Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

[Fantasy Thread] Where E = N^(1/B)

Lord Of The PantsLord Of The Pants Registered User regular
edited November 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
Yes yes yes yes. Those books. You know the ones, the ones that you buy and hide under a copy of The Da Vinci Code so you won't get beaten up on the bus home.

Introduction

I stumbled across (in a dusty box in my parent's attic) a bunch of old fantasy books I read when I was a kid. Alas, Dragonlance was not among them, but there were some smattering of Star Wars (Shudder), Feist, David Eddings and some bits and pieces like that Stephen King fantasy novel which I quite enjoyed, Eyes Of The Dragon. So I got thinking: Surely not all fantasy novels were as bad as I remember them?

Surely the writing wasn't so overwritten? There has to be some good books out there!

But first what is fantasy novel?
Spoiler:

So why does this warrant its own thread?

Well because these aren't normal books, and require a special thread. We're special people.
They illicit a certain special joy, in which we can overlook certain deficiencies if the plot is epic enough, or you have a bad ass mother fucking black wizard like Rastilin. Or a Wizzard.


What do we want to discuss?


Inherently, we wish to work out what is good and what is bad. So people may read them.
Note: What makes a bad novel is not that it is "Really slow for the first half" like Dune, or that the "Hero is gay." But more serious things like: "The character is the best at everything he does and is totally one dimensional." (Like Talon) or that he is "So testosterone filled, he's nearly a walking Dark Elf Hardon." (Drizzt, apparently.)

Straight away we have some topics to work for our initial discussion:
  • Are the new Feist books any good? I hear there are Elfs that fly spaceships is this true?
  • Is Drizzt a walking hardon? Should I read the Icewind Dale books?
  • I didn't like the Eddings book with the Cat that was a god - Should I explore him further?
  • Anything the hell you want that is about or tangentially related to a book that involves, dungeons, dragons, magic, sandworms, the force, wizards or wizzards.

Go forth, discuss! And please spoiler everything that needs spoilering. Like that Rastlin turns evil. Oops. Sorry. But I mentioned that already, didn't I?

Also: Last few threads seemed to A) Die, and B) Answer the questions already posed. But what ever, live fast die young eh?

Lord Of The Pants on
steam_sig.png
«13456736

Posts

  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm listening to the entire Wheel of time series.

    Having never read it before.

    Pikapuff would have a shit fit about it, as these books go out of their way to spoil themselves with the god damned methods of laying out the general plot.

    Still pretty good. I just finished book five.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Glenn Cook's Black Company books have caught my interest. My question is: are they well-written? Epic plots and kewl characters are nice, but if a book isn't written well on a word by word level it will just drive me crazy.

  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm seeing a serious lack of Ice and Fire, and I hope that's intentional based on it having its own (albeit unbumped in forever) thread.

    I haven't enjoyed any fantasy I've read since highschool until I read Ice and Fire.

    camo_sig2.png
  • TalleyrandTalleyrand Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Glenn Cook's Black Company books have caught my interest. My question is: are they well-written? Epic plots and kewl characters are nice, but if a book isn't written well on a word by word level it will just drive me crazy.

    I bought one a couple months ago because I was probably thinking of the Abercrombie books. I got a few pages into it and then dropped it off on my nightstand and haven't touched it since. I'm not sure I remember why.

    Mad props for putting The Gormenghast trilogy on the list though it barely qualifies as fantasy by my standards. It seems like the second book really changes in tone and I just couldn't get through it despite still liking it very much.

    If you want a list of good contemporary authors you need George R. R. Martin and China Mieville up there stat.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Fantasy is my go to genre when life kicks you in the nuts and you need a good book to calm you down.

    Sure, it repeats the same damn themes over and over again.

    Yes, a ton of them are westerns or Sci Fi with magic and swords and shit.

    Yes, a bunch of them aren't the best written in the world.

    It's the whole idea though of a world similar but completely different from our own that's so damn attractive.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    meh martin has his own thread and as it is is overexposed on these forums (yes, i know his stuff is very good) this would be a great place to find out more about non martin fantasy

    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • HachfaceHachface Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I'm seeing a serious lack of Ice and Fire, and I hope that's intentional based on it having its own (albeit unbumped in forever) thread.

    I haven't enjoyed any fantasy I've read since highschool until I read Ice and Fire.

    All possible avenues of discussion for A Song of Ice and Fire have been exhausted, up to and including kidnapping George R. R. Martin and making him walk on a treadmill.

  • Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I somewhat enjoyed the Terry Brooks Scions of Shannara story arc, but its been forever since I read it. The setting was pretty dark I thought.

    The David Eddings Diamond Throne & Domes of Fire Sparhawk series always amused me alot. I thought the inter-character banter was always pretty witty.

    Terry Brooks Landover novels were pretty trashy though, I think I have the whole series, or close to it. I cant put my finger on why they suck, they just dont feel very strong.

    However, the Word & The Void series, of which I only have 1 book, "Running with the demon" was pretty amazing, and I really should go pick up some more novels of it.

    I picked up "The Great Book of Amber" by Roger Zelazny, which is 9 books in 1 or something. Great series.

    Also got the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks, great series, everytime I pick them up, I cant put them down again until the whole series is finished.

    steam_sig.png
    MWO: Adamski
    Brave Frontier: Adamski (481 077 56)
    Puzzles & Dragons: Adamski@pa (313 842 296)
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    There are a shocking number of people on this board with Eddings related user names.

    Also I submit the Death Gate Cycle for fans of some nice popcorn fantasy.

    Take the authors and some of the ideas of Dragonlance, add a few years of improvements of their writing, and take out the D&D and you get six highly enjoyable books.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    The only good Terry in fantasy seems to be Pratchett and he's going to die soon

    :(

  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Also, there is no Chronicles of Amber up in here.

    The first 5 books rock, with their cocks out. It's pretty 70's, but it's totally rad.

    I recommend it to everyone, ever.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Xenogears of BoreXenogears of Bore Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    His Dark Materials is pretty good too, just gave that a read a few months ago.

    Heretical as all get out, but pretty awesome none the less.

    3DS CODE: 3093-7068-3576
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Tam wrote: »
    The only good Terry in fantasy seems to be Pratchett and he's going to die soon

    :(
    We're a couple months away from October.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unseen_Academicals

    So soon.

    PSN: allenquid
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Glenn Cook's Black Company books have caught my interest. My question is: are they well-written? Epic plots and kewl characters are nice, but if a book isn't written well on a word by word level it will just drive me crazy.

    It's pretty good, but has it's own style. It's very much like a novel written from a common soldier's point of view.

    I like the first 3 alot and I think afterwards they get progressively less and less good.
    I'm seeing a serious lack of Ice and Fire, and I hope that's intentional based on it having its own (albeit unbumped in forever) thread.

    Agreed. Any thread claiming to be about Fantasy literature without including ASOIAF (as at least a throw away "Read this") is to be ridiculed.

  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    What happened to Pratchett doing a Discworld book parodying Scouting? I remember reading about that and making a mental note to track it down.

    Also, didn't we have a fantasy thread at some point? I remember voting on books and stuff.

  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    What happened to Pratchett doing a Discworld book parodying Scouting? I remember reading about that and making a mental note to track it down.
    The worst part about Pratchett is he has a lot of ideas. After this it's Aching's I Shall Wear Midnight which I'm definitely looking forward to more.

    Which isn't necessarily bad. But he's getting old.

    PSN: allenquid
  • TamTam I hate art I love artRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Quid wrote: »
    Tam wrote: »
    The only good Terry in fantasy seems to be Pratchett and he's going to die soon

    :(
    We're a couple months away from October.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unseen_Academicals

    So soon.

    I can't wait

    but it will be bittersweet, seeing as it might very well be the last one

    he's not just getting old, he has dementia and he's dying

  • AJAlkaline40AJAlkaline40 __BANNED USERS
    edited August 2009
    I just read Dune, and I thought that was fun. Now I want to read a fantasy book as my next piece of fiction. Are there any good recommendations of a similar sort of style? You can assume I just haven't read any book you're talking about, or am willing to read it again.

    idiot.jpg
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    And since the OP reads far too much like a list of suck, here's a quick list of recs from the traditional Epic Fantasy section:

    A Song of Ice and Fire - George R R Martin:
    Needed to be said. Let's move on.

    Prince of Nothing trilogy - R Scott Bakker: A dark, philisophacal and occasionally disturbing (depending on the reader) series. Very good though. Not for the faint of heart however.
    It's the first in a set of 3 series. The first book of the second series is already out and the next book is coming out next year. Author is also fairly regular in his releases, which is nice.

    The First Law - Joe Abercrombie: A trilogy (completed) that does everything it can to kick over all the cliches and standards of epic fantasy and drown them in their own blood. Prose isn't anything spectacular (like the above 2), but it's a good read.

    The Long Price Quartet - Daniel Abraham: A great read. 4 not-too-long books and the series is finished. Very good prose and a great, non-standard story.


    The Lies of Locke Lamora - Scott Lynch
    : It's Ocean's Eleven meets ASOIAF. Lots of fun. It's the first in a projected 7 part series (book 3 is coming at some point in the future), but each book is standalone.

    Mistborn - Brandon Sanderson: A very fun read and a personal favorite. Basically, the apocalypse has already come and the Dark Lord won and has enslaved the ash-covered world that is left over. Also contains one of the best magic systems ever in fantasy. The only downside is that, as the series goes on, the author's prudishness about showing sex can become a bit irritating.

    Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson: There's a whole thread on this already. Large, overly complex and varying in quality (the latest book was, imo, utter shit). But still, worth looking into. It's large, dense complicated, epic and makes no apologies for any of it. You should give it a try.

    The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan: Wait, you haven't read this already? /slap

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    For some quick non-Epic Fantasy recs:

    Perdido Street Station/The Scar/Iron Council - China Mieville: Mieville's Bas-Lag books. Each is standalone, but you should probably read them in published order. Great Prose and very atypical. But good.

    Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell - Susanna Clarke: A Victorian Fantasy written by a modern author in a Victorian Style. It's got a very interesting feel. Starts a bit slow, but it's a very fun read.

    For a quick idea, this is probably my favorite quote from the book:
    "Can a magician kill a man by magic?" Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. "I suppose a magician might," he admitted, "but a gentleman never could."

    The Iron Dragon's Daughter - Michael Swanwick : A old classic, but still good. Also, his newest Dragons of Babel is good too and set in the same world.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Thread needs more Once and Future King and The Last Unicorn. Both provide a look at fantasy stories from a more directly literary perspective.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • dlinfinitidlinfiniti Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Thread needs more Once and Future King and The Last Unicorn. Both provide a look at fantasy stories from a more directly literary perspective.

    funny you should mention that
    i read that book because it is professor X's favorite book

    AAAAA!!! PLAAAYGUUU!!!!
  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    dlinfiniti wrote: »
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    Thread needs more Once and Future King and The Last Unicorn. Both provide a look at fantasy stories from a more directly literary perspective.

    funny you should mention that
    i read that book because it is professor X's favorite book

    It's one of the best fantasy books ever written, so yeah.

    freefallagentad_zps635a83ed.png
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm just checking to say that I also endorse A Song of Ice and Fire. Best fantasy books I've personally ever read...

  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I never see anyone mention C.S. Friedman's Coldfire trilogy. I didn't finish it, but what I read was well-written and interesting.

    JKKaAGp.png
  • SpoitSpoit *twitch twitch* Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hachface wrote: »
    Glenn Cook's Black Company books have caught my interest. My question is: are they well-written? Epic plots and kewl characters are nice, but if a book isn't written well on a word by word level it will just drive me crazy.

    From what I remember, it's very very terse prose. And because of the limited viewpoint, there are a few times where it gets a bit WTF from lack of explination. And it also gets really weird in later books. Still fun though.

    camo_sig2.png
  • PureauthorPureauthor Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Hey guys, I picked up this book series that calls itself the Inheritance Cycle or someth- hey OW! Stop throwing things at me!

    SS FC: 1334 0950 5927
    Platinum FC: 2880 3245 5111
  • YougottawannaYougottawanna Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    There's one more book I'll add called Viriconium my John Harrison. I liked that book. Got a little weird later on though.

  • ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I just finished reading a sequel to Freehold, by Michael Williamson. The sequel (Contact with Chaos) doesn't really fit into fantasy as well as Freehold did, which was...reserved girl falls into free and libidinous society and then goes to war for it.

    It's a ridiculous book and I absolutely love it.

  • NatanekoNataneko Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I feel like I'm some sort of "fantasy light" reader. I read a couple of book that maybe could be said to be fantastic as a kid, but then I think the more fantasy I read was Harry Potter. My boyfriend is a HUGE sci-fi and fantasy reader, so he is trying to convert me. anyway. It's really not epic, but I really liked Goblin Quest (Goblin hero wasn't as good, and I just started Goblin War) and The Stepsister Scheme from the same author. I usually like stuff that is obviously not taking itself seriously. oh and started reading Terry Pratchett.

    For some reason I also liked the first 3 books in the Rhapsody/The Symphony of Ages series. really. Guess I'm easy to entertain? When I think about it, it was pretty corny at times.

  • DalbozDalboz Resident Puppy Eater Right behind you...Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I'll throw in The Deepgate Codex series, mostly because I don't want to be the only person whose read it. Admittedly, I've only read the first book, Scar Night, which is Alan Campbell's first book and it shows, although it also shows an incredible amount of potential in the author. He just published the third and final book in the series. He wanted a trilogy and decided to stick to it, so the entire series is ready to read without waiting for the next book forever...*cough* George R.R. Martin *cough*...

  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    There are a shocking number of people on this board with Eddings related user names.

    Also I submit the Death Gate Cycle for fans of some nice popcorn fantasy.

    Take the authors and some of the ideas of Dragonlance, add a few years of improvements of their writing, and take out the D&D and you get six highly enjoyable books.

    Is that your way of saying you didn't like the final book?

    I can scarcely remember the end of the story, but goddamn did I love the books that took place in that first world. I also was a huge fan of the magic utilized in the books, with spells being more complex and difficult based on how unlikely they were to happen naturally.

  • BogartBogart Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    I think the problem with fantasy is that so much of it is stultifyingly generic that reading it ends up like the literary equivalent of eating endless tubs of ice cream. Sure, it's tasty and you like it, but you end up with a headache and your teeth fall out. In a literary sense.

    I've pretty much given up on fantasy these days, but still treasure gems like Bridge of Birds or Little, Big. Well-written stuff that doesn't use the bumper kit of fantasy cliche for a plot. Stuff like the very strange stories of William Hope Hodgson, the solidly entertaining Lankhmar tales of Fritz Lieber, the erudite and layered Neveryona books of Samuel R Delaney or the disturbing tales of Johnathan Caroll. Or of course Gene Wolfe, whose Wizard Knight books took the hoariest of cliches and made them feel fresh and dangerous again.

  • Vincent GraysonVincent Grayson Frederick, MDRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    Bogart wrote: »
    I think the problem with fantasy is that so much of it is stultifyingly generic that reading it ends up like the literary equivalent of eating endless tubs of ice cream. Sure, it's tasty and you like it, but you end up with a headache and your teeth fall out. In a literary sense.

    I've pretty much given up on fantasy these days, but still treasure gems like Bridge of Birds or Little, Big. Well-written stuff that doesn't use the bumper kit of fantasy cliche for a plot. Stuff like the very strange stories of William Hope Hodgson, the solidly entertaining Lankhmar tales of Fritz Lieber, the erudite and layered Neveryona books of Samuel R Delaney or the disturbing tales of Johnathan Caroll. Or of course Gene Wolfe, whose Wizard Knight books took the hoariest of cliches and made them feel fresh and dangerous again.

    Agreed. I've only just recently started reading the Malazan books, and I'm quite enjoying them, but by and large I can't bring myself to read fantasy anymore unless it's particularly good (like the aforementioned Gene Wolfe).

    Granted, once the end of the Wheel of Time stuff starts coming, I'll read them, if only because I've read all the previous ones and good or bad, I need to know how things end.

  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    You want to know what is the best fantasy novel I've read in recent times?

    name-of-the-wind.jpg

    A total page-turner, except near the end it gets a bit boring, but it's okay because the rest is so good

    7u0YG.gif
    PSN ID : DetectiveOlivaw | TWITTER | SCREENED | STEAM ID | BUY SOME STUFF!
  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2009
    I'm listening to the entire Wheel of time series.

    Having never read it before.

    Pikapuff would have a shit fit about it, as these books go out of their way to spoil themselves with the god damned methods of laying out the general plot.

    Still pretty good. I just finished book five.
    I feel sorry for the poor bastards who have to read out books 9 and on

    tmsig.jpg
  • YamiNoSenshiYamiNoSenshi Registered User regular
    edited August 2009
    No Dresden Files yet? Or does that not count for some reason? Instead of western + magic or SciFi + magic, it's noir mystery + magic. It's not exactly a shining example of literary prowess, but it's so much damn fun to read. Dresden is so unbelievably snarky.

    Damn it, it's fucking noon. I demand to know if Yami shit on a desk yet.
  • hottoqhottoq Registered User
    edited August 2009
    I hated The Name of the Wind. Absolutely hated it.

  • OlivawOlivaw good name, isn't it? peach treesRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    hottoq wrote: »
    I hated The Name of the Wind. Absolutely hated it.

    This is because you suck

    7u0YG.gif
    PSN ID : DetectiveOlivaw | TWITTER | SCREENED | STEAM ID | BUY SOME STUFF!
  • MagicPrimeMagicPrime "We're ready to believe you..." FireSideWizardRegistered User regular
    edited August 2009
    6a00e398a61e0f0005011016425c84860c-500pi

    Everybody needs to be reading these. Right now.

    Modern Day Pulp Fantasy.

    flzthy.png
    This neo-feudalism would be more tolerable if our betters had fancy titles.
«13456736
Sign In or Register to comment.