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Rich Morris' Comics - YAFGC and The ComixBlog • View topic - The dreaded printed word

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 Post subject: The dreaded printed word
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:05 am 
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Any suggestions for fantasy books? I d' love to hear about favorites, especially newer releases!

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 8:19 am 
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Buhhh...
I'm a Lord of the Rings fan. Nothing new about that. Otherwise my fantasy book reading is limited and picky. I think others can answer that a whole lot better.

*leaves the spotlight to the experts*

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 12:39 pm 
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Depends - are you into high fantasy specifically? I tend more towards alternate histories (a lot of 'alternate universe + magic' stuff) myself, and Guy Gavriel Kay is the master of the genre. His first trilogy - the Fionavarr Tapestry - is his weakest writing, very Tolkein-derivative and basic. The rest of his novels, however, are sheer brilliance. Avoid Last Light of the Sun (his newest fantasy release) until you've read some of the others; it's nowhere near as good. I'd recommend A Song For Arbonne or Lions of Al-Rassan to start with.

In a similar vein, The Golden Key is a fabulous alternate-history for Italy during the Renaissance, with a touch of magic. The basic plot is that a woman is trapped in a painting by a family of magicians, and she watches the general goings-on from inside the image. A little bit gothic (in the original sense).

I don't read a lot of high fantasy, but I've been told that A Game of Thrones (George R.R. Martin, I believe) is excellent. I read a couple of books of his almost a decade ago, and remember enjoying them quite a bit.

Which authors do you read and enjoy already?

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2007 4:18 pm 
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Well, speaking about fantasy i did read Tigana from Kay and i found him to be really strong - perhaps too strong to read in one sitting even though the book is fascinating. I also love Michael Moorcock, both his fantasy and his alternative settings. Though chaos lurks his worlds manage to be plausible in a way. Lord Dansany comes to mind concerning the classics, and so does Fritz Leiber - two opposite ends.

On a different note, I also devour the works of Neil Gaiman and Angela Carter. They use the darkness in a very creative way, interweaving it with beauty to make it palatable enough so they can speak some truths that would be too hard otherwise. Actually they are the kind of writers that make my writing fingers itch.

On my shelves i now have Gene Wolf, Stephen Donaldson and Jack Vance, more classics. But the local fantasy bookshop is brimming with new titles that seem promising and i was wondering if i am missing some obscure masterpiece among them!

Oh, and Tolkien worship goes without saying. When i first found out that there are people who do not love LOTR i think i was staring at the screen in utter disbelief for guite some time.

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[shrugs] I don't love Tolkein. As an academic, he's without peer. As a fiction writer, he's vastly overrated.

He tells an excellent story broken up by a tedious travelogue, and has an unfortunate tendency to bad poetry. If I wanted descriptions of all the 'hedgerows, lovely hedgerows' in the UK, I'd watch a National Geographic documentary. LotR is much better read aloud, mind you, but I much prefer the movie version, where I don't have to either skip pages or take anti-nausea meds to get through hey-doll-derry-doll-Tom-frikkin'-Bombadillo.

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 Post subject: Re: The dreaded printed word
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 1:10 pm 
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Big Terry Pratchett fan myself. Anyone read and enjoy his Bromeliad Trilogy? Also a fan of Gearge R. R. Martin. His Saga of Fire and Ice are great though some of his characters that survive grow tiresome for me in rereading.

DungeonMaster since you said you like a lot of alternate history have you dipped into Eric Flint's 1632 universe? I've enjoyed that one a lot. For something I found fairly bold in concept I also recomend Steven Barnes Bilalistan books Lion's Blood and Zulu Heart. They imagine a world where Africa instead of Europe develop the more dominant technologies and culture that settle the american continent and where the largely still "barbaric" tribes of Europe are enslaved. Babatunde is my favorite character from the books. He is a Sufi ascetic version of Yoda too give an overly brief summary of his character archetype. Stephen R. Lawhead did good things w/ his celtic reimagining of the Robin Hood mythos too that I've recently read. It is a bit over the top w/ how often the band of Merry Men best much larger forces but that is the spirit of that mythology so I can't knock it too much.

As for high fantasy I'd say my favorite books are Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince and Dragon Star trilogy's. I enjoyed the Dragonlance books in my high school days but I dread to think if I'd still enjoy rereading them now. If I ever decide to do so hopefully I'll find myself pleasantly still able to enjoy them without any feeling of guilty self indulgence.


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