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Fiction recommendations (please add yours)


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i recommend the Gemmel book "Sword in the Storm." It's the first of the Rigante series, and in my opinion, the finest thing Gemmel ever wrote (although I have read everything I can find of his and loved them all). I envy you getting to experience them for the first time. i wish I could leave a stack of books on the coffee table with a note to myself saying "Read these" and then selectively erase my memory so I could read them again fresh.

 

Winter Warriors is my favorite one-off book of his, though.

 

Luck!

 

Dave

 

Thanks! I'll read Sword in the Storm next time I read Gemmel. I liked Gemmel's writing, but just felt that the plot for The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend was a bit overused in many fiction books.

 

Thanks Dave! I loved it for the very reason you mentioned; Heinlein did a great job of talking about duty and morality during war. Not a fan of his later stuff though... "Stranger in a Strange Land" is potentially one of the most over rated books ever. I loathed it.

 

I have never read any of Brom's books, but I love his art and have for a very long time. I know most people around her are enamored of Tolkien and High Fantasy where the good are good and the evil twirl their mustaches, but I love my fantasy how I like my coffee; dark and stabby. Elric instead of Elrond, and Logen Ninefingers instead of Aragorn. Brom does a wonderful job of doing this in his paintings. Dark Fantasy at its best.

 

I know, the more books I read the more I liked Dark Fantasy. If you like Brom's art, then that's exactly how his writing was. Speaking of coffee, I like mine blacker than soot, no creamer, with grounds at the bottom of the glass. B)

I've considered re reading "The Child Thief" several times. The writing was just amazing, great word pictures, absolutely fantastic characters, a good plot, and a satisfying ending. If I were to complain about anything, the language was a bit coarse for my liking, but I got over it, it wasn't so bad as to ruin the book by any means. In Brom's defense, he was trying to portray abused runaway teenagers from Brooklyn, so there had to be language if he were going to accurately portray his characters.

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Logen Ninefingers! Now that's a great character!

 

Isn't he! Joe Abercrombie has to be one of the best at characterization. Amazing writer.

 

 

 

Thanks! I'll read Sword in the Storm next time I read Gemmel. I liked Gemmel's writing, but just felt that the plot for The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend was a bit overused in many fiction books.

 

 

I know, the more books I read the more I liked Dark Fantasy. If you like Brom's art, then that's exactly how his writing was. Speaking of coffee, I like mine blacker than soot, no creamer, with grounds at the bottom of the glass. B)

I've considered re reading "The Child Thief" several times. The writing was just amazing, great word pictures, absolutely fantastic characters, a good plot, and a satisfying ending. If I were to complain about anything, the language was a bit coarse for my liking, but I got over it, it wasn't so bad as to ruin the book by any means. In Brom's defense, he was trying to portray abused runaway teenagers from Brooklyn, so there had to be language if he were going to accurately portray his characters.

 

Thanks Colin, I will put that book into the "Must Read" pile which is too long to be healthy. I have been staring at it for quite some time, and wasn't sure about it, but that was a pretty glowing review. Thanks!

 

I have been meaning to say something, but I would suggest that anyone that loves fantasy/science fiction and art should pick up the Spectrum art books. They make a new one every year to celebrate all of the awesome fantasy/science fiction art that came out in the corresponding year. So there will be book cover paintings, ads, sculpture... tons of stuff. They are great. I have a few and I love them.

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Thanks Colin, I will put that book into the "Must Read" pile which is too long to be healthy. I have been staring at it for quite some time, and wasn't sure about it, but that was a pretty glowing review. Thanks!

 

I have been meaning to say something, but I would suggest that anyone that loves fantasy/science fiction and art should pick up the Spectrum art books. They make a new one every year to celebrate all of the awesome fantasy/science fiction art that came out in the corresponding year. So there will be book cover paintings, ads, sculpture... tons of stuff. They are great. I have a few and I love them.

 

Yeah, I've got one of those "Must read" piles too.

Another thing that made me enjoy Brom's writing that much more is that it was heavily rooted in mythology. I've been wanting to read "Krampus: The Yule Lord" by Brom for a while now.

 

On another note, I just read "The Rats in the Walls" it's a horror short story by H.P. Lovecraft (Bad idea at 2:45 AM?) and needless to say, Lovecraft gets two thumbs up. I like how he doesn't make the rats the scariest part, the more scariest is the main character descending into complete insanity. He goes from rational, to irrational, to crazy, to irrational and crazy in old English, to just plain gibberish. This paragraph from the story really shows that.

 

"Something bumped into me -- something soft and plump. It must have been the rats; the

viscous, gelatinous, ravenous army that feast on the dead and the living ... Why shouldn't
rats eat a de la Poer as a de la Poer eats forbidden things? ... The war ate my boy, damn
them all ... and the Yanks ate Carfax with flames and burnt Grandsire Delapore and the
secret ... No, no, I tell you, I am not that daemon swineherd in the twilit grotto! It was not
Edward Norrys' fat face on that flabby fungous thing! Who says I am a de la Poer? He
lived, but my boy died! ... Shall a Norrys hold the land of a de la Poer? ... It's voodoo, I
tell you ... that spotted snake ... Curse you, Thornton, I'll teach you to faint at what my
family do! ... 'Sblood, thou stinkard, I'll learn ye how to gust ... wolde ye swynke me
thilke wys?... Magna Mater! Magna Mater!... Atys... Dia ad aghaidh's ad aodaun... agus
bas dunarch ort! Dhonas 's dholas ort, agus leat-sa!... Ungl unl... rrlh ... chchch..."
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  • 2 weeks later...

i recommend the Gemmel book "Sword in the Storm." It's the first of the Rigante series, and in my opinion, the finest thing Gemmel ever wrote (although I have read everything I can find of his and loved them all). I envy you getting to experience them for the first time. i wish I could leave a stack of books on the coffee table with a note to myself saying "Read these" and then selectively erase my memory so I could read them again fresh.

 

Winter Warriors is my favorite one-off book of his, though.

 

Luck!

 

Dave

 

I added some Gemmell to my Amazon wish list before Christmas because of this thread. Some friends got me all 4 of the Rigante series. It was great! Easy reads, character driven, nobody all good or all bad. More Gemmell is certainly in my reading future. As are some others that were listed in this thread. Great topic!!!

 

For the record, I'm also a Bernard Cornwell fan. Haven't read the Sharpe series, but pretty much all his other stuff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a little late to the game here, but as I've found several additions to my must read least, I feel I ought to leave some of my all-time favorites for you to ponder.

 

 

 

"Armor" by John Steakly

 

With some subconscious nods to "Starship Troopers" this book is rather entertaining; however more darkly themed on the psychological aspects of heavy and seemingly hopeless combat.

 

 

 

--This is not a book for everyone; most certainly not for one not of age to consider the ramifications of death in their free time.--

 

 

 

"The art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stien

 

Somewhat light-hearted, from the viewpoint of a canine; though a dark theme surrounds the overall plot. Follow a man through the eyes of his best friend, with this fantastic read.

 

 

 

I will have more to add to this once I find my old stash of books! Notably the "Merlin" series, and the "So you Want to be a Wizard" series

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished the first book in the Mistborn trilogy, "Mistborn: The Finale Empire" and it was an amazing read, a little different from a lot of fantasy books, but it really worked in this book. It seemed to just take off on its own, almost like a board game. Everything was driven by consequences to situations that were set in motion by odds, if that makes any sense. Anyway, great book, very interesting, especially if you're into world building and magic systems.
I'll try not to post too many spoilers, but sometimes it works well, to kill off point of view characters, and sometimes it doesn't. I'll just leave it at that.

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  • 1 month later...

Finished the second book now, "Mistborn, The Well of Ascension" And it was good, I enjoyed reading it a lot. I didn't, however, enjoy it as much as I did the first book. The first two thirds of the book were pretty slow, and a little repetitive. The whole book was interesting, but the first two thirds of it didn't exactly have me dying to finish it. That was, until I got to part four of six, "Knives" and it instantly became very suspenseful, and quicker paced. Lots of action, tons of plot twists, and an ending that practically forces you to read the next book.
The bottom line, I did enjoy reading it. If you decide to read it, you need to have read the first book, and don't dismiss the book until you get to part four, "Knives". The first book could have worked as a stand alone book, there's one small hook at the end, but I mainly read the second book in hope that it would be as good as the first, not because of the plot line. The plot lines of the second book do connect once you read them (in the second book) but it's not the cliffhanger type of scenario that you get at the end of the second book, leading into the third.

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  • 1 month later...

I've read many of the authors mentioned, enjoyed some and panned some of the others, to the list I would add Simon R. Green's "Blue Moon Series" which begins with Blue Moon Rising, segues into the adventures of Hawk and Fisher aka Prince Rupert and Princess Julia and finishes (at least currently) with "Once in a Blue Moon" . I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the Belisarius series by Eric Flint and David Drake - good reads set in an alternative universe where India through the Malwa dynasty is seeking world domination.

 

For anthologies, it's going back aways, (nort nearly as far as Morris) I'd recommend Thieves World and its sequels edited by Robert Asprin, who has also written an excellent comic series on magic, heavy on puns, that begins with "Another Fine Myth" where we are introduced to the main character, Skeeve a Khlad who hooks up with Aaaahz a Pervect, a magician who has temporarily lost his magic. Supporting characters include Tananda, a Trollope (female troll), Chumley her brother and assorted Deveels, Imps, etc.

 

For alternative histories, I'd recommend Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series which begins with 1632 - a west virginia coal town gets transposed into the middle of the 30 years war in Germany.

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