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Thread: "High Fantasy" recommendations?

  1. #226
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Wanted to thank members here for the recommendation for James Blaylock's "The Elvin Ship" and "The Disappearing Dwarf"! I really enjoyed the healthy dose of humor in these two books so will seek out the third and perhaps some of his later Steampunk works. Any other recommendations for humorous fantasy? I remember enjoying Peter David's " Sir Appropos of Nothing" series years ago.

  2. #227
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Any other recommendations for humorous fantasy?
    Terry Pratchett!
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  3. #228
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    I read the first couple Discworld books (and the graphic novel based on the first book iirc) but didn't feel compelled to stay on board the Turtle. Particular recommendations?

  4. #229
    Member BobM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Any other recommendations for humorous fantasy? .
    I always thought Steven Brust and his Vlad Taltos series (Jhereg) had some good humor in them and a good set of stories to boot.
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  5. #230
    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    I read the first couple Discworld books (and the graphic novel based on the first book iirc) but didn't feel compelled to stay on board the Turtle. Particular recommendations?
    The first couple of books are straightforward parodies of standard swords'n'sorcery tropes (and characters). He began to tackle slightly more serious matters in books 3 (Equal Rites) and 4(Mort), but only really hit his stride with #10 (Moving Pictures). After that almost everything is good, though some find the last few a bit weak as a rare form of Alzheimer's slowly ate his brain.

    A really good, stand-alone, book to try his mature style would be Small Gods.

    He was never what I would call "High" fantasy, though.

    Some more recommendations for funny fantasy:

    I cannot recommend highly enough Pratchett's collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, the funniest book about Armageddon ever written.

    If you've not read it, The Princess Bride is every bit as good as the movie based on it (and why not? the same person wrote both).

    Christopher Moore has written a lot of very funny things. My favorites are Practical Demonkeeping, The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror, and Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal (but not if you're a conservative Christian).

    Then there's Tom Holt. He's become something of an industry, and while his later books are good (and funny), none that I've read come up to Expecting Someone Taller and Who's Afraid of Beowulf?

    L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt on their own are kind of hit-and-miss, but together they wrote a series of five brilliant novellas collected in (IF I'm remembering correctly - there have been a variety of collections!) The Compleat Compleat Enchanter.

    For contemporary fantasy based in the same kind of b-movie schtick as Indiana Jones, but much funnier (and more cynical) you should try Mike Resnick's "Lucifer Jones" series, beginning with Adventures.

    Then there's Peter David, who can't seem to write anything unfunny, whose medievalish series beginning with Sir Apropos of Nothing is worth a look.

    Not exactly a novel, but quite funny: Diana Wynne Jones's A Tough Guide to Fantasyland is filled with all the tropes you could ever want.

    Older stuff: James Branch Cabell wrote a long conceptual series called "The Biography of the Life of Manuel". I can highly recommend Jurgen and Figures of Earth, probably in the reverse order. And, from the same period, Thorne Smith's Topper and The Night Life of the Gods. Both were considered bawdy in their day

    Mark E. Rogers is responsible for The Adventures of Samurai Cat, the story of Meowara Tomokato, out for revenge for the death of his feudal lord. Be sure to get an illustrated copy - Rogers is a fine painter.

    Finally, if you like stuff based in gaming, there's Greg Costikiyan's "Cups and Sorcery" books, Another Day, Another Dungeon and One Quest, Hold the Dragons. Sadly, he hasn't finished this series.
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  6. #231
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Yeah, what Dan'l said. Start further in on the series and ye shall be rewarded.

    I've heard good things about Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah Dawson and Kevin Hearne but I have yet to read it. The notion of the title amuses the hell out of me.
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  7. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickawakeman View Post
    Wanted to thank members here for the recommendation for James Blaylock's "The Elvin Ship" and "The Disappearing Dwarf"!
    Blaylock's friend Tim Powers is also excellent, and less jokey. His stuff isn't quite high fantasy as it might usually be defined, though - it's more magic-realist historical novels, if that can be imagined. He sets his stories within real-world historical circumstances, then invents magical reasons for real, yet inexplicable occurrences. The Anubis Gates is an excellent standalone, about time travel, the Romantic poets, ancient Egypt, and more. For something longer, Last Call and its two sequels Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather concern the Fisher King, Las Vegas and its gamblers, Bugsy Seigel, Thomas Edison's ghost, and many other things.

  8. #233
    ^^^ You can't go wrong with Powers, except maybe his first two books (originally published by LASER books in the '70s; now available de-edited and somewhat better in the omnibus volume Powers of Two). At his best - try DECLARE for a great standalone novel - he's as good as Gene Wolfe.
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  9. #234
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the recommendations! Forgot to mention how much I enjoyed Peter David's "Modern Arthur" series (which I read after "discovering TM White's "Once and Future King" a few years back). I had long known Peter's work from comics. I also enjoyed Lawhead's Arthur series thanks to the recommendation here.

    I have read "Good Omens". Great read.

  10. #235
    If you like David's stuff, get his Howling Mad, about a wolf who gets bitten by a werewolf and turns into a man under the full moon.
    Maka ki ecela tehani yanke lo!

  11. #236
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    Not really high fantasy, but I like Tom Holt's humorous take on fantasy in present-day. Three of my faves are The Better Mousetrap: an insurance agent is sent to kill a dragon before it burns up valuable insurance policies, Blonde Bombshell: an alien civilization send a smart bomb to Earth to destroy it but it ends up becoming a high-powered executive, Barking: a law firm of old school friends who are all now werewolves.



    Barking
    Man you guys take awfully seriously a bunch of pampered, spoiled twenty and thirty something year old jocks earning millions of dollars to play a game running up and down a field. Why do you care so much about these guys to the point of arguing with each other. Do you think they care an iota about you?

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    And I want to put another plug in for Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane. It is really a richly detailed, naturalistic fantasy. The dragon and John Aversin are two great fully-fleshed characters
    Man you guys take awfully seriously a bunch of pampered, spoiled twenty and thirty something year old jocks earning millions of dollars to play a game running up and down a field. Why do you care so much about these guys to the point of arguing with each other. Do you think they care an iota about you?

    Bartellb on pro football

  13. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painter View Post
    And I want to put another plug in for Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane. It is really a richly detailed, naturalistic fantasy. The dragon and John Aversin are two great fully-fleshed characters
    Her early fantasy work is really good. She's now writing historical mysteries, set in (mostly) the complex and morally troublesome society of 1830s New Orleans, and featuring a black detective who is trained as a surgeon, but makes his living as a pianist.

  14. #239
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    Reading Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy. Finishing book 2 and I am really engrossed in the story. It's a fairly typical story line of the underclass trying to break into the upper class and realign the world to make things balance out (people are people regardless of class), but it's a little space opera and a little fantasy and battle and such. A slightly different spin and a fun read.
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  15. #240
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Reading Guy Gavriel Kay’s “The Last Light of the Sun” and am engrossed after the first few chapters. I had (thanks to recommendations here) read his Fionavar Trilogy, followed by Tigana and Song for Arbonne, and will be reading more by this wonderful author. Can I say thanks again?
    Last edited by rickawakeman; 10-29-2019 at 03:27 PM.

  16. #241
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    ^They're all excellent, but Tigana is a masterpiece.

  17. #242
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    Anyone familiar with Brent Weeks and his Lightbringer series? Any good?
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  18. #243
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Posted about this in the other book thread, but it is better suited for here... I have started re-reading The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant. I am getting so much more out of it now, and I am understanding the Covenant character so much better. Aside from his one unforgivable act (which ends up being one of the biggest catalysts to the storyline) I can understand his reaction to The Land at first... I think I'll read the first 2 Chronicles and stop there. I recently read the last one when it was released and I struggled with it.
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  19. #244
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    I read the first book in Last Chronicles but did not finish series (yet). Did read first two series.

    Reading any Donaldson book is like repeatedly getting kicked in the gut until its either over and your relieved or one has metaphorically and neurologically passed out
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  20. #245
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    The Last Chronicles were really dense, and given the time elapsed between the previous ones, I wasn't getting into them fully. Right now I am planning on re-reading the first and the second, but not sure I will re-read the third. It's nice to revisit the beauty of The Land before he totally destroys it!
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  21. #246
    I actually loved the "Final Chronicles" or whatever it was called - it played with the concepts of the series at a much deeper and, yes, more dense level: plus, Donaldson had learned to write pretty well in the interim. (The first trilogy in particular is atrociously written. Do you know the "Clench Game"?) Back in the day I used to say that Donaldson was a conscious stylist with a tin ear. By the time of the last series, he had very much developed that ear.

    Also: it finally gives our heroes a reasonably-happy ending, which they earned the fuck out of.
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  22. #247
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    I may read straight through also, so I can have the whole story fresh from cover to cover. We'll see how it goes. I am not finding the first series as clunky as I remember it. This first book is much better written than the first one in The Gap series, for example... That was one where I did not think I'd continue with the series.
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

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  23. #248
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I read the original series back in the day but man, it was a tiresome slog with Thomas whining like a toddler the whole way. I can take antiheroes but whining? Please. I just cannot go back. The tedious pacing alone made Robert Jordan read like Mark Lawrence.
    I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

  24. #249
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    Finished the first volume of S.A Chakraborty's The Daevabad Trilogy. Starting the second book now, but if you are a lover of heavy magic fantasy books then this one's for you.

    On one note it's highly entertaining, but on the other hand a book written with this much magic in it means that the author can work their way into a complete twaddle of a corner and then pull some over the top magic out of their hat and resolve the whole thing. In a way I think it's almost cheating.
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  25. #250
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    I read the original series back in the day but man, it was a tiresome slog with Thomas whining like a toddler the whole way. I can take antiheroes but whining? Please. I just cannot go back. The tedious pacing alone made Robert Jordan read like Mark Lawrence.
    See now, I get Covenant this time around. The Land is the ultimate seduction to a leper. He's not whining so much as refusing to be seduced. Our world basically f***ed him in the ass without lube and The Land is too alluring on the one hand, and too demanding on the other. He is seen as all-powerful but is in fact impotent. As for the pacing,once again I am enjoying it this time around. I remember just skimming the early parts in "our world", but this time I read thoroughly. It's what gives me a better appreciation for his character going forward.

    The Land is also, imo, one of the greatest fantasy worlds I have ever read about. The Second Chronicles might be my favorite fantasy series of all time. YMMV I guess....
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

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