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Topic: 2011 Fantasy Challenge: MAY DISCUSSION THREAD

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Subject: 2011 Fantasy Challenge: MAY DISCUSSION THREAD
Date Posted: 5/1/2011 8:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Previous, related posts:

2011 Fantasy Challenge -- LISTS ONLY THREAD

2010/2011 Fantasy Challenge -- DECEMBER DISCUSSION THREAD

2011 Fantasy Challenge -- JANUARY DISCUSSION THREAD

2011 Fantasy Challenge: FEBRUARY DISCUSSION THREAD

2011 Fantasy Challenge: MARCH DISCUSSION THREAD

2011 Fantasy Challenge: APRIL DISCUSSION THREAD

 

Welcome to Month #5 in the Challenge! What are you reading now, and what's up next for you?

Date Posted: 5/3/2011 5:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Now reading The Red Wolf Conspiracy by Robert S. Redick for the fantasy challenge (Work from the Locus Recommended Reading List for 2010).

Instead of staying with my fantasy challenge list I found myself picking up The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss.  What a great book!  It was long but I finished it.  I'm so glad I did.  It's a wonderful read.  It's difficult to tell someone else why you really like a book.  I didn't just like this one, I loved it.  The story is novel, the hero is wonderfully complex and intelligent and the fantasy is so appealing that nearly every chapter is interesting.  Only once did I feel as if the author might have been getting tired and wrote too much about insignificant issues.  This is not true with many other books I have read and my only disappointment was the ending which did leave me hanging so I would go on to the sequel which I will without a doubt in spite of its over 1,000 pages.  Kvothe, the read-haired hero, tells the story in his own way.  At first, this bothered me, that is, until I became caught up in his tale.  If you like fantasy, don't just plan to read this novel, do so as soon as you can.forward to the sequel but I understand that it is even longer.  So be it!   I'm sure it, too, will be a very good read.

Began Perdido Street Station by China Mieville, my steampunk read, for the challenge.  Good to get back to fantasy again.  Moving right along - page 300.

Finished a selection for "favorite mythological creature" called The Book of Dragons by Evelyn Nesbit, a series of eight short stories about dragons, great first book for young readers interested in dragons.  Some of the dragons are blood thirsty, some eat anything, and one even becomes the pre-runner of the cat that lives in so many homes.  Also read Dragonseye by Anne McCaffrey.  It was wonderful to return to the land of Pern.  Truly enjoyed this read.  And, I finished Heaven's Reach by David Brin.  Good science fiction/fantasy.  Truly enjoyed this read with all the different fantastic characters and experiences told from their viewpoints.



Last Edited on: 5/31/11 5:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 15
Date Posted: 5/4/2011 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Just finished: Read a collection of short stories by an author known for his/her novels

Filled with: Quatrain, by Sharon Shinn

Other categories this volume would fill: Fantasy Romance

My capsule review: I'd only recommend this to Sharon Shinn completists; even as one of those I found it a deeply disappointing (though thankfully fast) read.

My full review, no spoilers, is on my blog.

Date Posted: 5/4/2011 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Havent commented in awhile.  Just finished Maze Runner and really enjoyed that.

Starting on BlackOut by Connie Willis.  Just have not read many time traveller stories beyond the classic Time Machine. So will have to just jump in and hope for the best.

I also lost my list of what I was going to read for various sections of the challenge.:( It was all on my laptop that got stolen. Might need to spend some time tonight going over and choosing titles.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 2:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I've been out camping, and did a whole lot less reading than I thought I was going to.

Just before leaving, I finished Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven.  It was the first book by Kay I've ever read, and it was absolutely wonderful.  I can see why I've heard so many good things about him.  I'm going to have to read more by him now.  This fits into the Locus Reading List, so far.  I don't recall if it's been nominated for anything else yet.

I most of my trip reading Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman's Good Omens.  Apparently Pratchett did most of the writing and it's cemented my idea that I just do not like Pratchett's writing at all.  It's the third book by him I've read and none of them have lived up to expectations.  I was hoping that Gaiman's influence (I love Gaiman) would be more apparent than it is.  But it has the same writing style and humor as the Discworld series, just slightly darker with a bit more plot.  I think I only made it through the book was my surroundings.  It's hard to get frustrated with a book when you're sitting by a lake listening to birds chirping.  For those of you who do like Pratchett, this can fit into either World Fantasy nominee or the Tie-in.  (They're apparently making a TV show/series about the book.)

My other "read" (audiobook) was Heinlin's Starman Jones which was good, and has really put me in the mood to re-read/catch up with Steve Miller & Sharon Lee's Liadian series.  (Conflict of Honors has a lot of plot similarities.)  Older sci-fi is rather hit and miss for me sometimes.  It's a starship where they're still doing all their math for course plotting on pen & paper or a slide ruler and looking up values for logarithms and other pre-calculated data in books/charts, and all data entered into the computer in binary!  Its amazing how far off the mark the authors can be with technology sometimes, and how close they can be others.  (Yes, I'm fully aware our first space flights were like this - calcs done on pen and paper.  It's just a bit jarring to read about these days.)  This one's plot kept the technical stuff from being too distracting.

My current audiobook is Glen Cook's Black Company.   I'm not really far enough into it to have an opinion, though.  I'm also still stalled/struggling with Novik's Black Powder Wars (Temeraire #3).  It's just not as enthralling as the other two in the series.  I'm not sure what my next read is going to be.  Nothing really sounds good right now.  I've picked up several books, read a couple of pages, then put them back down.  I just can't get into the books and don't want to ruin them by forcing myself.  I might just do some re-reading for awhile.

R E K, I've heard lots of good things about The Name of the Wind.  I really need to read it one of these days.  Just not right now.

Xengab, I hope nothing really important was on the pc!  Lists for challenges are pretty far down on the scale of what could go missing or be found by other people.  Picking challenge books is half the fun sometimes.

Date Posted: 5/5/2011 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
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Melanti, I'm so glad to hear you liked Under Heaven.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE GGK, but I somehow haven't gotten to that one yet, it's waiting for me under the bed.  Now I have to get to it soon!

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 11:37 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
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Currently being a book slacker and I just bought tons of steampunk novels. I'm hoping to get through at least one book this weekend for this challenge. I still have a ton of reading to do for the sci/fi challenge. If I can find a few books in my stack that are 300 pages or less I might be able to pull off reading 2 on my days off from work. I'm probably being too optimistic at this point but we'll see. 

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 1:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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Christine, I've had Tigana and Ysabel (sp?) on my shelf for quite some time. but haven't read them yet.  I'm not sure why I started Under Heaven first, but I'm going to read the other two now!

Since the only thing I really felt like reading was Steve Miller & Sharon Lee's Conflict of Honors, I gave in and started re-reading it.  Since my paperback copy is so worn it's held together with scotch tape, I went ahead and replaced it with an electronic copy.  (I love Baen!)  Here's the weird thing.  I adored this book years ago, and I must have read it a couple dozen times - to the point where I at one point had passages memorized.  And I realize that my memory may have developed faults in the 10 years or so since I've read it, but I distinctly remember a couple of paragraphs, and they're NOT the paragraphs that are in the electronic copy!  And there's one longer passage so far that is slightly more explicit about what's going on.  Same content, really, just posited a bit differently.

The changed paragraphs I've noted so far are all centered around a relationship between two females; the passages I remember are more ambiguous as to the nature of the relationship, whereas in the e-book version there is no doubt at all.  The book's less confusing for the changes, certainly!  I'm wondering if those passages were edited out by the original publishers, considering that it was first published in the mid 80's and this sort of thing was more taboo back then?  But there's no authors note, no mention of a "preferred" or "author's" edition, no mention of any changes anywhere in the preface, intro or copy write pages.  I'd doubt my sanity, but there's no way I would have forgotten these two characters kissing.

Has anyone else ever ran across something like this?  Stealth edits of a book from one edition to another?  Correcting typos or formatting would be one thing, but this is a couple of paragraphs at least, where the content is completely different than what I remember.

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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I read Ysabel, I did not care for it much, I know I finished it but it was a struggle. It just felt 'off' to be at that point in time.

And yes some important things to me were lost but useless to anyone else. I never put any finanicial information on that laptop thankgod!  I did loose a novel and several short stories that I had been working on the morning before.  ah well. Nothing can be done about it. Just leaves me with a huge hole in my creative soul.  

Nothing like getting lost in a good book to help forget ones woes.

I too love Neil Gaimen stuff, I know I read American Gods in march so at least that one can be put on the list for sure..lol

Date Posted: 5/6/2011 1:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,378
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Just FYI, I think Ysabel is better if you first read Kay's Fionavar trilogy - The Summer Tree, The Wandering Fire, The Farthest Shore.  It's not totally necessary, but there are some character overlaps.  Maybe that's why it felt off to you, xengab?  And sorry to hear about your laptop, that is the worst.

At the recommendation of several of you here, I started An Exchange of Hostages - I like it and was really starting to get into it, except that my book has a printing error (the same 30 pages printed twice, so it's missing 30 pages in the middle).  Now I'm waiting for a new copy to arrive, and hoping it doesn't have the same issue.

Date Posted: 5/9/2011 12:46 AM ET
Member Since: 12/14/2005
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I think I'm going to try to have both Sci-Fi and Fantasy light challenges finished by June. Lately I've been toying with Thomas the Rhymer and trying to keep my hands off Skin and Other Stories. I've got two sci-fi books on my plate at the moment already.

Date Posted: 5/9/2011 11:36 AM ET
Member Since: 10/13/2007
Posts: 36,445
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Thanks Christine, I will check that series out and see if that what it was. I had no idea the characters were from/ or partly from another series. Sucks about the printing of your book.

Date Posted: 5/10/2011 7:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 120
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Just finished Pheonix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. I picked it up on a whim while out and about Sunday. A few editing errors but over all I liked it. 

Melissa - ,
Subject: Sharon Shinn
Date Posted: 5/11/2011 10:11 AM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2009
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I just loaned my entire Samaria series to a friend.  I enjoyed the entire series so much, and I'm trying to convert her. ;)

Date Posted: 5/13/2011 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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PhoenixFalls is slacking!  (Or maybe I just found out before her? Odd.)

Here's the Locus Award nominees for this year.

To me, looks very similar to the Hugos. What do you guys think?

Full list on Tor is here.  For fantasy, see below.



Last Edited on: 5/17/11 1:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 5/14/2011 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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Ack! I was traveling! It's not my fault! Thanks Melanti! :D

Date Posted: 5/14/2011 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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I suppose you can take vacation sometime.   I had my turn at traveling a couple of weeks ago.

Who Fears Death has been getting a ton of attention.  It looks like it's been picked up for a movie adaptation.

The concept art is gorgeous.  This is from one of the scenes about 2/3 of the way through the book, while they're traveling through the desert.

If the cinamatics measure up to the concept art, I'd love to see this as a movie.  It's got the right amount of action/events in it - not so much that they'd have to cut out major parts but plenty to hold your attention for a couple of hours.  Though I'm sure there's several elements that will have to be made more film-friendly.



Last Edited on: 5/14/11 6:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/14/2011 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
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Just finished Archangel by Sharon Shinn. I liked it better than I thought I would. 

 

Yay! Considering I slacked off on reading, I'm 2 books away from being done with the light challenge.



Last Edited on: 5/14/11 5:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Amy
Date Posted: 5/16/2011 10:16 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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I'm done with school for the summer, so I can dive into reading for pleasure.

I just finished The Fall of Atlantis by Marion Zimmer Bradley last night and I start on The Ravens of Avalon by Diana Paxson.

Once I'm done with that, I'll be moving onto The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Divakaruni, The High King by Lloyd Alexander, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke, and The Forgotten Beasts of Eld by Patricia A. McKillip (all of which are for the challenge).

Date Posted: 5/17/2011 2:52 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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Amy,  What did you think of The Fall of Atlantis?  It's another one that has been languishing on my bookshelf for a couple of years now.  I really liked The Mists of Avalon and the "Light" series (don't know the official name, but the one with The Inheritor, Witchlight, Ghostlight, Gravelight, etc).  But then I tried to read the Darkover series and the Glenraven series and lost a lot of enthusiasm for her.

Allyson, that also describes The Shape-Changer's Wife for me.  I wasn't really expecting to like it at all and ended up loving it; it was a complete surprise.  I need to stop putting off Archangel and hopefully I'll be surprised again.

I just finished Valente's Habitation of the Blessed.  I'm seconding PhoenixFalls - it's the best thing I've read this year and I highly doubt that anything will surpass it, even though the year isn't even half over.  I'd almost forgotten just how much I liked The Orphan's Tales set.  This brought it all back and then some.  I'm going to have to kick something off my list and make room for this one.

Date Posted: 5/17/2011 4:04 PM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
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Ohhhhh .... I've read The Fall of Atlantis.  I forgot they put Web of Light and Web of Darkness in one book. I think I read both in about a day or two but it has been a year or two since I've read them. They aren't too bad but nothing to write home about. 

 

I don't go into a book expecting to like it these days. There have been too many books with great reviews that weren't all that great. I liked Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb but the second book I can't seem to force myself to finish. I hate the main character. All three books have rave reviews and I'm not seeing why. I'm not even a picky reader. I'll read just about anything that catches my interest or if I like the cover (the only reason I bought Pheonix Rising). 

 

Date Posted: 5/17/2011 5:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2009
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It's hard to find a book you like just off the star rating.  So many people give EVERY book they read and liked 5 stars, and a lot of people give a book a bad rating for a non-book related reason like the price or the lack of a electronic copy.  I try to look at the comments instead.  I'll read/skim a couple of each rating.  If someone says that they liked it because it was, for instance, "action packed" or "funny" and no other reason -- well, it's probably not for me.  If people praise the writing style, or good characterization, I'm a lot more likely to give it a try.  That doesn't always work, though and you're always risking spoilers.

The best way I've found, is to find someone else who has liked specific books you've liked for about the same reasons, and then chatting about books in general.  Hard to do in real life.  Thank goodness for the internet!

I still get the odd bad rec though, even from someone I trust.  Someone, I forget who, rec'ed Tim Pratt's Blood Engines to me last year.  I couldn't stand Marla and spent the majority of the book rooting for the bad guy.  I was bummed when Marla won the duel.

Amy
Date Posted: 5/17/2011 6:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 1,716
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Melanti, I honestly did not care for The Fall of Atlantis. It was a bit boring and generally confusing.

I will say, though, that I was very, very wrapped into the story near the end. *Spoiler alert, maybe!* So much so that I had clue what a certain character was up to and it floored me when I found out. Also, I did cry at the ending, several different times.

I think part of the reason I didn't like it as much as I thought I would was because I started reading it close to the end of the semester, set it down, and did not pick it up again until after my finals. So, I had to re-envelop myself in the story, which was difficult.

I've only read The Mists of Avalon by MZB and was hoping for something along the same scope and I just don't think it was. I still love her though, for writing Mists.

Date Posted: 5/18/2011 3:30 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
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I know! The internuts is a wonderful thing! 

The Farseer Trilogy wouldn't be so bad if the main character wasn't so whiny. He starts off whiny and then grows up by the end of the first book. At the start of the second book he goes back to being whiny. Really makes it hard to stay interested. Sorry if I ruined the trilogy for anyone.

If I stay interested in a book and finish it within a reasonable amount of time I'll give it 3 stars. If I lose interest and had a hard time finishing it I'll give it two stars.

Date Posted: 5/18/2011 4:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/5/2010
Posts: 120
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I'm going to try to embrace e-books... Has anyone had any serious issues?

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