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Author Topic: Fantasy Sucks  (Read 16689 times)
Dade
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« on: December 31, 2008, 11:30:54 PM »

For the past two years almost, the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy has been in a serious drought.

I was just looking at Amazon as the fifth book in George Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series is now available for preorder....and i realized something that makes me quite violent.

Of the top 20 books in Sci-Fi and fantasy, about half of the top sellers are vampire-style novels, and most of them are by female authors. Now I hate stereotypes that are easily proven incorect, but seriously, there are three parts to a female authored vampire book: Sex and Homoeroticism with a dash of vampiric action. Deny it all you want, Twilight has ruined the vampire novel genre.

But.....back on point, Fantasy has sorely lacked great works over the last couple years, I've tried so many things: In the Name of the Wind was okay, Neal Stephenson's new book isnt quite what I was hoping, but it felt a lot like the Baroque series which I found personally difficult to enjoy.

As Dan and I both kind of pointed out in another thread, Terry Goodkind is painful to read now, Robert Jordan is dead and even while alive...was still written like Tolkien (dont get me started), albiet a great story. George Martin seems to be the only heavy hitter that currently has a series going that is worth a damn, and he's taking his SWEET TIME

Am I totally off base? Have I missed out on great titles that have been released recently? Or am I just better off rereading the good stuff from the last decade and delving back into the Top 100 Must Read books? (which btw, I finished some Hemingway last summer, good shit)

Frustration has settled in; it's not common for me to get this worked up about stuff, video games dont even piss me off when similar situations arise.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2008, 11:33:05 PM by Dade » Logged

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Dincrest
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2009, 08:25:38 AM »

Of the top 20 books in Sci-Fi and fantasy, about half of the top sellers are vampire-style novels, and most of them are by female authors. Now I hate stereotypes that are easily proven incorrect, but seriously, there are three parts to a female authored vampire book: Sex and Homoeroticism with a dash of vampiric action. Deny it all you want, Twilight has ruined the vampire novel genre.

You should see some of those fangirlish werewolf novels which are almost as prominent as those vampire ones you mentioned.  No... just no!  Lycanthropic fetish is just weird.  I think the term for this is furvert.  Sometimes I just browse through the fantasy and sci-fi sections of bookstores hoping to find something cool, and I all I seem to find are these. 

Dade, I'm sure there are authors out there writing the kind of stuff that you, DR, and those of similar mindset want to see.  They're probably tired of the fangirlish vampire/lycanthrope tripe as we are.  They just may not be found in bookstores and under the bigger name publishers.  Unfortunately, I have zero clue as to where to find "indie" novels. 

I too am trying to find that next book that's going to hit me like a ton of bricks.  An enthralling and voracious page-turner like Hitchhiker's Guilde to the Galaxy or Harry Potter were for me. 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2009, 06:30:04 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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D-Rider
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2009, 12:59:54 PM »

Looking at the fantasy section of my bookshelves, most of the shit that's on them is shit I bought in the '90s.  This is mainly because I grew out of the "lol elves" shit the genre churns out on a grand scale.  The only new fantasy series I've gotten into in the past few years is Jacqueline Carey's first Kushiel trilogy, and I readily admit that it ain't for everybody.

What I've actually done is go back and start reading the classics.  Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, etc.  If you can't find something new, you can at least appreciate what the genre used to be like.
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Adapheon
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2009, 02:19:09 PM »

Read The Prince of Nothing series by Scott Baker and The Malazan series by Steven Erikson, those two series along with A Song of Ice and Fire are the only series i've really been reading and both of the two I mentioned are far and away better than ASOIAF. Prince of Nothing struck a chord with me emotionally and the Malazan series has just about the most complex world-building and most epic characters of anything I've ever read.

Glen Cook's The Instrumentalities of the Night series isn't that bad either but it's not great.
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2009, 03:03:10 PM »

It's not really so much fantasy as a piece of really weird abstract fiction, but I'd pick up Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow. Our hero's father is a mountain, and his mother is a washing machine. His father always kept a roof over their heads, and his mother always made sure the clothes were clean.

Enjoy.
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Dade
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 08:53:26 PM »

It's not really so much fantasy as a piece of really weird abstract fiction, but I'd pick up Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow.

I am a pseudo Cory Doctorow fanboy, I have yet to read any of his novels, but I keep hearing great things. Thanks for the tip, Dosh, I may have to pick it up.

As for the Prince of Nothing series, I have the first two books, I really enjoyed the first and read about a third of the second before it started losing my interest. Maybe I'll fire it back up.

Havent read anything from the Malazan series, I might have to snag the first book.
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Adapheon
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 11:11:09 PM »

The last half of the first book of the Malazan series is great, the first half takes awhile to take off and honestly I got bored and put it down for like a year, once I picked it back up I couldn't put it down. It's something where you can really tell it was the first book he wrote. Book 8 is the only book so far that really had me bored again but that was due to the writing style for one particular character and the story was going to such a huge conclusion I was just angry I wasn't reading about the stuff I wanted to :P

The Prince of Nothing is really good through the rest of the series you haven't read yet, and I'm happy there's a series that's a trilogy and actually fucking ends. He is writing two more books that take place awhile later but the series imo has a wicked ending.
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Lard
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 11:32:51 PM »

What I've actually done is go back and start reading the classics.  Michael Moorcock, Robert E. Howard, Edgar Rice Burroughs, etc.  If you can't find something new, you can at least appreciate what the genre used to be like.

^ This.

I bought a bunch of Moorcock last summer and it's great stuff.

Also, I'll add Zelazny to your list.
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2009, 03:11:04 PM »

Michael Moorcock's Elric is definitely a must-read for fantasy fans.  It marks the first use of an anti-hero main character in swords-and-sorcery.  Where the typical fantasy hero was a handsome, well-muscled, blonde-haired noble man, Elric was a frail albino sorcerer with a vicious mean streak and a badassed vampiric sword called Stormbringer. 

So I don't know what you're reading now Dade, but if you're revisiting classics, Elric is a seminal work.  It may or may not be up to snuff with the kind of worldbuilding epic stuff that Malazan does, but it was a trendsetting work.  A lot of swords and sorcery anti-heroes owe their existence to Elric.   

Last year ('08) DelRay republished the Elric series as 3 novels: Stealer of Souls, To Rescue Tanelorn, and The Sleeping Sorceress.  However, I've heard that they've been altered and reworked from the original books and that large chunks of the story have been cut out.  I hope that's not true.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 10:31:16 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 05:21:28 AM »

I'm sick of the Vampire Fantasy and Children's Fantasy as well.

Classic Fantasy, you could say, is sort of a low burning flame. There are still really good books though. Try out R.A. Salvatore's books in Forgotten Realms. Or since some of you like classics, check out the Gor Trilogy by John Norman.
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2009, 05:27:22 PM »

Not a well known series, but the Tyrants and Kings trilogy by John Marco (marketed as military fantasy) was a nice break from the usual mundane fantasy out there.  It has quite a few flaws, but if you can look past them, it's definitely an entertaining read (as long as you can get past the first half of book 1).
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Lard
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 12:40:17 AM »

It's not really so much fantasy as a piece of really weird abstract fiction, but I'd pick up Eastern Standard Tribe by Cory Doctorow. Our hero's father is a mountain, and his mother is a washing machine. His father always kept a roof over their heads, and his mother always made sure the clothes were clean.

I like Cory Doctorow as well, but I'm more inclined to suggest you start with one of his short story collections, as I think those are always the best way to start off with a new author.
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2009, 05:35:54 PM »

It's an older book, but check out The Etched City. I bought it on a whim when I was at Border's because it was in the "recommended by staff section", which I look at occassionally. It rurned out to be an excellent fantasy novel that I thought was very unique. I don't normally read many fantasy novels though, so it might not be as unique as I think it is.

http://www.amazon.com/Etched-City-K-J-Bishop/dp/0553382918/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1244064819&sr=8-1
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2009, 10:51:05 AM »

I'm not a huge fan of fantasy and I only read it occasionally. My taste is probably a bit more girly and fairytale-ish than what most people here read. I prefer stuff like The Last Unicorn and Howl's Moving Castle. I recently discovered Japanese fantasy manga and (light) novels such as The Good Witch of the West, Basara and The Key to the Kingdom. I think I like these works because of the strong but feminine female characters.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2009, 04:22:11 PM »

Whoa, thread resurrection.  If I recall correctly in the book journal and my "recommend Dincrest a book" thread, Dade decided to try out Malazan.  And if I know Dade as well as I think I do, his fantasy novel tastes delve into the "hard core" with massive worldbuilding and stuff.  Basically, anything on par with George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire.  From what I understand, despite being a male author, Martin's female characters are exceptionally well-written.
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