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Dwarves FTW!
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Dwarves FTW!
Topic Owner: lbeth
Topic: Anything about science fiction or fantasy books.

If you want to discuss movies or TV shows (or video games or RPGs etc.) then discuss them in the proper topics. This is for the books, so if you post here, post on topic.

*will delete off topic posts*

If you're talking about a book and the movie it was made into (or vice versa as happens sometimes) that's okay. Just... the book has to be in the post, k?
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that's not all the pern books, or else i have an imaginary one at home.

but i don't necessarily like those. in a lot of ways, anne mccaffery made dragons suck. and that's pretty hard.

i've been reading a trilogy of children's fantasy books. the "his dark materials" books by some guy i can't remember who. pullman? something. *at work, not going to check* they're written very well, but last night i finally broke down and peeked at the end of the last book, and now i don't want to read anymore. the ending is a good ending, but not a happy one. and i wanted a happy ending. bleh.

i usually enjoy children's fantasy much more than stuff for grownups. no sex scenes to have to skip. i hate when they put in sex scenes. first of all, i'm not reading a romance novel. secondly, they don't write sex scenes as well as in a romance novel.

now grownup fantasy with no sex, i love that. *_*
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Phillip Pullman, I believe. And I like "His Dark Materials" a lot. It has a a wealth of characters, places and ideas that gripped me from the first to the last word. I was also very shocked by the ending, but in many ways it's an excellent ending to the series of events as portrayed in the books. I also went to see the play and I had my doubts as to how daemons would work on stage, but it was excellently done and the play was just as enjoyable as the books.

As for recommending something I have two favourite SF books:
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov (and his other robot short stories, but please don't talk to me about the abomination that is the movie)
and Gateway by Frederik Pohl.
I've also really enjoyed Ray Bradbury's short stories, as well as Dreamsnake by Vonda Mcintyre. Though my latest SF has been an oldie: Day of the Triffids :D
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i love pohl!

i'm very upset that my barnes & noble doesn't have the 2nd and 3rd eschaton books. i have to read those before i start on the heechee series. i've also read the case against tomorrow and the man who ate the world because my mom had those.

my favorite all time scifi book has got to be of men and monsters by william tenn. it's the only novel he ever wrote, and i can barely think of it as a novel, it's so short! it's shorter than some of stephen king's "short stories" but it's one of the funniest things i've ever read. that one i found in my mom's books, too.

i've always loved that my mom is the scifi geek in my family. XD my dad knows too much science to generate the proper suspension of disbelief. and my brother has spotty taste. it's thanks to my mother that i've read every one of the issac asimov science fiction magazines.

kittycat::: yeah, the ending is appropriate and - given that i'm halfway through the third book - fits what i would want to happen. but it's not a happy ending. ;_; i guess that's sort of the point though.


i just noticed that i only addressed this to you, kittycat, at the bottom. even though basically the whole post was intended in your general direction. XD
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One of my favorite fantasy series is the Deathgate Cycle by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:

Ages ago, sorcerers of unmatched power sundered a world into four realms - sky, stone, fire, and water - then vanished. Over time, magicians learned to work spells only in their own realms and forgot the others. Now only the few who have survived the Labyrinth and crossed the Death Gate know of the presence of all four realms - and even they have yet to unravel the mysteries of their severed world...

The first 4 books each focus on a different world, and the final 3 bring them all together. It's really a wonderful series, and it's 7 books total, so it'll keep you busy a while, unless you're like me and go through the whole darn thing in 2 weeks. I just can't put a good book (or books) down when I start reading. *_*

Oh yea, and if you want good sci-fi, read anything by Robert Heinlein. He's awesome! Some of his stories contain topics and situations a little out of the mainstream, and they deal with some controversial subjects! All in all, definitely well worth a read in my opinion if one is open minded.

Too bad he died in 1988 though. I want more stories with his characters. ;_;
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I've been reading the Sword of Truth books, since I had started reading the series a couple years back, then randomly stopped about halfway though. @_@ [Well, halfway through now, since a few have come out since then.] I'm rather enjoying them. ^^ It's kinda scary, though, that the big bad that they're fighting later in the series seems more and more like all the crazy people running parts of the world. ["Our way is the right and only way! Therefore we destroy you and all that you hold dear in order to save you!" *sigh*] I really liked the one I finished ealier this week, Faith of the Fallen. I wish I could explain them better, but it's been a while since I read the earlier books. *fails*

Josh - Deathgate Cycle! *_* I love those books. I could read them over and over. And have. >.> Robert Heinlein, eh? I'll have to check him out when I'm done with the Sword of Truth books. [At the rate I'm going, that'll be soon. X_x;; I'm just like you, I can't stop reading when I start. It's insane.]

kittycat - I liked I, Robot, the book, better than the movie, though I could see why it was a popular movie. Robots and explosions and Will Smith. >.> I also liked the Foundation books quite a bit.
Laura: Heinlein's really good. I honestly haven't read anything bad from him yet (and I've read nearly everything he's written! *_*) He has several novels that tie together in what are known as 'The Future History' series that are a must, he also has a couple novels with compilations of short stories, and let's not forget he's the one who wrote Red Planet and Starship Troopers!

The Future History series is the best IMO, so that's where I always advise people to start. There is no set order to them, but here is the order I recommend reading them in:

Stranger in a Strange Land (The story in this one isn't directly related to the others, but some of the characters are in the other novels, and the events that transpire are mentioned.)

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

Methuselah's Children

Time Enough for Love: The Lives of Lazarus Long

The Number of the Beast

To Sail Beyond the Sunset

I know Stranger in a Strange Land has a cut and uncut version, but I'm not sure about the others. In any case, and I think it goes without saying, always go with the uncut version.

Oh yea, he's the one who also coined TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch


signature image Hello, sweetie!
stranger in a strange land is one of heinlein's dirty old man books.

it's not a bad book. it gave us a word (grok) to describe a concept everyone should understand but is not adequately covered in the english language. (can't say for sure about languages i don't know)

but i've never been able to accept that sexual promiscuity is a cause or result of enlightenment. (chastity either) and people who act like it is bother me.

the only heinlein i've read has been what i've found at home. starship troopers was excellent. when i was 11. i'm not sure if it'd strike me the same way now. then i read stranger in a strange land as an adult. and it was irritating because of the hippie sex, but otherwise pretty good. and then i read i will fear no evil and that was the last of it. i can't read heinlein at all anymore because of that book. i tried. x_X
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A lot of his later works could be considered dirty old man books, but that's one of the things that makes them kind funny too. You just can't beat computers who have had their 'consciousness' transferred into a human body so they can experience eros.

You should totally give the Future History series a go LBethity. The gratuitous sex and outrageous characters are what make it good! >_>

I grok you *_*

signature image Hello, sweetie!
I have been recommended Heinlein before and I found him not to my liking. His style was very logical and prescriptive. It was so matter of fact that I failed to find myself inspired by the wealth of imagination that SF is capable of. I like how SF stretches common or little things to an extreme and makes us look at things from a different point of view. I thought that Heinlein was talking about today in a slightly futuristic setting, without really pushing the boundaries of what we already know.

This probably sounds very harsh, particularly since I don't think his stuff is bad or anything, but it's difficult to account for taste so I try to explain in detail why I do or do not like something. And I inevitably trip up because it's a whole bunch of little things usually. E.g. an emotional approach might get me all fired up for one book and make me dislike another book. It's all very complicated.

For example (*fears mentioning this lest the wolves get her*) I actively dislike Lord of the Rings. I got through one and a half books and two movies and I was terribly bored. Yet loads and loads and loads of people love these works to death. So there's absolutely no accounting for taste ;)

lbeth ~ I'll read the post anyway so it doesn't matter all that much XD

robyngirl ~ I understand that movies need to be different from the book. But breaking the three rules of robotics so flagrantly without a good explanation is terrible, while turning what are essentially psychological stories into an action thriller is downright criminal.
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kittycat - Haha, I said I could see why people would like the movie, not that it was particularly good or true to the tenants of the original. ;)

As for your issues with Lord of the Rings, yeah, I couldn't even get through the first book either. It's very dry and boring to me, and probably needed some serious editing. The movies were better, at least for me, because it kind of summarized the books without the ridiculous writing style. But yeah, to each their own. ^^

Josh - I'll try Stranger in a Strange Land when I'm done with this series. I'm a little wary after everyone else's posts about it, but I'm willing to give it a try anyway. :)
Kittycat: True enough; Heinlein is very logical and prescriptive in his prose, which may be one of the reasons I am fond of it. He's definitely not for everyone, and it's a good thing, else we wouldn't have so many great, different styles of novels and storytelling. ^_^

Claire: Shiny! I didn't know you were wanting to write a sci-fi novel. You should tell us about it. *_*

Laura: Try it, you'll like it! And if not, the book is big enough that it would make a pretty good doorstop or paperwieght. XD
signature image Hello, sweetie!
Had to check this topic out when I saw its name in recent activity...

I don't read half as much as I'd like to with hindsight, but I'm a lazy bum and at any given moment TV or games are more appealing. I used to read lots on the train to work, but now we've moved so that work's walking distance away I don't have that time any more. Should have more discipline with myself *.*

I don't particularly like Asimov. His ideas are interesting and all, but I find his style to be somehow smug and self-satisfied. I just think of him with a self-satisfied grin all over his face while I read the book, it's really off-putting.

I've been reading a collection of John Wyndham books recently. The Midwich Cookoos was a little too esoteric for me, it's a great idea but the execution put me off. I really enjoyed Day of the Triffids though, which I wasn't expecting to as I don't especially like disaster movies. There was no great philosophy there or anything, it was just an interesting idea (the world wakes up blind) put together very well. the one that I've enjoyed the most (though perhaps enjoyed isn't the right word) is The Chrysalids, I'd recommend it to anyone. Lots of people say the very end of the book spoils the themes it's been building up, but you could just as easily look on it as a ironic twist in the tail.

The other book I've been reading is The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. I won't even pretend to understand it, but I definitely enjoyed reading it - I'll come back to it at some point to see if a little foreknowledge makes it any more grounded. It's very dense and heavy going, but I was always interested in what was going to happen next.

When I just want to veg out with some exciting but usually fundamentally not very good sci-fi I read any of the Warhammer 40k books. I love the 40k universe, never really got over it since I played the games in my teens XD I play Dawn of War quite a lot but I never skip the opening cinematic of the first two games, it's just too good to miss.

Haven't read any Heinlein (I really enjoyed the Starship Troopers movie but I've heard several people say it bears only a passing resemblance to the book) or Lord of the Rings (saw the first couple of movies. All terribly awe inspiring but quite fantastically dull, I remember thinking to myself that the first film had dragged when I thought it was ending only for the damn thing to go on for another hour and a half). I enjoyed His Dark Materials, though I think Pullman got a bit carried away with himself towards the end - I enjoyed Northern Lights more than the others.

To sit in solemn silence in a dull, dark dock,
In a pestilential prison with a life-long lock
Awaiting the sensation of a short, sharp shock
From a cheap and chippy chopper on a big, black block.

i've never thought of asimov that way. i always thought of him with his face all scrunched up, trying to figure out the least stupid sounding sentence to describe what was going on. i thought he would be an okay director of some sci-fi tv show, because he knew what a good story was and how things should go, but he was _such_ the mediocre writer.

gene wolfe hurts my brain. i have sworn off forever. trying to figure out what he's getting at is horrible, even if the imagery frequently makes me giggle.

lord of the rings is worth reading. srsly. XD i've read the trilogy maybe 4 times? which is about 1/100th of what i usually do, so it's obviously not the best series. but the man does great dwarves. and pippin and merry are SO MUCH BETTER than in the movies. the hobbit is far and away better. but again, i like fantasy for kids.

i just got a $50 gift card for barnes and noble, a 15% off anything coupon, and i'm a member so i get 10% off anyway. i think i'm going there tomorrow. XD i'll see what new books i wanna pick up. *_*
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Ooooh I love the Keys to the Kingdom! I'm waiting for Lady Friday to come out in paperback.

I really dislike finding an ongoing series. I like it better when I can just read the whole thing all at once.

I love finding people with similar taste in books. *_* I love getting recommendations I can trust. *_*
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Oh gods, no...

Confirmation from the horse's mouth here.

Why are pirates pirates?

Because they ARRRRRR!
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Oh, poor Pratchett...

And I heard that the Wheel of Time will be finished by another author. The editor, Jordan's wife, will still be finalizing everything, so it should match the rest of the series. Not that I've read it, but one of my favorite authors mentioned it on his blog today.

MPS::: Bruenor is awesome. I've read everything he's been in, and he's never less than the avatar of all dwarfs. Ivan and Pikel are funnier, but Bruenor is exactly what a drwarf is supposed to be.
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Wow, that's really sad. But at least he seems to have a bit of a sense of humor about it all still? He was at the National Book Festival this past September, and I'm really kicking myself that I was out of town that weekend. The webcast of his talk at the Festival was quite funny. :) I'm still not all the way through all the Discworld books, there are so many. I've even got the first few for my dad for the holidays this year. We share the same snarky sense of humor. :D

MichiruTenoh - I've read all of the Sword of Truth books. (The last one just came out last month. ^^) I rather like them, though I think I may be the most fond of the first one. Now this is making me want to go back and read them all again!

I never read the Wheel of Time books. I've thought about reading them, but never seemed to get around to it. Maybe I'll look into getting the first one next time I'm at the book store.
Yeah, Sword of Truth does drag a little for the last couple books. I really loved the first few, though. I ended up skimming whenever they were in flashback mode, though. ^^; Have you read the short story he wrote as a sort of prequel for the series? (Debt of Bones, I think the title was.) It sets up some of the stuff that happens in the first few books. I rather liked it.

Okay, so I've been working my way through the Wheel of Time books and going back and forth between loving and hating them. It's mostly because half the characters have driven me so far up a wall that I want to smack the majority of them. --; There are maybe 3-4 characters that don't make me want to hit things at least part of the time. But it's certainly interesting. (For reference, I started Path of Daggers--is that #7? #8?--a day or two ago.)

I have the first book of Martin's sitting on my 'to read' pile. I'll get to it soon, I hope, and let you know how I liked it.
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