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Calling all old school sci fan/fantasy readers! - Page 5

post #81 of 111
I love David Eddings The Belgariad series and the The Malloreon series(which takes place after the former series).

Robin Hobb, Anne McCaffrey's Freedom series, though I wish there were more books in that one. Juliet Marrilier is good too.
post #82 of 111
I just wandered into this forum and found the thread, so I'm late to the party, so to speak...

I've been re-reading Orson Scott Card's Ender series this week -- I don't think I've read them since college, maybe. Just finished Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead and I haven't found the females to be overly maternal. I was disappointed and a bit annoyed that there's only apparently 1 girl in Battle School (Card blew this off as a product of "a million years of evolution" or something like that). But in Speaker for the Dead, there's a much better gender mix. Valentine doesn't have many pages devoted to her but she's always affecting the universe, and she's always clever and brilliant; Jane is not maternal at all; and Nova apparently only procreated because she was madly in love (she certainly isn't maternal).

Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
Verner Vinge! A Fire Upon the Deep and the sequel (blanking right now) are fabulous.
A Deepness in the Sky, which was spectacular! I hadn't read these 2 until recently and I was very impressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
Is there a general difference, ya think, between current spec fic and the older (10, 20 yrs ago) works? I see more female authors (and more vampire books)...
The content and subgenres represented have really changed. For example, you don't see much Sword & Sorcery being published nowadays; and the market is nearly over-run with urban fantasy. It seems like there are more cross-genre stories out lately -- like fantasy-romance, or fantasy-mystery. And I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like the "hard SF" is better about involving well-drawn characters instead of just nifty ideas.


Has anyone mentioned Connie Willis? If so, I missed it! For "old school"-y stuff, I love love love "Doomsday Book" (it's one of my favorite books EVER). "To Say Nothing of the Dog" is lovely, too, and I love her short stories. I made the mistake of buying "Blackout" this spring, even knowing that I'd have to wait for the 2nd half of the story 'til "All Clear" comes out in October. Only 3. More. Months....
post #83 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Right. I forgot about her. I saw the movie (can't remember why), then decided to see if the book was any better. I thought it was worse, if anything. I just don't think I'm into the vampire thing. I don't object to vampires being part of a story or anything - just don't like the modern take on them.
I just cannot stand how so many people write them emo.

My emo tolerance is low.

"*mope* I am burdened by the passing of centuries" *mope*"


"*mope* I am damned! Wah!*mope*"
post #84 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I just cannot stand how so many people write them emo.

My emo tolerance is low.

"*mope* I am burdened by the passing of centuries" *mope*"


"*mope* I am damned! Wah!*mope*"
I think thats why I like Anne Rices version best. Well, of Lestat. Louis is very angsty. Lestat loves being a vampire, enjoys the hell out of it
post #85 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by abimommy View Post
I just cannot stand how so many people write them emo.

My emo tolerance is low.

"*mope* I am burdened by the passing of centuries" *mope*"


"*mope* I am damned! Wah!*mope*"
Oh, I so needed that laugh today, thanks! *wiping tears*

Robin Hobb is wonderful. So is Sherri Tepper. Both are on my "buy their new books sight unseen" list.
post #86 of 111
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Originally Posted by limette View Post
Her Pern series is my favorite.

I have been thinking of reading some Star Trek books.. anyone recommend where to begin? I was thinking of starting with Lives of Dax since I am familiar with Jadzia and Ezri I think I can make a good connection (plus it is a short story collection), but I do prefer to start series in the beginning if I can..

Also, on the Ender's series, the first one is the best, Speaker for the Dead is kind of eh, but Xenophobia is horrible imho.. my students read Ender's Shadow and thought it was pretty good..

I also really liked Second Star (had great Alaska references to scifi- very original imho).. Strong and SMART female main character

http://www.amazon.com/Second-Star-Sv...0801547&sr=1-1

Many people knowStabenow for her Alaskan murder mysteries..

also the Young Miles series..

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Lois McMaster-Bujold. She's the most recent addition to my favourites, although I guess it's been over 10 years since I discovered her. She's a solid writer, has an amazing sense of humour, and Miles Vorkosigan may be my all-time favourite protagonist. I also enjoyed the Sharing Knife, which I read a few months ago after having seen it recommended in several threads of this type.
Same one I think..
post #87 of 111
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Originally Posted by philomom View Post
Sci-fi has broadened to include what we now call "speculative fiction". Not just gadget based futures but futures and pasts that appeared normal to us until some pivotal event changed the path.

So yes, The handmaid's Tale counts as sci-fi.
Agreed.. from the Utopia/Dystopia perspective for sure.. the end reminded me of Anne Frank though.
post #88 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride
Lackey. I read her and read her and read her, and I have no idea why. I even re-read her. I don't even think she's a good author, and I find myself being irritated by various aspects of her writing all the time, but I keep reading. I do think the Last Herald-Mage trilogy was very good, but the rest? Not so much...but I keep reading. Popcorn books, and full of...not exactly plotholes, but inconsistencies, imo...and the italics!! OMG. She uses more italics than any other three authors I can think of.
I LOVE Mercedes Lackey, but I have to admit that the inconsistancies, especially between books, drives me utterly bonkers. I often find myself wondering if she has an editor because some of them are so glaring. Then I get engrossed in the stories & characters again until the next one. I think many of the ones that annoy me wouldn't even register on a first time reader, it's just I practically have them memorized, so I know when she says something that completely contradicts something in a different book.

As for the italics, it's funny what people notice. I honestly don't think her use of them is remotely excessive, but then I've read a 70's romance author named Rosemary Rogers. You want to talk about excessive italics, she would be the all time world champion.

Anne McCaffery..I used to love her, but I went off her books a few years ago & haven't really gotten into them again. I did read "The Rowan" today and wasn't too irritated. Except by one thing which also drives me absolutely crazy about the Freedom series; a nursing mother who leaves her child with other people for days/weeks at a time so she can go off & do, frequently, extremely dangerous things. And not even a single line anywhere about how the baby is supposed to get fed while she's gone. Although, I guess I should be grateful her female characters all seem to nurse .

Terry Pratchett is great! There's been a few Discworld books I didn't much like, but I've really enjoyed most of them.

I like the Wheel of Time series. The first few books are good, then it's tedious for several books, then it picks up again. I really, really like Sandersen's first book. It really revitalized the series imo and there are some MASSIVE plot points that just blew me away. I had to tell dh about one because it was so stunning...& he doesn't even read the series. He's editing the next one; sounds like he's making a lot of cuts, which makes me just want to grab him & beg to read the uncut version. It's due out in November & I'm so excited.

I notice no one has mentioned Piers Anthony. He has an obsession with breasts that eventually drove me away, but for awhile I really liked him, especially the Incarnations of Immortality series.

Another author I like, although in some ways she's more YA, is Tanya Huff. She has a vampire series (before they were hyper trendy, it actually has a tv series based on it called Blood Ties) & her Keeper series is really fun. I like her for when I want a quick, fluffyish fantasy story.
post #89 of 111
Ah yes, Piers Anthony. My first spec-fi author I ever read. His Xanth series got really tedious after awhile, but I do have a special place in my heart for him after I read "Letters To Jenny" and "Bio of an Ogre" (non-fiction) I ended up reading his mode series and really enjoyed it. Tatum mound is really unique,beautiful and sad. But yes, he's very much a man when it comes to breasts.
post #90 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I notice no one has mentioned Piers Anthony. He has an obsession with breasts that eventually drove me away, .
You, too?
post #91 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
I notice no one has mentioned Piers Anthony. He has an obsession with breasts that eventually drove me away, but for awhile I really liked him, especially the Incarnations of Immortality series.
I used to love Piers Anthony. I read everything he'd done - and he's written some weird stuff - up to probably the early 90s. Then, I just lost interest. It was like a switch got flipped in my head, and I'm just over him. Also...he tries to come across as very pro-woman, but I found myself feeling that he's actually a serious misogynist, and it turned me off. There's a really strange undertone about women/girls in his books. I've never been able to pin it down, but it's there. DH flipped through a couple of them, and felt the same way. We seem to be in the minority, as his fan base seems to include a large number of female fans.

Before I reached that point, my favourites were the Incarnations of Immortality (although I liked the early ones much better than the later ones, and I thought the last two were just a mess - okay - just looked up his bibliography, and they were the two second to last - I won't be bothering with the newest one), the original Apprentice Adept series, and a few of the early Xanth books (that series went way downhill) and Tatham Mound. I thought the Bio of a Space Tyrant books were really good, but...disturbing. Some of his others (Cluster, Tarot, Omnivore/Orn/Ox, Mute, etc.) were an interesting read, but I didn't really enjoy them much.
post #92 of 111
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Originally Posted by Magelet View Post
I've also been reading patricia briggs, jalilah, and enjoying them. I'm a fan of I think I heard it called "paranormal romance" books? lol (though the sookie stackhouse ones, I got the first from the library and put it down after 10 pages. no clue why, I just was not into it.) I'm also liking kelley armstrong's otherworld series. they both feel like... I don't know, "disreputable" reading as compared to say asimov or terrorists of irustan though lol. that might be the covers on the patricia briggs ones though. uggg. . I loved terrorists of irustan, I finished it last night. no wait, I finished dragonflight last night (which I also loved), terrorists of irustan was two nights ago. lol.
I know what you mean! The covers of the Mercedes Thompson series make them look like they are very steamy but they are not! LOL, when was I reading them at my son’s soccer practice I folded the cover back and hoped none of the other parents, who I don’t know that well, would ask me what I was reading! IMO the writing in Patricia’s Briggs novels are way better than the Sookie Stackhouse novels, which I consider a guilty pleasure for me. I enjoy them but after awhile I feel like I am eating junk food. I feel like I have to balance all those novels out by reading something by with more substance like Charles De Lint or Isabelle Allende (not really fantasy, I know) I’m going to check out some of the other authors mentioned. I feel very ambivalent about from what I read about The Terrorists of Irustan. I am just so tired of all the Muslim bashing. I am not even Muslim myself and yes, I agree that there are terrible things happening in many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, but it just seems to me that the terrible things are all everyone in the West knows about and not the many good things.
post #93 of 111
I can definitely see that side to the terrorists of irustan and understand how one might not like the book from that. I guess to me, I was very immersed in the book, and didn't pay a ton of attention to that aspect (I noticed halfway through and commented on that to DP, but it wasn't something that I payed a huge amount of attention to. The first time I read a book, I read for plot mostly lol)
post #94 of 111
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jalilah View Post
I feel very ambivalent about from what I read about The Terrorists of Irustan. I am just so tired of all the Muslim bashing. I am not even Muslim myself and yes, I agree that there are terrible things happening in many countries in the Middle East and Central Asia, but it just seems to me that the terrible things are all everyone in the West knows about and not the many good things.
I get what you're saying at first glance, but having read it, it's more about sexism and patriarchy rather than anti-Muslim sentiment. It sits up there with the 'inferior-female society' sub-genre of spec fic (like Atwood's Handmaid's Tale), with powerful female protagonists working around or through their societal handicaps. She did use a thin veil, so to speak, in modeling it after incredibly culturally (not religiously) sexist societies such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan or Iran, but there is no Islam-bashing. I think she very well could have used any similar patriarchal culture (India, China) to make her point.
post #95 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devaskyla View Post
As for the italics, it's funny what people notice. I honestly don't think her use of them is remotely excessive, but then I've read a 70's romance author named Rosemary Rogers. You want to talk about excessive italics, she would be the all time world champion.

Another author I like, although in some ways she's more YA...
The thing with Lackey's italics is that they're used to denote mental speaking and not used for empasis. Which is far less annoying than other uses.

(The thing about Lackey's italics is that they're used to denote mental speaking and not used for emphasis. (Which is far less annoying than other uses.))

Your YA comment reminds me of Tamora Pierce. Also, Caroline Stevermer.
post #96 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I used to love Piers Anthony. I read everything he'd done - and he's written some weird stuff - up to probably the early 90s. Then, I just lost interest. It was like a switch got flipped in my head, and I'm just over him. Also...he tries to come across as very pro-woman, but I found feeling that he's actually a serious misogynist, and it turned me off. There's a really strange undertone about women/girls in his books. I've never been able to pin it down, but it's there.
They're very juvenile. Lots of passive aggression.
post #97 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
They're very juvenile. Lots of passive aggression.
I think that may be it, actually. It's been so long since I read any of them that I can't be sure, but that rings true, yk?

I disagree about Lackey's italics, though. They don't bother me when she does the mental speaking thing, but she lays them on for emphasis, too. I think it's just something about her style that annoys me, though - I have a mild hate on for her capitalized and hyphenated titles, too.
post #98 of 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I disagree about Lackey's italics, though. They don't bother me when she does the mental speaking thing, but she lays them on for emphasis, too.
Does she now? I've never taken long enough with one of her books to notice. Which is also why the other annoying stuff about her books don't bug me unless I've just been hearing other people complain about them.
Okay, my sampling from Bardic Voices had 11 instances in 15 pages. Plus 2 sentences where someone was thinking, and 1 word italicized to indicate another language. That last probably was unnecessary.
post #99 of 111
But speaking of numerous authors who are better than M. L., I recommend Doris Egan. She only ever wrote one trilogy, but it was fantastic. "Gates of Ivory" is the first one.

(She's also a writer for House, for those who watch TV)
post #100 of 111
[QUOTE=Cascadian;15648141]
For something different - magic realism mixed with fantastical elements, I can recommend Nalo Hopkinson - Brown Girl in the Ring (dystopian Toronto future, full of voodoo) and Salt Roads (told from the POV of a slave girl, an African goddess and a 17th C black woman in France).QUOTE]


I am currently reading Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson and loving it! It really is refreshingly different! Thanks for recommending her! I'd never heard of her before!
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