Fantasy Faction

Fantasy Faction => Fantasy Book & Author Discussion => Topic started by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 02, 2015, 06:01:45 PM

Title: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 02, 2015, 06:01:45 PM
It's that time again Jon_Anon asking for more book recommendations ;D So I was wondering if anybody has played the game Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and if so do they know of any books similar to it?

Now if you have only played Oblivion or Skyrim then you might be under the impression that the Elder Scrolls series is a fun but pretty generic fantasy setting but that's really not true especially when it comes to Morrowind.
 Morrowind sits apart because of how unique and alien the environment is. Morrowind is an inhospitable land of volcanic ash deserts and salt-swamps with big fungus\mushroom trees and it is filled with weird creatures such as the giant flying jellyfish-like Netch, large two legged lizards called Guar and half crab half humanoids called the Dreugh. Below the surface of Morrowind there are huge underground cities filled with highly advanced technology that have been abandoned by a forgotten race called the Dwemer. The whole place is like a Lovecraftian High Fantasy combined with a Post Apocalypse.

And it's not just the landscape that makes it unique but also the culture of the people who live there called the Dunmer (Dark Elves). The game takes heavy inspiration from Vedic and Semitic religions as well as Thelemic philosophy and mysticism. Also a lot of visual inspiration was taken from Babylonian as well as other Near and Far East civilisations.

Here are a few pictures and music so you can get a feel for what I mean:

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTaOdXy9szE&index=1&list=PLWtocHfXtQqAm2XRjh4UDOlkmq39ljAEF (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NTaOdXy9szE&index=1&list=PLWtocHfXtQqAm2XRjh4UDOlkmq39ljAEF)

img04.deviantart.net/283c/i/2012/317/7/e/ald__ruhn_by_lelek1980-d4exr20.jpg (http://img04.deviantart.net/283c/i/2012/317/7/e/ald__ruhn_by_lelek1980-d4exr20.jpg)

www.superbwallpapers.com/games/the-elder-scrolls-iii-morrowind-26696/ (http://www.superbwallpapers.com/games/the-elder-scrolls-iii-morrowind-26696/)

orig07.deviantart.net/d578/f/2013/291/8/3/nerevarine_by_inrin-d6qwob4.jpg (http://orig07.deviantart.net/d578/f/2013/291/8/3/nerevarine_by_inrin-d6qwob4.jpg)

yjwob44rjng25ecfxobec112.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/1305194242_fullres.jpg (http://yjwob44rjng25ecfxobec112.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/1305194242_fullres.jpg)

40.media.tumblr.com/0fa0d31a66eedcb9a21387b921f7b5ee/tumblr_mj0gbnMwhe1ro7fpzo3_1280.jpg (http://40.media.tumblr.com/0fa0d31a66eedcb9a21387b921f7b5ee/tumblr_mj0gbnMwhe1ro7fpzo3_1280.jpg)

img04.deviantart.net/8ca4/i/2012/034/2/c/vivec_sunset_by_swietopelk-d4oi43o.jpg (http://img04.deviantart.net/8ca4/i/2012/034/2/c/vivec_sunset_by_swietopelk-d4oi43o.jpg)

img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140624050239/elderscrolls/images/b/bc/VivecC0DA.png (http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140624050239/elderscrolls/images/b/bc/VivecC0DA.png)

Sorry I couldn't embed them, for some reason I can't get it to work.   :-\
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Yora on August 02, 2015, 11:26:06 PM
I should write something like this. Morrowind has always been a huge inspiration for my ideas of a fantasy world.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 03, 2015, 05:05:40 PM
I should write something like this. Morrowind has always been a huge inspiration for my ideas of a fantasy world.

You should, I'd like to read that.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 04, 2015, 06:53:47 PM
Anybody got any?
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Alex Hormann on August 04, 2015, 07:43:30 PM
I can't think of anything particularly close, but The Stormlight Archive is quite an alien world and The Vagrant reminded me a little of Solstheim from Dragonborn.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Yora on August 04, 2015, 09:14:31 PM
That's not the same... No big mushroom trees, giant crab shell houses, or big beetles as public transportation.  ;D
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: JoeWalter on August 05, 2015, 05:12:01 AM
Hmm, it's actually science fiction, but that first picture you posted is always what I imagined Arrakis would look like in Dune. And no giant beetles, but they ride around on massive worms through the desert.

Similarities probably stop there, though. I'm not too familiar with Morrowind to say.

I would second Stormlight Archive though if you haven't read it. The world is very unique - ravaged by ridiculous storms, and everything has evolved because of it. The grass retracts itself below the dirt whenever a storm comes, the plants coil themselves back with stone-like shells to protect themselves. There are giant spider crab like monsters that play major roles, there are creatures called chulls that are slow but strong that they use for transportation and a mysterious race of people that are very, very interesting. Really there is a ton more than all that too. It might not be similar in setting and all that to Morrowind, but in terms of an alien world and unique culture and things like that, it is really in depth and well done.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Yora on August 05, 2015, 10:29:11 AM
That being said, Dark Sun might kind of fit the bill. A little bit.

Sadly I've heard the novels aren't very good. I tried The Brazen Gambit and it's one of the few books I stopped reading about a third in.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 06, 2015, 12:34:38 AM
Stormlight is a good suggestion world-wise but what about the culture? Like I said one of the big attractions to Morrowind is how it went heavy with it's inspirations from mysticism and eastern cultures and religions like judeo, Vedic and Assyrian.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: JoeWalter on August 06, 2015, 02:26:21 AM
Stormlight is a good suggestion world-wise but what about the culture? Like I said one of the big attractions to Morrowind is how it went heavy with it's inspirations from mysticism and eastern cultures and religions like judeo, Vedic and Assyrian.

Well as I said, I don't know enough about Morrowind (or those cultures/religions) to make an educated opinion. That being said, there is definitely a ton of description towards the cultures Sanderson creates in the novels. I'm not sure as to the inspirations he created them with. There are races of people who won't walk on stone because they believe it's blasphemous, others who believe the highest calling in to be a warrior, some who think being a warrior is the lowest calling, more who have a caste system based on eye color. There's much more than this, and I'm certain I am making it sound far more shallow than it is, but it's been a while since I read them.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: vgunn on August 06, 2015, 02:07:51 PM
Greg Keyes wrote a couple official Elder Scrolls tie-in novels: The Infernal City is the first one and has a Dunmer character.

Raymond E. Feist's Serpent War novels.

While not the same, there are some similarities with the Drizzt novels of R.A. Salvatore that give off a Morrowind vibe--especially the Underdark. If you haven't read them, I'd give them a look.

Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers, the start of the War of the Spider Queen series.

The Shattered Land by Keith Baker.

Robert Earl's Burning Shore features Lizardmen and the Warhammer setting in parts can feel like Morrowind.

Temple of the Serpent by C.L. Werner.

Hope this helps!
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Yora on August 06, 2015, 05:49:17 PM
Dissolution by Richard Lee Byers, the start of the War of the Spider Queen series.
The entire series might be worth looking into. When I read it some years back, I liked it quite a lot. Since each book is written by a different author, some are much less good than others (I think particularly towards the middle), but the whole story arc is quite interesting. And it deals almost entirely with strange cultures in unnatural environments, and at times even gets a bit surreal.

Might be worth a shot.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Yora on December 20, 2015, 08:49:00 PM
I think I got one. (Actually did a few weeks back.)

The Book of Hyperborea by Clark Ashton Smith. The only bad thing about it is that it's rather short. There is also Zothique, which I've heard to be similar, though it takes place on Earth during the last centuries or decades before the death of the sun, when the planet has become a world of magic and monsters.

Another book that somehow completely slipped by is A Princess of Mars by Edgar Burroughs. It's technically Mars and they have radium rifles and radium pistols (which in practice seem more flintlock than laser), but other than that it's a full blown fantasy setting. Dark Sun seems like a direct ripoff and even if the makers of Morrowind did not take inspirations from it directly, the province still seems to be very strongly influenced by ideas first popularized by it.
And there's a whole series of books.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 24, 2016, 12:25:33 PM
May as well bump this as I have yet to find a books that fulfills this void in my life. I read Way of Kings and got about quarter of the way through Words of Radiance and honestly I don't think I'm going to read anymore. On one hand I really like the world but on the other hand it kind of reminds me of a bad anime.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: ScarletBea on August 24, 2016, 12:45:25 PM
I don't know Morrowind, but reading your initial post, I think you might like the Vagrant, by Peter Newman.

Morrowind sits apart because of how unique and alien the environment is. Morrowind is an inhospitable land of volcanic ash deserts and salt-swamps with big fungus\mushroom trees and it is filled with weird creatures such as the giant flying jellyfish-like Netch, large two legged lizards called Guar and half crab half humanoids called the Dreugh. Below the surface of Morrowind there are huge underground cities filled with highly advanced technology that have been abandoned by a forgotten race called the Dwemer. The whole place is like a Lovecraftian High Fantasy combined with a Post Apocalypse.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Peat on August 24, 2016, 01:12:33 PM
Raymond E. Feist & Janny Wurts' The Empire trilogy.

It features a heavy Eastern influence, feuding houses and some of the strange animals and races feel somewhat Morrowindian. The horse is not common either. It is the best likeness I can think of at the moment, although not hugely close.

I'd have to disagree on the nomination of the Serpentwar trilogy, which feels nothing like to me.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 24, 2016, 01:55:54 PM
I don't know Morrowind, but reading your initial post, I think you might like the Vagrant, by Peter Newman.

Morrowind sits apart because of how unique and alien the environment is. Morrowind is an inhospitable land of volcanic ash deserts and salt-swamps with big fungus\mushroom trees and it is filled with weird creatures such as the giant flying jellyfish-like Netch, large two legged lizards called Guar and half crab half humanoids called the Dreugh. Below the surface of Morrowind there are huge underground cities filled with highly advanced technology that have been abandoned by a forgotten race called the Dwemer. The whole place is like a Lovecraftian High Fantasy combined with a Post Apocalypse.

I have actually read some Vagrant and it reminded me a bit of The Gunslinger crossed with Lone Wolf and Cub.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: JamesLatimer on August 31, 2016, 01:01:04 PM
I have actually read some Vagrant and it reminded me a bit of The Gunslinger crossed with Lone Wolf and Cub.
That's the reaction I had when I saw the cover/heard the premise - but Book of the New Sun rather than Gunslinger, though it's equally apt (guns aside). Nobody else seems to have heard of LW&C...

Anyway, I also loved Morrowind and found the world incredibly atmospheric and unique, which is why the subsequent two have been slightly disappointing. I like my worldbuilding incredibly authentic or incredibly out-there. The generic middle ground frustrates me no end...

I can think of a few books that may be close to the feel of Morrowind. First that comes to mind is Kameron Hurley's no-holds-barred Mirror Empire with it's carnivorous trees and plant-based living swords, there's a definite Telvanni vibe! If you want things a more Redovan, there's Mark T Barnes Echoes of Empire series, with several non-human races in a stratified society with subtle (and not-so-subtle) political maneuvering, and flying ships, just for fun. Racking my brain for a third, and there's a chance that Rebecca Levene's Smiler's Fair has some of what you may be looking for. The worldbuilding is a bit of a hodge-podge of far-out ideas and very familiar earth-like cultures - a bit like Elder Scrolls altogether!

It's strange that having loved living in Morrowind that I don't write worlds more like it, but I often find game worlds too...cosmopolitan. There has to be all this variety for the sake of character creation, but with so much going on, it often feels a bit shallow (all Argonians are slaves, all Khajiit are thieves or drug addicts). Morrowind did manage to make Dunmer society varied and complex in a way that I don't feel like Skyrim did for the Nords, nor Oblivion for the Empire, despite the different provinces in each. For some reason, though, that sort of worldbuilding has never enticed me on it's own. Perhaps I'm too rational to be that inventive.  :-\
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on August 31, 2016, 03:07:33 PM
I have actually read some Vagrant and it reminded me a bit of The Gunslinger crossed with Lone Wolf and Cub.
That's the reaction I had when I saw the cover/heard the premise - but Book of the New Sun rather than Gunslinger, though it's equally apt (guns aside). Nobody else seems to have heard of LW&C...

Anyway, I also loved Morrowind and found the world incredibly atmospheric and unique, which is why the subsequent two have been slightly disappointing. I like my worldbuilding incredibly authentic or incredibly out-there. The generic middle ground frustrates me no end...

I can think of a few books that may be close to the feel of Morrowind. First that comes to mind is Kameron Hurley's no-holds-barred Mirror Empire with it's carnivorous trees and plant-based living swords, there's a definite Telvanni vibe! If you want things a more Redovan, there's Mark T Barnes Echoes of Empire series, with several non-human races in a stratified society with subtle (and not-so-subtle) political maneuvering, and flying ships, just for fun. Racking my brain for a third, and there's a chance that Rebecca Levene's Smiler's Fair has some of what you may be looking for. The worldbuilding is a bit of a hodge-podge of far-out ideas and very familiar earth-like cultures - a bit like Elder Scrolls altogether!

It's strange that having loved living in Morrowind that I don't write worlds more like it, but I often find game worlds too...cosmopolitan. There has to be all this variety for the sake of character creation, but with so much going on, it often feels a bit shallow (all Argonians are slaves, all Khajiit are thieves or drug addicts). Morrowind did manage to make Dunmer society varied and complex in a way that I don't feel like Skyrim did for the Nords, nor Oblivion for the Empire, despite the different provinces in each. For some reason, though, that sort of worldbuilding has never enticed me on it's own. Perhaps I'm too rational to be that inventive.  :-\

Yeah, it really saddens me Bethesda has gotten totally away from the weird and uniqueness of Morrowind with the games since. I feel like if they ever want to capture that spirit again then the best place to set the game would be Elsweyr. The Khajiit already have a pretty fleshed out culture that is non-western but also the OOG book describe northern Elsweyr as a silver\white desert made of sugar with giant crystal mesas and indigo oasis. That sounds bloody amazing to me. But likely if that game was ever made Beth would just turn it in to a generic desert  >:(

Thanks for the recommendations. Mirror Empire does sound interesting with the different coloured moons and suns and the different sexes, reminds me a bit of Vivec (seriously, he is a bi-racial, bi-sexial, bi-polar demigod warrior-poet. How is this not the coolest thing ever?) as for the other two books I think Echoes of Empire sounds the most up my alley and it's compared to Malazan which is a huge bonus. Smiler's Fair does sound interesting though so I will add it to my list as well.
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: JamesLatimer on September 02, 2016, 10:58:41 AM
Yeah, it really saddens me Bethesda has gotten totally away from the weird and uniqueness of Morrowind with the games since. I feel like if they ever want to capture that spirit again then the best place to set the game would be Elsweyr. The Khajiit already have a pretty fleshed out culture that is non-western but also the OOG book describe northern Elsweyr as a silver\white desert made of sugar with giant crystal mesas and indigo oasis. That sounds bloody amazing to me. But likely if that game was ever made Beth would just turn it in to a generic desert  >:(
I haven't played ESO, but apparently some of the depictions in there have drawn criticism for being too bland and generic. :/
Title: Re: Fantasy Books Similar To Morrowind?
Post by: Jonny_Anonymous on September 02, 2016, 01:02:15 PM
Yeah, it really saddens me Bethesda has gotten totally away from the weird and uniqueness of Morrowind with the games since. I feel like if they ever want to capture that spirit again then the best place to set the game would be Elsweyr. The Khajiit already have a pretty fleshed out culture that is non-western but also the OOG book describe northern Elsweyr as a silver\white desert made of sugar with giant crystal mesas and indigo oasis. That sounds bloody amazing to me. But likely if that game was ever made Beth would just turn it in to a generic desert  >:(
I haven't played ESO, but apparently some of the depictions in there have drawn criticism for being too bland and generic. :/

I play ESO and yeah a lot of it is kind of bland but I understand why it's that way. Because there is only so much they can do with the way the game is built without it crashing by having too many assets beacuse of all the people running around. However beacuse of Dragon Breaks and the like Beth still has an in-universe "get-out-of-jail-free" card they can use to make anything look like however they want. The  Void Nights specifically for Elsweyr. I would love to have the game set at that time, I even have it outlined in my head lol