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Thread: The Book Lair - all book talk ITT

  1. #1261
    I need my morning coffee~ Gaia's Avatar
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    Fantasy I could recommend: First ones that come to my mind are Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry and Tigana.
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  2. #1262
    I told 'em, I told 'em. Bugrit! eddyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Leo-chan View Post
    I mean, like, scifi has a bunch of stuff that's been considered fairly heavy-hitting but fantasy has like... what, Tolkien and Harry Potter? Which are popular but are sort of both fairly weak in depth.
    As with anything, the good stuff in fantasy isn't necessarily the popular stuff.

    The average fantasy takes itself super seriously, while at the same time being pretty mediocre. I mean, even despite the hate in me for all things Tolkien, I can respect the fact that he built a world, and got a whole bunch of other nerds going "holy crap, that is cool! I wanna build a world too!", but at the same time, his works fucked over the fantasy genre for fuck knows however long. People copy him instead of coming up with their own things- blah blah, dwarves underground and elves with bows and unoriginal bullshit. He's the reason people go "Uh, fantasy? Like, orcs and swords and stuff? Nah, I'm not into that," and a pretty big reason why few good authors actually come into the genre, and why such a massive percentage of the ones that do, do the medieval thing and create almost nothing new.
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  3. #1263
    Wandering Kitty TrienDarkform's Avatar
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    Haven't read a fantasy novel I've really liked in a long, long time now.

    The last ones I found compelling in any way were Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince/Dragon Star series (written ~1988-1994), which I picked up a number of years later on the recommendation of a friend on account of the political intrique, despite my not-so-charitable evaluation of the cover of its first book. It's not SoIaF level of craziness with the politics and level of cutthroat behaviour (which I'm not particularly enjoying at this point with the excessive disparate plot threads that have been created and yet to be resolved); it's somewhat more civilized... with one of the themes being the maintenance and development of civil order.

    The magic and fantasy elements are well developed, but are not so much the main focus. Rather, it's more of an exploration of human conflicts in the context of a world where such magic exists. What would people do if there was magic at their disposal in different situations? What kind of regulation or rules govern the use of said magic? Given that there is a certain inheritance of magic, what would people do to try to maintain said power in bloodlines? (She goes into recessive/dominant genetics in the author notes, though the people in the world don't understand it at all, but messes up the dominant inheritance alas... I'll forgive here that though.) What would happen if a certain type of power was considered "evil"? No quests to go on, no big evil menace to be destroyed, just the problems that people have always faced through history: wars, or threats thereof, plague, treaties & negotiations, law & justice, love & hatred, loyalty & betrayal. I personally liked the characters a lot, but wouldn't call any of them particularly 'exciting', which I know some people have found disappointing.

    Maybe it's time to pick them up for a reread...
    Last edited by TrienDarkform; August 29th, 2015 at 10:57 PM.
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  4. #1264
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddyak View Post
    As with anything, the good stuff in fantasy isn't necessarily the popular stuff.

    The average fantasy takes itself super seriously, while at the same time being pretty mediocre. I mean, even despite the hate in me for all things Tolkien, I can respect the fact that he built a world, and got a whole bunch of other nerds going "holy crap, that is cool! I wanna build a world too!", but at the same time, his works fucked over the fantasy genre for fuck knows however long. People copy him instead of coming up with their own things- blah blah, dwarves underground and elves with bows and unoriginal bullshit. He's the reason people go "Uh, fantasy? Like, orcs and swords and stuff? Nah, I'm not into that," and a pretty big reason why few good authors actually come into the genre, and why such a massive percentage of the ones that do, do the medieval thing and create almost nothing new.
    You can't really blame people for building on the only real foundation they have.

    Plus, orcs and elves and those stereotypes are mostly in the past by now. Fantasy has moved on from those days; and honestly, I'd blame D&D for that more than Tolkien, in terms of direct influence.
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  5. #1265
    Bisschen mehr ist nicht zu viel verlangt I3uster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Leo-chan View Post
    I mean, like, scifi has a bunch of stuff that's been considered fairly heavy-hitting but fantasy has like... what, Tolkien and Harry Potter? Which are popular but are sort of both fairly weak in depth.
    Aren't you one of those nerds that folds magic realism and fantasy, because then it has quite a bit actually.

    high fantasy is pretty desolat hyuu though
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  6. #1266
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    Well, theres some unusual high fantasy, like Michael Moorcock's stuff; also semi-historical stuff can be pretty good

  7. #1267
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I3uster View Post
    Aren't you one of those nerds that folds magic realism and fantasy, because then it has quite a bit actually.

    high fantasy is pretty desolat hyuu though
    In this case it's not a good idea since most people don't and at some point you have to concede to the general genre definition
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
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  8. #1268
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    But what is the "general genre definition" anyhow?
    The Manhattan Project: Is it a sin to kill for your country? In an age of nationalism, where do you draw the line between right and wrong? In the 1960s, eight people seek peace amidst war and tragedy.

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  9. #1269
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five_X View Post
    But what is the "general genre definition" anyhow?
    Aesthetic.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  10. #1270
    Hair of the Dog Five_X's Avatar
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    What aesthetic? ;_;

    Leo use more words
    The Manhattan Project: Is it a sin to kill for your country? In an age of nationalism, where do you draw the line between right and wrong? In the 1960s, eight people seek peace amidst war and tragedy.

    [11:20:46 AM] GlowStiks: lucina is supes attractive
    [12:40] Lace: lucina is amazing
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  11. #1271
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    I was on my phone and trying to carry groceries.

    The definition of fantasy is for the general purposes of everyone else a book with swords and knights and wizards and dragons. Urban fantasy is if the dragon lives in your basement.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  12. #1272
    Red hair is fine too Nihilm's Avatar
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    For fantasy that I fairly liked I'd say the Night angel trilogy and The black magician trilogy were pretty fun at the time.

    Bought "Perpendicular World" today, a collection of 3 short stories written by Kir Bulychev at soviet times, was cheap and seems like a good read, there is no english version tho.
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  13. #1273
    don't look at the ears Marmadillo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brigitte View Post
    you can't go much higher than erickson and he's cool
    Are you talking about Malazan Book of the Fallen? I've heard good things, but reading 10 thick volumes seems a daunting task atm.

  14. #1274
    Quote Originally Posted by Marmadillo View Post
    Are you talking about Malazan Book of the Fallen? I've heard good things, but reading 10 thick volumes seems a daunting task atm.
    I could see how it'd be daunting as they take up a full row on one of my smaller book cases but it's well worth it.

    Although you probably will want to wait until you have time to read them in fairly quick succession unless you have a good memory.

  15. #1275
    マリーの味方 Sesto's Avatar
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    Finished Norwegian Wood. It was okay/decentish. Felt like it dropped near the end. I almost wish the book was about Nagasawa. He was hilariously douchey but entertaining, I'd totally be down for a book with a main character like him.

    Anyone have a different Haruki Murakami novel to suggest? I was thinking of starting The Picture of Dorian Gray or The Invisible Man, but I figure I'll wait until I finish Dracula before I do that.

  16. #1276
    日輪よ、死に随え GundamFSN's Avatar
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    Hmm, is Sherlock Holmes series any good? (Arthur Conan Doyle's)


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  17. #1277
    Preformance Pertension SeiKeo's Avatar
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    They're superhero comics for Victorian England.
    Quote Originally Posted by asterism42 View Post
    That time they checked out that hot guy they were just admiring his watch, yeah?


  18. #1278
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    I've wanted to read one of them myself but generally had better reads around while thinking that.

  19. #1279
    El Gato de la Triste Figura Dullahan's Avatar
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    More impulse buys at the book markets today. Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, and Spook Country and Pattern Recognition, both by William Gibson.

  20. #1280
    don't look at the ears Marmadillo's Avatar
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    They're decent detective novels as long as you're fine with Doyle not knowing what deduction is and some questionable and unlikely reasoning by our supersmart detective.

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