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"Great book hunt: part one...." Topic

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Personal logo Blake Walker Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 2:20 a.m. PST

I asked some of my friends about decent military sci-fi books to read. They recommended Horus Heresy No. 4: Flight of the Eisenstein and Horus Heresy No. 9: Mechanicum. I should be getting those in the mail sometime this week.

Right now, I'm gathering up paperbacks. I think the rest of the books I buy will be electronic. The problem has been that paperbacks are often cheaper than the electronic versions. So I got paperbacks in those cases.

I also perused a local used book store looking for goodies. I found Elizabeth Moon's Victory Conditions…

As far as Glen Cook's books go, I have the first three Black Company books. I read one of the later Black Company novels. I was disappointed with it. I haven't read "Destroyermen," though I picked up a copy and read the dustjacket at the library…

I have the following left on my to purchase list:

Philip Jose Farmer's Doc Savage.
RM Meluch's The Twice and Future Caesar.
Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice.
Stephen Baxter's Ultima.

Anybody have any fantasy book recommendations besides Jordan's The Wheel of Time or George R. Martins' Game of Thrones?

When I was young, I read a lot of classic sci-fi like Arthur C. Clarke and Issac Azmov. I later progressed to Harry Turtledove, Niven, and Pournelle. I also read Steven Barnes's cyberpunk novels.

When I got to college, I read more fantasy like Tolkien's The Hobbit and Stephen Donaldson's Through a Glass Darkly and Mirror of Her Dreams. I also read Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover Against the Terrans series. About fifteen years ago, I stopped reading fiction and just read military history. I didn't actively start reading speculative fiction again until four years ago.

However, I made the mistake of looking for new fantasy books that weren't multi-volume epics. The only thing I could find that fit that bill was Joe Abercombie's Half A King. There's also the Valhalla Series on my Nook. But I haven't read that, yet, either.

If you know of a good fantasy novel or series that doesn't go on forever, please let me know.


Terrement Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 5:14 a.m. PST

Blake, OK if they aren't multi vol. epics but run for three books or so?

Dropzonetoe Fezian12 Oct 2015 6:23 a.m. PST

Fantasy comes in a few flavors so here is a buckshot of stuff I like that came to my head. Without knowing if your looking for comical, serious, military campaign or lone hero style books, something below should be a starting point.

Patrick Rothfuss – The Name of the Wind.

Jasper Kent – Twelve

Mary Gentle – Grunts

Stan Nicholl – Orcs

Greg Costikyan – Another Day, Another Dungeon

John Moore – Heroics for Beginners

Terrement Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 7:33 a.m. PST

David Gemmell – has a number of different short series.

J. V. Jones
Cavern of Black Ice (plus I think 3 follow-ons)
The Baker's Boy (+2?)
also individual novels

Barbara Hendee – Noble Dead series (OK, it does run on but I liked it.


Roger Zelazny Nine Princes in Amber (series)
though most read like a complete story, but not fully resolves at the end

Fred Saberhagen
Sword series,
Empire of the East series
Dracula series
Book of the Gods series

Jim Butcher
Codex Alera series
Dresden Files

RavenscraftCybernetics Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 7:46 a.m. PST

Tim Powers

jtkimmel12 Oct 2015 8:23 a.m. PST

I really like Modesitt's Recluce series, while there are a lot of books in the series, they are mostly stand alone books. Each novel tells a story from a different time and location in the fantasy world, there is a little overlap in some but not much.

Parzival12 Oct 2015 9:21 a.m. PST

Hillari Bell's Fall of a Kingdom trilogy is a good read with some interesting twists.

I love Megan Whalen Turner's "Eugenides" series, befinning with The Thief. They're not sword and sorcery epics, but much more adventures of intrigue and very subtle trickery; you won't figure out what's really happening until the end of each novel, though the narrator tells you all along. Great stuff.

Grab some Pratchett Discworld novels. Yeah, there are a lot of books, but you don't have to read them all, or even much in any particular order. Each book stands alone (but characters appear in multiple books, and Death (and his horse, Binky) appears in all of them). They're a hoot.

Check out Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. It's got a lot of books, but they're all great, and each tells its own story (a few bleed over here and there, and there is an overall story going on, but for the most part each book is its own tale). As for the novels think of a hard-boiled detective series where the detective is an actual wizard working as a P.I. in modern Chicago. Oh, and all the fantasy creatures of folklore and myth and religion all actually exist… and Harry is the one who has to step in whenever they start to wreak havoc in his beloved city. One of the best thought-out fantasy series you will ever read, with a logical, perfectly crafted magic system that incorporates nearly every myth and tradition seamlessly. And Butcher is a talented wordsmith as well.

By the way, with R.M. Meluch's Once and Future Caesar, do understand that's the fifth book in a series that begins with The Myriad. You'll want to read those in order, especially The Myriad, as it ends with a HUGE twist that sets up the rest of the series. But don't worry that it's a series; you'll love 'em all.

And have you read Naomi Novik's Temeraire series, featuring the Napoleonic Wars fought with dragons? Think Patrick O'Brien (you've read him, right?) meets Anne McCaffrey (The Dragonriders of Pern series). Amazing.
For a stand alone, I'll also give a nod to Naomi Novik's recent Uprooted, a fantasy romance with a different approach to magic and a haunting and frightening enemyŚ The Wood, an apparently sentient, corrupted forest that is trying to turn everything (including people) into mutated beasts and plants. Note that I did say "romance," though it's not the heaving bosoms kind, and the heroine and hero form an attraction based on intellect and personalities rather than physical attributes. There are a couple of intense "intimate" scenes (clearly written for a female audience*), but they aren't over the top or particularly graphic, and fit the nature of the story well. And Novik is a gifted writer, far above the ordinary fantasy novelist. (*Men, if your SO likes fantasy, give her this book. She'll love it. Read it yourself, too, because it's a great book.)

ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Oct 2015 10:51 a.m. PST

Lois Bujold's "Chalion" books ("The Curse of Chalion" and "Paladin of Souls") are amazingly good. Not much in the way of battles, but incredibly powerful books nonetheless. There are several others set in that world as well.

Terrement Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 12:19 p.m. PST

FWIW, I always enjoy this sort of thread as I also get introduced to other good reads to check out and enjoy!

Personal logo Sue Kes Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 1:26 p.m. PST

Tanya Huff's "Valor" series.

mad monkey 112 Oct 2015 1:50 p.m. PST

Joe Abercrombie's First Law series. It's a trilogy, that adds other stand alone stories, Heroes, Red Country to name two.
Military scifi, David Drake Hammer Slammers series, Markus Kloos frontline series, John Scalzi's Old Man's War, to name a few.
The Draka stories by S.M. Stirling, and the General series he and David Drake did.

And last from me, but not least, if you haven't read them, The Flashman papers. The awesome sauce of historical fiction. : )

kyoteblue Inactive Member12 Oct 2015 1:53 p.m. PST

Try, Ready Player One.

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