip the Pilate chapters on the first reading. I only really
enjoyed them the second time through.

Regards,
Peter
raymond larsson
2003-12-06 02:01:49 UTC
Permalink
In article <***@posting.google.com>, Peter
Znamenski says...
Post by Peter Znamenski
Could I use this thread as an opportunity to recommend Bulgakov's
_Master and Margarita_ to you and all other afpers? It's an excellent
book and probably my favourite. Wether it is actual fantasy I couldn't
say, although it does have a chess-cheating cat in it.
Quite a lot of it is actually social satire, so some knowledge of the
30's USSR or an annotated edition is recomended. If you get bored,
just skip the Pilate chapters on the first reading. I only really
enjoyed them the second time through.
Up to page 68 so far, the first Pilate scene I found wonderful. Any book
that has a toll paying cat is to be recommended.
Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...