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The D&D Sci-fi/Fantasy thread - Recommend ON - Rules & lists. Update

zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Debate and/or Discourse
UPDATE 11/01:
The lists are fully linked to wikipedia, users posts which provided information about a series - short description or similar are also linked in the lists.
Rules:
1 vote = the book/series makes it on the lists.
I'll maintain three lists:
Alphabetical, votes->alphabetical and genre->votes->alphabetical.
You can vote for a series, or for a single book in a series. Your choice.
Acceptable ways to vote:

!vote Author - Series/Title
!vote Author - Series/Title in Genre
!add Author - Series/Title

Really, anything you like as long as there is lime.

Here we go D&D!.
Recommend, look up and discuss.

Welcome to the D&D's Sci-fi & Fantasy Recommendations, Releases & Discussion Thread!

1. Releases?
In this thread I'll try and keep track of some(not even most) sci-fi and fantasy releases, new authors, new series, old series and special editions with publication dates for the UK & USA. I'll try to limit new books only to authors/series/standalones that have generated some positive buzz for sheer volume's sake. I'll also try and update the list at least once weekly with links to reviews & new additions. At the end of the current month I'll extend the list a month forward.
Any help, suggestion about books, corrections etc are more than welcome.

2. Recommendations?
Been to amazon? Seen their listmania? Well, the same principle, but done by the extremely fine gentlemen from D&D. I'm still unclear on the exact format, I was considering opening one genre per week(e.g. Week 1 - Epic, Week 2 - Speculative etc) and adding all poster suggestions(5 per poster) with a counter for votes for every one. At the end of the week, we retain the top 10 or less and I spoiler it in the second post as D&D's best of the sub-genre. Again, open to suggestions on how to do this. We should figure it out by Monday.

3. Discuss?

All genre books that don't have their own thread could fall in here, as well as general sci-fi/fantasy rambling extending to all sorts of entertainment/media.

Current D&D threads:
George RR Martin - ASoIaF - HBO series
George RR Martin - ASoIaF - Books
Steven Erikson - Malazan
An abortion of a thread about unspeakable evil.(Legend of the Seeker)
Wheel of Time gets movie deal
We love Gene Wolfe!

Enjoy.


Releases - January - March 2009
01.01(US) - Jasper Kent - Twelve(speculative fiction, horror) - I haven't read it, I've heard good things about it.
06.01(US) - Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman - Dragonships of Vindras - Bones Of The Dragon(Fantasy. With dragons. Or not.)
20.01(US) - Richard Morgan - The Steel Remains(fantasy, 1st in series, 3 planned) - Fantasy debut. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it. Still, if you like Kovacz, odds are you'd like that.
27.01(US) - Lois Mcmaster Bujold - The Sharing Knife 4 - Horizon(epic fantasy)
01.02(US) - Michael Cobley - The Seeds of Earth(space opera, 1st in series)
02.02(US) - Richard Scott Bakker - Aspect Emperor 1 - The Judging Eye(epic, 1st in series) - Second trilogy, events pick up 20 years after the Prince of Nothing series.
03.02(US) - Patricia Briggs - Mercy Thompson 4 - Bone Crossed(urban fantasy, series)
03.02(US) - Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle - Escape From Hell(I honestly don't know. Urban Speculative Fantasy, I guess.) - Should be fun.
06.02(UK) - Adrian Tchaikovsky - Shadows of Apt 2 - Dragonfly falling(epic fantasy)
09.02(US), 05.03(UK) - Dan Simmons - Drood(speculative fiction) - I loved The Terror and I'm a sucker for Simmons. That's probably my most anticipated book for the first couple of months.
10.02(US) - Ian M. Banks - Matter - (sci-fi, standalone) - Culture No 8)
24.02(US) - Bruce Sterling - The Caryatids(speculative fiction, cyberpunk? I'm not actually sure)
24.02(US) - Catherynne Valente - Palimpsest(fantastic fantasy) - It's Valente. Go buy it.
24.02(US) - Kim Harrison - The Hollows 7 - White witch, black curse(urban fantasy)
24.02(US) - Ian McDonald - Cyberabad days(speculative fiction, sci-fi) - Short stories collection in a River of Gods setting. River of gods was actually pretty good.
26.02(UK) - Giles Kristian - Raven Blood Eye(speculative fiction, historical) - Vikings. And stuff. Pretty sure it's a debut.
10.03(US) - Peter V. Brett - Demon trilogy 1 - The Warded man(fantasy, 1st in series) - A fun little read, nothing special. A debut.
24.03(US) - Tim Lloyd - Twilight Reign 3 - The Twilight Herald(epic, series 3 of 5 or so)
24.03(US) - Peter F. Hamilton - The Void 2 - The Temporal Void(sci-fi, space opera) - It's awesome. If you like space opera even one bit, get this.
26.03(US) - Brian D'Amato - In The Courts of the Sun(speculative fiction) - A second novel after a 15 year break. Supposed to be decent.
31.03(US) - Illona Andrews - Kate Daniels 3 - Magic Strikes(urban fantasy) - A fun little urban fantasy, I enjoyed the first two, I'll get this one.
31.03(US) - Raymond E. Feist - Demonwar 1 - Rides A Dread Legion(sword & sorcery)


Oh yeah, and there is a collection of Gene Wolfe SS's coming out. You may want to get it.

zeeny on
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Posts

  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    .:: D&D's Fantasy/Sci-fi recommendation lists ::.


    The format of every line is:
    Author - Series/Title - Genre - Number of votes - Users that recommended the book(s).

    Username link leads to short description of the series, if one was posted when voting.

    Current list - Alphabetical order
    Alastair Reynolds - The Revelation Space series - Hard SF/Space Opera - 3 votes (Salvation122, zeeny, Grudge)

    Alfred Bester - The Stars, My Destination - Science Fiction - 2 votes (Bogart, zeeny)

    Brandon Sanderson - Mistborn Trilogy - Fantasy/Epic - 2 votes (OremLK, zeeny)

    China Mieville - Perdido Street Station - Fantasy/Science Fiction - 2 votes (Mike Danger, zeeny)

    China Mieville - The Scar - Fantasy/Science Fiction - 1 vote (zeeny)

    Christopher Moore - Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Speculative/Absurdist fiction(tee-heeee....) - 1 vote (mightyspacepope)

    Dan Simmons - Hyperion Cantos - Epic/Hard SF - 3 votes (Dunadan019, zeeny, yotes)

    Dan Simmons - Ilium/Olypmos - Epic/Hard SF - 1 vote (yotes)

    David Anthony Durham - Acacia series - Epic Fantasy - 1 vote (Delzhand)

    David Eddings - The Belgariad - Epic - 1 vote (Houn)


    Fred Saberhagen - The Lost Swords series - Sword & Sorcery - 1 vote (Jragghen)

    Gene Wolfe - The Book of the New Sun - Fantasy/Science Fiction - 3 votes (Bogart, zeeny, Delzhand)

    Gene Wolfe - The Wizard Knight books - Fantasy(mostly) - 3 votes (mightyspacepope, Grudge)

    George RR Martin - aSoIaF series - Epic/Awesome 2 votes (Jragghen, zeeny)

    James Branch Cabell - Jurgen - Fantasy/Urban fantasy - 1 vote (Bogart)

    Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files 1-10 - Urban fantasy - 2 votes (MagicPrime, zeeny)

    John Bellairs - The House With a Clock in its Walls - YA Fantasy - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    John Crowley - Little Big - Urban fantasy - 1 vote (Bogart)

    John Gardner - Grendel - Fantasy/Mythology - 1 vote (mightyspacepope)

    John Scalzi - Old Man's War - Military SF/Science Fiction - 3 votes (OremLK, zeeny, Ethan Smith)

    J. R. R. Tolkien - Lords of the Rings - Epic/Fantastic - 1 vote (Jragghen)

    H.P. Lovecraft - The Shadow Over Innsmouth - Weird Fiction - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Iain M. Banks - Feersum Endjinn - SF(not Culture) - 1 vote (Grudge)

    Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's cradle - Speculative fiction - 3 votes (Jragghen, Qingu, Burtletoy)

    Kurt Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse-Five - Speculative fiction with time travel? 4 votes (Jragghen, Qingu, zeeny, Burtletoy)

    Kurt Vonnegut - The Sirens of Titan - SF Satire? - 2 votes (Jragghen, Qingu)

    Mathew W. Stover - The Acts of Caine series - Heroic Fantasy/SF - 1 vote (mightyspacepope)

    Larry Niven - Ringworld - SF - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Neal Stephenson - The Big U - Urban Fantasy - 1 vote (Ethan Smith)

    Neal StephensonNeal Stephenson[/url] - Snow Crash - Cyberpunk - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Neil Gaiman - American Gods - Urban Fantasy - 2 votes (Mike Danger, Delzhand)

    Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere - Urban Fantasy - 3 votes (Mike Danger, Houn, Delzhand)

    Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett - Good Omens - Fantasy comedy 2 votes (mightyspacepope, yotes)

    Orson Scott Card - Ender 1 - Ender's Game - TBA ;o)) - 3 votes (OremLK, Houn, Qingu)

    Orson Scott Card - Ender 2 - Speaker for the death - TBA ;o)) - 2 votes (OremLK, Houn)

    Richard Morgan - Takeshi Kovacs 1 - Altered Carbon - Cyberpunk - 1 vote (Houn)

    Robert A. Heinlein - Complete - SF - 2 votes (Jragghen, zeeny)

    Robert A. Heinlein - Stranger in a Strange land - SF - 3 votes
    (Jragghen, zeeny, Houn)

    Robin Hobb - Farseer Trilogy - Fantasy - 2 votes (OremLK, Dunadan019)

    Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light - Epic SF - 2 votes (Bogart, Qingu)

    Steven Erikson - Malazan BotF series - Epic/Sword & Sorcery - 2 votes (Jragghen, zeeny)

    Tim Powers - Fault Lines Trilogy - Urban Fantasy - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Tim Powers - Declare - Historical Fantasy - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Terry Pratchett - Discword series - Crazy Fantasy? - 4 votes (Quid, zeeny, BobCesca, yotes)

    William Gibson - Neuromancer - Cyberpunk/Near Future SF - 2 votes (Ethan Smith, Houn)

    William Gibson - Pattern Recognition - Cyberpunk - 1 vote (Mike Danger)

    Current list - Order by votes->alphabetical:
    5 votes



    4 votes

    3 votes

    2 votes
    1 votes

    Current list - Order by genre->votes->alphabetical:
    Fantasy:
    5 votes

    4 votes 3 votes 2 votes 1 votes

    Science fiction:
    5 votes

    4 votes

    3 votes 2 votes 1 votes

    Near future fiction, historical fiction, urban, comedy, cyberpunk:
    5 votes

    4 votes 3 votes 2 votes 1 votes

    zeeny on
  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Thanks for this. I often find it hard to keep up to date with quality releases. I usually only discover stuff like ASoIaF and Malazan several years after they're released.

    Cherrn on
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  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Is The Aspect Emperor coming out worldwide, or in certain countries earlier?

    Jragghen on
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  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm curious about Morgan's fantasy book. I know he gets some flack, but I still really enjoyed Altered Carbon. And Kim Harrison's books are some of the better in the whole 'urban fantasy' genre.

    noir_blood on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    Willeth wrote: »
    ITT: We don't need to fully read others posts.

    True. In addition, we don't need to fully read one another's posts.
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Uk has it 3 weeks earlier. Edited the date in.

    zeeny on
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    noir_blood wrote: »
    I'm curious about Morgan's fantasy book. I know he gets some flack, but I still really enjoyed Altered Carbon. And Kim Harrison's books are some of the better in the whole 'urban fantasy' genre.

    I haven't read them. I have a bit of a fear when I hear Urban Fantasy. I tried Dresden, loved it. Then tried the Anita Blake series. OUCH.
    Illona Andrews was a lucky buy at a station and it was very good fun, loved the idea of magic/tech waves, kind of reminded me of the Coldfire series.
    I've also heard good things about Patricia Briggs and she's next on my list, may try Kim Harrison after that.

    Edit: And as I said, The Steel Remains reads like his usual book does, but in a fantasy setting. If you liked Altered Carbon, 13 etc, it won't disappoint.

    zeeny on
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I like the weekly suggestions type of thing, but I'm probably going to go on a massive trawl of my bookshelves for material to add to this.

    Also, you could add the D&D Book of the New Sun thread to the OP.

    Note to self: mention the TPs (Tim Powers/Terry Pratchett), Ringworld?

    Mike Danger on
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  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    ISAAC ASIMOV'S ROBOTS/EMPIRE/FOUNDATION SERIES

    That is my number one recommendation for someone who likes sci-fi and has a lot of spare time on their hands. In addition to the main stories, there are short stories in various collections, as well as books that could be considered tie-ins, but aren't necessary. If you do complete the entire series, you need to get your hands on a copy of The End of Eternity and read it last. This is important, because it will blow your mind after spending all that time on the main series. I refuse to spoil why this is key. Also, any of his Multivac stories are great fun.

    Antimatter on
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Done. Added Wolfe.
    Also, I don't think there is any problem with MANY suggestions. Let's just agree on a format of how to sort out the recommendations list and I'd say the more you trawl your bookshelves, the better.

    zeeny on
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Might be a useful site to have a link to

    Lots of good information/contests for books/etc goes up there. The guy who runs it posts at a site I work at with a decent fantasy section where some authors have registered and done Q&As and such.

    Jragghen on
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  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Have to mention Dresden Files.

    Book 11, Turn Coat comes out on April 7th.

    Edit: Also Patrick Rothfuss' 2nd book comes out in April

    skyybahamut on
    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Have to mention Dresden Files.

    Book 11, Turn Coat comes out on April 7th.

    I'll add all april books start of February, but information is always appreciated.
    Edit: Also Patrick Rothfuss' 2nd book comes out in April

    Nope, that date is wrong. It got delayed. Again. Indefinitely. That Kingkiller trilogy sure starts to look like a pain in the ass.

    Jragghen, I was thinking of linking reviews from Pat's place, Werthead & Jay Tomio's blogs etc, but you're probably right and it's a good idea to have links in the OP to all those places. Will get to it tomorrow.

    zeeny on
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Anathem, by Neal Stephenson is amazing. It's a behemoth, with 800 pages + 3 mathematical/logic treatises in the back but oh my lord it's a great book. I think it was released past few months.

    Aegis on
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  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Since I never see anyone mention it other than me, I have to plug The Lost Fleet saga by Jack Campbell. Fun little military sci-fi series that reminded me a lot of Battlestar Galactica.

    Book 5, Relentless comes out April 28th. (starts with Dauntless)

    I love the upcoming release section of the OP, BTW. Good work putting it together. And thanks for reminding me that a new Dresden book is coming out, 'cause that means the last one is coming out in paperback soon.

    Tomanta on
  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Tomanta wrote: »
    I love the upcoming release section of the OP, BTW. Good work putting it together. And thanks for reminding me that a new Dresden book is coming out, 'cause that means the last one is coming out in paperback soon.

    Yup, I had it originally in the OP(3rd of March is the date), but then decided new releases only. Is it a good idea to include first time paperbacks as new releases?
    Aegis wrote: »
    Anathem, by Neal Stephenson is amazing. It's a behemoth, with 800 pages + 3 mathematical/logic treatises in the back but oh my lord it's a great book. I think it was released past few months.

    I love Stephenson and that's on my To Read list. The Brian D'Amato's book in the upcoming releases is supposed to be similar in style, but honestly, I don't buy it.

    zeeny on
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    zeeny wrote: »
    Have to mention Dresden Files.

    Book 11, Turn Coat comes out on April 7th.

    I'll add all april books start of February, but information is always appreciated.
    Edit: Also Patrick Rothfuss' 2nd book comes out in April

    Nope, that date is wrong. It got delayed. Again. Indefinitely. That Kingkiller trilogy sure starts to look like a pain in the ass.

    Jragghen, I was thinking of linking reviews from Pat's place, Werthead & Jay Tomio's blogs etc, but you're probably right and it's a good idea to have links in the OP to all those places. Will get to it tomorrow.

    Dammit, I got all excited for nothing it seems. I loved Name of the Wind, and when I saw the post about April, I was all "Oh shit, I thought it was going to be a longer wait..wee!"

    Only to have my dreams crushed. Why does good fantasy(and Wheel of Time) take so long??

    noir_blood on
    Your sig is too tall. -Thanatos
    Willeth wrote: »
    ITT: We don't need to fully read others posts.

    True. In addition, we don't need to fully read one another's posts.
  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Alright, I've got to talk about this dude right now, because I love him and no one's ever heard of him.

    Tim Powers
    Ikon-Powers.jpg
    (Powers is the guy that's about to give Cape Boy a taste of the curb.)

    This is a direct quote from him, which sums up his writing style:

    "I made it an ironclad rule that I could not change or disregard any of the recorded facts, nor rearrange any days of the calendar - and then I tried to figure out what momentous but unrecorded fact could explain them all."


    Powers' brilliance is in writing historical fantasy--he takes real-world events and invents a highly logical backstory for the real, supernatural story behind events like the fall of the Soviet Union and the construction of Las Vegas.

    Here are the novels he has written, with synopses stolen taken FantasticFiction.co.uk (which was the only site that had half-decent ones).
    Epitaph in Rust/The Skies Discrowned (Powers of Two)
    These were the first two novels he wrote. They're science fiction, and very difficult to find. They're sometimes seen collected in one book as "Powers of Two". I can't comment on them, and FantasticFiction has nothing to offer.

    The Drawing of the Dark
    Fantastic Fiction: What does the famous Herzwesten beer have to do with saving the entire western world from the invading Turkish armies? Brian Duffy, aging soldier of fortune, is the only man who can rescue the world from evil--if only he can figure out why the beer was so important to a mysterious old man called the Fisher King, and why his dreams are plagued with images of a sword and an arm rising from a lake...

    Mike Says: I haven't been able to track down a copy of this one. This is the first book he wrote that's distinctively a Tim Powers historical fantasy.

    The Anubis Gates
    The Back of the Book: The Anubis Gates is the classic, Philip K. Dick Award-winning time travel novel that took the fantasy world by storm a decade ago. Only the dazzling imagination of Tim Powers could have assembled such an insane cast of characters: an ancient Egyptian sorceror, a modern millionaire, a body-switching werewolf, a hideously deformed clown, a young woman disguised as a boy, a brainwashed Lord Byron, and finally, our hero, Professor Brian Doyle. As for what happens next...only time will tell.

    Mike Says: The millionaire in the blurb has discovered the Anubis Gates--"holes" in time from a failed magic spell the Egyptians cast in the 1800s to bring their gods into the "present" to smite the British back to England. He starts giving people tours through the holes to visit the past. Of course, as so many time travel-based businesses do, Everything Goes Wrong.

    Dinner at Deviant's Palace
    FantasticFiction: First published in 1985, this legendary and still distinctive novel may attract new fans, although the postnuclear-war theme has become somewhat dated. Technology has vanished in a barbaric, 22nd-century California run by a Sidney Greenstreet lookalike messiah, Norton Jaybush, who boasts a fancifully colossal "night club of the damned" in Venice and his own Holy City in Irvine. His young hippie followers, aka "Jaybirds," drift in a hallucinatory Philip K. Dick-style dream, while "redeemers" strive to rescue them. The serviceable plot focuses largely on the efforts of the hero, Gregorio Rivas, a musician and former redeemer who lives in "Ellay," to bring back a runaway.

    Mike Says: I haven't been able to track down a copy of this, either. This is the last SF novel that he did.

    On Stranger Tides
    FantasticFiction: The protagonist sails to Haiti to recover his father's lost plantation & enters a Caribbean pirate empire ruled by Blackbeard, a child of voodoo whose spirit is infested with ghosts. The hero is pressed into piracy & sorcery as Blackbeard searches for the Fountain of Lost Youth.

    Mike Says: This was the inspiration for the Monkey Island games, and is way better than any of the Pirates of the Caribbean films ever were. This was previously hard to track down, but it's been reprinted.

    The Stress of Her Regard
    FantasticFiction: Set early in the 19th century, Powers's seventh novel is a horror story that wonderfully evokes the period. On the stormy night before his wedding, Dr. Michael Crawford, in an ill-advised moment while drinking and carousing with two of his friends, slips his intended's ring on the finger of a statue of a woman in the inn's courtyard. The next morning the statue has disappeared. Disturbed, Crawford purchases a new ring and goes to his wedding. The night's celebrations are followed by a morning infinitely more horrifying than the previous one--Crawford awakens to find his bride murdered. Doubting his own sanity, he flees England, becoming aware that he is pursued by a lamia --a malignant female spirit. He seeks help from his friends, the poets Byron and Shelley, who, it turns out, have experience with such a monster. Strewn with literary personages and allusions, the book is entertaining on several levels, but most particularly as a chilling horror-adventure.

    Mike Says: Haven't been able to track down this one (and I'm wondering if Michael Crawford was a reference to the singer).

    The Fault Lines Trilogy

    Last Call
    FantasticFiction: Set in Las Vegas, Last Call concerns the fate of Scott Crane, former professional gambler, recent widower, blind in one eye--and also the lost natural son of the man who is determined to kill him. In this novel, Crane is forced to resume the high-stakes game of a lifetime--and wager it all.

    Mike Says: This is good on its own or as part of the trilogy.

    Expiration Date
    FantasticFiction: Growing up in the L.A. of the 1990s, all young Koot Parganas wants is to be normal, but his weird parents won't allow it. They venerate the spirits of dead Mahatmas. Feeling he has no alternative, Koot disobeys his parents and breaks into a bust of Dante and steals a small glass vial that was concealed inside the bust. The vial contains the preserved ghost of Thomas Edison. Now, aided by allies as strange as his enemies, Koot is pursued through the dark underside of the city.

    Mike Says: It sounds silly, but Powers makes people who smoke ghosts like fine cigars creepy and believable. This can also be enjoyed on its own.

    Earthquake Weather
    FantasticFiction SPOILER WARNING FOR LAST CALL AND EXPIRATION DATE
    Set in an imaginative alternate version of modern Los Angeles, "Earthquake Weather" begins with the murder of the Fisher King of the West, Scott Crane. His body is taken to the magically protected home of the Sullivans, and their 13-year-old adopted son, Koot, a boy destined to be the next Fisher King. But for now, he must aid in reuniting Scott Crane's body and spirit, and restoring him to life.

    Mike Says: This one is hard to enjoy without having read both Last Call and Expiration Date.

    Declare
    FantasticFiction: Professor Andrew Hale rejoins Her Majesty's Secret Service in 1963 after receiving a coded message, quickly finding himself entangled in a plot involving the biblical Ark and the fall of the Iron Curtain.

    Mike Says: This may just be the best book I have ever read. The Ark in question is not "of the Covenant" but Noah's.

    Three Days to Never
    FantasticFiction: When 12-year-old Daphne Marrity steals a videotape of Pee-Wee's Big Adventure from her grandmother's house, neither she nor her college-professor father, Frank Marrity, have any idea that the theft has drawn the attention of both the Israeli Secret Service and an ancient European organization of occultists -- or that within hours they'll be visited by her long-lost grandfather, who also wants that videotape. And when Daphne's teddy bear is stolen, and a blind assassin nearly kills her father, and a phantom begins to speak to her from a switched-off television set, Daphne and her father find themselves running for their lives through a southern California in which magic and the undead past are dangers as great as the guns of living assassins.

    From ancient prophesies about Israel to the secret lives of Charlie Chaplin and Albert Einstein, this breathtaking novel throws a suburban father and daughter into the midst of an ancient supernatural battle.

    Mike Says: This is his most recent book, and I kind of feel like it's a bit of a misstep, but Tim Powers misstepping is just as good as any other writer's regular output.

    Mike Danger on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Also, this isn't quite scifi or fantasy, but holy shit, while we're on the topic of Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon is a brilliant book. I like it even better than Snow Crash.

    Mike Danger on
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  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Also, this isn't quite scifi or fantasy, but holy shit, while we're on the topic of Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon is a brilliant book. I like it even better than Snow Crash.

    Basically anything by Neal Stephenson is by definition awesome.

    Aegis on
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  • ApplekingAppleking __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2009
    no idea......

    Appleking on
    Your sig was too tall. -Thanatos
  • Ethan SmithEthan Smith Origin name: Beart4to Arlington, VARegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Sci fi has become a guilty pleasure as of late, but besides what you put down, here's basically the best kid's series fucking ever. EVER.

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

    Ethan Smith on
    I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks..
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Has anyone read anything by K.J.Parker? I picked up Devices and Desires for something completely new and know nothing of the author. Seems to be Sci-Fi-ish.

    Aegis on
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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    noir_blood wrote: »
    zeeny wrote: »
    Have to mention Dresden Files.

    Book 11, Turn Coat comes out on April 7th.

    I'll add all april books start of February, but information is always appreciated.
    Edit: Also Patrick Rothfuss' 2nd book comes out in April

    Nope, that date is wrong. It got delayed. Again. Indefinitely. That Kingkiller trilogy sure starts to look like a pain in the ass.

    Jragghen, I was thinking of linking reviews from Pat's place, Werthead & Jay Tomio's blogs etc, but you're probably right and it's a good idea to have links in the OP to all those places. Will get to it tomorrow.

    Dammit, I got all excited for nothing it seems. I loved Name of the Wind, and when I saw the post about April, I was all "Oh shit, I thought it was going to be a longer wait..wee!"

    Only to have my dreams crushed. Why does good fantasy(and Wheel of Time) take so long??

    Indefinitely? Are you sure it didn't just get delayed to April 2009 like the Authors blog says?

    Burtletoy on
  • HamHamJHamHamJ Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    Anathem, by Neal Stephenson is amazing. It's a behemoth, with 800 pages + 3 mathematical/logic treatises in the back but oh my lord it's a great book. I think it was released past few months.

    New Neal Stephenson book? Fuck yeah.

    HamHamJ on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm leery of Anathem based on this.
    fiction_rule_of_thumb.png

    Mike Danger on
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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    The subcaption helps let people know why that comic is relevant.

    Burtletoy on
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    While yes, that comic is slightly relevant, the book does turn out to be rather good. It can be confusing at times, mind you.

    Aegis on
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy

    800px-HisDarkMaterialsUS.jpg

    The Golden Compass is downright amazing. The Subtle Knife is awesome. The Amber Spyglass is pretty cool.

    The trilogy focuses on a girl named Lyra, who lives in an alternate universe with airships, witches, animal spirits called dæmons, a hegemonic Catholic Church, and talking, armored motherfucking polar bears.

    Fans of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past will appreciate the titular item of the second book—a knife that can cut between parallel universes. The trilogy closes with some admittedly over-the-top bullshit, but it's still one of the most creative and immersive fantasy series I've read.

    ___________________

    • The Neverending Story

    TheNeverendingStory1997Edition.jpg

    If you're over 25 and/or a hipster you've probably seen the awesome movie, with Atreyu the quasi-Indian, Falkor the (dog) luckdragon, that awesome giant stone dude ("They used to be such strong hands!") and the most trippy villain of all, The Nothing.

    All of these things are in the book—and much more. But the movie is really a poor approximation of the book. For one thing, it's an 80's fantasy movie rendition of the text. For another thing, it only covers half of the book's text (and no, the two sequels to the movie do not actually exist).

    The book has the sprawling, whimsical creativity of a classic fairy tale. But the characters are actually interesting, especially the hero, Bastian Balthazar Bux. (Judging from the movie, you would never know what happens to him in the second half of the book.) I also love the way the book plays with its own format, like an Ouroboros. The writing is translated from German, but I think it reads very well.

    _______________

    • The House of the Scorpion

    TheHouseoftheScorpion.jpg

    This is an excellent YA sci-fi book. It takes place in a near-future Mexico ruled entirely by a Pharaoh-like drug lord. The main character is a clone, and in this world clones are treated like animals. It's not action-packed or anything, but it's one of the most poignant kids' sci-fi/fantasy books I've read. The setting is also pretty cool.

    ________________

    • The Tombs of Atuan

    TheTombsOfAtuan.jpg

    This is the second book in Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea series (now totaling four books). It's the only one that I really liked. The others are kind of bland. This one takes place almost entirely in a magical tomb. The main character is a savage woman named Tenar. The atmosphere of the book is incredibly oppressive and lonely, but the story arc is enlightening.

    ________________

    • The Bartimaeus Trilogy

    Amuletsamarkand.jpg, etc.

    I liked these books, which are a coming-of-age story of a young magician in a parallel universe that actually explores the political implications of having a class of people with the ability to, you know, do magic and shit. In other words, it's a much more cynical setting than Harry Potter.

    The metaphysics of the book are also interesting: magic is entirely the work of demons; a magician simply summons them and binds them to his will. The narrator is one such demon, Bartimaeus. His narration style is wise-ass and filled with snarky footnotes; I liked it.

    I wouldn't say they're top-tier fantasy books, but I'd recommend them to anyone who likes the genre.

    ________________

    • Eragon

    Eragon_book_cover.png

    This book is pretty much a straightforward ripoff of Lord of the Rings and Ursula LeGuin's Wizard of Earthsea books.

    Fuck this book, and fuck Christopher Paolini for getting published 10 years before I ever will.

    • Other things I didn't like or hated, in addition to Eragon:
    The Dark is Rising (sort of cool, but has very muddled metaphysics)
    Artemis Fowl (is like all the worst aspects of an Invader Zim episode)
    Narnia (Voyage of the Dawn Treader was pretty awesome but fuck Christianity)
    His Majesty's Dragon (alternate-universe Napoleanic wars with dragons ... it's about as good as it sounds)

    Edit for voting:
    • !add His Dark Materials (YA)
    • !add The Neverending Story (YA)
    • !add The House of the Scorpion (YA)
    • !add The Bartimaeus Trilogy (YA or urban)
    • !add The Tombs of Atuan (no clue—swords and sorcery, as defined?)

    • !vote for Amber.

    Qingu on
  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited January 2009
    I'm leery of Anathem based on this.
    fiction_rule_of_thumb.png

    I got about 3 chapters into this book before I gave up for that exact reason. Hell it even came with a CD that was supposed to put you into the mood for reading the damn thing.

    Read it...read it and finish it. Just to spite me.

    skyybahamut on
    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • JragghenJragghen Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I second The Neverending Story.

    His Dark Materials was good, but got waaaaaaay too blatant in its message in a really, really stupid way at the end,

    Jragghen on
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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Sci fi has become a guilty pleasure as of late, but besides what you put down, here's basically the best kid's series fucking ever. EVER.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_Sky
    What an obscure goddamn book; unavailable at my library and at Amazon. But it sounds completely awesome. Do you have any idea how you got your copy?

    Qingu on
  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Jragghen wrote: »
    I second The Neverending Story.

    His Dark Materials was good, but got waaaaaaay too blatant in its message in a really, really stupid way at the end,
    Agreed.
    The entirety of the first two books stressed the importance of viewing morality in shades of gray. And the series ends—literally—with a moralistic sermon by an angel? Whatever, the Gallivespians were still cool as hell.

    Qingu on
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Pokemon Champion (retired) Ann ArborRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I would recommend anything by John Varley.

    Titan/Demon/Wizard is probably his most famous stuff, but The Golden Globe and Steel Beach are excellent as are Red Thunder/Red Lightning/Rolling Thunder are mostly very good. The preachy holy shit Katrina/9-11/Bush sucks bits of Red Lightning are tiresome, but otherwise all of that series is very very good, especially Red Thunder.

    enlightenedbum on
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    Loose: about to slip, to release (Ex: "That knot is loose." "Loose arrows.")
  • mightyspacepopemightyspacepope Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Thread needs more Locke Lamora.

    Cover:
    055358894X_02_LZZZZZZZ.jpg

    Think Ocean's 11 in a medieval fantasy version of Venice. The second book in the series is out. The third was set for February 2009 but seems to have gotten delayed.

    mightyspacepope on
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  • Dyrwen66Dyrwen66 the other's insane Denver CORegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    I'm leery of Anathem based on this.
    fiction_rule_of_thumb.png

    I got about 3 chapters into this book before I gave up for that exact reason. Hell it even came with a CD that was supposed to put you into the mood for reading the damn thing.

    Read it...read it and finish it. Just to spite me.
    The audiobook is great; I listened to it at work for a few weeks. Overall the book has a wonderful arc, and its sci-fi ending is surprisingly interesting after so much philosophy. Feels like it ends too quickly once you get there, but goddamn if it isn't just a really unique story.

    Dyrwen66 on
  • MedopineMedopine __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2009
    I would recommend anything by John Varley.

    Titan/Demon/Wizard is probably his most famous stuff, but The Golden Globe and Steel Beach are excellent as are Red Thunder/Red Lightning/Rolling Thunder are mostly very good. The preachy holy shit Katrina/9-11/Bush sucks bits of Red Lightning are tiresome, but otherwise all of that series is very very good, especially Red Thunder.

    His latest stuff is kinda crappy. The Titan trilogy is probably his best work. I really like his collections of short stories, and Steel Beach.

    Medopine on
  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Dyrwen66 wrote: »
    I'm leery of Anathem based on this.
    fiction_rule_of_thumb.png

    I got about 3 chapters into this book before I gave up for that exact reason. Hell it even came with a CD that was supposed to put you into the mood for reading the damn thing.

    Read it...read it and finish it. Just to spite me.
    The audiobook is great; I listened to it at work for a few weeks. Overall the book has a wonderful arc, and its sci-fi ending is surprisingly interesting after so much philosophy. Feels like it ends too quickly once you get there, but goddamn if it isn't just a really unique story.

    Wait hold the phone. It comes with a CD?! I swore there wasn't anything like that in my copy, that would have been awesome :(

    Aegis on
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  • Mike DangerMike Danger "Diane..." a place both wonderful and strangeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Are the latter Ringworld books any good? I enjoyed Ringworld but it seems like there's a zillion of them.

    Mike Danger on
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  • skyybahamutskyybahamut Registered User
    edited January 2009
    Aegis wrote: »
    Dyrwen66 wrote: »
    I'm leery of Anathem based on this.
    fiction_rule_of_thumb.png

    I got about 3 chapters into this book before I gave up for that exact reason. Hell it even came with a CD that was supposed to put you into the mood for reading the damn thing.

    Read it...read it and finish it. Just to spite me.
    The audiobook is great; I listened to it at work for a few weeks. Overall the book has a wonderful arc, and its sci-fi ending is surprisingly interesting after so much philosophy. Feels like it ends too quickly once you get there, but goddamn if it isn't just a really unique story.

    Wait hold the phone. It comes with a CD?! I swore there wasn't anything like that in my copy, that would have been awesome :(

    I got mine form the my local bookstore lady. It was a loner, but I'll see if I can get a picture of the book tomorrow and put it on my photobucket.

    skyybahamut on
    This signature is for SCIENCE!
  • Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited January 2009
    Chasm_City_cover_(Amazon).jpg

    READ THIS BOOK

    IT IS AWESOME

    Salvation122 on
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