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Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- JANUARY DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- JANUARY DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 3:25 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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And we're off!

The 2010 Fantasy Challenge is now officially underway. Hopefully you didn't party so hard last night that you can't get some reading done today! :)

I'm planning on starting with The Ladies of Mandrigyn, by Barbara Hambly, which I am going to plug into "Work written the year you were born." (In my case, 1984.) Where are you all starting?

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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I haven't decided yet.  I'm still reading a SF book, and I wanted to finish a nonfiction book by Sunday when D.G's challenge in the games forum begins, but I should be able to start the fantasy challenge by next week.

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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Yep I had a wild n crazy New Year's Eve reading... I've started the Paksenarrion series by Elizabeth Moon.  I think I'll use it for  the sword n sorcery category,  magical human or heroic -or maybe one book of the series for each.  The first book was a little slow initially.   There was a lot of setting, political and religious background information necessary.  It flowed well but it was slow going.    Once all that was taken care of the story picked up.  Paks is a sheepherders daughter in a rustic world.  She does not want to get married and runs away to join a group of mercenaries.  She learns soldiering and we do get a blow by blow of plenty of training and battles.   It's very descriptive and engaging although Paks seems a bit 2 dimensional in the first book.  By the second book all the characters are well defined and the story really kicks in.  She breaks away from the mercenary group and goes adventuring on her own.  This world does have other races -orcs, elves etc...  Many of the characters from the first book do show up in the second.   I have no idea about the third book.  I hope I have time to start it today.  If you read this series, you really need to read it in sequence.  There's some foreshadowing (done very well).

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 10:23 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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Ha!  I am also thinking about D.G.'s game...I am planning to start it off by reading The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines, which should count as comedy/fantasy for this challenge.

Debbie - ,
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 11:52 AM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2007
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I have to finish Tempted (for the paranormal challenge) and then I'm going to start Sunshine by Robin McKinley. 

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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Well, I was going to start off the year with American Gods or The Magicians, but I got impatient and read them both last week.  Shame on me.

Instead, I'm starting off with Medicine Road by Charles de Lint.  Most of his stuff is urban fantasy, but I'm not sure this one is going to be.  It's contemporary fantasy, certainly, but so far it's more of a rual setting.  I've no clue what to count it as if not urban fantasy.  It can't even be 1st person or 3rd person since some chapters are 1st and other chapters are 3rd. 

Update:  Just got done, and definitely not urban fantasy.  I'll admit to being slightly disappointed.  It seemed very young-adultish to me.  There wasn't nearly the complexity as there is in most of his books.  It seemed like everything was resolved too easily.



Last Edited on: 1/1/10 9:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/1/2010 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Britney, Matt: What is this game you guys mentioned?

Date Posted: 1/1/2010 5:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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Share the Books: A Reading (and Posting) WL Challenge

Every once in awhile someone (frequently D.G., but others too) will start a challenge in the games forum with prizes.  It's a lot of fun because of the chatting. :)

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 1:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I'm starting this challenge today, with Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman.  I've had this book for awhile so I might as well read it now. :)

Amy
Date Posted: 1/4/2010 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I'm still trying to finish up a few books that I planned on getting to in December. I hope to start the challenge in the next week or two. I'll be heading off to the library for a few, so that will limit what I can get. I can't wait to start this!

Date Posted: 1/4/2010 10:29 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
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This is my first challenge to patricipate in and I am starting it with Soulless by Gail Carriger/



Last Edited on: 1/6/10 9:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 3:47 PM ET
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I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for the pre 1920's books?   AND 1950s' books?

I am actually finding it hard to find some books in a few of the areas that I have no already read..LOL

Also can someone give me a few titles of   : Set in a world containing no magic..Thanks.

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 4:02 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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My pre-1920 recommendation would be for George MacDonald.  He wrote a number of books in the 1800s, including my childhood favorite The Princess and the Goblin, and its sequel The Princess and Curdie.  They are definitely youth-oriented, but he wrote adult fantasy as well, such as Phantastes.

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 4:26 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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For pre-1950 I'm planning on reading The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany. . . it's a fantasy classic that's been reissued in a very pretty trade paperback edition in the last few years, and it's also blessedly short, so even if I hate it it won't take long. . . Besides, authors as diverse as Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock, Peter S. Beagle, David Eddings, and Ursula LeGuin cite him as a favorite or a major influence, so there must be something there! :)

 

For set in a world containing no magic I would definitely recommend Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner (which also fits beautifully in the Fantasy of Manners category); The Outlaws of Sherwood, by Robin McKinley (which is a retelling of the Robin Hood myth, though not one of my favorites of her books); and Tooth and Claw, by Jo Walton (it's about dragons, but what it really is is a Jane Austen tale where all the Victorian mores are dictated by dragon biology, so the fact that they are dragons is merely because it's convenient -- they aren't magical creatures, they're the only creatures, if that makes sense.)

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 6:24 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I read The King of Elfland's Daughter  and Charwoman's Shadow (also by Dunsany) a couple years back.  I don't remember them well, but I do remember not being terribly impressed.  They weren't bad by any means, but they were really dated by modern standards.  Of course, that's about the same thing I think about Tolkien, so your experiences may vary. 

I put Phantastes on my list for the sole reason that it's argued to be the first published adult fantasy, and I'm curious.  I've haven't read anything by him yet.   Matt, did you read Phantastes and if so did you like it?

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
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I have not read Phantastes, but I am thinking of trying it for this challenge.

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 7:24 PM ET
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I decided to take on this challenge because I am really lacking in my Fantasy reads and look forward to finding new authors.  ;)

Date Posted: 1/5/2010 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2007
Posts: 1,133
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Well, I have read four books for this challenge so far.

Paranormal: No Rest for the Wiccan by Madelyn Alt 1/3/2010

Told from a first-person perspective: Where There’s a Witch by Madelyn Alt 1/4/2010

I really like this series by Madelyn Alt. It is paranormal, with witches and magic and an empath, and it is a cozy mystery too. These were books four and five in the series. For anyone who likes paranormal cozies or light paranormals, these are a good read.

Set in a recognizable historical milieu: Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede 1/5/2010

This one was set in Regency or so England. It took a while to get me interested in finishing it (about 80 pages) and I almost gave up, but in the end it was a pretty good book. It got very funny at the end and I was laughing out loud, with my daughter (6) constantly looking at me and saying, "What's funny, Mommy? What about the book is funny?"

Fairytale Fantasy: Book of Enchantments by Patricia C. Wrede 1/4/2010

This is a nice little book of short fantasy stories by Wrede that would also fit right in with the anthology category. They are good and some really make you think.



Last Edited on: 1/15/10 6:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2010 8:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/3/2008
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The Quick After Battle Triple Chocolate Cake is really good.  I read the story to my kids (when they were little -loong time ago) and then we made the cake. Yum...   from Book of Enchantments

Amy
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I've actually read Phantastes and it was very.. dreamlike. I remember researching it a little after reading and found out that it was a type of allegory for finding faith.

Subject: The Ladies of Mandrigyn, by Barbara Hambly
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Just finished: Work written the year you were born (1984).
Filled with: The Ladies of Mandrigyn, by Barbara Hambly
Other categories this novel would fill: Sword and Sorcery; Told from a third-person omniscient perspective.

My capsule review: Utterly delightful sword and sorcery fare, with larger than life characters treated with an impressive amount of realism and a wonderful cast of strong female characters.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/81516.html

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
Posts: 2,129
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Ok, being fairly new to the Fantasy  genre, I got a question.

 

Would this one work for #4 of the challenge for a fairytale?

Beast
Author: Donna Jo Napoli



Last Edited on: 1/6/10 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 5:37 PM ET
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Yes.  Beast is a retelling of a fairy tale - Beauty and the Beast. :)

(My favorite retelling of Beauty and the Beast is Beauty by Robin McKinley, which I love.  Beast was just okay...)

Date Posted: 1/6/2010 5:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/14/2008
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Thanks Britney! 

Subject: The Witches of Wenshar, by Barbara Hambly
Date Posted: 1/6/2010 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Just finished: Sword and Sorcery.
Filled with: The Witches of Wenshar, by Barbara Hambly
Other categories this novel would fill: Told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint.

My capsule review: A worthy follow-up to The Ladies of Mandrigyn.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/81776.html



Last Edited on: 1/6/10 10:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
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