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first12
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Light Writer
Posts: 18,387
Oakland, California, US


Not in the same genre, but for a well-written, funny, complex story about real people, Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series is amazing. 20 (or 21) novels tracing the lives of two friends. Historically accurate, but more importantly emotionally true, and it's a book about ships I love ships.
Oct 04 12 07:47 am  Link  Quote 
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Slixed Foliche
Posts: 121
Mochudi, Kgatleng, Botswana


i used to enjoy Ben bova books, cant find any in stores today(locally), and that guy who wrote the Deathstalkers, whats his name? sorry i fogot,,,

hehehe and i provoked mmers yesterday with some stuff i wrote , they murdered me!!!, hehehe, will definately revisit the story and refine it to prove those who dnt believe i can make it wrong!, learnt a lot from th comments,
Oct 04 12 07:49 am  Link  Quote 
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Brian Diaz
Posts: 62,904
Danbury, Connecticut, US


Compass Rose Studios wrote:
But I'm reminded the world's not all rainbows and kittens when I read the news.  I'm looking for a little escapism in my escapism.

Maybe Xanth?  That's pretty much all rainbows and kittens.  With puns.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read any of the last 20 books or so.  But the first 9 books in the trilogy were pretty entertaining when I was young.)

Oct 04 12 07:50 am  Link  Quote 
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SME
Posts: 20,951
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Have you read any Neil Gaiman?  Totally and completely different vibe, but he's a fantastic writer.  Good Omens, written with Terry Pratchett, is really funny, and I enjoyed Neverwhere a lot.  No big series, but the one book worlds are vivid and interesting and witty.
Oct 04 12 07:51 am  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


Sita Mae wrote:
Have you read any Neil Gaiman?  Totally and completely different vibe, but he's a fantastic writer.  Good Omens, written with Terry Pratchett, is really funny, and I enjoyed Neverwhere a lot.  No big series, but the one book worlds are vivid and interesting and witty.

American Gods was just fantastic.

I never heard that he collaborated with Pratchett, and now I must have it. Thanks smile

Oct 04 12 07:54 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
SME
Posts: 20,951
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Jacob Davis wrote:
American Gods was just fantastic.

I never heard that he collaborated with Pratchett, and now I must have it. Thanks smile

I'd forgotten that!  Yes, American Gods is awesome.

You're in for a treat with Good Omens.  You might want to watch The Omen again before you read it.  Just to refresh your memory.  big_smile

Oct 04 12 07:55 am  Link  Quote 
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Piscis Noctis
Posts: 11,007
Santa Clara, California, US


Jacob Davis wrote:

I did find myself wondering sometimes if Jordan was going to be able to finish the series. He always talked about his plans to do so and it seemed like he had every intention of doing so... but then I would find a whole fucking chapter devoted to Matt measuring horseflesh and declare Jordan to be an insufferable liar.

So yeah, I can understand the frustration. Still, I don't think I would care so much about the characters if I hadn't read through the entire series, and I don't think the pacing was so much of a negative as to warrant another writer... except I guess it did literally warrant another writer in the end.

I really don't have any authoritative comments to make.
The thought of more than 5 books in a series
Makes me go : hmmm, not for me hmm
So I don't think I will read the wheel of time. hmm
OTOH, there must be something there for people to bother to read that many books smile

Oct 04 12 07:59 am  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


Piscis Noctis wrote:
I really don't have any authoritative comments to make.
The thought of more than 5 books in a series
Makes me go : hmmm, not for me hmm
So I don't think I will read the wheel of time. hmm
OTOH, there must be something there for people to bother to read that many books smile

If you're inclined to skip to the end, this site is helpful:

http://www.encyclopaedia-wot.org/

Oct 04 12 08:08 am  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


Sita Mae wrote:
You might want to watch The Omen again before you read it.  Just to refresh your memory.  big_smile

Sold.

Oct 04 12 08:09 am  Link  Quote 
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Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Light Writer wrote:
Not in the same genre, but for a well-written, funny, complex story about real people, Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series is amazing. 20 (or 21) novels tracing the lives of two friends. Historically accurate, but more importantly emotionally true, and it's a book about ships I love ships.

I've read a few of his books.  Wonderful stories.  The lifestyle details are amazing.

EDIT: Sailor here btw.  smile

Oct 04 12 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Brian Diaz wrote:
Maybe Xanth?  That's pretty much all rainbows and kittens.  With puns.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read any of the last 20 books or so.  But the first 9 books in the trilogy were pretty entertaining when I was young.)

To clarify: I think Tolkien struck a pretty good balance between gritty and idealistic. 

I'm not looking for Pollyanna.

I'm even open to even more 'adult' storytelling, in terms of sex and violence and narrative outcomes.  I've just found Martin (to his credit, it's his goal I think) to be so realistic in the randomness and brutality of violence, the cheapness of life, and the impartiality of fate that I find him a bit depressing. 

And still I like his work (my son has his book so I've read a little of it and seen the first season), I just don't know if I'd want to spend the whole winter with it.

Just as a personal preference - nothing more - I crave a bit more positive idealism.  An environment where our better angels prevail a little more often.  From a 'reading as escapism' perspective if that makes any kind of sense.

Oct 04 12 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
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SME
Posts: 20,951
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Oh oh oh - what about Eragon?  It's totally idealistic - and has dragons!
Oct 04 12 08:59 am  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


The Alchemist and the Executioness is a quickie that I enjoyed. It's two stories by two authors set in the same fantasy world.
Oct 04 12 09:19 am  Link  Quote 
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Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,371
Portland, Oregon, US


Compass Rose Studios wrote:
Can you introduce me to any fantasy writers who've created worlds as vivid and detailed and deep as Tolkien's?

Some good (but inferior) suggestions.

To me, the best trilogy is by Stephen Donaldson -- the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the one that starts with Lord Foul's Bane.  The books are adult, rich, with fine characters & good action.

Note, there is a second trilogy that was pretty good, but not quite as good as the original, but it's pretty good.

Note again, there is a third trilogy that is not a trilogy -- there's a fourth book that isn't due out until late next year.  It's a fair story, but not as good as the first two trilogies.

I didn't like the other books written by Donaldson.

Oct 04 12 09:27 am  Link  Quote 
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DivaEroticus
Posts: 14,646
Fayetteville, Arkansas, US


Sita Mae wrote:
Oh oh oh - what about Eragon?  It's totally idealistic - and has dragons!

That's one of the reasons I love the "Dragons of Pern" series by McCaffrey.

Oct 04 12 09:49 am  Link  Quote 
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Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


DHayes Photography wrote:
While not exactly fantasy, Cherie Priest's "Clockwork Century" steampunk novels and short stories set in that world are fun.  The American Civil War is still raging after 20 years, Texas is an independent nation and European powers have taken sides and are lending support.  Technology includes airships, submarines, steam and diesel powered mechs and other Jules Vernesque marvels.  Toss in a drug-addiction fueled "zombie" outbreak and stand back!  All the novels are loosely interconnected.  Read "Boneshaker" first and then perhaps "Clementine" which is a ripping yarn about fugitive slaves turned air pirates out to recover their stolen airship (which they stole first).  And stay one step ahead of Confederate and Federal authorities, not to mention a pesky female Confederate spy who has stowed away on their airship.

I'll check them out.  I have a powells books just a few minutes from where I live.  smile

I've read a little steampunk.  The Difference Engine (which kind of coalesced the genre) and Stephen Hunt's The Court of the Air (a little too much pastiche for me).

But I highly recommend Philip Pullman's Dark Materials Trilogy where mysterious blue energy effectively replaces steam, but otherwise a victorian steampunk setting.  The Golden Compass is probably the best in the series for that.

Oct 04 12 10:03 am  Link  Quote 
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-JAY-
Posts: 6,579
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


Brian Diaz wrote:
Yeah, I was going to say Robert Jordan, though it's clearly heavily derived from Tolkien.

Such a detailed world. A dozen distinct cultures, thousands of unique characters, many of whom are very deep and developed... I've read the series a few times through.

Oct 04 12 10:58 am  Link  Quote 
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K Allende
Posts: 14,172
Columbus, Ohio, US


Sita Mae wrote:
Oh oh oh - what about Eragon?  It's totally idealistic - and has dragons!

Yuuusss!

Oct 04 12 11:11 am  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


This might be a stretch, but... The Simon Necronomicon. Whether it's a cynical hoax or a brilliant stab at extending the Lovecraft universe, it's a weird and detailed read that draws from Lovecraft and Babylonian mythology. I would only recommend it for Lovecraft fans. If you lend it your suspension of disbelief, it's quite a creepy fantasy read.
Oct 04 12 11:21 am  Link  Quote 
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K Allende
Posts: 14,172
Columbus, Ohio, US


Marion Zimmer Bradley has wrote some good reads. Not as complex as Tolkien, but I enjoy her.

Also, C. J. Cherryh. I love her. She's seriously fantastic.
Oct 04 12 11:23 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Just for giggles: here's an informal scoreboard for writers organized by unique user mentions:

Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson 7
George RR Martin 4
Anne & Tom McCaffrey 3
Terry Pratchett 3
Jim Butcher 2
Patrick O'brien 2
Neil Gaimon 2
Stephen King 2
Piers Anthony 2
C.S. Lewis 2
Brian Lumbry
Frank Herbert
David Farland
Joe Abercrombie
Cherie Priest
Michael Scott Rohan
Patrick Rothfuss
Lev Grossman
Christopher Paolini
Stephen Donaldson
Oct 04 12 11:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,371
Portland, Oregon, US


The issue with the genre (fantasy & science fiction) is a "chicken & egg" problem.  It appeals to adolescents so it's written for adolescents, or is it written for adolescents, so adolescents are its main audience.  I like sci fi & fantasy, but I find lots of the books to be a bit too juvenile.  That's why I liked the Lord Foul's Bane trilogy better.

I liked the books by Robin Hobb -- she also wrote trilogies, and they are roughly in order.  The first trilogy is the Farseer Trilogy, starting with Assasin's Apprentice.  It's good, but there are a few later trilogies that are better, like the Liveship Traders Tirlogy, starting with Ship of Magic.  Also note:  her current "trilogy" is four books long, with the fourth book due out any time now (I think it's out in hardcover now).
Oct 04 12 12:09 pm  Link  Quote 
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Jacob Davis
Posts: 858
Boulder, Colorado, US


Looknsee Photography wrote:
The issue with the genre (fantasy & science fiction) is a "chicken & egg" problem.  It appeals to adolescents so it's written for adolescents, or is it written for adolescents, so adolescents are its main audience.  I like sci fi & fantasy, but I find lots of the books to be a bit too juvenile.

Interestingly enough... http://www.bowker.com/en-US/aboutus/pre … 2012.shtml

Oct 04 12 12:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Jacob Davis wrote:

Interestingly enough... http://www.bowker.com/en-US/aboutus/pre … 2012.shtml

More interesting to me is what does that imply about today's adult reader? 

And I don't necessarily think it's the ever decried 'dumbing down of America'.

Oct 04 12 02:33 pm  Link  Quote 
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Piscis Noctis
Posts: 11,007
Santa Clara, California, US


Jacob Davis wrote:

Interestingly enough... http://www.bowker.com/en-US/aboutus/pre … 2012.shtml

ha!
interesting link :-)
thanks!

could it be that we can finally look into what's actually happening with book readership and this phenomenon was there all along but invisible?

Oct 04 12 03:45 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Looknsee Photography
Posts: 21,371
Portland, Oregon, US


I'm not recommending the Jacqueline Carey trilogies -- the first one starts with Kushiel's Dart.  It's not bad, but like I said, it's a little juvenile.

I'm reading the latest trilogy.  It's okay, I'm still reading it, but it's not as good as the first or second trilogies.
Oct 04 12 07:05 pm  Link  Quote 
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Kevin Connery
Posts: 16,833
El Segundo, California, US


Brian Diaz wrote:
Maybe Xanth?  That's pretty much all rainbows and kittens.  With puns.

(Disclaimer: I haven't read any of the last 20 books or so.  But the first 9 books in the trilogy were pretty entertaining when I was young.)

Reminds me of a review of one of his other series, long before Xanth.

"Fifth in a trilogy. Don't ask."

That was the entire review.

Oct 04 12 09:56 pm  Link  Quote 
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MF productions
Posts: 2,017
San Jose, California, US


Well there's Conan the Barbarian.
Oct 05 12 12:08 am  Link  Quote 
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Eric Slodysko
Posts: 49
COAL TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania, US


While it's geared toward a younger age, I still have a soft-spot for Brian Jacques and his inimitable Redwall series.
Oct 05 12 01:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Compass Rose Studios
Posts: 15,979
Portland, Oregon, US


Y'all talked me into Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series.  Gonna cruise down to Powell's this weekend and pick it up. 

So question:

Do I start with what's called book '0', New Spring?  Or the trad. start of the series, book 1, the Eye of the World?
Oct 25 12 10:33 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Digital Photo PLUS
Posts: 5,503
Lorton, Virginia, US


Isabel Allende wrote:
Robert Jordan.

George R. R. Martin.

I wouldn't say they are as detailed in exactly the same ways, but the worlds and characters are deep, weaving, and intricate.

I'll be back later with more names unless I totes forget about this thread.
DEBATE TIME. big_smile

In his world summers and winters can last for years. To make that happen the planet would have to do some pretty tricky wobbling of the axis.

The whole idea with the wall, the Night Watch, the giants, the whites, independent cities, and the dragons, it's such a rich and wonderful world.

1.7 million words in all five books.

http://www.cesspit.net/drupal/node/1869

Page count: 4,273

Oct 25 12 11:44 am  Link  Quote 
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