View Full Version : Need something new to read

06-11-2010, 01:03 PM
I get my shiny new audible.com credits today, and I read so voraciously that I'm out of ideas as to what to buy. After seeing what folks have come up with for this month's challenge, I figured this would be a great place to throw out a plea for suggestions. So, what are everyone's favorite sci-fi/fantasy books and/or series?

Some of the stuff I've been reading recently (some for the 2nd-20th time):
David Weber's entire catalog
Pern (9th pass books) by Anne McCaffrey
Miles Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold
Codex Alera by Jim Butcher
Imager series by LEModesitt Jr
Wheel of Time
Midkemia-based book by Raymond E Feist
Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
Elantris/Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

06-11-2010, 01:19 PM
All by Robin Hobb, If you've read Assasins Quest x 3 - then continue with "Liveships" before returning to the farseers in "The Tawny man" and then back again to the "Rain Wild Cronicles" ... Soldiers Son are also good, but very different and a bit slow - the frist book there is best.
For the more gritty side of fantasy you have to read Joe Abercrombies First Law, fantastic books and the gloves are off when he writes.
An unfinshed series (but still going) are "Songs of Fire and Ice" by George R.R. Martin, really good, lots of lots of characters though, so a lot to keep track off - and don't get to attached to the characters either... ;)
I like the Runelords multilogy also ... a great concept for "magic" in those books, where lords draw abilities from their subjects :)

That'll tie you over for the summer :)

06-11-2010, 01:25 PM
Thanks tilt! I do in fact own the liveships trilogy and song of ice and fire already (come on, GRRM, plzplzplz finish the next book) but i didn't know about the other hobb books, abercrombie or runelords :)

06-11-2010, 01:44 PM
yep.. hes taking his time with that book... and you forget all those names while you wait :)
Hobb made 5 trilogies all in all (with one book in the works in the "Rain Wild")
Abercrombie blew me away.. really cool reading - but then again, the "buzz" is that the brittish fantasy authors are the ones to watch these years...

06-11-2010, 01:56 PM
Might not be fantasy, but if you're looking to take a break from your current trend, I've been re-reading the Hammer's Slammers series by David Drake. I've got the first 2 collected volumes, waiting patiently for the third to hit the shelves :)

Not everyone's cup of tea, it can get pretty gritty at times, but it's military scifi by an author who was actually in the military (Vietnam War) at one point :) Think Apocalypse Now/Platoon/Full metal Jacket etc with spaceships for transport and hovertanks. One of the more intense reads I've dealt with. On the plus side for new readers, it's mostly collected short stories (with some novellas) so you can put it down for awhile and pick it up later without missing anything.

3 thumbs up (out of two) from this corner.

06-11-2010, 02:10 PM
After reading Weber I'm actually a lot more open to miltary sci-fi. Drake's Lord of the Isles series was pretty disappointing, but maybe fantasy just wasn't his bag, baby ;) Which is the first book of that series? I tend to spend a lot of time on Baen's e-book store, so I'll definitely pick it up.

Edit: Scratch that question. Baen has an omnibus :)

06-11-2010, 02:50 PM
If you're open to sci-fi then I'd recommend Iain M Banks - probably Player of Games. They can be quite (very) dark but he is an amazing sci-fi author.

06-11-2010, 03:03 PM
Audible only has 2 of his: The Steep Approach to Garbadale and Transition. Would either of those work as an intro to his writing, or should I put the other you mentioned on my text wishlist?

06-11-2010, 03:50 PM
OK, here are some of my favorites:

1. The Princess Bride: William Goldman.
2. The Last Unicorn: Peter S. Beagle.
3. The Name of the Wind: Patrick Rothfuss.
4. Earthsea (Trilogy): Ursula K. Le Guin.
5. Wraith Squadron (Starwars X-Wing series): Aaron Aliston.

Each of these works deserves more of an introduction because they are all so wonderful in different ways, but I don't want to take up too much space here to write about them. However, if you are interested to know more about any of them and I'd be happy to share a bit about the book(s) and why I think it is so great.


06-11-2010, 03:53 PM
Hmm, haven't read Transition and Steep Approach to Garbadale is one of his non-sci-fi series. He's got an interesting convention in which his straight fiction books are by Iain Banks and his sci-fi books are by Iain M Banks (by different publishers too). The fiction stuf is good, but very different from his sci-fi. I'd put them on the paper wishlist.

I'll second Earthsea if you haven't read it. Also, I'd recommend Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, or Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

06-11-2010, 04:02 PM
Thanks Arsheesh! There are a couple on your list that I'd always meant to pick up but never seem to remember to.

Neverwhere is actually one I had put on the maybe list before I posted, along with the first of Butcher's Dresden books. Earthsea I've read, but it was lmany many moons ago, so perhaps I should revisit it. I'll put that one by Banks on the pick it up if I see it at the bookstore list.

I knew I'd come to the right place :) Keep em coming!

06-11-2010, 04:12 PM
I'll throw in the Rama trilogy by Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee: Rama II, Garden of Rama, and Rama Revealed.
Clarke's original Rendezvous with Rama can be a tough read (I recommend skipping it actually), but working with Lee on the trilogy paid off. It's far more readable, but still maintains the ambitious scope typical of Clarke's work. The end of the last book tackles some seriously epic questions about the universe, and the last line is one of my favorites:
"And understanding is happiness."

06-11-2010, 04:18 PM
Military Sci-Fi: Armor by John Steakley <-- been years since I read it but everyone I've told about it has enjoyed it.

If you like Jim Butcher his Dresden series is pretty fun as well and way way way better than the TV show they made based on it. I think he started this series in College and his writing gets better and better and you can see how he was able to do the Alera books so well. Codex Alera has to be one of the best set of Novels I have read.

Military Fantasy - The Black Company by Glen Cook <-- gritty and dark

Fantasy - The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizebeth Moon - Read this years ago but enjoyed it a lot at the time.

I don't really have favorites these are just some worthy reads. I can spit out lots more but just depends on what genre you are most interested in.

06-11-2010, 04:26 PM
A lot have talked about the Black Company, gotta read that sometimes.. .just have to finish Malazan (everything after book 1 and book 1), and Wheel of Time 11+ (where Brandon Sanderson have taken over after Robert Jordan passed away).. oh and Time Travellers Wife, which I heard was a really great story so I picked it up in one of my shopping sprees on Amazon *lol*
Concerning sci-fi - I haven't read that much but a few titles I can recommend.
Neuromancer by Gibson, a bit old but cool
Star Wars (the stories after movie VI) by Zahn, good action in a know universe... I'd just wish that Lucas had hired Zahn to write the 3 "new" movies instead of screwing them up himself.
Hyperion - fantatastic sci-fi story, really cool ... I know Diamond is with me on that - he's mapping it for the Lite challenge :)

06-11-2010, 04:56 PM
@Natai: Oooh, hadn't thought about ACC's stuff, you're right, should definitely pick those up.

@Jax: Paks is great. A reviewer said it well somewhere when they said "you can almost hear the dice rolling sometimes" but nevertheless a great read. I've actually read the Black Company books twice, but one good thing about usually reading a book in one sitting: no retention = you can reread! About all I can remember about those is the fact that it's first person about a guy named ... Croaker, isn't it? And, I have to agree. The Codex Alera was a clearly superior set of fantasy novels. I was incredibly impressed ... enough so that I'm thinking about picking up those Dresden books, even though I usually really don't do urban fantasy.

@tilt: Neuromancer! That's always been on the "hmm, I should pick that up someday" fringe of my notice. It's going on the list too. And I can't say enough how well of a job Mr. Sanderson did on book 12. I was extremely happy with it. Gogogo!

Yay, I'm getting a quite respectable to-read list started here :D Especially on the sci-fi side, where I'm considerably less well-read than in the fantasy end of things.

06-11-2010, 05:39 PM
OK, here is a FANTASTIC READ! This is by far one of the most fascinating novel series I have read.

WORLD WAR & COLONIZATION SERIES (http://www.amazon.com/Balance-Alternate-History-Second-Worldwar/dp/0345388526/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1276291848&sr=1-3) (link is for Book One)

This is an alternate history of HARD SCIENCE, i.e. the Science Fiction is ALL plausible, no Laser Guns (though they have lasers in DVD players), or anything of that sort, where an alien race's fleet of Conquest ships have arrived on earth.

To give the basic plot here, Fleetlord Atvar of the Race (a race of Lizard like creatures), arrives with his conquest fleet approximately 30 years ahead of the Race's Colonization fleet at Earth. Their Probes sent earlier revealed a world in which Humans we in the midst of the Dark Ages, but when their fleet arrives, we are at the height of World War II, a fact the upsets them quite a lot and is one the major underlying themes of the series, the fact that Humans advance technologically faster then them because of our reckless nature.

The novel series spans all of World War complete with characters like Roosevelt, Churchill, Mordecai (jewish freedom fighter) and many other characters from our real history to many imaginary characters as well.

Again, a great read.

06-11-2010, 05:44 PM
That sounds really interesting, Neon, thanks!

06-11-2010, 05:54 PM
check out the Temeraire Series (http://www.temeraire.org/) by Naomi Novic. Its sort of an alternate history/ fantasy hybrid. A great read imo.

06-11-2010, 06:10 PM
Just thought of another good series and you can get some of them via E-books from baen I think and the first few are free -

David Weber's Honor Harrington series - if you like tactical space battles and political idiocy

06-11-2010, 06:58 PM
George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is the best.

The series isn't finished though and if you start it now you will be waiting impatiently for the rest of the series like the rest of us lol

Steel General
06-11-2010, 07:58 PM
Most of the ones I would have recommended have been mentioned- but other books by Glen Cook - The Garret Files (Private eye in Fantasy setting) & the Dread Empire Books are very good.

Shadow Moon/Dawn/Star by George Lucas & Chris Claremont - A continuation of Willow, but well-done nonetheless.

06-11-2010, 10:41 PM
Always good to read and a mix between many genres.

Robin Hobb (read all of them... just get them, just read them and enjoy the expansive inter-connectedness).
Dostoyevsky: Crime & Punishment, The Idiot... both great and both really let you explore inside the mind of people.
H P Lovecraft: Classic "creepy" horror. Excellent reading.
Asimov: Read the short stories. The Foundation series is great but the short stories are the best.
Terry Pratchett: If you have a cartoon brain with a big British Comedy twist, Pratchett is pure gold.

06-12-2010, 12:08 AM

Definitely Black Company. The granddaddy of all gritty military fantasy.
Alastair Reynolds - his stuff is a bit more hard scifi than I usually read, but he can also tell a story, something that most hard scifi authors can't seem to master.
Tilt mentioned the Hyperion series - definitely up there in my top five favorite scifi reads. Also well worth reading is Simmons' two volume series comprised of 'Ilium' and 'Olympos'.
On the horror front, everyone should read 'The Passage' by Justin Cronin. Think 'I Am Legend' crossed with 'The Stand'. It is AWESOME.

06-12-2010, 01:15 AM
Thanks for all of the suggestions so far! I decided to go with Neverwhere and the first Rain Wilds book for today's audible credits, but I am now armed with a list when I go to Borders to spend my gift card, with lots of books waiting in the queue on audible as well. ;) I'm ALWAYS looking for something to read though, so please feel free to continue posting up favorites!

06-12-2010, 01:26 AM
!!.. don't read Rain Wilds before reading Tawny man series... or you will have some plot spoilers...

06-12-2010, 01:27 AM
oh and Juggs are right... Terry Pratchett is fantastic, very light reads by the "Douglas Adams" of fantasy ... not all books are great, but all are funny and some are hillarious :)

06-12-2010, 01:29 AM
:O ... crap, they didn't have those ones. Does that one start with Fool's Errand? And I've already picked up the first Pratchett book, but audio is not apparently the format for those ones; I'll have to pick it up in print because I just couldn't get into listening to it.

06-12-2010, 01:33 AM
yep... starts with fools errand. And concerning Pratchett - his first book is definitly not his best but it explains how his world works ... some of my favorites are "Guards, Guards" and "Mort"

Greason Wolfe
06-12-2010, 09:52 AM
I just can't resist tossing in my two cents here . . .

The Ender and Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card (more Sci-Fi than Fantasy, but, collectively, probably my all-time favorites after LoTR)
The Mithgar series by Denis McKiernan
The Sword Dancer Saga by Jennifer Roberson
The Dragon Prince and Dragon Scroll series by Melanie Rawn


06-12-2010, 10:39 AM
bloody hell, I was just looking at my Orson Scott Card collection and Melanie Rawn collection on the shelf, and came over to suggest them ;) Mr Wolfe, you beat me to it :P

06-12-2010, 11:33 AM
Haha GW, the whole point is NOT to resist putting in your two cents! Thanks for those, and thanks to CM for the vote of confidence on them as well ;) Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son series is fantastic, but I never did get around to his sci-fi (although I did read his book about writing sci-fi; it's great).

06-12-2010, 11:56 AM
The Ender series is good. I especially liked Ender's Game.

Greason Wolfe
06-12-2010, 01:49 PM
@ Gidde - I haven't read the Seventh Son novels yet, though I do have the graphic novels from Marvel (as well as those for Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow). And, yes, his "How To . . . " book is great. I've actually got two copies of it, one with all the highlights I've done and one that I've only opened once. I do, however, like the original version better than the latest, 3-Ring Binderish version

@ Jaxilon - I actually like the Shadow series better, but then again, there is something about Bean's plight that just draws me in.

@ CM - I'm still hoping that Melanie will write the final Exiles book (Ruins of Ambria, Mageborn Traitor). I have, though, had a ball reading her most recent works, Spellbinder and Fireraiser. Although more of a modern fantasy, it's been good so far.

And one other series I forgot to mention earlier . . .

The Pliocene Exile series by Julian May


06-12-2010, 02:09 PM
I've read all the Alvin the Maker series (which is Seventh Son) by Orson Scott Card, the Song of Fire & Ice (unfinished series) is the last series that I read, that and Dune books co-written by Herbert's son and that was a few years ago. Been mostly reading nonfiction stuff like The Handbook of Japanese Mythology by Michael Ashkenazi, The Celts - a History, and Castles from the Air (a coffee table book, mostly aerial shots over European castles.) I've been doing more research reading these days for the various projects I'm involved in - less so of fictional works.

06-12-2010, 02:48 PM
Couple more:

--Anything by Tad Williams. His earliest fantasy trilogy, starting with The Dragonbone Chair is a classic, and his four book scifi series 'Otherland' is just plain awesome. Then there's The War of the Flowers, which is a stand-alone 'urban' fantasy about a dude from our world who finds himself in the middle of a nasty war between various noble faerie houses. He's got a new series out too, so far uncompleted, which starts with Shadowmarch. I haven't read that yet; waiting for it to finish before I get into it. I'm not making the same mistake I did with George RR Martin. :D

--John Marco wrote an entertaining trilogy composed of The Eyes of God, The Devil's Armor, and The Sword of Angels.

I also like to read historical fiction, so here's some excellent ones from that genre:

--The Journeyer, by Gary Jennings. About the travels of Marco Polo.
--Shogun, by James Clavell.
--River God, by Wilbur Smith. About an ancient Egyptian princess and her manservant. This one veers quite a bit into the fantasy genre.

06-12-2010, 02:51 PM
Read the Dragonbone chair some years ago, had so really good things - but was also a bit slow read I thought :)
And yep, I hear you about George Martin - one should think that after getting into WoT one would check if the series are finished first... *lol*

oh.. Guy Gavriel Kay... the classic "Fionavar Tapestry" and I love "Tigana" stand alone :)

06-12-2010, 04:38 PM
If you haven't read it already, I suggest Perdido Street Station, by China Mierville. It is fantasy with some steampunk elements, but the setting is totally unique, sometimes bizarre but super mega uber cool. It's got super freaky monsters that eat your mind and poop dreams in solid form and interdimensional spiders and people with scarab beetles for heads and cactus people.
The story is really exciting but what I love the most about it, is the city in which it takes place, New Crobuzon. Its so well-described and big and full of all sorts of weird characters.

The attached image is from what was to be a video game taking place in the universe, but I think it's scrapped:

It captures the whole mood of the setting pretty well.

And the author must be a cartography fan, cause he's really good at making up places and especially cities. The sequel to Perdido Street Station takes on a giant floating city made out of thousands of intertwining ships. Another book, The City and The City takes place in a sort of "dual" city, where the two different populations live side by side, but must not communicate.

Mind you, it is an adult novel, so there's so nasty stuff in there (including interracial sex with aforementioned beetle-head woman and a bizarre form of punishment magic) but its not gratuitous.
If you want gratuitous, read The Steel Remains (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4741-The-Steel-Remains) by Richard K. Morgan. That's hardcore! Explicit homosexual (!) sex scenes, ultra-violence and oppressive pessimism.

06-12-2010, 05:14 PM
The Iron Tower Trilogy - if you like stuff along the Tolkien style.

Written by Dennis L. McKiernan

Followed by his Silver Call duology which takes place in the same world.

06-12-2010, 05:16 PM
I'll second Tad Williams. He is a bit slow to get started. Dragonbone Chair takes about 200 pages to get into the meat of the story, and Otherland is even slower. His standalone novels are much quicker to get to the point, though. Tailchaser's Song is a favorite of mine. I haven't started Shadowmarch yet for the same reason as others: it isn't finished. The third volume was just released, and it contained a note indicating that there will be a fourth novel. Hopefully Williams is done getting diverted writing comic books and will finish that one quicker.

If you enjoy The Dresden Files, you'll want to read at least the first four or five Vlad Taltos novels by Steven Brust. And if you like those, then I highly recommend Gypsy, which is a collaboration between Brust and Megan Lindholm, whom you already know as Robin Hobb. And I concur with the others: The Tawny Man trilogy is among the best fantasy works I have ever read. I wasn't much into Soldier Son. I only bought the first one, and I read the other two in the bookstore.

Assuming you enjoy Neverwhere, you'll also want to read American Gods and Anansi Boys. Those were the first Gaiman I read, and they got me hooked. He is a storyteller without equal, in my opinion.

David Eddings' Elenium trilogy is good, although it's essentially a more well-crafted retelling of his earlier Belgariad.

Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle is pretty good, particularly the first three books. And Byzantium, if you don't mind the religiosity. Those are both historical fiction with some fantasy elements. I haven't cared much for the rest of his work, though.

And speaking of historical fiction, I've enjoyed the couple of Bernard Cornwell books I've read: An Archer's Tale and one of the Richard Sharpe novels.

06-12-2010, 05:36 PM
Also the Coldfire Trilogy by C. S. Friedman is a great read from what I remember.

Plus the cover art is some of the best ever. They were done by Michael Whelan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coldfire_trilogy <-- would have posted the images but was worried I might step on Copyrights if I linked the wiki .pngs.

Greason Wolfe
06-12-2010, 06:51 PM
@ Jaxilon - As I mentioned earlier, nearly all the Mithgar stuff by McKiernan is great. Although they weren't published as such, there is a chronological order to them that slips my mind at the moment.
-The Dragonstone
-Iron Tower Trilogy
-Silver Call Duology
-Voyage of the Fox Rider
-Eye of the Hunter
-Silver Wolf, Black Falcon
-Tales of Mithgar (Collection of short stories)
-Red Slippers (collection of short stories)
-The Vulgmaster (Graphic Novel that I have yet to find a copy of)

The only one I haven't liked is the latest, Jade Tower, I think. It just felt odd for a McKiernan Mithgar work. He's got another series that I haven't picked up yet. I'll have to get to that one of these days. And a good call on the Coldfire Trilogy. I just read that here within the last year. As for more additions . . .

The Riddle Master Series by Patricia McKillip
Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
The Cleric Quintet by R.A. Salvatore

I could probably go on and on :D and on and on . . .

For my part, I've been trying to branch out into different genres of fiction as of late without much success. I'm so picky about what I read, and if I'm not completely caught up in things by the end of the first chapter, I tend not to finish.


06-12-2010, 06:53 PM
Ooh, the Amber books are awesome. Amber was one of the many things I started and gave up on for this month's challenge :)

Greason Wolfe
06-12-2010, 07:01 PM
Ooh, the Amber books are awesome. Amber was one of the many things I started and gave up on for this month's challenge :)

Yeah, I thought about trying to do the Courts of Chaos, myself. Just been so busy this month with other things. Ironically, I was just thinking of doing the maze from Labyrinth, seeing as how I'm fixing to sit down and watch it with some friends of mine a little later this evening.


06-12-2010, 07:46 PM
You know what we really need is a chart of the Novels mentioned that we can rate somehow. Not sure how to rate exactly: 'Compass Up'/'Compass down' or just compasses from 1-5 or some such thing. That way we can all pitch in on the ones we have read.

Amber - Man I read those so long ago it's a fuzzy haze. I think I was in Junior High or something. I just read "Cleric Quintet" and that was pretty good.

Has anyone mentioned "The Books of the Swords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_the_Swords)" by Saberhagen? If you like some mythology behind your novels you might want to check them out.

06-12-2010, 09:14 PM
You remind me of the babe!

So, finished Neverwhere, that was indeed very good. :)

06-12-2010, 11:00 PM
...man, sometimes I really hate my trackball. Hit the wrong button and I went back a page and I lost my whole comment.

I second the recommendation for the Temeraire series by Naomi Novick. It would technically be called fantasy but it reads more like historical fiction because it really is an alternate history. Think of what the Napoleonic wars would be like if there were dragons too. It is told from the point of view of a British Navy officer turned dragonrider, and I absolutely love it. There are six novels currently out (in order: His Majesty's Dragon, Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, Empire of Ivory, Victory of Eagles, Tongues of Serpents).

My favorite right now is the Tamir Triad by Lynn Flewelling. Worried that the usurper to the throne will kill the rightful heir before she can take her place, the main character is forced to take the form of a male thanks to magic. Because this magic is so absolute, she grows up believing that she is actually a boy. She is haunted by the ghost of her twin brother, who was killed to help make the magic work.

While I love the Tamir Triad a lot, it is even better if you have read some of Flewelling's Nightrunner books first. Both Nightrunner and the Triad take place in the same world, but separated by 500 (or more, I'm not quite sure) years. This series is also a lot of fun and is one of my favorites. The Nightrunner has a completely different feel and follows two spy/thieves (though this is not a good way to describe them) and has a more episodic feel in the storytelling while still being connected to a larger picture. (For example, the first two novels are directly connected, the third can stand on its own, and the fourth and fifth are directly connected. I'm not sure if it'll carry on into the sixth or not, because I'm in the middle of the fifth right now.) In the end, I feel like you can't have her world without either part, and it is an excellent blend. I recommend the reading/listening order be in the publishing order: Luck in the Shadows (Nightrunner), Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner), Traitor's Moon (Nightrunner), The Bone Doll's Twin (Triad), Hidden Warrior (Triad), The Oracle's Queen (Triad), Stalking Darkness (Nightrunner), and The White Road (Nightrunner).

I'm not sure if you read Young Adult fiction very often, but I would also recommend the Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy. I wish this series had been around when I was younger, because I would have really appreciated the mature plot and the clever wordplay. It takes place (mostly) in Modern Day Ireland, and the mentor to the main character is, for lack of a better word for what he is, a lich. A lot of inspiration for this comes from H.P. Lovecraft, especially of the vengeful gods who are sealed away and the threat of them coming back is very serious. I got a chance to hear the second book (Playing With Fire) done by Audible, and I thought that they did a fantastic job with it. The narrator did an excellent job on the voices and I often forgot he was the only one speaking. Books in the series are: The Scepter of the Ancients, Playing With Fire, The Faceless Ones, and Dark Days. (Though Dark Days will not be out in the US for awhile - I got my copy mailed in from England.)

06-13-2010, 12:31 AM
Has anyone mentioned "The Books of the Swords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Books_of_the_Swords)" by Saberhagen? If you like some mythology behind your novels you might want to check them out.
Those are awesome. I first read those in high school, read 'em again not too long ago. There's also a prequel called Empire of the East, which is just as good, if not better.

Another good series is the 'Islander' series by John Maddox Roberts. Five books of post-apocalytpic fantasy/scifi goodness.

06-13-2010, 12:53 AM
Theres been a lot of good books mentioned, I'll add in a few more that weren't mentioned. All Fantasy Based

-Age of the Five Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
-The Black Magician Trilogy by Trudi Canavan
-Elvenbane Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey & Andre Norton Book about Elves and Dragons (with Human Slaves)
-Warbreaker (first book of a trilogy I believe) by Brandon Sanderson (Mistborn and Elantris was already mentioned, GREAT books!) And Brandon in all 3 books, does an amazing job on his magic systems!
-The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind (Lots of books, just finished the first one and started the second, good book so far)

Oh and the other book mentioned Amber series, first set of books I truly read

06-13-2010, 02:25 AM
wasn't aware that warbreaker was out yet... read a teaser for it at the end of mistborn ... once again I'm lacking a function in Amazon to buzz me when my favorite authors put out something new :)
this is a fantastic thread - so many new things to read ... and so many old books pop up in memory again... Amber Series and Sparhawk's adventures....
and Jax, I had the same thought - it would be cool to have this organized... I'm thinking of slapping together a small database where you can input author, title and perhaps a small review incl. a rating - but I'm sure someone inhere would be more qualified to do this - and it would be fantastic if it could be integrated with the guild frontpage so "latest review" could be featured. I'm aware however that it is on the fringe of relevant information - but I believe most people in here would enjoy it as a place to find inspiration for nerds like us :)

06-13-2010, 02:54 AM
this is a fantastic thread - so many new things to read ... and so many old books pop up in memory again... Amber Series and Sparhawk's adventures....
and Jax, I had the same thought - it would be cool to have this organized... I'm thinking of slapping together a small database where you can input author, title and perhaps a small review incl. a rating - but I'm sure someone inhere would be more qualified to do this - and it would be fantastic if it could be integrated with the guild frontpage so "latest review" could be featured. I'm aware however that it is on the fringe of relevant information - but I believe most people in here would enjoy it as a place to find inspiration for nerds like us :)
I for one wouldn't mind seeing something like that here...

06-13-2010, 08:24 AM
wasn't aware that warbreaker was out yet... read a teaser for it at the end of mistborn ... once again I'm lacking a function in Amazon to buzz me when my favorite authors put out something new :)

Sign up at Tor.com; they emailed me when it came out AND they have a few sample chapters up to read :)

This is indeed a fantastic thread. So many great recommendations! It'd probably be a bit off topic to make a db with a front page thing, but I'll happily go through the thread and compile it all into the top post - it'll make it easier for me to come back and grab books off the list anyhow ;)

@Yandor: You hit the nail on the head. In writing my novel, I've thought long and hard about magic systems and had come to the conclusion that magic had already been done pretty much every way it could be done. Then I read Elantris and Mistborn and he'd managed to come up with new, fresh ones. I was intensely jealous ;)

06-13-2010, 09:38 AM
Gidde, you'll need to read Warbreaker, haha he'll blow you away yet again with the magic system, hes a great author, still need to get his autograph considering he lives like 10 minutes away from where I live haha

06-13-2010, 10:11 AM
I have to third or forth that Warbreaker novel by Sanderson. It is excellent! My wife found it because she was reading the Wheel of Time Series and wanted to know about the new author. I think there was a time it was being offered as a free e-book but that may be done.

Since I'm here may as well kick in a couple more I don't remember seeing yet:

Terry Brooks - tons of books but Start with The Sword of Shannara
Piers Anthony - Xanth series <-- Read these in High School and remember that they were fun.
Fritz Leiber - Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, first book is: Swords and Deviltry <--- I'd consider him one of the grandfathers of the genre and you will be laughing a lot with these. They are about a Barbarian from the North and a Swordsman/thief from the city who become a dynamic duo. Old style language might take a little bit to get used to, kind of like reading Shakespeare at first but you will adjust.

PS. If it were not for these stories from our youth I think a great many of us would not have the love for maps that we now have. So, in regards to having a book list it would seem to me to fall under map inspiration. I can also see that it might only have loosely linked relevancy so I support whatever decision is made on this matter.

Steel General
06-13-2010, 11:00 AM
If you like the Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny I'd also recommend (by him) "This Immortal", "Lord of Light", "Creatures of Light & Darkness" & "Unicorn Variations" (Anthology of short stories).

06-13-2010, 11:51 AM
If you want to go for something that contains a lot of magic, sex, blood and scheming, I'd truly recommend the Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop. That certainly is x-rated ;)

But if you want something lighter, with some interesting supernatural abilities that are not magical, check Graceling and Fire by Kristin Cashore. She does have strange names for her protagonists, but you'll get used to it.

And, last but not least, I strongly recommend everything written by Walter Moers, especially The City of Dreaming Books. That book made me want to read again after studying literature for some years!

06-13-2010, 09:27 PM
Actually a darn fine series is the Thieves World anthologies (edited and some written by Lynn Abby). Collections of short stories from multiple authers in the same setting and using the same characters.

there's a fair number of them - if you can find them, I know there are a few collections floating around now.

06-14-2010, 01:42 AM
Regarding the reviews database thing, we have a very nice blog system here now, and the blog posts can be rated, tagged and categorized. I'm not sure if the search system allows a search to be sorted by rating or not, though.

06-14-2010, 01:49 AM
Actually a darn fine series is the Thieves World anthologies (edited and some written by Lynn Abby). Collections of short stories from multiple authers in the same setting and using the same characters.

there's a fair number of them - if you can find them, I know there are a few collections floating around now.

I second that

06-14-2010, 04:07 AM
Regarding the reviews database thing, we have a very nice blog system here now, and the blog posts can be rated, tagged and categorized. I'm not sure if the search system allows a search to be sorted by rating or not, though.

thought of that, and also using the forum - but I came up both times with it being hard to get a proper overview afterwards, I believe a little separate system would do the trick - doesn't even have to be hosted here - there could just be a link. I'd have no problems hosting it if needed

06-14-2010, 06:13 AM
So I just made a quick search and found this http://www.reviewpost.com/indexpro.html ... it looks like something that could be used and its integratable with vbulletin. Question is if we can find 89 users that think this is a good idea and pay a buck to get it ;)

Steel General
06-15-2010, 07:08 AM
FYI...The blog system is very open to spam.

06-15-2010, 10:15 AM
So I just made a quick search and found this http://www.reviewpost.com/indexpro.html ... it looks like something that could be used and its integratable with vbulletin. Question is if we can find 89 users that think this is a good idea and pay a buck to get it ;)

Well, I couldn't make much heads or tails out of what that was, half the links didn't work for me for some reason. I guess I would break the whole thing down to a few points:

1) It needs to be decided if something like this should be included with the site. It's never a good idea to get too far off your mission statement but it seems the books that have fueled our imaginations and caused us to dream of maps might not be a bad thing.
2) Would something like this be useful in other ways for the site? Thumbnails with ratings might come in handy if that's possible.
3) Funding - If we don't do it here it might be a good use of kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/) which should net 89 people and then some. I know I've always wanted to see a website that was easy to look up new books worth reading. Heck I need a database of just my own the way book covers change because I find myself double checking to see if I've read them before.

06-15-2010, 10:24 AM
1) yep... a poll would be nice - but only if the CL's agree
2) we do allready have a rating system for the maps, but I could see the usefullness extended to for instance - software
3) Maybe its possible to find it for free, or someone in here could program it (my skills are limited but I'm guessing I could make the basics, but still would need someone to integrate it with the site). But kickstarter would be a nice solution to the "problem".

yeah, I have managed to buy a book twice, its sometimes hard to remember when they come 1-2 years apart. What I'm often missing on amazon (where I shop the most) are list telling me which books are in series with which and in which order to read them. (Not that that was proposed here, but maybe someone who added a new title would be nice to list that in comments *lol*)

06-16-2010, 05:40 AM
So I just made a quick search and found this http://www.reviewpost.com/indexpro.html ... it looks like something that could be used and its integratable with vbulletin. Question is if we can find 89 users that think this is a good idea and pay a buck to get it ;)

Looks like it's just a load of sub-forums with a template. (not that I know much about Content management systems). I don't think that there will be a book review section at the CG anytime soon (of course it's Arcana's decision), there are tonnes out there already which are dedicated to the subject. Maybe a software review section? Although to tell the truth the vast majority of users here who post maps use Photoshop, Gimp, Illustrator and CC. Not really worth it for 4 products and there's a software list section anyway...

07-13-2010, 08:49 PM
Poked into the thread because I have more credits to spend now, and just wanted to say thanks again to everyone who recommended books!

Also, my two cents on some of these that I read after they were recommended here: Robin Hobb's Tawny Man and Rain Wilds books were so great that I went back and read the Liveships books again afterwards just to stay in the world awhile. Neverwhere was FANTASTIC. Neil Gaiman narrates the audiobook himself, and it's one of the best I've "read" in that format. I couldn't get into Player of Games for some reason, I'll have to try that again at a later date. I also just read Belgarath the Sorcerer for the first time (I had skipped it because I'd heard it was horrible) and it was not nearly as bad as purported to be; I was sorely tempted to read the Belgariad and Mallorean again to continue the story ;) Then I picked up Warbreaker, and true to the comments above, the magic system was yet another interesting, completely new system. Sanderson amazes me with those. The story, on the other hand, wasn't my favorite of his; it was so twisty it felt almost too-clever-for-its-own-good.

Next up: Iron Tower trilogy. Wee!

07-13-2010, 10:37 PM
I recently picked up Dies the Fire by S.M. Stirling. I wouldn't put it among the greatest books I've ever read, but it was enjoyable and a very good "what if?" story. I'll probably read at least a couple more of the books in that series.

And on the advice of a friend I'm reading Mr. Norell & Jonathan Strange by Susanna Clarke. It's an interesting piece of faux-Victorian fantasy about two magicians trying to bring magic back to England in order to help fight Napoleon.

07-13-2010, 10:45 PM
Thanks Mid! Let me know how you end up liking that one.

07-13-2010, 10:52 PM
Gaiman is great. He won some sort of literature award for a graphic novel that he put together from some Sandman comic books (which I loved back in college) and then they changed the requirements so that comic books could never win again. Frank Miller's stories are better (Watchmen, Dark Knight Returns, 300) but Neil has the imagination. That's about the extent of my lit knowledge...such as it is :)

07-13-2010, 10:58 PM
Watchmen was really good, but it taught me that graphic novels aren't for me ... it was distracting trying to figure out where my eyes were supposed to be going at any given time (I mean, I know what the layout is, but I had to consciously direct myself to it). Didn't stop me from reading it in one sitting though ;) I was glad that the movie did it justice.

07-14-2010, 05:07 AM
I was just a bit disappointed we didn't get the Alien Conspiracy ending...

07-14-2010, 04:42 PM
Yeah, but if you really think about it, what was totally cool in a graphic novel would have looked ridiculous on the big screen, even if they had portrayed it perfectly.

06-12-2011, 01:54 PM
I have 2 all time favorite books:

Armor by John Steakley Jr.
Rings of the Master by Jack L. Chalker (4 book series) Lords of the Middle, Pirates of the Thunder, Warriors of the Storm, Masks of the Martyrs

06-12-2011, 05:34 PM
Thanks Mid! Let me know how you end up liking that one. [Jonathan Strange& Mr Norrell]

Well, it spent an awful long time getting to the point. Throughout most of the book, not much happened, then it dumped almost the entire plot into the last sixty pages or so. It certainly evoked Victorian literature, but that isn't necessarily to the good. It read very much like Literature without having any of the requisite significance thereof.

Shortly after that one, I read To Say Nothing of the Dog, which is a time travel story in which the main character winds up in rural Victorian England. It was much lighter and more amusing, and it wasn't oppressively long. I don't recall the author off the top of my head, but if you like time travel, I recommend it.

Sorry for the latency in this reply! I forgot to come back here to leave my comments after I finished it. But it's only been 10 months, so I guess it could have been worse!

06-13-2011, 04:42 AM
I'm currently reading Abercrombies "The Heroes" his 5th book, definitly worth a read if you like the gritty dark world he portrais - I love his characters and the clear winner this time around (as cool char.) is Bremer dan Gorst who's bitter thoughts about what he sees is a great read indeed. :)

06-13-2011, 08:15 PM
I'm re-reading Martin's ASOI&F again, in preparation for the 5th book's release (FINALLY!!!).

05-25-2012, 12:11 AM
So, in a serious thread necro, I'm rezzing this thread since it has a ton of good book info already.

Now that it's rezzed, I just have one thing to say: Read "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline. If you dig audiobooks, listen to it instead; Wil Wheaton narrates it and is amazing (as usual). I was hesitant to jump into another dystopic after being rather disappointed by the Hunger Games trilogy, but Ready Player One was a total nerdgasm. If you lived through the 80's and gamed, geeked, or even just liked all (or any) of the guilty-pleasure teen movies, this book will make you feel like the author just wrote a huge inside joke aimed directly at you. I loved it.

PS. In case anyone has read it or reads it due to this post, I have to brag (spoiler-free). I got the second key's riddle instantly. Yay me. I was in the car listening, and instantly yelled "It's [insert reference here]!" It then took the protagonist 2 HOURS of audiobook to figure it out. I felt so smart.

05-26-2012, 02:38 PM
I loved the hunger games - although book 3 dissapointed :/ ... I'm currently reading Valisar trilogi by Fiona McIntosh and Magic of Twillight trilogy by Farell. Also, Brandon Sandersons "Way of kings" is way recommended, although it isn't finished yet. And I am of course looking forward to fall/xmas and the last Wheel of Time book. :)

05-26-2012, 11:51 PM
Heck yes. That final WoT book is going to ROCK. Can't wait. I liked Way of Kings ok, but I'm hoping it was suffering from first-book-lots-of-intro, because I could have done without half the flashback-type stuff. It just seemed really slow. But the magic system is (of course) brilliant, and the story is intriguing. I'll certainly pick up the next one. Have you read his latest Mistborn book? It's steampunkish, set a few hundred years after the events of the trilogy, and it was great.

05-27-2012, 12:36 AM
If your looking for something new to read i would definitally recommend anything written by Bernard Cornwell, especially the Sharpe, or Saxon trilogies

05-27-2012, 12:49 AM
I'm *always* looking for something new to read ;) Thanks for the suggestions!

05-28-2012, 12:54 PM
Here are a few suggestions:

Eye of the Dragon - Stephen King (I could read it over and over again)
Songmaster - Orson Scott Card
Interview with a Vampire - Anne Rice (I'm not really in to vampires; I just LOVE her style of writing)
Acorna series - Anne McCaffrey
Dragonlance series (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dragonlance_novels)

05-28-2012, 01:39 PM
Thanks! There's a few on there I haven't read yet :)

05-29-2012, 12:35 AM
Now, farbeit from me to list stuff that would take you from mapping, Gidde, but your initial list included a bunch of stuff I have enjoyed, so here's others I have liked. No guarantee that many of them will be out in audio. Though I guess that if you're partaking via audio, what I list is just reams more inspiration WHILE mapping?

* The Green and the Gray - atypical Timothy Zahn, but really really good. Then read everything else he has written - haven't found any I actively disliked. Well, I can't remember some of the Star Wars ones - after a while all Star Wars books started to blur together so I gave up the genre. Really good series of his include the Dragonback books, Cobra & Blackcollar books, I didn't get into the Conquerors set hugely, but some of my family rereads it every few years.
- China Mieville was mentioned - also read UnLunDun. Mine had some pix, so audio may not be best. Or wait - am I just remembering vivid imagery brought to life by the story? Hmmm.
- Eoin Colfer's Artemis Fowl books. You say WHAT is underneath our feet? He also did something that was a young adult mystery if I'm not mistaken - it was a good read too. Benefit for QuantityHasItsOwnQuality (tm) readers - there's a *bunch* of Artemis Fowl.
- Speaking of a long list, try a Brian Jacques Redwall book on audio - I understand he has read some himself.
- Larry Niven - much of his catalog; I grew up reading his early stuff, so the Known Space setting is a favorite (bunches of books and short stories). The series he edits on the Man-Kzinn wars is fun. Way more recently his pair with Jerry Pournelle are good: The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand
- Speaking of that earlier era, have you sampled Poul Anderson? The Polesotechnic League stories (Nicholas van Rijn?)
- Gordon Dickson's Hoka books, and The Right to Arm Bears. The latter deserves a try based solely on the title, and it winds up being a delight.
- Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron's Gandalara Cycle - reread this two or three times
- Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth books, Flinx books (14 of them), Icerigger trilogy

* Everything Christopher Anvil wrote - many were tongue in cheek old SF that has held up well. The Steel, the Mist and the Blazing Sun is postapocalyptic USA (well, and world) with a different spin than most - that I reread every 5-10 years.
- I'll second (third?) a recommendation for SM Stirling's Dies the Fire series. Also his three Flight Engineer books were written with James Doohan, and are good. I didn't like his Draka series; a bit too harsh for my taste. The Peshawar Lancers is delightful - a book I wish there was a series of. What's this - there's a related short story; Shikari in Galveston - now I gotta find that!
- Paul O. Williams' Pelbar Cycle (7 of them!) is better in recollection as a far-post-apocalypse setting than, say, the Horseclans books (which I did enjoy in college) I seem to recall it needed more/ better maps :-).
- Robert Adams' Horseclans books had the benefit that if you liked them there wound up being eighteen of them :-).
- David Brin's The Postman. Skip the movie, read the book. I liked his Uplift series of SF more than some of his other work, though The Practice Effect was a good read.
- Hmmm - while I'm thinking postapocalyptic, Neville Shute's On the Beach was good. Again, the book, not the movie.

Enough of that genre. Stuff you may not have run across...
- Thomas J. Ryan's The Adolescence of P1 (sentient computer virus, anyone?)(you wind up rooting for the virus...)
- Fletcher Knebel's Dark Horse (now, WHY did the truck driver get elected president?)
- Harry Harrison - Bill, the Galactic Hero (cheerfully, intentionally pulp-story-awful stuff... I still buy them as labels on gifts to my brother Bill :-) ) . His Stainless Steel Rat series are honestly good reads (as opposed to guilty ones, like Bill... ).
- Bill Bryson - engaging travelogues
- Thor Heyerdahl' Kon-Tiki & Aku-Aku. Norwegian adventurer (one wonders if the Foglios' Girl Genius http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php Gentleman Adventurer! character Othar Tryggvassen might be just a little related. C'mon, balsa raft across the Pacific, secrets of the Easter Island statues - what's not to like? Well, besides the iffy science. Still are good reads. And he describes tunnel/caves the most jaded roleplay adventurer could get the willies about....)
- Sharyn McCrumb's various Appalachian mysteries - Rosewood Casket is good, the Songcatcher is even better.
- Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael medieval murder mysteries
- Zizou Corder's Lion Boy trilogy - why yes, of course he can understand cats - can't everyone?
- Philip Reeve's Larklight & Mortal Engines series. The former is, hmm, aetherpunk? The latter starts with mobile, ravenous cities and builds from there.
- Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society - plucky genius kids save the day - ones with setbacks, real character quirks and real hang-ups, not just comic-book cardboard cutouts.
- EE Doc Smith's Lensman series - golden age SF
- Lester Dent ("Kenneth Robeson")'s Doc Savage pulp novels. Face it, there were 181 of them - any ten might do you :-). But they were fun.

More mainstream - or at least more widely read :-)
- James Schmitz' various Telzey Amberdon books
- James Gurney's Dinotopia books (NOT for audio - simply the most lavishly imagined sentient dinosaur milieu ever)(he even does maps. Drop-dead gorgeous maps)
- Eric Flint - prize for best at letting others play in his sandbox - 1632 series, including spinoffs and fan-written additional material collected in short-story form. He's responsible for other goodness too - Belisarius, for example - alternate modern-Roman history.
- Jack Campbell - Lost Fleet Series - grand scope military SF - fair warning; not yet done :-).
- Same guy, writing as John G. Hemry, wrote the Judge Advocate General SF series - good stuff, and an angle not often covered among militiary SF writers
* CJ Cherryh - Chanur series, any of the Alliance/Union books (Downbelow Station won a Hugo - is that cred?)
- Have you read Weber's Safehold series? It manages to be medieval and SF both
- Lois McMaster Bujold's stuff is fun
- Travis Taylor's work is really rolicking hard SF. "Rocket City Rednecks" is sort of a schtick - he really IS an aerospace/electrical/optical engineer pilot scuba diver mountainbiking martial artist physicist. Not a Buckaroo Banzai, but almost.
- Andre Norton's catalog has much goodness; dozens...

And for a dollop of Map Inspiration Relativity - a bunch of those deserve way better maps than they got in print... if they had maps at all...

05-29-2012, 12:45 AM
Wow thanks! What a great list! I have indeed read the safehold books (at least the first few) and I love Bujold. And yeah, as you inferred, I love listening to books while mapping :)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06-02-2012, 11:41 PM
One that I just read that was great fun is Jane Carver of Waar by Nathan Long. A send-up/satire/tribute to ERB's Barsoom books, and frankly much more fun, well-written and awesome than those books ever were. Only bad thing about is it's too darn short...

06-15-2012, 07:50 PM
kudos jb, great list. This thread has some legs. :) For a sci-fi fix I like Iain M Banks culture books (Excession is my favorite)
A good fantasy fix could get filled by "The Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss.

06-15-2012, 08:27 PM
Thanks to Gidde for the "Ready Player One" by Earnst Cline read by Will Wheaton --- That was Awesome!!