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I read the Tad Williams series about some virtual world...let me look it up here...Otherland. It was good but perhaps too long in some points. It didn't really inspire me to read more by him.

 

I think RA Salvatore is rather blah

 

Are they still worth reading, even though they aren't in the Amber Chronicles? Or have you not read them?

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Well after reading a bit on this forum i read the 1st 3 of the aSoIaF and am reading the 4th. I actually find it really good in some ways i still think jordan is better but i find G.R.R.M. books less tedious than jordans (i hate how  jordan repeats things over and over like you have not heard 1000x before) but there are some part that make me want ot put it down. I have to agree with whoever said about main characters dying. Anyway Overall a very good author and an excellant fantasy series i like it being more british knight orientated aswell.

Other favs

Forgotten Realms: I have well over 100 books not all great but i love the world nice short eventful books

Robin Hobb: Defenitly a great writer only author who has made me cry in a book so far (fool's fate for those in the know) I suggest anyone pick these up and start with the assassin trilogy

J.V. Jones Although i have reread her books in a while both me and my brother agree the are excellant books

Stephen Lawhead Not your typical fantasy author but my brother got me into these as he has always been into the middle age crusade type genre and i'll admit he does very well to make reality and fantasy combine

Many others i like include dragonlance books (too many to name), L.E. modsitt (i think i have only read one but it was good a mix of old cavalry with guns and magic) david gemmell i didn't mind. and some david edding books were ok (and cheap too)

Anyways there are plenty more but thats all i can think of now

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Not to go too off topic, but I remember a series of about 20 short novels concerning a Roman Guard at Jesus's crucifixion that was Damned to immortality as a soldier. I read series about 15 years ago but forget the author and the name of the series, anyone know either?

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I am currently reading the first book of the Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (sp), and it's not bad actually, quite enjoyable.

 

I actually found the first one a little slow. It gets a lot better from Book 2 onwards. Im on the 4th one right now, and I havent been this into a series since I first started on WOT.

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Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erickson is pretty interesting, but it is easy to get lost in it.  There is almost no back story, you are just thrown in to a huge world, rife with conflict, magic, and mystery.  It is good, but pay attention to detail, cause if you miss something you will be scratching your head later going "What....?"                                                                               

The saga you are thinking of is The Saga Of Recluse by L.E. Modesitt I believe.

 

Thanks for the info, that is exactly who and what I was thinking off.

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I actually found the first one a little slow. It gets a lot better from Book 2 onwards. Im on the 4th one right now, and I havent been this into a series since I first started on WOT.

 

I'm through Reaper's Gale ... had to get it imported ... and man ... this series is very much worth your time!

 

And Call Me Conrad and Lord of Light are on my list. Are either of those in The Amber Chronicles?

 

No, they're not Amber books, and yes, they're worth reading.  Sam is great.  In some ways better than Corwin (or certainly the sometimes far too vanilla Merlin).

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Alright, first things first *Gentled Ben and animus smile and stand around calmly, not expecting anything. Then, the Rains of Castamere starts playing, and as they look to the gallery a hail of crossbow bolts comes down. Guards burst in, and as animus rises he finds an axe buried in his gut. Gentled Ben gets his throat cut after going crazy. "Let that be a lesson to you. Nothing, not even taking a retard hostage, will save you from my vengeance in the event of you mispunctuating my name with an extraneous full stop".....That's right, it's the Red Threading...I'll get my coat*

 

To (the late) animus, I've never read Powers, nor had I even heard of him until you mentioned him, but a quick check on Wikipedia shows him to be a secret history author (i.e., actual history, but with stuff going on that you don't know about), whereas Turtledove is more alternate history (what if history went another course, aliens invade during WWII, Japan invades Hawaii during same, Confederates win American Civil War, that sort of thing). His Darkness series, as already mentioned, is WWII in a fantasy world though. I can't help you as to which author to read first, I currently have 105 books to read so I have enough probles of my own in that area (that's books I own, but have yet to read. There are many more I have yet to buy). Oh, and Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrel doesn't count as a series, even if you have the 3 volume slipcased edition like me. Still worth a read though.

 

I would definately echo the support for Malazan Book of the Fallen, I'm at the start of Memories of Ice at the moment (as well as various stages through 5 other books). The Chain of Dogs subplot in Deadhouse Gates (2nd book) is worth the price of the book on its own.

 

Neil Gaiman is another author well worth reading, Anansi Boys is probably his best book but the others are good. Even if he didn't put Ares in that or American Gods...sort it, you hippy. And there are a lot of good stories in his Sandman comics.

 

Also on the comic front, check out League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen and V for Vendetta, all by Alan Moore, and Maus by art spiegelman (it's about the holocaust, and his name is supposed to have lower case letters....the hippy).

 

If you like short stories, check out Dreamsongs by GRRM, a massive collection of his short fiction, it includes the Hedge Knight, the ASoIaF novella that originally appeared in Legends (alongside RJs New Spring). Also, get your hands on a copy of the Essential Ellison, a 50 Year retrospective ofthe work of Harlan Ellison.

 

Joe Haldeman's the Forever War is well worth reading.

 

I hope all that is helpful.

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Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams is great- so is his new series. To date, two books have been released.

 

Tad Williams, Memory Sorrow and Thorn are great books, pure fantasy and extremely well written.  Hobb is also very good as well as Melanie Rawn.  If you like Tolkens stuff you would like Mckiernan's stuff set in the world of Mythgar, its not exactly a series but all the sotries are set on the sam world like Moddesit's Candor stuff.

 

George R. R. Martins game of thrones is also a good read, though not finished yet.

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I'll second Neil Gaiman. Definitely one of my favorite contemporary authors. Neverwhere, Stardust and American Gods are all great. Haven't gotten around to Anansi Boys yet.

 

The Sandman series deserves every bit of praise and critical acclaim it has gotten over the years.

 

If you like comics, Lucifer, by Mike Carey, is fantastic as well.

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Oh, and Jennifer Fallon is a good writer, at least what I've read (Second Sons trilogy). Really, I just had to get there before luckers.

George R. R. Martins game of thrones is also a good read, though not finished yet.
Strictly speaking, A Game oif Thrones is the first book in the series, and it is finished. The series is unfinished, and that is called A Song of Ice and Fire, and has been recommended many times in this thread. I just thought I should mention this, to avoid any possible confusion.....Still a good series though.

 

Michael Marshall Smith's Spares (novel) and What You Make It (collection) are both excellent, and I have heard many good things about his other stuff.

 

Iain Banks/Iain M. Banks is a good writer (the M. indicates that the books are sci fi, those without are just general fiction).

 

George MacDonald Fraser's Flashman series, about a bullying coward who continually finds himself in the midst of danger, and some of the most famous events of the 19th century, and always comes up looking like a hero, is well worth looking into (it's not fantasy or sci fi, just historical fiction). They're a lot of fun.

 

If you like Terry Pratchett, try Tom Holt, another humorous fantasy author. He's not as funny, but his books are still very worth reading. There are some very funny bits. Grailblazers is probably my favourite, not least because it gives us answers to some of the vital questions of history....like who did the washing up after the Last Supper.

 

Another very funny author is Robert Rankin. He is absolutely absurd. For example, Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse sees a kid named Jack arriving in Toy City (formerly Toytown, now bigger and decidedly less salubrious), and get caught up in a mystery involving a serial killer assassinating various nursery rhyme characters (or, as they prefer pre-adolescent poetic personalities). Jack is the sidekick to Eddie, a private detective, who is also a teddy. The is a lot of very ridiculous and very funny stuff in his books. Read one or I will kill you.

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I love Salvatore and obviously Tolkien, and Gemmells books were good reads...

Has anyone read Shadowbred by Paul S.Kemp?

I really enjoyed it and I've alredy bought the sequel Shadowstorm.

I liked Feist in Magician, but never got into Shadow of the dark queen...but the Riftwar Saga is brilliant.

 

Among my favourite characters there are: Mat,Artemis Entreri, Erevis Cale, Skillgannon the Damned, Waylander the Slayer, Jarlaxle, Peregrin, Arutha and Jon Snow and his direwolf Ghost.

 

ilConte

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Ben - Thanks for the warning on Thomas Covenant. Figure out the title of that book ok? Thanks

I have not, but looking over a bibliography of his works, the Blood-Red Game rings a bell. Perhaps it was an Eternal Champion novel...

 

I do not mean to warn anyone away from Thomas Covenant; the story is incredible, it's simply that Thomas Covenant himself is an ass--he's an anti-hero, and a good enough one to dissuade me from finishing the tale. The story was not a horror; the story's HERO was. ;)

 

I read the Integral Trees and the Smoke Ring by Niven. I'm assuming that Ringworld is a part of that? Have any of you read David Brin, particularly some of the Uplift books? Those are pretty good, I think. I also like Phillip Jose Farmer, especially Riverworld. I started a series by Julian May that i would like to finish someday. It began with a book called Surveillance, and I read it through Jack the Bodiless, I believe. It was interesting...

 

Read the other things on your list first, before bothering with Glen Cook. The Black company is fun, and in fact, I really loved the tale (read all 9 books plus a stand-alone that wrapped up some loose ends), but it isn't great literature. You seem more geared towards high fantasy than fast-paced sword and sorcery adventure, but if you're up for a light read, go ahead and plow through the first three books (it begins with The Black Company); they can stand alone as a series even though there are 6 more. See if you like those at all first. ;) At any rate, Covenant is better-written than the Black Company, although I didn't want to strangle any of the Black Company characters.  :P

 

I own a copy of Gloriana, but I haven't read it yet. Should I? Darktower is next on my list at the moment.

*Ducks tomatoes thrown by all the Stephen King haters*

 

 

the thomas covenant series is a hard read, i agree. thomas covenant himself is the anti-hero, he is vain, selfish, self pitying, rude and cocky.he finds his humanity in the end, in a very selfless way.

i read several books in the dark tower series, but i found that although the first book was well written, the rest became a waste of my time.

 

good to see you lurking about again, gentled ben :)

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Neil Gaiman calls Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy the best series of the decade, or century, or something. That means you Mr Ares should put it at the top of your 105 book list.

 

Forever War and Forever Peace are worth reading, actually.

 

And I don't know if I can read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or V for Vendetta after the horrible movies I've seen based on them. 

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Neil Gaiman calls Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy the best series of the decade, or century, or something. That means you Mr Ares should put it at the top of your 105 book list.

 

And I don't know if I can read League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or V for Vendetta after the horrible movies I've seen based on them.

Bear in mind that Alan Moore took his name off both those films (and From Hell, but I haven't read that yet), and while I haven't seen V, the film of League is recognisable only in its concept (a world populated by the characters of works of fiction). The plot is different, the characterisation of the people who are in both is very different, and the film added new characters, somewhat unnecessarily. The originals have don't have Dorian Grey, for instance, and Allan Quartermain is an opium addict. Seriousy, they are almost nothing alike. And I'll get to Book of the New Sun soon, when I'm done with the authors I'm currently reading.

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Someone mentioned Robin Hobb earflier....I'll second that opinion,I really like the assasin trilogy in particular:)

Also The Dark tower series is definitely worth a read IMO...sure the first book is kinda hard to get into and some people don't like it but I think it's a must read.

Also as mentioned earlier David gemmel's books  are very good,I perticularly like the rRigante novels and Drenai,with Waylander being my favourite of his books.

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Someone mentioned Tad Williams' 'Memory, Sorrow and Thorn' and I have to agree, absolutely excellent books.

 

I agree until the last book.  It seemed like it was rushed and cut off

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When I was in middle school I read the Broken Sky series by Chris Wooding (they're childrens books but entertaining), but a must read is Grendle by John Gardner, he puts a new spin on the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowolf (Grendle is the monster in Beowolf).

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Authors I would recommend:

 

George RR Martin

Best known for A Song of Ice and Fire (start with A Game of Thrones), frankly the greatest epic fantasy series since Lord of the Rings (no disrespect to Jordan though). He also wrote the greatest horror novel of the 1980s (Fevre Dream, which apparently Stephen King was envious of) and is widely regarded as the best SF&F short-fiction writer of the 1970s. You can find most of his short fiction in the two-volume (in the States) collection Dreamsongs, which is being published this and next month.

 

Steven Erikson

Author of the Malazan Book of the Fallen, a ten-volume sequence starting with Gardens of the Moon (seven are out now, Book 8 is nearly finished and will be out next summer). The series is complex, challenging and very powerful, although it can also be seriously confusing. Erikson created the world with another author, Ian Cameron Esslemont, who is also writing books set in the same world. His second book is out next summer as well.

 

R. Scott Bakker

Best described as a cross between JRR Tolkien and Frank Herbert, his Prince of Nothing Trilogy (starts with The Darkness That Comes Before) is an incredible achievement. It is, however, merely the opening three-book sequence in a much longer (at least seven volumes) series called The Second Apocalypse. The next sub-series, The Aspect-Emperor, kicks off with The Great Ordeal, due in January 2009.

 

Guy Gavriel Kay

One of the more refreshing authors in the genre, as he generally doesn't write series (although most if not all of his books are set in the same multiverse). His first work is The Fionavar Tapestry trilogy, but I don't really like it. His later single novels, particularly Tigana, A Song for Arbonne and The Lions of Al-Rassan, are much more accomplished.

 

Paul Kearney

Author of the excellent Monarchies of God series (starts with Hawkwood's Voyage), a relatively short series (five slim volumes) which nevertheless spans continents and wars. Notable for being based around Renaissance technology (with guns and cannons) rather than the traditional medieval mileu. Difficult to find now, the series is being reprinted in one volume next summer, so look out for it!

 

Jack Vance

One of the greatest of all the classic SF&F writers (some of his work predates Lord of the Rings). His Dying Earth series (starts with The Dying Earth) and Lyonesse Trilogy (starts with Suldrun's Garden) are both classics. He is GRRM's favourite author.

 

Gene Wolfe

One of the most important writers in the genre. His Book of the New Sun series (starts with The Shadow of the Torturer) is challenging and intelligent, but not always an easy read.

 

Terry Pratchett

The funniest author SF&F has produced. His Discworld series is seminal. The Discworld is a world rather than a series and most of the books are stand-alone. The best to start with are Guards! Guards! or Small Gods, but you can start with the first novel, The Colour of Magic, and make your way through the series with little problem.

 

Raymond E. Feist

Feist has seriously gone off the boil in the last decade or so, but his first novel, Magician, is still very enjoyable. His Empire Trilogy (starts with Daughter of the Empire) is excellent.

 

Scott Lynch

One of the newcomers to the genre, whose first two novels, The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies, have made major splashes in the last two years. His third book is already being written and due for release next summer.

 

Joe Abercrombie

Another newcomer, whose First Law Trilogy has made a lot of noise. The released books are The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged. The final book is due in March. I know Joe and he is a cool dude. His series is refreshingly short, even more refreshingly nearly complete and very funny whilst maintaining a good amount of tension and drama.

 

Patrick Rothfuss

Another newcomer, whose debut novel, The Name of the Wind, has been one of the biggest-selling fantasy novels of 2007. He is less accomplished than Lynch or Abercrombie (and his novel has plot holes you could fly the Death Star through) but his book is fun and his prose is very readable. I suspect he's going to be huge in the future.

 

I also recommend JV Jones, Neal Stephenson, Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, David Brin, Tad Williams, Susanna Clarke, Neil Gaiman, China Mieville, Mervyn Peake, Robert E. Howard, Brian W. Aldiss, Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov, Stephen Baxter, Kim Stanley Robinson and Daniel Abraham.

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Finally somebody who has read Gene Wolfe. I didn't really find it a challenging read though. He uses some archaic words but only in place of where most authors make up their own.

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