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Topic: who are some of the best of the best authors?

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Subject: who are some of the best of the best authors?
Date Posted: 1/17/2008 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 215
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I read some of the notes & got Gene Wolfe & just finished Shadow & Claw & ordered the other 2 in the series; I read of Jack Vance's name on several but don't know where to start. I have read Pern, Dragonlance (some), F Paul Wilson (love repairman jack); elizabeth haydon (my new favoritest charactor is the giant who became noble by eating a duke! (everyone has flaws! what can i say? I adored him!); I only read the 1st 3 & didn't want to continue with the series; George rr martin's Clash of Thrones (which I really didn't think I would like, but really liked the man's writing style & enjoyed all in the series & am anxiously waiting for the rest!); love Matthew Reilly's writing even his fiction re Scarcrow is superb; help! I need some more authors names & names of the books that are superb not just reading to read! thanks in advance!

Date Posted: 1/17/2008 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 10/8/2007
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David Eddings' series The Belgariad and The Mallorean are superb.  The Elenium is supposed to be great, but I haven't had the time to read it yet.

I also recommend Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.  It can be kind of tough to get into, but once you do you're hooked.

Date Posted: 1/17/2008 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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I have read David Eddings series you mentioned & loved them; I think they have to be one of the best of all times; a classic. However I read his Dreamer's series & was not impressed any more so it must have been his one great series & the rest so so? I have not tried the dark tower series; perhaps i will try that. I am not to much of a Steven King person. I found some listomania's on Amazon & that is how I came up with Eddings & then some postings on here led me to Gene Wolfe & I have read notes that jack Vance influenced George rr martin but I have no idea where to start. Someone was nice enough to leave notes where to start on Wolfe; I have seen a Fritz someone or other; i have read Card's Earth series & was told it was not his best but the person couldn't enlighten  me as to what his best was! I am not into space stories much; if that helps at all.

Date Posted: 1/17/2008 9:06 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Robin Hobbs is very good.  I just finished the Assassin's Trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest) and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Oh, and Guy Gavriel Kay.  I liked his Fionavar Tapestry, but Sailing to Sarantium is the book of his that I would recommend.  Wonderful read.



Last Edited on: 1/17/08 9:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/18/2008 9:11 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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great! I have noted the name & will watch for it! thanks a bunch!

Date Posted: 1/18/2008 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2006
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I reccomend Charles deLint.  Most of his books are stand-alone but set in the same universe.  Excellent modern fantasy.

  Also Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens-a jewel.

Date Posted: 1/19/2008 12:09 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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ok I have added these to my list! I have heard Prachett's name a lot. thanks again!

Date Posted: 1/19/2008 3:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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by the way, i posted some Ravenloft books on my bookshelf tonight 4 of them if anyone is interested.

Subject: Best fantasy authors
Date Posted: 1/19/2008 5:09 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2005
Posts: 8
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If by "best" you mean extremely well written,tight narratives that develop characters, have intriguing plots with emotional depth, you've got to try:

Lois McMaster-Bujold.  She has written a lot of SF, but her best fantasy work IMHO was Curse of Chalion followed by The Paladin of Souls.  Intriguing fantasy world where religion and magic are both related and where characters are vivid and real.  I think the Curse of Chalion is one of the best fiction books ever written if you value emotional depth and an understanding of faith.  (These are NOT christian worlds, though!)

Greg Keyes:  I have not read his other books, but the Briar King, the first book in the Kingdom of Thorn and Bone series is incredible.  One of those books I was afraid to put down and afraid to pick up. 

J.R.R. Tolkien -- the Lord of the Rings.  The one who started modern fantasy.  If you haven't read them (even if you've seen the movies), you deserve to read them. 

If by "best" you mean fast action, intriguing plot, twists and turns on the traditional fantasy genre, try Dave Duncan (you already are reading Gene Wolf).  When I read the Magic Casement, I thought:  this is one of the most unusual and bizarre and yet intriguing fantasy novels I have ever read.  The Man of His Word series has its awkward moments, but overall is really amazing.  The Reluctant Swordsman is another great book and his Chronicles of the King's Blades take the idea of the magical warrior and really turn it around and twist it.  Lots of fun!

Date Posted: 1/19/2008 5:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/4/2005
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I would recomend David Gemmell, he has written 31 books and every one was good, most were great.  Legend or Sword in the Storm (this one is the first in a series) are both great.  He also wrote some historical fiction with some fantasy elements; Lion of Macedon, about the time of Alexander the grat and Lord of the silver bow set just before and durring the Trojan war.  The last two also each have some sequals.

I would also recomend Jim Butcher, most people know him from th Dresden Files which are great but they are modern urban fantasy which may not be what you are looking for, the first book in that series is Storm Front.  He has another series he is writing, the first four books are out, the Codex Alera.  the first book is Furies of Calderon, this series has one of the most interesting takes on magic I have ever read.

Both of these authors greatest strength is writing really great characters

I have read most David Eddings books, lots of Weis and Hickman, Elizabeth Haydon, Robert Jordan and George R. R. Marten and the two authors I recomend above are better than all of them in my opinon.  (Marten may be in with the top two, rather than this last group)

Mike

Date Posted: 1/19/2008 7:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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thanks a bunch. kinda hard when so many are out there but not great books just ok books. I prefer to read great books myself & leave the mediocre to others! Or on the shelfs!

Date Posted: 1/23/2008 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 8/8/2005
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Mike, I agree with your assessment.  I have read David Eddings, and although some of his plot elements were interesting, overall, I quickly got bored with his books.  The characters seemed really superficial and there was not a great deal of emotional, true emotional, depth to the characters.  They were more like outlines for a novel, I thought. Weis and Hickman also had some interesting ideas, but the novels just were not profound; they were more like D&D stories that teenagers might tell each other while eating pizza; in particular, I was unimpressed by the descriptions and dialogue. 

 Katrina, I reviewed some of your earlier posts.  I think the "Fritz" you had heard of was probably Fritz Leiber, a past Grand Master of Fantasy and Science Fiction and multiple award winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards.  He wrote many kinds of stories including fantasy, science fiction, and horror.  His style is a bit old, but also unique, and he was very creative in his work.  In fact, I believe that he coined the term "sword and sorcery" to describe his stories.  Among the most famous of his works are the stories of Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, two very different characters who become friends and continue in their  loyalty to each other, and who develop over time, in a series of stories set in a magical land.  These stories had a significant and lasting impact on the genre for decades and, to some extent, still do.  I personally find his stories intriguing and interesting, but they don't strike me with the same resonance as the ones in my previous posting.  That is probably because I have become used to some of his images and ideas which were original at the time, but which have been purloined by less creative authors for decades since thus spoiling our more modern tastes.  However, it may be very well worth a read. 

 

Like Lieber, Jack Vance is a past Grand Master of the SFWA and multiple award winner.  If I recall, his stories are more provocative and colorful than Leibers, and also engaging.  Both are probably worthy reads, although I'll still argue for the Curse of Chalion anyday!

At any rate, Katrina, if you are looking for great books, you've got some good choices. 



Last Edited on: 1/23/08 6:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/31/2008 1:49 AM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
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If you like the F. Paul Wilson Repairman Jack I would second the recommendation for  Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (starts with Storm Front or perhaps you might like Simon R. Green's Nightside series (starts with Something from the Nightside)

Harry Dresden from the Butcher series is the only wizard listed in the Chicago phone book and John Taylor from the Green series is a private investigator in the Nightside a hidden world that coexists in an alternate dimension of London.

Date Posted: 1/31/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 215
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great! i live in a tiny town & went to the library & couldn't find any of the authors! so as soon as it stops snowing & blowing (horrible storms in our area) I am off to the nearest larger town to see what I can find. Lots of great names; I left the tiny library with 5 books & finished none of them & walked thru the snow at 32 degrees to return them the next day stopping off at friends, to warm me up to continue on! We had 10 inches here (extremely unusual) & businesses etc all closed early & schools closed most of the week. Is raining today with the expectation will be turning to snow again later tonight; Got the car out yesterday PM with most of snow gone but roads in tiny town still icy but main roads clear; went only to grocery store for me & neighbors didn't stop by librarys as not sure when snow would start again. We are baking cookies today & it is cozy & nice inside; I have books to read but again just mediocre; maybe will take the bus into town to the library today if they are running; love to talk with folks & everyone on bus lines in our area are good people. Such a treat to find neat people; one lady at 72 started riding the buses here & did so for company after her husband died; such a gem! She finally had to quite at 93 when she broke her hip at home; we adored her! She always matched every day; if wearing purple she had shoes & purse to match; if red, same thing; every single day different colored shoes & purse; her son was 75 & in a nursing home; she had 14 grandkids etc; but they had their own lives & so she rode the bus daily just for the companionship & fellowship of the people. I have never understood why some folks don't like to ride the buses.

Subject: Fantasy Series
Date Posted: 1/31/2008 6:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2007
Posts: 4
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Some others I'd add to the list would be:

The Shannara Trilogy by Terry Brooks...for a lighter side, the Landover novels are entertaining.

The Riftwar and Serpentwar Sagas by Raymond E. Feist...make sure to read them in that order.

The Misenchanted Sword and With a Single Spell by Lawrence Watt-Evans are easy and fun to read...these are individual novels.

Chronicles and Legends (aka the first 6 Dragonlance novels) by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are classics.

If you'd like a mix of Sci-Fi and Fantasy, then The Warlock Series by Christopher Stasheff is a good, albeit long, series.  Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept Series is also a good mix.

Then there's Piers Anthony's Xanth Series...considered a "staple" by many people.

Let me know if you need a list of individual books, instead of just the series names.

Hope this help!  :)

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
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The Homecoming series you mentioned by Card isn't his best, that's true.  Ender's Game is his very best book, and I know you said you don't like space stories, but just give it a try.  It's very character driven, and I know many people who don't like science fiction at all loved it.  Speaker for the Dead (the second in the series) is also excellent.  I thought it was every bit as good, just very different from Ender's Game.

The Alvin Maker series is also good, but not his best either.  (See above)  I adore Card, and he's been my favorite author for a long time. 

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
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I like some of the Work by T.A. Barron, including The Lost Years of Merlin Series, The Great Tree of Avalon, and the Hearlight series. All wonderful, wonderful books. I have to Agree, Terry Brooks is a great Fantasy Writer, you might also Try Patrick Carman if you're up for some lighter reading.  The Wheel of Time is a good one, so are all the Inheritance books (Eragon, Eldest) but you've probably heard of them

Date Posted: 2/4/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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i haven't tried t a barron but i will; eragon & eldest i loved & am waiting for the final chapter; i haven't tried Patrick Carman & will have a go at him; thanks for the suggestions; I have some of Terry Brooks but haven't read them yet; tried reading wheel of time & just got bogged down, to be honest; i know i know everyone raves about them; will try again at a future date! (my sister read a few & really liked); i have seen t a barron's books but never read so will be glad to have some names to try! thanks for responding; i used to go to Amazon & read listmania's to come up with names repeated over & over is how i came up with some of the ones i have tried!

Subject: Authors I've enjoyed.
Date Posted: 2/5/2008 5:39 AM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2007
Posts: 8
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Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors along with tanya huff.  

Mercedes lackey has a Valdemar series, Diana Trigard series, heck..she has a LOT of series.  She also has written with Anne McCaffery and many other's.  The first book I read of hers was "Arrows of the Queen"  I fell in love with her right then and have read everything she's put out so far.

Tanya Huff I have read all of hers as well and I specifically loved her vampire series and laughed and laughed with delight through her Keeper series.  (Summon the Keeper being the first one.)  I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. :)

 

Dave

 

Subject: A few of my favorite fantasy authors/books
Date Posted: 2/5/2008 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2008
Posts: 351
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My very favorite: Neil Gaiman (start with "Neverwhere" or "Stardust," then "American Gods," "Anansi Boys," and if you like graphic novels "The Sandman" series)

Emma Bull (start with "War For The Oaks," then "Finder," "Bone Dance," & "Territory")

This lady writes semi-historical fantasy about werewolves: Alice Borchardt (start with "The Silver Wolf")

I recently read this really good book: "Summerland," by Michael Chabon

More young adult/kid friendly: Eoin Colfer (start with "Artemis Fowl")

Celtic fantasy author: Morgan Llywelyn (start with "Druids")

An old classic: "The Last Unicorn," Peter S. Beagle

Arthurian myth adaptation: Stephen R. Lawhead (start with "Taliesin")

very serious fantasy (blood/guts warning): George R. R. Martin

Another classic: T.H.White "The Once & Future King"

 

Date Posted: 2/5/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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gosh lots of new authors to try out! thanks a bunch!

Date Posted: 2/8/2008 3:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/10/2007
Posts: 40
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We've got a list of our very favorite fantasy series at FanLit.net. See the bottom of this page: http://www.fantasyliterature.net/

Date Posted: 2/20/2008 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 215
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Just a quick note to update everyone: I got & have read 4 of the 5 T A Barron's lost years of Merlin & would highly recommend them to all! Absolutely adored Shim who is a tiny giant (smaller than a dwarf when 1st met!) Also picked up several Charles de Lint books in my pile to read; Ordered Lois Bujold's paladin of souls & curse of chalion from here; Got several David Gemmell's & read book 1 of the Rigante Sword in the Storm & it was extremely good; just got the others in the mail today Yeah! picked up a Jim Butcher Dresden files & was hooked! What a great series! still have more to read in the series but super enjoyed! I have read several of Mercedes Lackey & really enjoyed several of them 4 & 20 blackbirds was superb; I have not yet got Tanya Huff but will look for her & other suggestions found here which is great cuz I can always come & look & get the names; thank you all so very much for your responses! This is actually how I got to know some authors to read on other threads in the forums!

Date Posted: 2/25/2008 11:57 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
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finished reading Gemmell's rigante series & it was superb; read the 1st 4 books in the lost years of Merlin & they are fantastic! T A Baron: i have to say that anyone who read Harry Potter will enjoy super good books for young readers & young at heart readers! the Dresden files are so much fun any & every adult should read just because they are so entertaining! Have read Gene Wolfe & am enjoying but do have to pay so close attention I put down & read lighter then going back to him; really do enjoy a lot tho; Charles de Lint I picked up some books but haven't started yet; I did pick up Ender's game & speaker of the dead as well but haven't read yet; so super to have so many responses & to have lists of authors & books to read!  Especially when they are so GREAT!

Date Posted: 2/26/2008 11:47 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2008
Posts: 144
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I've only heard good things about Gemmell. Might have to move him to the top of my reading pile.

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