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The most famous you've never read

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by direstraits, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. Libra6Poe

    Libra6Poe New Member

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    Currently Reading:
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    same here, have yet to read.
     
  2. Harry Gamblor

    Harry Gamblor New Member

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    You are too quick, i guess you have a lot of practice in it ;)
    How often does someone throws a banana in your direction on a day?

    Stanislaw Lems most famous novel is Solaris but it may be, that his name is written differently. I'm not sure how his name is written right now, because i think there are some different "ways" to write his name!!

    You should definitely read Douglas Adams, because otherwise, sooner or later, one of those countless bananas will hit you ;)
     
  3. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    I get hit with bananas almost every day. Most dump a pile on me, so I can't really escape.

    No, you spelt Stanislaw correct the first time. I know of this guy, but I don't really consider him a 'must-read', in the same league as people like Philip K Dick and Douglas Adams.

    Another fellow: Heinlein. I've read in some places that his stuff is very good, and I've read in other places that he sucks. Consequently I listen to neither and have yet to pick up any of his books.

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  4. Harry Gamblor

    Harry Gamblor New Member

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    If you are interested in sci-fi i think especially Douglas Adams is a must read ;) but also Philip K. Dick and Stanislaw Lem, especially Solaris [though, i can only guess it, because i also haven't read him :D ]

    I do consider Lem and Dick a must read especially for sci-fi!
    Well and since i'm a huge Douglas Adams fan i definitely consider him a must read for everyone :D

    Don't know much about Heinleins other stuff, but i definitely want to check out Stranger in a Strange Land !!
     
  5. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Gosh, something is wrong with me. I should never have typed past my bedtime.

    I meant to say I don't consider Lem as a must read. At least not in the same league as Dick and Douglas, who are both 'must-read.'

    Just wanted to clarify.



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  6. Ainulindale

    Ainulindale New Member

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  7. Harry Gamblor

    Harry Gamblor New Member

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    Oh, okay, i misunderstood you. I thought you were saying that Douglas Adams and Philip K. Dick aren't a must read ;)
    But now i understand what you meant, thanks for making this clear!!
     
  8. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Compiling the Top 100 list also made me realize that I've never read Gemmell and Moorcock, who are supposedly on every fantasy fan's great authors list. Er... I'm going to buy them now. :)

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  9. Ainulindale

    Ainulindale New Member

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    Well if I were to consider Moorcock great (which I do, he is one of the most influential writers in the genre's history), I don't consider Gemmell on nearly the same level. Moorcock is famous for his Elric and Corum novels but he as writen dozens upon dozens of fantsatic novel, including the Pyat Quartet, The Cornelius Quartet, Gloriana, works like Mother London, London Bone, and Brothel in Rosenstrasse show that Moorcock can write fiction with the best of them. not to mention the term Moorcockian fantasy. Gemmell IMHO is solid, not great, he only apparently can write about oen type of fanatsy and his novels are esentailly all similar in plot. He is extremely formulaic, even within his different series, Rigante and Drenai for example. the yare entertaining, but as you read them you begin to notice the retread in plots. I have reviews of several Gemmell novels here, if your interested:

    Drenai:

    Legend

    Legend of Deathwalker

    White Wolf

    Rigante:

    Ravenheart

    Hawk Queen:

    Ironhand's Daughter

    I am waitng for his new work, which seems more interesting entitled Lord of the Silverbow, taking place in Troy, coming out later this year. Here is the cover and summary if interested Here
     
  10. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    I read the Elenium/Tamuli first, and loved it to death. It took me quite a while to be able to start the Belgariad because it was a completely different story and I found it very difficult to get through the Prologue to the book (my advise is skip it and read it when you're a few chapters in). But when I finally sat down and got through it, I was into the book within 2 chapters. It's surprisingly quick to read the Belgariad books because they're written very simply and are what I call 'unputdownable'.

    Ell: I would read Pawn of Prophecy (Belgariad series) first and then if you like it move on to the others. Although Eddings does have a stand alone book I didn't find it as good as his series'.
     
  11. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    Figured I'd post this separately:

    I'm a fantasy reader, not a sci-fi reader - does anyone else have this distinction? So there are many famous sci-fi books I've never read! I just don't find them all that appealing - too much techno-speak for me, I've found. I much prefer the concept of riding horses, carriages and dragons to flying in the ZXB-Eludium 79 Gyrocraft to the planet of Sporak-82.

    This is not intended to be inflamatory at all, before someone jumps on me - I was just wondering if anyone else felt this way? Fantasy and sci-fi are both make-believe realms, but they are still different genres which I think are too often lumped together.

    (Having said that, however, I *love* Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker series!)
     
  12. Ainulindale

    Ainulindale New Member

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    Recently I just group them into specualtive fiction, as there really isn't enough upper level quality to denote them sepertely recently. The differences get skewed now by many authors like Mieville, Stephenson, Wright, Swainston, Malceod etc (many of which are among the best of the genre no matter what any one wants to call it) that have both elements.

    Consider the branches in fantasy and Sci-fi:

    High/Epic fantasy (also called Tolkienesque fantasy)
    Dark Fantasy
    Sword/Sorcery
    Arthurian
    Urban
    Moorcockian/New Wave
    Gothic
    Steampunk
    Post-modern
    Slip Stream
    New Weird
    hard Sci-fi
    Space Opera
    Magic-Realism
    Fairy Tales
    Harlequin (Romance)
    Historical Fantasy

    (There's much more)

    It goes on an on so much that thay might as well be grouped together IMHO. I just look at it from a quality standpoint.
     
  13. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Ainulindale, thanks for the links. Much appreciated and will check them out. From what I've seen, I don't really think I'll like Gemmell, but I've stolen a glance or two at Moorcock's Elric from Fantasy Masterworks when I was in the bookstore yesterday.

    Kookamoor - for the longest time, I was a pure fantasy reader, picking up the occasional scifi when my moods suited me. There are some fantastic scifi out there, granted, but my first love is will and probably will always be fantasy.

    So yeah, I'm totally with you, tanned surfer dude. :)

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  14. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    Phew! I thought I'd be pushing some buttons there...

    I guess you're right about the many branches within the genre, Ainulindale. But some of these definitions I don't quite get. How do you define the following?

    What's the difference here:
    High/Epic fantasy (also called Tolkienesque fantasy)
    Dark Fantasy
    Sword/Sorcery


    Then there's:
    Urban
    Moorcockian/New Wave


    Urban - by that do you mean fantasy which is in the real world? Like Susan Cooper, Charles de Lint, Stephan Donaldson (Chronicles of Thomas Covenant), etc? And I've no idea what the latter is?!

    And as for the following... :
    Gothic
    Steampunk
    Post-modern
    Slip Stream
    New Weird


    ...they just have me baffled!

    Ha ha! Do you have any idea how pasty white I am?!?! The sun is little more than a skin cancer generater for me - damn Scottish highland roots!
     
  15. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Nothing to fear Kookamoor. I've been here a bit and the fellows hanging out in this end of the forum are mostly harmless. In fact, very cool fellows too... :)

    And I agree with you... example books of new weird, steampunk, post-modern and slipstream would be great. :)

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  16. Halo

    Halo New Member

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    I was taught that High Fantasy is fantasy that takes place wholly in a created world, such as LOTR or Sabriel/Lirael/Abhorsen, whereas Low Fantasy is fantasy that takes place partly in our world, such as King's Dark Tower series, where they are always popping back to our world.
     
  17. Ainulindale

    Ainulindale New Member

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    Many people still group Sword/Sorcery with High, as well as High with Epic, But Epic really is works like Tolkien, Hobb, Martin, Donaldson, Williams Sword/Sorcery are novels stemming from Robert Howard/Leiber school, regarding Conan, and Lannkhmar. Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance are by in large Sword/Sorcery. I would consider Erikson's Malazan series a Sword/Sorcery series with an epic scope.

    Dark Fantasy is not as constrained in what time the story takes place where the above are generally pre-industry, and are more grittier in nature.

    Then there's:
    Urban
    Moorcockian/New Wave

    Yes Urban is exactly Charles De Lint:) New Wave is a movement that begun int he 60's cheifly attributed to Michael Moorcock has influenceed works of Zelazny, Ballard, Delany, and is considered a main influence of the cyberpunk movement (commonly associated with Gibson), but it's basis may have been realized within the pages of New Worlda british pulp magazine, Moorcock edited.

    Donaldson, as mentioned above is considered epic fantasy.


    New weird has been around for awhile in style by the like of Clark Ashton Smith, but has been re-popularizd by whom I consider the best author in fantasy today China Mieville. Slipstream is easier to read about, here Here. It's also often called or Interstitial Fiction (there not exactly similar, but overlap a great deal. Steampunk is fantasy or Sci-fi that has technology in a historial setting to the limit of steam powered inventions. Tim Powers and James Blaylock are good examples, these storeis take place in the past but rudimentary inventions occured slighlty before the setting may indicate (for instance Victorian is popular). Post Modern is often used regarding a mature brand of comics, and many of the mentioned branches could fit beneath it. Some examples are like Sin City, Stray Bullets, writing by Warren Ellis, and a fantasy novel example is the Peter Beagle's The Last Unicorn. Umberto Ecco is considered a Post-modern author.

    I also want to point out that there is a difference between how publishers view the different sub-genres, and how readers and even authors do. I have found Most people, particaulry non-fanatsy readers, when thinking of fantasy msot often think of high/epic or Sword/Sorcery and are generally ignorant of the other branches existances or differences, which is truly a crime, as there are defintely substantial differences.

    I apologize for the crude definitons but one can literaly go pages just trying to discuss Magic Realism or Slip Stream.
     
  18. Kookamoor

    Kookamoor New Member

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    Heck, I'm a fantasy reader and even I'm not aware of the subtle branches within the genres! That's really interesting stuff - I clearly have some new avenues to explore (TBR getting longer!!!!). Steampunk... very cool idea.
     
  19. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    By your accounts I've read most of the branches of fantasy already. However, would one consider Umberto Eco a fantasy writer? I've not read him, but from what I gather from TBF he seems to be non-grenre based, slightly bent on historical fiction.


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  20. Meadow337

    Meadow337 Former Moderator

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    If you want a visual example of steampunk to help clarify the genre watch Wild Wild West with Will Smith or Cowboys and Aliens but Wild Wild West is a better example and thus an incredibly misunderstood and underestimated movie.
     

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