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Author Topic: fantasy books that can hold their own
Posty Webber
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As most fantasy seems cliched, juvenile or monotonous, it excites me when I read a series that can hold it's own when compared to LOtR.

The following do hold their own (I can't remember the series' names for most of these):

The Earthsea books - Ursula LeGuin
The Shadow on the Glass etc - David Irvine
A Game of Thrones etc - George R. R. Martin
The Thomas Covenant books - Stephen Donaldson
Imajica - Clive Barker
Harry Potter books* - Rowling

Are any of you fantasy genre fans? Do you agree/disagree?

* I suppose this falls into the fantasy genre

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Femme Folle
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I read about half of Piers Anthony's Xanth series about ten years ago and I still have dreams about some of the characters, places and situations. I don't know that I would place the series on the same level as LoTR, but they were enjoyable for me.

I tried to read Imajica once and couldn't get past the first few pages. I enjoyed Thief of Always though.

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Posty Webber
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I've never heard of Xanth, but as you seem to rate it, perhaps I might pick it up one day. I once read a Piers Anthony book, part of a series, about a guy who becomes the grim reaper. I can't remember what it was called, but I do recall that it was quite good.
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Don Malhumorado
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I think that fantasy books are almost unreadable.
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Posty Webber
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I think most people feel that way about fantasy, but for me it began with The Magic Faraway Tree, and as a result I can't let go of the possibility of a future where once I finish my chores, I am allowed to go on magical adventures only to return home to pudding with lashings of ginger beer.
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Wyatt Earp
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What chores?
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Don Malhumorado
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Actually, the Magic Faraway Tree was ace.
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ale
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Agree with EIM that fantasy is unreadable...even though I havent read any...

tell a lie....have been wading through the Stephen King Dark Tower series for best part of ten years...mainly due to an obligation to read everything the author publishes based on his early ouput...in fact the Dark Tower chronology is in much the same pattern...an excellent start followed by the flashes of brilliance amongst much mediocrity....

was Clive Barkers Imajica a series ?....the novel certainly felt like one and was instrumental in vowing never to pick up another novel by him ...a vow I regretably broke for Coldheart Canyon which has only made me remember why I made it in the first place

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Posty Webber
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Imajica was not a series, it was one story in two volumes (something to do with the typesetting). I can't believe that both you, Ale, and Femme Folle hated Imajica. I really loved it. Any author that mentions "phallus" and "cunt" on the same line of text is worth while.

It's actually interesting that you also mentioned Stephen King's fantasy books. I tried to read King's (and Peter Straub's) The Talisman on three separate occasions - to no avail. From what I did read, it seemed to be an American author's version of Barker's (British) Imajica, but much crapper.

[ 10-03-2003, 05:30: Message edited by: Jumping Jim Brunzell ]

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Posty Webber
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My chores, Wyatt, were of your everyday Enid Blyton variety. You know, beating rugs, digging holes with small twigs, taunting golliwogs etc...
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Mat Pereira
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I really liked Imajica too, mainly for the obviously-meant-to-be-Regency-bucks-conjuring-up-Old-Nick context, along with the fact it was actually quite exciting. I thought at the time anyway. That was a few years back when I was in bed with a really, heavy cold. It actually cheered me up that book, but I can't honestly - if push comes to shove - remember anything that happens in it apart from it involved a group of people from the 18th Century who'd become simultaneously immortal, all-powerful and amnesiac having fights in ornamental gardens and staely home observatories and there was all sorts of spooky shit.
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Femme Folle
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I suppose I could give Imajica another chance. It could be that I wasn't in the mood for it when I last tried to read it.
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Croute au fromage et oeuf au plat
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The Lyonesse trilogy by Jack Vance is a cracking read. There is a princess (a rebellious, melancholy, unhappy one), a prince (brave but learned it the hard way), magic, fairies (not that cute and quite dangerous) and violence/sex are discreetly mentionned. Witty dialogues, great scenery make up the content.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0575073748/ref=sr_aps_books_1_2/026-8658644-1794043

Other fantasy which I liked was the Elric cycle by Moorcock, a bit "goth" but his sick anti-hero dependant on a weapon he does not really control whilst everything around me is collapsing was attaching.

In heroic fantazy, nothing beats the glorious stupidity of Howard's Conan, the movie did not come near to the demented rantings of the novels.

In term of hallucinatory prose and poetry, highly recommended is Clark Ashton Smith, HPL friend, drug experimenter, lived in the woods and also painted and sculpted his way into a universe of exhalted madness. It gives you some great dreams too...

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/057507373X/ref=pd_ecc_rvi_1/026-8658644-1794043

And obviously, the dark master himself, HPL.

Go on the fringe of fantasy, they are some wonderful books to be read.

[ 10-03-2003, 12:03: Message edited by: Moitie-Moitie ]

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ale
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As The Talisman predated Imajica by around 15 years whatever criticisms can be levelled at it could not include a crapper American version of an original British story as is being suggested...
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Alan Rebhuhn
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I've never heard of Xanth, but as you seem to rate it, perhaps I might pick it up one day. I once read a Piers Anthony book, part of a series, about a guy who becomes the grim reaper. I can't remember what it was called, but I do recall that it was quite good

"Incarnations of Immortality" - "On a Pale Horse" one in a series of five.
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