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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:26 pm 
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I actually left one important trilogy out among the SFF books that I keep coming back to:

The Cold Minds Trilogy, by you know who.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:39 pm 
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That's sweet of you, Voronwë. :hug:

I'd love to write something that belongs with the other books on these lists, but I certainly haven't done it yet. :P

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:56 pm 
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Sweet or not, it's the truth.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:54 am 
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Cool! I don't think I've ever met anyone lese who has read "The Saga of the Exiles". I'm sure its absolute rubbish, but I loved it at the time! Sort of weird hybrid of Sci-fi and Fantasy with a healthy dollop of Irish Mythology chucked in for fun!


Oh, I read it. I developed a little RPG from it for my gaming group at the time, which sort of highlighted the underlying issue of the books: if you weren't one of the ones with the psychic powers, you were a third-class citizen.

Rumor has it much of the book is an extended allegory about Julian May's experiences with the SCA. :D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:55 am 
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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:
My list is pretty easy:

All of Tolkien's legendarium
Asimov's Foundation and Robot novels
All of Frank Herbert's Dune books (not his son's and the other guy's; I know many don't like the sequels or the second trilogy, but I love them all)
Stranger in a Strange Land
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
And yes, the Harry Potter books


JS and MR. N. has been languishing on my "To read" list for a while now. Perhaps this will push it over the top.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:39 am 
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I've tried to read it twice. It's on my Kindle, and given the recommendations of so many people I respect, I will certainly try it again.

I just . . . get bored. That probably shows up my character defects more than anything else, but there it is. I don't see why I should care about the characters.

It's probably a sign of weakness that I worry about that. I well remember being 20 years old and finding Jane Austen's Emma unbearably dull.

Yeah, I did. :bang:

So, I'm not prepared to accept any judgment of mine as a final one.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:45 am 
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I couldn't get into Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell either...despite several recommendations and the feeling that I *should* like it.

And I tried desperately to read "Pride and Prejudice" as an introduction to and attempt to like Jane Austen...and failed. I thought it was the most BORING book I had ever read and I found the characters dull and idiotic. (As an aside, the most comments I ever got in my LJ was when I posted a one-line question: "What do people see in Jane Austen, anyway?")

In my (humble) opinion, if you don't like a book, put it aside. Maybe if you pick it up later, you will like it...or not. There are plenty of books in the world.

(One book I was determined to read was "Tale of Two Cities." It took me three tries to get into it...but on that third time, I pushed past the first few chapters and suddenly I could NOT put it down. So, you never know.)

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:52 am 
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You do never know. I would give P&P another try, if I were you—being able to enjoy Austen opens up a small but exquisite universe of delight. Or maybe try Northanger Abbey—that's still more approachable and funny.

Which is why I will try JS & MN again.

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“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:09 am 
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Primula Baggins wrote:
You do never know. I would give P&P another try, if I were you—being able to enjoy Austen opens up a small but exquisite universe of delight. .


I *might* at some point...but I did try valiantly and found the characters so...annoying and cloying and bothersome and BORING that I wanted to shake the cr*p out of them.

Yeah, I realize that it's part of history and women really did have to be concerned with the length of their dresses and if their petticoats got muddy and who to invite for tea...but GAK! Hardly delightful in the least.

I generally hate period costume dramas, too. ("Downton Abbey" being an exception.)

But we have strayed far from the subject...perhaps we should make a separate thread "Jane Austen - brilliant or boring?"

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:45 am 
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I am very bad at making lists! But here's an attempt (science-fiction that clobbered me or messed with my mind):

The Space Child's Mother Goose (Frederick Parry)
Flatland (Abbott Abbott)
The Martian Chronicles (standing in for all of Ray Bradbury)
The Lathe of Heaven (I was so thrilled to see Ursula K. LeGuin in person this past spring! What an amazing person and artist!)
A Wrinkle in Time (L'Engle);
The Vorkosigan Saga (Bujold)
Hyperion (Simmons);
a story about torture as a means to make people teleport ( :shock: ) that I think was in a collection called "Every Boy's Book of Science Fiction" or something--totally shook me up when I was very small;
Anathem (Stephenson);
Slaughterhouse-Five (Vonnegut);
Watchmen (Alan Moore);
The City and the City (China Miéville, but let me cheat and say I love Perdido Street Station and The Scar, too);
City of Saints and Madmen (Jeff VanderMeer).

I guess VanderMeer could be on the "fantasy" list, rather than the sf one, actually, but I'll let this stand . . . and yes, I know we were supposed to do sf and fantasy on one list, but honestly!

ETA: oops! Forgot Philip K. Dick's Martian Time-Slip. That is very mind-warping! I still see the world through its eyes sometimes.......
:D

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:52 pm 
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Let's see...

After 5 moves in 10 years, I have weeded my book collection down to those I love too much to part with.

Janny Wurt's 'War of Light and Shadow' series (but I've had trouble getting through the last few books of hers.)

Guy Kay's Fionavar trilogy, beginning with "The Summer Tree".
Also by Kay: "A Song For Arbonne", and "Lions of Al-Rassan" I did not care much for "Tigana" and HATED "Under Heaven". It was just too bleak, and I never really got to care very much for any of the characters. "The Sarantine Mosaic" was pretty good, and so was "Ysabel", but I gave away my copy of "The Last Light of the Sun".

Most of Patricia McKillip's books, but especially her Riddlemaster of Hed trilogy.

Um, that's more than 10 books already.... :blackeye:

Let's see...I loved Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series. The first few novels were the best, and the 3 book series about Menolly, the female harper were really good, but the books definitely went downhill near the end of her life. She actually altered the backstory of several of her characters noticeably towards the end, too, which REALLY bothered me. The standalone book about beloved Masterharper Robiton was the worst in this respect, and I gave it away not long after reading it.

For Sci-Fi, I have enjoyed some of Julie Czerneda's books, most especially "In the Company of Others", followed by her Trade Pact Trilogy "A Thousand Words for Stranger", etc. and the Web Shifter's Trilogy, "Beholder's Eye", etc.

Now, back to fantasy: Jennifer Roberson's "Tiger and Del" series. They're not deep, but they are a LOT of fun (Tiger rides a stud that is always trying to get the better of him, and is rather misogynist/chauvinistic, two things Roberson has a lot of fun with ).

I used to own nearly every novel in the Star Trek universe, but have pared it down to just two: "Vulcan's Glory" by D.C. Fontana, and "The Vulcan Academy Murders" by Jean Lorrah. Both are excellent reads.

Barbra Hambly: "Dragonsbane" and "Ladies of Mandrigyn" are her two best, though from different universes. I especially like the characters from these books. Dragonsbane features Jenny, a scorceress and her husband, Lord Aversin, dragonslayer and absent-minded intellectual, who is in charge of protecting The Winterlands. The ending of this novel, where Jenny has to make a very important choice between the things she loves will surely put a lump in your throat.

"Ladies" features Sun Wolf, a mercenary who is coerced into training a group of women to fight. He is deeply in love with Starhawk, a female mercenary. They are separated when the ladies kidnap him, and the pain of their separation, and eventual reunion in battle are highlights of a very well written novel.

To round out my favorite fantasy books, Tad Williams' Dragonbone Chair series. is marvellous. I didn't much care for his other books.

Now, to switch genres: I have read most of Louis L'Amour's westerns (my brother is a HUGE fan) but he doesn't hold a candle to Jack Schaefer, the author of Shane. If you can find a copy of "Monte Walsh" or "Mavericks" GRAB THEM!! He manages to put a sense of history into his novels that L'Amour does not, and he breathes a life into his characters that makes L'Amour's characters seem cardboard at best. His short stories are also very, very good, too, and will make you weep and laugh and wish for more. I was first introduced to him in High School, and though my tastes in reading have changed a lot since then, I still cherish his books.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Have to add a couple more:

Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising series.

Madeline L'Engle's 'A Wrinkle in Time'.

Some of Rob Sawyer's novels have REALLY stuck in my mind, especially Rollback.

Funny how tastes differ. I had a very nice first edition copy of 'The Gods Themselves" that Roger had purchased at a convention. I don't know what he paid for it, but I am sure it wasn't cheap!

I couldn't get past the first few pages, and wound up giving it to one of his sons who is an avid reader of sci-fi.


I also have to add to the MacFeegle discussion. The first Pratchett novel I purchased was "Wee Free Men". I was at Ad Astra in Toronto, and had to stop reading it because my guffaws of laughter were keeping my room mate awake! :D

Needless to say, I like the MacFeegles.

Must be my Scottish blood ... :love:

Um, and I guess I should have posted this in the "Most Annoying Character" thread. Oh, well, it's relevant to both threads! :P

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:08 pm 
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Another SF book that was memorable in that it haunted me with nightmares was Dahlgren by Delaney. Weird, inexplicable and circular ... it was a dive into madness. I read it 30 years ago and it's still on my shelf, mainly so I can keep a wary eye on it.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:13 pm 
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There are also classes of books I left out because I can't narrow them down: Heinlein juveniles, X-men comics in the Claremont age, etc.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:11 pm 
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I'm listing the books in the chronological order in which I read them /they impacted upon me

A Wrinkle in Time by L'Engle
I read it when I was in fourth grade, and could not get over the idea of time as a fourth dimension, a landscape through which one could theoretically wander back and forth. I was so excited about this, I remember spouting off about it to my teacher over several lunchtimes.

The Narnia books by Lewis, but most specifically The Magician's Nephew. It was the Wood Between the Worlds that most fascinated me, and which inspired much of my day-dreaming and early ventures into story-telling. Jadis had a particular impact; her power, strength, ruthlessness. She was evil, yes, but that characteristic - which was the most important to Lewis, I think, was the least important to me.

Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis, and the other two in his space trilogy.
I think I read them too early (I went on a Lewis rampage in fourth and fifth grade) and didn't understand it all, but it was my first encounter with a new world reached via spacecraft (ie science), rather than magic. I have not reread the trilogy since my very early teens, and I've forgotten much of the storylines, but it was undoubtedly one of the more influential series I've read in terms of my taste in literature.

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham (and also Day of the Triffids, but mostly the first)
Post-apocalytic fundamentalism and represssion (fear) v genetically mutated telepaths and the possibility of a more empathically evolved humanity. It appealed to my teenage idealism.

The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffrey
This was heartbreaking.

The Hobbit, swiftly followed by Lord of the Rings
Well, enough said.

The Well at the World's End by William Morris, the 19th century English poet and artist.
It's written in the form of the medieval mythologies, and I found it mesmerising in the way of stories about the fae. It is a Quest story, in which the protagonist seeks the source of immortality, but learns deeper truths along the way.
I admit that I was very into the Pre-Raphaelites at the time, but the dreamlike quality of the writing totally captivated me.

Dune by Frank Herbert.
The first book blew my mind in terms of the majesty, intricacy, completeness and scope of its world-building. The other two of the original trilogy were okay, but I don't think I would have embraced them had I not been so completely taken over by that first book.

Well, that's only 8. Will think on it further.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:29 pm 
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I do need to reread Lewis's Space Trilogy. I never liked Narnia, but I did enjoy Out of the Silent Planet and its sequels in my college years. But for some reasons, unlike the others that I listed on my list, I never came back to them. I should.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:01 am 
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Okay here goes (listing only SciFi/Fantasy)

- Lord of the Rings
- Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
- Asimov's Foundation and Robot series
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
- Long, Dark teatime of the Soul (Douglas Adams again)
- ALL of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series
- Good Omens (Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett)
- Neuromancer (William Gibson)
- Snow Crash (Neal Stephenson)
- Makers (Cory Doctorow)

Listing others (non-Scifi/fantasy)
The Fountainhead
P.G. Wodehouse's stuff

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:44 am 
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What did I say?

:tumbleweed:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:38 am 
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:hug:

Nothing at all. I think those who wanted to posted their lists, and that there's currently no urge to confabulate about all the lists.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:25 am 
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I'd love to confabulate, but I'm swamped. . . .

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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