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Topics - Lanko

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Your Top 10 List of 2017
« on: January 01, 2018, 08:41:21 PM »
We had a 2016 topic too, so here's the 2017 version! No restrictions of genre or release year. Except for the first, they are in chronological order.

1. The Chronicles of the Black Company series (10 books) by Glen Cook.
2. Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ëckback.
3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer.
4. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie.
5. Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown.
6. Genesis by Bernard Beckett.
7. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.
8. The Chronicles of the Black Gate series (5 books) by Phil Tucker.

Yes, I couldn't decide in two more, even from some 5* stars, that I absolutely found fantastic in the moment but didn't feel I should include here.

So here's three more to compensate, from non SF/F:

1. The Collector by John Fowles.
2. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
3. The End of Sparta: A Novel by Victor Davis Hanson.

And five non-fiction!

1. Venice: A New History by Thomas F. Madden and City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas by Roger Crowley (well, they're about the same thing!)
2. Daybreak: Thoughts on the Prejudices of Morality by Friedrich Nietzsche.
3. Politics by Aristotle
4. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell.
5. Beyond the Northlands: Viking Voyages and the Old Norse Sagas by Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough.

Your turn!

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Goodreads Choice Awards 2017
« on: October 31, 2017, 04:22:55 AM »
Well, it's up now!


I haven't read any book on the lists (and I think only one or two released in 2017). I wrote my vote for Ghosts of Tomorrow by Michael R. Fletcher for the Sci-Fi list.

Remembering this is just the Opening Round, with 15 books chosen by GR and which 5 more books not currently on the shortlist, but appointed by GR members, will join the final shortlist of 20 books in six days (that will get narrowed down to 10 later).

For Fantasy specifically, here's the current GR shortlist, without the extra inclusions from members: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-fantasy-books-2017

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Which author you most read in 2017?
« on: October 23, 2017, 05:36:54 PM »
Someone asked this in Reddit. Thought I should bring it here too.

Even though there are still 2 months and a week for the year to end, I don't believe anyone will pass Glen Cook... I read 11 books by him this year - the entire The Chronicles of the Black Company (10 books) and a sci-fi standalone The Dragon Never Sleeps.

I checked my Goodreads read list and went for 2015... and that was J.K. Rowling with 7 books (you can guess which ones they were  ::) ) with Agatha Christie following close with 6 books.

In 2016 it was Sanderson with 5 (Mistborn first era and two novellas) followed by Thomas Harris with 4 (Hannibal quadrilogy).

General Discussion / Today I Learned...
« on: August 09, 2017, 02:08:53 AM »
That the Black Death could've been caused and transported to Europe because of a tavern drunken brawl.

The tale first starts with the rivalry between the city-states of Venice and Genoa, small states totally dependent on commerce and seafaring to survive and thrive. Their rivalry for control of the seas pretty much caused the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, the success of the Ottomans and even the sole failure of a whole Crusade.

But there was still the Black Death to come.

After centuries of conflict, one event changed everything: Gengis Khan and the Mongol horde blitzed their way from China all the way to Hungary and Palestine, sacked Baghdad (current Iran), Egypt and even Moscow. But also an extraordinarily enforced peace was established.

The Pax Mongolica allowed travelers to travel and trade to the heart of Asia and the Mongol khans were eager for contact with the West too.

And Venice and Genoa were of course the main actors in this, establishing trade posts in Tana. The usual brawls between Venetian and Genoese residents, specially in confined spaces, irked the hell out of the Mongols and Tatar governors of the place, unable to tell one group from the other.

An important local person, Haji Omar, apparently struck a Venetian, Andriolo Civrano, in a dispute, though unclear whether it had to do with another brawl between Venetians and Genoese or exactly where, but the Venetian's response was quick and brutal: he ambushed Omar at night and killed him AND several members of his family.

When the news reached the Venetian community, they tried to pay blood money, return the body, etc, but nothing would work. Then they called the Genoese to take a united stance in confronting the crisis.

The Genose did no such thing. In fact, they actually proceeded to attack, kill and plunder the Tatars and sailed away, leaving the Venetians to face the consequences.

And all this happening as a new Khan was chosen, who obviously couldn't let this pass with just negotiation. So he descended on the Venetian community, wiped it out and proceeded to the Genoese community.

In a rare moment of cooperation, Venice and Genoa stood should to shoulder behind the Genoese base's impressive defenses. And they actually managed to defend it for a year or two.

But then disease seized and struck down the whole Mongol army and thousands died by the day. Unable to do anything against it, needing to leave but also wanting to destroy their enemies, they simply catapulted the corpses and flung them into the Genoese city so that the enemy might be infected and die too.

Four of the eight Genoese galleys made it back to Genoa. The plague was also in Venice a few months later and later in Constantinople, their most important base of commerce.

The Italian maritime republics who were charged by everyone in carrying death to Europe. By the end of the next year, as a by-product of the Black Sea trade, half of Europe was dead.

It's unlikely just this carried the blunt of the plague or that otherwise it wouldn't reach Europe, but that's how it started. With an ambush and murder probably caused by a drunken brawl.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / r/Fantasy Bingo 2017
« on: April 02, 2017, 04:31:07 PM »
r/Fantasy Bingo 2017 Edition began yesterday and it will close on March, 31st of next year!

Here are this year's squares:

Hm, I don't know how to resize it.

List format:

Spoiler for Hiden:

Any r/Fantasy Goodreads Group Book Of The Month
Format: Graphic Novel (At Least One Volume) OR Audiobook
Novel Featuring Time Travel
A Novel Published In 2017
An Author's Debut Fantasy Novel

Non-fiction Fantasy Related Book
Fantasy Novel That's Been on Your 'To Be Read' List for Over a Year
Award Winning Novel
Subgenre: Dystopian / Post-Apocalyptic / Apocalyptic / Dying Earth
r/Fantasy Big List: 2016 Underread / Underrated

Horror Novel
Fantasy Novel Featuring a Desert Setting
Re-Use ANY Previous r/Fantasy Bingo Square
Self-Published Fantasy Novel
Fantasy Novel Featuring a Non-Human Protagonist

Sequel: Not the First Book in the Series
Novel By an r/Fantasy AMA Author OR Writer of the Day
Subgenre: Fantasy of Manners
Fantasy Novel Featuring Dragons
Subgenre: New Weird

Fantasy Novel Featuring Seafaring
Subgenre: Steampunk
Five Fantasy Short Stories
Novel by an Author from an r/fantasy Author Appreciation Post
Getting Too Old for This Crap: Fantasy Novel Featuring An Older (50+) Protagonist

And you can get a book cover template if you wish to use it here: http://imgur.com/bYDIcxE

Hm, interesting!

So let's hunt, people! There are 10 clues for the theme!


Step-by-step without spoilers if you wish to find it on your own but need a little help at some point. Or just go to step 10 to find out the theme!

Spoiler for Hiden:
1. A demon god's birthday starts the hunt ( xiagan's title )
Spoiler for Hiden:
(First post on Member's Birthdays topic, check Atku's birthday)- http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/general-discussion/member-birthday-calendar/
Spoiler for Hiden:
When the king was a prince, he didn't like spicy sauces
Spoiler for Hiden:
You went way back in history, but not enough
Spoiler for Hiden:
Spoiler for Hiden:
What's the third rule out of two?
Spoiler for Hiden:
(In the Forum News and Help section, in the thread Fantasy-Faction Forum FAQ) - http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/forum-help/fantasy-faction-forum-faq/
Spoiler for Hiden:
Third rule: Don't take a bath in horse piss [RA]
Spoiler for Hiden:
Best of fourteen
Spoiler for Hiden:
If you read the best short story of 2014 on the main site ( http://fantasy-faction.com/2014/winner-of-the-april-2014-writing-contest ) and go to the comments section, there's a post by xiagan saying : *Doc is a title* [this is part 9 of the April’s Writing Contest’s Scavenger Hunt] @Doctor_Chill title is hint 9, but that doesn't give us hint 7, unless hints 7 and 8 do not exist and we go directly to 9.
Spoiler for Hiden:
Hint 7 does not exist
Spoiler for Hiden:
Hint 8 does not exist
Spoiler for Hiden:
What is 2 5 1's 10th?
Spoiler for Hiden:
2 5 1 is a code for letters, meaning... Bea. Bea's 10th post is http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-movies-video-games/bbcs-atlantis/msg74205/#msg74205
Spoiler for Hiden:
Fortuna smiles on you (10)
Spoiler for Hiden:
Fortuna is a forum member, and on this RPG post the theme is Omens: http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/rpg-fantasy-faction-style/rpg-rules-questions-discussion/msg86292/#msg86292


('Dark Soul' by wyldraven on dev'art)

An omen is a phenomenon that is believed to foretell the future, often signifying the advent of change. People in the ancient times believed that omens lie with a divine message from their gods.

These omens include natural phenomena, for example an eclipse, abnormal births of animals and humans and behavior of the sacrificial lamb on its way to the slaughter. They had specialists, the diviners, to interpret these omens. They would also use an artificial method, for example, a clay model of a sheep liver, to communicate with their gods in times of crisis. They would expect a binary answer, either yes or no answer, favorable or unfavorable. They did these to predict what would happen in the future and to take action to avoid disaster.

Though the word "omen" is usually devoid of reference to the change's nature, hence being possibly either "good" or "bad," the term is more often used in a foreboding sense, as with the word "ominous".
says wikipedia.
In a magical world, omens have a more dire significance and we think it's a neat topic for short story writing, because if you ask the question 'What could go wrong?' related to omens, diviners, foretelling and gods, the answer is usually: A lot.[/size]

Writers' Corner / Pen Names
« on: March 01, 2017, 05:02:25 PM »
I wonder if more people thought about this or plan to use pen names.

I didn't think about this because I'm far from finishing any of my WIPs, but I got asked what name I wanted to use.

While I practically share a first name with someone like Guillermo Del Toro, the rest of my name isn't as short, easy and catchy. And not sure if I would use Lanko for an author name.

I tried an American name randomizer and came with some hilarious names...


[DEC 2016] Dragons / [DEC 2016] Dragons - Critique Thread
« on: February 02, 2017, 07:48:50 AM »
I'm opening the critique thread for the Dragon's month.

Anyone who wants a critique for their story posts in here.
Anyone who wants to do a critique for a specific story (whose writer has asked for critique) posts it in here.

- Critique isn't always easy to handle, especially if you are not used to it. So if you feel more comfortable receiving it in private, people can send it via PM.

- Critiques are great to find strengths and weaknesses in a story. What was well executed or not. What people liked and didn't. And most important, why. All great things to grow and learn.

- Specially here, where we have published authors with entire series out, authors with works in progress, authors who've just began, people who sporadically write only for fun and even those who don't write but read a lot. We are also pretty friendly, so fear not.

- Maybe you don't feel confident enough yet to give critiques to others but still want them for your story. That's fine and understandable. I still say for you to try at least, as it does help with your own writing.
Also, you can just point out the things you liked in a story. People will undoubtedly love to know what they did right.
- Do try to reciprocate if others comment on your story, as a form of courtesy.

- You can also just ask for critiques about specific things. Maybe you really liked your characters and just want to know opinions on your plot. Maybe after re-reading later you know the flaws in your plot twist or magic system and don't want/need more people telling that, but you still want to know about characterization.
All free game, we're pretty flexible.

- If you want a critique, I'd recommend asking for it within the first two weeks of the month, if not the first. That's when most people are recharging the batteries from the previous month and are mostly just mulling over ideas.
From the 15th onwards I believe people are either starting, finishing or polishing their next piece. You can still ask, but I'd recommend asking early.

A small guideline:

1. Please read what the poster is asking for before you post your critique.
                    2. Critique the writing, not the writer.  Never, “You are...” or “You should...” but rather, “The writing is...” or “The story should...”
                    3. We all have different levels of writing ability here, keep that in mind when critiquing.
                    4. Find what is right in each piece as well as what is wrong.
                    5. Remember that subject matter is personal. You don't have to like a story to give it a fair critique.
                    6. Remember what your biases are and critique around them.
                    7. Remember that real people wrote this stuff, and real people have real feelings. Things you may not say while critiquing: “That’s awful.” “That’s stupid.” “You couldn’t write your way out of a paper bag.”

We also have a template to help. You don't need to use it, you can critique in any form you like.

Selected Quote:
Something Awesome:
Theme Appropriateness:
Conflict and Tension:
Something Confusing:


Winner: Wrath by John Gwynne. I see Bea raving about this series for a long time, better to place it higher on my priority list  ::)

I read three of the list: City of Blades by Robert Jackson Bennett which I just read finished 2nd (freaking amazing and excellent worldbuilding), Silver Tide by Jen Williams which finished in 10th (third book in the series and explores a certain trope pretty well (would be a spoiler if I said what it was) and The Mirror's Truth by Michael R. Fletcher finished in 14th, which actually surprised me since it was released so late this year (almost mid-December) and still made this list and won a stabby. Goodreads for example, only lists books up to November, 31st for their Awards and Dec,1st onwards to the next year.

I think there's like 30 authors or more that I never heard before, which is a great thing.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Your Top 10 Lists of 2016
« on: January 03, 2017, 05:33:30 AM »
I was waiting this thread to be opened, but it's already Jan, 03!
So, what were your top 10 books/series this last year? No restrictions of genre or year. Mine were (no particular order):

1 - Beyond Redemption and The Mirror's Truth, by Michael R. Fletcher (Manifest Delusions #1 and #2)
2 - Gentleman Bastard series, by Scott Lynch (currently 1-3)
3 - Mistborn (first trilogy), by Brandon Sanderson
4 - Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
5 - Red Dragon, by Thomas Harris (#1 of Hannibal quadrilogy)
6 - The Copper Cat trilogy, by Jen Williams
7 - Night Winds, by Karl Edward Wagner (#1 (?) of Kane)
8 - The Folding Knife, by K.J. Parker
9 - Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk
10- 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke

I've also read a lot of anthologies, short stories and novellas this last year (about 30% to 50% of what I've read, I guess, between 25-50), decided to separate them in another category, so here it goes 5 more!

1 - The Last Witness, by K.J. Parker
2 - The Shadow Out of Time, by H.P. Lovecraft
3 - The Ballad of Black Tom, by Victor LeValle
4 - The Emperor's Soul, by Brandon Sanderson
5 - Gypsy, by Carter Scholz

And Non-Fiction. Yep, I'm totally cheating this Top 10 List thing:

1 - The 33 Strategies of War, by Robert Greene
2 - The Face Of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme, by John Keegan
3 - The Poetic Edda: Stories of the Norse Gods and Heroes, by Jackson Crawford
4 - Human, All Too Human, by Friedrich Nietzsche
5 - A philosophy national only book, by Olavo de Carvalho

Gave you 20  ::). Now give us yours.

Writers' Corner / Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word
« on: December 31, 2016, 09:52:46 AM »
A British (?) newspaper published this article, which got tons of reactions: Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word

The curious thing some mentioned is that she's also a professional editor (charges for pro rates) complaining about the lack of gatekeepers, which caused many to interpret the article with some personal finance motivation.

The comments are also interesting to read.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Your Year in Books - 2016
« on: December 13, 2016, 08:59:54 PM »
The Your Year in Books feature in Goodreads is back. Let's share. Here's mine:

Lanko's Books in 2016

Note: To properly show your list, click on My Books and on Your Year in Books link there. This will get the link with your personal list, otherwise you will just post a generic link that will lead other GR users to their own lists.

This was an interesting idea I saw in Reddit, thought could be brought here too.


A man has a taboo relationship with sexy bug-headed lady. A bird-man that has been exiled from his society and stripped of his wings looks to regain flight by whatever means necessary. Meanwhile, some weird caterpillars eat drugs that turn them into hideous nightmare beasts that terrorize a steampunk metropolis.
Also there's cactus people.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Perdido Street Station, by China Miélville

Necromantic lawyers try to save bankrupt gods while being hunted by angry gargoyles.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Three Parts Dead, by Max Gladstone

A girl turned orphan, turned banker. The in-over-his-head noble that fell in love with her.
A kingslaying mercenary. A certain apostate priest.
One who speaks and hears with the voice of his goddess.
And lots and lots of spiders.
Oh and someone basically turns into Hitler. ( But you know, understandably. Ish. Understandiblyish

Spoiler for Hiden:
The Dagger and the Coin, by Daniel Abraham

Writers' Corner / All Fantasy Authors Are Mass Murderers
« on: October 10, 2016, 10:10:36 AM »

Interesting, what do you think about characters going off like that?

I wonder if it's a correlation to real life, since we may like or identify with a character and the possibility that they may die randomly, alone, no last words and no heroic deed accomplished is a quite frightening and unpleasant thought.

Hence that if someone dies, they say their last words, inspire/enrage someone else, or die doing something for someone or a cause. Sometimes it's done well, and sometimes it's overly dramatic, but I guess it's a reflection of our own fear of death, to leave the world having accomplished something worthy or the simply unconscious desire to not have it happens to ourselves.

That is, in most mainstream at least. Or before GoT.

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