Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:57 pm

Reading Patricia Brigg's "Mooncalled" finally. It's first in a series.

It's about a female auto mechanic who can turn into a coyote...no she isn't a were but a type of skinwalker. She gets mixed up with wolves and vampires a couple of feas, murder and mystery.


I like Patricia's writing but this one didn't quite seem my style, after a couple of people over on the Jim Butcher web site encouraged me to I bought it.

It's UF and/or paranormal. I'm not quite sure if I like what Patricia has done with the werewolf and vampire myths but her writing has me hooked.

If you like stories about werewolves and vampires and such or just plain good writing buy it.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby T. Thulander » Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:12 pm

[quote="LDWriter2"]Reading Patricia Brigg's "Mooncalled" finally. It's first in a series.

You will love this series. I found her book "Cry Wolf" first and then just had to go back and pick up the Mercy Thompson books. It's the dragon ones I just can't get into.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:05 pm

T. Thulander wrote:
LDWriter2 wrote:Reading Patricia Brigg's "Mooncalled" finally. It's first in a series.

You will love this series. I found her book "Cry Wolf" first and then just had to go back and pick up the Mercy Thompson books. It's the dragon ones I just can't get into.



I didn't realize it but evidently she has out two paranormal series. The one with Mercy and one from the POV of 'wolves. I saw one and in a discussion with someone online they said it was the latest in that series.

But I liked her dragon books, they were the first two of her books I read. I heard she is finally doing a third one which I'm glad for. She was good back then but I think she has improved even more with her writing.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:45 am

Another one. I seem to be the only one here reading these days, or at least the only one willing to admit to what I'm reading wotf011




I'm reading--just started for a change--"The Ninth Circle"
by R. M. Meluch.

It continues the adventures of the crew of the U.S.S. Merrimack a star going battleship built and operated by the USA. This one surprised me for two reasons. One is that the last book was the end but I guess Meluch had another story for them after all.
Second is that the writing is better than the last one. I can't recall the first three but number four in the series was not good writing. Lots of telling and confusing action with various characters. And toward the end one major character pretty much left her husband because of something he had on board but Meluch never said what it was. Certain scenes seemed to be added because they had to go somewhere.

So far, three to five chapters, this one is much better. Maybe that one was written real fast or he was sick during it or they found a lousy ghost writer. wotf017

I said I don't recall how well the writing was in the first three because between numbers three and four I learned some new things about writing. I saw how they didn't happen in the fourth one.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby jeeohn » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:15 am

Not strictly science fiction, but I just finished reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, which has some speculative elements. I'm also reading Naked Lunch and re-reading A Scanner Darkly.

I'm getting annoyed lately by my seeming inability to enjoy fantasy. It's like I can neither write it nor read it; something just feels off. I may be burned at the stake for saying this, but I can't get into Game of Thrones. It feels very same-old-same-old to me.

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby liz » Thu Jan 03, 2013 2:50 am

jeeohn wrote:I'm getting annoyed lately by my seeming inability to enjoy fantasy. It's like I can neither write it nor read it; something just feels off. I may be burned at the stake for saying this, but I can't get into Game of Thrones. It feels very same-old-same-old to me.


I haven't read it but I wasn't impressed with the tv series (I know, one is not necessarily an indication of the other). I used to love fantasy as a kid but these days I'm a little picky about it. I quite enjoy Terry Pratchett lately, and Tad Williams.

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby ThomasKCarpenter » Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:11 am

jeeohn wrote:
I'm getting annoyed lately by my seeming inability to enjoy fantasy. It's like I can neither write it nor read it; something just feels off. I may be burned at the stake for saying this, but I can't get into Game of Thrones. It feels very same-old-same-old to me.


The first 100-pages of the first book was same old fantasy, but then it turns into something different. It's more political intrigue ala War of the Roses than Lord of the Rings and ALL about the characters (Tyrion, the Hound, Jamie, etc.) GoT is worth reading just to learn about building iconic characters and also how to put them in conflict. But then again, not every book is for every reader.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:08 pm

liz wrote:
jeeohn wrote:I'm getting annoyed lately by my seeming inability to enjoy fantasy. It's like I can neither write it nor read it; something just feels off. I may be burned at the stake for saying this, but I can't get into Game of Thrones. It feels very same-old-same-old to me.


I haven't read it but I wasn't impressed with the tv series (I know, one is not necessarily an indication of the other). I used to love fantasy as a kid but these days I'm a little picky about it. I quite enjoy Terry Pratchett lately, and Tad Williams.



I forgot to come back and say this but I didn't watch the series and I haven't read the books. A bit too much blood letting and too many bad guys in the show and I assume the books.

An aside here but they mostly choose the wrong books from my stand point to make into movies and TV shows. Now and then they get it right but hardly ever.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby jeeohn » Sun Jan 06, 2013 10:04 am

Still, the way I feel about epic fantasy is that it's old hat and doesn't necessarily reflect our cultural values. I think Game of Thrones is so popular because it eventually transitions from the Tolkien-esque fantasy into a more modernized political drama. And if you want my honest opinion, I don't think a traditional epic fantasy can ever become popular because of the aforementioned reasons; from my understanding, the traditional epic is heavy-handed and moralistic, which is basically poison to a modern audience. Feel free to prove me wrong. This goes for Space Opera as well, to an extent.

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:12 pm

But I'm reading "Cursed" by Benedict Jacka. Book number two in the Urban Fantasy series about Alex Verus. I'me still reading "The Ninth Circle" but I needed to go a couple of places I didn't want to take my Nook so I started "Cursed".

It's a very well thought out magic system and as is the main character Alex. A complex man of fears, desires, vulnerabilities, and honor, among other things.

Two things about the books. First is that Jim Butcher likes them and thinks they are on par with his Dresden files. He made other statements along those lines. Actually, I believe that John Levitt's Dog Days series should be getting those types of comments by Jim. Of course I need to say that Jacka might be the better writer but that's not saying Levitt is bad in anyway.

The second thing I want to say is that I have already come up with my own character for Jacka's world wotf007

Most probably I will never get the chance to write a story legally but I know a lot about my character's background and who he is already. It would be fun to do him. Oops, no name yet. wotf004
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:03 pm

A heads up on this one.

B&N was nice enough to send me a special E-mail with just the notification of a new John Joseph Adams anthology.

Evil Scientists

It's not out yet but will be soon.

An interesting POV for these stories.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:40 pm

Half way through "Dragon Justice" by laura anne gilman.

It's the next one and sounds like last one in a series by Gilman.

She seems to like to do shorter series.

This one is a UF series set in a world where some people have Talent where they can use a force much like electricity to do "magic". It's the second series set in that universe. The first one was the "Retrievers" series. I think that one is a much better series but this one is great also.


If you like UF and/or Mysteries you will like this series.
I do have one criticism of Gilman's writing in this book. This series takes place in the same universe, city and time period as "Retrievers". Different events though. Mostly that is. In this book the MC references a major event that took place in a "Retrievers" book. But the MC doesn't explain her part in the event nor even half way describes it. In other words if you haven't read the book where it happened you have no idea what went on. Of course it's not a major part of "Dragon Justice" so it may not be important but still,
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby dantzel » Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:04 pm

High marks for Treason by Orson Scott Card, which I read on the way to Canada last week. I'm a big fan of Card, and this was one of the few books of his I hadn't already read.

Super, super weird story (though anyone who's read Card's short story collection will have a grasp for Card's strange tales), but I loved it.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby liz » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:54 am

dantzel wrote:High marks for Treason by Orson Scott Card, which I read on the way to Canada last week. I'm a big fan of Card, and this was one of the few books of his I hadn't already read.

Super, super weird story (though anyone who's read Card's short story collection will have a grasp for Card's strange tales), but I loved it.


That was a good one. Definitely weird, but with a cool kind of character-driven 'what if.'

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:40 pm

Started "Ashes Of Honor" by Seanan McGuire


Part of the October "Toby" Daye series.

Very well done--great writing. She's one of my top favorite newer writers. One of two I want to be like. I say that every time but it's still true.


Very Highly recommended. Even though I'm not sure about those cover pics. The face of Toby never is quiet right. The rest of it isn't bad.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:08 pm

I'm reading two.

I restarted reading the last WotF anthology and started "The Iron Wyrm Affair" by Lilith Saintcrow ---her name fits the genre.

It is a fusion of steampunk and Urban Fantasy. Not bad so far. The first chapter has a great action scene and explains some of what is going on. A little bit heavy on the steampunk devices for me but still not bad.

I've read the Rogue Wizard series by K. E. Mills which also is Steampunk-UF but in that case it was more UF this one has more steampunk.

But we shall see how it goes, I expect that I will buy the next one in the series.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby s_c_baker » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:21 pm

I've been rereading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series. I'd forgotten how amazing a writer he is. (And he has a PhD in ENGLISH, of all things. I had him pegged as a scientist for sure, due to the ridiculous amount of terraforming tech gibberish in there.)
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She who must be obeyed

Postby Ishmael » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:55 am

Well, since acquiring a Nook at Christmas I have read both 'She' and 'Ayesha, The Return of She' by Henry Rider Haggard. It just seemed like a good idea.

Now one needs to make allowances for Victorian prose if one is not used to that sort of thing, since our revered ancestors used long sentences, never using a full stop where a comma or a semicolon would do and, since they knew how to punctuate, that meant that they used commas and semicolons rather a lot, which is not the sort of thing that anyone would do today, unless that person was me and I was being my usual pompous self, which sadly I do all too often, though I'm trying to reform, by paying attention to advice on this forum amongst other things.

So, if you like a bit of swash with your buckle and you are into things like immortalism, reincarnation, curses and magical powers, you could do worse than read these yarns. They constantly thrust civilised man of the industrial age into conflict against forces of the old earth. The first is set in Africa and the second mostly in Tibet or thereabouts. The explorer stuff is all good fun, although the natives and the servants do tend to be rather expendable.

Haggard said that he always intended to write the sequel. Well, I believe him, don't I? Hm.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:57 pm

s_c_baker wrote:I've been rereading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars series. I'd forgotten how amazing a writer he is. (And he has a PhD in ENGLISH, of all things. I had him pegged as a scientist for sure, due to the ridiculous amount of terraforming tech gibberish in there.)



I know the name but don't recall if I have ever read it.
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Re: She who must be obeyed

Postby LDWriter2 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 pm

Ishmael wrote:Well, since acquiring a Nook at Christmas I have read both 'She' and 'Ayesha, The Return of She' by Henry Rider Haggard. It just seemed like a good idea.


Haggard said that he always intended to write the sequel. Well, I believe him, don't I? Hm.



If I recall correctly there is a movie or miniseries made from "She" made many years ago.


I think at one time it was popular.
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Haggard

Postby Ishmael » Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:25 am

There was certainly a vogue for Haggard, Verne, Wells and other old writers of the genre in the movies many moons ago. They did tend to lend themselves readily to adventure films. I actually think that the stuff set on Earth still works very well. The space stories tend not to. I read a couple of Burroughs space novels a while ago, for example. Too much of the technology worked out differently and the stories which might once have astonished now only seem quaint (at least to me). Sadly the quaintness tends to get in the way of suspension of disbelief.

When you are dealing with material that has a lot of modern spin-offs, I think that it can be valuable to know the original. I read Dracula for the first time a year or so ago and found it very well done. I wondered how easily Stoker would get an agent or an editor to read it today though. I certainly could not interest anyone in reading my gothic detective novel. Maybe after I win WotF ...
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Re: Haggard

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:10 pm

Ishmael wrote:There was certainly a vogue for Haggard, Verne, Wells and other old writers of the genre in the movies many moons ago. They did tend to lend themselves readily to adventure films. I actually think that the stuff set on Earth still works very well. The space stories tend not to. I read a couple of Burroughs space novels a while ago, for example. Too much of the technology worked out differently and the stories which might once have astonished now only seem quaint (at least to me). Sadly the quaintness tends to get in the way of suspension of disbelief.

When you are dealing with material that has a lot of modern spin-offs, I think that it can be valuable to know the original. I read Dracula for the first time a year or so ago and found it very well done. I wondered how easily Stoker would get an agent or an editor to read it today though. I certainly could not interest anyone in reading my gothic detective novel. Maybe after I win WotF ...



E. E. Doc Smith had a series where the heroes went on an intergalactic trip, on one journey they learned enough so they could make a radio out of energy, complete with tubes and wires all made from that energy.
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Re: Haggard

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:14 pm

Ishmael wrote:There was certainly a vogue for Haggard, Verne, Wells and other old writers of the genre in the movies many moons ago. They did tend to lend themselves readily to adventure films. I actually think that the stuff set on Earth still works very well. The space stories tend not to. I read a couple of Burroughs space novels a while ago, for example. Too much of the technology worked out differently and the stories which might once have astonished now only seem quaint (at least to me). Sadly the quaintness tends to get in the way of suspension of disbelief.

When you are dealing with material that has a lot of modern spin-offs, I think that it can be valuable to know the original. I read Dracula for the first time a year or so ago and found it very well done. I wondered how easily Stoker would get an agent or an editor to read it today though. I certainly could not interest anyone in reading my gothic detective novel. Maybe after I win WotF ...



Funny thing is I know all those names except for Haggard. Need to check him out.

I know of and have read many Masters but everyone now and then a Pro writer will say a certain person is the best Master Speculative writer ever and I never heard of them.
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Re: Haggard

Postby Ishmael » Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:33 am

I suspect that Haggard is better known for King Solomon's Mines and other exotically located adventure stories featuring his outstanding protagonist Allan Quatermain. It's a while since I read that, but my recollection is of myths and treasure maps and so on. He is closer to the boundary between adventure and fantasy than most of the others mentioned above, and nowhere near science fiction really.
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The Odyssey

Postby Ishmael » Tue Mar 12, 2013 5:06 am

Probably the archetype of all fantasy tales is The Odyssey, now around 3,000 years old, but still famous. Here you have tales of witches, monsters and interference by feuding gods and the whole story takes about ten years.

I am reading 'The Authoress of the Odyssey' by Samuel Butler (1835-1902). I find it remarkably modern in its language and, so far, utterly persuasive.

Butler applies Roman names throughout in an analysis of Greek myth. He justifies this by contemporary cultural usage. It is interesting to note that we are part way through a shift back to the original. The Kirk Douglas film of 1955 followed Butler in naming the hero of the Odyssey Ulysses rather than Odysseus. I think it is relatively uncommon to make that switch today. However we are still perhaps more likely to refer to Ajax than Aias.

That, however, is nitpicking. The central proposition of the book is that The Iliad and The Odyssey cannot have been written by the same person; that the Odyssey is clearly written by someone who knows nothing of warfare or sailing but a lot about housekeeping and who characterises women far better than men, whilst the opposite is the case in the Iliad. It is a long time since I read The Iliad, but I do not recall a lot of concern for the development of characters such as Helen, Hecuba and Cassandra, whilst Iphigenia is clearly regarded as expendable even by her father. By contrast the writer of The Odyssey has taken a lot of care to whitewash the reputation of Penelope and has written in strong and influential females such as Circe and Calypso.

Butler suggests that the character of Nausicaa is a self portrait by the authoress. This is an idea that I know was later taken up by Robert Graves.

If anyone is interested in the roots of fantasy writing, this is a worthwhile read. I guess that it might be quite a lot harder today to apply gender stereotyping in an attempt to identify the sex of a writer, but it would not have been much of a problem until relatively recently.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:40 pm

Pardon me if this is here some place I missed but for those who like epic fantasy with NO VAMPIRES try this one.

Blood Awakening

It does appear to have a romance element to it however.

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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Sun May 05, 2013 4:59 pm

Reading "Alchemystic" by Anton Strout.

An alchemist-romance combo I believe so far. Not bad, a very interesting world designed by Anton and there are mysteries that need explaining but he's taking his time in doing that, which is good and shows his writing ability. A worthy read.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue May 28, 2013 7:16 pm

I seem to be the only either reading or wanting to comment on books read.

Anyway:

"The Iron Wyrm Affair" by Lilith Saintcrow


Interesting in that there is an interview with Ms Saintcrow in the back of the book.


But before I get into more on the book That last name would make an interesting premise for a story.

Anyway, the book is steampunk. With Lots of magic. Ms Saintcrow did a great job in forming the world and characters. The adventure was great and she was able to put her MCs (Yep, there is two) into more and more danger. Even though she may not be as skilled at that as some writers but still a well done book and worthy of being read. Well, the world is very dark which for myself lessened my enjoyment but still I will get the next one, which is out.
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby LDWriter2 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:21 pm

Thought I would put this here.


Star Wars redone like a Shakespearian play.

Believe it or not
Working on turning Lead into Gold.

Four HMs From WotF
The latest was Q1'12
HM-quarter 4 Volume 32
One HM for another contest
published in Strange New Worlds Ten.
Another HM http://onthepremises.com/minis/mini_18.html

jthoward
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Re: Sci-Fi and Fantasy Books You Enjoy?

Postby jthoward » Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:33 pm

For sci-fi I think it's hard to beat Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. It's near future eco-dystopian. He's the kind of writer I want to be someday. Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe hits the sic-fantasy mark. It's far future Earth, so far that technology has failed for the most part. There is a second volume in the series, and I tried reading it, but it didn't quite have the same feel.

As far as fantasy, I dig anything by R. Scott Bakker. George R.R. Matin's Song of Ice and Fire is also pretty awesome. Both authors use a lot of violence and sex in their writing, and they have both been hammered pretty hard by feminists, but I still enjoy the books.

I'm about to start Railsea by China Mieville. I guess it's YA steampunk. I listened to the first quarter on audible, and it seems really good, but I really dislike audio books so I bought a paper copy.
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