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  1. #1
    Literary Assassin Singularity101's Avatar
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    Exclamation Book that just blew your mind....

    Of course I use the phrase 'blew your mind' in a very loose manner, but which book have you read that set a new personal standard on the fantasy genre as a whole for you ...and why?

    For me.. it would have to be A Game of Thrones by G doubleR M... and heres why...err. wait, inserting spoiler alert...

    *Possible Spoiler Alert* ( Depending on how you look at it ) ....

    Ok, as I was saying..

    I had recently over the last 5 months gotten back into the Sci-fi /fantasy genre after a long hiatus from reading in general ( Yeah, I know... what was I thinking? ) and I had yet to really read anything that made me think ' Geez, I hope ( insert book title ) can live up to the hype like ( insert another book title ) did. But after hearing so much about George R.R. Martin's 'A Game of Thrones', I decided to pick it up and see what all the hubbub was about....

    Suffice, to say I have just gotten through with it and AGoT has set a pretty high bar. I loved all the different points of view as well as the depth he gave the characters. It's hard to hate a character to the point to where you're basically cussing at some self-indulgent, idiotic action that said character did, ie the actions of Sanssa Stark . Or on the same hand be just as confused at what to do, like Jon Snow and the turmoil over his choice between his old family and his new brothers.

    Like I said, AGoT set a pretty high bar for me and I look forward to the next book 'A Clash of Kings'. Never has 800+ pages seemed like not enough.

    That's my book... what's yours?

  2. #2
    and I like to party. Seak's Avatar
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    Ender's Game did that for me. I'd always heard it was great and finally got a copy and was blown away. I guess any book where I prefer reading to sleep I would probably put in this category.

    Definitely Game of thrones woke me up. I loved that. Those were definitely the quickest thousand pagers I've read and wanted more of.

  3. #3
    Literary Assassin Singularity101's Avatar
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    Somehow I see Enders Game at Borders yet somehow my hand doesn't make contact with said Orson Scott Card book. I may have to give it a shot now. I'll let you know how my next attempt goes ( should be Friday ).

  4. #4
    Ranke Lidyek
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    Definitely buy Ender's Game, but another book written the same year was just as mindblowing to me. Armour by John Steakley. I recommend it highly.

  5. #5
    Literary Assassin Singularity101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranke Lidyek View Post
    Definitely buy Ender's Game, but another book written the same year was just as mindblowing to me. Armour by John Steakley. I recommend it highly.
    What was it about Armour that did it for you?

  6. #6
    aka Radone Davis Ashura's Avatar
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    The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. That an author could create such at utterly horrible main character and thrust him upon us as the hero was hard to swallow. That Covenant became, for all his obvious and whiny warts a worthy hero was an amazing accomplishment. The bravery of Donaldson to wreak what I still think is the most beautiful secondary world every created is...impressive.
    Last edited by Davis Ashura; December 9th, 2008 at 08:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Ranke Lidyek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singularity101 View Post
    What was it about Armour that did it for you?
    The character of Felix. He's emotionally complex and the story explores the psychological conflict prevalent in war: guilt versus the need to survive. Great novel. Haunting.

  8. #8
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Frank Herbert - Dune - back in the '80s when my tastebuds weren't so jaded.

    Tolkien - Lord of the Rings - made me cross over from mostly sf and non-genre to fantasy at the start of the '90s

    Robin Hobb - Assassin books - more recently set a high standard by which other authors are measured.

  9. #9
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    I don't think I have one. My standard is pretty easy going. I either like it or I don't

    I really don't get the whole "Now that i've read >insert author here< everything else is rubbish" thingy.

  10. #10
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    A Game of Thrones, for reasons outlined above.
    The Iron Dragon's Daughter by Michael Swanwick for mixing elves with napalm (and not in a humorous way).
    The Starbridge Chronicles by Paul Park for doing for religion what Tolkien did for culture.
    The Warrior Prophet by R. Scott Bakker for his horrific philosophy.
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy for removing all hope from my life.

    These are just the ones near the front of my mind at the moment. Mind blowing books happen to me several times a year.

  11. #11
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    The latest book that blew my away has to have been The painted Man by Peter Brett. Amazingly talanted writer with a superb skill at characterisation I havn't seen since Hobbs books about Fitz.

    Btw Peadar, The inferior is yet to be released in sweden from what I hear. Do you know if you publisher is pushing for a release date here or do I have to order it from the UK?
    Last edited by Alex; December 10th, 2008 at 04:21 AM.

  12. #12
    Author of "The Inferior" peadarog's Avatar
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    Hi Alex,
    thanks for asking. Yeah, the best thing would probably be to get the UK paperback from amazon or the book depository. Or, if your German is as good as your English seems to be, you'll be able to get that version from January 19th on amazon.de. IMHO, the German cover is pretty cool

  13. #13
    The first one for me was Hyperion. Altered Carbon more recently. Fantasy wise I would say all of the Bakker books.

  14. #14
    Omnibus Prime Moderator PeterWilliam's Avatar
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    LotR for reasons that define the genre for me. First, when it comes to fantasy, I continued to read the genre after LotR because LotR brought a sense of wonder and awe. As the reader, I was inspired. Second, the symbolism and themes were messages that resonated with me (and still do) on a foundational level. The real world can hardly do that. It's probably why the genre became known as "fantasy." What Tolkein achieved was nothing short of art.

    Current contributions to the genre are far from anyone's fantasy; they're more like a nightmare. My take on it, is that it is relfective of the jaded and cynical lot we (western civilization) have become over the past 50-ish years. As readers, we've traded wonder and awe for "shock and awe." I'm no longer inspired by most stories, I'm relieved that it is fiction. Although, in all honesty, fantasy fiction's "gritty realism" is perhaps an all too real reflection of the worst parts of our world.

    While I am eager to purchase, own and read Martin, Bakker, Erikson, Cook, et al, I find most works today to be entertainment and I miss the art that was Tolkein. I miss the "fantasy" aspect (i.e. a better world/place of imagination) of the fantasy fiction genre.

  15. #15
    Too many books to read... Siberian's Avatar
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    Lord of the Rings, hands down. Since I was 11 at the time and it was my first fantasy book it would be impossible for any book to make more impression.

    Most recently, the book that stayed with me long after I was finished reading it was The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon - not a fantasy, but a captivating mix of a gothic historical and a literary mistery.

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