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Thread: "High Fantasy" recommendations?

  1. #201
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    I asked about that series in the other reading thread. I think I'll check it out after finishing my current series.
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  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    Anybody read N. K. Jemisen's The Broken Earth series?

    I finished it several days ago. Very good, although how much it qualifies as fantasy and how much as SF is an open question: The story contains magic - two types, one called "orogeny" and the other called, uh, "magic" - but it's also an open question whether either or both are extreme examples of Clarke's Law. It appears to be set far in the future; humanity is divided into a dozen or so specialized castes, of whom at least several are artificially created. The technology is mostly medieval, although higher tech (which Jemisen doesn't dwell on much) exists in some cities. The Earth of the story is very geologically active, and almost becomes a character in itself; the plot has to do with various characters trying to mitigate natural disasters and conflicts between the castes, or to profit from exacerbating them.

    The series consists of three volumes, and I strongly advise reading them in order:
    • The Fifth Season
    • The Obelisk Gate
    • The Stone Sky

    They're a single story, like LotR, and won't make much sense if you don't.

    It's also worth mentioning that although they're not quite conventional fantasy, they're very well written, contain some fascinating characters and ideas, and are absolutely worth reading. Indeed, the three volumes each won the Hugo for the year they were published. If you ask me, they earned it with sheer quality - but the awards also occasioned a petty, Gamergate-like political controversy: Jemisen is black and a feminist, a significant proportion of her characters are women, minorities, or gay, her plots often involve societal oppression of one kind or another, and some SF traditionalists got their jockstraps badly in a twist over that.
    Wow guys, thanks for the great suggestion. This series sounds awesome. And it is even better that this was written by a black woman. So now I am thinking that for me to say "I am going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman" is almost as bad as me saying "I'm NOT going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman". I am sure Ms Jemison doesn't want anyone reading this becuase she is black, female or otherwise. She just wants to known as an accomplished author. Period.

    Regardless, the world she built is so intriguing and the names she chose for their unique powers are great. I told my daughter about this series and she researched it and is awestruck by the acclaim it has gotten and how incredibly novel the setting is.

    This is next on my "listen to" list right after I am done with Tchaikovsky's "Children of Ruin".
    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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  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painter View Post
    Wow guys, thanks for the great suggestion. This series sounds awesome. And it is even better that this was written by a black woman. So now I am thinking that for me to say "I am going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman" is almost as bad as me saying "I'm NOT going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman". I am sure Ms Jemison doesn't want anyone reading this becuase she is black, female or otherwise. She just wants to known as an accomplished author. Period.
    The point of reading it because she is a black woman is that she's likely to have a different and unusual take on fantasy (she does), and is unlikely to fall for many or any of these tired cliches:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerjo View Post
    It's funny - that almost reads as a to-do list for getting a following among the "Sad Puppies", the instigators of the political kerfluffle surrounding her winning of the Hugo, and her opponents in that kerfluffle.

  4. #204
    Quote Originally Posted by Painter View Post
    Wow guys, thanks for the great suggestion. This series sounds awesome. And it is even better that this was written by a black woman. So now I am thinking that for me to say "I am going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman" is almost as bad as me saying "I'm NOT going to read this BECAUSE it was written by a black woman". I am sure Ms Jemison doesn't want anyone reading this becuase she is black, female or otherwise. She just wants to known as an accomplished author. Period.
    Ummm. You're missing the point. The point is that the books are good enough to set new records in several areas, only one of which had to do with her being an African-American woman.

    And, because she was a black woman, a number of people (notably the "sad puppies" Baribrotzer references, as well as the "Mad Puppies" and several other people who want to take "sci-fi" back to the glory days when it was the WHITE MAN's fiction, tried very hard to sabotage her chances of winning the awards. Ms. Jemisin referenced this in her acceptance speech for the third novel, suggesting that the phallic Hugo award would make an excellent phallic symbol with which to give them the finger.

    Not to correct him, but he said:

    It's funny - that almost reads as a to-do list for getting a following among the "Sad Puppies", the instigators of the political kerfluffle surrounding her winning of the Hugo, and her opponents in that kerfluffle.
    If you mean the stuff before the award, you are right, it was the "puppies" (and their followers) who tried to stop it with slate voting and such. But the kerfuffle after the award was given is down to highly-respected SF writer Robert Silverberg, who wrote in a private but quickly-publicized forum that he objected to the Hugo acceptance speech being "politicized," and got roundly beat about the head and shoulders for it. He didn't actually mean what it appeared he meant; in the original and in his later comments it is clear that he simply feels that the Hugo ceremony should be a celebration of the best SF has to offer. The problem with this is that such a celebration has political questions built into it: what does and does not qualify as SF? what are the standards for "best"ness? And so on...
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  5. #205
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    Maybe I am missing the point. I thought that the setting and the concept were incredible. Didn't give it a second thought what her race and sex was/were. (I am sure in my mind, I would imagine N.K. Jemison as a white man).

    Then I found out that she was a black woman, winning a Hugo for three straight years. Even more impressive. Made me want to support her even more. Then I wondered out loud if she would want to be "patronized" (for the lack of a better word) in such a way.

    I regret voicing this out loud
    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

  6. #206
    Member rickawakeman's Avatar
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    Just finished Book 3 of David B.Coe’s Winds of the Forelands, Bonds of Vengeance. Really enjoying this series so again thanks for the recommendation!

  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by Painter View Post
    I regret voicing this out loud
    I get the impression that she feels it's better to talk about these issues than not talk about them - to confront the "zombie attitudes" stumbling around in your own head, to publicly say, "This was my first reaction, and I know it's wrong", rather than pretending they doesn't exist and you'd never think that.

  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    I get the impression that she feels it's better to talk about these issues than not talk about them - to confront the "zombie attitudes" stumbling around in your own head, to publicly say, "This was my first reaction, and I know it's wrong", rather than pretending they doesn't exist and you'd never think that.
    My concern was that, if I support her simply BECAUSE she is a black woman writing in the SFF field, wouldn't that be patronizing? And in it's own way, isn't that nearly as racist in an inverse way as refusing to support her simply because she is a black woman?

    First and foremost, the concept sounds fantastic. I only hope the execution doesn't end up being a soapbox, much as many other titles I've read have become. Peter Hamilton's Salvation comes to mind. And to me, Atlas Shrugged is unreadable for that reason (endless proselytizing).

    The plot and setting should come first. Her race and sex should be incidental. I should want to support a good yarn regardless of the author's human form.

    Just my two cents.
    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

  9. #209
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    Making my way back into the Dresden files series. Enjoyable diversion but not sure that I can just keep plowing through it. I think reading 2 or 3 books then moving on to something else before I come back in 6-12 months is the way to go with this.
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  10. #210
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    Late last night I didn't want to read from the books I'd been reading because they were all on paper and the light necessary would disturb my princess. So I turned to the iPad. Just out of curiosity I re-started Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings. I tried reading his Mistborn a few years ago and found it a bit tame. But this e-copy of Way of Kings was on sale and I've heard the series is the real deal. The opening prologue is a little daunting because he has this difficult magic system and the reader is thrown in without a lot of explanation. But then I hit the first chapter, the second, the third...damn, it was midnight. So I am going to have to get the other books and hope/pray that he finishes the series.
    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

  11. #211
    ^^ All three of the Stormlight books so far are excellent, IMO. I’m generally not even a fan of fantasy books, so this was a pleasant surprise for me. Each book actually improves upon the last, I think.

    Hope the fourth one comes out soon-ish.

  12. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by aith01 View Post
    Hope the fourth one comes out soon-ish.
    The thing that I like about Brandon Sanderson, is that you go to his website, and at the top right, he lets you know his progress on his current projects. I wish that George RR Martin and Patrick Rothfuss would do the same.
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Stephen Hawking

  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Mountain View Post
    The thing that I like about Brandon Sanderson, is that you go to his website, and at the top right, he lets you know his progress on his current projects. I wish that George RR Martin and Patrick Rothfuss would do the same.
    In the case of GRRM, I don't think you would.
    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

  14. #214
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    On the strength of his "Broken Empire" series, I started a new one from Mark Lawrence called "The Ancestor". This one seems more aimed at young adults. There is some action but nothing as gritty as the previously mentioned series. Still pretty good though. I'll see how strongly book 1 ends before deciding if I want to pursue it further.
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  15. #215
    Just read N.K. Jemison's "Inheritance" trilogy, in a single 1400-page volume, with an extra novella. For those not inclined to carry such a doorstop around, the volumes (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of Gods) are available individually, though the novella ("The Awakened Kingdom") is only available as a stand-alone on Kindle.

    Awesome. Glorious. A trilogy about different kinds of freedom and bondage and morality and mortality, as experienced humans and gods. The story begins 2000 years after "The Gods' War", in which some of the losing gods were enslaved to this one human family, the Arameri. During those years the Arameri have enforced a rule of peace and prosperity over the whole world, by brutal means backed up with god-power. The plot is, more or less, a chronicle of the end of their rule over a period of three hundred years or so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sturgeon's Lawyer View Post
    Just read N.K. Jemison's "Inheritance" trilogy, in a single 1400-page volume, with an extra novella. For those not inclined to carry such a doorstop around, the volumes (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms, and The Kingdom of Gods) are available individually, though the novella ("The Awakened Kingdom") is only available as a stand-alone on Kindle.

    Awesome. Glorious. A trilogy about different kinds of freedom and bondage and morality and mortality, as experienced humans and gods. The story begins 2000 years after "The Gods' War", in which some of the losing gods were enslaved to this one human family, the Arameri. During those years the Arameri have enforced a rule of peace and prosperity over the whole world, by brutal means backed up with god-power. The plot is, more or less, a chronicle of the end of their rule over a period of three hundred years or so.
    It's good. I read it, but out of sequence - I had to put The Broken Kingdoms on hold at the library, and it took a while to come in. However, each of those works as a stand-alone, so you can read them in any sequence, although in-order is best. But I do think The Broken Earth is even better.

  17. #217
    I have finished reading the whole Realm of the Elderlings mammoth of a series by Robin Hobb and I can tell you - it was so great it blew my head off. Cried a couple of times, too. Man, really become softer as my age advances The writing is of such high quality I'd venture to say it's the most important thing written since Middle-Earth. Highly recommended. Now I plan to get Soldier's Son trilogy (sic?) next, going to read *every* book she wrote. A fan for life.

    I also read all of the Covenant series by Donaldson and the first 6 were damn good but the last cycle seemed forced and drawn out to the point I got disinterested in how it would end. Luckily, you can read the two trilogies and forget about last 4 books at all.

    Could not get into Sanderson at all.

    P.S. Damnit, Rothfuss, I already bought the 10th Anniversary edition of the "Name of the Wind", without even a hope for the closing 3rd volume to be produced. Should we wait for 25th Anniversary maybe? Damnit.

    P.P.S. Hardcover Illustrated edition of Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb is due this October. Already pre-ordered!
    Last edited by Azol; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:16 PM.
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  18. #218
    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    I have finished reading the whole Realm of the Elderlings mammoth of a series by Robin Hobb and I can tell you - it was so great it blew my head off. Cried a couple of times, too. Man, really become softer as my age advances The writing is of such high quality I'd venture to say it's the most important thing written since Middle-Earth. Highly recommended. Now I plan to get Soldier's Son trilogy (sic?) next, going to read *every* book she wrote. A fan for life.
    If you read the entire Realm of the Elderlings, you've covered just about everything she wrote, save the Soldier Son trilogy. I think she did a couple of collaborations, and maybe something under another name, but I've focused strictly on her Robin Hobb work, and I think I've read everything under that moniker. Definitely read Soldier Son, it's excellent. If you hit on anything outside of these books that is good, please let us know!

    Couldn't agree more with your assessment of her writing. I've never been affected by fantasy/sci-fi work like I have been by hers, and that includes Tolkien. Incredible stories and fully developed characters. A truly amazing journey reading all those books, you almost feel like you've lived another life. Glad to hear others have the same reaction to her work that I have.

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  19. #219
    As Megan Lindholm, she wrote some pretty good books. I recommend The Reindeer People.
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  20. #220
    Member Jerjo's Avatar
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    I was so gutted at the end of the third Assassin's book, I couldn't go on. But depending on my progress on the fall/winter reading list, I'll start in on the Liveships this spring.
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  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    I have finished reading the whole Realm of the Elderlings mammoth of a series by Robin Hobb and I can tell you - it was so great it blew my head off.
    I tried to find this series on Amazon, and found the author, but not the series. Looks like she has 2 or 3 series/trilogies that are well represented.
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  22. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by moecurlythanu View Post
    I tried to find this series on Amazon, and found the author, but not the series. Looks like she has 2 or 3 series/trilogies that are well represented.
    Go to Robin Hobbs' website for a complete listing. The Realm of the Elderlings encompasses an amalgamation of many series.
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  23. #223
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Mountain View Post
    Go to Robin Hobbs' website for a complete listing. The Realm of the Elderlings encompasses an amalgamation of many series.
    Thanks for the pointer. It seems that most of her work as Robin Hobb fits under that heading. Everything but The Soldier's Son trilogy and some short works. I also noticed that she used to write under the nom de plume of Megan Lindholm. Looking at the titles under that name, I recognized 2 that I had read a long time ago, but can't find amongst my books now. They were Harpy's Flight and The Windsingers. I recall them as good, not great.
    "If you want to see the true nature of humanity, just look at the internet."

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  24. #224
    Got the Illustrated Edition of Assassin's Apprentice today, those pictures are sweet! A hefty volume, too.
    2nd installment is planned for June 16, 2020
    "The world will soon be right again,
    Innocence and undying love will reign."
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  25. #225
    Quote Originally Posted by Azol View Post
    Got the Illustrated Edition of Assassin's Apprentice today, those pictures are sweet! A hefty volume, too.
    2nd installment is planned for June 16, 2020
    Damn, would not mind having this at all! Just added to Amazon queue!


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