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#1 Jun 03 2009 at 9:29 PM Rating: Good
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I'm a pretty avid reader of fantasy and science fiction novels and as i was reading through these threads i saw a pretty decent Anime suggestion thread and was wondering if anyone would like to start the same type of deal for books of the fantasy/sci-fi department.

I dont know if there is much interest here but i love talking about books that ive read and enjoyed and would like suggestions as well from the community here.

I guess ill just start it out. Titles and authors perhaps? Followed by a very brief summary of the style. I do not have my collection(probably more like a library) with me at my appt. so most of this will be off the top of my head, if i gargle and title with authors apologies and corrections are welcome.

Simon R. Green- Deathstalker saga and tales from the Nightside. This guy has a ridiculous imagination. His books are a mix of fantasy and science fiction both. There usually isnt that much depth in the books but what he lack in that section he makes in sheer awesome characters and ideas.

David Gemmell- Legend. This guy is just an incredible writer, one of my favorite science fiction writers of all time. You can pick up anything off the shelf by this guy and it will usually be pretty **** good. I recommend Druss the Legend because its simply put, his best work.

Frank Hurbert- Dune. One of the most well thought out Science fiction novels ive ever read with ideas in it from the 50s(not sure how long ago but im probably pretty accurate) that most modern authors couldnt dream of. Every single thing in this book just fits into a world that helps to make his universe come to life.

Robert Jordan- Wheel of time series. These are the books that many people define fantasy from, well, right behind lord of the rings lol. This is a **** epic series that starts off small and ends(well its still on going but anyone whos going to read them will know what i mean when they are through) absolutely epic. There is eleven books in this series and the first several, lets say 6, were incredible. The last few ive read havnt been quite up to snuff but one just has to read them anyway to find out what happends.

Carol Berg- The Rai-kirah series. An amazing series. Fantasy at its best. She also wrote Song of the beast. Which completely blew me away.

Terry Goodkind- Sword of Truth. This series was my first. Extremely good with some bombass action. The only problem i had with it was the main character was just too good to be true. A lot of people like that in their fantasy novels though.


[b]R.A. Salvatore- Dark Elf
.....series? This guy puts out books like its his job...Yeah you know what i mean. The dark elf series is something like 20 long. I believe its part of the "forgotten realms" line of books but i cant seem to remember. The first six are sheer awesomeness. The following 14 are pretty good, the main reason for this is Salvatore's amazing ability to write action sequences. Solid series. He also has several other series but none are quite as popular as this one.

Robin Hobb- Farseer trilogy. Very good trilogy about assassins and maybe even some beast magic. I couldnt put these books down, the main character is a badass.

Charles Ingrid- Sand wars. Some great science fiction hear. Pretty much everything you want from a mecha/peronalized war suit series.

Orson Scott Card- Ender's Game. A very good science fiction novel about teenage/child genius's training to be the generals of earth. Very deep book with a engaging plotline. This book was so good i recommended to my high school english teacher and it got into the school curriculum. But dont think of it as a school book at all, simply a very enjoyable read.

John Steakly- Armor. Science fiction book about war and the repercussions of it on the human brain. Sounds too scientific but its reall not. If you like science fiction you will like this book.

C.S. Friedman- The coldfire trilogy. A good science fiction with even better characters. It has one of my favorite bad..good guy(you will know what i mean if you read its something like a movie about a badguy that you just really want to win in the end) characters ever in the form of Gerald Tarrent.

Glen Cook- Annals of the black company. Glen Cook is a increadible writer of fantasy. This series will keep you guessing.





Well thats all i can think of right now, I will probably add a lot more but my brain is just about done thinking about authors and books atm.




Edited, Jun 4th 2009 1:50am by Lowgo
#2 Jun 04 2009 at 2:40 AM Rating: Decent
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George RR Martins "A Song of Ice and Fire" series is fairly good. If he'd only get off his **** and finish the next one already...
#3 Jun 04 2009 at 6:48 AM Rating: Good
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Turin, Eater of Souls wrote:
George RR Martins "A Song of Ice and Fire" series is fairly good. If he'd only get off his **** and finish the next one already...


Haha, so true. I keep fearing to hear he's dying and won't finish it! The stories are good, and the political intrigue is top-notch. It's probably the most "realistic" fantasy novel series I have read. Just because a character is a main character does NOT mean they will survive. Heck, that's probably the only consistent thing across the 4 books I have read; your favorite characters ALWAYS seem to die. I swear he has a death wheel-of-fortune and it just keeps landing on the best characters.

I still want to read the rest, though :-P

Others, let's see...
Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever

I read the entire 6-book series and could not figure out if it was great or trash. Or rather, if I loved it or hated it. The main character is, in my mind, a lot like House from the TV series. He's unfriendly, mean-spirited, but ultimately has the potential to do good. However, unlike House, he usually sucks ass. He's an antihero, which is an interesting take for the series. I recommend reading it and deciding for yourself. By the way, the first three books are better from what I remember. I think the last three no longer have him...? Not sure, I read it literally several years ago.

Stephen King's The Dark Tower

If you like it or not entirely depends on if you like Stephen King. I personally love a lot of his stories, and this series borrows from them heavily. The action drags a bit near the end, but the story is pretty good.



That's all for now, I know I know more, but they tend to more fantasy than sci-fi (Pullamn's Dark Materials trilogy, for example).
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#4 Jun 04 2009 at 7:50 AM Rating: Decent
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Speaking of Donaldson, he's writing a third Chronicles series. The first two books of the planned four are available now. They are pretty much the same thing as the first two, I'm not sure what I think of it yet since it's only half written, but I'm hoping it gets more interesting than it has been so far.
#5 Jun 04 2009 at 9:30 AM Rating: Decent
Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun is excellent.

Guy Gavriel Kay's Fionavar Tapestry and Tigana are good.

Gordon **** Dorsai books, and the whole Childe Cycle are cool to read. He also wrote the Dragon Knight series, as well as some nice stand alone novels like Way of the Pilgrim.

Neal Stephenson should be read at least for Snow Crash, the last real cyberpunk novel. His other books depend on how much you like historical science fiction blends.

William Gibson started out with cyberpunk, but his later books like Spook Country Are sort of a blend between bruce sterling and douglas coupland.

Depending on your furry tolerance, Alan Dean Foster's spellsinger books are some pretty hilarious misadventures of a B-list singer stuck in a land of talking animals.

Nancy Kress's Beggars in spain is good science fiction, along by anything by rebecca ore.

I'd advise staying away from piers anthony's later books, any fantasy series longer than three books (even the good ones drag on due to the sheer weight of it) and a lot of hard science fiction. Its pretty rare that hard science fiction gets characterization right, its mostly about the scientific idea. Gregory Benford and Greg Bear aren't bad if that's your thing though.
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#6 Jun 04 2009 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
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My favorite SF/fantasy author is probably Jack Chalker. His Well World, Soul Rider, and Changewinds series are especially good.

Edited, Jun 4th 2009 3:00pm by Karlina
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#7 Jun 04 2009 at 1:00 PM Rating: Decent
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The other threads about this subject are somewhere on this forum, but it's always fun to just reminisce and list all my favourites again!

I'm not reading much anymore recently, but I have started to pass along some of my favourite books to a colleague of mine, trying to "educate" him regarding science fiction and fantasy.

I'ld like to start with Jack Vance, there can't be enough of him in a list, be it either fantasy or science fiction.

"Chronicles of Cadwal" is a very enjoyable science fiction trilogy, about life on a protected natural reserve planet located in a universe Vance has used in several of his books.

"Tschai" is a collection of stories about Adam Reith, a human astronaut (special forces though) stranded on a very alien planet. Definitely one of my favourites.

"Lyonesse" is one of the best fantasy I've read, typical Vance characters and a compelling story trilogy.


You already mentioned Frank Herbert's Dune series, as long as we're not talking about the horrible prequel and sequel books by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson, I couldn't agree more.


Dan Simmons:

"Hyperion". Sure, I only really like the first two books in the series, but those are quite good, the first is slow and sets a melancholic mood, the second one is action packed.

"Illium" and "Olympos", not the easiest reads I must admit, not as fluent as Hyperion, but still very interesting and quite good.

I'll add "The Hollow man" but mostly because it had one of the saddest intros I've read in quite some time.

Do not try "The Terror", it is boring and just not a good book (as always just imo).


Asimov:

"End of eternity" is still my favourite.


Philip José Farmer:

"To your scattered bodies go" is truly a good book, the rest of the series isn't as good, but still definitely worth the read. Don't judge it by the truly poor tv series pilot, no wonder it didn't make it to a series.
"Dayworld": a variation on 1984 and the big brother theme, in a world so overpopulated people are only allowed to live one day of the week. Great first book.

Joe Haldeman:

"The Forever War": about war, but not quite as you've read before. Try fighting a war in outer space when Earth grows older and changes when you haven't.

The sequels aren't as good though.

Robert Heinlein:

My favourite author, apart from Jack Vance, he's written a lot of interesting books.

"The cat who walks through walls"
"Time enough for love"
"Friday"
"Farnham's Freehold"
"Job"
"Number of the beast"

All fun reads.


Roger Zelazny:

"Lord of light": not an easy read, but a beautiful blend of science fiction and hinduism and buddhism.
"Eye of Cat": my personal favourite of him. Native American (Navajo I believe) mythology blended with science fiction and aliens.
"Great book of Amber": a true adventure series, ten small books usually found combined now. There is one finished trilogy and a newly begun trilogy prequels written by Gregory Betancourt that are interesting to read but never quite reach the quality of the original by Zelazny himself.

Died at 58, I wonder what other marvellous stories he could have given us.


Philip K. ****

"Maze of Death": fairly typical **** novel I'ld say, paranoia and great twists.

Weis and Hickman:

"The Sovereign stone": my favourite story of them, a trilogy about a young prince with his lackey seeking black power and gaining it, to the ruin of just about everyone else. Lousy ending, but then I've not read that many good endings written by them, great build-ups but never really a good ending.



There are more tales and books I would advice, but these seem to be
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#8 Jun 04 2009 at 9:43 PM Rating: Good
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Yessss i forgot about gene wolf.....excellent excellent writer.

But when someone mentioned Stephen King....i consider him to be one of the greatest writer of all time, the only author i think even more talented than him might be C.S. Lewis. Well in these genre of books...Stephen king can just pull you in and never let you go until your done with the book/series. And afterwards I sometimes enter a dazed state of WTF just HAPPENED.
#9 Jun 05 2009 at 4:05 AM Rating: Good
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Lowgo wrote:
But when someone mentioned Stephen King....i consider him to be one of the greatest writer of all time, the only author i think even more talented than him might be C.S. Lewis. Well in these genre of books...Stephen king can just pull you in and never let you go until your done with the book/series. And afterwards I sometimes enter a dazed state of WTF just HAPPENED.


I'll agree with that for a lot of his old books; some of his newer ones didn't strike as interesting. Absolutely love 'Salem's Lot, IT, and some of his short stories (like that one where a lady kept trying to find shortcuts and eventually crossed into a supernatural world, or "The Mist").
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#10 Jun 05 2009 at 8:14 AM Rating: Decent
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LockeColeMA wrote:
Lowgo wrote:
But when someone mentioned Stephen King....i consider him to be one of the greatest writer of all time, the only author i think even more talented than him might be C.S. Lewis. Well in these genre of books...Stephen king can just pull you in and never let you go until your done with the book/series. And afterwards I sometimes enter a dazed state of WTF just HAPPENED.


I'll agree with that for a lot of his old books; some of his newer ones didn't strike as interesting. Absolutely love 'Salem's Lot, IT, and some of his short stories (like that one where a lady kept trying to find shortcuts and eventually crossed into a supernatural world, or "The Mist").


I think a lot of his readers would agree that his older books are definitely better than the recent ones. "Cell", "Lisey's Story", "Duma Key", "Just after Sunset", "From a buick8" (my personal worst SK book so far) are all just not good books. (as always, just imo) The stories aren't compelling, the characters all bland and uninteresting.

His accident does seem to have affected him a lot, which is only natural given the rather serious nature of it.

Still, I've good hopes for his next work "Under the Dome". There's a short description of the plot on his site and it doesn't sound all too bad.

I have good hopes for every new book though, I'm quite a fan of him, but unfortunately, I haven't been reading a good SK book since "Bag of Bones". "Blaze" and "Hearts in Atlantis" weren't bad though, apart from the first story in Hearts.

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#11 Jun 05 2009 at 10:56 AM Rating: Good
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I completely agree, but this tends to happen to a lot of authors. Duma key had potential....but it could have been half as long imo, just didnt have enough content to make it that big. Blaze was alright, i read it on airport layaways and wasnt that dissapointed. But like everyone said, if your looking for stephen king, read his earlier books first.
#12 Jun 06 2009 at 6:59 PM Rating: Decent
I haven't really read much modern king. Horror was a phase I outgrew I think. However if you like king, you should try F Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack books. They are an interesting mix of action and horror.

If you like c.s. lewis, you will want to read George Macdonald and G.K. Chesterton, although the latter didn't really write fantasy. Macdonald was an inspiration for lewis, especially phantastes. Chesterton I think really influenced Lewis-if you read that hideous strength, it is the most chestertonian of his books. The man who was thursday is his most widely known fiction work.

Also, a VERY good author for lewis fans is cordwainer smith, his short fiction and norstrilla. He defies description, writing about the very far future where an instrumentality of man ruthlessly controls the lives of everyday citizens while deep underneath semi-human underpeople wait and pray as they try to save humans from themselves. His story "The dead lady of clown town" is probably one of the best SF stories I ever had read. He breaks so many rules to such good effect.

If you like lewis as a religious storyteller, there are a few good authors, but not many. Walter Miller's "A canticle for leibowitz," Walter wangerin's "The book of the dun cow," and Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books are pretty good. If you don't mind kitschier things, Steven Lawhead's older dragon king trilogy is a nice way to waste a day or two.

Not much else science fiction is religious I'm afraid, it was one of the things that soured me on it. I'm not religious myself, but know family and people that are, and the constant one-sidedness took away from the immersion. Every religious believer was crazy and science hating, and often the villian-it killed kim stanley robinson's mars trilogy for me, and many other books.

I remember Frank Herbert getting some flack for his book dragon in the sea where he suggested religion might actually be a social good, and chris stasheff winding up writing his wizard books because so much medeival fantasy ignored religion entirely, which was like a science fiction book ignoring physics.
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#13 Jun 06 2009 at 8:09 PM Rating: Good
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I wasnt refering to the exact content of C.S. Lewis's works. I really dont like my enjoyment reading to have a ton of allusions to christianity in it. C.S. Lewis is an exception for me.

Lol I know some people may disagree when i say this , but i was not very impressed with tolkiens actual writing. His ideas and imagination were superb, but to me it didnt seem like he could transfer his thoughts in to writing that well. I realize i am probably going to get bashed for this because LotR's was such a monumental achievment in the fantasy world. I'm simply saying that his ideas and his dedication to his "world" was fantastic. But the writing end of his work didnt shine as brightly to me.

Where as C.S. Lewis had imagination and talent behind his writing. Thats what impressed me so much out of Lewis. The combination of his imagination and his skill of bringing it alive in the minds of his readers.

P.S. Ive read the Lawhead dragonking trilogy and enjoyed it.
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