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Messages - Elfy

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Fantasy Movies, Comic Books & Video Games / Re: Top 5 Graphic Novels
« on: October 26, 2011, 05:19:19 AM »
I've really only got one. Cerebus the Aardvark, the entire 300 issue run of it. Along with things like Maus this is what started the entire graphic novel movement, it was also a revolution in independent publishing. It inspired me to start a blog, where I bit by bit read each collection (referred to by the fans as phone books), I mostly review books there now, but I still do the 'phonebooks' as I get time to read and cogitate on the mysteries contained therein. If anyone is interested it's all over at
Oh, I also have to mention Jeff Smith's Bone. Kind of like Tolkien meets Disney.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Lies of Locke Lamora
« on: October 26, 2011, 05:09:13 AM »
I love both books to death and I've read them each about 5 times, although I do prefer Lies over Red Seas. There's a few reasons, but one is that there's Red Seas is not set in Camorr. In Lies Camorr was drawn so realistically and had so much history and such a rich culture that it was like this extra character in itself. I didn't get as attached to the setting in Red Seas. I've read the prologue and the first chapter of Republic of Thieves (I believe they're both available on Scott's site) and going on those we're in for a treat in 2012 if the release date can be achieved.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: The Magicians - Lev Grossman
« on: October 26, 2011, 04:41:20 AM »
Colour me unimpressed. It was oddly paced, couldn't seem to settle on an actual way he wanted it to go. It went on for about two chapters more than he needed to. It was rather like they finished school and the author thought 'well, what do I do with them now?' Oh, let's go to Narn...sorry Fillory. Fairly cheeky how he referenced Harry Potter more than most other contemporary fictional concepts, yet that was clearly the inspiration for a lot of it. It didn't help that Quentin was both an unlikeable and unremarkable protagonist.
I saw the sequel before I read The Magicians and now that I have I wonder exactly why the sequel exists. It very clearly gives off the air of being a standalone book for all that a few threads were left unresolved or not followed up on in the first book. I can't see how he'll have enough material for another book, and he killed off my favourite character, so I won't be investigating The Magician King, I just don't need the whiny angst.   

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: A gripping first page
« on: October 26, 2011, 04:30:51 AM »
A panel I attended at the 2010 Worldcon said they liked openings that dropped the reader right into the action. So you felt like you were right in the middle of something and then there had to be a bit of backtracking to get the reader up to speed, it gave the book a sense of reality with a framework in place around it. Two openings that grabbed me right from the start and never let go for the duration that I can think of were The Lies of Locke Lamora, I know some people find the interludes annoying, and it essentially begins with one, but it hooked me from the very first line. The other was Feed, strictly speaking that's SF, not fantasy, but from the time George talks about her crazy brother Shawn poking dead things with sticks, I was drawn into the story.

There's quite a few, but one that I know for sure is coming out that I think I'm almost certain to enjoy is Discount Armageddon, the first book of Seanan McGuire's new Incryptid series.

Sci-Fi, Horror, YA & Urban Fantasy Books / Re: Werewolf Urban Fantasy
« on: October 26, 2011, 12:09:31 AM »
Devon Monk's recent foray into steampunk: Dead Iron, has a werewolf as it's protagonist, so it may also be worth a look. I'm not really into the whole werewolf thing, but I did enjoy Dead Iron.

I think it really comes down to different authors work different ways. Sanderson seems to outline everything before he starts. Erikson seems to do the same and I'm not sure about how Abercrombie works, but he manages to average a book a year as well. Rothfuss thought he'd finished Wise Man's Fear a couple of times only to have it sent back and be told that it required more editing and polishing. Martin's delays with A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons were largely due to a shift in his thinking. He works with a rough (very rough) outline (how I have no idea with a story as complex as A Song of Ice and Fire) and he originally planned to start A Dance with Dragons after a 5 year gap after the end of A Storm of Swords, 18 months into the process he scrapped that idea and then the story just grew beyond anything he'd ever envisaged, and it took time to sort the whole mess out. Hopefully he can now get back to a more regular schedule of releases, although his age (he's 63) and involvement with other things may impact this, let's not talk about his insistence that he can only write fiction on an ancient word precessor using an equally ancient operating system. Then of course we come to Scott Lynch, who started off in a blaze of glory, but has since been in the grip of a crippling mental illness (he suffers from depression), but the recent news there is encouraging and hopefully he's got that under control now.

I read Magician when it first came out and at the time it was a breath of fresh air. Feist wrote a number of decent books. Silverthorn and A Darkness at Sethanon were also highly readable. Prince of the Blood was also well worth the time taken to read it. The Empire series co written with Janny Wurtz and set on Kelewan was excellent (I always wanted to see more on Kelewan, but Feist doesn't seem to want to go back there), and Rise of a Merchant Prince was also a very good book, in fact it provided some of the inspiration for Scott Lynch when he was writing The Lies of Locke Lamora.
At the time (late 70's) Shannara was also pretty new when it first came out. Back then as far as epic fantasy went you had a choice of Lord of the Rings or Lord of the Rings.
Another recommendation I can make as something that is entry level, a bit different and extraordinarily well written is Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle. He wrote a couple of sequels, but you can read Lord Valentine's Castle without needing to go on. While there is some SF in the concept, it's mostly fantasy or at least it's SF in a fantasy setting, a little like the way Pern is SF.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favourite Fantasy Anti Hero
« on: October 25, 2011, 11:47:15 PM »
Thanks, I wasn't sure how putting Locke down would fly with people. I love the guy, although I was willing to start hating him after his treatment of Jean at the start of Red Seas, but he's really just the perfect anti hero.
Joe Abercrombie's books are full of anti heroes, and I have a definite liking for Superior Glokta, again you read his chapters with a misxture of horror and sympathy. The guy is a torturer and he actually seems to enjoy it. I couldn't help myself giggling at some of the things he did and at the same time being disgusted with myself for finding it macabrely amusing. 

Hopefully this won't get me lynched, because the author is held in reverence by many, but I felt Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy started off very well and then ended awfully. Loose ends just dangling in the wind and I hated what she did with dragons. Liveship Traders was better, but still unsatisfying for me.
I'll second The Hunger Games. The first book was very entertaining if somewhat derivative, but the second was a rerun and the 3rd just ran out of steam well before the end. I don't believe Collins ever intended to write a trilogy, but the success of the first one kind of pushed her into it. On reflection there simply wasn't enough material there for 3 books.
And yes in agreement with other posters Stephen King is a serial offender on this count. It's what comes of writing without a clear outline. He seems to paint himself into a corner and simply can't get himself out of them without jumping the shark.
I tried to read The Tawny Man trilogy, but was unable to get through the first book. Again I know I'm in a very small minority, but I cannot stand the Fool. One of the most annoying characters I have ever had the misfortune to read about. Once it became clear that a lot of the Tawny Man was about the Fool the book imediately turned into a wallbanger (a book you hurl across the room to hit the wall and hopefully rot there. I jest I would never ever do this to a book, but it's a good term to describe the feeling), and I've left Robin Hobb alone ever since.
You won't get lynched for saying it - people here have a variety of different opinions and we all respect each other. 

Having said that I think you are wrong :P

I like the endings of both trilogies for two reasons:

1) I like bittersweet endings - not enough of them in fantasy which tends to veer towards the 'happily ever after' endings of children fantasies
2) Neither trilogy ending is really an ending - the saga is still ongoing - read the Tawney Men trilogy to get some closure for Fitz!

Introductions / Re: How did you find us?
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:49:01 AM »
I found it via a recommendation from author Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns) at the Terry Brooks Forum.

Introductions / Re: Say Hi, I'm new thread
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:47:31 AM »
Thanks Autumn (cool nick), I've posted a link to my blog there and I'll do something with the profile when I get a chance. I like the place so far.

Introductions / Re: the blog thread
« on: October 25, 2011, 05:46:32 AM »
I'm new here. I have a blog where I review books and muse about the meanings of Cerebus the Aardvark.
If anyone is interested they can look at:

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Re: Favourite Fantasy Anti Hero
« on: October 25, 2011, 04:10:53 AM »
I'm gonna go with Locke Lamora. He's an anti hero really. He's a thief. He's not Robin Hoodish at all, he robs rich people (and everyone is richer than him really) and gives to himself. Despite this anti social behaviour I can't help but want him to come out smiling every time. Although he's not fantasy my favourite anti hero of all time is Harry Flashman from George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman books. 

Introductions / Re: How did you Choose your Nickname?
« on: October 25, 2011, 04:06:35 AM »
The Regency Elf is my favourite character from the Cerebus graphic novel, and I wanted to use that, but she's a girl and I'm not, so I went with something relatively generic that had a fantasy connotation, but couldn't be nailed down to one specific book.

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