The Sword and Laser discussion

What Else Are You Reading? > Classics of today?

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Hopkins (spellscribe) | 35 comments I’m always so far behind the eight ball, I end up reading stuff that’s new and popular long after it’s not new anymore. I’ve hit a lull in my TBR and I want to be trendy, guys! What should I get RIGHT NOW?

I like fantasy (Bujold, Carey, Sanderson, Jordan). I couldn’t get into fifth season (present tense makes me cry) and I don’t like very dark or over-militarised stuff. I loved Ancillary Justive and Prince of Thorns (despite the dark - I’m moving to Red Sister on Audio and expect to love it).

What new series have just come out that you can’t get enough of and why? And is it weird I just read this post back to myself in Tom’s voice? Why did I do that? Why not Veronica’s voice? If you can answer all my questions you might just be a genius. Thank you!

message 2: by Ruth (last edited Aug 06, 2018 09:13PM) (new)

Ruth | 985 comments How about some of Naomi Novik ‘s recent works, inspired by Eastern European folklore? Mysterious forests and feisty young maidens.
Spinning Silver

Edit: these books are standalones, not a series, but they have a similar vibe.

message 3: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8291 comments Jade City, for sure.

message 4: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2693 comments Trike wrote: "Jade City, for sure."


Duh. I'm me. Of course this is the book I recommend.

message 5: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2781 comments mmmm... I'd not put Jade City as a classic of today (i.e. a book that we'll look back on as a touchstone for one of the best books of the time in 25+ years). I liked it but to me a 'classic of today' is a really high bar and most years aren't going to produce any of these.

One I'd nominate would be a book you've mentioned, Ancillary Justice. The other would be a book you don't like, The Fifth Season which is possibly the best fantasy book I've read in a decade.

Now, if you just want a fun series or book to read that's good? Yeah, then there's a lot, including Jade City.

message 6: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments Are we considering Discworld? Because Discworld. DIIIISCWORLD! Entertaining, chock full of literary and historical references in a fun manner, great characters.

And it's only two books so not a long series, but The Sparrow / Children of God. First contact woefully messed up and a deep exploration of the good and bad of religion.

For "good, solid fun" I would put the Dresden Files. Intricate plots, big payoffs for foreshadowing, twist after twist. A flawed wizard does the best he can and that includes a lot of good. Includes one of the best ever geek moments in the outcome of a broken-sword moment. Readers will know what I mean...

message 7: by Allison (last edited Aug 07, 2018 11:44AM) (new)

Allison Hurd | 226 comments Yeah, I'd say my answer changes if you want to hear "best books/most lasting impact on literature in the past ~5-10 years" and "trendy books."


Ninefox Gambit
Too Like the Lightning
The Name of the Wind (okay, so this is 11 years. I used the ~ for this purpose!)
Something by Claire North...I really liked Touch.
You've got Sanderson...
Maybe a Catherynne M. Valente? She's pretty distinctive.
The Night Circus
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

(It hurts me not to include Fifth Season!)

Trendy right this second?

Jade City
The Poppy War
The Calculating Stars
Something by Madeline Miller, the newest is Circe
Spinning Silver
Martha Wells's Murderbot series
The Changeling
Record of a Spaceborn Few

Ian (RebelGeek) Seal (rebel-geek) | 538 comments My favorite modern fantasy novels:
Stephen King -
The Eyes of the Dragon
The Dark Tower novels

Patrick Rothfuss -
The Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of the Wind, etc.)

J.K. Rowling -
The Harry Potter Series (including The Cursed Child)

Robin Hobb -
The Realm of the Elderlings Saga (The Assassin's Apprentice, etc.)

George R.R. Martin -
A Song of Ice & Fire Saga (A Game of Thrones, etc.)

Neil Gaiman -
American Gods
Anansi Boys

Anne Rice -
All her novels

Orson Scott Card -
Tales of Alvin the Maker

message 9: by Rick (last edited Aug 07, 2018 12:59PM) (new)

Rick | 2781 comments "Anne Rice -
All her novels"

No, at least not for the Vampire novels. The first 2 of the Vampire Chronicles novels are classic. Queen of the Damned is good. After that, they become OK and then dive directly into bad fanfic.

message 10: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 89 comments I am usually very bad at guessing what will turn out to be "classic" but as far as what I've liked that's new and seems hot right now? I'll second Murderbot and Wayfarer's (Long Way Angry Planet), and suggest Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series as well.

All Systems Red
Every Heart a Doorway

message 11: by John (Taloni) (new)

John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 3909 comments ^ Yeah, I thought about Murderbot, but as it's two novellas I wasn't sure it could be considered a series. Anyhoo, great read.

message 12: by Malaraa (new)

Malaraa | 89 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ Yeah, I thought about Murderbot, but as it's two novellas I wasn't sure it could be considered a series. Anyhoo, great read."

The third Rogue Protocol was out today, and the fourth will be out in October, plus there's a full novel coming for a more distant future! :D

message 13: by Amy (new)

Amy Hopkins (spellscribe) | 35 comments Some good suggestions here :)

By Classic I guess I sort of mean books with that weighty, deep reaching feel. But also recent, so when I get excited about it, everyone else isn’t like ‘huh, yeah, read that a decade ago’ :D I think I’m feeling a little Fitz withdrawal (I just read the last book. Oh, my heart!)

I... also didn’t like Temeraire. It was good but didn’t grab me. I love Dresden but I’m writing a lot of lighter UF and want to sink my teeth into something a little more epic, and though I *want* fantasy, I’d be open to SF that has a fantasy-sequence tone, which is probably the vaguest and most subjective thing ever, but Ancillary Justice fit that category for me.

message 14: by Iain (last edited Aug 08, 2018 08:16AM) (new)

Iain Bertram (iain_bertram) | 1300 comments Amy wrote: "Some good suggestions here :)

By Classic I guess I sort of mean books with that weighty, deep reaching feel. But also recent, so when I get excited about it, everyone else isn’t like ‘huh, yeah, ..."

Lincoln in the Bardo, look for the audio book which is unbelievably good. OK it might also be classed as magical realism but this may well be the best book of the year. Its a joyful book as well.

message 15: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 1322 comments Amy, since you mention Wheel of Time series I will put in a good word for John Gwynne, whose series The Faithful and the Fallen just reminds me of Jordan and Eddings. Plus Gwynne gets my vote for " Best Use of Pets in Author Photo" award.

message 16: by Rick (last edited Aug 08, 2018 10:31AM) (new)

Rick | 2781 comments Amy - Oh. I have one for you, a book I didn't expect much from and LOVED. The Library at Mount Char. Standalone though, so if you're looking for a series, it doesn't scratch that itch. For a series that I never see mentioned but is quite good, try Harry Connolly's The Way Into Chaos trilogy which is epic fantasy explicitly written against the Wheel of Time, tourist fantasy type (i.e. there's no chapters that linger describing the beauty of a valley or books that don't move the plot). Without feeling rushed or claustrophobic, the entire trilogy moves from beginning to end without much pause. He does all the world building needed to evoke the world in your mind - he just doesn't linger over it.

message 17: by Jessica (new)


message 18: by Rick (new)

Rick | 2781 comments Jessica wrote: "OMG THE LIBRARY AT MOUNT CHAR IS AMAAAAAAAZING"

Right? I almost passed on it due to something making me thing "oh, YA about exceptional kids, boring...." but boy is that wrong. Love that book.

message 19: by Tasha (last edited Aug 08, 2018 05:40PM) (new)

Tasha Children of Blood and Bone is pretty new and trendy right now. I'm currently reading's okay, pretty good. I guess this wasn't the best recommendation, but most people love it. Maybe the second half is amazing!!!

message 20: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Honestly Amy, I think being behind is the best way to go. You get to see which books win awards, or at least are still talked about later. Also, they are no longer hard cover or new releases. You can buy them cheaper or even get them used or at the library. I only allow myself a few new book purchases a year.

message 21: by Amy (new)

Amy Hopkins (spellscribe) | 35 comments I picked up Mount Char! First couple pages have really grabbed me :)

message 22: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments Based on the what was listed in the original post I'd recommend Marie Brennan's Lady Trent series and Robert Jackson Bennet's Divine Cities.

I'd lump both authors in with Jemisin and Leckie as some of the best stuff I've read in years. I'd say that Brennan and Bennet are a little more accessible though. There is a higher dose of charm and adventure while holding onto the interesting conceptual cores that make all those stories stand out.

message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy Hopkins (spellscribe) | 35 comments I did love the First Lady Trent boom <3 I keep forgetting there are more now, so I may dive into that next.

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