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Topic: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- JULY DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2010 Fantasy Challenge -- JULY DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 7/1/2010 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Welcome to month #7! Who's still on track?

I'm not, but I'm not too far behind, so I'm hoping I'll still be able to finish the super challenge.

Date Posted: 7/2/2010 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I'm not giving up on the challenge, but I don't think I will make it to super. As of now, I've completed the light challenge.

I'm in the midst of reading a few books on my TBR that aren't necessarily fantasy, plus summer classes are starting up for me in a week.

We'll see how the rest of the year goes.

Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:19 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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I just finished with my 18th book for the list: A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.  It is High Fantasy, has protagonist older than 35 and younger than 18, with action takes place while traveling (non-quest structure), is told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint, and is a Locus Fantasy Award Winner.  I think I will count it for the Locus Award.

I forgot to record my 17th last month, which was The Adamantine Palace by Stephen Deas. It is High Fantasy, has a non-human protagonist, with action takes place while traveling (non-quest structure), is told from a third-person limited, multi-perspective viewpoint.  I'm still not entirely firm on the definition of a Fantasy of Manners, but I think this fits that as well, so that's what I'll use it for.

I still need to fill one more slot in the Author/Award Category before I can say I've completed a light challenge, so I'd say I'm running behind schedule.

Subject: Bone and Jewel Creatures, by Elizabeth Bear
Date Posted: 7/5/2010 6:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Finished Bone and Jewel Creatures, by Elizabeth Bear. It was really excellent, moving, filled with beautiful imagery and excellent characterization. I suspect a trend however. . . this is the second novella from Bear that I've read that's about aging and death -- two topics I wish got more play in SF/F. If you can find it, I strongly recommend it; if nothing else, the bone and jewel creatures of the title are one of the best fantasy inventions I've read in years. :)

Date Posted: 7/6/2010 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 8/4/2007
Posts: 1,133
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I finished the light challenge and am almost through the regular one. By the end of the year, I think I should be done with the super challenge. Right now though (as in for the past couple of months) I have not been reading much fantasy.

I tend to read books in cycles by genre (i.e. fantasy, Regency romance, mystery, contemporary romance, sci-fi, thriller, etc) that last sometimes for months. I was on a fantasy cycle from January to the end of March or so but then got off of fantasy. I've been reading mysteries and then romances. Lately though I have been feeling the pull of fantasy (some good books have come up for ordering on my wishlist) so I will likely switch back to a fantasy cycle by August and depending on how long it lasts I may finish the challenge sometime then.

Date Posted: 7/7/2010 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Just finished Eclipse (due to being threatened by a friend) and Skulldugery Pleasant.

I've I am not a serial killer, as well as Terry Pratchetts latest novel.
Might not make it but I will try :)

Date Posted: 7/11/2010 12:53 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,093
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Heart-Beast by Tanith Lee (Told from a third-person omniscient perspective ):   A dark fantasy, this is the tale of Daniel who is possessed by a wolf-like shape imprisoned in a diamond given to him by a strange man. Daniel, who killed his father for beating his mother, left home as his mother bade. He roams working whenever he can until he meets the stranger. In possession of the diamond he, in turn, finds himself possessed becoming a creature of the night that comes alive on the three nights of the full moon. As this beast he does not recall that he is human, killing at random those who roam about at night.   He returns home and his mother tells him that the beast is the essence of the evil each person holds in his heart.  When she dies, he loses the portion of his humanity. Yet he is drawn to the enigmatic and self-centered lovely Laura, another man's wife. Her husband, Hyperion, loves Laura with all her heart as well as Daniel. The story spirals to an unexpected end.

Savage Pellucidar by Edgar Rice Burroughs:  This is a delightful read! The tale reminds me of those old-time chase movies because the action goes and goes and goes. The characters (many) explore, get lost, are captured, escape, and the sequence repeats. Meet David Innes and Abner Perry who drill into earth's interior to discover a world within a world, Pellucidar. Inhabited by cave men and beasts of the time, they find themselves stranded. David falls in love with Dian the Beautiful and Perry invents and invents. The adventures of Innes and Perry combine with those of several other characters. It's great fun!  Enjoy!

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (Protagonist younger than 18):  What a wonderfully magical book!   Meet Vin, a key character, who goes from being a street thief with special magical talents she doesn't understand to becoming one of several involved in planning the political upheaval of her country.   There is Kelsier, who hopes to lead a rebellion that will change the world, and many other individuals who form a group with the dream of changing and improving their world.  Can they do it?  Read this magical novel and follow their adventures as the group hopes to improve the lives of the people in their country.  A very good read indeed! 

Last Edited on: 9/23/10 1:08 PM ET - Total times edited: 7
Date Posted: 7/19/2010 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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I finished with my 19th challenge book the other day: The God Engines by John Scalzi.

It is a science fantasy novella which starts a little slow and awkward but has a big payoff in the end that makes it very much worthwhile.

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/31/2009
Posts: 84
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I fianlly filled in the slot I needed for a Light Challenge with my 20th book: Declare by Tim Powers.  It won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for 2001.  It could also be used for Urban Fantasy, protagonist older than 35 and set in a recognizable historical milieu.

Declare is brilliant.  It is probably the second best novel I've ever read, with Powers' Last Call taking the number one slot.

Subject: The Bird of the River, by Kage Baker
Date Posted: 7/23/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished: High Fantasy
Filled with: The Bird of the River, by Kage Baker
Other categories this novel would fill: Romantic fantasy; Young adult fantasy; Protagonist younger than 18; Action takes place while traveling (non-quest structure).

My capsule review: I thought it was pretty much perfect the way I thought The Anvil of the World & The House of the Stag (its two pseudo-sequels) were: on the surface it worked perfectly for what it appeared to be (in this case a gentle coming-of-age fantasy perfect for anyone 10 and up) but underneath that surface it was quietly subversive, presenting a viewpoint very rarely seen in high fantasy. It was a melancholy book, both because of its author's recent passing and because at its core it's a novel very much imbued with the everyday tragedies we try to escape when we read fantasy.

My full review, no spoilers: http://community.livejournal.com/fantasyreaders/91132.html

And with that, I have now completed the Light Challenge! :)

Last Edited on: 7/23/10 9:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/26/2010 7:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Just finished the last Harry Potter book. It was fun and I enjoyed it. Either you like the series or you don't. My wife liked it and it was fun to talk to her about the book and the series in general. Moving on with the challenge I am going to revisit Lois McMaster Bujold and read "Paladin of Souls".