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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 2:42 pm 
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whafrog wrote:
Emily Dickinson wrote:
Some of many favourite fantasy series are comic books - Sandman, written by Neil Gaiman


Another Gaiman book I've thoroughly enjoyed is Stardust.


While you're recommending Gaiman I'd recommend most everything else he's written. Neverwhere is a great light read, American Gods is one of the best books I've ever read, Mirrormask (though a children's book) is awesome, Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things are fantastic short story collections.

Though most of it (all of it) isn't high fantasy, or even traditional fantasy he's a fantastic author and has yet to disappoint me.


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:55 pm 
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Orin Skullcrusher wrote:
I keep seeing The Song of Fire and Ice come up, as well as The Wheel of Time, and Sword of Truth series.


The first is amazing. At first it feels like a basic fantasy story, but by about 200 pages in, you realize you're reading something unique. But I wouldn't read past the third book. He's not yet done with the series. Book 3 at least ends on a relatively satisfying note, but Book 4 starts things up again and you'll be left hanging.

Can't stand Robert Jordan and the Wheel of Time. Never mind the saccharine plots, it's like he invented the 300 page climax and for some reason other authors have followed his example.

Sword of Truth I remember reading ages ago (at least, the first three). I enjoyed it then, but I was young once :)

Speaking of things I read when young, you can't go wrong with the standby of D&D heritage: the Conan tales by Robert E. Howard are fun. I have no idea about the new Conan tales, they look like marketing ploys.

If you want something darker (but much more interesting IMHO), the Kane tales by Karl Edward Wagner are thoroughly enjoyable. There is a complete book of the novels and a complete book of the short stories. They aren't in print, however you can find them used on Amazon for a good price.

Lastly, there is a very unheard of series called the Neustrian Cycle by Leslie Barringer. The first book is called Gerfalcon and is probably the best of the series (though the others are good as well). The language is a bit archaic, but the setting and story are gritty and compelling.

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:13 pm 
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What I was reading previously were Star Wars books. I came to the end of what is current, but that is kind of the level that I'm going for. Doesnt need to be mind blowing or super original. I basically want a D&D story with some interesting characters and enough plot to keep me into it.

I read The Road earlier this year and, while it was an excellent book, I couldn't stop reading it, which kind of defeated the purpose of reading before sleep.


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 2:47 am 
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The first two books of Raymond E. Feist's never-ending saga are worth reading and are set in a world that was created as an RPG - Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master. No need to read any more after that.

Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea books are also both fine stories and good raw material for world building. The books get much more philosophical and contemplative as the series continues - read A Wizard of Earthsea now, and then read another Earthsea book every ten years.

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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:36 am 
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I'm currently reading "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara" Trilogy by Terry Brooks and am really enjoying it...

...of course I love airships too so that helps ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Two other Authors (I have literally hundreds of books, ~85-90% fantasy of varying degrees. I'll be adding more posts every so often.)

Russel Kirkpatrick. I wasn't huge on the Fires of Heaven trilogy, (although it WAS good.), but I LOVE the Broken Man trilogy.

(I actually started the second trilogy first... blasted Waldenbooks not carrying the first book of the first trilogy.)

Also: The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The second book STILL hasn't come out, but the first one is, IMO, AMAZING.


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:24 pm 
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weem wrote:
I'm currently reading "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara" Trilogy by Terry Brooks and am really enjoying it...

...of course I love airships too so that helps ;)



I read quite a few Shannara books, but the problem is that I cant remember where I left off.


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 5:28 pm 
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Orin Skullcrusher wrote:
I read quite a few Shannara books, but the problem is that I cant remember where I left off.
Sounds like a good excuse to start over and read them all again.


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:40 pm 
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what? read a book twice?

I think it was C.S. Lewis who said something like "A book worth reading once is worth reading twice. A book not worth reading twice is not worth reading once".


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 Post subject: Re: Fantasy Book series suggestions?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:48 am 
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Here are a few of my favorites that haven't been mentioned yet.

Terry Pratchett. His Discworld novels may not be the original humorous fantasy, but they are some of the best. And considering how prolific he is I'm surprised he hasn't been mentioned yet.

Craig Shaw Gardener. His Ebenezum and Ballad of Wuntvor trilogies are another humorous look at fantasy. They could also be called a DM's guide for how to torture your players. From used weapons sales-demons and intelligent, cowardly swords to Mother Duck and a whole new definition of "Lesser Deity", the evil ideas just don't stop.

David Duncan. Especially the A Man of His Word tetralogy, but his others too.

Stephen Brust. Almost anything by Brust, except Cowboy Feng's Bar and Grill, which isn't fantasy like most of the rest of his work anyway. His Taltos novels are centered around an assasin/mob underboss, who's still the good guy, if not exactly a hero type. And if you like Alexander Dumas, you'll love The Phoenix Guards and 500 Years After.

Mercedes Lackey. I've mainly read her Heir's of Alexanderia collaboration with Eric Flint and Dave Freer, and some of her Bardic Voices novels, but I understand from a friend that some of her other works are just as good.

James Blaylock. Especially The Elfin Airship, The Disappearing Dwarf and The Stone Giant.

Randall Garrett's Lord Darcy stories (mostly short stories, but includes one novel). One could argue this series is modern alternative history mystery, but its got magic, which is good enough for me on this thread. You're most likely to find it in the recent omnibus reprint by Baen, and I would recommend that edition. Among other things, its got two stories that were only previously released in some late 70s/early 80s magazines and never previously collected in book form.

Lawrence Watt-Evans. Especially his Eshtar novels, but most of the rest of his works too.

Sherri S. Tepper. Her True Game trilogy in particular, but if you've read and like Ursala K. LeGuin's more recent works, you'll probably like some of her other stuff.

Mayer Alan Brenner. If you prefer print over e-text, he is very hard to find. He's only published one tetralogy, the Dance of the Gods, in the early 90s and was effectively shafted by the numbers games that many publishers liked (and still do) to play with sizes of print runs for successive novels from mid-list authors. IMO, he got far smaller print runs than he deserved, which can make finding a copy of the books slightly challenging. If you don't mind e-text, you're in luck. He's now got his own website, mayerbrenner.com, and released his books there under a Creative Commons license. Also another author with a bit of a humorous bent with characters like Maximilian the Vaguely Disreputable and The Creeping Sword.

And to give a reference on how good these authors are, yes, they are all "have been read multiple times" books. Admittedly a few of them may not be quite light reading, but they are some of my favorites.

You may also notice that most of them tend towards worlds and themes that break away from the conventions of fantasy in one way or another, if not outright taking the conventions to Vegas, getting it drunk at parties, then blackmailing it into doing their bidding with pictures of the conventions in bed with a cheap hooker (metaphorically speaking that is). I personally can't think of much in way of light fantasy that I've read that doesn't break the conventions in some way or another.

If I had to pick one that came the closest to light D&D style before bead reading, I'd probably have to pick Duncan or Gardener.


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