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Thread: Song of Ice and Fire

  1. #1
    Senior Member Piscivorous's Avatar
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    Song of Ice and Fire

    I know Bullajami has [or is] reading this quartet of novels by George R.R. Martin with his 5th installment yet to be released. Any others?

    I've finished A Game of Thrones and am about 20% through A Clash of Kings. I'm pretty sure I'll finish the quartet by year's end. I'm reading a few history books and poker books simultaneously.

    My question is, what are some of this forum's favorite fantasy series [I want to try to steer clear of single excursion, unless the book is really well written]. I've read:

    Everything J.R.R. Tolkein
    All of Robert E. Howard's Conan novels.

    Don't be shy. I'm a geek D&Der so most fantasy is within my scope of experience.

    I will tell you, I am going to try and land the complete Thieves' World anthologies and novels.

    So, start providing me with some good ideas!
    Harold Camping was wrong. The world ended on April 15th, 2011.

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  3. #2
    Martin has "delayed" his book several times now. Currently the books are being developed for tv. Since he was a tv writer previously I think it's fair to suspect his motivation for writing these books, especially since it's been 5 years between editions with nothing new set.

    If you are looking for something special then I would highly recommend The Wheel Of Time series by Robert Jordan. Classic good vs. evil stuff with great characters, adventures and choices. They lean more towards Tolkien with having some non-human characters but it works well.

    The latest book is number 12 in the series with 2 more to follow. Sadly, Mr Jordan passed before finishing. He had the rest of the series mapped out but had not written it yet. Originally this last book was to be the end but the volume grew to the size of 3 books, each one in the series roughly 750 pages so you are getting your money's worth from them. I think they are held in much higher regard than The Fire And Ice series, though I do love those books.
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    Moderator Bullajami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by royze1
    I think they are held in much higher regard than The Fire And Ice series...
    This may be true, but I've never understood why. I got to book 5 of the Wheel of Time series and gave up. Every book was ending with the apocalyptic battle to save humanity from evil only for the next book to begin with that last battle wasn't the real apocalyptic battle, the real one is coming. I thought it became tedious, and I only found a few of the characters interesting.
    Peace,
    Bull

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    August 10, 2011

  5. #4
    My absolute favorite author in the genre and arguably one of the best living authors in any style is Gene Wolfe. His "Book of the New Sun" series is a must-read if you like this type of fiction. The later "Book of the Long Sun" is good, but not as stunningly great, I think. I would rank his "Soldier" series as my second favorite of the genre. Some people I suggest him to find him a bit too hard to read, he does make up vocabulary without explaining it and selectively reveal information so as to challenge you as a reader, but I think everyone here would not find him too difficult by any means.

    There are a number of good choices in "classic" sci-fi, like the "Ender's Game" series by Orson Scott Card. Try to avoid learning anything about the author, because he is such a flaming jerk it might ruin your ability to enjoy his otherwise excellent novels. You gotta love the "Dune" series, right? Everything Heinlein. The Ringworld stuff by Niven. Most Asimov, probably starting with the Foundation stuff. Hitchiker's Guide, if that counts as sci-fi to you.

    I love almost everything by Phillip K. Dick, I'd probably start with "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep" (which became Blade Runner) or probably "The Man in the High Castle"

    I'm a computer geek, so I'm forced to dig Neil Stephenson. I'd start with "Snow Crash" if I were you.

    Back to stuff like your original suggestion, I enjoyed "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever" for at least the first three, although my enthusiasm dimmed to such a degree that I eventually stopped reading them before he stopped writing them. Lots of the sci-fi/fantasy geeks I know rave about the EC Tubb series "Dumarest of Tara" but I've never read it nor seen it in print.

  6. #5
    Moderator Bullajami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nsidestrate
    My absolute favorite author in the genre and arguably one of the best living authors in any style is Gene Wolfe. His "Book of the New Sun" series is a must-read if you like this type of fiction.
    If YOU say its a must read, then I am in. It'll be here Tuesday. Hopefully I will have finished one of those Hwang PLO books by then.

    And a follow up on my Wheel of Time comments - I shouldn't be so negative. The books are outrageously popular and I know many people who prefer them over the Song of Ice and Fire series. After I read the first one I bought the next 5. It starts very well, but I never finished 5 or started 6.
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    Bull

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    - janeg
    August 10, 2011

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    One of my all time favourites is Raymond Feist's Riftwar Saga; I pretty much like anything he writes although I haven't read the Darkwar, Demonwar, or Chaoswar sagas.

    Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is pretty much a must for the genre although I don't care for most of his stuff.

    Heinleins stuff is always good although I don't remember any trilogy by him but some of the books are connected theme wise.

    Just read the 1st in a new series, Lies of Lock Lamora by Scott Lynch that I really enjoyed; will be picking up the 2nd book soon
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." -- Voltaire

  8. #7
    Senior Member Piscivorous's Avatar
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    I started Goodkind's Sword of Truth series. I'm hooked on Wizard's First Rule, although I imagine I'll be switching back to the 2nd two books of Martin's.

    I have the first 3 Thieves' World and first book in the Wheel of Time.

    I'm where my mother was at in this stage of life. Too few hours for reading.
    Harold Camping was wrong. The world ended on April 15th, 2011.

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    I have to admit I am a total Song of Ice and Fire fanboy and I think most other series pale in comparison. Still there are some other series that I enjoyed a lot:

    The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski - Not really high fantasy like Tolkien but a more "realistic" medieval fantasy setting like ASoIaF but with a bit more magic and the unevitable dwarfs and elfs. Still the main character is very well developed and not your typical run of the mill uber-good hero, but rather a cynical disillusioned battle-hardened veteran. Wish I could read Polish so I didn't have to wait as long for the translations.

    The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss - I think only book one "The Name of the Wind" was released to date, but I enjoyed it a lot. It's a story of heroism gone wrong. The story within a story is told by the barkeeper of a small inn in a tiny hamlet. It's the story of his life how he went from being one of the most promising adventurers in the world to a broken man hiding from his past within only a couple of years. The story is told in 3 days, with each day being one volume of the series. Can't wait for book 2.

    The Storm Worlds trilogy by Christoph Hardebusch - Not very known but a hidden gem imo. I also don't know if it's released in English yet, because it's a German author. It's the setting that is most intriguing about this series, because it's set in a Carribean style fantasy world with tropical islands, pirates and lots of swashbuckling. There is also some magic in the mix, so don't worry, it's real fantasy.

    The Malazan book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson - Undisputable the only book that can compare to ASoIaF when it comes to the vastness of the world and number of characters. An incredibly developed world with lots of background. The author obviously spend a lot of time on this. The number of characters is amazing and I really had trouble following all story threads. Also, I had no trouble reading G.R.R. Martin or even Tolkien in English, but I couldn't even understand half of Eriksons book, so I had to switch to the translation. The most interesting thing about his series is probably the fact that the gods themselves are interfering in the story in different ways and are pretty much real in this world. Can't get much higher fantasy than that.

    I have also read tons of D&D stuff like all the Drizzt books and the Dragonlance series, but honestly they are about the level of a dime novel compared to the works of other fantasy authors. And heed my words: Don't ever even think about reading the Elminster series by Ed Greenwood. It's the writte equivalent of Plan 9 from outer Space. It's just abysmal. The writing is terribly poor and the story reads like a power games excuse why his character has reached level 35. I also think that "Eragon" is vastly overrated. The story is stolen and pieced together from Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, the writing is too much wanna-be pompous. Same with "The Black Magician" Trilogy by Trudi Canavan. Cheap writing and a stolen story. Stay clear of it. I really have read tons of fantasy stuff over the years, so I will probably write some more later.
    I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass! And I'm all out of bubblegum...

  10. #9
    Senior Member Piscivorous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris78
    I have also read tons of D&D stuff like all the Drizzt books and the Dragonlance series, but honestly they are about the level of a dime novel compared to the works of other fantasy authors.
    Indeed. I've finished the first book of Troy Denning's Prism Pentad set in Dark Sun. Reads a lot like dime store novels, but the characters and situations are remote D&D. Dark Sun is sooooo different.

    My big problem is that their publishers [Wizards of the Coast], do a horrendous job at proofreading.

    Thanks for the heads up on the other series.
    Harold Camping was wrong. The world ended on April 15th, 2011.

  11. #10
    Moderator Bullajami's Avatar
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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris78
    The Malazan book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson - Undisputable the only book that can compare to ASoIaF when it comes to the vastness of the world and number of characters. An incredibly developed world with lots of background. ....
    About 100 pages in and it's feeling very promising. Love the writing style. I should burn through the rest of book 1 shortly since I am currently remanded to quarters for 48 hours so that my contagion does not spread. (Bacterial infections in both eyes, my left ear, my sinuses and my lungs. Welcome back to Africa!)
    Peace,
    Bull

    "Agree with Bull on this one..."
    - janeg
    August 10, 2011

  12. #11

    Re: Song of Ice and Fire

    You are all aware Game Of Thrones starts up on HBO in April right? It looks seriously amazing from the inside the series stuff on HBO's website. I read they are going to have the "Things I do for love" scene in the series. One of the most "I didn't see that coming" scenes ever in a book. I can't even imagine the reaction it will get on tv. It really looks like HBO has thrown their whole weight behind the series from the actors, production crew & sets. It looks like this has a chance to hold up to the books.
    "If my Daddy knew I was losing in this poker game, he'd come outta the grave and beat the heck outta me."-Doyle Brunson on High Stakes Poker

  13. #12

    Re: Song of Ice and Fire

    There is a very long "making of" type video on hbo.com and their YouTube channel that has me enthused about the upcoming series. HBO generally does these things right.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Piscivorous's Avatar
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    Re: Song of Ice and Fire

    Quote Originally Posted by royze1
    It really looks like HBO has thrown their whole weight behind the series from the actors, production crew & sets. It looks like this has a chance to hold up to the books.
    Well I would hope so. Wasn't Martin part of Hollywood before he started writing the series.

    I'm just hoping he finishes book 5 so he can get on to writing the real story.
    Harold Camping was wrong. The world ended on April 15th, 2011.

  15. #14
    Moderator Bullajami's Avatar
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    Re: Song of Ice and Fire

    I have been looking forward to the series since I heard it was being made. I may have to wait until June to see it, though. Not getting HBO at my current address.
    Peace,
    Bull

    "Agree with Bull on this one..."
    - janeg
    August 10, 2011

  16. #15

    Re: Song of Ice and Fire

    Book 5 A Dance With Dragons finally has a release date
    A Dance With Dragons will be published by Bantam on July 12. The manuscript is huge the publisher estimates the hardcover edition will run more than 900 pages, putting it about the same length as the longest book in the series, A Storm of Swords.
    There's a nice look at the cover art in the link.
    "If my Daddy knew I was losing in this poker game, he'd come outta the grave and beat the heck outta me."-Doyle Brunson on High Stakes Poker

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