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Topics - ScarletBea

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General Discussion / Funny: how to tell you're in a high fantasy novel
« on: February 02, 2015, 05:52:03 PM »
Both the article and the additions in the comments, hehehe

Here it is: The what did you read in November thread.  Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions. This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it.

Here it is: The what did you read in November thread.  Come share your list and what you thought of the books you read last month. We're not looking for full out reviews, just a brief couple of sentences that sum up your impressions. This is also not a contest for who read the most books, I know some of us struggle to find time to read one book a month, and others manage a dozen. That doesn't matter, so don't feel reluctant to post if you have read less books (or way more books) than others. This is all for sharing, and if you read anything, come let us know what it was and what you thought of it.

(I copied Arry's intro from last month - is it ok to do that/start the thread?)

General Discussion / Better than sci-fi
« on: November 12, 2014, 06:17:39 PM »

I know it's a bit short notice (it's showing at 9pm, in 1 hour), but I only found out about this.
It looks really interesting!

"Frankenstein And The Vampyre: A Dark And Stormy Night

A fascinating exploration of one of the most significant moments in gothic history - the night when Mary Shelley, Lord Byron and their cohorts gathered together in Lake Geneva to tell ghost stories. The night when Frankenstein and the modern vampire were born.

All those involved in the events of the summer of 1816 wrote about their life-changing stay in Switzerland. This dramatised documentary is based on their letters, journals and diaries. The film also draws on British Library manuscripts and archive, and brings together a stellar cast of gothic, horror and science fiction writers, including Neil Gaiman, Charlaine Harris and Margaret Atwood, to discuss why one single night had such a significant impact on our culture."

Disclaimer: ok, I could be reading some more, but there's only a few minutes left in my lunch break, and I wouldn't have time to finish the next story, and anyway it's Mark Lawrence who should be 'savoured', and I really had to come and start this thread ;D

I've just read the first 2 pieces, Marc's and Richard Morgan's, and they really ressonated with me.

Marc's for the feelings - unlike him, I have been reading all my life (even fantasy before I knew or worried about labels...), but that moment of discovering *really great stories* has been happening more or more in the last years, as I started focusing on fantasy and then discovered this forum.
So Marc, you thank us, but I thank you, for this place where I feel so much at home :) (and where I've come to be so much more aware of the limited time we have on this Earth, hehe, given so many great books there are)

Richard's for the sheer 'rightness' of it all - I like to dive deep into the stories, the worlds, the characters and plots. I don't care if it looks unrealistic, I don't care if certain things shouldn't be able to happen. There and then, they do, they are, and they make me feel good - and that's all that matters to me.
Interestingly, I've always liked maps in the beginning of a book, they talk to my controlling self, but lately I've noticed myself purposefully ignoring them, and why? Because I kept going back to them every time a place was mentioned. I checked where that was, I checked the direction they were travelling, I double-checked the links between words and maps, and I realised that was getting in the way of the story, the plot, the whole flow. So I'm learning to let go, and for those hours, live in the book and the words.
I understand certain classifications may be important in filtering through the thousands of titles, but, like him, I believe some people have taken it to the exaggeration point, and make things more harmful than helpful.
In his words, "Enjoy, and for fuck's sake, let go" ;D


I am becoming really annoyed (angry?) at publishers and the mess they make of the summaries at the back of books.
Either they describe something completely different to the story (probably written by someone who only saw the title and a single sentence describing the plot) or they include major spoilers, things that the reader only discovers a long way into the book.

A couple of examples of this second type can be seen in both books 2 and 3 of the Farseer trilogy, and on 2 I'm glad I restrained myself from reading it, but on 3 (I'm now 25% in) I just took a peak and it confirmed something that I thought happened but wasn't 100% sure, and hasn't been mentioned in the book yet.

Why do publishers do that? It doesn't help people buy books and is simply annoying.

On 18 October, at Waterstones Nottingham, A.J. Dalton and Tom Lloyd will be talking about current trends in fantasy literature, read from their books, answer questions and sign.

They're 2 of my favourite authors, and I'm really annoyed I can't go, I'm travelling  :'(

I just loved this article because it ressonated a lot with me.
I hope you enjoy it too, even if you're not a 40+ woman, hehe

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Thief's magic - Trudi Canavan
« on: August 06, 2014, 07:56:16 AM »
(I tried to find a thread for this but couldn't - even though I think Arry had commented on it... maybe in a general thread)

Yesterday I finished Thief's Magic, and it was ok enough. It was a very obvious 'book 1', and I definitely didn't feel I lost my time reading it, but there were a few things that bug me.

I liked that it was a 'main fantasy' story that allowed technology to evolve, using magic. While not exactly 'steampunk as we know it', it had quite a few contact points, especially the 'flying carts' that I always imagined in my brain as little zeppelins.

The bugs:
* I felt like I was reading 2 different books at the same time, which I don't like to do. I know that the 2 plots will eventually converge (book 2? or will it be only in 3?), but it's different characters, different worlds, different evolutions, different focus, different everything!

* For all the talk about gender and women and how I don't really mind and just want to read good stories, I'm sick of worlds where women aren't allowed to do anything important and are considered second rate. It's not (one of) the main character herself, she's ok, it's just the whole world and how everyone else behaves. You can still have a character evolving and turning her fate upside down without starting from the absolute bottom, in my opinion.

I will read the other volumes when they get published, but I'm definitely not in a rush...

Read Alongs / The Raven's Shadow: Chapters 34-end
« on: July 19, 2014, 01:08:29 AM »
This topic is for discussing the final third of the book. Come post your thoughts! :)


Ok, so I finished. Problems sleeping make me read much more lately.

I'm not going to post my thoughts here, they're still too fresh and messy, and I'll wait until someone catches up and posts.
Until then, my main thought is the subject of another thread I started in the main section.

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / Request to authors
« on: July 19, 2014, 01:04:32 AM »
Advice Demand Request to authors:

Please please please
if you are not writing a trilogy, say so. Say so in advance. Make it clear at the start of the book.

Honestly, it's not difficult: "book number X of the trilogy" or "book number X of the series"; "final book in Y" or "middle book in Y".
The vast majority of fantasy books are trilogies, so if yours is not, even if you don't know how many there will be, let us know.

I have just finished a book number 3, continously thinking it was the end, the final volume, slowly nothing in the plot making much sense as a wrap-up, until the final pages, when I realised there will be more books after.
This is the second time this has happened, and it makes me angry. Annoyed. Upset. I 'save' books until the 3rd is published, to read them in a row, the full story, and then I end up with a cliffhanger. Again.

So I ask: let us know. Please.

(please don't read this as an attack, it's a plea, because I love books so much but there must be a beggining, middle and end - and if it's not as I expected, breaks my logic, something jarrs in my brain :()

Read Alongs / The Raven's Shadow: Chapters 19-33
« on: July 17, 2014, 07:20:07 PM »
This topic is for discussing the second third of the book. Come post your thoughts! :)


I don't have as much to say this time as in the first section, I hope others post so I can reply.

The book certainly picked up, and things started to come together.
Tanith got a grip on things, as if she had actually been slapped by me, hehe, but I still think she could do more. Definitely under-utilised. I wonder if Ailric is really this awful or is in league with Savin...

Still don't care about Teia.

Alderan still hasn't showed up, and things are basically ready for the final battle, so I think he must be really dead then. Either way (still dead or appearing now), this is definitely a plot thing that could have used more work.

Gair's improved, but I hope the 'beast' thing solves itself logically. The shape-shifting suddenly appeared again? I'd quite forgotten about it because it's been almost '2 books' worth' since it had been mentioned (ever since Savin's attack in book 1), so I wonder if the author also forgot... Certainly there had been occasions in the past where Gair could have shape-shifted, or at least mentioned how much he missed it.

And as much as I enjoy reading about Ansel, it doesn't feel like it belongs in this story.

Sorry, I don't mean to just say bad things, as on the whole my feeling hasn't changed, I still like it better than book 2, but not as much as book 1. And I'm still reading, and I like reading it, I haven't abandoned it, but it's 'average', rather than a very good book, for me.

(maybe I'm missing the point of a read-along, this is my first)

A J Dalton wrote this article for SFF World, it's quite interesting:

Fantasy Book & Author Discussion / My turn to ask for recommendations
« on: June 28, 2014, 05:09:14 PM »
Hi, I hope you don't mind, but I think I'm at a bit of a crossroads and need your help.
What should I read?

I could direct you to my website link under the profile, which is my LibraryThing list (and you can still do it), but it's complicated because it doesn't allow me to pre-filter by the 'fantasy' tag for you.
So, what do I like?
Epic fantasy; historic fantasy; books that can just drive me along breathlessly or those that make me think (either at the same time or not),... and much more.
I'm not that keen on urban or military fantasy, or YA - I've read a few, but I'd rather not more, those that take place in our current world only slightly changed. And no mainly detective/crime stories.

I think I do have to say what I've liked/have read, sorted by author (main ones) - I'll put it in a spoiler tag so that it can be compressed

Spoiler for Hiden:
5 stars
Bradley, Marion Zimmer - The Firebrand and The Mists of Avalon
Canavan, Trudi - The Black Magician trilogy
Dahlquist, G W - The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters trilogy
Dalton, A J - Chronicles of a Cosmic Warlord trilogy and the Necromancer trilogy
Feist, Raymond E. - Magician
Fforde, Jasper - Thursday Next (all)
Hodder, Mark - Burton and Swinburne trilogy (book 4 already in list)
Horwood, William - Hyddenworld (4) and The Duncton Chronicles (6)
Lawrence, Mark - The Broken Empire trilogy
Lloyd, Tom - The Twilight Reign (5) and Moon's Artifice
Lyle, Anne - Night's Masque trilogy
Martin, George R. R. - A Song of Ice and Fire
Monette, Sarah and Bear, Elizabeth - Iskryne collection
Morgenstern, Erin - The Night Circus
Rothfuss, Patrick - The Kingkiller Chronicles
Sanderson, Brandon - Mistborn trilogy and Warbreaker
Tarr, Judith - Alamut series and The Hound and the Falcon
Tolkien, J. R. R. - The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit
Weeks, Brent - Night Angel trilogy

4 stars
Baggott, Julianna - Pure trilogy
Battersby, Lee - The Corpse-Rat King
Brett, Peter V. - The Demon Cycle
Cameron, Miles - The Red Knight (Fell Sword already in list)
Cooper, Elspeth - Songs of the Earth (currently reading book 2)
Cronin, Justin - The Passage and The Twelve
Eddings, David - The Belgariad (5)
Guin, Ursula Le - The Earthsea Quartet
Jemisin, N. K. - The Inheritance trilogy
Lackey, Mercedes - Knights Of Ghosts And Shadows
Lynch, Scott - The Lies of Locke Lamora
McCaffrey, Anne - Dragonflight
Pratchett, Terry - Misc. Discworld
Rawn, Melanie - Glass Thorns trilogy

3 stars
Banks, Iain - The Wasp Factory
Browne, N M - Basilisk
Connolly, John - The Book of Lost Things
Gaiman, Neil - Stardust
Garland, Rosie - The Palace of Curiosities
Lewis, C. S. - The Chronicles of Narnia
Schwarz, Liesel - Chronicles of Light and Shadow (read 2, won't read more)
Wecker, Helene - The Golem and the Djinni

Abandoned - didn't like
Clarke, Susanna - Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
Gaiman, Neil - American Gods
Hoffman, Paul - Left Hand of God trilogy

By the way, I've got K.J. Parker's Shadow at home that I got from the library last week, as I saw it mentioned here a few times - I still don't know in which category above it will fall, hehe
And I want to read Weeks' Lightbringer, but realised that book 3 comes out this summer, so I'll wait to have the 3 all available at once.

I feel I've got big gaps in my reading, but with huge lists/number of names being mentioned here in FF, I'm now lost in the direction I should go...

Help!, and thanks in advance :)

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