Songfighters of Gor - fantasy, sci-fi and horror must-reads

Because some of us can read.

Moderator: Mods

j$
Owney
Posts: 5090
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:33 am
Instruments: Bass, keyboards, singin', guitar
Submitting as: Johnny Cashpoint
Location: London, Engerllaaannnddd
Contact:

Songfighters of Gor - fantasy, sci-fi and horror must-reads

Postby j$ » Mon Oct 25, 2004 1:29 am

Well, I thought at least c hack, rabid garfunkel and I would appreciate this, if no-one else!

Some great writers from the genres above that I would whole-heartedly reccommend anyone trying out.

Philip K Dick - well any of his stuff, but his masterpiece, imo, is 'Man in the High Castle' - set in a world where the Germans win World War II, an american writer has written a novel about an alternative reality where the allies won ...

Neil Gaiman - any of his short stories. 'Smoke and Mirrors' is a good collection. His net short story about Cthulhu is hilarious. His novels are slightly more contentious (in a sense that you'll either love them or be left cold by them.) A brilliant ideas man.

Stephen King - sure he's an easy target. He over-writes, he has a tendency towards playing with cliches, but he's a brilliant page-turner, he has single-handedly (pretty much) brought horror out of the ghetto and to the masses, and anything he writes with Straub is well worth the admission price. I personally enjoy his 'novellas' most of all (the length seems to suit him) - The Library Policeman is cool 'n' creepy. (while we're on the subject, I have a guilty, shameful secret - a complete collection of Richard Laymon novels. Like King with no morals. I find it quite disturbing that I enjoy these potboilers so much)

Tim Powers - Gates of Anubis (or is it Anubis Gates - i don't recall at the moment) is a great novel. Kinda hard to desribe, but a great read ...

j$
Lester Bangs is still dead.
User avatar
thehipcola
Hachikō
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:51 am
Instruments: Guitar et al.
Recording Method: noise makers into noise recorders
Submitting as: thehipcola gert redcar shotpounder ephedream
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Contact:

Postby thehipcola » Mon Oct 25, 2004 2:42 am

HORROR

Clive Barker - When you graduate from Stephen King's style of horror, and need something more perverse, this is where you go.

recommended: Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Books of Blood, Everville, Cold Heart Canyon. (all of his stuff really...)

SCI-FI

Larry Niven - One of the greats in science fiction, all of the Ringworld series.

FANTASY

Terry Brooks - of course his orig. Shannara series are classics, but his more recent series The Voyage of Jerle Shannara is fantastic!

Guy Gavriel Kay - The Fionavar Tapestry, gotta read it. Very rich.
j$
Owney
Posts: 5090
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:33 am
Instruments: Bass, keyboards, singin', guitar
Submitting as: Johnny Cashpoint
Location: London, Engerllaaannnddd
Contact:

Postby j$ » Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:02 am

Peaks In Valleys wrote:HORROR

Clive Barker - When you graduate from Stephen King's style of horror, and need something more perverse, this is where you go.

recommended: Imajica, The Great and Secret Show, Books of Blood, Everville, Cold Heart Canyon. (all of his stuff really...)


I liked Everville. Not a big fan of his fantasy because it's not horrific enough. I preferred Books of Blood. But he is a consistently above-average writer.

j$
Lester Bangs is still dead.
User avatar
bz£
Benji
Posts: 946
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:50 am
Location: boston ma

Postby bz£ » Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:38 am

PinV wrote:Guy Gavriel Kay - The Fionavar Tapestry, gotta read it.

Tigana, as well, is an amazing story. This chap's got skillz.
User avatar
thehipcola
Hachikō
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:51 am
Instruments: Guitar et al.
Recording Method: noise makers into noise recorders
Submitting as: thehipcola gert redcar shotpounder ephedream
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Contact:

Postby thehipcola » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:17 am

Tigana, how could I forget Tigana? DOH! Yup, another incredibly rich tale. Well worth the read!
User avatar
HeuristicsInc
Owney
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 pm
Instruments: Synths
Recording Method: Windows computer, Acid, Synths etc.
Submitting as: Heuristics Inc. (duh) + collabs
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:23 am

I just saw the other day that there's a new gunslinger book by stephen king. has anybody read it ? i'm enjoying them enough to keep reading, but i'm not entralled... i suspect i'll read it eventually.

I read Barker's Imajica. It was interesting, but I just didn't enjoy it enough. I think it was worth reading, but it didn't make me want to read anything else of his.

I read a lot of Terry Brooks when I was younger, but none lately ... however,
wait, I did read "Running with the Devil" which was enjoyable. I do have a few more of his books on my "to-read" shelf. But there are a lot of books on it :)

In fantasy/humor, my favorite author is Terry Pratchett. He can be hilarious and thought-provoking in the same sentence. His stuff is always fun to read. His characters and situations are great.

I would also like to recommend the series "Otherland" by Tad Williams. It has to do with a near-future world with good virtual reality, and has some really varied and interesting settings, both in the "real world" and the virtual ones. Great characters. Kinda long in terms of words, but well worth the read and definitely not too repetitive like some authors. His "Memory Sorrow and Thorn" was good too, but not as good as this.
-bill
152612141617123326211316121416172329292119162316331829382412351416132117152332252921
http://heuristicsinc.com
Liner Notes
SF Lyric Ideas
Adam!
Hachikō
Posts: 1340
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:10 am
Location: Victoria, BC, AwesomeLand
Contact:

Postby Adam! » Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:35 am

Favourite Sci-Fi, and the only good (well written) science fiction I've ever read, would be <b>The Lathe Of Heaven</b> and <b>The Left Hand of Darkness</b> by Ursula Le Guin. The Lathe of Heaven is a novella, so you can buy it and read it today. Left Hand of Darkness, the first book to win a Hugo <i>and</i> a Nebula award, is Le Guin's thought experiment about sexual identity and it's role in society. Considering it was written in the 60's I think it holds up pretty well.

And of course I love <b>The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy</b> trilogy. It's fantastic, hilarious, inconsistent, attention-deficit, and disrespectful to its characters and the reader. If you haven't read all five books in the trilogy you should close your browser and go buy them.
User avatar
Hoblit
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3635
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:48 pm
Location: Tampa, Florida Where old people come to die.
Contact:

Postby Hoblit » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:29 am

I'm a king fan myself. I've read tons of his books and have a small collection brewing.

I'm a big fan of his Dark Towers series..which isn't really even horror...

Also, J$., If you like Library police man type thing... you should read 'Geralds Game' which has an underlying story with some of the same creepy undertones.

Anyways, wanted to chime in on this thread. I don't read much outside of King anymore...I suppose if all I did was read books I'd venture out more but as it is I find it hard to find time for books. I've read a few Anne Rice books too..but those aren't really horror as much as they are homo-erotic bodice rippers.
User avatar
HeuristicsInc
Owney
Posts: 5222
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 6:14 pm
Instruments: Synths
Recording Method: Windows computer, Acid, Synths etc.
Submitting as: Heuristics Inc. (duh) + collabs
Location: Maryland USA
Contact:

Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:41 am

Puce wrote:And of course I love <b>The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy</b> trilogy.


Oh yes, incredibly awesome, all of it.
-bill
152612141617123326211316121416172329292119162316331829382412351416132117152332252921
http://heuristicsinc.com
Liner Notes
SF Lyric Ideas
User avatar
jute gyte
Lassie
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Postby jute gyte » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:56 am

philip k. dick was an amazing writer and an amazing human. 'valis' all the way.

i often see neil stephenson's 'cryptonomicon' lumped into the scifi category (probably because of his 'snow crash'), and while i don't really agree on this classification, i do wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone in the universe.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog
jute gyte
User avatar
fodroy
Hachikō
Posts: 1689
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:06 pm
Instruments: none
Recording Method: ears
Submitting as: praise muzak
Location: athens, ga
Contact:

Postby fodroy » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:59 am

i'm a huge stephen king fan. that man is truly brilliant. my favorite has to "the dark half". that book is truly effed up.
User avatar
Rabid Garfunkel
Toto
Posts: 2437
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:43 pm
Instruments: Absurdity
Recording Method: Logic, Reason, Mac Mini i7, Tascam FireOne
Submitting as: Rabid Garfunkel, Primitive Screwheads
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:13 pm

Heh, cool. This thread, whee!

Terry Pratchett has a new book out: Going Postal.

Favorite Dick: tie between Ubik and Dr. Bloodmoney

Tim Powers: I'll start something on his Last Call / Expiration Date / Earthquake Weather bundle real soon now. IMHO, more enjoyable than Anubis Gates and The Drawing of the Dark, but then, that had a lot to do with the settings and locational familiarity, j$. He draws heavily on existing neighborhoods, lets just say, and leave it at that.

Crap, forgot Uncle Steve. The Regulators has most favored status. That's the King style that I like best. Balls to the wall.
Last edited by Rabid Garfunkel on Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Urban cartoon music." -- Paco Del Stinko
Be my friend? --- Song of the Day
User avatar
jb
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:12 am
Instruments: Guitar, Cello, Keys, Uke, Vox, Perc
Recording Method: Logic X
Submitting as: The John Benjamin Band
Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact:

Postby jb » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:15 pm

Fantasy/Scifi is my everyday reading diet. Stuff outside those genres are few and far between, actually, 'cause it's rare that I feel like reading something abou the everyday world.

Stephen King is lately often too interested in bodily functions and slimy stuff for my taste. I did enjoy the Bachman books, and many of his short stories. And Misery was good too. I seem to remember reading "Thinner" back in the day, but I just couldn't get into the Dark Tower or Gunslinger books.

I enjoyed the first book in Christopher Golden's "Shadow Saga" series, and I intend to order the second from Amazon, since my local stores don't seem to have it in stock.

I started out liking Laurel K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake" series, but she got way too obssessed with jealousy, and I haven't been able to read any of the latest books. I wanted more actual detective stuff, and less my-vampire-boyfriend-constantly-threatening-my-werewolf-ex-lover type of stuff. It's like, come on, I get it already, he's jealous, the other dude's jealous too, and she's torn between them. How many pages must I wade through before you'll give me another plot point?

I've read all of PN Elrod's Vampire Files. But I don't care for Anne Rice. I think I enjoy stuff that's fantastic, that kind of gives me an idea that there's more to the world than what you might think. But I don't care for typical "romantic" sorts of things, with lush descriptions and sensuous malarkey getting in the way of the story. Charlaine Harris writes good stuff. She kind of does what I want Hamilton to do. Harris also writes decent mysteries.

For sci-fi I like the military stories. David Drake is reliable, usually, and David Weber. I read the whole "Sten" series by Chris Bunch, and some other stuff by him that's pretty good, although lately he's been a little slipshod in his craft. But they all seem to get sick of a series after a while. William C. Dietz is entertaining as well. Sherman and Cragg's "Starfist" series was fun too.

I've been reading a lot of Mercedes Lackey lately. Her "Elemental Masters" series is entertaining, and I've read all but three of the "Heralds" series, and a bunch of her other stuff having to do with elves in the modern world.

The two publishing isignia that I look for when I'm browsing at a book store are Baen and Roc. Each has a definitive style to their novels, so you kind of know what you're getting into. Baen is more likely to have the military scifi, and Roc the modern-day-fantasy sort of thing.

When I was in college I read a lot of Philip K. Dick, but after a while it sort of felt like I could see where his stories were going. I guess I overdosed. I tried to read "The Great and Secret Show" by Barker, but discarded it half way through, because it got too convoluted for my taste.

I've read most of Simon Green's "Deathstalker" series, which is pretty good up to a point, and then it becomes less and less inspired. But then there's his "Nightside" series which so far has been really great. I've enjoyed those books a lot. Same with his "Hawk and Fisher" novels, including that Blue Moon one. Good stuff.

Oh, and I'll read anything that John Varley writes. Shopping lists, even. I bet he writes great shopping lists.
User avatar
Rabid Garfunkel
Toto
Posts: 2437
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 12:43 pm
Instruments: Absurdity
Recording Method: Logic, Reason, Mac Mini i7, Tascam FireOne
Submitting as: Rabid Garfunkel, Primitive Screwheads
Location: Portland, Oregon
Contact:

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:27 pm

Varley r0x0rz! Ahem, sorry. Though I'm more comfortable with the sex in his later books (Steel Beach, The Golden Globe) as it's... more familiar? Wish I could pull a specific example for comparison out of my memory, but his earlier books, the sex especially was written very... '70s feeling.

Like being able to date a movie you've never seen by the film grain and lighting alone.

A lot of "gee whiz, we're fucking in a different way than you squares" going on.

But again, this is based on hazy memories of the Titan, etc, books. Should re-read before I shoot off my mouth so much, heh.

To continue the list of Johns: John Shirley. His Heatseeker and Black Butterflies collections are teh rawk, in the fantastic horror vein.

And the list of GODS:
Robert A. Heinlein, Harlan Ellison, Roger Zelazny
"Urban cartoon music." -- Paco Del Stinko
Be my friend? --- Song of the Day
j$
Owney
Posts: 5090
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:33 am
Instruments: Bass, keyboards, singin', guitar
Submitting as: Johnny Cashpoint
Location: London, Engerllaaannnddd
Contact:

Postby j$ » Mon Oct 25, 2004 12:59 pm

Hoblit wrote:Also, J$., If you like Library police man type thing... you should read 'Geralds Game' which has an underlying story with some of the same creepy undertones.


yeah, love that book. The only King I haven't read is 'The Girl who loved Tom Gordon' and the later 'Dark Tower' ones ... I really liked the start of it, and I love the way 'Black House' crossed over with the concept, but it's becoming a bit too like a late night monday night roleplaying session for me. Don't get me wrong - I'm not dissing roleplaying, just I prefer his more 'edge of reality' stuff. I think King is brilliant, simply because so many people read his stuff, he tells a great story, and I love the fact that he gets peeved when critics say 'this is good, but when's your proper novel coming out?'


JUTE - I have been putting off reading Valis for ages. I'm a bit scared of post-breakdown/vision Dick. But I read the first chapter yesterday so I'll let you know how I'm progressing!

j$
:)
Lester Bangs is still dead.
User avatar
jute gyte
Lassie
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Postby jute gyte » Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:40 pm

let's not forget stanislaw lem and alfred bester. and for the record, "i have no mouth and i must scream" is one of the best short stories i've ever read.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog

jute gyte
Eric Y.
Hachikō
Posts: 1797
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 12:36 pm

Postby Eric Y. » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:53 pm

j$ wrote:.....the later 'Dark Tower' ones ... I really liked the start of it, and I love the way 'Black House' crossed over with the concept, but it's becoming a bit too like a late night monday night roleplaying session for me.


i thought the first book was fabulous, and each of them have gone WAY downhill from there. actually i believe i've only read the first four of them.

switching gears, in the world of fantasy, i have to say that piers anthony is totally a guilty pleasure for me. i know a lot of people have no respect for him because he mostly writes silly punny nonsense, but i don't care. i've enjoyed every book of his i've read (and there have been dozens of those). he's also rather good in my opinion when he IS tackling more serious, adult-oriented stuff.
User avatar
the Jazz
Rin-Tin-Tin
Posts: 403
Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 10:49 pm
Location: Northern CA
Contact:

Postby the Jazz » Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:58 pm

I'm curious to know why nobody has even mentioned Isaac Asimov... arguably the greatest writer of SF ever to have lived. Recently I've been re-reading the Foundation books and I may look into the Robot novels which for some reason I've never read.

Anyhoo... Neil Gaiman also = writer of Sandman, correct? Definitely a cool guy.

For horror, Lovecraft is one of the few really good authors out there in my opinion, but also very good is Fear by L. Ron Hubbard, read that one alone late at night (should I add "IF YOU DARE?").

Someone mentioned Zelazny --> hell yeah! The Amber Chronicles were very good, but I thought Donnerjack was superior as a whole. Have yet to start in on his other stuff. He could really be put sort of in-between fantasy and SF... Hm.

Larry Niven, yes, good stuff, also if you like hard SF Greg Bear is good. Allen Steele's stuff shows up just about every month in Asimov's, generally good stuff. Although speaking of Asimov's, what the hell is up with Bruce Boston? The guy who always writes the little cutesy-stupid-as-hell "poems"? He bugs the hell out of me. Aaaaaaanyway.

I seem to have gotten over King. I saw Dreamcatcher some time ago and that was decent. I feel like he's already written all his best work though. But hey, you never know.

Anyone else read Peter F. Hamilton? I got through 4 of the 6 volumes in The Reality Dysfunction, couldn't find the last two, and forgot about it, but I should really go look for those again, very fun read.

Lester Del Rey's short stories are also very good. Also Orson Scott Card writes good shorts, and for those who have just read or heard of the Ender books, his Alvin Maker books are worth checking out, and I very much liked The Worthing Saga, which is a novel made of a smaller novel and short stories. Kind of like the Foundation trilogy, actually. I even have his book How To Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, which is a very good resource, if only I weren't spending all my creative juices on music and the internet nowadays. :roll:
Let cake eat them.
User avatar
jute gyte
Lassie
Posts: 595
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 1:27 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Postby jute gyte » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:39 pm

h.p. lovecraft wrote amazing stuff.
"I believe the common character of the universe is not harmony, but hostility, chaos and murder." - Werner Herzog

jute gyte
User avatar
jb
Scrappy Dappy
Posts: 3549
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:12 am
Instruments: Guitar, Cello, Keys, Uke, Vox, Perc
Recording Method: Logic X
Submitting as: The John Benjamin Band
Location: WASHINGTON, DC
Contact:

Postby jb » Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:39 pm

I can't bear to read anything by Orson Scott Card, since I found out he's a raving lunatic asshole.
j$
Owney
Posts: 5090
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 11:33 am
Instruments: Bass, keyboards, singin', guitar
Submitting as: Johnny Cashpoint
Location: London, Engerllaaannnddd
Contact:

Postby j$ » Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:25 am

Re Lovecraft - up until the Summer, I would have been sounding his trumpet here, but I re-read almost all of it in July/August, and for the first time it struck me how bad the writing is ... not the stories, which are wild and clever imagination-wise, but the actual structuring and pacing is more than a bit sloppy. I mean some of his foreshadowing is so obvious ...

Now the reason I say this, was because the first time(s) I read him, I didn't notice, and was totally caught up in his imagination. But returning to them, i quickly remembered the plots, and was faced with this rather flowery, almost Donaldson-esque prose.

It didn't help that the editor of the Penguin edition I was reading clearly had a grump-on that he was made to edit the book, and almost every footnote either obviously or subtley set about destroying the reputation.

Bester is a great read, though. Have to agree with that, JG!

Also forgot to mention my other big Horror favourite - Christopher Fowler. I have a few issues with him, as a person, but he writes horror books about London that would make no sense set anywhere else. He captures the flavour of modern London and has that beautiful Gaiman-esque ability to mythologise modern locations.... highly reccommended ...

j$
Lester Bangs is still dead.
User avatar
thehipcola
Hachikō
Posts: 1014
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 10:51 am
Instruments: Guitar et al.
Recording Method: noise makers into noise recorders
Submitting as: thehipcola gert redcar shotpounder ephedream
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Contact:

Postby thehipcola » Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:18 am

That's an interesting point about Lovecraft J$, I've only read his works one time through. I'm tempted now to re-read and see for myself...hmmmm...

Forgive me if this is obvious, but are you referring to Stephen R Donaldon, of Lord Foul's Bane fame?

Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest