Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Yora on September 21, 2015, 06:02:56 PM

Title: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 21, 2015, 06:02:56 PM
Some writers make it big and become hugely famous, but some of these also later get a much less positive reputation for various reasons.
I wonder how much of that is their own fault and what might just be a change of mainstream taste,

I remember Robert Jordan and The Wheel of Time being super huge in the late 90s. Now two decades later it seems the shine has mostly gone off. I rarely see any big praise for it anymore but even people who seem like fans readily admit that there's a very big drop in quality in the middle and the story just keeps dragging on forever.

The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks also seems to be often described as kind of outdated with it's success being attributed to people wanting more similar stuff after Tolkien had his breakthrough. But I don't really recall hearing any praise for it now.

And these days it seems like Terry Goodkind is regarded as one of the big pariahs of fantasy. I've heard of The Sword of Truth many times, but was it ever a big deal with mainstream success?
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: xiagan on September 21, 2015, 06:08:42 PM
And these days it seems like Terry Goodkind is regarded as one of the big pariahs of fantasy. I've heard of The Sword of Truth many times, but was it ever a big deal with mainstream success?
Yes it was. Successful enough to make a horribly bad (or so I heard) TV series.

R.A. Salvatore isn't as big and acknowledged as he once was. I recently saw Ice Wind Dale and Drizzt Do'Urden board games, though.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 21, 2015, 06:33:59 PM
Being most succesful with licensed works, I think Salvatore always stood somewhat excluded from "proper, high quality fantasy writers". You probaby just won't get the full recognition outside the dedicated circle of fans. He seems like someone who never got mainstream recognition despite being very successful. Discredited by default.

I read quite a lot of his books and particularly liked some of the earliest ones. I've read Drizzt until book 13 when it just had been too repetitive. (And I think there's well over 20 now.) And I think his cultural impact is actually quite significant. Gary Gygax had the idea of evil black elves who live underground, but Salvatore made Drow the classic icon of fantasy they are now.
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery and he got immitated a lot. I don't think many writers can claim that to the degree that he does.
I don't really know anything about how well he's selling now, but when I stopped reading it felt to me repetitive and no longer inspired.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 21, 2015, 06:37:51 PM
Stephen Donaldson's Thomas Covenant series were national bestsellers back in the day, and considered very top notch fantasy. I don't get a sense there's much love for him these days. It may have to do with Covenant's central crime; but I think we were just as opposed and shocked by it in the past as we are today.

I ignore the second two series, and just stick with the first. I know not everyone agrees, but I think it's pretty great stuff.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: tebakutis on September 21, 2015, 07:04:46 PM
Quote
Yora said:
The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks also seems to be often described as kind of outdated with it's success being attributed to people wanting more similar stuff after Tolkien had his breakthrough. But I don't really recall hearing any praise for it now.

I honestly think Sword has been overshadowed by Terry's other books, which is why you don't hear about it as often. I mean, I'm as huge a fan of Terry Brooks as anyone, and I'll freely admit Elfstones of Shannara (his second book) is far better than Sword.... which is why I feel MTV chose to adapt the second book in the series, rather than the first (which, as people often point out, is very similar to a condensed LoTR).

But the thing is, Sword of Shannara was Terry's first book... all writers, even published, should improve with each book they release. And Sword was what, 20 years ago? If I were in Terry's shoes, I wouldn't want people judging me by a 20 year old book. I'd want them to look at my recent stuff, instead.

If I had to recommend a Terry Brooks book for someone who's never read him before, I'd point anyone to Running with the Demon. It's still one of Terry's best books (IMO) and kicks off The Word and Void series, which remains my favorite series out of all his work.

Regarding Terry Goodkind, I did read through his initial run of Sword of Truth books and enjoyed them, for the most part, though I'll admit the last few were a chore. Way too many cases of characters monologuing the author's personal and political views in the latter half. Still, I found them an entertaining series, especially the books closer to the start. I hadn't heard anything about Goodkind becoming a 'pariah' since.. where did you hear that?

Quote
xiagan said:
Yes it was. Successful enough to make a horribly bad (or so I heard) TV series.

Eh, Legend of the Seeker wasn't actually that bad... it just wasn't Sword of Truth. The arc bore a passing resemblance to the books, and the characters shared names, but really, it was more of an updated Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. Slightly corny, but better than you'd expect. Just forget the books and it works.

I think if the exact same show (Legend of the Seeker) had come out without the expectations and plots attached to Sword of Truth, with a different title, it might have done better. If you take the show on its own (forget the books and the characters... consider it a 'alternate universe') it's no worse than Hercules and Xena, and in some cases, even more entertaining. I'm all for more light fantasy popcorn fare.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: ClintACK on September 21, 2015, 07:24:59 PM
Some writers make it big and become hugely famous, but some of these also later get a much less positive reputation for various reasons.
I wonder how much of that is their own fault and what might just be a change of mainstream taste,

Lots of different things going on.

Elfstones of Shannara holds up today -- but the many other novels in that series never really worked for me.

Sword of Truth -- the first book or two were okay, if a bit out there (see: S&M Aes Sedai), but then it went off the rails.

Honor Harrington -- the first five or so books are great, then the quality starts to fall off.

Wheel of Time -- a few dragging "middle" books and now the series is done, so the excitement has worn off some.  At least half the fun, ten years ago, with WoT was theorizing about how it was going to end.  (For the record: I called the whole
Callandor as a dark-magic sa'angreal which he'd use to shove the Dark One back into his hole
thing way in advance.  But I missed tons of other things.)

Game of Thrones -- brilliant, but starting to drag in the middle (as massive epics seem to do) -- in part because he was forced to split a book in two because of the constraints of hard-copy publishing -- but mostly because the slow writing pace is leaving us all hanging.  This may also suffer from the "theories-were-half-the-fun" problem when it's completed.


I would have put Chronicles of Amber right at the top of this list.  They were spectacular, twenty or thirty years ago, but they haven't worn well over time.  A lot of the feel is off, I think.  And the things that made them great have been copied and morphed and made cliche.

I wonder how Wizard of Earthsea would play to a modern audience -- would it feel like a pretentious takeoff on Harry Potter?


Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Hedin on September 21, 2015, 07:53:18 PM
Game of Thrones -- brilliant, but starting to drag in the middle (as massive epics seem to do) -- in part because he was forced to split a book in two because of the constraints of hard-copy publishing -- but mostly because the slow writing pace is leaving us all hanging.  This may also suffer from the "theories-were-half-the-fun" problem when it's completed.

I don't really buy the constraints of hard-copy publishing argument with ASOIAF.  I would have believed that if Winds would have come out within a year of Feast as promised but really the issue has some down to an influx of bloat that Martin wasn't able to control.

Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Rostum on September 21, 2015, 08:19:11 PM
Two series spring to mind Julian May's many coloured land and Phillip jose Farmer's to your scattered bodies go.
Both sci-fi fantasy crossovers, both enormous fun but they ran their course. Maybe if HBO find them they will be the next big thing.

If you haven't come across them you need to give them a go.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: leterile on September 21, 2015, 09:07:25 PM
More sci-fi than fantasy, but Orson Scott Card has taken a hit for his political views. I don't know why it should matter what his political leanings are, but some are boycotting his books and movies because of it.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Raptori on September 21, 2015, 09:14:29 PM
More sci-fi than fantasy, but Orson Scott Card has taken a hit for his political views. I don't know why it should matter what his political leanings are, but some are boycotting his books and movies because of it.
In his case it matters because he uses his income to campaign against gay rights and the like. I have no problems reading something written by someone whose views I disagree with, but giving money to someone who actively campaigns about things like that is crossing the line for me. And that's coming from someone who really enjoyed OSC's work.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DrNefario on September 21, 2015, 09:31:41 PM
But the thing is, Sword of Shannara was Terry's first book... all writers, even published, should improve with each book they release. And Sword was what, 20 years ago? If I were in Terry's shoes, I wouldn't want people judging me by a 20 year old book. I'd want them to look at my recent stuff, instead.
Sword of Shannara was 1977, so closer to 40 years ago. I never liked it much, myself, but it probably did a lot to pave the way for the genre we know today. It bored me, and I never read anything else by Brooks. I can be ruthless sometimes. But maybe if you want me to read a later work, don't set everything in the same world. I hate not starting at the beginning.

How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 21, 2015, 10:31:18 PM
More sci-fi than fantasy, but Orson Scott Card has taken a hit for his political views. I don't know why it should matter what his political leanings are, but some are boycotting his books and movies because of it.
In sci-fi you obviously have also Heinlein. Who is dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 21, 2015, 10:32:54 PM
Two series spring to mind Julian May's many coloured land and Phillip jose Farmer's to your scattered bodies go.
Both sci-fi fantasy crossovers, both enormous fun but they ran their course. Maybe if HBO find them they will be the next big thing.

If you haven't come across them you need to give them a go.
I kind of hope no one does try and bring Farmer's Riverworld to the screen. They'd mess it up. I can't see them casting anyone I'd agree with as Burton. Sort of related to this is a series of blog posts that Adam Whitehead (better known as Werthead) is doing on his blog. He's covering the history of Epic Fantasy, he's up to number 12 so far. It's quite interesting reading. If anyone is interested just cruise on over to: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 22, 2015, 03:42:52 AM
More sci-fi than fantasy, but Orson Scott Card has taken a hit for his political views. I don't know why it should matter what his political leanings are, but some are boycotting his books and movies because of it.
In sci-fi you obviously have also Heinlein. Who is dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard.

Dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard? Do you mean for wierd views and misue of money?

Meanwhile, I have to say that Hubbard's Battlefield Earth was a monumentally fun guilty pleasure.
As for Heinlein, I recently read "The Cat Who Walks Through Walls" and got whiplash between being charmed, bored and just aghast at his bizarre sexism (which I'm sure he would never have seen that way). I think my favorite of his was "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress."
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: CameronJohnston on September 22, 2015, 08:51:33 AM
Wheel of Time - The middle books dragged...and dragged and dragged, which really discourages a re-read for me (and probably most people). But people persevered because they wanted to find out how it ended. I still really like books 1-7.

The Sword of Truth - I still enjoy the first and second book, but that series really did lose its way :\

Shannara series - some books just show their age as time marches on, and I think these ones really do. However, his Landover books are still enormously fun and I always preferred them.

R.A. Salvatore - I adored The Dark Elf and The Icewind Dale series, and after that it just seemed to become more and more of the same old.


I think, in the end, it just boils down to shiny new and interesting series' coming out that get people talking (A Song of Ice and Fire, Gentlemen Bastards, etc), and gradually older works fade away from the forefront of reader consciousness.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Mark Lawrence on September 22, 2015, 09:14:02 AM
And these days it seems like Terry Goodkind is regarded as one of the big pariahs of fantasy. I've heard of The Sword of Truth many times, but was it ever a big deal with mainstream success?

Heh. I've not read them, so I'm not a fanboy, but this one made me smile. How fleeting fame can be!

This series sold over 25 million copies. Nearly every book hit the New York Times bestseller list. Terry Goodkind was one of the first (and very few) fantasy authors to reach #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.

The first book has 150,000 ratings on Goodreads despite coming out more than a decade before Goodreads started.

It was HUGE. Pat Rothfuss and Sanderson don't reach Goodkind's knees in terms of commercial success in the genre.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 22, 2015, 09:34:15 AM
In sci-fi you obviously have also Heinlein. Who is dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard.

Dwarfed to insignificance by Hubbard? Do you mean for wierd views and misue of money?
Many people seem to have somewhat mixed feelings about Heinlein. Most people have very clear feelings about Hubbard.  :D
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Lady Ty on September 22, 2015, 10:44:56 AM
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

I agree, it was rather sad when I recently went to re-read the Belgariad and found Lejays 'suck fairy' had hit, it was so disappointing and I just picked at bits and pieces and gave up. When it first came out half my office colleagues were reading it even though not fantasy fans.   We may be cynical about prophecies and quests but believe it may still appeal to YA who are less jaded. It had some excellent characters and Silk is one of my all time favourites.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Matt Knott on September 22, 2015, 11:11:50 AM
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

I agree, it was rather sad when I recently went to re-read the Belgariad and found Lejays 'suck fairy' had hit, it was so disappointing and I just picked at bits and pieces and gave up. When it first came out half my office colleagues were reading it even though not fantasy fans.   We may be cynical about prophecies and quests but believe it may still appeal to YA who are less jaded. It had some excellent characters and Silk is one of my all time favourites.

Biggest issue is once you see through Eddings' formula everything just falls apart. It promises a rich, magical world but it's all so boilerplate.

I was a big fan, but I tried to do a read recently and the dialogue turned me off. It's not bad, it's just bland. All his series end the same way as well. Someone becomes 2000ft tall and gets tombstone piledrivered by prophecy boy before he rolls home to his perfect wife.

It sounds harsh but I think my reaction was so strong because I enjoyed it so much before. It's definitely YA, and I don't think it's jaded so much as higher expectations. I love stark lines of good against evil, there's not enough of it these days for a fun romp. It just needs to have less of that written by a really nice journalist vibe.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 22, 2015, 11:35:43 AM
Quote
I think, in the end, it just boils down to shiny new and interesting series' coming out that get people talking (A Song of Ice and Fire, Gentlemen Bastards, etc), and gradually older works fade away from the forefront of reader consciousness.

This ^.
As @Mark (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=40197) Lawrence tells us, there's a difference between being forgotten and "falling out of favor."
Goodkind and Eddings have probably fallen out of favor. Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books have just been forgotten, but were prominent in the genre back in the day.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Matt Knott on September 22, 2015, 12:25:36 PM
I also think a lot of it is that there was a period of time when there was a certain type of fantasy book being published. A more simplistic style that is very hard to go back to reading.

The accepted wisdom was that 'this book sells not that' so you end up with these huge sagas that are very similar to one another and lack a lot of bite. Don't get me wrong there's some fantastic stuff there, but during the DnD Decades it's pretty visible.

Bear in mind these are the ramblings of a man waiting on a delayed flight who hasn't slept for 30 hours. It makes sense from the business and cultural side of things.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DDRRead on September 22, 2015, 12:41:24 PM
[
How about the Belgariad? That was huge in the 80s, and these days seems to have been repackaged as YA. I loved that when I was the same age as Garion, but came to see it as very mechanistic and formulaic, with one of the worst prophecy-driven plots going.

Same here. First read it when I was 14 or 15 and loved it reread it in late-thirties and it stand up well. I think changing it YA was a very shrewd move by the publisher.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Druss on September 22, 2015, 03:45:43 PM
I sometimes feel like people see WoT as a rite of passage. That if you like the Fantasy genre at some point you must read WoT in order to be fully initiated.

I thought it started of brilliant then got crushingly dull well before the middle until I just stopped caring. Way to much talking, way too much women sniffing, way too much hair tugging. Utter Snooze fest.

Sword of truth is more simplistic, it's also more fun. Still think it's 'Of it's time' a bit these days were people seem to like grit and flawed heroes.

Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: magisensei on September 22, 2015, 05:38:29 PM
Raymond E Feist - used to be quite amazing but for me it has fallen quite a bit over the years with at least for me some re-write of history that was established in the first series the Rift War Saga.  For me, at least each saga gets a little harder to get through - lacking the charm of the first series. 

Terry Brooks and his first Shannara series was amazing - for me the Wishsong (the 3rd in the first series) was the best and sets up the world for future series - we see in this third book a move away from Allanon (Gandalf want to be) to his own unique world. 

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - used to be amazing but has declined some over the years.  From Dragonlance to Darksword trilogy to Death gate cycle to even Weis' own science fi series - but their latest few series has been somewhat hard to get through. 
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 22, 2015, 10:29:43 PM
Raymond E Feist - used to be quite amazing but for me it has fallen quite a bit over the years with at least for me some re-write of history that was established in the first series the Rift War Saga.  For me, at least each saga gets a little harder to get through - lacking the charm of the first series. 

Terry Brooks and his first Shannara series was amazing - for me the Wishsong (the 3rd in the first series) was the best and sets up the world for future series - we see in this third book a move away from Allanon (Gandalf want to be) to his own unique world. 

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman - used to be amazing but has declined some over the years.  From Dragonlance to Darksword trilogy to Death gate cycle to even Weis' own science fi series - but their latest few series has been somewhat hard to get through.
When people talk about Weis and Hickman they always forget The Rose of the Prophet trilogy. That was a standalone series and has always been my favourite of their work together. I don't know that authors decline as such, more that everyone from publisher to reader is trying to find the 'next big thing'. They do that, exhaust it and then move on to the next one.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Ryan Mueller on September 23, 2015, 03:53:11 AM
I tried reading the first book of Weis's latest series not that long ago (Shadow Raiders, I think). I found the writing was much better than her earlier work with Hickmann, but the story wasn't doing it for me. It wasn't bad. I just didn't feel any pressing need to read on.

The Death Gate Cycle, on the other hand, is a bit rough in terms of the writing, but I loved the story.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: YordanZh on September 23, 2015, 08:08:04 AM
Le Guin got a lot of rage from some people after her comments on Amazon and I've been hearing quite a bit of anti-Earthsea talks recently. While I too disagree with her on Amazon, Earthsea remains a favorite of mine. :)

I'll also second Feist's Rift War Saga and this time I agree - it didn't do it for me.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 23, 2015, 09:43:48 AM
What did she say? That amazon is bad?

Or even more offensive, that amazon is good?  :D
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 23, 2015, 11:47:38 AM
Le Guin got a lot of rage from some people after her comments on Amazon and I've been hearing quite a bit of anti-Earthsea talks recently. While I too disagree with her on Amazon, Earthsea remains a favorite of mine. :)


Here is the link to one of LeGuin's blog posts about Amazon. Shall we say, she's not a fan.

http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/06/01/up-the-amazon/ (http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/06/01/up-the-amazon/)

I expect the kerfuffle is over her characterizaiton of so much of what people have written as "BS", disposable, fast food literature. I also expect she wouldn't put her own work into that category. (And it isn't, of course.)

But whose work is she referring to? She blogs as though Amazon itself is writing the books she detests, when it's really authors - real people with dreams of being published.

I found her blog interesting, but more interesting would have been also taking on authors who publish 12 novels a year because they have a staff working under them - but put only their own name on the cover. I'm looking at you, James Patterson.

I really needed the specificity of the books and authors from her, not just generalities about Amazon. What books does she label as BS? The Girl on the Train? Edgar Sawtelle? Gone Girl? All the Light We Cannot See?Whatever book is hot that summer? What exactly does she think is wrong with these books? Or is she after the suspense or romance novelists. I suppose she detests the idea of Shades of Grey, but I doubt she'd read it (nor do I have any interest there). I wonder what she thinks of Harry Potter? or the Mockingjay series?

She yearns for a day, it seems, when fewer books were published, and maybe fewer people read them. It feels to me like she is exercising a form of snobbery that weakens her argument against a company that abuses and pressures its suppliers and employees.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Lady Ty on September 23, 2015, 12:47:17 PM
Thanks for the link, @Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094), I hadn't been aware of that article but even more interested in the comments. No wonder people are annoyed with Ursula le Guin, I am really surprised that she wrote so critically and seemingly without clear understanding.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DDRRead on September 23, 2015, 01:03:56 PM
[Katherine Kurtz's Deryni books have just been forgotten, but were prominent in the genre back in the day.

Which is a shame. I'd never heard of them back when doorstep quest fantasy ruled the day and I was wading through the Belgariad, but read the first set recently and thought they were great.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 23, 2015, 01:36:32 PM
Thanks for the link, @Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094), I hadn't been aware of that article but even more interested in the comments. No wonder people are annoyed with Ursula le Guin, I am really surprised that she wrote so critically and seemingly without clear understanding.
It could be easily attributed to an assumption that publishers are serving as quality control to keep the junk out and letting only good material become available to readers. In which case it would be just snobbish. (Since it's from a writer who makes good money by being already accepted by publishers and fewer people getting in.)
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DrNefario on September 23, 2015, 02:11:53 PM
I haven't read the article, but Le Guin is 85 years old. I think she's allowed to be out of touch.

I read the first four Earthsea books quite recently and thought they were great. The first was the weakest, for me.

(I've been debating whether to buy the new SF Masterworks omnibus of two of her short story collections, but have held off for now because... I'd rather have an ebook and it's paper-only.)
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 23, 2015, 02:16:55 PM
Thanks for the link, @Jmack (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=37094), I hadn't been aware of that article but even more interested in the comments. No wonder people are annoyed with Ursula le Guin, I am really surprised that she wrote so critically and seemingly without clear understanding.

I hadn't read the ocmments; they'r quite interesting.

I also realize that I had not notices that for BS, LeGuin (presumably) meant Best Seller. I, of course, assumed it meant something cruder. Maybe she meant both?  ;)
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Lady Ty on September 23, 2015, 02:23:31 PM
I haven't read the article, but Le Guin is 85 years old. I think she's allowed to be out of touch.


Good point, and I remembered this speech she made in support of Fantasy and also sticking up for authors v publishers. I think this is another aspect of her opposition to Amazon, as a huge capitalist publisher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9Nf-rsALk&sns=tw
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: m3mnoch on September 23, 2015, 03:20:02 PM
I haven't read the article, but Le Guin is 85 years old. I think she's allowed to be out of touch.


Good point, and I remembered this speech she made in support of Fantasy and also sticking up for authors v publishers. I think this is another aspect of her opposition to Amazon, as a huge capitalist publisher.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9Nf-rsALk&sns=tw

yeah.  she's crazy.

when you're a person who says this about amazon:
Quote
Its ideal book is a safe commodity, a commercial product written to the specifications of the current market, that will hit the BS list, get to the top, and vanish.

it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the long tail.  amazon's bread and butter is not the best seller list -- it's the long tail.  just like her bread and butter does not come from her latest best seller, but from the aggregate of her fairly vast back catalog.

i really don't understand how an author with so many works can miss that.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: ultamentkiller on September 23, 2015, 10:25:01 PM
I know Salvatore's been mentioned, but not the series I would've thought. The only one I've read was The Demon Wars Saga, and man it was awesome! It got mentioned in a post about books that draw readers into the fantasy genre, but very briefly.
Maybe that's not his best series though, and if not, I need to check out his others.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Lady Ty on September 24, 2015, 12:13:59 AM
There was a series that started publication in 1988 called The Keltiad by Patricia Kennealy. She later called herself Patricia Kennealy Morrison claiming to have been married to Jim Morrison of The Doors. Later still she wrote murder mysteries as Patricia Morrison

The Keltiad starts off with The SilverBranch, The Copper Crown and The Throne of Scone.

These first three I found enthralling at the time because they combined Arthurian Legend, Space Travel, Interplanetary War, Celtic Myth, Druidic Magic, Brehon Law, plus Sword and Sorcery.

Hmm, may have left something out. :D.  Oh yes, a bit of romance thrown in as well but not too much. :D  That may sound terrible but it combined to make good reading.

Not only have they fallen out of favour, they are now out of print, but if you come across them in a second hand book shop, I recommend you pick them up and read, you may enjoy. They are certainly different.  There were a further three called The Hawk's Grey Feather, The Oak above the Kings and The Hedge of Mist.  These were similar but prequels as far as I remember, had lost their edge and a little confusing.

Has anyone else here read them ? @Elfy (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1153), do you have them perhaps?

Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Eclipse on September 24, 2015, 03:16:27 AM
Throne of Scone, that sounds nice with jam and tea
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 24, 2015, 06:15:46 AM
There was a series that started publication in 1988 called The Keltiad by Patricia Kennealy. She later called herself Patricia Kennealy Morrison claiming to have been married to Jim Morrison of The Doors. Later still she wrote murder mysteries as Patricia Morrison

The Keltiad starts off with The SilverBranch, The Copper Crown and The Throne of Scone.

These first three I found enthralling at the time because they combined Arthurian Legend, Space Travel, Interplanetary War, Celtic Myth, Druidic Magic, Brehon Law, plus Sword and Sorcery.

Hmm, may have left something out. :D.  Oh yes, a bit of romance thrown in as well but not too much. :D  That may sound terrible but it combined to make good reading.

Not only have they fallen out of favour, they are now out of print, but if you come across them in a second hand book shop, I recommend you pick them up and read, you may enjoy. They are certainly different.  There were a further three called The Hawk's Grey Feather, The Oak above the Kings and The Hedge of Mist.  These were similar but prequels as far as I remember, had lost their edge and a little confusing.

Has anyone else here read them ? @Elfy (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1153), do you have them perhaps?
I've read the Keltiad. Long time ago now so I can barely remember it, but I do recall Patricia Kennealy's claim that she had at one time been married to Jim Morrison.
She's still writing the mysteries.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JamesLatimer on September 24, 2015, 11:50:47 AM
I remember going into Borders (in the US) back in the day and the fantasy portion of the SFF shelves being dominated by Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, Eddings, Goodkind, Jordan, and then people like L. E. Modesitt and Tad Williams as well.  Lots of huge books with garish covers--the bigger the book or series the easier it stood out!   I couldn't really tell you what women there were, because as a stupid teenage boy I ignored most of them, but pretty sure Robin Hobb was there.  I did manage to pick out a copy of a lesser-known book called A Game of Thrones, though...

My impression of the UK was that Raymond E Fiest was much more prominent, and also David Gemmell and Pratchett, whereas Anthony, Brooks, Goodkind, Modesitt were almost completely absent.

This is all impression, though, I'm sure I'm forgetting some obvious ones as well.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem trivial to get the numbers...
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Roxxsmom on September 26, 2015, 05:39:40 AM
A couple of writers who seem to have fallen off the radar: CJ Cherryh wrote more SF than fantasy, but some of her books are the latter, and others meld the two. She's one of the best SF and F writers to come out of the 70s and 80s, in my opinion. She's still writing her Foreigner books, which are a very long-running series that seems to be profitable enough to continue publishing, but I rarely run into people who read them. She did recently revisit her Merchanter Alliance universe with a new Cyteen book, but she rarely seems to get remembered on reader polls or those lists of "Authors everyone should read." A darned shame, as her world building is excellent, imo, her characters deep, and her plots have a nice balance between grit and optimism.

Mercedes Lackey is another. She's written a lot of stuff, and her books were once very popular, but it seems that if one admits to liking her work, one is more likely to get jeers than cheers (or even simply no response at all) in fantasy forums these days. I think one issue for her is that she really pumped a lot of titles out per year, and there was a point (for me) where I'd have this odd feeling I'd read a book before, even if it was brand new. I like her earlier stuff, though.

Another writer who seems to have plunged into obscurity is Piers Anthony. He was very popular with fantasy nerds when I was in high school and college, in spite of his work being rather sexist (in my opinion), but no one seems to read him anymore. I think one reason for this lies in two very controversial and squickly books he wrote that portrayed sex between adults and children in a sympathetic way: Firefly and Tatham Mound.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 26, 2015, 06:25:10 AM
A couple of writers who seem to have fallen off the radar: CJ Cherryh wrote more SF than fantasy, but some of her books are the latter, and others meld the two. She's one of the best SF and F writers to come out of the 70s and 80s, in my opinion. She's still writing her Foreigner books, which are a very long-running series that seems to be profitable enough to continue publishing, but I rarely run into people who read them. She did recently revisit her Merchanter Alliance universe with a new Cyteen book, but she rarely seems to get remembered on reader polls or those lists of "Authors everyone should read." A darned shame, as her world building is excellent, imo, her characters deep, and her plots have a nice balance between grit and optimism.

Mercedes Lackey is another. She's written a lot of stuff, and her books were once very popular, but it seems that if one admits to liking her work, one is more likely to get jeers than cheers (or even simply no response at all) in fantasy forums these days. I think one issue for her is that she really pumped a lot of titles out per year, and there was a point (for me) where I'd have this odd feeling I'd read a book before, even if it was brand new. I like her earlier stuff, though.

Another writer who seems to have plunged into obscurity is Piers Anthony. He was very popular with fantasy nerds when I was in high school and college, in spite of his work being rather sexist (in my opinion), but no one seems to read him anymore. I think one reason for this lies in two very controversial and squickly books he wrote that portrayed sex between adults and children in a sympathetic way: Firefly and Tatham Mound.
I tend to agree about Cherryh, but Lackey is still very prolific. She seems to put a book a year out under her own name and I'm not even counting the ones she co-writes (in fact I recently read one, and it's the start of a series), she's also highly respected for her sheer professionalism among fellow fantasy writers. Eric Flint in particular loves working with her for things like his 1632 shared world concept.

Piers Anthony is 81 years old now, and so understandably his output has lessened in recent years. He seems to confine himself mostly to Xanth books, but still sells fairly well. I read a lot of him years ago, but kind of went off him when I got bored with the formula that he wrote to, something that he quite openly admitted to.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DrNefario on September 26, 2015, 09:33:27 AM
I used to be a big fan of Cherryh. I guess I still am, but I totally lost my place in the Foreigner series-of-serieses, and haven't been able/willing to devote the necessary time to working out where I got to. I seem to remember that I saw there was a new one out, then noticed there was another earlier one I didn't seem to have read, and then when I read that, I was a bit suspicious that I'd missed one before that.

I always preferred her SF to her fantasy, too. The fantasy tended to be in a different voice, which didn't work so well for me.

I also read a lot of Piers Anthony as a teenager. He always had quite a lot of sexual content. That was part of the appeal for me then, and probably also the reason I grew out of it.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Davis Ashura on September 26, 2015, 01:19:34 PM
Harry Harrison was very popular back in the late 80's with his Stainless Steel Rat series. but now, few have heard of him. The same goes for Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. They are well-known, but there was a time when the release of their latest book was treated with the same level of importance and excitement as Jordan's books once were. Jennifer Roberson had a pretty solid career going, and people who read them, still remember Tiger and Del with great fondness, but again, not so popular now.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 27, 2015, 01:39:23 AM
Harry Harrison was very popular back in the late 80's with his Stainless Steel Rat series. but now, few have heard of him. The same goes for Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. They are well-known, but there was a time when the release of their latest book was treated with the same level of importance and excitement as Jordan's books once were. Jennifer Roberson had a pretty solid career going, and people who read them, still remember Tiger and Del with great fondness, but again, not so popular now.
I loved the Stainless Steel Rat books. Read the first one again not so long ago. Harrison also wrote Make Room! Make Room! which was made as the film Soylent Green.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: DrNefario on September 28, 2015, 01:20:29 PM
Sort of related to this is a series of blog posts that Adam Whitehead (better known as Werthead) is doing on his blog. He's covering the history of Epic Fantasy, he's up to number 12 so far. It's quite interesting reading. If anyone is interested just cruise on over to: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com.
I read these pieces over the weekend, and thought they were really good, so I thought this post deserved a bump.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 28, 2015, 04:19:42 PM
Sort of related to this is a series of blog posts that Adam Whitehead (better known as Werthead) is doing on his blog. He's covering the history of Epic Fantasy, he's up to number 12 so far. It's quite interesting reading. If anyone is interested just cruise on over to: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com.
I read these pieces over the weekend, and thought they were really good, so I thought this post deserved a bump.

They look awesome, and will jump to the top my blog-TBR.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Elfy on September 28, 2015, 10:31:33 PM
Sort of related to this is a series of blog posts that Adam Whitehead (better known as Werthead) is doing on his blog. He's covering the history of Epic Fantasy, he's up to number 12 so far. It's quite interesting reading. If anyone is interested just cruise on over to: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com.
I read these pieces over the weekend, and thought they were really good, so I thought this post deserved a bump.

They look awesome, and will jump to the top my blog-TBR.
They actually are awesome and fun to read. He's considering collecting them all, expanding them and publishing them in book form. Of course he's got a way to go, just covered the whole Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms thing.
Title: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: JMack on September 28, 2015, 10:33:36 PM
It's also purely English-language centric. But still, a great read. I guess I'm to post #5.


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Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: m3mnoch on September 28, 2015, 11:10:47 PM
Sort of related to this is a series of blog posts that Adam Whitehead (better known as Werthead) is doing on his blog. He's covering the history of Epic Fantasy, he's up to number 12 so far. It's quite interesting reading. If anyone is interested just cruise on over to: http://thewertzone.blogspot.com.
I read these pieces over the weekend, and thought they were really good, so I thought this post deserved a bump.

They look awesome, and will jump to the top my blog-TBR.
They actually are awesome and fun to read. He's considering collecting them all, expanding them and publishing them in book form. Of course he's got a way to go, just covered the whole Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms thing.

great call on pointing this out.  this looks amazing.

i went and found the whole list:
http://thewertzone.blogspot.com/search/label/history%20of%20epic%20fantasy
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Yora on September 29, 2015, 09:19:28 AM
It's also purely English-language centric. But still, a great read. I guess I'm to post #5.
There isn't really much in that genre that isn't written in English. For international success, you probably have to write in English or Spanish.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Matt Knott on September 29, 2015, 05:21:41 PM
I remember going into Borders (in the US) back in the day and the fantasy portion of the SFF shelves being dominated by Piers Anthony, Terry Brooks, Eddings, Goodkind, Jordan, and then people like L. E. Modesitt and Tad Williams as well.  Lots of huge books with garish covers--the bigger the book or series the easier it stood out!   I couldn't really tell you what women there were, because as a stupid teenage boy I ignored most of them, but pretty sure Robin Hobb was there.  I did manage to pick out a copy of a lesser-known book called A Game of Thrones, though...

My impression of the UK was that Raymond E Fiest was much more prominent, and also David Gemmell and Pratchett, whereas Anthony, Brooks, Goodkind, Modesitt were almost completely absent.

This is all impression, though, I'm sure I'm forgetting some obvious ones as well.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem trivial to get the numbers...

Gonna confirm this anecdote, Gemmell and Feist dominated my local bookshop in Stoke (Webberley's 100 years old and sadly being sold). The bottom shelf was Belgariad and DnD stuff while everything else was those two.

Another writer who seems to have plunged into obscurity is Piers Anthony. He was very popular with fantasy nerds when I was in high school and college, in spite of his work being rather sexist (in my opinion), but no one seems to read him anymore. I think one reason for this lies in two very controversial and squickly books he wrote that portrayed sex between adults and children in a sympathetic way: Firefly and Tatham Mound.

Actually had a conversation on this with someone in person yesterday. He said he'd almost forgotten how much he enjoyed Piers Anthony as a kid and I remembered them as creepy but couldn't recall why.

Should have checked here!
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Roxxsmom on September 30, 2015, 08:41:41 AM
I used to be a big fan of Cherryh. I guess I still am, but I totally lost my place in the Foreigner series-of-serieses, and haven't been able/willing to devote the necessary time to working out where I got to. I seem to remember that I saw there was a new one out, then noticed there was another earlier one I didn't seem to have read, and then when I read that, I was a bit suspicious that I'd missed one before that.

I always preferred her SF to her fantasy, too. The fantasy tended to be in a different voice, which didn't work so well for me.

I also read a lot of Piers Anthony as a teenager. He always had quite a lot of sexual content. That was part of the appeal for me then, and probably also the reason I grew out of it.

I always thought his books were smutty more than sexy personally, but that might be because of my gender.

I liked Cherryh's SF better than her fantasy too. I don't remember the exact issue I had now, but it might have been the voice. Her SF appealed to me because it was very character driven and visceral (a pretty close third person as I recall). Don't remember as much about the style she used for her fantasy.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Pwibble on September 30, 2015, 09:07:59 PM
I read lots of Piers Anthony in the 80s to early 90s and it has definitely lost its shine although I always liked his Incarnations of Immortality more than Xanth. I think "For Love of Evil" and "On a Pale Horse" were worthy (if still bordering on sleaze at times). My friends and I all read the Belgariad as young teens and I did manage to re-read but mainly as nostalgia. Definitely couldn't go back to the Elenium for example. I remember the Horseclans books were always in the library and they don't appear anywhere now.

I don't know where they fit now but do the Warhammer books come under this heading now?
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Eclipse on July 08, 2019, 07:10:51 AM
Forgotten realm novels used to be really popular but I hardly see them in bookstores anymore.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: isos81 on July 08, 2019, 07:35:40 AM
Eddings - Started wonderful then all those repetitions killed the charm

Salvatore - I still have the wonderful taste Dark Elf and Icewind Dale gave me but later books were like written for money and did not have the smartness and elegance of the previous books.
Title: Re: Books that have fallen out of favor with the crowds
Post by: Eclipse on July 08, 2019, 08:00:47 AM
I used to really like Salvatore , tried to reread ice wind dale and it ended up as a DNF suck fairy got to it.