Online-Roleplaying.community

Go Back   Online-Roleplaying.community > Public Commonness > Uncognitive Cackling

Reply
Thread Tools
  #101  
Unread 12th of August, 2008, 23:40
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
Originally Posted by Cadrius # What happens when you cross 40th century civilization, greek mythology, and Shakespeare? Apparently you get Ilium by Dan Simmons.

Definitely worth checking out. I haven't cracked its conclusion, Olympos, but I imagine it's of a similar caliber.
I never did find Illium, but I did find another book by Dan Simmons floating about at home. And it was Hyperion. And it was excellent. It uses a really nice Canterbury-tales style device where there is the main story (A journey) broken up with each character's backstory. Nicely done.

The sequel Fall of Hyperion sadly isn't up to the same standards. It's good enough to warrant a read though. And I'll most likely pick up Endymon (the next one in the Cantos series) and see what happens with that.
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #102  
Unread 12th of August, 2008, 23:47
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,824 (1.93 per day)
It's funny you ressurected this, as I was just browsing with the same intent.

I'm nearly halfway through Ilium and I'm really enjoying it so far.

At any rate, Kel recommended Mary Renault's The King Must Die and The Bull from the Sea to me a while back and I found them to be a great read. I don't know if they were mentioned here before or not, but they should be. They are historical fiction about the life of Theseus.
Reply With Quote
  #103  
Unread 13th of August, 2008, 05:39
Wired*Nun's Avatar
Wired*Nun
Author of Sci-Fi Thrillers [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Member: #830
Location: Woodbridge, Virginia
Posts: 8,526 (1.81 per day)
I found GRR Martin to have overplayed his hand - too many characters, hard to follow. I was jarred out of my interest almost every time he switched tracks.

That being said, I really enjoyed the individual stories. He just tried too hard.


Some obvious ones:

Roger Zelazny - Amber series (10 Books plus some shorts)
Glen Cook - The Black Company series. Many books (8? 9?)



Zelazny - A Night in the Lonesome October

John Norman - the first five or six GOR books. I know, I know, the MCPism is endless, but a great setting and characters nonethless.

Saberhagen's SWORDS books (12 of them I think)

Sci-Fi:

If you like martial arts and sci-fi, Streetlethal, Gorgon Child and Firedance by Steven Barnes are very good. Ditto for Steve Perry's Matador series and other books by him set in that universe.

Ancient classic in the youth category, but very good nonethless, is John Christopher's series of The White Mountains, The City of Gold and Lead, and The Pool of Fire.

Northworld trilogy by David Drake

Risen Empire series by Scott Westerfeld - one of the best opening scenes in a while.
Reply With Quote
  #104  
Unread 13th of August, 2008, 06:00
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,824 (1.93 per day)
Most of Zelazny's stuff is well worth the read. I'm particularly fond of Lord of Light, Doorways in the Sand, Jack of Shadows, and Creatures of Light and Darkness in addition to the orginal 5 Amber novels.
Reply With Quote
  #105  
Unread 13th of August, 2008, 06:04
Bad Luck Charm's Avatar
Bad Luck Charm
Effigy [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Member: #3028
Location: Terrok 'Nor
Posts: 1,744 (0.54 per day)
Anything by Terry Pratchet is usually really good. "Going Postal" was an amazing book, and "Thief of Time" was awesome too. I've read about 25 of his books so far, but I keep finding myself reading Going Postal over and over again, it was just so well written.

Pratchet is a master at mixing fantasy, comedy, and stereotypes together into a story.
Reply With Quote
  #106  
Unread 13th of August, 2008, 08:57
LynMars's Avatar
LynMars
Famine Spirit [Epic]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Member: #836
Posts: 2,661 (0.57 per day)
I forgot to add this here, knowing I meant to.

Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion is a good trilogy, often now found in omnibus version. The individual books of the series are:

1. Sheepfarmer's Daughter
2. Divided Allegiance
3. Oath of Gold


The story was inspired partially by Moon hearing stories of D&D paladins, and how they often didn't live up to the ideals set forth, or otherwise act very paladin-like. So she decided to write a story about the making of a real paladin.

A very nicely built fantasy world where magic happens but it doesn't feel as all-pervasive as in others (magical healing, unless from a divine caster, is rare and expensive for instance, and not something common soldiers get often), and kinda builds up as Paks explores and learns more of her own world. There are some interesting questions about faith, finding it, losing it, regaining it, etc with a typical fantasy plotline thrown in but very well done. I enjoy Moon's writing quite a bit, both the fantasy angle and the military one.

The sorta prequel to Paks' story is The Legacy of Gird, coming in two parts originally as well:

1. Surrender None
2. Liar's Oath


These books focus on characters who have become legends in Paks' time, and find a way to curve back to the "present day" eventually, as well as explains how paladins began and why the society is set up as it is. A bit more magic in Liar's Oath, given it deals with the mage class, but really focuses on the characters and their internal struggles, as well as the normal external ones.
Reply With Quote
  #107  
Unread 14th of August, 2008, 11:51
Cadrius's Avatar
Cadrius
Refusing to Sow [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #12
Location: The Emerald City
Posts: 5,728 (1.02 per day)
It's not fantasy, exactly, but it's still good. Spin, by Robert Charles Wilson, is a remarkable bit of sci-fi with a unique premise. The story telling is compelling and the dynamic between the protagnists is interesting.

I won't bandy about such over-used phrases such as "I couldn't put it down," but I will say that it's the best bit of science fiction I've read in a long time.
Reply With Quote
  #108  
Unread 8th of April, 2010, 22:40
itches's Avatar
itches
Vampire Lord [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #10
Location: Castle Greyskull
Posts: 13,739 (2.45 per day)
Well it is 2010 and I've finally read a discworld novel. I always shied away from them because there were a large number of books involved that would require effort to gain access to - besides the fact that I wouldn't know where to start.

Turns out my sister in law has quite a collection of those books and while talking to her I happened to mention these facts. She promptly pulled the first one out and handed it to me. Alas, they live far away from me and I won't be seeing them again for weeks so I need to wait for the second one.
__________________
@}-`-- Coffee + Hate = itches
Reply With Quote
  #109  
Unread 8th of April, 2010, 23:22
Mercutio's Avatar
Mercutio
Grave Digger [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1485
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Posts: 8,215 (1.93 per day)
The first four books are all I've read so far, but I've enjoyed all four almost equally. They each have something very different in focus, although I do have to say that I think Rincewind is my favorite character. Cohen is funny, but I'm not sure I could do a whole novel with just him. I think the Librarian is perhaps the most amusing side character.
Reply With Quote
  #110  
Unread 8th of April, 2010, 23:35
Explosive Cheese's Avatar
Explosive Cheese
Boomer Muenster [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Member: #8003
Location: University of Waterloo
Posts: 2,137 (0.81 per day)
Wait till you get to the witches (Mercutio, you've seen Granny Weatherwax, but not at her greatest), and Vimes and the watch. Death is decent in Mort, but is awesome later on, especially in Reaper Man and Soul Music. I've read about 30 of them (so I'm missing something like 2 or 3), and I love all of them. The cool thing about discworld is that the books are divided into arcs, each of which has its own major characters, and each arc has consequences for the others.
__________________
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"Any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science."
"Any magic which is distinguishable from science has not been analysed enough."
Reply With Quote
  #111  
Unread 10th of July, 2010, 23:26
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
I'm currently reading The Name Of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.

This is a guilty, guilty pleasure. It is rather generic fantasy, but the writing is really quite compelling for some reason. I'd heard a fair bit of buzz about it, and decided to take the plunge.

As with all fantasy, it's a trilogy and only the first one appears to have been penned, so it may be worth holding off for the moment so you can read it as a single story without forgetting who key characters are.
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #112  
Unread 11th of July, 2010, 00:42
Mercutio's Avatar
Mercutio
Grave Digger [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1485
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Posts: 8,215 (1.93 per day)
I bought it, but have not read it yet. I believe treehouse is currently reading it. He told me that the writing was excellent. I first heard of it when the Penny Arcade guys were talking about it, but I just got it for Father's Day. I have 5 or 6 other books to read first, but it is on my shelf and sits there demanding to be read.
Reply With Quote
  #113  
Unread 11th of July, 2010, 00:49
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
Yeah, I've a feeling it might have been one of the guys from the Writing subforum over there actually was behind it, but I may be getting confused.
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #114  
Unread 11th of July, 2010, 01:04
treehouse's Avatar
treehouse
Evolved Ulgurstasta [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1471
Location: Tulsa
Posts: 7,114 (1.67 per day)
The book is excellent so far. I had to stop reading it a few days ago because of studies/work, but I'm planning to pick up where I left off tonight or tomorrow. It's nice to see some fresh, promising talent in the sci-fi/fantasy genre.
__________________
More cocks! Everywhere I look there are cocks! I seem to be surrounded by cocks! -itches

I'm like Jesus, but with more car chases. -BigRedRod

Every outfit has a guy like me. We're usually called "Shut the hell up!" -Doombot
Reply With Quote
  #115  
Unread 11th of July, 2010, 01:06
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
I'm about halfway through myself. It's a very easy read, especially coming off the back of The Illuminatus! Trilogy.
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #116  
Unread 13th of July, 2010, 04:50
Rimmerdal's Avatar
Rimmerdal
Shadow [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Member: #7761
Location: Picton
Posts: 364 (0.13 per day)
Thieves world Series was good. a bit grim and more or less like the Fafhrd and Grey mouser series.

http://www.thievesworld.info/novels/index.htm
Reply With Quote
  #117  
Unread 13th of July, 2010, 20:54
Croaker's Avatar
Croaker
Mohrg [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Member: #7487
Posts: 1,003 (0.34 per day)
I mean, the line isn't that blurry and in the literary sense, it's not a subcategory. If the story is about the science, it's sci-fi (hard sci-fi; see Dune). If it's about the characters and how they interact with the science to be Big Damn Heroes, it's fantasy (soft sci-fi; see Star Wars).

My recommendations:

Glen Cook's The Black Company series. So good. "Vietnam war fiction on peyote." Mind you it's not about the Vietnam war; that was just a comparison I read.

Steven R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Very neat surrealish take on 'standard' high fantasy. I'd only bother with the first trilogy; the second and third aren't as good.

Originally Posted by Gralhruk # Most of Zelazny's stuff is well worth the read. I'm particularly fond of Lord of Light, Doorways in the Sand, Jack of Shadows, and Creatures of Light and Darkness in addition to the orginal 5 Amber novels.
Also, this times a million. The Isle of the Dead, This Immortal, and the Dream Master are all also great. Zelazny was a god; easily better than Neil Gaiman, whom I also love. This is all my opinion, of course, I'm not trying to give an 'objective' (with contemporary literary criticism as a reference point) statement here.
__________________


Last edited by Croaker; 13th of July, 2010 at 20:58.
Reply With Quote
  #118  
Unread 13th of July, 2010, 22:21
Explosive Cheese's Avatar
Explosive Cheese
Boomer Muenster [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Member: #8003
Location: University of Waterloo
Posts: 2,137 (0.81 per day)
How the hell is Dune hard Sci-Fi? Everything about it screamed fantasy to me. I saw no focus on science, and more than just a little focus on the character's interaction with the 'science'. (I've only read the first book though, so maybe I'm missing something)

I had this sci-fi vs. fantasy discussion in an online creative writing course, and our consensus was that in effect they're both just different takes on the same genre. Basically, the division we decided upon was whether or not the unrealistic elements had a logical explanation behind them, regardless of the quality of that explanation. In Science Fiction you have to give a why, whereas in Fantasy you just let it be ("It's magic"). There is definitely a large grey area, which we actually gave a third category (Sci-Fi/Fantasy).

My own feelings about the division are that it largely falls into conventions. Fantasy usually means elves, swords, magic, and kingdoms, while SF usually means stars, blasters, space-ships, aliens, other things "spacey", and time-travel. Maybe this is why Dune and Star Wars feel to me more like fantasy, but Isaac Asimov's Galactic Empire stuff continued to feel like SF for me, although there was a much heavier focus on the science there than in Dune or Star Wars. *Shrugs* I still think that where the line gets drawn is very much a subjective matter.

As regards Hard SF, I would call it SF that strives to have its science adhere to current known physical laws, and this gives it a much more 'sciency' feel. But I would say that to call Hard SF more accurate or realistic than soft SF is flawed, because by trying to keep within current physical laws, we are ignoring possible breakthroughs in science that could occur by the time of the story (which in SF is usually in the future). I mean, up until the late 19th century, the atom was thought unsplittable, and if SF existed then, anything to do with Radioactivity would be considered 'soft'.

....Crap I didn't mean to hi-jack the thread. This discussion just always grabs my interest and doesn't let go.

I'm looking to start reading Star Wars EU when I get to Canada, preferably from the earliest chronological era, but any book that is the start of an arc (nothing in the middle of a series please). What can you guys recommend me.
__________________
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
"Any sufficiently analysed magic is indistinguishable from science."
"Any magic which is distinguishable from science has not been analysed enough."
Reply With Quote
  #119  
Unread 13th of July, 2010, 23:18
Gralhruk's Avatar
Gralhruk
Ghost of ORP Past [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #13
Location: The Netherworld
Posts: 10,824 (1.93 per day)
Originally Posted by Croaker This is all my opinion, of course, I'm not trying to give an 'objective' (with contemporary literary criticism as a reference point) statement here.
Which is exactly what this thread should be - subjective opinion about what you like.

EC did a nice job of censoring himself, too . But yeah, let's stay away from genre discussion and debating the merits of other recommendations. Maybe I'll just change the thread title.

I haven't read anything new lately, to be honest. I went back through Martin's Song of Ice and Fire recently and I'm halfway through the Lankhmar books again. There is nothing quite so amusing as a shrunken Grey Mouser dueling with aristocratic rats while in the nude (a victim of coitus interruptus while wooing their wererat princess).

Oh, and I love This Immortal.
Reply With Quote
  #120  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 00:30
Croaker's Avatar
Croaker
Mohrg [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Member: #7487
Posts: 1,003 (0.34 per day)
I have no idea why I referenced Dune as hard sci-fi. I just remember a lot of dry (haha!) stuff about the ecology of the planet and sort of mentally extrapolated from there. Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction is my new example.

tl:dr: I'm full of shit sometimes.

I'm glad to find someone else who shares my opinion of This Immortal. It's under appreciated by the Zelazny fans I know.

Also, In the Name of the Wind is brilliant. I mean, it's trash fantasy, but I kinda like good trash fantasy, and it is really top-shelf trash fantasy. Except for the part where the main character was abandoned in the wilderness to be raised by wolves until the wolves were chased off by Vikings who taught him the ways of blade and blood before he became a thief in the capital city of the Empire until the Prince found him and saw him for his true merits and elevated him to noble status, bringing us to the current day where he rules his kingdom with a kind heart by day and is a half-vampire, half dragon crime fighter by night*.

*actual events obscured by generic hyperbole for the benefit of those who have yet to read it.
__________________


Last edited by Croaker; 14th of July, 2010 at 00:37.
Reply With Quote
  #121  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 00:34
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
Croaker, that isn't hard sci-fi either. Discussing genres is as much fun as banging nails into my own penis, but you're dead wrong here.

The Mars trilogy is hard sci-fi. Schild's Ladder is the shining example of Hard Sci-Fi (it has diagrams and references). The Reality Dysfunction is just a space opera. A fun one, but it's very soft on the science.
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #122  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 00:36
Croaker's Avatar
Croaker
Mohrg [GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Member: #7487
Posts: 1,003 (0.34 per day)
Is it? I guess I have no idea what hard sci-fi is, then. Maybe I've never read a hard sci-fi novel.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #123  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 00:38
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
Read Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's:
a) Fantastic
b) A good example of what the term means
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
  #124  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 01:32
Mercutio's Avatar
Mercutio
Grave Digger [Epic GM]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Member: #1485
Location: Ocean City, NJ
Posts: 8,215 (1.93 per day)
Originally Posted by BigRedRod # Read Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson. It's:
a) Fantastic
b) A good example of what the term means
This. Exactly.

Another one I'd recommend, although BRR and I have slightly different opinions on it, is The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Reply With Quote
  #125  
Unread 14th of July, 2010, 01:38
BigRedRod's Avatar
BigRedRod
A One-Winged Angel [Epic Admin]

User is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Member: #17
Location: In the bath
Posts: 11,976 (2.14 per day)
But I've not read that!
__________________
BRR just likes to punish us. He does it because we are weak. --The Alcotroll
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +10. The time now is 13:26.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Graphics by Koert van Kleef (T0N!C) and Lyle Warren