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Messages - Elfy

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favorite Standalone Book
« on: November 17, 2019, 03:44:13 AM »
I'd concur with some of @cupiscent's picks and add some of my own. It's kind of hard to find a fantasy book in this category, though. The concepts largely seem to lend themselves to series.
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero.
Radiance and Space Opera by Cat Valente, both science fiction.
My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix.
Crooked by Austin Grossman.
The two Valente's aside, the others are better classified as horror, oh and if I'm going that route then Stephen King's It also has to be in this list.

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What’s the beef with Harry Potter? I thought all books were equally good. I liked them.

I liked the whole series a lot! Half-Blood Prince is probably my favourite, though Prisoner of Azkaban really is a corker. But the later books were not as tightly plotted or efficiently written. That's all.

If a tighter edit had been applied to Connie Willis’ Blackout/All Clear then it may have come out as one book instead of two.

Hard disagree there. Or rather, I think you're absolutely right, they could have been edited down into one book. But I think that would also have removed some of the overall message, which used the "white noise" of the length and detail to hide the "message" of the significant events, putting the reader much more in the situation of the protagonists, who were also struggling with the signal-to-noise ratio of history. (A similar thing applies to Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, even more directly appropriate; I don't believe that defense works for any of his other novels.) Given the focus of Blackout/All Clear on the need to continue hoping and living as an act of defiance even without confirmation that you were achieving anything... I think slimming it down makes it slightly less effective.
I thoroughly enjoyed Willis book (I say book, because it was really one volume that for reasons of size had to be published as 2), but I did feel there was just too much of it. The only Stephenson I’ve read is Cryptonomicon and I didn’t like it. It was to me ver self indulgent, and those were the bits that could have been cut and probably made it a better book in the process.

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What’s the beef with Harry Potter? I thought all books were equally good. I liked them.
I enjoyed them, too, but they could have benefited from some more ruthless editing. The endless camping trip in the final book springs immediately to mind.
Martin has admitted that he ignores editorial advice. Terry Goodkind did the same thing. One prominent blogger always claimed that Erikson’s Malazan tomes were only lightly edited. If a tighter edit had been applied to Connie Willis’ Blackout/All Clear then it may have come out as one book instead of two.

4
I think it's too early for a best of 2019 yet, with 2 months of the year left, but I'll play. Only including books that were released this year, so that should thin it out a bit.

Vultures by Chuck Wendig, an almost perfect end for Miriam Black.
Amnesty by Lara Elena Donnelly, the whole Amberlough series was brilliant from start to finish.
To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers, incapable of writing a bad book.
The Girl Who Could Move Shit With Her Mind by Jackson Ford, a fast funny ride from beginning to end.
Middlegame by Seanan McGuire, lifted her normally top game even higher with this one.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What did you read in October 2019
« on: November 05, 2019, 04:20:51 AM »
Seems like all of us had a quietish month, I read 4.

A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie. This was very enjoyable, very typical Abercrombie, but the Circleworld has moved into the industrial age and it focuses on the next generation from his earlier works in the same setting. It will be fun and interesting to see how this plays out going forward.

Jade War by Fonda Lee. I was waiting for this and it did not disappoint. I felt it didn't have quite as much action as the first one, but it explored the world more and set up what promises to be a heart stopping conclusion to the trilogy.

Quillifer by Walter Jon Willams. This was quite a lot of fun, I like the world and the protagonist soldier of fortune Quillifer. It lost its way a little bit partway through and kind of meandered around a bit, but pulled it together for the end and set up future books.

Night and Silence by Seanan McGuire. The 12th of McGuire's October Daye urban fantasy series. Highly enjoyable and with some revelations that are sure to have big repercussions in Toby's life for the future.

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Writers' Corner / Re: Writing Sequels
« on: November 05, 2019, 12:44:24 AM »
Despite the warning that I should never start a sequel unless the first one got signs of being published, I did went and start writing my sequel anyway, hehe. I know, I know, but it's the only bookish idea I've got in my head right now, and my idea of trying to write another novel kind of got stuck half way and didn't laid out as well as I'd expected it to. So, what do you guys think about writing sequels, and have you ever done the same thing?
I’ve written 4 Realmspace books and working on the 5th. I doubt I’ll ever get anything published, I’m not good enough, but I just enjoy writing them and the characters, so why not do it, SK?

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 05, 2019, 12:39:52 AM »
Finished The Diamond Throne.  Now I'm switching between Magician: Master and The Ruby Knight.
Hats off to you, I don’t think I even made it to the end of The Diamond Throne the last time I attempted to reread The Elenium.
I actually enjoyed it.  (4/5) Sparhawk is a worthy main character, and his adventure in the first book is tightly written imo.
I do like Sparhawk, but like with most of Eddings works for me the suck fairy has paid it a visit in between readings.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 03, 2019, 05:10:36 AM »
Finished The Diamond Throne.  Now I'm switching between Magician: Master and The Ruby Knight.
Hats off to you, I don’t think I even made it to the end of The Diamond Throne the last time I attempted to reread The Elenium.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: October 23, 2019, 09:37:57 PM »
Vicious
- V.E Schwab

Two bright college kids crack a theory behind people who are rumoured to have gained superpowers and trying it on themselves with a bloody trail of bodies left behind as a consequence. The characters are few, but well etched. They way author builds the characters as shades of grey which gets even more ambiguous as novel progresses is brilliant.

Writing style is stark and beautiful. There are no flowery descriptions and fancy words, just simple sentences that cut through straight to the heart. The way book is structured in multiple small chapters gives the reads of sense of flipping through cards as the story cuts across characters, locations and timelines.

At the end you end up cursing the simplistic beauty of the book and wished the author had written more pages and not leave you wanting for more!

9/10
There's a sequel of sorts called Vengeful, which is also quite good, although not up to Vicious superlative standard.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: October 22, 2019, 05:21:01 AM »
Just started Magician: Apprentice, by Raymond E. Feist.

Be sure to come back and tell us what you think. I haven't read any Feist books and would love to know if they've stood the test of time.
Finally finished it.  Unfortunately I was underwhelmed with the book's dialogue and character development.  That said, I will eventually read Magician: Master so I can form a proper opinion about this classic story.  But I plan on reading something else next.
I found some of the same flaws you did when I last reread it fairly recently. It hasn't aged that well. I'd recommend the Empire series that Feist co wrote with Janny Wurtz and also Feist's own Faerie Tale, which is more urban than epic, and because of that is rather underrated.

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I was going to link that article as well, hah. :D

Having heard Ken Liu talk a lot at the Melbourne convention this year (where he was a Guest of Honour) I am newly interested in going back to the Grace of Kings / Dandelion Dynasty world. But the books are just so massive! I won't do it for Sanderson, and I'm not sure I can persuade myself to do it for Liu either, even if he's an amazing renaissance man.

I'm very much looking forward to getting into the Tensorate series. So many books, so little time.

Jade Bone feels less "silkpunk" and more... urban fantasy? Gangster wuxia? But hey, labels are mutable, so why not!
I’m reading Jade War the 2nd book of the Green Bone series and it’s closer to how @cupiscent describes it than how ‘silkpunk’ is supposedly described.

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Most anticipated book of 2019
« on: October 08, 2019, 03:35:30 AM »
I'm sure a few will still come out, Jonathan French's follow up to Grey Bastards is one, but I got one of my most anticipated last week in Fonda Lee's Jade War the sequel to the excellent Jade City.

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I'd have to have a hunt through the library to work out how many I have in total, but of the 5 books I'm reading at present, I think they're all part of series. One A Darkness at Sethanon is from a finished series. The others: Jade War by Fonda Lee, Quillifer by Walter Jon Wiliams (that may be a standalone, but I doubt it), The Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty and A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie are all parts of unfinished series.

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It was a very quiet September readingwise for me (only 3 books) I think the Aussie Rules got in the way, my team Richmond Tigers won their second Premiership in 3 years, so a lot of time was spent being joyful over that.

This is what I did read, though:

Middlegame by Seanan McGuire. This was an excellent urban fantasy/science fiction hybrid. The story of two people who were created to rule the world and their intertwined lives. It was departure for the author, and a good one.

Terminal Alliance by Jim Hines. The first science fiction I've read by Jim Hines and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not surprisingly it was comedy, but not to the exclusion of story or character development. It's the first of a series, and I'll be on board for the sequel.

Silverthorn by Raymond Feist. This is part of the Riftwar trilogy, but I've always looked upon it and Darkness at Sethanon as a duology. It features Pug and Tomas from Magician and it goes briefly to Kelewan, but I felt that could have been removed and it would have worked even better as story that focuses on the quest of Arutha and Jimmy.

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I forgot Gil’s All-Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez.

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