SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Nick, Founder (In Absentia) (last edited Mar 12, 2008 07:25PM) (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 310 comments Mod
Please suggest Fantasy books below!

Agyar by Steven Brust
A Cavern of Black Ice by J. V. Jones
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Alamut by Judith Tarr
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman
Blood Price by Tanya Huff
Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones
The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Complete Compleat Enchanter by L. Sprauge de Camp, Fletcher Pratt
The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Darkness that Comes Before by R. Scott Bakker
Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells
Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs
Fire Logic by Laurie Marks
First Truth by Dawn Cook
Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson
Gate of Ivrel by C. J. Cherryh
The Gilded Chain by Dave Duncan
God Stalk by P.C. Hodgell
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Gunslinger by Stephen King
Hades' Daughter by Sara Douglass
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik
Ill Wind by Rachel Caine
The Magic of Recluce by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Magician: Apprentice by Raymond E. Feist
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
The Nameless Day by Sara Douglass
Nine Princes In Amber by Roger Zelazny
Rhapsody : Child of Blood by Elizabeth Haydon
Seven Archangels: Annihilation by Jane Lebak
Sword-Dancer by Jennifer Roberson
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
The Tomb by F. Paul Wilson
Transformation by Carol Berg
Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
The Warlock in Spite of Himself by Christopher Stasheff
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard Hunters by Martha Wells
Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Please let's stay with in-print books. Trolling libraries, used book shops, and book swaps can be a bit of a pain for something like this.

Pretty please.

message 4: by John (new)

John | 109 comments Some of these will be seconding someone else's recommendation...

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and the rest of the series A Song of Ice and Fire
The Gardens of the Moon by [Steven Erikson:] and the rest of the series The Malazan Book of the Fallen (the first book is pretty good, but the series gets better as it goes on
Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb and the rest of the Farseer Trilogy as well as the other trilogies set in the same world.
Jhereg by Steven Brust and the rest of the Taltos series.
Agyar by Steven Brust (it's not part of a series!)
The Darkness That Comes Before by R. Scott Baker and the rest of The Prince of Nothing Series
The Great Book of Amber by Roger Zelazny (this collects the whole series--individual books are no longer in print)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher and the rest of The Dresden Files
Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (haven't read the rest of the series, but the first book was really good)

message 5: by Deborah (new)

Deborah Brannon (djbrannon) I notice there are quite a few books listed that are the first in the series. In the interest of adding books that are stand-alones or largely independent, I offer the following:

The Good Fairies of New York by Martin Millar
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (pretty sure this one's still in print)
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente (part of a duology, but that's not too far from my mission ;))

message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Rowe | 8 comments Naomi Novik's Throne of Jade, Black Powder War, and Empire of Ivory. These three are the continuation of her first book in the Temeraire series, His Majesty's Dragon. I suggest all four, as they are all wonderful.

I also suggest Marion Zimmer Bradly's The Mists of Avalon, a fairly thick novel based mainly on King Arthur's aunt, Morgaine (somtimes called Morgan le Fay). Definatly not what one would call "light reading".

Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn is also not only a classic, but a wonderfully written book, with beautiful descriptions, and wonderful diction. Much lighter reading then The Mists is.

message 7: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn Hello everyone:

I'm rather new to fantasty reading, having only read Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. I've got an idea for a fantasy story in my head and I think it's going to be a YA novel but I need to catch up on my reading before I make a serious attempt. Next on my list is Beagle and LeGuin.

My question is this: are the books on this list YA or adult or both?



message 8: by Jen (new)

Jen (squirrelgirl) I'd second Michael's recommendation for Edding's Pawn of Prophecy. I also loved Weis/Hickman's Death Gate Cycle series. Strictly for its humor value and his consistently entertaining writing style, Pratchett's Discworld books are some of my favorite. I also love Pullman's Golden Compass and King's Gunslinger series.

However, as was mentioned above, these all start series, so may not be great for a discussion as they don't really stand alone.

Someone above also recommended Mists of Avalon, which would make for a great discussion. It follows the Arthurian legends from a primarily female perspective. It's fun revisiting those legends and really, Bradley is an excellent writer.

Good Omens would be a lighter book, but it's really well written, laugh-out-loud funny, and includes a number of elements that would be worth talking about.

message 9: by John (new)

John | 109 comments I can only speak for myself here, Kathryn, but the books I recommended are adult fantasy.

Something occurred to me as I was writing my list: namely, that such a list doesn't seem very useful, at least as it stands. In part, it's an issue of credibility: what's the value of any particular recommendation? Take my own: for all any of you know, those might be the only nine authors I've ever read, so my basis for making recommendations might be poor (I promise it isn't... but what's that promise worth on-line?). If we happen to know some of the books being recommended, that helps, of course. "Oh yes, I liked X and Y too, so maybe I'd also like her recommendation of Z."

Second, there's the issue of taste. Fantasy is a wide genre with a dizzying array of subgenres. For my part, I would have a hard time classifying, off the top of my head, every genre I like. Let's say that I love epic fantasy (which I do). If you hate epic fantasy, finding it pretentious and long-winded, my recommendations are probably useless, and you have no way of knowing that without doing additional research or going and finding the book on some shelves, seeing that each volume by the writer is over a thousand pages long, and deciding to pass.

And just to add another wrinkle, there's also an issue of politeness: while most of us are quite willing to second someone else's recommendation, very few of us are going to say "You liked X? I thought it was awful." Maybe in a discussion of a particular book, but in a forum where people are telling us some of their favorite books? Probably not.

So is there some way we could make this more useful? A mini-review as some here have already done? A clear statement of what kinds of things we like along with our list? Or are folks pretty happy with things the way they are?

message 10: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:07AM) (new)


You raise some good points. I prefer finding new authors by chance and I'm happy to just "opt out" for a month if I dislike a book. Honestly, Snow Crash wasn't for me. I started it, realized I wouldn't like it, and took a skip to read other things. I'm enjoying Neverwhere quite a lot and I look forward to discussing it.

I'm in a position where I owned or could trade for every book we've done so far, and my local library is well-stocked. If I had to buy these books and couldn't afford to drop money on a book only to cast it aside after twenty pages I would want a lot more information going in.

Thankfully, there are ample reviews and discussions on this website, on Amazon, and on the Internet in general.

Which is my long winded way of saying that I'm happy with things the way they are.


message 11: by Alex (new)

Alex Rowe | 8 comments I myself have yet to find a copy of Neverwhere, and looked it up on Google. There I found a preview of the book, places online I could buy the book, and which site was cheapest at the time. And I'm sure that any of us here on GoodReads who may have a copy of the book to loan and lived near someone who wished to borrow it might lend it out to them.


message 12: by John (new)

John | 109 comments Incidentally, my understanding of this list was not as suggestions for discussion books, or at least not necessarily for discussion books, but just in general "here's good fantasy I've read that I would recommend to others."

message 13: by Nick, Founder (In Absentia) (new)

Nick (nickqueen) | 310 comments Mod
It can be both. We will never make it through all the books suggested but we will get through some. Anything suggested would make good personal reads or group reads!

message 14: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne (jeannekc) | 33 comments I second the nominations of Storm Front by Jim Butcher (and the rest of The Dresden Files) as well as Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey (and the rest of that series)! Not sure why they haven't been added to the top list.

message 15: by Cody Lee (new)

Cody Lee (agnostej) | 3 comments Suggestions for the list:

Something From the Nightside - Simon R. Green
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

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Books mentioned in this topic

Snow Crash (other topics)
Agyar (other topics)
Jhereg (other topics)
The Darkness That Comes Before (other topics)
Kushiel's Dart (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

R.A. Salvatore (other topics)
Steven Brust (other topics)
Roger Zelazny (other topics)
Robin Hobb (other topics)
Jim Butcher (other topics)