December 09, 2019, 05:09:16 AM

Author Topic: Favorite Standalone Book  (Read 10135 times)

Offline JamesLatimer

Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2015, 09:58:04 AM »
I do wish there were more books in this category, because it's very rare I finish a series, and it gives me pause even starting one.  For me, there's a difference between a book with sequels and a series where each book is incomplete without the following two, three...ten.  Also, there are a lot of retro-active series or collections where really you can read them as you wish (the endless "where should I start with X?" over at r/fantasy gets annoying--read what you want!).  Wish more authors would write sequels and not series (I intend to)...

Anyway, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has already been mentioned, and I'll go for Guy Gavriel Kay's Tigana (though apparently several of his one-offs are set in the same world, which works for me).  I always mention Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold here as well, because while there are sequels, you don't have to read them.  I'll also put The Hobbit here, because it's not in a 'series' despite what Peter Jackson thinks.  Also, the inscrutable Worm Ouroboros by ER Eddison, or Cabell's Jurgen (though again related works abound).  Barbara Hambly has some good stand-alones, and Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold was a good recent example of a one-off in an established world.  More like that, please.

Offline Nino

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Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2015, 01:08:52 PM »

Yep, there doesn't seem to be that many stand alone books that I've read.

I think the best would be
- Jasper Fforde's Shades of grey - it was supposed to be a series, but he moved to his YA books and more Thursday Next, abandoning this one :-\ didn't help the similar name for that 'set of words' they called a 'book' that sold lots to mindless readerless people
- any by Mary Gentle (I've read Black Opera and Ilario)
- Erin Morgenstern's Night circus

Noooooo! Don't tell me there won't be a sequel to Shades of Grey! I just finished it a week ago and it was fantastic. And I was so looking forward to reading the sequel.

Well, never say never, but I don't think it's his immediate plans.
Here's something to keep you entertained, then :)
http://www.jasperfforde.com/grey/grey1.html

Oh wait! Rummaging some more in his site I found this:
"One book so far; Book two due in 2016." :D
(just not sure how up to date that is...)

And fab cake!! (I'm assuming the pic is cake icing??)

Thank goodness! That is good to hear. Let's hope it is up to date.

Actually not a cake, but pottery tiles pasted onto a canvas. I do however think it will make very nice icing for a cake.

Offline Nino

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Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2015, 01:22:13 PM »
I completely forgot about two of my other favourites...

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord. (More Si-fi though.)

Offline Saraband

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2015, 05:51:59 PM »
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman


Will second the above recommendation, and add:

The Gospel of Loki, by Joanne Harris
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2015, 05:08:25 PM »
I'd distinguish between series like Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones, which are essentially a single multi-volume novel, and series like Mary Robinette Kowal's Glamour, which are largely self-contained books that are set in the same world and may follow a single protagonist through various adventures.  Some series straddle the line, like Steven Brust's Dragaera novels which have an overarching plot that progresses and is resolved as the series goes on but each book follows an individual, self-contained arc.  I'd count the series of independent books as "stand-alone," since you can pick one up and read it on its own without ever reading the other books in the series, just as you could read a "true" stand-alone book.

But if we're insisting on pure stand-alone books, I'd second a lot of Gaiman, Mielville and Kay, who have already been well covered, and Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell.  I'd add :

Freedom & Necessity - Steven Brust with Emma Bull
The Incrementalists - Steven Brust with Skyler White
(Yeah, I'm a HUGE Brust fan.)

Most of Patricia McKillip's books.  She has a series or two but most of her books are stand alone.

The Goblin Emperor - Katherine Addison

I could name a LOT of older books as well but I'm trying to keep it fairly recent.

Offline JMack

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2015, 02:24:56 AM »
Freedom & Necessity - Steven Brust with Emma Bull
Yes, that was a very interesting read.  What's the premise for Incrementalist?  Given you're a Brust fan, but would you rate one of the books higher than the other?
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2015, 07:08:21 PM »
Freedom & Necessity - Steven Brust with Emma Bull
Yes, that was a very interesting read.  What's the premise for Incrementalist?  Given you're a Brust fan, but would you rate one of the books higher than the other?

The two books are very different.  For those not familiar with it, Freedom & Necessity is an epistolary novel set in the mid 1800s.  It's very low magic - indeed, arguably has no magic in it all.  Without getting into any spoilers, it sort of depends on the readers interpretation of the events.   The Incrementalist is set in modern times and concerns a secret society of benevolent quasi-immortals who have been helping humanity for forty thousand years.  The book got somewhat mixed reviews, perhaps in part because it's at times convoluted and confusing.  I loved it.

My favorites are still the Vlad Taltos Dragaera novels, particularly the middle part of the series where it becomes much more serious and bleak. 

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #37 on: May 06, 2018, 06:07:25 AM »
@ultamentkiller

Some Standalone books
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline JMack

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #38 on: May 06, 2018, 04:38:01 PM »
And now that I’ve read Sanderson’s “Warbreaker” I can add my own to prior recommendations. Excellent book.
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
You are being naive if you think that any sweet and light theme cannot be strangled and force fed it's own flesh. (Nora)
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Offline Elfy

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2018, 10:46:28 PM »
The War of the Flowers and The Eight (I pretend that the awful sequel never happened) are still my favourites, but I've read a couple of good ones recently in Grady Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism and Edgar Cantero's Meddling Kids that I highly recommend.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Nora

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2018, 01:05:42 AM »
For me one of the best hands down is The Library At Mount Char. Batshit crazy breakneck story. Great audiobook too. And of course The Terror too.
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Offline NedMarcus

Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2018, 02:28:30 AM »
It took me a few minutes to even think of a standalone fantasy novel I've read—I love reading series so much—but I remember reading two. The best by far was The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Offline Lady Ty

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2018, 09:00:17 AM »
It is hard to find standalones, but I have three top favourites. In fantasy American Gods by Neil Gaiman and Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay. In SF Hollow World by Michael J Sullivan.
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2019, 06:23:07 AM »
Let’s add more to the list 😀
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

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Offline The Sword in the Tome

Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2019, 11:02:12 AM »
It's good to see Tigana has already been mentioned.  I cherish that book. 

While technically neither Legend or Waylander by David Gemmell are "standalone" stories, both can definitely be read as such.  I know that to be true, as the only thing my wife has read from Gemmell is Waylander – which she loved.  :)
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