Notify Message
Forums
#13573194 Dec 18, 2017 at 01:58 AM
Member
158 Posts
Was chatting with Lenore and a few others last night about books and things...looked through the first 5 pages to see if there was already a thread like this and didn't see one, so I am starting one.

Basically just wanted to list a few of my faves, see a few of your faves, see if there was some overlap and maybe find some new stuff to read.

Joe Abercrombie - best low fantasy books out there, he has 9 books, over three series, set in the same fantasy world with some character overlaps. Reads like a spaghetti western with swords and shields.

James SA Corey - actually two authors under a pen name, their Expanse novels are some of the best hard sci-fi out there, the TV series on Syfy is also fantastic.

Ian Douglas - really nice hard near future military sci-fi, has a bunch of books, but his Heritage trilogy starting with Lunar Marine, is a great starting place.

Ruth Downie - historical fiction, writes a series of mysteries with a Roman physician as the protag in the years right before Caesar came to power.

Peter F Hamilton - top notch Space Opera, I would start with his Commonwealth books, there are a bunch of them.

Richard K Morgan - hard sci-fi and mid level fantasy - Altered Carbon is a 22nd century mystery reminiscent of hard boiled noir detective fiction, his subsequent books in that series are all very different in tone but share character, he also has a very good fantasy series.

Alastair Reynolds - best hard sci-fi out there, he works in a universe where light speed is the limit and despite his stories often taking place with scenes hundreds of years apart, he brings it all together seamlessly, I've loved everything I've read of his and there is a lot.

Patrick Rothfuss - high fantasy and just a pleasure to read, I call it Harry Potter for adults and the voice of books is just fantastic and fresh.

John Scalzi - very nice near future military fiction, very reminiscent of Heinlein and Haldeman, all the Old Man's War books are fantastic.

Neal Stepbenson - he writes everything, he wrote probably the best cyberpunk book ever written, yes it's better than Neuromancer, so if you have not read Snow Crash, you are missing out, also high on my list are Diamond Age (actually my favorite book of his) and then Cryptomicron, which is a modern techno thriller, which he then wrote a sprawling 3 book 10,000 page prequel to called the Baroque cycle which is fantastic historical fiction set in the late 1690's.

Charles Stross - another author that kind of does it all, he has a Lovecraft inspired series that starts with the Laundry Files, where the main character is an IT officer working for the secret british governmental group that handles horrors and his slow plunge into field work. He has a really solid space opera series as well and an inter dimensional spy thriller series that reminds me of the Zelazny Amber novels.

There's also a bunch of classic stuff I love, but these are all guys writing today that I couldn't live without.

Lenore, I know you mentioned you liked Lovecraft, you should look into those Charles Stross Laundry Files books, they are quick reads too.


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13573521 Dec 18, 2017 at 07:08 AM · Edited 8 months ago
181 Posts
Your list is excellent huntgod. I'll second Douglas, Rothfuss, Corey, and Abercrombie; I didn't love Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy, maybe I have to give him another look? I'm going to have to look up the few guys on your list I haven't read. I'll add three others:

Brandon Sanderson- I think he's past up-and-coming now, but he's the best new fantasy author I've read. Fantastic well designed magic systems and interesting characters. Check out the Mistborn trilogies and the stormlight archive, although every book he's written is excellent.

David Brin- Uplift trilogy. Sci-fi series where humans achieve spaceflight and find they are the youngest race in the galaxy. Patronage is the basis of galactic civilization and humans are very alone. Also, talking dolphins flying spaceships. Yes, it's awesome as it sounds.

Jim Butcher - Codex Alera. He lost a bet and had to write a book based on two topics: the Roman legions and Pokemon. Not the greatest series of all time, but pretty entertaining. He's more known for his Dresden files series, but i haven't read those yet.

I'm currently reading book 4 of Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It's different, as it focuses on a military squad in a world with high magic. Its a little confusing to follow, the books jump around a lot so I'm flipping back and forth to remember what was going on, but it's a pretty good read.
Quote
#13573552 Dec 18, 2017 at 07:40 AM
Member
583 Posts
Almost finished reading "The Ann network". One of the best books I've read in years.
Gonna try some of yours after this Huntgod, thanks.
Quote
#13573600 Dec 18, 2017 at 08:17 AM
Administrato...
739 Posts
Thank you guys for posting book ideas. I have exhausted my go to's and the wide array of options you have provided are super helpful.

Quote
#13573840 Dec 18, 2017 at 11:49 AM · Edited 12 months ago
Member
158 Posts
#13573521 Torin wrote:

Your list is excellent huntgod. I'll second Douglas, Rothfuss, Corey, and Abercrombie; I didn't love Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy, maybe I have to give him another look? I'm going to have to look up the few guys on your list I haven't read. I'll add three others:

Brandon Sanderson- I think he's past up-and-coming now, but he's the best new fantasy author I've read. Fantastic well designed magic systems and interesting characters. Check out the Mistborn trilogies and the stormlight archive, although every book he's written is excellent.

David Brin- Uplift trilogy. Sci-fi series where humans achieve spaceflight and find they are the youngest race in the galaxy. Patronage is the basis of galactic civilization and humans are very alone. Also, talking dolphins flying spaceships. Yes, it's awesome as it sounds.

Jim Butcher - Codex Alera. He lost a bet and had to write a book based on two topics: the Roman legions and Pokemon. Not the greatest series of all time, but pretty entertaining. He's more known for his Dresden files series, but i haven't read those yet.

I'm currently reading book 4 of Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. It's different, as it focuses on a military squad in a world with high magic. Its a little confusing to follow, the books jump around a lot so I'm flipping back and forth to remember what was going on, but it's a pretty good read.



Yeah the Night's Dawn series is not part of the commonwealth and the whole, don't want to spoil it, theme of the book and the protagonist is just a little off, they are my least favorite Hamilton books, Fallen Dragon is a standalone if you are wanting to wet your toe and read something more indicative of his other work.

I read the Brin Uplift books ages ago, I remember enjoying them but haven't read anything else of his.

Sanderson is a great writer, he did a good job finishing Wheel of Time, but his own novels just don't grab me, though I have read the Mistborn books but haven't tried the others.

I love Jim Butcher and the Dresden books, Alera is also among my faves, only reason I didn't list him is I figured most folks already knew about him. You mentioned the Alera books having to have two elements, it was actually part of a bet between himself and another guy. The other guy said you had to have an original idea or story to have a successful book and Butcher insisted that a good writer could make something successful regardless of the idea. So the challenge was he had to write a book inspired by "The Lost Legion" and "Pokemon" and Alera is what he came up with.

I have the Malazan books on my kindle and will get to them, I've heard great stuff about Eriksen.

I am about a third into the new Andy Weir novel Artemis, same guy that wrote the Martian, it's very good, more of an action book than Martian.


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13575163 Dec 19, 2017 at 09:44 AM
Administrato...
1527 Posts
I’ll agree on Brandon Sanderson. The way he picked up and continued the Wheel of Time was great.

The BEST fantasy.... you have to read the “Sword of Truth” Series by Terry Goodkind. The story line, the characters will swallow you whole. It is an incredible read and you really fall in love the characters. The first book is called “Wizards First Rule”.

Then you have “The Wheel of Time” series which is just damn long. It’s a very slow start but it grows on ya.

“...think of the solution, not the problem. If your mind was filled only with thoughts of why you were going to lose, then you couldn't think of how to win.”
Quote
#13575205 Dec 19, 2017 at 10:18 AM · Edited 8 months ago
181 Posts
Regarding Sanderson, you should definitely try stormlight, the first book is the way of kings. He just released #3 out of 10 planned, so you've got time though haha.

I'm conflicted on wheel of time. First 4 books are good, middle 4 books are basically useless filler, it starts picking up again, then the author dies, and while I think Sanderson did as good a job as possible finishing it, I was not impressed with the ending. That's a really really huge word count to read and it ends in a dud. I enjoyed it, and if you're really into epic fantasy, you should probably read it, but if your only experience is Game of Thrones, I'd probably start elsewhere.

I didn't care much for Sword of Truth. ASOIAF is better in just about every way IMO.


Quote
#13575225 Dec 19, 2017 at 10:34 AM · Edited 10 months ago
Member
47 Posts
See, Duck, for WoT, I thought the opposite. Started off great, then it turned into “Rand is getting angry” parts 1-5. I was skeptical about Sanderson after I found out he took over for Jordan; I’m glad I broke the skepticism and read the Cosmere books anyway.

Adding to the list, I’ll recommend Will Wight. His Travelers Gate trilogy is interestingly different, and his Cradle series is downright fantastic. The Cradle books have been the only ones in recent memory to elicit a “Fuck yeah!!!” after reading that they’d been released. The guy is a relatively unknown author; I sent him a message on Facebook once, and he messaged me back, in-depth, maybe an hour later.

I don’t think anyone mentioned Glen Cook’s Black Company series; Cook is kind of a Founding Father of the Grimdark genre (Abercrombie, GRRM, etc) and the series should be on any Grimdark fan’s reading list.

Keeping with the whole Grimdark deal, Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen is nothing short of epic. The characters and locations make you feel like you’re actually in the world. I think I almost cried a couple of times per book. Some reviews said that the first book is hard to get through, but I was so enthralled, I ate it up.

Anyway, that’s it for now.
Quote
#13575433 Dec 19, 2017 at 01:58 PM
Member
158 Posts
I will check out Will Wight, hadn't heard of him.

I read the first Black Company book by Cook and it was good, but for some reason just didn't feel driven to read the rest of them, though they are sitting there when I run short of things to read.

I read the first couple of the Goodkind books, I actually liked the TV series based on them and picked up the books because of it, it was another one that was good, but didn't make me feel like I needed to read more.

I loved the WoT books, but books 5-8 or 9 took some work to get through, I liked how Sanderson finished off the series.



"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13575517 Dec 19, 2017 at 03:48 PM
Veteran
35 Posts
Thanks for the book recommendations! Exhausted my go-to lists and have been looking for something new to read.
Quote
#13575552 Dec 19, 2017 at 04:25 PM
Member
158 Posts
So I also have a category of books I call popcorn, entertaining reads but not super deep or complicated.

There is a series by Peter Clines called Ex-Heroes. They are zombie fiction, which I love in movies but not so much in other mediums like comics or books. The books are set several years into the zombie apocalypse and follows a group of survivors that have holed up in LA and built a community in one of the larger movie studio compounds. The twist is there are super heroes in this world and several of them are protectors of this enclave and it just rolls from there. In paper I would not have liked this series, but the heroes are all pretty grounded in their portrayals, reminds me of the Wild Card anthologies that GRRM edited and contributed to.

He has some other standalone books that are pretty cool as well, they stray into Lovecraftian mythology.


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13584508 Dec 28, 2017 at 11:39 AM
Member
47 Posts
I wanted to add (a bit late) that if anyone has Amazon Prime, you can “borrow” Will Wight’s books and not feel bad. I messaged him on Facebook to ask if he still makes money with borrowing (wanted to make sure a lesser-known author gets paid), and he let me know that he receives more money if someone borrows and finishes the book versus straight out buying it (via Kindle).

And yeah, the guy responded back in about an hour. Personable fella; I’m a big fan.
Quote
#13584555 Dec 28, 2017 at 12:54 PM
Administrato...
2018 Posts
Last book I read was A Long Way Gone

Heavy stuff...

Thanks for the post, Hunt!
Quote
#13584719 Dec 28, 2017 at 04:19 PM
Member
158 Posts
#13584508 Hex Iskalien wrote:

I wanted to add (a bit late) that if anyone has Amazon Prime, you can “borrow” Will Wight’s books and not feel bad. I messaged him on Facebook to ask if he still makes money with borrowing (wanted to make sure a lesser-known author gets paid), and he let me know that he receives more money if someone borrows and finishes the book versus straight out buying it (via Kindle).

And yeah, the guy responded back in about an hour. Personable fella; I’m a big fan.



Will definitely check his stuff out, if for no other reason than he seems like a good guy.

I would be remiss if I didn't plug a couple of other folks.

J.F. Lewis - former employee of mine and good friend, has an urban fantasy vampire series that is pretty solid popcorn reading and he has some nice takes on vampirism and lycanthropy. First book is Staked, then has three more. Also has a fantasy series in the works.

Robert McCammon - former customer and friend, has been writing for years, along the same lines as Stephen Kind, except I think he does a better job with the material. Some of the standouts are A Boys Life (which I loved as it's set in a fictional city, that is basically the city I grew up in, with lots of landmarks and people I recognized from my youth), Stinger (Alien invasion), Wolf's Hour (WW2 SAS agent who is a werewolf) and Speaks the Nightbird (period fiction set in 1700's New York, starts a series of detective fiction around the main character Matthew Corbett, I love this series).


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13584748 Dec 28, 2017 at 04:55 PM
Officer
169 Posts
my very limited 2 cents...

I've read the Wheel of Time books and agree it starts strong then meanders around until Sanderson finished it. The first 4 or 5 books were amazing and told a complete story while fleshing out the larger picture. After book 7(ish) it seems like Jordan was just adding filler and completely ignored the structure of a story. Referring to introduction - plot development - climax (giggety) - resolution. It seemed like Jordan just kept building and adding more plot elements without resolving anything.

Sanderson picked up the reins after Jordan's death and while I found Sanderson's writing style to be full of incomplete sentences and grammatical errors that a 5 year old would make... his plot development and idea construction was superb. He took all those loose elements and incomplete ideas that Jordan presented and incorporated and meshed them all together into a truly great ending for the epic story.

Another series I'd recommend is the same one Duck did... Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. The books were so much better than the TV series.

Haven't really read much in the past few years but I will recommend another series called "The Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher. The books are written in first person making the story have a very steady stream of consciousness. Definitely an easy read that will suck you in until you finish the book. It's about a young modern day wizard (yes, like Gandalf) living in Chicago who also happens to be a Star Wars fan 😀 His full name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (yeah... his father was a normal stage magician and named him after his heroes.) Full of modern day references like the time he made a deal with the faerie queen of the winter court and danced in her grand ball to the tune of "45" by Shinedown.

Also just realized that all 3 of the series I talked about were later made into TV series... please don't hold that against them.

Wheel of Time with Billy Zane (just a pilot)
Sword of Truth but called Legend of the Seeker for TV
Dresden Files from wikipedia... youtube has pulled most of the free versions unless you go with the weird picture in a picture.
Quote
#13584813 Dec 28, 2017 at 06:33 PM · Edited 12 months ago
Officer
466 Posts
What a GREAT Thread!! :D
I am going to check out Goodkind.
The Guild the Slays Together ..... Stays Together! :D
Quote
#13584819 Dec 28, 2017 at 06:44 PM
Officer
494 Posts
#13584813 Spritely Green wrote:

What a GREAT Thread!! :D
I am going to check out Goodkind.



Avoid "The Law of Nines" ! EVERY THING else he has written is amazing.
"It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues." - Abraham Lincoln
Quote
#13584918 Dec 28, 2017 at 09:14 PM
Member
158 Posts
#13584748 Azazel wrote:

my very limited 2 cents...

I've read the Wheel of Time books and agree it starts strong then meanders around until Sanderson finished it. The first 4 or 5 books were amazing and told a complete story while fleshing out the larger picture. After book 7(ish) it seems like Jordan was just adding filler and completely ignored the structure of a story. Referring to introduction - plot development - climax (giggety) - resolution. It seemed like Jordan just kept building and adding more plot elements without resolving anything.

Sanderson picked up the reins after Jordan's death and while I found Sanderson's writing style to be full of incomplete sentences and grammatical errors that a 5 year old would make... his plot development and idea construction was superb. He took all those loose elements and incomplete ideas that Jordan presented and incorporated and meshed them all together into a truly great ending for the epic story.

Another series I'd recommend is the same one Duck did... Terry Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" series. The books were so much better than the TV series.

Haven't really read much in the past few years but I will recommend another series called "The Dresden Files" by Jim Butcher. The books are written in first person making the story have a very steady stream of consciousness. Definitely an easy read that will suck you in until you finish the book. It's about a young modern day wizard (yes, like Gandalf) living in Chicago who also happens to be a Star Wars fan 😀 His full name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden (yeah... his father was a normal stage magician and named him after his heroes.) Full of modern day references like the time he made a deal with the faerie queen of the winter court and danced in her grand ball to the tune of "45" by Shinedown.

Also just realized that all 3 of the series I talked about were later made into TV series... please don't hold that against them.

Wheel of Time with Billy Zane (just a pilot)
Sword of Truth but called Legend of the Seeker for TV
Dresden Files from wikipedia... youtube has pulled most of the free versions unless you go with the weird picture in a picture.



The Dresden Files are fantastic, only reason I didn't mention them is I figured most folks were aware of Butcher. His fantasy series, mentioned in another post, is also very good.

The TV Series starring Paul Blackthorne, who is also on Arrow playing the Black Canaries father and police officer, was really well done, though the character bear very little physical resemblance to those described in the books.


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote
#13585586 Dec 29, 2017 at 09:55 AM
Veteran
211 Posts
Shades of Magic trilogy - V.E. Schwab (I just finished reading Vicious and loved it).
The Bear and the Nightingale (Winternight Trilogy - in progress) - Katherine Arden (an interesting take on Russian folklore)
Uprooted - Naomi Novik


I couldn't get into The Sword of Truth. I tried to read just the first installment and got so annoyed with the main character that I stopped halfway through. I feel like I need to try to read it again -_- .


I read a ton. I'm about 12 books behind my goal of 75 for the year (darn activities get in the way of reading/gaming *shakes fist*)


OH - and did you know you can borrow ebooks via your local library (mine borrows direct from Amazon... go figure!)
"Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." - Ernest Hemingway
Quote
#13617097 Jan 21, 2018 at 06:27 PM
Member
158 Posts
Had forgotten about these, I am a big fan of Greg Keyes, his Briar King series is fantastic, really everything he writes is very good.

He actually wrote two very good Elder Scrolls novels, I don't generally read that sort of fiction but I made an exception for him and they are both very good. The first is The Infernal City and the second is Lord of Souls.


"If life were fair, we'd all live in cardboard boxes." - HuntGod
Quote