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What fantasy/science fiction book are you reading RIGHT NOW?
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peter
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently reading the Terry Brooks Shannara book, second in the original trilogy, The Elfstones of Shannara. I have to say it's coming as a bit of a revelation to me (the last time I read it, the only time in fact, was back in 1982 when it was first published) and causing me to think that perhaps Brooks deserves a bit of a reappraisal. While the first in the series was undeniably Tolkein derived (but fun nevertheless), in the second book the author seems to actually be finding his own measure - and it's no bad one at all. Yes, the plot is simple, lacks the depth and gravity of much epic fantasy - but it's fun, engaging and a non-complicated ride. You simply look forward to going back to it. Besides this, there is a mix of quest and battle scenes that made me remember with affection my first reading of The Power that Preserves, the battle sequences being particularly well done (madly roiling waves of multi-limbed monstrosities breaking upon elven phalanxes and the like). All in all this book is doing just what I need at present; providing an easy escapism that leaves you satisfied at the end of each reading session and looking forward to the next. On this basis I might just return and look at some of the spin-off series that the books spawned in later years.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well. No judgement here Peter, no judgement... Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2019 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Sword of Shannara a fun adventure never really bothered me it was too Tolkein like. The Elfstones I thought were a better read. However, I found the Wishsong a rambling mess - the characters all over, the enemy/enemies not very interesting The book seemed like just a bunch of random adventures cobbled together into some semblance of a book. I never bothered to read any rest of the Shannara books.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's probably helped that I've not gone into the exercise with terribly high expectations - but that having been said, the Elfstones has certainly not been a disappointment. I've got the Wishsong on order (from the library, I'm not so keen as yet as to be prepared to spring for it Laughing ) and we shall see.

This all started from a chance to comment I heard someone making in a bookshop where a guy was singing the praises of the whole saga to his friend and I was minded to perhaps check it out a bit more than I had done in the past. I'll see how I feel post the Wishsong - but at the moment it's doing the job.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well let me know what you think of Wishsong. If after 1/3 of the book you are thinking...where is this book going and where are the enemies? Well...it doesn't get much better than that. The main enemy in my view was never presented well.

Stop if you want no hint of spoilers!!


Here is summary of book:
Oh I don't want to go on this adventure!
Oh you must!
Argue...argue...ok I guess I better..unseen threat enters city (with no direct vision and limited knowledge of the two main protagonists)
Off to stop threat
distracted and go different directions/adventures
must use special power to stop enemies - geez I don't understand how to use this power and after using it I don't want to use it anymore!
more random adventures
after many pages finally determine a way to get to bad guys location (I guess this is where the book really lost me is the directions that the two main characters took made little sense and/or it took a lot of minor adventures to get to relatively minor locations)
special powers used with no huge understanding of bad guys
the end

See I just saved you a few hundred pages Very Happy

I guess I wished the book had broadened how we could vision the enemies and things they were doing. Elfstones certainly did a much better job of presenting the enemies and their actions and reasons for actions.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing Library has contacted me to say that the book is in so I'll hold off on reading the post until I've read it. I'll certainly give you a run down of my thinking at that point Sam!

I'm pretty easy to please, so here's hoping........

Wink
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
It's probably helped that I've not gone into the exercise with terribly high expectations - but that having been said, the Elfstones has certainly not been a disappointment. I've got the Wishsong on order (from the library, I'm not so keen as yet as to be prepared to spring for it Laughing ) and we shall see.

This all started from a chance to comment I heard someone making in a bookshop where a guy was singing the praises of the whole saga to his friend and I was minded to perhaps check it out a bit more than I had done in the past. I'll see how I feel post the Wishsong - but at the moment it's doing the job.


I loved Elfstones when I read it as a 13 year old. I recall it being the highlight of the first five or six books (however many I read).

I recently read The Word and Void trilogy and the one that follows it up. I loved those books. Brooks knows how to write a page turner. He also knows how to finish a series. His first book may have been a ripoff of Tolkien, but GRRM's last book ended with a huge ripoff of Robin Hobb, and that was eight freaking years ago. I agree, Brooks takes way more grief than he deserves. I took a break from him, but I will soon continue reading the Shannara books in chronological order. I'll bail when I get tired of it.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally got through Reapers Gale. 4 months. Must be a new slow record for me. Laughing (It was that damn computer game.) (Might even have enjoyed it more than usual this time though.)

Anyway, on to Return of the Crimson Guard.

Off to the Malazan forum...

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Four months? Who are you and what did you do with the real Avatar?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL Sold him into slavery so he could level up his toughness.

(Have you checked out that game? It's crazy. Laughing)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a quick follow up - am now into the Wishsong (about half way I guess) and am enjoying it very much. I'm thinking that I might at some point have a go at some other Shannara books - the absolute first almost unrelated one set in 'our world' sounds interesting, but for the moment I'm thinking I might take a break.

I have a hankering to read some alternative history based fantasy stuff (Watchmen type of thing, but written word as opposed to graphic novel) - any suggestions anybody?
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, not sure about fantasy ones.

I suppose I could mention Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrel, but not sure if I can really recommend it... Think Dickens & magical realism.

I'm a big fan of the Rivers of London books, (which I think you'd like), but they're not alternate history, more like contemporary fantasy / magical realism / police procedural.(Really good, can't recommend enough.)

Uh, I liked Orson Scott Card's "Alvin" series quite a bit, but it's still not completed, and no ETA on a final book as far as I know, although it's not really needed. Alternative reality "pioneer America" with magic thrown in...that folk magic (hexes etc.) from the period and region, and native American "beliefs."

Check out Harry Harrison's Hammer and Cross series maybe, alternative history with the Vikings, not sure about fantasy elements, only read one and it has been a while.

Harry Turtledove has a lot of alternative history stuff, but it's sci-fi so...

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Man on the High Castle is awesome, and real fast to read.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tip top ideas guys! The Man on the High Castle I've come across on the Amazon Prime series, but not seen and I'd much prefer to read than view (I loved Robert Harris's Fatherland as well).

I've read Strange and Norrell - good, but lost it a bit toward the end I thought - but the Rivers of London prompt is excellent; I came across it in a local bookstore and was sufficiently interested to put it on a list of stuff I might try out, but never got round to it. Your recommendation Av immediately puts it back on the agenda for searching out in the near future.

Lastly, nearly done with The Wishsong (should finish it today) and have been well rewarded for the effort (Sam's reservations notwithstanding Wink ). The books have been easy escapism - undemanding but sufficiently well told as to keep your attention held. There are points when that is all that is required to tick the boxes, and Shannara has delivered!

Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Connie Willis's time travel books are also in the alt history vein. Black Out/All Clear is an amazing pair of books. Doomsday is also great. To Say Nothing of the Dog kind of went over my head, lol. I would start with Black Out, it is really great.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I haven't read The Man in the High Castle, I do know that the TV show is very different from the book, which is treated more as an inspiration than a direct adaptation.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Cradle by Will Wight

https://www.goodreads.com/series/192821-cradle

I'm reading book 7. When I first started this series I was unsure of whether I would finish the series. By book three I was fairly hooked on it and had to see where it would go.

Highly recommend!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just started Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair which is pretty alternative history based. Only a few pages in but could shape up ok.

Finished the Wishsong of Shannara last night and unlike Sam above, I thought it a great end to the trilogy. Just shows, these things are always horses for courses and what works for one simply doesn't for another.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
(I loved Robert Harris's Fatherland as well).


Ooh, can't believe I forgot that...one of my favourite. (Not fantasy though. Very Happy )

Quote:
I've read Strange and Norrell - good, but lost it a bit toward the end I thought - but the Rivers of London prompt is excellent; I came across it in a local bookstore and was sufficiently interested to put it on a list of stuff I might try out, but never got round to it. Your recommendation Av immediately puts it back on the agenda for searching out in the near future.


You won't regret it. Very Happy And JS&MN could have been a good book if they had actually followed the few hints of plot that they offered so tantalisingly. Very Happy


SoulBiter wrote:
The Cradle by Will Wight

https://www.goodreads.com/series/192821-cradle

Highly recommend!


Thanks, will definitely check them out. Looks like my stripe of kidney. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peter wrote:
Just started Jasper Fforde's The Eyre Affair which is pretty alternative history based. Only a few pages in but could shape up ok.

Finished the Wishsong of Shannara last night and unlike Sam above, I thought it a great end to the trilogy. Just shows, these things are always horses for courses and what works for one simply doesn't for another.


Glad you enjoyed it Peter. I guess I enjoyed Elfstones so much better that Wishsong just didn't hold up. But like you say different things work for different people.
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