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Messages - Elfy

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Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Hidden Gems
« on: November 06, 2011, 10:28:57 PM »
Once again, I shall mention the pulpy pleasures of Michael Scott Rohan's Spiral novels, and I shall continue to do so until someone other than Anne Lyle acknowledges a. their existence, and b. their exuberantly goofy adventure stylings.
Are they the Norse flavoured ones? I did read a couple of those many years ago, but they just weren't my thing.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 06, 2011, 10:27:20 PM »
I only discovered Nights of Villjamur early this year, and it was excellent.

Agreed! It's a nice mixture of fantasy / crimes / Sci-Fi. Kind of reminds me of the old LeGuin type prose as well. A fine novel indeed! :)
Yes, the mystery that was being investigated gave it shades of Gorky Park for me.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 03, 2011, 10:47:45 PM »
I only discovered Nights of Villjamur early this year, and it was excellent.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Hidden Gems
« on: November 03, 2011, 04:29:30 AM »
The name of author Dave Duncan came up recently, and it triggered this thought. Dave Duncan’s been around for quite some time now. I first encountered him in the 1990’s with A Man of His Word series. It’s one of the rare instances where I’ve bought a book on the strength of the cover. A Man of His Word is comprised of 4 books (Magic Casement, Faery Lands Forlorn, Perilous Seas, Emperor and Clown), the series title, the individual book titles and I believe even the chapter headings all come from the one Keats poem, which was rather clever of the author. The Don Maitz cover art from the original paperbacks is a thing of beauty. I loved the idea behind it and the unique magic system he employed, plus I really connected with the characters. Duncan followed it up with a 2nd quartet (A Few Good Men) set in the same world and using some of the same characters, it sadly didn’t have Maitz’s cover art, and while it was solid, did not live up to the magic of the first series. Since that Dave Duncan has put out quiet a few books, and he changes his themes up a lot, too. As very few people I speak to are aware of A Man of His Word I regard it as a bit of a hidden gem of the genre. I looked around on my bookshelves for any other hidden gems and found a few.
Tad Williams is an oft mentioned author, although generally for Memory, Sorrow and Thorn or the Shadow series, occasionally Otherland. My personal favourite of his is a standalone; The War of the Flowers, it’s one of my favourite books full stop.
Then there’s Katherine Neville’s The Eight. This one is widely known, but it’s not considered genre, it’s an all stops out thrill ride. Neville has written other books, but The Eight was lightning in a bottle. The less said about the dreadful sequel; The Fire, the better.
There’s even some great kids books that people don’t often seem to talk about. I adored Tove Jannson’s Moomin books, but since her death they seem to be virtually unknown outside of her native Finland. It’s sad that generations will grow up never having made the acquaintance of Moomintroll and his hedonistic family or his best friend the super tramp Snufkin, the love his life the Snork Maiden, or the red dress wearing, verbally dyslexic duo Thingummy and Bob.
One I don’t think anyone will ever find again is an Aussie thing by the respected author Alan Marshall. It’s called Whispering in the Wind, and it’s the story of a boy with the world’s fastest horse, a magical kangaroo friend and his efforts to rescue the world’s last princess who is guarded by a dangerous bunyip. I read it countless times as a child, after discovering it on a car journey to Queensland.
Anyone else have anything they regard as hidden gems?   

Introductions / Re: How'd you get into fantasy?
« on: November 02, 2011, 10:29:13 PM »
DWJ was just an out and out good writer. Her Cart and Cwidder (which I think was part of the Dalemark series) was one of those things I read as a kid that kept me into fantasy.

Darksword is pretty old now, I think it was the first thing Weis and Hickman did after their first two Krynn trilogies...ahhh remember those pre Eddings days when fantasy books came out in trilogies. For the time it wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either, by not knowing about it you're not missing much, just mho of course.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Best Fantasy Book of 2011?
« on: November 02, 2011, 12:51:22 AM »
My current list for best fantasy of the year is in no particular order: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie, A Dance with Dragons by George R.R Martin and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. When I said there was no order, I fibbed a little. At present The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland etc... (I'm going to get RSI if I keep typing the whole thing out) is so far ahead of everything else that it isn't funny.

It actually varies from writer to writer. Some writers can take forever to get a book out (George Martin post A Storm of Swords or Susannah Clarke) and the work may be worth the wait or maybe it won't. There are others who seem to churn them out and the quality doesn't suffer as a result. Terry Pratchett is one example, Seanan McGuire and Cat Valente both write insanely fast (I think both ladies tend to release about 3 books a year), and so far neither has missed the mark. Jim Butcher was a for a while putting out 2 books a year (a Harry Dresden and a Codex Alera) and in fact apologised for missing his deadline for Ghost Story by a matter of months. Others have problems such as Scott Lynch (he seemed to have most of Republic of Thieves written before disaster struck and the previous two came out in quick time), Melanie Rawn suffered through the death of her mother and has never really gotten her mojo back, having now abandoned two series. Joe Abercrombie seems to be able to produce one high quality work a year as well. It's just that different writers work at different speeds whatever their cirucmstances and we as readers kind of have to accept that.   

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: What are you currently reading?
« on: November 02, 2011, 12:40:15 AM »
I finished Gail Carriger's Blameless (the 3rd book of the Parasol Protectorate) and will get a review up on my blog soon. Highly enjoyable series, very silly, but well done. I started Chris Wooding's The Iron Jackal (3rd of the Tales of the Ketty Jay) this morning and it is off to it's now expected high octane opening.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Most terrifying Fantasy Race?
« on: October 30, 2011, 11:05:44 PM »
That would only work if it was a sonic can opener.

Seanan McGuire (I love her, I can't help it) has the first installment of a new UF series coming out in March 2012. Discount Armageddon. There's also talk of Cat Valente doing a sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland In A Ship Of Her Own Making, but I'm not sure when she'll have that done or released. The first one remains the best thing I've read this year, though.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favourite Fantasy Anti Hero
« on: October 30, 2011, 10:58:44 PM »
One of my friends fell in love with the character of Day from Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold. He was gutted when she bought the farm and is currently considering starting a campaign to try and get Joe to bring her back. I don't think he's got much hope, but she does classify as an anti hero, as do nearly all of Joe's characters.

Writers' Corner / Re: Multiple First Person... Could it work?
« on: October 30, 2011, 10:55:07 PM »
I thought of another 'series' that uses multiple First Person Perspectives... Newsflesh. Feed had the female character and then it cross over to the male character at the end of book 1 and into book 2 - I quite liked that - I think Mira Grant pulled it off :)
True, Mira did pull it off relatively well, although we had most of Feed from George's perspective and then only the end from Shaun's. In Deadline it was the opposite. I'm wondering if she'll do half and half in Blackout. In ways the blog posts throughout the books are from various points of view, so she does do this in a different sort of way.

Yeah, that's pretty much the first book.  Then the second one is a giant forest, I think the third one is a lava filled cave, and the forth one is an underwater world.  Then they go back and forth between them.  Dang it!  I might have to read these again. :P

I didn't like the ending either (that is, the last 3 books). The first four were fun in a world-building-y kind of way, but the actual plot was a bit goofy. I also prefer the Rose of the Prophet series.

Oooh, speaking of Weis & Hickman & this thread - the Darksword series might have one of the worst endings ever.
Someone else that not only knows about The Rose of the Prophet, but actually liked it! Hooray! I always thought that was the best thing Weis and Hickman did.
On the bad ending topic though, I enjoyed Week's trilogy and never understood a lot of the criticism that gets thrown it's way, however the ending was OTT.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora
« on: October 30, 2011, 03:42:14 AM »
It was apparently one of the stories that he had planned for that collection. An Australian fan actually suggested it to him.

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