February 18, 2019, 02:41:23 AM

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Messages - Elfy

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 17, 2019, 10:24:58 AM »
Quote
I really enjoyed John Dies at the End, but felt that This Book is Full of Spiders was actually better if not quite as out there

Good to know.

Starting the feed because you can never have enough dystopian futures.
Is that the Mira Grant? Great book. I call it the zombie book for people that don’t normally read zombie books.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: New Tropes and Cliches
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:14:33 PM »
One that’s being used a bit now to great effect is races that were formerly villains, or actual villains being used as the ‘good guys’.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Light(er) Funny books needed
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:12:55 PM »
Everything by Tom Holt
Rude Tales and glorious (if you can find a copy)
Flashman
The Flashman books are amazing and while they have some bits that are laugh out loud funny there are some other poignant moments
Spoiler for Hiden:
the demise of poor Willy in Flashman at the Charge and Ilderim Khan in Flashman in the Great Game
and there’s something in the first book that even the author found disturbing and said if he had his time over he wouldn’t have written it. His Pyrates on the other hand is out and out funny from go to whoa and as the title suggests it does have pirates in it, and pirates make everything better, just like ninjas and zombies.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 16, 2019, 10:06:59 PM »
Finished John Dies at the end a nasty twisted and probably damaging book written in a light-hearted manner. This book is full of spiders goes on the TBR pile.

Started The Written by Ben Galley and finding it hard to engage and annoyed by stuff a decent edit would have sorted out. I have not read any of Ben's work previously and probably should have picked Chasing Graves or Heart of stone as the concept for both books.
I really enjoyed John Dies at the End, but felt that This Book is Full of Spiders was actually better if not quite as out there.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Light(er) Funny books needed
« on: February 16, 2019, 01:41:41 AM »
Ta.
Read Jen Williams, will check the others.

Maybe what I need to do is some re-reading ;D
I’ll throw A. Lee Martinez’s Gil’s All-Fright Diner in there. All of Martinez’s work is comedic, but his debut is his best. Jon Hollins’ Dragon Lords series is quite fun, if a little ott at times. Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo duology was quite violent, but still swashbuckling and fun (hippos in the American West, what could possibly go wrong?) Weis and Huckman’s Dragonlance books were good old fashioned fantasy adventure and funny whoever the kender were involved. Their Arabian Nights flavoured Rose of the Prophet was also good in the vein. For pure comedy there’s Robert Asprin’s Myth series and most of what Craig Shaw Gardner write. There’s Tim Holt, and if you want to go old school try Fletcher Pratt and Sprague De Camp’s Harold Shea books.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: February 05, 2019, 02:44:18 AM »
I started Skyfarer by Joseph Brassey over the weekend!
Snap! I started that this weekend as well.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in January 2019
« on: February 03, 2019, 12:02:03 AM »
I have a big pile of actual purchased books that I am slowly working my way through, which is its own sort of exciting because I'm really keen on all of these books. This month I knocked off:

Vengeful by VE Schwab. Not quite as good as I was hoping. Part of that is probably related to how much I  absolutely loved Vicious, but this one widened the lens and, to my mind, diluted the driving central power. Schwab writes with punchy eloquence, but this just felt a little too meandery.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. My goodness, WHAT a book. I described this to my husband as "Tess of the d'Urbervilles meets Puss in Boots and the picaresque tradition", which is really just a silly way of saying it's a story about a young woman struggling against societal expectations, gender roles, and her own nature, while going off on Adventures. So, basically, it's the stuff of YA, but delivered with such scope and language and depth and nuance and I LOVED IT. (Set in the same world as Seraphina, and in fact Seraphina is a side character in this, but while there's amusing resonance and additional depth from knowing her story, I feel that this definitely stands alone and can be read without having read the author's other works.)
I was a little different about the Schwab, it wasn’t as good as Vicious that’s true, but it was a very good entry into the super powers sub genre. I like the powers she comes up with, they’re delightfully creepy. I also flashed a bit on TV series The Gifted which I quite enjoy, so that helped.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in January 2019
« on: February 02, 2019, 04:23:46 AM »
I started the thread (I know it's early in the new month, but I'm in Australia and we live in the future), so I'll kick it off.

It wasn't quite the bang that January 2018 was (I think I read about 12 books then), but 9's still a good start and should keep me on track for my goal of hitting 100 for the year again.

I'm trying to reread all of the Dresden Files, so 6 of them are the Harry Dresden books (Storm Front, Fool Moon, Grave Peril, Summer Knight, Death Masks and Blood Rites). I can't say a lot about these that hasn't already been said, although I was surprised at how early some characters were introduced. They do become a little formulaic, but are consistently entertaining and it's interesting to see how Butcher evolved as an author and the development of the regular supporting cast.

I also got quite into R. S. Belcher. I read the final book of his Golgotha series; Queen of Swords, less weird western than steampunk with added pirates. It was a decent ending to the trilogy, although I would have preferred the original western setting.

Continuing with the urban fantasy thing and Belcher, I also read his dark urban fantasy Nightwise. It's less Harry Dresden and more John Constantine (in fact I kept seeing the MC as John Constantine for all that he looks nothing like the TV version of the character and comes from West Virginia, not London). It was a little dark for my tastes, although I'm reading the sequel and I wasn't keen on the MC's insistence on reminding the audience of what a soulless badass he is.

I also read The Disasters by M. K. England. It's a YA SF by a debut author. Readable, but that's about it, very average and filled with inconsistent characters who seemed to get by on dumb luck most of the time and the plot spent a lot of time wandering around in the Forest of Convenience.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / What did you read in January 2019
« on: February 02, 2019, 04:07:16 AM »
Here it is: The what did you read this past month thread.

Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions.

This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Making villains pathetic
« on: January 27, 2019, 11:31:05 PM »
Don't get me wrong; a villain needs to be dangerous, or the hero's victory doesn't mean much.

But I'm piecing together a new space opera setting, and I'm thinking about my resident evil sorcerers. I want to avoid the "Evil is Cool" trope. Just look at the Sith in Star Wars. They get to wear all black, cut loose with destructive powers, and have no few apologists among the fans. But I want their opposites to be the cool ones.

Real-life villains, for all the damage that they do, aren't cool or impressive. Aside from the evidence we see every day I used to watch a lot of documentaries about dictators, mobsters and serial killers. None of them impressed me in the slightest. Dictators are paranoid inadequates, mobsters are brutish, semi-literate parasites, and serial killers are disgusting, pathetic morons.

So while my evil sorcerers who have given themselves over to horrible elements may wield all sorts of murderpowers their minds and bodies warp from it. They're not cool and collected, they're petty and angry, their skin and teeth suffer, and they gather various physical ailments as they go further along the path. And rather than wear all-black or cool armour I'm thinking of putting them in really gaudy, ostentatious outfits, because they're ultimately empty narcissists trying and failing to fill themselves.

I'd like to hear some thoughts on this. What do we think of villains who aren't fun, just loathsome? Clarence Boddicker, the Scorpio Killer and Commodus, rather than Hannibal Lecter, the Joker and Hans Gruber?
I like it at times. You need someone that the audience is comfortable hating. I’ve got one like that in my current WiP.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Gritty fantasy set in large city??
« on: January 26, 2019, 04:39:11 AM »
Parts of Joe Abercrombie's First Law series and of course George R R Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire fit into that category.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Gritty fantasy set in large city??
« on: January 24, 2019, 04:30:50 AM »
Yeah, my first thought was Daniel Polanksy's work. Very gritty, very urban, the first one looks at class issues (from memory) though the latter two are more set down in the slums.

Perhaps also consider Douglas Hulick's Among Thieves, which is very urban thieves-in-the-alleyways sort of fantasy.

The king of the rogue-shenanigans-afoot-in-the-city is of course Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, which I can never recommend highly enough.

For more always-recommends, and if you're looking for urban settings with a modern slant but fantasy sense of wonder, try Max Gladstone; start with Three Parts Dead.
I’ll second Lies and Among Thieves.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: January 20, 2019, 03:30:19 AM »
Currently reading ....
   
The Hangman's Song (Inspector McLean, #3) by James Oswald
Police detective series set in Edinburgh where the baddy is, or is messing with something supernatural.

The Bumper Book of Peanuts: Snoopy and Friends  by Charles M Schultz
Comic strip collection.

Space Team: The Wrath of Vajazzle (Space Team #2) by Barry J Hutchison
Listening to the audio version of this. Funny space adventure series.
Hi Jeni, nice to see you posting. I adore Peanuts was so far ahead of its time often.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favourite Groups in Fantasy
« on: January 19, 2019, 11:01:21 PM »
The group from the original Dragonlance books by Weis and Hickman were extremely formulaic, but enjoyable to read about at the time.

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They’re not traditional, they’re alt history, but Sarah Gailey’s American Hippo duology features LGBT characters.

I just picked this up from the bookstore the other day and now I'm even more excited to read it!
I really liked them. It’s quite an interesting idea and I thought very well done.

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