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  1. #166
    CotM Member Rob Allen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Matthew E: I had a similar experience with Titus Groan the forst time I tried to read it, many years ago. I just couldn't get into it at all, and gave up after 2 or 3 chapters. And when I tried again last year, I still had a hard time, but after about 80 pages or so, it started to click for me, and I became immmersed in that world for the rest of that book and its sequel, Gormenghast. The 3rd one, Titus Alone is very different in style and tone, much more modern feel, but equally strange and rivetting in its own way.

    Shellhead: I found the characterisation one of the strongest aspects of the series. And I just loved Fuchsia, esp in Gormenghast.

    A few other favourites I don't think were mentioned:

    The Worm Ourobouros -E. R. Eddison
    Eddison wrote around the same time as Tolkien IIRC, but definitely followed his own path. I remember Jonathan saying he doesn't like this one and I can see his reasons, but I found it weirdly compelling in its fatalism and cyclic view of destiny.

    [...]

    A Voyage to Arcturus - David Lindsay
    Strange narrative full of bizarre incident and murky symbolism. I can't claim to have any but the vaguest idea of what Lindsay was getting at much of the time, but in spite of this the story was so strong that it still held my attention throughout. I definitely have to revisit this one sometime in the near future.
    I somehow missed this thread five years ago. I could have written the paragraphs I quoted above, except that I didn't give up on Titus Groan, just kept reading until it clicked. Never met anyone else who read A Voyage to Arcturus. It's a strange but unforgettable book. I found out about The Worm Ouroboros when we had a substitute teacher one day, and he was reading it. My desk was close enough that I could read the title and a blurb comparing it to Tolkien. I filed the name away in my mind and found the book a few years later. Still haven't found the tenuously-connected trilogy (Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memizon, and The Zimiamvian Gate) but I love the titles.

    A few weeks ago on another board someone asked about sociopathic literary characters; I suggested Steerpike from the Gormenghast books.
    --
    Rob Allen

  2. #167
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    The Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
    The Tales of Conan - Robert E. Howard
    The Tales of Tarzan - Edgar Rice Burroughs
    The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, The Similarion - J. R.R. Tolkien
    A Song of Fire and Ice Series - George R.R. Martin
    The Guardians of the Flame Series - Joel Rosenberg
    Tales of the Dying Earth Series - Jack Vance
    The Farseer Series - Robin Hobb
    The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan
    Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewis

  3. #168
    Senior Member Addams's Avatar
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    Let's see :

    1 - Tolkien - Lord of the rings and the Silmarillion mostly - well, first contact with fantasy quite a few years ago now, when i was something like 8/9 years old. Lord of the rings is still to this day my all time favorite book.

    2 - Roger Zelazny - Amber chronicles - a very solid, fun and quick to read saga but more importantly, a superb universe. (love how it works)

    3 - Anne Mac Caffrey - Dragonriders of Pern series - well, thank you lady, thank you for those wonderful books, that's all i have to say about it, just thank you.

    4 - J.K Rowling - Harry Potter - great writing, great story, great characters and hell, she built a wonderful universe.

    5 - Lovecraft - lot of weird shit involving old forgotten gods - fascinating, i love it. You just can't resist Cthulhu.

    6 - Terry Pratchett - Death and Von Lipwig books - so many books, love some, not a fan of some. But those i like, i really freaking like.

    I could have also mentioned Douglas Addams, Assimov and so many others but well, those 6 ? They really had a big impact on me as a reader as some point or an another of my life. Big impact.

    Maybe you can find better but they have a special place in my heart.
    Last edited by Addams; 12-31-2012 at 12:52 PM.

  4. #169
    Clint Renner Ottmeister X's Avatar
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    Lynch has been having issues with depression which has delayed any new books from being released.

  5. #170
    Busy having an agenda.
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    Steve Erikson & Ian C Esselmont's Malazan work is the best world-building I've ever read.

    Jim Butcher's Dresden Files is superb world-building, wonderful characterisation, and dry wit.

    Brent Weeks' Night Angel series is pretty good.

    Older stuff I enjoy is the sword & sorcery of Robert E. Howard (Conan, Kull, and Kane especially) & of course Tolkein's high fantasy.
    Busy having an agenda for daring to disagree with a chip on his shoulder bigot.

  6. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Allen View Post
    I somehow missed this thread five years ago. I could have written the paragraphs I quoted above, except that I didn't give up on Titus Groan, just kept reading until it clicked. Never met anyone else who read A Voyage to Arcturus. It's a strange but unforgettable book. I found out about The Worm Ouroboros when we had a substitute teacher one day, and he was reading it. My desk was close enough that I could read the title and a blurb comparing it to Tolkien. I filed the name away in my mind and found the book a few years later. Still haven't found the tenuously-connected trilogy (Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memizon, and The Zimiamvian Gate) but I love the titles.

    A few weeks ago on another board someone asked about sociopathic literary characters; I suggested Steerpike from the Gormenghast books.
    Excellent suggestion: Steerpike's whole agenda is to subvert the established social order - not from any altruistic feelings, but from personal resentment and will to power.

    I've read Mistress of Mistresses, and it's both excellent and entirely different to Ourobouros in style and tone: more of a fantastic Renaissance or late Medieval world, with complex political intrigue, ornate costumes, and elaborately poetic turns of expression.

    I want to add one more to my list, something I just finished: Lanark by Alasdair Gray. Even though my paperback copy says "Science Fiction" right on the cover in small print, I'd put it under the "Fantastic Literature" banner if anywhere. This is one of those things you hesitate to describe for fear of failing to do it justice, and maybe it's too soon for me to pass any kind of judgement on it, final or otherwise, but right now I'd put it up there with the best I've read in the genre.

  7. #172
    New Member StephenBurger's Avatar
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    I first read the Shannara series as a youth and have reread them several times since. A great series (even if it bites a little bit from Lord of the Rings). Also, I love the Dark Tower series (not what first comes to mind when you think Fantasy but...), mainly the first 4 books.

    Cheers,
    Stephen
    check out my indie comic --> http://www.indiegogo.com/talk

  8. #173
    Clint Renner Ottmeister X's Avatar
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    Really enjoying Rothfuss' Kingkiller fantasy series right now (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear). Can't say top 10 for me yet but it has me engaged.

  9. #174

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    My top 10 in no particular order:

    Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time series -yes its long but it is a beautifully creative world with amazing characterization. For fantasy readers this is a must to try.

    Mercedes Lackey: Valdemar series - a series of trilogies that take part in the kingdom of Valdemar - talking horses, struggles against evil, and lots of great characters.

    JRR Tolkien: Lord of the Rings - the classic read of fantasy - a must to try to see where it all started.

    Robert E Howard - if Tolkien was the classic high fantasy then Howard is the writer for sword and sorcery - his Conan series is the classic for those that like sword and sorcery novels.

    Andre Norton - the Granddame of fantasy - her Witch World series is a classic series

    Marion Zimmer Bradley - Darkover series part science fiction part fantasy - a unique world all of its own.

    George RR Martin - The Song of Ice and Fire - the epic struggle of kingdoms - a more gritty fantasy - beautiful characterization - a must for the epic fantasy reader

    Weis and Hickman - A time of twins - a more role-playing feel to this novel - but a must try for those that enjoy RPG - as a pair of twins struggle to save a soul and themselves.

    Terry Pratchett - look for a weird world full of oddities then you have to try the Discworld series - a must try for a lighter read

    Tamora Pierce - yes I know she is a YA author but her YA fantasy are pretty incredible to read - a must read for anyone that enjoys fantasy.

  10. #175
    Senior Member Blueferret's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottmeister X View Post
    Really enjoying Rothfuss' Kingkiller fantasy series right now (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear). Can't say top 10 for me yet but it has me engaged.
    Excellent series.

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