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quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



This is the 3rd GENERAL CHAT Megathread about Fantasy and Science Fiction stories and Science Fiction and Fantasy authors.
2nd "Science Fiction and Fantasy Thread: Read the OP, Bridge of Birds, and Murderbot" thread can be accessed here: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3554972
1st "The Sci-Fi/Fantasy Thread: Damning with faint praise" thread can be accessed here(SA Archives required): https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...hreadid=3345499

Science Fiction Fantasy MegaThread 3 Rules
-Post your opinion, not somebody else's stale talking points. Noting popular opinions alongside your own is great.
-If someone asks for recommendations, pay attention to what they're asking for.
-Post about books you're reading or excited about! Mention the author or title so we know what you're talking about.
-Include lots of details in your posts to give us something to talk about and give us a taste of what you like.
-Don't discuss how bad [insert fantasy or sf writer here]'s sex scenes are. They're awful. We know. And for God's sake don't discuss how good they are either!
-Don't recommend David Weber. It always provokes a derail and there is a dedicated thread for that now(Mil-SciFi Thread). Same with Terry Goodkind, and Rothfuss...etc.
-We know some Big Name authors are sex predators or worse. That kind of discussion is OK in here; there are no sacred cows.


Not everyone likes the same authors as you, or has read the same books as you, or even knows that those authors exist! Conversely not every author you can't get into/actively hate is terrible.
Please keep any sick burns on your fellow thread posters to a minimum and try to move extended thread derails to the proper dedicated subgenre threads.

RESOURCES TO CHECK OUT
====

https://archive.org/details/SFLoversDigestArchive : A complete archive of the former SF-Lovers website. SF-LOVERS billed itself as the oldest mailing list, with the first digest issues dated 1979 and running until volume 25 in the year 2000. Probably the ur-Internet Resource for Science Fiction and Fantasy discussion by SF&F fans.


http://www.sf-encyclopedia.com/ :The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, third edition (Site last updated on JANUARY 10 2020).
A portal website for everything sf: books, films, TV series, comics, specific authors, themes, and theory. Site also contains the complete 1997 Encyclopaedia of Fantasy.

http://www.isfdb.org/ :The ISFDB is a community effort to catalog works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. It links together various types of bibliographic data: author bibliographies, publication bibliographies, award listings, magazine content listings, anthology and collection content listings, and forthcoming books.

https://www.freesfonline.de/ :Free Speculative Fiction Online (Site last updated on JANUARY 04 2020).

http://www.sfadb.com/ :The Science Fiction Award Database. The website for looking up what books/stories/anthologies won awards. The Hugo and Nebula awards are the most prestigious awards for the Science Fiction genre while the World Fantasy Award is the most prestigious award for the Fantasy fiction genre. Correct me if I'm using out of date info.

kindofbook.com : ebook deal aggregator (requires email address for alerts/price changes)

https://www.bookbub.com/ : ebook deal aggregator (requires email address for alerts/price changes)


https://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/1390...n-fantasy-books :NPR.COM's hundred favourite sf/f books WARNING! This list is from 2011, 8+ years of books + stories have come out since then WARNING! Poster sized Image link (you'll need to download it to make it big enough to read): http://i.imgur.com/kMgaFun.jpg
The book recs in this link are beyond stale, keeping it for archival purposes

https://www.tor.com/2010/04/28/ok-w...tart-with-that/ :Jo Walton's/TOR.COM's 2010 "Best introductory books for New2U SF&F authors"
This TOR.COM Article is 9.5 years old, nothing newer has been published by TOR.COM
The book recs in this link are beyond stale, keeping it for archival purposes


Rudyard Kipling considered as a Science Fiction writer Added 03-09-2020
http://www.kiplingsociety.co.uk/rg_scifi.htm

====


Not to going bother listing all the dedicated BookBarn literary subgenre threads because they are impossible to keep track of. Just be aware that they exist, and are always eager for new people/new content. If you can't find a relevant subgenre thread, CREATE ONE and post away in it.

If you want something added to the OP, please let me know.

That is all. Have fun, stay safe, and remember: IRONY TAGS DO NOT EXIST ON THIS WEBSITE/FORUMS SOFTWARE

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 18:32 on Mar 26, 2020

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quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Thread isn't live yet.
DON"T POST HERE YET


This thread is live whenever Safety Biscuits or Hieronymous Alloy says it is.


Until then.......
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DON"T POST HERE YET
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quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 13:56 on Oct 3, 2019

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



Bump now that this one is open for business. Nice title, by the way.

mewse
May 2, 2006



Really enjoying Gideon the ninth. It was a slow starter with the crap on the home planet tho.

It’s really odd/interesting reading a book using contemporary “extremely online” English

XBenedict
May 23, 2006

YOUR LIPS SAY 0, BUT YOUR EYES SAY 1.



I really enjoyed M.R. Carey's TheGirl With All The Gifts, so I'm pretty excited about the newly announced post-apocolyptic series.

ToxicFrog
Apr 26, 2008




Lowness 72 posted:

I just finished Children of Time. Had some slow parts. But overall I enjoyed the book.
Spoilers below:

I was super stressed out at the end thinking the spiders would win. Despite all the world/character building in the novel, I was not infected with the virus and was getting the heebie jeebies visualizing the ship fighting.

I was really hoping the spiders would win, but also didn't see a way for them to do so that didn't contradict the overall theme of the book, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the end.

occamsnailfile
Nov 4, 2007



zamtrios so lonely

Grimey Drawer

From the previous thread:

Strix Nebulosa posted:


Ninth Rain by Jen Williams: first in a trilogy, finished this one a few minutes ago so I'm still reeling from that finale. And drat, what a finale. Ahem, no spoilers. This is a weird one where it feels like a fantasy, acts like a fantasy, but has sci-fi and steampunk elements in equal turn. It's a fantasy universe that faces an alien invasion every few centuries, and the aliens are fought off by magic tree elves and their warbeasts (dragons, gryphons, etc) - but the last invasion ended when the Tree God powering the elves died mysteriously, and now centuries later the elves are dying out / turning to vampirism, and our heroine is a rich biologist nerd in her forties who goes around studying the ruins of the alien ships and seeing how they twist the landscape. Our other heroine is an imprisoned fell-witch, a lady who can summon fire at will - she's imprisoned by an insane cult/mega-corporation that steals these fell-witches, tells them they're abominations in the eyes of god, and then uses them to make drugs to sell to people. Oh yes. It's full of weird stuff that somehow seamlessly works together, the characters are fun, etc. The prose isn't amazing, but it works and has a modern tone ala Gideon - oh yes, these elves say gently caress. I'm hyped for reading the second one - after I've slept off the high of that finale. drat, what an ending!


This sounded quite interesting and so I looked into it and it's maybe not published in the US yet? Which is super weird and she should maybe kick her publisher pretty hard. It's just the first time in a long time I've looked at a new book and not seen a Kindle version available at all. They're willing to sell me the German version of her previous trilogy but not much else--somebody needs to get on those distribution rights discussions.

Decided to make an ILS request for it just to see what happens. Those people are like magic book elves who find that which is hidden.

occamsnailfile fucked around with this message at 15:11 on Oct 3, 2019

Lowness 72
Jul 19, 2006
BUTTS LOL

Jade Ear Joe

ToxicFrog posted:

I was really hoping the spiders would win, but also didn't see a way for them to do so that didn't contradict the overall theme of the book, so I was very pleasantly surprised at the end.

I liked the twist. Thought it was a good spin. Still gave me the heebie jeebies.

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Gun Saliva

XBenedict posted:

I really enjoyed M.R. Carey's TheGirl With All The Gifts, so I'm pretty excited about the newly announced post-apocolyptic series.

Have you read The Boy on the Bridge? I was actually kind of lukewarm on Girl for most of the book, but ended up enjoying it well enough, so I'm curious how the second book stands up.

And anybody read Fellside or Someone Like Me? I generally like, but not love, Mike Carey's books so I'm curious about them, but not enough to just dive in without a recommendation.

graventy
Jul 27, 2006




Fun Shoe

I had to read Gideon the Ninth after you jerks went full spoiler blackout for like, 2 straight pages.

It was really great! The writing took a little bit to get used to, and I'm pretty sure I got lost during the necro-fights, but it was entertaining and I look forward to the sequel.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


occamsnailfile posted:

From the previous thread:


This sounded quite interesting and so I looked into it and it's maybe not published in the US yet? Which is super weird and she should maybe kick her publisher pretty hard. It's just the first time in a long time I've looked at a new book and not seen a Kindle version available at all. They're willing to sell me the German version of her previous trilogy but not much else--somebody needs to get on those distribution rights discussions.

Decided to make an ILS request for it just to see what happens. Those people are like magic book elves who find that which is hidden.

Yeah, I had to buy international paperback versions of the trilogy. Also the US covers for her Copper Cat trilogy are goddamn garbage, so I paid out the nose for the UK paperbacks.

To this end I discovered that the UK has two forms of paperbacks: "small" which are actually trade-sized paperbacks, and "large" which are the size of small boats. They don't have mass market paperbacks? It's weird, but I'm not angry because getting Poison Song's beautiful cover is giant size was a treat.


XBenedict
May 23, 2006

YOUR LIPS SAY 0, BUT YOUR EYES SAY 1.



MockingQuantum posted:

Have you read The Boy on the Bridge? I was actually kind of lukewarm on Girl for most of the book, but ended up enjoying it well enough, so I'm curious how the second book stands up.

And anybody read Fellside or Someone Like Me? I generally like, but not love, Mike Carey's books so I'm curious about them, but not enough to just dive in without a recommendation.

IDK about Bridge. I have it on my list, but I haven't gotten to it yet. I think it's a prequel to Girl?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Mail's here!




Bone Ships was heavily recced to me by several friends, and Son of the Morning was just a chance find and again, migod the UK prints massive paperbacks.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Son of the Morning is great, make sure to write a trip report.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


anilEhilated posted:

Son of the Morning is great, make sure to write a trip report.

Ooh, promising. Will do, but no guarantees on when I'll finish this massive beast.

Speaking of, has anyone in here read the author's other series, his werewolf viking historical saga? Wolfsangel, five books, ends with WWII. I'm intrigued but not yet enough to put in an order.

Doctor Jeep
Dec 30, 2008

harder better
faster stronger


MockingQuantum posted:

Have you read The Boy on the Bridge? I was actually kind of lukewarm on Girl for most of the book, but ended up enjoying it well enough, so I'm curious how the second book stands up.

And anybody read Fellside or Someone Like Me? I generally like, but not love, Mike Carey's books so I'm curious about them, but not enough to just dive in without a recommendation.

boy - very good
fellside - very good
someone like me - just ok

Ornamented Death
Jan 25, 2006

Pew pew!



A number of authors I follow on Twitter are posting about getting ARCs of Harrow the Ninth and my jealousy knows no bounds.

Everyone
Sep 6, 2019
Probation
Can't post for 6 hours!


Doctor Jeep posted:

boy - very good
fellside - very good
someone like me - just ok

I haven't read any of those yet, but I did like his Felix Castor series quite a lot.

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Mister Kingdom posted:

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

Less actiony, more thinky/talky, but very very very very good.

General Battuta
Feb 7, 2011

This is how you communicate with a fellow intelligence: you hurt it, you keep on hurting it, until you can distinguish the posts from the screams.

Mister Kingdom posted:

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

Phlebas is arguably the worst one, by some standards. It’s certainly the biggest outlier, tonally.

Krazyface
Jul 15, 2011

A: to get those sweet first-place bonus points



Hair Elf

Mister Kingdom posted:

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

I hated Phlebas; the next two are great. The Culture books are one of the few times I'd recommend against publication order.

But I'm glad you like it!

Mister Kingdom
Dec 14, 2005

And the tears that fall
On the city wall
Will fade away
With the rays of morning light

That's good to know. I've needed a new space opera saga for a while now.

Evil Fluffy
Jul 13, 2009

Scholars are some of the most pompous and pedantic people I've ever had the joy of meeting.

Any decent fantasy series in the vein of the Legends of Ethshar books? Looking for something fun to relax and read that isn't a tangled mess of storytelling (IE: not Malazan).

Stupid_Sexy_Flander
Mar 14, 2007

Is a man not entitled to the haw of his maw?


Grimey Drawer

The precinct novels by Kieth Candido are pretty good. Fantasy csi/detective stories are my jam. Has a bi lead if you just gotta know about a character's sex life. Not really brought up often.

There's a new series called 5th Ward by Dale Lucas that's pretty good. It's also fantasy detective/investigation stuff.

I think Glen Cook wrote a fantasy detective series as well, can't recall it offhand, had metal in the names of the book like cold copper tears or something like that.

The copper cat stores is pretty good as well. Not really a detective series but a decent fantasy series.

The god fragments series by Tom Lloyd is pretty good also.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



Evil Fluffy posted:

Any decent fantasy series in the vein of the Legends of Ethshar books? Looking for something fun to relax and read that isn't a tangled mess of storytelling (IE: not Malazan).

How do you feel about something with a magic system designed by a math teacher featuring several Nice Guy dweeb-gets-the-hot-girl protagonists? Master of the Five Magics and its sequels by Lyndon Hardy may be up your alley.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

I think Glen Cook wrote a fantasy detective series as well, can't recall it offhand, had metal in the names of the book like cold copper tears or something like that.

He did. The first 4-5 are pretty good, especially if you enjoyed Hammett/Chandler and of course Stout. After that...it’s like Dune: stop when you want, it really won’t get better (n.b: I have read them all).

Sweet Silver Blues (1987)
Bitter Gold Hearts (1988)
Cold Copper Tears (1988)
Old Tin Sorrows (1989)
Dread Brass Shadows (1990)

MockingQuantum
Jan 20, 2012




Gun Saliva

wizzardstaff posted:

How do you feel about something with a magic system designed by a math teacher featuring several Nice Guy dweeb-gets-the-hot-girl protagonists? Master of the Five Magics and its sequels by Lyndon Hardy may be up your alley.

I loved these as a 11-12 year old and I've been tempted (and absolutely terrified) to look them up again, in case they were full of questionable opinions/viewpoints like a handful of other favorites from when I was too young to really understand the degree of yeesh that exists in so much "classic" sf/f. How are they in that sense?

For Evil Fluffy, though: if you haven't read them already, the Chronicles of Prydain are excellent, though they do get dark at times. But they're cozy and satisfying in a similar way to Misenchanted Sword. They probably get marketed as YA these days but don't let that put you off if you're not someone who usually dips into YA fantasy.

wizzardstaff
Apr 6, 2018



MockingQuantum posted:

I loved these as a 11-12 year old and I've been tempted (and absolutely terrified) to look them up again, in case they were full of questionable opinions/viewpoints like a handful of other favorites from when I was too young to really understand the degree of yeesh that exists in so much "classic" sf/f. How are they in that sense?
I reread them last year after being reminded of them in the Identify That Story/Book thread and I don’t think they’re too bad on that front. The worst is what I alluded to in the previous post...there’s a very strong background level of chauvinism but no one pops out with some surprise antique racism or anything. The other thing that becomes very apparent on rereading is how shoehorned in the sequels’ titles are; despite being named Riddle of the Seven Realms it barely takes place on more than four of them.

Orv
May 4, 2011

Awright Awwwright
Lets See wrhut whre got
AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
HIVE BWRING A SWROERD
AHAHAHAHAHAH


Stupid_Sexy_Flander posted:

I think Glen Cook wrote a fantasy detective series as well, can't recall it offhand, had metal in the names of the book like cold copper tears or something like that.


ulmont posted:

He did. The first 4-5 are pretty good, especially if you enjoyed Hammett/Chandler and of course Stout. After that...it’s like Dune: stop when you want, it really won’t get better (n.b: I have read them all).

Sweet Silver Blues (1987)
Bitter Gold Hearts (1988)
Cold Copper Tears (1988)
Old Tin Sorrows (1989)
Dread Brass Shadows (1990)

I like Garrett a lot but the books are aggressively formulaic in terms of how they shake out the exact same every time, the twist is always in the same portion of the book, Garrett always figures it out at the exact same time, the threat is almost always the same, the damsel is always not a damsel at all. Which is sort of extra funny coming from the guy who wrote The Black Company, but I still thoroughly recommend reading at least a couple if you like pulpy fantasy detective book as a concept.

C.M. Kruger
Oct 28, 2013


Orv posted:

I like Garrett a lot but the books are aggressively formulaic in terms of how they shake out the exact same every time, the twist is always in the same portion of the book, Garrett always figures it out at the exact same time, the threat is almost always the same, the damsel is always not a damsel at all. Which is sort of extra funny coming from the guy who wrote The Black Company, but I still thoroughly recommend reading at least a couple if you like pulpy fantasy detective book as a concept.

Don't forget the part where Gerrett is at a dead end so he wanders around town until the bad guys send thugs to knock him on the head.

Orv
May 4, 2011

Awright Awwwright
Lets See wrhut whre got
AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
HIVE BWRING A SWROERD
AHAHAHAHAHAH


C.M. Kruger posted:

Don't forget the part where Gerrett is at a dead end so he wanders around town until the bad guys send thugs to knock him on the head.

Y'ain't wrong.

OMFG FURRY
Jul 10, 2006

[snarky comment]

Mister Kingdom posted:

I just started the Culture series. I'm about a quarter of the way into Consider Phlebas and so far, so good.

How does the rest of the saga compare?

Player of Games is good, it's easier since it keeps focus on one character save for the opening and closing chapters.

Surface Detail is really good, gives you a better feel for just how God like ships can be.

Excession was like reading a bbs board where everyone has the same gimmick. Helps you get cozy with the Outside Context Problem which is a repeating theme for nearly all the books.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


You're all describing Garrett PI and making me hungry for Nero Wolfe so thanks!

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

StrixNebulosa posted:

You're all describing Garrett PI and making me hungry for Nero Wolfe so thanks!

Yeah, every time I start reading Garrett I end up just reading Wolfe instead. So that works out.

ulmont
Sep 15, 2010

IF I EVER MISS VOTING IN AN ELECTION (EVEN AMERICAN IDOL) ,OR HAVE UNPAID PARKING TICKETS, PLEASE TAKE AWAY MY FRANCHISE


Orv posted:

I like Garrett a lot but the books are aggressively formulaic

In a couple of the early books you can actually pinpoint the specific classic detective novel Cook filed the serial numbers off of. There is a lot more variation in the first few (Sweet Silver Blues is the only one where Garrett leaves TunFaire, in Old Tin Sorrows Garrett spends almost all his time in a mansion owned by a crazy general, etc.). In general you're absolutely right though.

StrixNebulosa posted:

You're all describing Garrett PI and making me hungry for Nero Wolfe so thanks!

I found Garrett before Wolfe and it was very surreal when I eventually started reading Wolfe.

Orv
May 4, 2011

Awright Awwwright
Lets See wrhut whre got
AHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA
HIVE BWRING A SWROERD
AHAHAHAHAHAH


I mean it's not to say that they're without their merits. Even his cliche takes on the character archetypes of fantasy and the typical fantasy races are a lot of fun.

Does sound like I should read Nero Wolfe though.

professor metis
Aug 1, 2014




I'm reading Ted Chiang's latest story collection, Exhalation. Turns out I've already read quite a few of the stories in this one but that's fine, they're good stories!

The title story remains absolutely fantastic. The simple image of looking inside your own skull through a series of mirrors and essentially operating on yourself is incredible.

StrixNebulosa
Feb 14, 2012

You cheated not only the game, but yourself.
But most of all, you cheated BABA


Orv posted:

I mean it's not to say that they're without their merits. Even his cliche takes on the character archetypes of fantasy and the typical fantasy races are a lot of fun.

Does sound like I should read Nero Wolfe though.

I'm of the opinion that formulaic does not mean bad. Same with cliches. The question is how well is it written, how are the details handled, etc etc.

Yes you should read Nero Wolfe, they're great. Instead of elves you get the scum of NYC.

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quantumfoam
Dec 25, 2003



Glen Cook outside of his Black Company stories really isn't that great or clever, at least for me.
The Garrett PI books were so formulaic with standardized events that I 100% believe they were originally written on-the-job at General Motors by Cook after seeing a few Rex Stout paperbacks in the GM break-room.

Glen Cook's Garrett PI series main difference from Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe/Archie Goodwin stories is the fantasy-NYC setting, Fritz the cook doesn't exist in the Garrett PI books, and finally Garrett straight out has sex with the "damsels" whereas Goodwin in the Nero Wolfe stories merely "went dancing" with them or was antagonizing Wolfe with female eyecandy.

Finished reading another book I'd gotten as part of a ebook bundle awhile ago. Reanimators by Pete Rawlik. Rawlik managed to work in most of Lovecraft's non-Cthulhu/Arkham adjacent stories into Reanimators. The only stories that didn't make the cut were Pickman's Model, a few of Lovecraft's minor "secret grave" stories and He. Understandable about leaving out He. He, uhm, to modern viewers sort comes off as a "young guy making up a spooky story to explain away the cuts/bruises/injuries he got after being picked up by an old rich gentleman last night".

quantumfoam fucked around with this message at 22:01 on Oct 4, 2019

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