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A few reading suggestions
Revenant
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 12:09 AM
I've really enjoyed the thoughts and discussion of this forum already... so now, I am looking for suggestions. My summer is coming up and I'm trying to figure out what books I'd like to tackle (aside from on this website)... For someone who is writing an undead, high epic book in particular.... what novels would you guys suggest so that I can keep well read whilst I work on my writing?
These can be contemporary or other, I'm well read on some of the books I'd consider the "classics" but I want quality fantasy literature to dive into.


(Also, feel free to check out my work, Revenant.... your critiques help me get started on my summer writing to go with my summer reading).

Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 12:53 AM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61


Mervyn Peake, E.R. Eddison, Lord Dunsany, William Morris, George MacDonald, and Edmund Spenser are my 'high quality' favorites. Wouldn't let a fantasy reader go without suggesting they read those guys, they really are the foundation of the genre. If you've read them, then my personal favorites are "The Iron Dragon's Daughter" by Michael Swanwick, "The Talisman" by Stephen King and Peter Straub, anything by Guy Gavriel Kay, the Earthsea books by Ursula K. LeGuin, and maybe "Winter's Tale" by Mark Helprin (that one is a bit more magic realism, but it really dances the line).
Revenant
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:32 AM
That's certainly enough to get me started and sustained in the summer reading... any other more specifically undead related (not the AHH ZOMBIES kind either) suggestions from anyone? Thanks again, Alex.
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 1:51 AM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61


Peter Straub, mentioned above, has one called "Ghost Story" which is pretty good. The undead, at least excluding vampires, aren't really a popular subject for anything but post-apocalyptic virus infection sorts of stories. Even in that genre, most of the books kind of suck. Eh, but there are always a few good ones in the bunch.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Thursday, May 5, 2011 7:31 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81


So wait, looking for zombies or no? If yes, check out Cherie Priest's Boneshaker and Carrie Ryan's Forest of Hands and Teeth Series.

If you want something just a little different (not undead stuff) Try Westerfeld's Leviathan and Behemoth.
Rachel Russell
Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 12:27 AM
Joined: 4/29/2011
Posts: 27


I second what MB said. Those were the ones I was going to suggest myself.
Sonia
Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 2:28 AM
Joined: 5/4/2011
Posts: 10


One of the books up for a hugo this year is a zombie book. I haven't read it, but it has good reviews. Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis
Robert C Roman
Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2011 9:31 PM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383


Not reading what others have posted, 'cause I'm trying to give you my uninfluenced opinion after having read the bit of Revenant you posted.

George R R Martin. Robert Jordan. Brandon Sanderson. Patrick Rothfuss. Patricia Briggs, especially her high fantasy stuff. Laurel K Hamilton, but only Nightseer, *maybe* the first three Anita books. Maybe Tolkien or Lewis, if you've not read either, just to get some 'where it came from. Moorcock, because I think you're mixing fantasy and horror.

OK, Martin and Jordan will take up your summer, and Rothfuss is like them, only not, y'know, dead (my personal opinion on how Martin could have a book 'completely written' and still take years to get it to the presses).
MB Mulhall
Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2011 10:37 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81


Oooh Jordan, how I used to like you. I stopped around book 9 or 10 and it was sad. I heard the guy who's taken over has done a decent job. I'll probably try again when the series is complete.

Also, I loved the Anita books..again until almost the 9th book or so when they became ....umm...porn. I am certainly not against some sex in my stories, but I don't need 3 scenes a chapter on it...
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 12:10 AM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61


I'll second Martin, Moorcock, some of Briggs, and Rothfuss. They all can be a bit overly wordy, but those two have enough substance to get through it. Sanderson is a decent writer, but I can't stand his podcast, and Jordan... overly wordy, but not quite as much substance.
Robert C Roman
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 1:38 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383


Never heard Sanderson's podcast. His Mistborn trilogy is solid. His work to complete WoT is equally solid. I'm not going to put him up as the greatest writer in the world, but he's reliably entertaining.

@ Alex - Which Briggs would you leave out? i've not read anything by her that's not worthwhile, although some of it is Urban rather than Epic.

I have a soft spot for Jordan, so I overestimate the quality of his work, but you've got to admit he's had an impact. I don't think Rothfuss could have published Name of the Wind before Jordan pubbed Wheel of Time. Just sayin'.

Sanderson's third Mistborn book does some interesting things regarding dark magics, which Revenant (the book) seems to be delving into, which is part of why I recommended him.

@MB - I *like* porn. Late model Anita isn't porn, it's cathartic slashfic that's made it to the shelf. I recommended just the first because she did some really intense scenes regarding the undead.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 2:15 AM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


If you're into weird fiction and need a good laugh, I suggest almost everything by Christopher Moore. I suggest reading from his earliest works up. Not all of them are the best, and his male protags are almost all the same, but he plays with different mythologies and theories almost every book. I enjoy them when I want to laugh so hard my stomach hurts.
Robert C Roman
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 11:22 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383


@LeeAnna - Chris Moore IS fantastic; I'd recommend him to anyone. I just finished Fool a few weeks ago, and it cemented my resolve to get everything he's written. I'm not sure it really applies to Revenant, though, since he's writing serious epic, and Moore writes humorous contemporary (mostly).

On second thought, everyone ought to read Moore at some point, and he IS a quick read.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Monday, May 9, 2011 7:53 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


@Robert - thanks for the support. I think everyone should read him because he has moments where he balances the serious and the humorous well. He is extremely well crafted, and it is apparent he does his research.
KirkusMacGowan
Posted: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 4:37 AM
Joined: 5/4/2011
Posts: 11


Love Jordan and Sanderson. My favorite book right now is from Sanderson, The Way of Kings. It is the beginning of a series called The Stormlight Archive. I thought he did a good job with the last two WoT books, but I think the experience of trying to write stylistically similar to Jordan brought out the high/epic fantasy writer within.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Wednesday, May 11, 2011 6:52 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416


Quality Fantasy? Raymond Feist. Start ith Magician, and work your way through. There is your summer reading list. Heh.
Joe Selby
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:10 PM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 30


I'm a huge Lois McMaster Bujold fan. I recommend THE CURSE OF CHALION or the Sharing Knife tetralogy. If you like sf, her Vorkosigan series is awesome as well.
LeeAnna Holt
Posted: Friday, May 13, 2011 4:37 PM
Joined: 4/30/2011
Posts: 662


I completely forgot Ursula K Le Guin (which is a crime against nature). She is probably most famous for her Earth Sea Cycle, but I recommend her book the Left Hand of Darkness. It is amazing.
CaseyGoodrow
Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 5:04 PM
Joined: 3/31/2011
Posts: 11


@LeeAnna - The Earthsea and Hainish books are my top books of all time. Le Guin is a master and a huge inspiration to me; totally love her! thumbs super up, double recommend all those books!