8
   

Fantasy & Science Fiction worth Reading/Re-reading

 
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 04:37 pm
I second the recommendation of author Larry Niven. The Ringworld is fun too. Pournelle and he made some beautiful music together.

Have you read Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children? It's a little harsh, at times, but the concept is really cool (like many of his books). My mother, father and sister all read the two as well. He has written a lot of books, if you like him. The Infinity Concerto is a fantasy story which is cute (a little youngish).
0 Replies
 
Greyfan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 15 Mar, 2007 05:03 pm
I've enjoyed the Orson Scott Card series, Ender in Sci Fi and Alvin Maker in fantasy, although the Maker series seems to be floundering a bit with no conclusion in sight. Now that I think about it, I like most of Card's early stuff better than the work he is turning out now. I've kept most of them.

Will probably reread the Phillip Pullman "Dark Materials" trilogy someday too.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Mar, 2007 05:57 am
littlek wrote:
I second the recommendation of author Larry Niven. The Ringworld is fun too. Pournelle and he made some beautiful music together.

Have you read Greg Bear's Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children? It's a little harsh, at times, but the concept is really cool (like many of his books). My mother, father and sister all read the two as well. He has written a lot of books, if you like him. The Infinity Concerto is a fantasy story which is cute (a little youngish).

I absolutely agree about Niven, particularly his earlier stuff, and about the "Mote in God's Eye" stuff.
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Mar, 2007 05:59 am
Noddy24 wrote:
DrewDad--

Tim Powers can be counted on for a good story. After reading Last Call my views of both Los Vegas and the Fisher King have changed.

Brandon--

I have no sense of direction. Driving on unfamiliar roads--particularly when I'm lost--always offers the possibility of winding up in Amber.

The Eddings early books were delightful. I feel the later ones (Belgarath the Sorcerer and Polgara the Sorcerer were simply cut and paste jobs.

I understand that Leigh Eddings is very ill, recovering from a stroke. Also, that recently David Eddings lit a piece of paper and threw it on his driveway to see whether the puddle of fluid there was flammable. It was. He is going to have to rebuild the garage and part of the house, including his working study.

I must say that I enjoyed those two biographies in the Eddings series very much too, despite the fact that they were somewhat derivative of the previous 10 books.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Fri 16 Mar, 2007 07:37 am
Littlek--

Niven and Pournelle can be counted on for a Guaranteed Good Gripping Read. Have you seen The Magic Goes Away universe? ( The Burning City and The Burning Tower)

Greg Bear and I are simply not on the same wavelength. I can see what he's doing and I admire him, but his world is not comfortable for me.

http://www.gregbear.com/

Greyfan--

I agree that Card is no longer a sure-fire author. Judging from his website much of his energy is being expended in other fields.

http://www.hatrack.com/

Phillip Pullman is another author that I admire without thoroughly enjoying.

http://www.philip-pullman.com/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=36


Last night I started and discarded Elaine Isaak's The Singer's Crown the first volume of a YA trilogy. The young princess and the castare singer are both young and pure and the wizards are seasoned in malice I probably would have relished it thirty years ago, but my palate is either refined or jaded.

http://www.curiouscharacters.com/Elaine/

I also abandoned Mary Janice Davidson's Sleeping with the Fishes in spite of a high recommendation from Locus. I like my romantic urban fantasy with a little more depth.

Judging from her website, she's a prolific one-woman industry:

http://www.maryjanicedavidson.net/

I finally settled down to rereading/skimming Tad William's Shadowmarch which came out three years ago because the second volume Shadowplay has been published.

I didn't know until I looked that Shadowmarch has its own fanzine website: http://www.shadowmarch.com/bin/ultimatebb.cgi

I very much enjoyed his first trilogy Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but felt the Otherland had too much verbage for the plot.

Tad Williams is another writer who turns out 500-600-700 page installments.

http://www.tadwilliams.co.uk/
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2007 09:58 am
Last night I skimmed some more of Shadowmarch, but after a few days of fantasy I needed a little rigid astringency in my reading diet.

Joe Haldeman's Camouflage is excellent space opera. Haldeman has won both Hugo and Nebula awards and can be relied on for a good story and for solid science (some of which I skim over).

http://www.sff.net/people/joe.haldeman/
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2007 10:35 am
Haldeman has some good stuff, but his Forever War series felt forced to me.

L.E. Modesitt, Jr. is an author I have abandoned. The first Chaos/Order book was OK, but every later one felt like a rerun.

Niven's Ringworld's Children is good; Ringworld Throne was not my favorite.



My current favorite re-read: Aristoi by Walter Jon Williams.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2007 10:51 am
DrewDad--

We're in slight disagreement over L.E. Modesitt. I'll give him credit for a number of excellent first volumes and a few second volumes. After that his series always seem to degenerate to mechanical narrative.

http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/recluce/

All the same, he is a prolific scribbler.
0 Replies
 
bermbits
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2007 12:10 pm
I enjoyed the Brian Lumley Necroscope series. I believe it began as a trilogy but had two or three more added. While they seemed to drag a bit in a few stretches and were somewhat repetitive, I kept reading amd did enjoy them.

BTW, I have re-read Fahrenheit 451 many, many times and never fail to be amazed at Bradbury's foresight.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Mar, 2007 12:47 pm
Bermbits--

Brian Lumley is a new author for me--and he's certainly prolific. The Necroscope Series has twelve volumes in print.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/l/brian-lumley/

http://www.able2know.com/forums/posting.php?mode=reply&t=92920

I'm not particularly fond of horror novels. I'm subject to nightmares and prefer to avoid feeding them.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Mar, 2007 06:40 am
Yesterday I mentioned my aversion to horror stories. Last night I read a Southern Gothic horror story and enjoyed it enormously. Southern writers excel at exploring the blurry boundaries between What Is and What Might Be. In Four and Twenty Blackbirds her first novel Cherie Priest explores family secrets of the present combined with heritage of sorko lore of Niger. There is a sequel, Wings to the Kingdom

Amazon readers wrote 70 reviews and awarded the book 4 1/2 stars.

http://www.cheriepriest.com/
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Mar, 2007 06:06 pm
Not usually a fan of horror, or Gothic.

May have to give it a peek, though. In the horror section, or the SF section?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Mar, 2007 12:42 pm
DrewDad--

Shelving fiction depends on the embedded philosophy and the passing whims of the cataloguing librarian. I'd check the card catalogue.

**************

Last night I read Thraxas by Martin Scott (who writes more substantial novels under the name of Martin Millar). Thraxas, Our Hero, is a dissolute sort of private eye in the capitol city of a fantasy kingdom. Amazon gives the book three stars (and nine reader reviews). I agree, even though Thraxas won the World Fantasy Award.

Scott/Millar is an English author and I'm inclined to think that the Hardboiled Comic Gumshoe is an American Genre. Both Glenhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust Cook's Garrett and Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos are more congenial dissolute private eyes.

http://www.martinmillar.com/


http://www.xmission.com/~shpshftr/GC/GC-Home.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glen_Cook



http://dreamcafe.com/books.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Brust
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 01:14 pm
Last night I finished The Alchemist's Apprentice the first book in what author Dave Duncan promises will be the Alchemist Series. It is a blend of fantasy, alternate history and the amateur detective novel.

In addition to a colorful range of Venetian notables, Duncan's research makes the City of Venice very realistic and colorful.

Duncan is a prolific author and as with all prolific authors, some of his books are "better"--or just more entertaining for me--than others. Amazon lists 333 books available.

http://www.daveduncan.com/
0 Replies
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 01:20 pm
Fantasy and science fiction worth reading and re-reading
If youre not wedded exclusively to fantasy and sci-fi, Sozobe's recommendation of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is first-rate.

BTW - what is it about novels written in the present tense that is so irritating? The French have always used the "historical present", but it doesn't seem to translate itself comfortably into English grammar.

More and more fiction is being written in the present tense, and while an occasional injection of it can add immediacy to the author's style, a little goes a hell of a long way. Although perfectly normal in French, in English it sounds pretentious and self-conscious. Actually, authors using extended present tense writing usually sound rather awkward with it.

Is it just a fad? a tic?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Mar, 2007 02:24 pm
TomKitten--

I agree with you and Soz about The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It was a very satisfactory read.

After all these years I can't remember what 1st person narrative in my childhood offended me so deeply that I've had a distrust for 1st person narrative ever since. I can remember deeply resenting the "author" trying to move into the inside of my head.

Then, fifteen years later, I read Crime and Punishment and my strong aversion was thoroughly reinforced. I'll read 1st person narratives, but the effort required to suspend disbelief is greater than in a 3rd person narrative.

Much of the 1st person writing I've run into lately in memoirs is of a manly, swaggering sort which I find uncongenial.

Do you read any fantasy or science fiction--"alternative fiction" is the snobby term. Other people's problems are much more amusing than my own.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Mar, 2007 09:08 pm
I like most of Duncan's stuff.

The first three King's Blades novels in particular.




Anyone have thoughts on Jordan's Wheel of Time series? I'm just starting the first book....



Also just read and immediately re-read Bujold's The Sharing Knife: Beguilement.
0 Replies
 
Tomkitten
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 09:43 am
Fantasy & Science Fiction worth Reading/Re-reading
Noddy - I think one of the problems with 1st person narratives is that you can guess the general ending pretty well, since "I" has survived to tell the tale. As for the ultra macho "I" character, well he's been around one way and another since the beginning of story telling.

I just finished "Wild Fire" by Nelson DeMille, and I think the macho aspect is supposed to come from the constant rudeness on the part of "I", plus his detailed description of his erections, and neither aspect has any effect on the story. However, it does fill up the pages.

On the other hand, one of the most famous adventure stories of all time is 1st person, but "I" dies in the end, which was a complete shock to me 60 years ago, but which I now realize was the only logical possibility.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Mar, 2007 04:35 pm
I would like to go back to the classics of the 40's and 50's like "Slan" by A. E. Van Vogt. Azimov's "Foundation Series" and Bester's "The Demolished Man" are also good classic sci-fi to return to.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Mar, 2007 11:57 am
DrewDad--

Dave Duncan is a good, reliable storyteller. I'd be hard put to winnow his 34 books and come up with a Top, All-Time Favorite. Last January I was having a turbulent time, so to coddle myself I sat down and re-read the King's Blades and the King's Daggers.

Wheel of Time isn't Immortal Literature, but in spite of the Cast of Thousands (challenging to keep track of from volume to volume) it is good swashbuckling adventure. There are at least two Labor Of Love Fan Sites to keep track of the multiple minor characters. There are times when repeated character quirks become character tics. Every so often the six young leading characters seem a bit adolescent. All the same, if you read for diversion WoT is fun.

Unfortunately, Jordan's health is not good:

From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jordan:

Quote:
Illness
On March 23, 2006, Jordan disclosed in a statement[2] in a firm and optimistic tone that he has been diagnosed with primary amyloidosis with cardiomyopathy, and that, with treatment, his median life expectancy is four years, though he says he intends to beat the statistics. He later posted on his Dragonmount blog to encourage his fans not to worry about him and that he intends to have a long and fully creative life, working for another 30 years.

He began chemotherapy treatment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in early April 2006.[3] Mr. Jordan is currently enrolled in a study using a drug just approved for multiple myeloma but not yet tested on primary amyloidosis. On September 15, 2006, he added a post to his blog noting good news concerning his condition (though he has not yet gone into remission).

On November 8, Jordan confirmed the report of his progress in a post on the Dragonmount blog, stating that he had experienced a 25% reduction in Lambda light chain levels. The wider results of his test group, studying treatment under the drug Revlimid, is inconclusive showing (according to Jordan) numbers that are "all over the place". The reduction is in spite of the fact that Jordan was taken off the Revlimid due to some kidney troubles believed linked to the treatment. However, with this situation stabilized he is back on the drug and is enjoying the freedom of home-care; sending self-collected blood samples in monthly, receiving medications by mail, and returning to the Mayo Clinic in three month intervals.

On December 22, Jordan announced that his Lambda light chain levels had gone down to a rating of 3.14 (with 1 to 3 being considered normal / healthy).[4] This level refers to the amount of amyloid like material found on examination, and gives prognostic information to physicians.

On January 22, Jordan's blog announced that the Lambda light chain levels had dropped to a rating of 2.70.[5] This reduction was sustained throughout another break in Jordan's use of Revlimid, which he briefly came off again due to side effects attributed to the drug. It should be noted that for the first time since his diagnosis in March 2006 Mr. Jordan's Lambda light chains are within the normal limits


I give him extra points for courage and optimism. He was diagnosed in 2005 with an "average" life expectancy of 4 years, but hopes to have the last volume of WoT published in 2009.

Tom Kitten--

I've been racking my brains for the First Person Hero who died. Please, please jog my memory.

Lightwizard--

Azimov was one of the first science fiction writers I discovered. I think The Foundation Trilogy was expanded a little too far, but the original three volumes gave me a glimpse of history as more than a series of dates and factoids.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Foundation_Series

Both Bester and Van Vogt are authors of the Golden Age. I don't know about you, but I expect some of their luster in my mind is due to my youth when bookshelves were full of glorious discoveries as well as to their genius.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Demolished_Man

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._E._van_Vogt

Those of us who read speculative fiction now have to admit that modern authors stand on the shoulders of giants.


***********

I read the third volume of Peter David's Sir Apropos of Nothing series, Tong Lashing. Sir Apropos started as a rather shallow anti-hero, but in this latest installment he's developing some depth while displaying David's mordant wit. ("He was a dark and stormy knight....")

Perhaps this is the final volume...perhaps there will be more.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 10/18/2019 at 03:27:36