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#91 of 111 Old 08-03-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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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.

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#92 of 111 Old 08-05-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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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.
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#93 of 111 Old 08-05-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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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)

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#94 of 111 Old 08-05-2010, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#95 of 111 Old 08-08-2010, 05:42 PM
 
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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.
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#96 of 111 Old 08-08-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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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.
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#97 of 111 Old 08-08-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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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.

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#98 of 111 Old 08-09-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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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.
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#99 of 111 Old 08-09-2010, 07:12 PM
 
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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)
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#100 of 111 Old 08-09-2010, 09:42 PM
 
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[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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#101 of 111 Old 09-04-2010, 06:19 PM
 
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Bump!

Please don't let me be the thread killer!

Just trying to start the first book in the Dark Jewel Trilogy, Daughter of the Blood and am having a really hard time getting into it. This book was recommended by numerous posters here and as well it is dedicated to one of my favourites, Charles De Lint, so it seems like I should like it. Up to now, I don't. I've just finished the 1st chapter.

For those of you who like this series, please convince me why I should keep reading!
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#102 of 111 Old 09-04-2010, 10:50 PM
 
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I tried the first Dark Jewel book and I didn't really like it.

I think there was too much S&M for my reading tastes.

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#103 of 111 Old 09-05-2010, 01:15 PM
 
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I finally broke down and started reading Game of Thrones even though it isn't done yet. I normally have a firm policy against not reading a huge series unless it is complete.

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#104 of 111 Old 09-06-2010, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=jalilah;15718696]
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Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
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!
There are so few spec fic books written from minority POVs that they are like little gems when I find them. I'm glad you're enjoying it!!
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#105 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 12:29 AM
 
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I finally broke down and started reading Game of Thrones even though it isn't done yet. I normally have a firm policy against not reading a huge series unless it is complete.
I heard those recommended by several people and read the first...three, I think? I don't like them. There are too many characters, and there really isn't a main protagonist (which isn't necessarily a failing, but it doesn't work well for me). Most of the characters are very unlikable, imo. It's too dark, and it's too violent, and there's some really twisted up sexual stuff. Oh - and he has one portrayal of an extended nursing relationship that actually makes me feel ill...and I'm not even a serious extended nurser (can't even begin to imagine goine past three years, and have never actually made it 2.5).

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#106 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 02:25 PM
 
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I heard those recommended by several people and read the first...three, I think? I don't like them. There are too many characters, and there really isn't a main protagonist (which isn't necessarily a failing, but it doesn't work well for me). Most of the characters are very unlikable, imo. It's too dark, and it's too violent, and there's some really twisted up sexual stuff. Oh - and he has one portrayal of an extended nursing relationship that actually makes me feel ill...and I'm not even a serious extended nurser (can't even begin to imagine goine past three years, and have never actually made it 2.5).
My dad knows the author personally. When I read about the extended nursing situation, I was pretty mad.. (it suggests that the boy is being "coddled" by his mother.. and if I remember right, it described her b@@bs as "long" which I didn't really get).. I talked to my dad about it, and iirc, the author doesn't have children.. so I don't think he would "get" extended nursing.. I was still pretty irritated though. He could have taken a moment to do some research.
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#107 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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Am now reading Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson. It is interesting because I just finished Island beneath the Sea by Isabelle Allende which also is about a slave in Haiti in the 17 hundreds before the revolution. It is not science fiction, but has many magical elements. I find the writing in Salt Roads is not quite as enthralling as Brown Girl in the Ring but is still very good. I am glad I discovered this author!

[QUOTE=Cascadian;15814156]
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there are so few spec fic books written from minority POVs that they are like little gems when I find them. I'm glad you're enjoying it!!
Yes, I agree! Another good one is New Mexican Rudolfo Anaya. Many of his works also have many magical and fantasy elements ( Bless me Ultima, Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall , Shaman Winter, Jemez Spring)
But his books always get put in with Chicano literature and therefore he remains relatively unknown which is unfortunate because he is a really good writer.
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#108 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 04:47 PM
 
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I tried the first Dark Jewel book and I didn't really like it.

I think there was too much S&M for my reading tastes.
Glad to know I am not the only one! I really wanted to like this one but gave up after a few chapters.
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#109 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 04:51 PM
 
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Anyone read Maureen Mchugh's novel, China Mountain Zhang? In a future America ruled by China, where being pure Chinese means high status and being gay is outlawed, the gay, ethnically mixed protagonist has to deal with passing as a straight pure Chinese man. An unusual pov for SF - definitely a gem.

I'm not a fan of so much S&M/torture in any fiction, either.
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#110 of 111 Old 09-09-2010, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I heard about China Mtn Zhang and just haven't gotten around to getting it. There are a few alt history type books like that that interest me. I think that's next on my list.

Jalilah - re Nalo Hopkinson's writing: I actually owned BGitR for a few years before I read it I tried to get into it, then before I gave it away thought I'd try again and was captured by the story and the POV. Isabelle Allende is probably one of my favourite writers Her writing is beyond magical...lyrical...poetic

I tried to read Dhalgren and got irritated at the datedness of the writing. I saw that people either loved or hated this classic. Chalk me up for 'meh..'
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#111 of 111 Old 09-10-2010, 01:23 AM
 
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I tried to read Dhalgren and got irritated at the datedness of the writing. I saw that people either loved or hated this classic. Chalk me up for 'meh..'
I forced myself through it years ago. I don't know why, because I hated every page. I didn't find it particularly dated - just random, pointless, kind of gross in spots, and the last...third?...is written from two points of view at once (one point of view is inset in smaller type and patched all through the pages). It was just...bad...so, so bad.

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