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  1. #16
    Were You There? Michael P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffreyWKramer View Post
    I can put in a strong recommendation for Carey's Castor novels. Supernatural mystery/suspense stuff, with neat characters and a good bit of humor. Great stuff, really. I can't imagine anyone liking Jim Butcher's Dresden books not also enjoying Carey's books.
    I gave up after the third one. Okay, but doesn't quite grab me like Dresden does.
    "If you can't say anything good about someone, sit right here by me." - Alice Roosevelt Longworth, on manners

    "It's not whether you win or lose, it's whether I win or lose." - Peter David, on life

  2. #17
    Born under a wandrin Star Tobias March's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael P View Post
    I gave up after the third one. Okay, but doesn't quite grab me like Dresden does.
    Really? Have you tried the book set in the block of flats Thicker Than Water. Great stuff.

  3. #18
    Senior Member jackdaw53's Avatar
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    Right at the start of the thread the OP made the point that Neil Gaiman is the obvious choice as the guy who's got a big rep as a prose writer as well as comics.

    That's certainly true.

    Anyhow finally got round to reading American Gods this week, not having read any of his prose before. Its well written, efficient fantasy. But... I have to say... I'm startled at size of its critical reputation. It regularly makes top 25 fantasy lists... but I really don't see why. (For me, it's no where near as enjoyable as hundreds of other fantasies by likes of Guy Gavriel Kay, J V Jones, Phillip Pullman, Raymond E Feist, etc.)

  4. #19
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    Moore's Voice of the Fire stands out for me as by far the best book written by someone previously known mainly as a comics writer. Nothing else I've read comes close.

    Ellis's Crooked Little Vein was good, but a bit lightweight; I expect something more substantial from him in the future, though. His first effort showed he has no problem writing in this new (for him) medium, so if he's motivated to do something a little more ambitious, I think he'll likely pull it off.

    I had the misfortune to read Gaiman's comic book writing before anything else by him, and I've found it to be mediocre at best; thus I've lost interest in trying any of his novels.

  5. #20
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackdaw53 View Post
    Right at the start of the thread the OP made the point that Neil Gaiman is the obvious choice as the guy who's got a big rep as a prose writer as well as comics.

    That's certainly true.

    Anyhow finally got round to reading American Gods this week, not having read any of his prose before. Its well written, efficient fantasy. But... I have to say... I'm startled at size of its critical reputation. It regularly makes top 25 fantasy lists... but I really don't see why. (For me, it's no where near as enjoyable as hundreds of other fantasies by likes of Guy Gavriel Kay, J V Jones, Phillip Pullman, Raymond E Feist, etc.)
    I very much liked it, but I've always liked Gaimans short stories more than his novels.
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  6. #21
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I had the misfortune to read Gaiman's comic book writing before anything else by him, and I've found it to be mediocre at best; thus I've lost interest in trying any of his novels.
    I thought I was the only one,,,

    Gaiman's main strength is the understated elegance of his prose, which makes the act of reading very enjoyable. But when it comes to plot, character development and tension, his comic-book work strikes me as far superior. American gods was something like Sandman redux, although more predictable. Ananai boys had me as worried about its protagonists as if they had been having a nice picnic in the Thousand Acres wood, which is unlikely to have been the desired effect. [I]Good omens was funny and irreverent, but also pretty predictable and lacking in the thrill department. All in all, my favorite Gaiman book is the least ambitious one, Neverwhere. It reads like a comic, but isn't apologetic about it. (And I say that as someone who worships Gaiman in his comic-book writer role. The sheer level of creativity and skill shown in Sandman, a level that kept rising as the series progressed, defies description).

    I heard that his short stories are better than the novels, though, and I might try them someday.

    edit: I see dupersuper beat me to the short stories comment!
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  7. #22
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    It feels weird to me, how much I can't groove on Harlan Ellison's early comics writing much at all. So good in words, not so hot when coupled with pics and the Comics Code.

    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    Ellis's Crooked Little Vein was good, but a bit lightweight; I expect something more substantial from him in the future, though. His first effort showed he has no problem writing in this new (for him) medium, so if he's motivated to do something a little more ambitious, I think he'll likely pull it off.
    It was definitely a lightweight, fun book, not a deeply serious and substantial novel, but he's been writing prose fiction for commercial markets since around the time of his comics debut, if infrequently (and nonfiction prose since shortly before comics). A lot of folks I've talked to seemed to want a more substantial/serious book, but for it was all that bothered me was a repeat of the old cranky man and young hip girlfriend assistant trope which is just a lure and fishhook to catch the story, but still. You can tell by the kinds of books/writers that he regularly talks highly of, or his love of the one-off comics story, that he likes short, fast, entertainment writing, too, though, so I can't believe it was just to test the waters as much as Warren Ellis just likes that sort of thing.

    Wondering, now, who all broke into comics and prose fiction at roughly the same time. Dennis O'Neill, though more known as a comics writer was doing prose back in the day pretty much concurrent to his first comics work, including the novel that introduced the world to Richard Dragon. Marjorie Liu pursued her prose and comics career simultaneously (and wisely, through an agent for both), but she had a few novels out before any comics. Gaiman didn't put out a solo novel for ten years or so into his comics career (an adaptation of his script for Neverwhere, not an "original novel" per se, though obviously, he's adapting his own work), but he was publishing short fiction and nonfiction the whole time.

  8. #23
    Mattress Tester T Hedge Coke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    Gaiman's main strength is the understated elegance of his prose, which makes the act of reading very enjoyable.
    I can pretty much agree, though it feels, rather than any genuine subtlety, to be that he's soft-selling, that the phrasing is restrained to avoid making us uncomfortable or to give us room to question anything. I think it's a great commercial strength, but for me, as a reader, it can get wearisome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roquefort Raider View Post
    I heard that his short stories are better than the novels, though, and I might try them someday.

    edit: I see dupersuper beat me to the short stories comment!
    I enjoy his short fiction more than his novels, of what I've read, but some of those, as well, can be especially twee and cushioned for safety. His best, to me, is when he goes whole hog for that, and just does a comedy routine, such as "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar," which is Dudley Moore and Peter Cooke in Lovecraft's Innsmouth, generally making otherwise sharp comedy and devious horror warm and charming. That, for me, may be his great strength: making everything, be it horrific or immense or scalding, warm and charming. Except for the sex, which tends, in his prose, to be pretty darn tedious for me and I like sex in my fiction.

  9. #24
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    I have no idea if they're good, but I understand that Dan Abnett has written a lot of Warhammer 40 000 novels that had impressive print runs. (If they're anything like Guardians of the galaxy and Legion of the damned, then they're probably a good bet).
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  10. #25
    Administrator Expletive Deleted's Avatar
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    If I can damn him with incredibly faint praise, Abnett writes some of the best RPG tie-ins out there.

    His original stuff is pretty decent, too. Embedded is a nice bit of satire that still works as traditional military SF and Triumpff is an entertaining, if lightweight, steampunk-y adventure.
    Expletive Deleted

  11. #26
    Modus omnibus in rebus Roquefort Raider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Hedge Coke View Post
    I can pretty much agree, though it feels, rather than any genuine subtlety, to be that he's soft-selling, that the phrasing is restrained to avoid making us uncomfortable or to give us room to question anything. I think it's a great commercial strength, but for me, as a reader, it can get wearisome.
    I doubt I could have articulated it so eloquently, but that's exactly what I feel. It was particularly true in Anansi boys, where the matter of someone's murder is rold in as inoffensive a manner as possible. It's neat the first few times around because it's unexpected, but afterr a while, like everything, it gets old.
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  12. #27
    Unicorns are tasty! Tadhg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expletive Deleted View Post
    If I can damn him with incredibly faint praise, Abnett writes some of the best RPG tie-ins out there.

    His original stuff is pretty decent, too. Embedded is a nice bit of satire that still works as traditional military SF and Triumpff is an entertaining, if lightweight, steampunk-y adventure.
    Similarly, Paul Cornell has written some of the best Doctor Who novels out there.

  13. #28
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    Brad Meltzer of course. Although I'm not a big fan of his thrillers.

  14. #29
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T Hedge Coke View Post
    I like sex in my fiction.
    I prefer sex in my non-fiction *wink-wink, nudge-nudge, knowwhatImean*.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tadhg View Post
    Similarly, Paul Cornell has written some of the best Doctor Who novels out there.
    Surely that's not "faint praise"...
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  15. #30
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    I would not call it great but John Jackson Miller wrote a good Star Wars book that ties into the Knight Errant comics also callled Knight Errant.

    http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Knigh...nt_%28novel%29

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