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Speaking of Barbara Hambly...


Anyone remember the trilogy she did about the "Dark".


Yup, one of my favs.


Terry Goodkind is awesome. Big books, big idea's. Some pretty brutal imagery in there, but a much more realistic look at fantasy (yeah I know that sounds bizarre), but I like how it's focused equally on the story and on the characters.

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A lot of stuff has already been mentioned, so I will skip them

Glen Cook, George R. R. Martin are great!


I love Fritz Leiber. The Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories are some of my favorite. Spectre Haunting Texas, Dark Ladies, Gather Darkness! are other good reads


C.S. Friedman - Coldfire Trilogy. I absolutely love this series


Thomas Covenant books by Stephen R. Donaldson are great. The Gap Into... series by Donaldson is also very good.


Earthsea books by Ursula K. Leguin


Anything by Alfred Bester and Roger Zelazny are recommended. The Stars My Destination, The Demolished Man, Lords of Light, Damnation Alley, any of Zelazny's short story collections. They also co-wrote Psychoshop


King Rat, Perdido Street Station, The Scar by China Mieville are phenomenal.


Good Omens, Neverwhere, American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Those are a few of my favorite things. (I am not singing this like Julie Andrews did in Sound of Music though, so don't ask!)

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Good Omens, Neverwhere, American Gods by Neil Gaiman


Yes... Agreed to all three, although I must say that I enjoyed American Gods and Good Omens much more than Neverwhere... Not that Neverwhere wasn't good, it was just a bit differnent.


As a warning, not your typical fantasy! All of them might be considered 'modern folklore' instead... :poke:


Oh... and, to drop another name, if you can get through the first three books, Katherine Kurtz Deryni series(s) is a decent read!

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Salvatore? I dunno how anyone can recommend him. Would anyone have read his books if they weren't set in the Realms? I read his famous Drizzt trilogy (the first one, I think?) and thought it sounded like thinly veiled RP play-by-play with an entirely implausible plot, dialogue, character motivations, etc in addition to just being clumsily written.


Picked up a book (on discount) by Greenwood, and it was the same or worse.


As far as Eddings, I think his early stuff was pretty good, but I think he just started cranking out books on contract with the later stuff. I have The Ruby Knight and don't think I was able to make it beyond the first chapter.


My faves: Leiber, Howard, Vance, Moorcock, Farmer, early Thieves World, Wolfe, LeGuin

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jeez sycophant-such a stickler for the classics.


salvatore has a minimalist style which flows off the page very smoothly and easily (and quickly), and makes his pleasant little fantasy jaunts very readable (and likeable) if not exactly "literature". drizzt's existential musings at the beginnings of chapters are pure drivel, yet they manage to be poignant and compelling all the same. i have religious discussions with literate and studied folks, and i still use his (drizzt's) description of what faith is to illustrate my own opinion on it, and constantly receive nods of approval from religious intellectual types.


as for the rest:


you all liked the deathgate cycle? i read part of the first book and got rid of it-it was like ooh, weiss and hickman came up with another quasi D&D world ( $#*t, elves in this one too!) with cool gimmicks ( floating peices and layers and gates, oh my!) i just got tired of their writing after about 9th grade (im 30 now). when they put out later dragonlance stuff it was like visiting old friends after you've grown up and gone your seperate ways-its more just because they ARE old friends than because they are your closest anymore-youve just outgrown them. also their writing itself seemed to stagnate after about the end of the first trilogy, unlike salvatore who keeps getting better (story, plot, characterization and character development-he can do it all!)


sycophant, if you've only read drizzt's first 3, man you are missing out.


as far as stuff mentioned:


raymond feist-best characters around ( i too have shed a tear due to his stories)


Tolkein: still the master-nuthin else has the same magic, and nowhere else does the language ring as true.


tad williams-memory sorrow and thorn is my favorite in recent years-heavy, but if your coming off dragonlance you might be craving something heavier. (DL is the o'douls of fantasy-still tasty and refreshing, but lacking something...)


terry brooks-shanarra reads like a fairy tale-its got a nice once upon a time kinda feel,(mostly due to brooks gentle yet succinct style) with excellent stories that never get repetitive despite the stories all starting the same way. (go figure)


robert jordan: cant seem to put them down. wish hed finish it, so i can (my car is really dirty, and my kids want lunch)


a few not mentioned:


christopher rowley-the bazil broketail books (about a 20 foot long sword wielding dragon) are pretty original, with rip roaring battles and hillarious hijinks. although a couple of the middle books do get a little repetitive, its still worth reading the whole serious. hard to find, little known, but worth the effort.


joel rosenburg-the guardians of the flame series. college kids go to play d&d with professor, who being exiled super wizard from other world whisks them there in the form of their characters to help him reenter the realm and conquer. every d&d players dream right? wrong. no heroic fantasy drivel here. gritty as it gets with terrified kids trapped in a place where everyone wants to kill them, the sting of sweat in your eye as you are fighting for your life, the smell of $#*t from the guys bowels you just opened (and slipped in), and blood everywhere. did i mention its gritty?


almost forgot- harry potter. yes, i said harry potter-believe me they are definitely not written at a kids only level-excellent enjoyable fantasy for readers of all ages (one of the best written on this page too)


oh yeah, if youre tired of series:


mathemagics by margaret ball (hillarious and very well written)


anything by William browning spencer-not xctly fantasy, but modern toungue in cheek neo-lovecraft stories (actually uses cthulu mythos). brilliant and funny-hard to find and only like 4 books total (all different stand alone's)


sharyn mccrumb: actually a mystery writer, but Bimbos of the Death Sun (about a murder at a fantasy convention) and its sequel Zombies of the Gene Pool (a murder at a gathering of golden age sci fi authors) are funnier than adam sandlers last three movies and also present some rather uncomfortable insights into the hobbies/lifestyles that all of us on this website espouse.


thank you

this has been another mourningcloud dissertation

wherein he said around 72% too much

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I just started Connie Willis' Passage. It seems to be another humorous story about scientific research, as was her marvelous Bellwether. Like the former, it throws together a male and female scientist on a quest for knowledge amid a staff of varying degrees of competence and hilarity.


It's surprisingly funny, so far, for a novel about near-death experiences.

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I can't believe nobody has mentioned Gene Wolfe yet. Urth: Book of the New Sun is an outstanding series, with Book of the Long Sun and Book of the Short Sun following close behind. Kinda dark and gloomy, but no moreso than Moorcock or Zelazny.

I mentioned Wolfe... love him, though he can be a bit '70s sci-fi trippy at times.

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Jo Clayton wrote several wonderful series, I'd recommend any of it. Some of it gets a little sci-fi, but still has a very fantasy feel. My favorite is the Skeen trilogy - it starts with Skeen's Leap, and the other two are Skeen's Search and Skeen's Return, I believe. They're *wonderful*, in my opinion. I do believe they're out of print, so a local used bookstore would probably be your best bet =o) Another series by her is the Diadem saga - many books long, but each is none too long. It starts out kinda fantasy and gets more sci-fi at the end.

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I am actually reading Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun stuff right now. I am just about finishing Citadel of the Autarch (like 40 pages to go).


I actually found I am enjoying Connie Willis. I loved Domesday Book. To Say Nothing of the Dog was okay. I actually started getting annoying with Passages. Firewatch was a good one by her as well.


I need to make sure I print out this topic. There are a few authors in here I have not read.


The last thing I need is more books...it's hard enough to find painting time, and places to store the books.

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Steven Lawhead for his Albion Books.


David McFarland for his very interesting Runelords. Talk about great material for a new campaing world.


For those who are 'old school' fantasy; The Thieves World books


Dennis L. McKiernan for his many series, though I would stat with the Iron Tower trilogy first.


Reper Bryan already mentioned Terry Practchett's Discworld series (It is so good though). A very funny outtake on the fantasy mileu


And last but not least Fred Saberhagen for his captivating Book of Swords series. Very good stuff here. Definately a must read.


Now as far as the Wheel of Time series goes just read the first two books and that is all. I got up to book four and I could not stand the constant whinning.


Rayond Fiest again good untill he brings you over to the other side of the rift and goes on and on and on and(lots of world creation hubbub).... well you get my drift.


David Eddings goes through some of the same character "why me?" whinning but it is ten times more tolerable than the WOT.


The thing that drew me to L.E. Modesitt was his entirly new world dynamics he created. Chaos and Order and how they interacted with each other. Very good read for those interested in running a true neutral campaign world.

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Jo Clayton wrote several wonderful series,

Thanks for mentioning Jo Clayton. I love her writing...as well as most of what was mentioned above.


As an author, I have to say I have a difficult time stomaching a few of the people mentioned. This is not to say that you shouldn't read them - it's all about entertainment. If you're entertained, great. But Eddings (critiqued before) annoys me for reasons previously mentioned and Terry Brooks turns my stomach for his horrible rip offs of other authors (Tolkien is just the START, Oy.)


But hey, that's me. you may like them. Many people do.


A couple of names I need to add:


C.J. Cherryh (Start with "The Paladin")

Spider Robinson (Start with "Telempath")

C.S. Friedman (Start with "In Conquest Born")

Jessica Amanda Salmonson (Start with "Tomoe Gozen" and avoid "Swordswoman" at all costs!)

Vonda N. McIntyre (Start with "Superluminal")


anyway, have fun & read lots!! yay, reading!!!

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