Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Jian on July 25, 2012, 03:32:59 PM

Title: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Jian on July 25, 2012, 03:32:59 PM
I recently coerced my friend into reading the first two chapters of a fantasy book of my choosing. The problem is, I can't decide which, because I really want to hook him into reading fantasy. The only fantasy books he's read thus far are a few Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. He was not impressed. He normally reads physics textbooks, math, etc.

So, this is an emergency, people. I was thinking of recommending him something that just GRABS you and shoves you into a world beyond your imagination. The Prologue of Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson really did that for me. I was thinking maybe Way of Shadows, but the first two chapters are so short and explain so little that I wouldn't blame him if he stopped reading it. And since I'd just picked up a Limited Edition copy of American Gods, maybe that. Need your advice, people. Which book should I recommend?
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: jdiddyesquire on July 25, 2012, 03:44:36 PM
I would steer clear of the excessive worldbuilding things that you love. Think about what HE loves. If he didn't like HP and Lord of the Rings, give him something character driven and hard boiled. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie or Devices and Desires by KJ Parker would be my suggestions.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: ZombieJosh on July 25, 2012, 04:46:52 PM
I think American Gods is a good choice. One of my all time favourites, but also isn't too fantasy, if you get my meaning! I do think that anything set in some crazy, huge fantasy world could easily put someone new to the genre right off.

What about Storm Front (Dresden book 1), a nice, easy intro to urban fantasy?
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Fallen One on July 25, 2012, 05:51:50 PM

 Perhaps fantasy resembling reality a bit more closely? If so, I think A Game of Thrones might be a good pick.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Idlewilder on July 25, 2012, 05:53:51 PM
I'd probably go for The Blade Itself. That's usually what I suggest to people, and every one of them have come back asking for my next recommendation.  ;D
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on July 25, 2012, 06:03:41 PM
I guess I will third The Blade Itself.  ;D

Another one I would suggest is The Warded Man.

Unfortunately many of my favorites are slower in the beginning. I know Lies of Locke Lamore, Name of the Wind, Assassin's Apprentice and Game of Thrones all took more than two chapters to get me hooked.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Idlewilder on July 25, 2012, 06:09:39 PM
Another one I would suggest is The Warded Man.

Also known as The Painted Man in the UK if that's where you are. Not read it myself but have heard it gets going pretty rapidly.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Jian on July 25, 2012, 06:14:15 PM
Hmm. I guess I'll reread the Blade Itself and see if the first few chapters got me hooked. And American Gods is looking like a great choice considering the first two chapters are quite long. xD

And The Dresden Files didn't really get me hooked, or skimming through the pages. More like, skipping through half of it when Harry got to moping. Has anyone noticed that characters with the name Harry seem to mope quite a bit?  ;D

EDIT: Still accepting recommendations, though. xD
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Idlewilder on July 25, 2012, 06:16:41 PM
Also if he's into something which maybe require a little more thought - maybe try something by China Mieville. The City and the City is where I started, and it's not really very fantasy-heavy at all.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on July 25, 2012, 06:16:58 PM
I guess I will third The Blade Itself.  ;D

Another one I would suggest is The Warded Man.

Should have mentioned that out of these two, I am fairly sure The Warded Man (or The Painted Man in the UK .... thanks for pointing that out Idlewilder :) ) pulled me in quicker
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: CaMarshall on July 25, 2012, 08:08:03 PM
Others have mentioned it but I think The Painted Man would be a good place to start too, It doesn't follow too many characters or have involve a massive scope of world such as Tolkien. Either that or The Name of the Wind true, the action doesn't start at chapter 1 but if your friend sticks with it for a couple more pages I'm sure he will be hooked.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: xiagan on July 25, 2012, 08:38:35 PM
Another one for the painted man. I picked it up in a bookshop (unconvinced by the title, cover and blurb) and started reading the first chapter there to see if I like it. (Spoilers: I did)
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on July 25, 2012, 08:39:02 PM
Theft of Swords is another one that pulled me in pretty quick.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Idlewilder on July 25, 2012, 09:47:43 PM
Theft of Swords is another one that pulled me in pretty quick.

Thought about this myself, but if he didn't like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings (2 of Michael J. Sullivan's biggest influences) I'm not sure he'd like it's very traditional sort of style.

Don't get me wrong though - I'd recommend this whole series in a heartbeat otherwise.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on July 25, 2012, 10:52:32 PM
Theft of Swords is another one that pulled me in pretty quick.

Thought about this myself, but if he didn't like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings (2 of Michael J. Sullivan's biggest influences) I'm not sure he'd like it's very traditional sort of style.

Don't get me wrong though - I'd recommend this whole series in a heartbeat otherwise.
Thats true. I think for this situation The Painted Man would get my strongest recommendation
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Elfy on July 26, 2012, 03:10:07 AM
You could go with a classic like Magician by Raymond E. Feist, that's part of a series, but it can be read standalone and at worst you're only locked in to reading the first 3, rather than the entire cycle. Plus he has the advantage of having a whole bunch of books done, so you're not waiting like with A Song of Ice and Fire and even Wheel of Time. I'd also think about The Lies of Locke Lamora, yes, it's the first of an unfinished series, but it works quite well as a standalone and it's a bloody great book. If you're looking for something on the funnier side pretty much any of Terry Pratchett's Discworld books work there. Something gritty and tough that reads almost like historical fiction is David Gemmel's Legend, if you want to see where writers like Joe Abercrombie got their inspiration then look no further.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Jian on July 29, 2012, 10:37:40 AM
Thanks for the recommendations. In the end, I recommended the Blade Itself since after re-reading the beginning, it really captured me from the get-go. So, once again, thank you all. I'll keep you all informed about whether or not my friend likes it or not. Fingers crossed, ey?
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Wooly_FY71 on July 30, 2012, 12:05:48 AM
I'd recommend the first book in DM Cornish's The Foundling's Tale series. It's a great intro to fantasy and not too heavy either
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Carl on July 30, 2012, 03:18:47 PM
I've seen this thread a few times and keep trying to think of good recommendations, but it's hard to put aside our love for good world building that is so much a part of Fantasy.

A couple of possibilities do come to mind though.

Dance of the Goblins by Jaq D Hawkins
It starts with a prologue that does a clever shift from the human point of view to the goblin point of view. The only thing I'm not sure about is that it then slows down a little in chapter 1 to build character relationships. The world building is subtle and happens as part of the plot.

Nine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
It starts with what looks like the normal world with the main character suffering amnesia, then leads the reader through the process of remembering a very different world and bizarre things start happening. Again, the world building happens gradually.

These won't work if the problem is that he's looking for fast action from the start. What kind of movies does he watch? That might give a clue to the kind of books that would appeal to him. Maybe Terry Brooks if he needs a good sword fight early on.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: ZombieJosh on July 30, 2012, 03:37:21 PM
This forum thread is making me think I should add The Painted Man to my To-Read list! Never considered it before, as I'm not a big reader of traditional fantasy, but it seems like it's a must read.

Ta people.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on July 30, 2012, 04:10:15 PM
This forum thread is making me think I should add The Painted Man to my To-Read list! Never considered it before, as I'm not a big reader of traditional fantasy, but it seems like it's a must read.
Do it.

:)
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Autumn2May on July 31, 2012, 07:56:01 PM
Another one I would suggest is The Warded Man.

Also known as The Painted Man in the UK if that's where you are. Not read it myself but have heard it gets going pretty rapidly.

I'll second The Painted/Warded Man. I think that's a good one to get you hooked early on in a book.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Jian on July 31, 2012, 08:01:25 PM
Now I'm definitely gonna read that. I just started reading Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle. I'm upping Painted Man on the list. I always avoided it because the plot sounded rather predictable. But with all these rave reviews from you people, I might as well give it a shot and hope for the best, ey? xD
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Idlewilder on July 31, 2012, 08:48:50 PM
Now I'm definitely gonna read that. I just started reading Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle. I'm upping Painted Man on the list. I always avoided it because the plot sounded rather predictable. But with all these rave reviews from you people, I might as well give it a shot and hope for the best, ey? xD

Exactly the same sentiments here. I almost feel obliged to read it now!
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: xiagan on July 31, 2012, 09:19:43 PM
Now I'm definitely gonna read that. I just started reading Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicle. I'm upping Painted Man on the list. I always avoided it because the plot sounded rather predictable. But with all these rave reviews from you people, I might as well give it a shot and hope for the best, ey? xD

Exactly the same sentiments here. I almost feel obliged to read it now!
Which certainly is a good thing, eh? ;)
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: pornokitsch on August 04, 2012, 01:43:28 AM
The Painted Man is really, really fantasy. There's not subtle about it - it throw you in the deep end with demons and warriors and whatnot. It is a cool, crazy world, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it as a "first" fantasy. It is pretty full-on.

Going back to Jdiddy, what does the reader like when they're reading normally? War stuff? (Abercrombie - and probably The Heroes or Best Served Cold) Mystery? (Scott Lynch's Lies of Locke Lamora or China MiƩville's The City & The City) Historical fiction? (George RR Martin or Naomi Novik). Politics? (KJ Parker's Folding Knife). Horror or SF? (Well, loads of ways to go there...)

Even if they're interested in, I dunno... martial arts, food, Chinese culture, westerns, superheroes, ancient Rome, philosophy, etc... there's a fantasy book for everything!

Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Arry on August 28, 2012, 04:42:24 PM
I'm curious how this went. Has he read it yet?  ;D
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Jian on August 28, 2012, 04:48:55 PM
Oh, yeah, he read it. He said the Blade Itself, first few chapters, was pretty interesting. Then he picked up a Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking. Ironically, I'm the one that gave him that book as well. xD
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Alex on October 18, 2015, 03:33:23 PM
I recently coerced my friend into reading the first two chapters of a fantasy book of my choosing. The problem is, I can't decide which, because I really want to hook him into reading fantasy. The only fantasy books he's read thus far are a few Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. He was not impressed. He normally reads physics textbooks, math, etc.


This is an old thread, but mention of Physics and math made me think of Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey. It's a time travel series and a lot of science gets slipped in so smoothly that you don't realize you've been reading Einstein's theories if you're not looking for it. Book four really goes into current temporal theories, quoting known experts in the field like Hawkings, Thorne and Davies.

It's also a good adventurous read with a strong female protagonist. Win-win.
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: AzWingsFan on October 18, 2015, 07:12:01 PM
I would chose something with strong writing and believable characters, given that I would not choose the warded man, I begrudgingly finished it, but nothing kept me interested. That coupled with the sub par writing, it didn't do anything for me. I know I am in the minority but if i read that as a first foray into fantasy I would stop there.

The Blade Itself or Best Served Cold
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Francis Knight on October 18, 2015, 07:23:13 PM
The Painted Man is really, really fantasy. There's not subtle about it - it throw you in the deep end with demons and warriors and whatnot.
I had..issues with it. Firstly that I could see where it was all going from chapter one (and was not proved wrong). So I was pretty bored.  And ..OK prolly not best get into that. It was not for me.

What sort of other books does the friend like reading? I mean this could be the difference between reccing Sandman Slim and Dragonlance. Each are good to their audience but...
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: eclipse on October 18, 2015, 07:44:54 PM
Hmm I sure his read a few fantasy books by now look at the OP date hehe

@Jian (http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=14902) maybe can update us
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Francis Knight on October 19, 2015, 12:34:29 PM
Bah! Necro threads....


:)
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Ryan Mueller on October 19, 2015, 08:37:10 PM
This forum thread is making me think I should add The Painted Man to my To-Read list! Never considered it before, as I'm not a big reader of traditional fantasy, but it seems like it's a must read.
Do it.

:)

And then pretend the rest of the series doesn't exist.

(It's not that bad, but I've found each subsequent book more and more disappointing. Maybe I'll finally get through The Skull Throne on my third attempt).
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: Brother of the Sixth Order on October 19, 2015, 08:38:59 PM
I would try Theft of Swords by Michael J Sullivan, chapter 1 is one the best introductions to a fantasy novel i have read
Title: Re: Emergency recommendation needed
Post by: ClintACK on October 19, 2015, 09:09:54 PM
I recently coerced my friend into reading the first two chapters of a fantasy book of my choosing. The problem is, I can't decide which, because I really want to hook him into reading fantasy. The only fantasy books he's read thus far are a few Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. He was not impressed. He normally reads physics textbooks, math, etc.


This is an old thread, but mention of Physics and math made me think of Time Shifters by Shanna Lauffey. It's a time travel series and a lot of science gets slipped in so smoothly that you don't realize you've been reading Einstein's theories if you're not looking for it. Book four really goes into current temporal theories, quoting known experts in the field like Hawkings, Thorne and Davies.

It's also a good adventurous read with a strong female protagonist. Win-win.

Normally reads physics textbooks... I might ease him into fantasy by way of sci-fi.  Larry Niven has some cool short novels that turn on real science points -- like Neutron Star.  And the first Heechee book, Gateway is quite good.  The Martian.

The Warlock series by Christopher Stasheff is fairly sf-in-a-fantasy-trapping -- the protagonist is a space explorer showing up on a medieval-trapping world where the "witches" have telepathy and telekinesis.  (It's sort of a fallen galactic empire, spreading back out to the distant colonies that were left isolated in the collapse.)

Or some really hard SF like James Halperin's two books -- The Truth Machine and the First Immortal.  The first one is our world with the invention of a lie detector that actually works, and is cheaply mass-produced.  The implications for everything -- crime, politics, science, business, personal relationships... he explores it all.  The second is from the PoV of someone who chooses to freeze himself at death and then his great-something-grandson invents the nanotechnology to reassemble frozen brains and brings him back to life in a strange distant future.

The single-question What-if fiction can appeal to a physics-textbook reader where swords-and-sorcery adventure might not.

Sci-fi: Fantasy's gateway drug for nerds.

If he really only reads textbooks, it's probably a lost cause, though.  Reading for knowledge and reading for the emotional ride is a different pursuit.