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Messages - Lionwalker

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*pops into existence in cloud of smoke*

Did someone mention Steven Erikson?

But then I got to thinking: if a book is only good when the author explains it to you, it's probably not that good after all.  So that's as far as I went with the series.

This is a very, very good point.

This is exactly how I feel about Wolfe's Book of the New Sun.

As for the Gap cycle, the first book is probably the most horrific and it calms down a little (in terms of extended brutal violence of the kind described in the Real Story) but then that could also just be me as a reader becoming a bit numb to it.

For me, one of the most impressive things about this book is the journey of each character and how Donaldson takes through each archetype (victim, hero, villain). Although this is taken from Wagner, it is still done brilliantly.

I think I would read it again, just to pay more attention to how he does it.

Put down Catch-22, having gotten 75 pages in and still lacking any sort of plot or likeable characters. Instead picked up Dante's Inferno, which is already promising to be more entertaining.

Although I'm not sure it is packed with likeable characters....

Catch-22 is rather hard to get into/make sense of, but is worth it in the end. Still has one of my favourite passages of all time:

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; bu if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," he observed.
"It's the best there is, " Doc Daneeka agreed.....

Good luck with the Inferno - I took a look around, wandered around the First and Second Circles, liked what I saw, and decided to stay.

Another underrated piece of good fantasy Wilbur Smith's Egyptian series. Warlock especially. I have never encountered another person who's read it. I couldn't even convince my bro to read it, but I've read it about 5 times so far. It's just awesome historical fantasy done right. Anybody looking for a good read should check it out. It's a lot like HBO's Rome.

I think I've read one of those books. The main character is a rather clever eunuch?

 ;D YES!!! At long last!!!!! Loved it? Just thinking about it is making me want to reading it again!!!! The first time I read it was when the library started lending 5 books instead of 2, so I just grabbed the nearest thickest 3 to make up the numbers and got Warlock in the mix. Best read of my life! Fond memories... ;D

I haven't read Wilbur Smith in ages, but I've read pretty much every single book he's published. Some really great stuff there, especially his Courtney and Ballantyne novels...some really beautiful and tragic moments...I wasn't such a fan of his Egyptian series. Really loved River God & The Seventh Scroll though. I think he just carried on with other two when those proved popular. You should have a look at Sunbird for a very cool present/past story that intertwines...
Also, if you had to read more and only wanted a standalone I'd say definitely go for Elephant Song, Eye of the Tiger, or Eagle in the Sky (all really tragic, but exciting and great reads)

This is half-helpful, but it is this edition:

Thanks. Wish there was one around in the UK. Shipping is more expensive than the book!

My new unexpected find/prized book - I found a 1st edition translation of 'The Neverending story' by Michael Ende (translated by Ralph Manheim) its gorgeous.

The text is divided into two colours, Bastian is in red and Atreyu's is Green, so you can't get mixed up between the reality & the story. Lovelovelove!!

Edit by mod to fix image link :)

WOW! I just picked up that exact book (same edition, everything) two weeks ago. Such a beautiful thing.
Where can I get!? I want!

Here are mine:

1) Tome of the Undergates - Sam Sykes
2) Seven Princes - John Fultz
3) Empress of Mijak - Karen Miller
4) Pillars of Creation/Naked Empire - Terry Goodkind
5) Crossroads of Twilight - Robert Jordan

Stephen Donaldson - Gap Sequence

I've only read Book One (The Real Story) so far, but I agree with Lionwalker. Brilliant read. But seriously do not read it if you're looking for something light. It's probably the darkest story I've ever read.

It gets even darker. I also ... respect this series. I'm not sure if liking is the right term!
It is unbelievably dark, but incredibly well done. Whenever I think about character arcs and development I think about this series. What he puts those people through and how they react and evolve to fulfill different roles through the series is very impressive.

I've not tried that one... will stick it on the list! I have to admit, Tigana is one of my least favourite fantasies of all time (and that's trying it twice). But then, I really liked the Fionavar Tapestry. So I'm happy to give him another shot.

I need to finish the Fionavar Tapestry. The Summer Tree was both beautifully written and incredibly dark. That scene at the end still freaks me out a little when I think about it. Reminds of a similar scene from Stephen King's The Stand.
Tigana's on my shelf, so it will be read. Eventually.

A couple of series/authors that are rather good, but hardly ever mentioned:

Janny Wurts - Wars of Light and Shadow
Jennifer Fallon - The Tide Lords
Katherine Kerr - Deverry sequence
Simon R. Green - Forest Kingdom books
Mark Chadbourn - Age of Misrule trilogy (brilliant)
Stephen Donaldson - Gap Sequence
C.S. Friedman - Coldfire trilogy

um...I hate making lists, I'm always forgetting something...

EDIT: I forgot to mention Rebecca Bradley's Lady in Gil. I really enjoyed the first book, and the rest of the trilogy is also quite good.

I'll second (or third or whatever) Red Mars, Anubis Gates.

For a little horror and weirdness, what about Clive Barker's Imajica?

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Tom Lloyd
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:58:07 PM »
I enjoyed Stormcaller, and read the next 2 or 3 books. Unfortunately I think this is a case of him spending a lot of time on the first book or two and then getting a publishing deal and then rushed out the last few books. They become a little incoherent and hard to follow with all the various characters rushing around without much focus or explanation.

Unless it's a open shared world, in which anyone can write then it is someone else's work and would have to be counted as fanfic. So basically, what everyone else said :)

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Brent Weeks v Peter V Brett
« on: April 15, 2013, 07:35:08 PM »
I haven't read Weeks, but from various reviews I've got a bit of an idea and have no plans to read his work. Brett -  I read The Painted Man, which I enjoyed. It was a fun read, fairly standard, and I wouldn't say groundbreaking in any respect. His second novel falters as he likes to move backwards so each book is half backstory, which is really unnecessary. His third book is the same so I have no plans to read The Daylight War. Also his treatment of his characters is fairly problematic, with the women being relegated to sexual objects under a thin veneer of independence and self-sufficiency.
To be honest, I would say don't read either, but find something else that is a bit more original.

I really wouldn't hold Scalzi up as the voice of the new wave of SF. His work is entirely derivative. It is relatively enjoyable, but doesn't deal with the larger issues that made those big names what they were. The problem with much of the SF now is that it seems hurried, skimming over many of the issues in favour of driving the plot forward, more akin to movies than thoughtful, considered works that make up much of the older novels.
Many of the big names are out there still, mentioned by Pornokitsch above. There is also the problem with exposure. How much effort do you put into finding good SF instead of waiting for the lowest-common-denomitor works to be handed out by marketing campaings?

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