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Poll
Question: Vote for as many as you like  (Voting closed: June 10, 2010, 10:50:38 AM)
Another Fine Myth / Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin - 5 (11.4%)
Discworld by Terry Prachett - 11 (25%)
Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist - 2 (4.5%)
Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling - 7 (15.9%)
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM by Robert O'Brian - 7 (15.9%)
Riddlemaster trilogy by Patricia McKillip - 2 (4.5%)
The Crystal Cave / The Merlin Series by Mary Stewart - 7 (15.9%)
The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers - 3 (6.8%)
Total Voters: 18

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Author Topic: Fantasy Literature Poll - Group D  (Read 7529 times)
Ocicat
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« on: June 03, 2010, 10:50:38 AM »

Neil Gaiman's novel envisioning the homeless population of London as a magical realm won last week's poll.  Conan came up from behind to take second place - you just can't keep a barbarian warrior down.  The Book of Three barely took third over the Dying Earth, but neither will move on to the next round.  Actually last week's poll had every entry get at least three votes, which is pretty remarkable. 

This group has two humor fantasy series, two children's classics featuring animals, a children's classics of the magic and swords variety, a King Arthur retelling, a modern day faerie tale that verges into horror, and a historical twist on Byron and Shelley's famous trip to Geneva where their writing is inspired by a very real Lamia/vampire/muse creature.

I'm very curious what is going to get second place this week.  I'm pretty sure I can guess what will come in first.
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CryptoMe
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« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2010, 12:19:39 PM »

Read most of these, but not enamoured of any enough to vote. Will abstain this round.
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Talia
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Muahahahaha


« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2010, 12:23:05 PM »

Read most of these, but not enamoured of any enough to vote. Will abstain this round.

Not enamored of discworld?

*eyes you suspiciously and backs away* :p
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Scattercat
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« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2010, 01:30:31 PM »

Read most of these, but not enamoured of any enough to vote. Will abstain this round.

Not enamored of discworld?

*eyes you suspiciously and backs away* :p

A WITCH!  HE'S A WITCH!
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Talia
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Muahahahaha


« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2010, 01:37:06 PM »

Read most of these, but not enamoured of any enough to vote. Will abstain this round.

Not enamored of discworld?

*eyes you suspiciously and backs away* :p

A WITCH!  HE'S A WITCH!

Might we burn him?
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FireTurtle
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« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2010, 02:02:12 PM »

Read most of these, but not enamoured of any enough to vote. Will abstain this round.

Not enamored of discworld?

*eyes you suspiciously and backs away* :p
A WITCH!  HE'S A WITCH!

But, how do you know he's a witch?
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Fenrix
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« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2010, 02:11:00 PM »

They dressed me up like this. And this isn't my nose, it's a false one.

I have to say I'm not enamored of Discworld, either. I have been told that I picked the wrong books to start with, but when I challenge for a specific list of titles to go with, I get vague answers. It's not easy to go with vague information to a book store and pick up one book off the Pratchett shelves that's part of the arc that was recommended.

I started with a Rincewind book, and was terribly disappointed. Not sure I finished it before taking it to the used book store. There was nothing that Rincewind gave me that I hadn't already gotten from Robert Aspirin, Craig Shaw Gardener, or a handful of other fantasy humorists.

I guess I'll toss the gauntlet out to this esteemed group. What specific title would convert a non-believer into a Discworld fan? Just one title, as I am only willing to give Pratchett one more chance.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2010, 06:37:25 PM »

Reaper Man.

It's still my favorite, and it does a lovely job as a stand-alone.  (There's one book chronologically before it, "Mort," but "Mort" isn't very good, relatively, and "Reaper Man" is delightful.  Here is a review from a blogger-friend who I convinced to try it as HIS first Pratchett book. 

And yeah, the first few Rincewind books were some of the earliest Discworld books period, which means they're a little crude and unrefined, and they rely very heavily on parodying the tropes of the sword-and-sorcery genre then extant and dominant but which has long since faded to dry memory.
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eytanz
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« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2010, 06:51:32 PM »

Reaper Man.

It's still my favorite, and it does a lovely job as a stand-alone.  (There's one book chronologically before it, "Mort," but "Mort" isn't very good, relatively, and "Reaper Man" is delightful.  Here is a review from a blogger-friend who I convinced to try it as HIS first Pratchett book. 

I strongly second this recommendation. "Reaper Man" was my first Pratchett book, I picked it up randomly at a bookshop and I was hooked. That said, I was 14 or 15 at the time, and easier to hook into series than I am these days.

Honestly, though, Discworld is one of those series that are over-hyped to the point where it's very difficult for them to meet the expectations of someone who heard from them from a fan. I myself am a fan - though not nearly as big a one as I was in my teens - but in general, I think that enjoying something is a lot harder after a lot of people tell you you're wrong for not enjoying it.

Quote
And yeah, the first few Rincewind books were some of the earliest Discworld books period, which means they're a little crude and unrefined, and they rely very heavily on parodying the tropes of the sword-and-sorcery genre then extant and dominant but which has long since faded to dry memory.

I tend to find even the later Rincewind books among the weaker entries - they seem to focus on thinly veiled descriptions of non-Western cultures as Rincewind finds himself lost somewhere new. I enjoy them, but I don't think I would like them nearly as much if I wasn't emotionally invested in Discworld.
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Father Beast
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« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2010, 07:25:57 PM »

Oh wow! Mrs. Frisby, the book, was so much better than the movie. I liked the movie a lot, but afgter reading the book, I can hardly stand to watch it anymore.

Still a great read every now and then...
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Scattercat
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2010, 10:57:57 AM »

I do like Rincewind himself, as the Eternal Coward to counterpoint the Eternal Hero definitely has something to recommend it...
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kibitzer
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2010, 09:57:33 PM »

Nah, sorry folks, not a big Pratchett fan either. It's not that I dislike the books. I read some way back when they started to come out -- I think it was 1982. It's just that having read some, I couldn't be bothered reading more. It might also be a reaction against the fantasy shelves being dominated by Pratchett, to the exclusion of much else. There's no doubt he's entertaining, though.

I'll also say here that I'm no fan of Feist's "Magician", either. I read it several times over the years because I keep thinking "Hmm. Maybe I missed something." But no. Oddly enough, after the most recent read I went on to "Silverthorn" and "A Darkness At Sethanon" and quite enjoyed them.
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Ocicat
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2010, 12:35:02 AM »

I'll also say here that I'm no fan of Feist's "Magician", either.

Not sure if there's confusion on this point, but "Magician" is not part of what's up for voting here.  Faerie Tale is a standalone novel, set in the modern day.  The encounters with the Fae draw from celtic myth, and veer quite quickly into horror territory.  It's very dark stuff, intense and good in a way that I don't think most of Feist's other work is.  I think this is his best stuff. 

http://www.amazon.com/Faerie-Tale-Raymond-Feist/dp/0553277839
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eytanz
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2010, 01:02:37 AM »

I'll also say here that I'm no fan of Feist's "Magician", either.

Not sure if there's confusion on this point, but "Magician" is not part of what's up for voting here.  Faerie Tale is a standalone novel, set in the modern day.  The encounters with the Fae draw from celtic myth, and veer quite quickly into horror territory.  It's very dark stuff, intense and good in a way that I don't think most of Feist's other work is.  I think this is his best stuff. 

http://www.amazon.com/Faerie-Tale-Raymond-Feist/dp/0553277839


I agree with this assessment, it's a pretty effective horror/fantasy novel, and by far the best of Feist's work. That's not quite enough for me to vote for it here, though, compared to some of the other entries.

I'm sad to see that McKillip isn't getting a lot of love, though. I am a huge fan of her work, and the Riddlemaster series, while not the very best of her writing, is wonderful.
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kibitzer
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2010, 01:39:38 AM »

Not sure if there's confusion on this point, but "Magician" is not part of what's up for voting here.

No confusion here, was just saying about "Magician" since Feist is in this poll. Sorry -- didn't mean to mess it up for other folks. Thanks for the recommendation of "Faerie Tale" -- might give it a try.
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knigget
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2010, 09:04:21 PM »

I'm surprised Tim Powers isn't getting more votes.  He may not have you in stitches the first time, but he's the one you'll re-read a few times, and like more each time.  He certainly stuck in my mind more than any of the others.
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Ocicat
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2010, 11:56:04 PM »

I'm surprised Tim Powers isn't getting more votes.  He may not have you in stitches the first time, but he's the one you'll re-read a few times, and like more each time.  He certainly stuck in my mind more than any of the others.

I suspect people just haven't read it.  They should.  Especially anyone with any interest in the romantic poets, or just a good fantasy monster story.

The real life story of Byron, Shelley, etc... vacation in Geneva (when Frankenstein and other horror stories got written) is pretty weird and interesting to begin with.  Adding a supernatural element is an easy thing to do, but Powers does it very well.  He keeps all the known facts intact, and gives a supernatural "why" to explain the unanswered questions.
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Scattercat
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« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2010, 12:48:46 AM »

Pers'nally, Tim Powers has just never worked for me.  I tried really hard to like "Stress of Her Regard" because the premise was so endearing, but after three tries and not getting all the way through on any of them, I've just given up. 
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eytanz
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« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2010, 02:06:06 AM »


I'm surprised Tim Powers isn't getting more votes.  He may not have you in stitches the first time, but he's the one you'll re-read a few times, and like more each time.  He certainly stuck in my mind more than any of the others.

I really like Tim Powers, and have read almost everything he wrote - except "The Stress of Her Regard".
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kibitzer
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« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2010, 09:32:48 PM »

I didn't find "The Stress of Her Regard" that absorbing. "The Anubis Gates" remains one of my all-time favourites, though. "Expiration Date" is fun.
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