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What are you reading?


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#1 A.S.Wolfe

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 10:32 PM

Knowing that an alarm will sound in little more than six hours from now, I've reluctantly laid my trusty Sony reader down.

This will be the fifth time I've read Brent Weeks' Lightbringer trilogy (soon to become a tetralogy (damned spellchecker thought I was discussing heart defects. ..)).

What's your favourite fantasy series?

Edited by A.S.Wolfe, 14 September 2015 - 10:47 PM.

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#2 Cybes

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Posted 14 September 2015 - 11:01 PM

What's your favourite fantasy series?


Fantasy: Magician's Law, Demon's Law, and Death's Law - The tales of Paedur the Bard, by Michael Scott. The man has a deep history with celtic mythology, and carried over the multilayered complexity and deep backstories of his deities when he came to make his own fiction. For my tastes, it's beautifully written - just enough flowery words to be evocative and descriptive, without becoming purple; and the characters in focus follow their own agendas - not necessarily the ones their team buddies think they should have.

SF, for all that a lot of people seem to think it's the same thing, is a whole different kettle. No way I could narrow that field to just one series of books. If I could select just one author, however, I might concede to just Larry Niven. With the greatest respect, he's not the most scientifically accurate author around, but I find his stories to be particularly hard to forget. In a good way. ;)

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#3 chrisg

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:22 AM

I've never really had much time for fantasy and totally agree with Cybes that it should not be confused with Science Fiction but so often is.

 

At the moment I'm reading "Starfire," Charles Sheffield, a very hard science author, understandable being he was a scientist, but it's not really holding my attention, have the latest episode of John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" series queued up and Neil Stephenson's "Seveneves" both of which look more appealing.

 

I only discovered yesterday Cybes that Niven has two sequels to "Fleet of Worlds"  know if they are any good ?

 

Cheers


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#4 Cybes

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 06:47 PM

I only discovered yesterday Cybes that Niven has two sequels to "Fleet of Worlds"  know if they are any good ?


Sorry, I have no personal knowledge of them - only recently learned of them myself. Guess you'll have to go by reviews - even the dribble on Amazon isn'ttoo bad a guide once there's a dozen or so.

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#5 A.S.Wolfe

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 07:14 PM

Fantasy is pure escapism, totally disjointed from the possible, or possibly could be.  Hence the question.

 

I still enjoy Sci-fi but when turning down the covers & anticipating some outrageous dream sequence I tend to prefer Fantasy.

 

Thanks for the heads-up on Scott, Cybes; will give him a lookover.


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#6 Cybes

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:10 PM

Thanks for the heads-up on Scott, Cybes; will give him a lookover.


For your convenience:
http://www.amazon.co...=magician's law

Wow that's cheap. Was like 20 times that when I bought it at a bricks&mortar store locally.

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#7 A.S.Wolfe

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Posted 15 September 2015 - 08:23 PM

Thanks Cybes - already 'purchased' the epub's.


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#8 chrisg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:58 AM

:)

 

My very, very limited exposure to fantasy seems to be that it is the same story told over and over but it is just that, very limited exposure.

 

No worries Cybes, I'll undoubtedly get to them anyway, Fleet of Worlds was in the end quite good.

 

Cheers


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#9 Cybes

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 04:54 AM

My very, very limited exposure to fantasy seems to be that it is the same story told over and over but it is just that, very limited exposure.


If you boil things down far enough, there really are only so many themes to go around: love, revenge, secrecy, war, power... Everything is a mix of those in varying strengths and flavours, and multiple layers of it.

That said, even though I'm massively more in favour of SF than Fantasy novels, you're doing the genre an injustice, there. Sure, bad Fantasy tends to do endless variations on the LotR and "save the princess", but... Bad SF does endless repetitions of bug hunts. They're BAD: both examples of poor and unimaginative story telling - and usually bad writing as well.


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#10 chrisg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 07:10 AM

:)

 

Oh I know the homily of there are only a very few stories to be told it is how they are told. :)

 

Interesting you mention bad writing, I've just joined the Kindle world which leads to being an unpaid reviewer for "Goodreads" so decided to have a look around and see what the armchair critics have to say about some of my favorite books.

 

Apparently Larry Niven cannot write, cannot do female characters and is boring, RAH was a dirty old man but Samuel Delaney wrote a masterpiece in Dhalgren :)

 

Niven tells a story, I do think he does it better in the company of Pournelle but he has quite enough awards to suggest he tells a story well. RAH was once thought of as a prude, until "Stranger" but he was never exactly X rated, Delaney was, in fact one of his other novels totally is but Dhalgren is not far off. :)

 

I had a think about fantasy novels, the only ones that really stick in my mind that I have read are LotR, Glory Road and the Dragon and the George. I've started a number of others, never finished them.

 

Cheers


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#11 Cybes

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 08:18 AM

Apparently Larry Niven cannot write, cannot do female characters and is boring, RAH was a dirty old man but Samuel Delaney wrote a masterpiece in Dhalgren :)

 

...

 

I had a think about fantasy novels, the only ones that really stick in my mind that I have read are LotR, Glory Road and the Dragon and the George. I've started a number of others, never finished them.

 

Yeah... Critics...  Honestly, they ain't worth shit when talking about authors/actors/musicians/film-makers.  But when you get fans of the dude in question, talking about stuff that person has done..?  Get a dozen or so of them together and you can get a sketch to judge whether you're going to like it or not.  Well, imo, anyway.

(BTW: Dahlgren was half a great book, and half dreck, imho.  For all that it was mostly engrossing, when finished you were left wondering "WTF was that all about?"  I have a copy, and have read it twice - I'm still asking that question.)

 

As to the Fantasy novels... Perhaps you should try the series I mentioned to Wolfe, too: dude becomes the warrior (of words, since he's a bard) for the Old Gods against the New Religion.  Celtic/Greeks-style pantheons, of deities that actually occasionally turn up in person to Sort Things Out in typical nuclear nutcracker fashion; Gods of major fuckage like War and Death, and also small gods of morning dew or quiet places.  I think if you like LN/LN+JP and RAH, you'd probably like MS's writing style, even if the story itself was not to your taste.


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#12 chrisg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 09:40 AM

Hmm,

 

Put like that sounds worth a try once my to-read pile shrinks a bit.

 

I've read Dahgren a couple of times as well, with the same question at the end, may have to get to it again one day. It is a book that was written to produce that reaction I imagine but his earlier stuff always seemed to have much more to say.

 

Cheers


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#13 Master_Scythe

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 10:31 AM

I'm going to be the immature one and say the Harry Potter series.

While her writing is simple, there is enough detail to describe a scene without disabling your imagination.

 

I went through my hardest vision difficulties when the last book came out, so being able to read them on my new KOBO is a godsend.

Not to mention, with pottermore, and a few side works, Rowling continues to 'expand' the world I grew up reading, with now characters and places.

 

Discworld series and Hitchhikers guide to teh galaxy series are OK too, they just dont brighten my heart.


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#14 disolusiond

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 10:52 AM

Nothing, unfortunately. I was going to use this downtime to get through the massive pile of stuff in the "yet to be read" bookcase, but the Oxycodone is making reading all but impossible. I started Foundation, but by the time I got to the end of the first paragraph I'd forgotten what happened at the start. I'll go back to it when I'm off this horrible shit.



#15 Cybes

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:00 PM

I'm going to be the immature one and say the Harry Potter series.
 
...
 
 
Discworld series and Hitchhikers guide to teh galaxy series are OK too, they just dont brighten my heart.

 
Interesting.  For me it's the polar opposite.  I find the HP stuff to be...well, fluff, really - entertaining enough, but not inspiring or particularly original.  Those, otoh, are so completely original they're like watching Magic Roundabout after dropping acid and a cone or two.  And they make your face ache!


 

...the Oxycodone is making reading all but impossible. I started Foundation, but by the time I got to the end of the first paragraph I'd forgotten what happened at the start. I'll go back to it when I'm off this horrible shit.

 
Uurgh - been there, dude: you have my sympathy.  Well, not oxy, it was something else, but the brainfog was the same.


Edited by Cybes, 16 September 2015 - 12:09 PM.

"Reality does not care what you think." - Dr Richard Feynman
"There is no "I" in team." - "True.  I will not be found in any team."


#16 chrisg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:24 PM

Yeah, Oxycodone is way, way spacey, no way to concentrate on that stuff.

 

Take it easy dis.

 

 

Cheers


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#17 disolusiond

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:41 PM

From my days of smoking weed I can honestly say that a strong indica would do the same job, only with no side effects, and I could still function at 100% mental capacity. Close to 100%, anyway. But that's a whole other thread.



#18 chrisg

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 12:50 PM

;)

 

But that's illegal, it's perfectly okay for the profession to prescribe an opiate but not that terrible marijuana stuff ;)

 

Cheers


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#19 disolusiond

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 01:38 PM

;)

 

But that's illegal, it's perfectly okay for the profession to prescribe an opiate but not that terrible marijuana stuff ;)

 

Cheers

I know, right. Meanwhile, over 600 people are dead because of this shit. That's just in the last couple of years, and only in Australia. The world wide death toll for weed over the history of the planet. Zero. I know everyone knows this stuff, it's just frustrating how it's ok to force this poison on me but I can't get some nice weed to do the same thing, only better, and not harm myself. I'll stop offtracking now.


Edited by disolusiond, 16 September 2015 - 01:38 PM.


#20 A.S.Wolfe

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Posted 16 September 2015 - 08:42 PM

 

My very, very limited exposure to fantasy seems to be that it is the same story told over and over but it is just that, very limited exposure.


If you boil things down far enough, there really are only so many themes to go around: love, revenge, secrecy, war, power... 

 

 

 

...  Larry Niven cannot write, cannot do female characters and is boring, 

 

 

 

 

As to the Fantasy novels... Perhaps you should try the series I mentioned to Wolfe, too: dude becomes the warrior (of words, since he's a bard) for the Old Gods against the New Religion.  Celtic/Greeks-style pantheons, of deities that actually occasionally turn up in person to Sort Things Out in typical nuclear nutcracker fashion; Gods of major fuckage like War and Death, and also small gods of morning dew or quiet places.  I think if you like LN/LN+JP and RAH, you'd probably like MS's writing style, even if the story itself was not to your taste.

 

.

 

Please read Brent Week's Night Angel trilogy & the current Lightbringer trilogy (which is possibly another HHGTTG, a trilogy of five; but definitely a Tetralogy sometime next August).

 

As to Lightbringer:

 

Can do  female characters that are NOT boring.

 

“[D]eities that actually occasionally turn up in person,” albeit humans that transform into deities.

 

Visceral "..major fuckage like War and Death" in every other chapter dealt out liberally by Warriors wielding Mughal Empire weapons & light waves transformed into physical, usable,  personally designed weapons and/or artifacts.

 

Espionage & politics that would make most IA’s nervous.

 

The list goes on.

 

I will submit that Brent does waffle occasionally to set the scene, or over-explain a nuance, but it’s bearable because some may not pick up the thread immediately and require a guide down his conceptual path.

 

.


Yeah, Oxycodone is way, way spacey, no way to concentrate on that stuff.

 

Take it easy dis.

 

 

Cheers

I've popped enough Oxycodone in the last year to make a drug lord prosperous; did little to alleviate the consistent pangs.

 

BHO mixed with Honey Oil & CBD in a vape pen is, to put it very mildly, breath-takingly Fucking AAA splendid.


"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations."

Chuck Swindoll

 





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