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

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Postby j$ » Fri Dec 03, 2004 5:49 pm

Generic wrote:Stanislaw Lem


Alright, but over-rated retrospectively. Very Russian (though he was Polish I believe) in outlook. Nothing really happens but everything seems to. To me it's philosphical fiction wearing a science-fiction hat - not that there's anything wrong with that per se, just not my bag. Mainly because it encourages people to draw the distinction.

Visual imagery in his work when it happens is stunning though, i have to admit.
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Postby Ogreasy! » Sun Dec 05, 2004 12:44 pm

Orson Scott Card has been mentioned a few times.
I know hes the Ultimate Storming Mormon and is kind of a dick.
But...
I bought every single one of his Ender's Game books and series.
Even the spinoffs and prequels. I read them and liked most of them, with a few exceptions.(The actual sequels to Ender's Game were weak)
But the Ender's Shadow books were really cool.
I really liked them.
I mean, they're not my favorite books or anything(Dune takes the prize for my favorite series) but I liked them a lot more than you guys who like all the same stuff I do give them credit..

What don't you like about them?
I know they're kind of Kiddie I guess, but whats so bad about them?
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon Dec 06, 2004 8:34 am

i also really enjoyed the ender series.
i can separate the author from the work in my reviews... it's possible to enjoy a song, for example, while thinking the creator is a flaming asshole, something i've had to do on sf a few times... :P
won't vote for it then, though, ha ha ha!
:)
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Postby Sober » Mon Dec 06, 2004 9:43 am

I don't think I've showed my face in this thread yet, but I'll say that the Forgotten Realms setting or whatever has produced a huge quantity of very enjoyable books.

Not to mention that if you don't know who Drizzt Do'Urden is, you are undoubtably a total nub. I mean, gimme a freakin break.

Yeah, I used to read that shit all the time. I still would, but I rarely have the time to read anymore, and the time I do have, I prefer reading 'un-American' literature.
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Postby the Jazz » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:48 pm

the sober irishman wrote:Not to mention that if you don't know who Drizzt Do'Urden is, you are undoubtably a total nub. I mean, gimme a freakin break.

I read the Dark Elf Trilogy and enjoyed it immensely, then a few years later I picked up the first one of the previous series, the Icewind Dale books, and was astonished by how bad the writing was, especially in the first book.
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Postby jute gyte » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:54 pm

stanislaw lem's 'memoirs found in a bathtub' is fantastic.
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Postby Adam! » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:58 pm

the Jazz wrote:
the sober irishman wrote:Not to mention that if you don't know who Drizzt Do'Urden is, you are undoubtably a total nub. I mean, gimme a freakin break.

I read the Dark Elf Trilogy and enjoyed it immensely, then a few years later I picked up the first one of the previous series, the Icewind Dale books, and was astonished by how bad the writing was, especially in the first book.

Flashbacks to 12 years old. Read them again and you'll notice they're all bad.
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Postby Jim of Seattle » Mon Dec 06, 2004 3:59 pm

Ogreasy! wrote:Orson Scott Card ...What don't you like about them?
I know they're kind of Kiddie I guess, but whats so bad about them?


I don't know, I only read "Ender's Game", and while I thought he set up the story really well, I got really bored with "...and then we fought this team and they did this special maneuver but we did this even better maneuver and we won a million to 2...". Too much confusing descriptions of game maneuvers which I couldn't follow. And the whole "teenage kids are so smart they take over the world" sub-plot was too far-fetched and WAY too poorly thought through.
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Mon Dec 06, 2004 4:50 pm

the later books ditch that sort of talk for more philosophical stuff.
also, the kids are older... :)
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Postby Ogreasy! » Fri Dec 24, 2004 2:40 pm

Yeah, the later sequels kind of remind me of the Dune sequels. Basically, the author goes insane. The sequels get progressivley worse... ) :
Children of Dune was kind of good though..
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Postby the Jazz » Sat Jan 15, 2005 10:04 pm

I thought the Dune series dropped off in the middle but got better somewhere in the fifth book.

I'm reading Asimov's robot novels now, partway through the third. They're good, but they don't compare to Foundation.

Anyone read his novel The Gods Themselves? I always liked that one particularly.

EDIT: Okay, the third Robot novel is much better (which makes sense as it was written much later), and does in fact compare to Foundation.
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Postby thehipcola » Thu Jan 27, 2005 7:13 am

Terry Goodkind: Sword of Truth series

I am in the middle of the latest book in this series and it's great. Very simple writing, but an epic tale that keeps me reading. The characters are great and likeable, if a little simple and shallow. Nothing about this series is genius, but I've enjoyed every book I've read.

I'll put it this way...it's great filler material in between really good, intense reads.
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Postby HeuristicsInc » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:15 am

I read the first book. I enjoyed it, but I thought the characters acted kind of ridiculously a lot of the time, like it wasn't really plausible. But it was fun, definitely. Perhaps they improve over time?
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Postby thehipcola » Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:38 am

tough to say...I've really enjoyed the series, but I've also always felt like it's a bit of a guilty pleasure. Not sure why, but this is definitely not high level fantasy or anything. I guess it's just an easy-to-read, good story. The characters are likeable, and they are remarkably consistent from book to book. I think that the further you get into it, you stop doing reality checks on them, and just accept who they are for who they are. It's part of the fabric of the story.

Does that in fact even come close to answering your ?, probably not... sorry!
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Postby nyjm » Sat May 21, 2005 4:58 am

the Jazz wrote:I thought the Dune series dropped off in the middle but got better somewhere in the fifth book.

i found "dune messiah" and "children of dune" to be kind of, well, boring in comparison to "dune". it was like herbert had to get through all of this plot to get to the really good part: "god emperor of dune" (book IV). "god emperor" brought back everything that was good about "dune": philosophy, ecology, intrigue, impossible love, dramatic reversals and even tragedy (and did it all coherently, as compared to the mishmash of "children"). it took me a while to warm up to "heretics", but once i was i hooked, i was hooked and "chapterhouse" was a great way to end it.

have you read the prequels? the "house" prequels i thought were ok. definitely not frank writing, but it was interesting from a plot point of view. brian herbert and kevin j. anderson apparently can't do frank's philosophy, but they showed that they had a good command and understanding of the dune universe.

the "legends" prequels on the other hand are total dretch. i got through the first one and was unimpressed. i pushed myself through the second one. i started to read the third and couldn't finish, it was so bad. their dialogue is stitled, their plots are totally predictable and their characters are cardboard cut-outs. the core of frank's "dune" series is utterly absent. it just second-rate fan-fiction.

a long time ago i heard that they uncovered frank's outlines and notes for "dune 7" and they're planning on writing it after the "battle of corrin". now, i really hope they don't.
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Postby the Jazz » Sat May 21, 2005 9:03 pm

I never even bothered with the prequels or anything else written for that universe by another author. It wasn't the setting that made the series great, and I don't trust another author to be true enough to Herbert's plot and characters to keep from annoying me. I annoy easily.
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Postby sparks » Tue May 31, 2005 10:58 pm

j$ wrote: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 ...
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Have you ever read Poe?

It's all about the time period. Style has really changed in a hundred-plus years--you simply can't compare old works to new one in that way, especially in genres that were only just developing.


As for great horror/fantasy, I'm only a little surprised no one has mentioned Peter Straub, though they have mentioned Black House in reference to the Dark Tower series (and yet not The Talisman?).

Everyone will tell you to read Ghost Story by Straub, because I guess it's the most accessible--his best work by far is Shadowland, though. Really poetic. King really has a way with characters and stories, and while Straub isn't deficient in those abilities, his skill with words, especially in imagery, is hard to beat. He's heavily underrated. His new stuff borders on mystery, and is pretty decent too (Lost Boy, Lost Girl, et cetera).
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Postby j$ » Sat Jun 04, 2005 5:59 pm

sparks wrote:Have you ever read Poe?
yes.

It's all about the time period. Style has really changed in a hundred-plus years--you simply can't compare old works to new one in that way, especially in genres that were only just developing.


Hmmm - it may have only just been developing in the States, but stuff like this had been kicking around in Europe for 100 years or so (Frankenstein being a reasonable example) and the art of creepy-story telling for much much longer, anyway ...

Secondly I am not comparing his writing to modern day writers - I am commenting on his work as a modern day reader. this is what differentiates 'classic' literature from 'good' literature - writing that transcends period and speaks to the reader regardless of time, locale, or other specific influences that the author may have had.

A good (though not in this genre) example of this is the poetry of Catullus. 2000 years old, in a dead language, and touching on matters that still resonate today. Plus it's funny. I digress.

I do agree with you on peter Straub, though his writing style is pretty dry and unwelcoming, his ideas are fascinating. He and King compliment each other well (I very much enjoyed 'Black House'.)

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Postby NeilThrun » Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:58 am

Neil Gaimen's Good Omens is a wonderful book. I havnt read any of his other work though. I'm also a huge lovecraft fan, and while yes his foreshadowing and poor writing can be painful sometimes, its important to remember he was writing these stories for cheap magazines. You can exactly throw a 400 page novel in a 30 page leaflet.
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Postby j$ » Mon Sep 05, 2005 10:36 am

You can read?
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Postby NeilThrun » Mon Sep 05, 2005 9:29 pm

Well since I can write, lets hope so.
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Postby j$ » Tue Sep 06, 2005 1:57 am

*resists urge to point out that you can't punctuate*

Your argument is flawed "You can exactly throw a 400 page novel in a 30 page leaflet." Assuming you mean 'can't' here, Lovecraft never wrote anything longer than a novella. For the most part he wrote short stories, so it really makes no difference whether his stories appeared in magazines or collections of short stories.

He also wrote many of his stories years berfore they saw publication so you can't even claim he was rushed.

There are plenty of good American writers; Lovecraft wasn't one of them. He did, however, have a great imagination (when he wasn't ripping off Poe and Lord Dunsay, amongst others)

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