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  1. #31
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    I think that's debatable. Certainly it's plausible to include it in a list of "fantasy" books.

    It isn't until quite a ways into the book that any important "sci-fi" elements come into play (Jonas, the analeptic alzabo). On the other hand, the "fantastic" elements (swords, the Claw, weird resurrections, the undines) loom large early in the book, and in fact never really go away.

  2. #32
    Fanboy Extraordinaire! Warewolf's Avatar
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    From Amazon:
    • In a Dark Wood - Michael Cadnum (this is Robin Hood told from the POV of the Sheriff of Nottingham)
    • Sea of Silver Light - Tad Williams
    • Captain Britain tpb - Alan Moore and Alan Davis
    • The Scorpion (LO5R, Book 1)
    • The Phoenix (LO5R, Book 4)


    From Half.com
    • Dark Descent - edited by David G. Hartwell
    • Snow Queen - Joan D. Vinge

  3. #33
    Book of the New Sun has a guy with a sword on the front of it so I labelled it as fantasy

  4. #34
    Lord Deceiver estranghero's Avatar
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    Also, doesn't Fantasy Masterworks have Wolfe's "Books of a New Sun 1 & 2" listed under them?

  5. #35
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    Re Book of the New Sun, the book obviously has fantastic elements but is best classified as science fiction. Classification is not trivial in this case because a key aspect of the book is the fact that on this far future "dying earth" those elements that when described by Severian appear fantastical in nature can be explained scientifically. (Critic and Interzone editor David Pringle has a short essay on NEW SUN in his book on the top 100 science fiction novels where he argues that this is true of ALL fantastic elements in the book -- this is probably true, although despite the fact that I've read the entire tetralogy through twice some still remain a bit opaque to me.)

    So my point is -- you can read NEW SUN "as fantasy", but if you do so you will miss a major element of the book.

  6. #36
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Very good summation counselor.

  7. #37
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    Originally posted by Eventine
    Alle,
    It's a GST and it's the worst thing that has happened to books in Australia in recent history!

    That's it! I can well imagine that its awful and am sorry you all have to put up with it. I am glad those of us from outside Australia don't have to pay it. :-)

    Continuing my book buying madness, I preordered The Witch Queen by Jan Seigel, Transformation by Carol Berg (which was selected by my fantasy book club) and Glimmers. :-)

  8. #38
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    Llama: I won't disagree with you that many of the "fantastic" elements of The Book of the New Sun turn out to have "scientific" explanations. I doubt, however, that that's true of all of them. I'm thinking, in particular, about the presence of some of the "mythical" monsters, such as the undines, and about some of the theological aspects of the coming of the New Sun.

    Can you make a case that The Book of the New Sun reads more like fantasy, despite the sci-fi content? Of course Wolfe's style is pretty darn unique, but the narrative structure and other stylistic elements bear more resemblance to other fantasy "quest" epics than to science fiction stories. Maybe I haven't read enough sci-fi to detect its influence in Wolfe's writing.

  9. #39
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    >>Llama: I won't disagree with you that many of the "fantastic" elements of The Book of the New Sun turn out to have "scientific" explanations. I doubt, however, that that's true of all of them. I'm thinking, in particular, about the presence of some of the "mythical" monsters, such as the undines, and about some of the theological aspects of the coming of the New Sun.

    Well, the belief in the coming of the New Sun is just a belief, I don't think it impacts the argument much one way or another. The undines are a bit harder to fit, I agree, but it's not impossible, and I'm curious whether more explanation is given in URTH OF THE NEW SUN, which I am now reading, or in the LONG SUN or SHORT SUN books. I'll also note that NEW SUN is a complicated, often oblique book with an unreliable narrator. More things become clear upon a first rereading and I'm sure that will continue to be the case with later rereadings. But I'm fairly confident that Wolfe intended for there to be a scientific explanation for all of the events, not only because Pringle says so, but also because this is in part what the book is about -- about clothing science fiction in the style of quest fantasy. As reviewer Peter Wright notes, NEW SUN involves "the presentation of [a] rational sf novel as a non-rational fantasy". Note also that Wolfe makes an attempt to link the story to "our" time (or to a time that is at least recognizable as "our" future) through the character of Jonas.

    >>Can you make a case that The Book of the New Sun reads more like fantasy, despite the sci-fi content? Of course Wolfe's style is pretty darn unique, but the narrative structure and other stylistic elements bear more resemblance to other fantasy "quest" epics than to science fiction stories.

    I agree, see my point above.

  10. #40
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    When summertime arrives I tend to go a little crazy in terms of book buying. Just recently I bought John Marco's The Saints of the Sword , C.S. Freidman's Coldfire Trilogy, Steven Erikson's Memories of Ice.

    Next on my wish list is China Mieville's The Scar . If it anywhere near as good as Perdido Street Station then I will be a happy man.

    By the way, I'm about halfway through Marco's book and I am enjoying it immensely.

  11. #41
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    Originally posted by Llama
    >>Llama: Well, the belief in the coming of the New Sun is just a belief, I don't think it impacts the argument much one way or another. The undines are a bit harder to fit, I agree, but it's not impossible, and I'm curious whether more explanation is given in URTH OF THE NEW SUN, which I am now reading, or in the LONG SUN or SHORT SUN books.
    If you haven't finished reading The Urth of the New Sun, I won't give anything away, except to say that that book illumines much about what belief in the New Sun means, and how that belief matches, or doesn't match, reality. And if it counts for anything, I think that Urth was published as a sequel after Pringle published his book. (I'll do a quick Internet check to make sure.)

    The rest of your points about tBotNS are well taken. Long Sun and Short Sun likewise are difficult to classify, but have much less of a feel of retro-medieval fantasy. Amazing books all of them, however.

  12. #42
    Lord Deceiver estranghero's Avatar
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    Interesting points raised, Llama & jfclark. Thanks for the heads up on the books. Still have book 1 of the New Sun on my to-read shelf (read book 2 a long, long time ago so it's up for a re-read again anyway).

  13. #43
    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rhaegar
    By the way, I'm about halfway through Marco's book and I am enjoying it immensely.
    IIRC, you mentioned you had a tough time with Jackal. If so, glad to see you stuck it out.

  14. #44
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    Recent purchases:

    The first 4 of the Sun Sword series by Michelle West, (nearly finished book1 , The Broken Crown and am enjoying it)

    Lady of the Sorrows, book 2 of the bitterbynde trilogy (excellent)
    The Scar by China Mieville (awesome)
    Blood of Mystery by Mark Anthony (haven't read it yet)
    The Eyes of God by John Marco (disappointing)

  15. #45
    Recently I got J.V Jones's A Man betrayed and The Sum of All Men by David Farland. To be honest I thought the Sum of All Men was rubbish, but A Man Betrayed was pretty good like the first book in its trilogy.

    By the way caldazar have you read Knight's Dawn yet and did you like it- I didn't.

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