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I'm Looking for your Literary Recommendations
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 2:59 pm    Post subject: I'm Looking for your Literary Recommendations Reply with quote

I need help! I've read many fantasy/sci-fi books and I've never come close to the enjoyment I experienced while reading the chronicles. Since we all share this same passion, I was hoping that a few recommendations from you would yield a read that would even come close to approaching the sheer power and majesty, the biblio-bliss I felt while reading the chronicles. (I enjoy serious, adult fantasy with an epic slant. I tend to stay away from books geared toward a younger audience like Harry Potter.)

For those of you looking for a good read (and what better time to pick up or ask for a new book than X-mas time! Smile ) I strongly recommend the following:

The Dark Tower Series and The Stand by Stephen King: Now don't go dismissing these because they're Stephen King. He creates richly detailed worlds with strong characters and vile villains. They are both wonderful fantasy reads! Highly recommended!

A Song of Fire & Ice Series by George RR Martin: Excellent! Rich and densely plotted. This is by no means a series for those who are faint of heart. Lots of plot twists and adult themes.

Gates of Fire by Stephen Pressfield: Not a fantasy book but I include it here because it was one of the few books I've read that provided me with the same emotional impact that TCTC did. It's historical fiction and recounts the final days of Sparta leading up to the battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartans fought against 100,000 Persians. Heroic, inspiring, moving! It's the Bloodguard vs. Foul's entire army!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I was going to say A Song of Fire and Ice, but I see you already like it! How about the Hyperion/Endymion books by Dan Simmons? Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:22 pm    Post subject: re Reply with quote

Well...what about Mordant's Need? Have you read those SRD books? I haven't read the Gap series, but I'm sure they're good, too.
Neverness series by David Zindell is good, or the first one is, I can't find the others so far...
Otherworld series by Tad Williams
Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan, or the one I've read was very nice anyway.
Most Niven is good, some Heinlein books.
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut is good for humor.
Chrons of amber by Roger Zelazny and most other Zelazny that I've read.
If you like Arthur/Merlin stuff, Mary Stewart is good...
Northshore and Southshore by Sheri S. Tepper is weird but good.
There was some series...about gargoyles and darkangels and the moon...starts out fan but is really sci-fi...don't remember the name or the author, think it's a woman, does anyone know what I'm talking about?
Ender series by Orson SCott Card! Read it now! Also the Alvin Maker series by him is good...
Sabriel and Lirael by Garth Nix...excellent
Madeleine L'Engle? Don't know if you'd her that but it's worth a shot...
I've got a billion more but I'll shut up for now...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(this thread currently running in general fantasy forum)

To play devil's advocate, here are my recommendations:

Chuck Palahniuk
Joseph Heller
Hunter S. Thompson
Richard Bach
Dan Millman (tks, Danlo)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I very strongly recommend <i>Hart's Hope</i> by Orson Scott Card (a big fan of Covenant, btw), who also wrote/is writing the <i>Prentice Alvin</i> series.

And depending on your tastes, you might enjoy the <i>Necroscope</i> series by Brian Lumley (which reminds me of a Lovecraft/Anime blend in some ways).
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amber.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try the 2 books of the Hyperion Series (Hyperion, Fall of Hyperion) Hyperion is patterned after the Canterbury Tales. The travelers tales of why they are on their pilgrimage are facinating and often moving. Fall of Hyperion pulls together the threads. I gained an appreciation of John Keats after reading the books. (Keats figures prominently in the books)


I also like Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. The first 5 books are excellent. The problem is that, pardon the pun, Jordan was spinning his Wheel for 3 books. The ninth one, Winter's Heart, started to pick up the action again. Crossroads of Twilight, the tenth book in the series is due out soon so if you start on the series now, and like it, it will keep you busy for a while. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

-Have I mentioned the <I>Earthsea</I> books by Ursula K. LeGuin? Maybe I forgot to.
-<U>Stranger in a Strange Land</U> by Heinlein is a good place to start with him.
-<U>Dune</U>, and, what the heck, all the rest of the books in the series. Personally, I'm extremely impressed with the prequels by his son and Andersen. I can't wait to read <U>The Butlerian Jihad</U> when I get it for Christmas.

Out of fantasy a little, although there are elements, the <I>Ninja</I> series by Eric Lustbader. Modern day, technology, a little sex, <B>fantastic</B> ninja and bushido stuff. The showdown in <U>The Ninja</U> and Brinn vs. <I>ak-Haru Kenaustin Ardenol</I> are my favorite fights of all literature. But this one is filled with fury and hatred. Yum!

WAY out of fantasy, Hesse is real big in my book. <U>Magister Ludi</U>/<U>The Glass Bead Game</U> is truly the masterpiece you would expect from the book that cemented him his Nobel Prize.

Regarding Stephen King, he's great! Practically invented the genre. I think his style of writing is so smooth and flowing. Even when the book is ultimately... not worth the bother, it's a good read that keeps you interested. <U>Bag of Bones</U> was like that. But his earlier stuff is fantastic. <U>Firestarter</U>, <U>Dead Zone</U>, <U>The Stand</U>. I really like the twists he gives to things, the ways people's minds react to what's happening.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I got kicked off before I finished that last post. Again *sigh* Gotta learn to gather my thoughts quicker. Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe no-one mentioned Neuromancer - William Gibson.

It's brilliant.

I didn't mind Plague Of Angels - Sheri Tepper
or the Terry Brooks 'Knight Of The Word' series.

Most of everything else I would have said is mentioned already Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Syl--don't u mean Dan Millman? Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Secret Journey of the Peaceful Warrior?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did indeed (edited). If you enjoyed those, I highly recommend Illusions by Richard Bach, if you haven't read it already (his other stuff is good, too). I recommend this book to everybody. It only takes a couple of hours to read. You can even consider it to be fantasy (but like the best fantasy, as allegory). I think it's about the only book that has more meaning to me than the chrons.

damn friends borrowing your books then joining the army and forgetting to return them...
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-George Steiner
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Wow Thanks for all the recommendations! Looks like I have my reading list full for the next 3 years or so. Some comments:

- I'll have to look into the Hyperion/Endymion series. I've heard good things and they seem to be consistently recommended.

- I've read Mordant's Need and the Gap. Both excellent but neither approached the power of TCTC.

- I've always been tempted by Otherworld. Is that Tad Williams? I started to read The Dragonbone Chair and never got through it.

- I've read the first four books of the Wheel of Time and it hasn't grabbed me. I think I've given it a fair shake but GRR Martin has spoiled me.

- FMIcan'tlogin, I just picked up Ender's game after I wrote the post yesterday. I'm about 70 pages in and I'm enjoying it thus far.

- I've read the Earthsea series. Very artistic and elegant. Rife with symbolism but still not even close to being in league with TCTC.

- I've read the early Shannara Trilogy when I was younger (Garret Jax was a fave) and I liked it. I tried reading the Jerle Shannara but I couldn't get into it.

- Neuromancer was very good. One of the best Sci-fi's out there.

- Ninja is an interesting recommendation. I might give that one a try.

Anyway thanks for all your input. Keep em' coming. I'm getting worried that The Chronicles may have spoiled me for good. I really wish I could find a series that I could love as much as Covenant!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 8:56 pm    Post subject: I'm Looking for your Literary Recommendations Reply with quote

Reread the Chronicles; most of the stuff I've unwittingly bought has been dreadful.

However, worthy are:

David Wingrove - Chung Kuo series
Frank Herbert - Dune (the old ones are the best)
Julian May - Saga of the Exiles
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whilst waiting for SRD to come out with more TC Chronicles Rolling Eyes I starting reading the Deryni Chronicles by Katherine Kurtz. I really enjoyed them. However, most of them are out of print so the only way to get them is to find them at used book stores or order them from Amazon.com.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestion Wink but I've read them more times than I can count already. As I'm sure you know, there's nothing like experiencing something wonderful for the very first time!
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brinn wrote:
-I've read the Earthsea series. Very artistic and elegant. Rife with symbolism but still not even close to being in league with TCTC.


<I>Earthsea</I> isn't, imo, remotely as thought-provoking as TCTC. Just the simple, calm, yet deep wisdom of Taoism. (Although she doesn't know Chinese at all, she has a version of the <I>Tao Te Ching</I>, which is her interpretation of the many translations she has read.) Plus some fun magic going on. I think SRD has the same wisdom, but there's a lot of other stuff there too.

Brinn wrote:
-I've read the early Shannara Trilogy when I was younger (Garret Jax was a fave) and I liked it. I tried reading the Jerle Shannara but I couldn't get into it.


I love Garret Jax! I happened to be at a Brooks signing, and I had him autograph the page with Jax's last battle. (If I ever get the chance, I'll tell Brooks that he should write a little more of that battle. He doesn't have to reveal how it turned out, but let's see the two still going at it despite injuries and exhaustion!)

Brinn wrote:
Anyway thanks for all your input. Keep em' coming. I'm getting worried that The Chronicles may have spoiled me for good. I really wish I could find a series that I could love as much as Covenant!


Wouldn't that be great?!? Could it possibly happen to any of us twice in one lifetime???
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sylvanus wrote:
If you enjoyed those, I highly recommend Illusions by Richard Bach, if you haven't read it already (his other stuff is good, too). I recommend this book to everybody. It only takes a couple of hours to read. You can even consider it to be fantasy (but like the best fantasy, as allegory). I think it's about the only book that has more meaning to me than the chrons.


That last sentence is quite a statement! Not that I'd try to argue with you though, because I love <U>Illusions</U> too. Kind of fantastic stuff. JLS is a lot of fun too, but I think <U>Illusions</U> is much better. I didn't think the other one of his that I read (can't remember if it was <U>One</U> or <U>Bridge Across Forever</U>) was as good as either. Now I see that he has a new series out. I think the main characters are animals. Not sure if it's at all like the <I>Redwall</I> books, <U>Watership Down</U>, or something else entirely different.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One word, as usual: NEVERNESS!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2002 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't recommend the Otherland books if you didn't like Dragonbone Chair (the first 100 pages are hard, but after that... it's worth it).
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