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Author Topic: KJ Parker  (Read 20498 times)

Offline pornokitsch

KJ Parker
« on: March 01, 2013, 09:00:41 PM »
Somehow the KJ Parker thread has fallen 120+ days out of date, so I'm justified in starting a new one.

I'm putting my money (virtually speaking) where my mouth is and hosting a read of The Folding Knife over on Tor.com. If you're so inclined, I'll be going along at a chapter a week, so there's plenty of time to get started and/or catch up.

Also, the Tor.com crowd are complete strangers to me. Please don't leave me alone with them!

Offline Jian

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Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2013, 09:13:53 PM »
I may join! I started Sharps by K.J. Parker, and while I liked it, I was a bit confused about a few things. Maybe starting with one of the first books may help rid of the confusion.
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Check it out, if you've got the time. Much appreciated.

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Offline Jeni

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2013, 10:14:36 PM »
I have a couple of questions:

Will it matter that I've never read any other KJ Parker novels?

Is this a stand-alone or part of a series?

Did it start today? If join in I'll have to hunt down a copy from a library over the weekend so how far behind would that put me? 

Sorry to be a pain, but I'm actually really interested in joining in so I'm trying to figure out a way to fit it in (especially as I'm already behind with the book club here).

Offline pornokitsch

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2013, 12:37:47 PM »
Jian, although Sharps (eventually) has more action, I think The Folding Knife is less convoluted. Sharps is basically a mystery. The Folding Knife is more a biography. Or a history? A 'classic'? (In the, like, ancient Greek or Roman sense?). We'll see!

Jeni - It won't matter at all that you've not read another Parker. The Folding Knife is a complete stand-alone. All of Parker's novels (probably) take place in the same universe, but they don't touch one another, if that makes sense.

It started today, but only the prelude (literally, the first six pages). I'll be going at a chapter a week, so there's plenty of time to join in. It is a fast book to read, but there's lots to talk about. (I hope. Else I'm screwed.)

Thanks!

Offline Jian

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Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2013, 02:12:36 PM »
Good to know! I've got the entire Engineer Trilogy and the Hammer. (Can borrow it from a friend.)

Will have to wait a bit to get the Folding Knife. Can you tell me anything about the Engineer Trilogy and the Hammer?
Oh, I have a blog. http://dullboredom.wordpress.com/

Check it out, if you've got the time. Much appreciated.

Writer. Read my free, serialized story Radio Silence and vote to keep it free and serialized!

Offline pornokitsch

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2013, 02:58:19 PM »
Good to know! I've got the entire Engineer Trilogy and the Hammer. (Can borrow it from a friend.)

Will have to wait a bit to get the Folding Knife. Can you tell me anything about the Engineer Trilogy and the Hammer?

The Hammer is another stand-alone (I guess you knew that already). There's an isolated part of the world - the townsfolk and the creepy nobles on the hill all have an uneasy peace. But when the creepy nobles start to fight amongst themselves, everything falls apart. Definitely one of Parker's darkest.

The Engineer Trilogy is probably my favourite (that or the Scavenger trilogy). There's a city, run by engineers and bureaucrats. Because of their technology, they dominate a corner of the world, with a pair of feudal kingdoms living in its shadow - stuck between the city and a vast expanse of barbarian tribes. One engineer leaves the city, taking its secrets with him. The trilogy follows (kind of) him and his plan... he's got a goal, and, like any good engineer, will use all the parts available to achieve it. Except in this case, he's playing with entire kingdoms.

It is a brilliant series, with loads of characters, lots of sneaky motivations. Everyone in it is *smart*, which makes it fun to read. And it builds to a properly epic conclusion.

That said, it is pretty huge - less of a trilogy than one long, slow-burning story.

(I'm always happy to do a Parker sales pitch!)

Offline Overlord

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2013, 07:05:25 PM »
Might join you in this - I ordered it a while back when you mentioned it :)
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 10:25:02 PM »
Woohoo!

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2013, 01:23:00 AM »
Once I get a copy I'll join in, as i did enjoy Sharps.  I get the impression as well that KJ Parker is best enjoyed by reading along with others.  A lot of humour and satire with her/ his writing it seems. 
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #9 on: March 13, 2013, 09:12:40 PM »
Excellent!

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2013, 07:39:40 PM »
I'm busy reading The Hammer right now and thoroughly enjoying it. I'm just under halfway through, the main and secondary character are partnering up on a big exciting venture. It all looks so exciting and hopeful. I do not expect this to last. I'm almost reluctant to carry on because I quite like these people, and love the idealism of what they're doing, and I suspect things are about to go very bad.
I am NOT short. I'm further away than I look.

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2013, 07:29:19 PM »
I have the Folding Knife! Will now religiously comment on your reread.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2013, 08:51:59 PM »
Okay I haven't commented on Jared's Tor blog for a couple of weeks but will rectify that now.  But I would recommend you all to join in. An absolutely brilliant book, and a very well written reread.  Also have read The Company as well now, which had the usual Parker humour and ingenuity, plus a bit of Iain Banks darkness.  Very satisfying.  I have a new writer to add to my favourites list!
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: KJ Parker
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2013, 04:56:50 PM »
Thanks! The reread has been really fun!

Offline moonspawn

KJ Parker
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2014, 05:11:08 AM »
Recently I read and finished the Folding Knife which was recommended to me here a little while back. I liked it. In fact I liked it a lot more than many of the more popular epic fantasy novels. Economics is one of my favorite subjects so I greatly enjoyed how important of a role economics played in the plot. I liked the characters and I found Basso a sad and sympathetic character even though he was a corrupt tyrant. And I can only think of a handful of novels that were as well condensed as that one... So much happened, it's hard to believe after reading it that it was really under 500 pages. I thought Basso's actions with respect to foreign policy should have been less overt and more subtle and I thought the ending was stupid, even if it was clever at the same time. Other than these flaws I loved it! Thank you fantasy faction for recommending this wonderful book to me! I'm definitely looking forward to reading more K.J. Parker books. The Scavenger Trilogy looks especially interesting. Its too bad he/she is so under the radar but I think I can see why. He/she writes books that don't read like fantasy novels but read more like Historical fiction. Heck there wasn't one fantasy element in the Folding Knife besides the fact that the author created the world and there was very little action in it. Besides this the author uses other techniques that are unconventional to the fantasy genre which are obviously more common to historical fiction and some of which may in-fact be more common in literary fiction. I think readers of historical fiction and literary fiction may appreciate KJ Parker's work more than fantasy readers. No wonder he/she doesn't have much of an audience. What do you people think of that and for those of you who've read the Scavenger Trilogy what did you think? Should that be the next thing by KJ Parker I read? I am curious how well liked KJ Parker is around here.