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  1. #1

    Some reading clues for 2013

    Been away from the 'reading front' for about a year; have read a couple of books though i really enjoyed (collected stories by Borges, a couple of Murakami novels, handful of short stories by Gene Wolfe) and am now 'reorienting' myself in the fantasy landscape - and would appreciate some pointers and recommendations for the upcoming year. In short: which books shall i order to carry me over the next six months or so?

    To give some context: i have read most of the 'classics' (Dunsany, Lovecraft, Borges, Howard, Tolkien, Lewis...), the 'new classics' (Leiber, Vance, LeGuin, Hobb, Williams, Zelazny, Donaldson, Wolfe etc. etc.) and some of the new bunch (Martin, Abercrombie, Mieville, Scott Bakker...). My favourite writers include Borges, Wolfe, Howard, McKillip, Murakami and Steven Erikson.

    Recommendations can include short story collections or multi-novel series; what i'd be looking for are stories such as Forlesen (Wolfe), novels like Stone (Roberts) or series such as Malazan; i guess overarching themes are alienation, protagonist(s) looking for ways to cope with / make sense of the world - but set in a story told with 'old fashioned' craftsmanship and in an otherworldly /exotic setting. Howard meets Jung meets Pratchett. Or something like that.

    I'm aware all of the above may still be (way) too vague, ask away should this be the case. Many thanks in advance,

    cheers,

    Sfinx.

  2. #2
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    Guy Gavriel Kay!
    Maybe start with The Lions of Al Rassan. He's the best in the business.

  3. #3
    Hi, Sfinx.

    Here are some collections I've particularly enjoyed,
    Glen Hirshberg, American Morons & The Two Sams
    Caitlin Kiernan, To Charles Fort, With Love
    Steve Rasnic Tem, Deadfall Hotel
    Sarah Monette, The Bone Key
    -- these are all ghost stories, horror, weird

    Susanna Clarke, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories
    Peter Beagle, The Rhinoceros Who Quoted Nietzsche
    Kage Baker, Nell Gwynne’s Scarlet Spy (one short novel, one novella ... novelette?)
    --these are all charming to one degree or another; all but one story in the Clarke are to do with fantasy world of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

    Holly Phillips, In the Palace of Repose
    Graham Joyce, Partial Eclipse and Other Stories
    M. Rickert, Holiday
    -- no neat descriptions for these, any story could go off in a very different direction from the others; the Rickert is particularly recommended (may have to scroll down a little to see)


    Not so new,
    Arthur Machen, The Three Imposters
    Lafcadio Hearn, Kwaidan


    Randy M.

  4. #4
    Thanks Randy, much appreciated.

    The Rhinoceros who quoted Nietzsche is in (title alone won me over) as are Holly Phillips, Machen (Three Imposters can be downloaded for free at Gutenberg!), Hearn (especially intrigued by this one), Kiernan and Baker.

    Joyce somewhat harder to obtain - and pricey as well; Clarke not my cup of tea (admmittedly, based on evidence n=1 Jonathan Strange & mr. Norrell); Hirshberg sounded just a bit too gloomy. Not sure about Tem; and Monette's Bone Key sounds (but probably isn't) like Necroscope meets Da Vinci code...

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.

  5. #5
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I'll second the Graham Joyce recommendation. I'll add Jonathan Carroll and Chris Wooding (Weavers of Saramyr) and a series that may be harder to find that's closer to the classic fantasy style : Winter of the World by Michael Scott Rohan. If you liked Murakami, then try some David Mitchell. Cloud Atlas will probably be my favorite book of 2012, and I understand his other books are just as intriguing.

  6. #6
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
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    with that list, you want some (might be a little older, but they're the first to leap into my brain which haven't been mentioned):

    jon courtenay grimwood (stamping butterflies)
    nick harkaway (gone away world)
    richard brautigan (hawkline monster)
    iain m banks (take your pick, really)
    kameron hurley (god's war)

    for the humour value: robert rankin is currently re-releasing a lot of his works onto ebook format and some of them will be free over xmas this guy can break your funny bone if you like english humour

    for stricter fantasy:
    tom lloyd. his twilight reign series was really interesting for an unexpected kind of hero.
    scott lynch (lies of locke lamora)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Sfinx View Post
    Thanks Randy, much appreciated.

    The Rhinoceros who quoted Nietzsche is in (title alone won me over) as are Holly Phillips, Machen (Three Imposters can be downloaded for free at Gutenberg!), Hearn (especially intrigued by this one), Kiernan and Baker.

    Joyce somewhat harder to obtain - and pricey as well; Clarke not my cup of tea (admmittedly, based on evidence n=1 Jonathan Strange & mr. Norrell); Hirshberg sounded just a bit too gloomy. Not sure about Tem; and Monette's Bone Key sounds (but probably isn't) like Necroscope meets Da Vinci code...

    Cheers,

    Sfinx.
    Hirshberg is certainly melancholy and occasionally outright gloomy.

    I never got around to the Necroscope series -- I developed a dislike of Lumley in novel form years before that came out -- and avoided Da Vinci, so I can't say what the melding would be like. What I would say about the Monette, though, is that after the first story a sneaky sense of humor surfaces at times, there's a playfulness with both plot and scene that is engaging in much the way my current read is -- my current read is a "Golden Age" mystery novel by Margery Allingham -- and an occasional grappling with more important issues that Monette melds well with the premise of her stories. If I were to compare it to anything, it might be to the stories of Neil Gaiman, flirting with the horror genre but avoiding gore for more thoughtful chills.

    Randy M.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas Thorn View Post
    with that list, you want some (might be a little older, but they're the first to leap into my brain which haven't been mentioned):

    jon courtenay grimwood (stamping butterflies)
    nick harkaway (gone away world)
    richard brautigan (hawkline monster)
    iain m banks (take your pick, really)
    kameron hurley (god's war)

    for the humour value: robert rankin is currently re-releasing a lot of his works onto ebook format and some of them will be free over xmas this guy can break your funny bone if you like english humour

    for stricter fantasy:
    tom lloyd. his twilight reign series was really interesting for an unexpected kind of hero.
    scott lynch (lies of locke lamora)
    Thanks Lucas. Harkaway sounds interesting, Rankin can indeed be very funny. I've read most of Iain (M) Banks novels, quite liked most of them (eg player of games), but some disappointments (eg use of weapons). Hurley, Lloyd tbh sound fairly run of the mill (but just based on the blurb..). Lynch indeed excellent writer!

    Cheers, Sfinx

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Randy M. View Post
    I never got around to the Necroscope series -- I developed a dislike of Lumley in novel form years before that came out -- and avoided Da Vinci, so I can't say what the melding would be like.
    -> a disaster best avoided. Two books I would rather not have spent time on. Not truly awful, but close.

    a sneaky sense of humor surfaces at times, there's a playfulness with both plot and scene that is engaging in much the way my current read is -- my current read is a "Golden Age" mystery novel by Margery Allingham -- and an occasional grappling with more important issues that Monette melds well with the premise of her stories
    had me thinking "I should order this one!" but then
    If I were to compare it to anything, it might be to the stories of Neil Gaiman
    made me reconsider...I do appreciate Gaiman as a writer, but more in a technical sense; he is a good writer, but doesn't manage to capture me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Algernoninc View Post
    then try some David Mitchell. Cloud Atlas will probably be my favorite book of 2012, and I understand his other books are just as intriguing.
    Thanks for the tip! Sounds intriguing and like an excellent read.

    Cheers,

    Sfinx

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Sfinx View Post
    [...]

    had me thinking "I should order this one!" but then made me reconsider...I do appreciate Gaiman as a writer, but more in a technical sense; he is a good writer, but doesn't manage to capture me.

    [...]
    Differing tastes. I especially like Gaiman in short form. I'm not sure I'd weigh the comparison too heavily, though; really, it's that balance between humor and horror, between a light tone and (sometimes) a serious subject that brought the comparison to mind.


    Randy M.

  11. #11
    Cthulhu's Red Bucket Lucas Thorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sfinx View Post
    Thanks Lucas. Harkaway sounds interesting, Rankin can indeed be very funny. I've read most of Iain (M) Banks novels, quite liked most of them (eg player of games), but some disappointments (eg use of weapons). Hurley, Lloyd tbh sound fairly run of the mill (but just based on the blurb..). Lynch indeed excellent writer!

    Cheers, Sfinx
    i thought the same about lloyd. but i got a freebie when i used to do reviews. and eventually gave it a go. it didn't go where i thought it would. it's a bit on the odd side, really.

    harkaway really was good. if you can manage not to read any spoilers about it, gone away world was great. it was my book of the year that year, and remains a personal favourite.

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