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General - Group Business > Series discussion 2: Nominations!

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (last edited May 28, 2010 09:01AM) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Hi everyone,

Let's start taking nominations for our second series discussion!

Any SF or fantasy series is eligible. It doesn't have to be a complete series, but this is meant to be a long-term project, so ideally 3 or more have been published already - if not, the discussion will be over too soon. We'll read one book per month, starting on the 15th of every month so it doesn't overlap with the regular Books of the Month. I'll make a dedicated folder for the series discussion, so all the topics for every book will be available in case people join later.

I'll set up the first poll at the end of the month, so send in your nominations before May 30th by posting a message in this thread. If you're also interested in helping with the discussion by posting topics and questions about each book, please let me know.

Stefan

NOMINATIONS SO FAR:

The Wars of Light and Shadow - Janny Wurts
Chronicles of the Cheysuli - Jennifer Roberson
The Dragaeran Books - Steven Brust
The Recluce Saga - L.E. Modesitt Jr.
Book of the New Sun - Gene Wolfe
The Shadowmarch series - Tad Williams
Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever - Stephen R. Donaldson
The Chanur Series - C.J. Cherryh
Dragon Prince + Dragon Spawn trilogies - Melanie Rawn
The Emberverse series - S.M. Stirling
The Garrett, PI series - Glen Cook
Saga of Pliocene Exile / Intervention / Galactic Milieu - Julian May
Chronicles of Amber - Roger Zelazny
The Alvin Maker series - Orson Scott Card


message 2: by Ken (new)

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments Discworld


message 3: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) Stefan, if Discworld wins, I'll gladly help.


message 4: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
That would be great, Chris. I was hoping for a long series for the discussion, but 35+ books or so is a bit more than I had in mind! It would also take up the series discussion for about 3 years. I'm a big Pratchett fan, but I feel that such a discussion would be better served by creating a separate group.


message 5: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Watson | 55 comments Wars of Light and Shadow


message 6: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2312 comments Mod
How about Jennifer Roberson's Chronicles of the Cheysuli? Fantasy, 8 books, I believe the individual novels are out of print but they're available in 4 omnibus editions.


message 7: by Candiss (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments I'd like to suggest the Dragaeran books by Steven Brust.

- The Vlad Taltos novels currently number 12. (The first 9 are available in 4 omnibus editions, in addition to the series being published individually.)

- There are 3 books in the Khaavren Romances, which take place several hundred years prior to the Taltos cycle and do not focus on Vlad. (The third book was actually published in 3 volumes, so one might say there are 5 total books in this cycle.)

- Brokedown Palace is a standalone, but again in the same universe.

So... 12 books if one focuses on the Vlad Taltos stories alone, several more if one includes the other cycles. Personally, I think it would be most efficient to focus on the Taltos cycle as a block.


message 8: by Janny (last edited May 24, 2010 07:36PM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Thank you to Jeff for the nomination - what a pleasure to have the Wars of Light and Shadow put up for consideration. Be assured that I would stay the distance and help with the discussion as I did with To Ride Hell's Chasm, if the group votes.

Since any series invests a lot of reading time, here's an indication of what this series is, and isn't, in case anyone unfamiliar wants to know where the story falls in the spectrum.

It has eight books, with the ninth due shortly. None of the volumes are cliff hangers. They are not light reads - they will challenge and reverse presumptions. The cast of main characters stays close-knit, and the story deepens and heightens rather than sprawls. There is NO darklord, NO elves, NO cookie cutter evil vs light, and no grand battle to Save the World. This is a mature read, due to complexity - not smut - and it is not 'romance'. Expect both action and introspection, and multiple layers of perspective.

At the start, it will look fairly much like 'classic' mideval fantasy - but as the layers peel back, the differences in what seem traditional elements will emerge in accessible order. This won't plunge you in and make you swim in complexity, but will unfold in sequence. The conflict moves in 'stages' - which is why the series sequence is divided into arcs. I am only two volumes away from completion, and the arc endings make solid pause points.

The story is not fluff - or cynical grit. It spans the gamut from rollicking humor to sharp edges - the bleak moments are counterbalanced by hope and joy. It explores both the dark and the light of human nature, and the deepest nuance of character. The style does not lend itself to skimming. All of the characters evolve and change.

Here's a text link (that does not require a download) that is a teaser from the fourth volume to grant a taste that isn't a spoiler.

http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

I expect to be here to participate no matter what series wins. This is a great group!


message 9: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Janny - are your books available as ebooks? For health reasons I don't think I could take on your series in paper, but would be interested in it if I can try with an ebook.


message 10: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I second Wars of Light and Shadow. My only concern is it takes me between 10-20 days to really read each of the books (so far three of them) and I don't want to rush.

I would also be interested in the Vlad Taltos series by Brust, but clearly my second choice.

And, finally, I had thought to nominate the Recluce series by Modesitt, which I could help with the discussions on, but since I've read them all, I'd really prefer to strike out into new territory in Athera.


message 11: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments I would love to read Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun series. It would be either 4 or 5 books, depending on whether the sequel (The Urth of the New Sun) was included. I have been intending to read this series for years and am not sure why I have not.

p.s. (I would also be more than happy to read Janny's series)


message 12: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3275 comments Mod
I nominate the Shadowmarch series by Tad Williams. The books are:
Shadowmarch, November 2004.
Shadowplay, March 2007.
Shadowrise, March 2010.
Shadowheart, forthcoming (2010).
By the time we got to the fourth book, maybe it would be published.


message 13: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kerry wrote: "Janny - are your books available as ebooks? For health reasons I don't think I could take on your series in paper, but would be interested in it if I can try with an ebook."

Kerry - the last four volumes are in all e formats, the first three are 'in the queue' to be moved into that platform. A note to the publisher speeds this process up, since the older books in their list are being converted by demand. It would be wonderful to see the whole series available - I can put in another query on the schedule to my editors, since you aren't the only one asking. The series has been published worldwide and is all in print in mass market - so it is very easy to acquire and many libraries have it on the shelf.

Oh yeah, forgot - No Farmboys, No Coming of Age.


message 14: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 50 comments I would like to nominate the following two series one sf one fantasy. For fantasy:

Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen Donaldson. There are three trilogies with the third being written as I write. The first two trilogies are out in paperback. Thomas Covenant is a powerful character and a leper.

For SF, I would nominate the Chanur books by CJ Cherryh, which are a very good series.


message 15: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Unlike my friend Matt, I really, really love Donaldson.
I have read all 8 of the published Covenant series plus Mordant's Need, and loved them all. The ending of Fatal Revenant is a complete cliffhanger, but as I have sdaid Donaldson pulls it off. Can't wait for #9.


message 16: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments A lot of these series seem to comprise of long, fat books (of course, fantasy has a lot of those). How many people feel comfortable at the idea of trying to read one a month?

I like the idea of several of these series, but don't know that I'd be able to keep up. Is it worth throwing out the idea of maybe doing one every 6 weeks or even 2 months if we're doing doorstoppers?

If it's just me, then of course, don't worry about it, but if I'm not the only one, maybe we could discuss it.


message 17: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Janny, if you can post contact details for the publisher, I'll be happy to send them an email and add my voice to the requests for ebooks.


message 18: by Random (new)

Random (rand0m1s) | 847 comments Kerry wrote: "Janny, if you can post contact details for the publisher, I'll be happy to send them an email and add my voice to the requests for ebooks."

I'll do the same. I'm always willing to put in a little effort to get more titles into ebook formats.


message 19: by Ken (new)

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments Kerry, I agree. thats why I nominated Discworld. Light easy reading. Of course Stefan is right. 35 is rather much, but what the hey


message 20: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Are there any other light, easy reading series similar to the Miles books?


message 21: by Richard (new)

Richard (thinkingbluecountingtwo) | 138 comments Mawgojzeta wrote: "I would love to read Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun series. It would be either 4 or 5 books, depending on whether the sequel (The Urth of the New Sun) was included..."

If we wanted more books it might be possible to also read Wolfe's The Book of the Long Sun series, linked as it is to the previous series.

I read and loved the New Sun books and would love an excuse to reread them and continue on to the Long Sun books.


message 22: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Just for variety, I'll toss in Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince/Dragon Star trilogies.


message 23: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Oh and another question for Janny (I'm very tempted by your series you see, but want to know what I'm getting into)...

Do you know how long the series is going to be all up? Just how much reading am I taking on investing myself in it?

I know that sounds terribly, well, something, but I know there are an awful lot of pages ahead of me if I start reading it and reading can be hard work for me.


message 24: by Jeffrey (last edited May 25, 2010 10:30PM) (new)

Jeffrey | 50 comments There are no series like the Miles series out there but

I like the First 3 Flinx books -- Tar-Aiym Krang, Orphan Star and End of the Matter by Alan Dean Foster. Pretty good space tales.

First Three Xanth books, A Spell for chameleon, The Source of Magic and Castle Roogna by Piers Anthony.

PC Hodgell's tales:

God Stalk, Dark Side of the Moon, Seeker's Mask, Blood and Ivory, Ride the Rathorn

Martha Wells: Fall of Ile-Rien trilogy Wizard Hunters, Ships of Air, Gate of Gods is a top notch trilogy with little air time.

Karl Schroeder's Suns of Suns, Queen of Candesce, Pirate Sun and the Sunless Countries is also a great series.

These books for the most part are of the less than 350 pages, and all good stories


message 25: by Candiss (last edited May 25, 2010 11:02PM) (new)

Candiss (tantara) | 1207 comments Jeffrey wrote: "There are no series like the Miles series out there but..."

I would say that a series that has a similar vibe to the Miles series is the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, beginning with On Basilisk Station. (There are currently 11 books in that series, with a 12th due in July.)

Also, count me in with those who would prefer modest-length books in the new series. I am involved in a couple of reading challenges right now, and I know I would be able to contribute more reading compact books than doorstops right now. (For the group's information: The Brust series I suggested are brisk reads.)


message 26: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments This week's Mind Meld at SF Signal is talking about underrated fantasy series. Since we're looking for a fantasy series, I thought I'd post the link here.

Mind Meld


message 27: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Laurel wrote: "Are there any other light, easy reading series similar to the Miles books?"

The Xanth series by Piers Anthony?


message 28: by Laurel (new)

Laurel Jon, that sounds like a ton of fun! I'll second that nomination.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Is the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony any good? I read the first one, and enjoyed it, but never continued with it.


message 30: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Laurel wrote: "Are there any other light, easy reading series similar to the Miles books?"

(For Laurel, - the Tiger and Del books by Jennifer Roberson - fun, fast, with a crazy thread of conflict between the male and female leads - wonderful entertainment, and Tiger has the superb sort of mishap related predicaments that make me chuckle like Miles.)


message 31: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Watson | 55 comments I thought Incarnations of Immortality was Piers Anthony's best work.


message 32: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kerry wrote: "Oh and another question for Janny (I'm very tempted by your series you see, but want to know what I'm getting into)...

Do you know how long the series is going to be all up? Just how much readin..."


Kerry - here's your answer.

The series proper is designed for eleven volumes, set into five story arcs. Each "arc" completes a premise of action, and can almost stand complete. Each volume resolves something that opened its first chapter - there are no cliffhangers. Each volume will provide a 'two stage punch' - somewhat like Hell's Chasm, where there's a climatic peak at midpoint - then a huge convergence and a bigger whammy at the end.

Each Arc will do the same, in overview - open with one set of ideas, hit a midpoint convergency, then tip into the final resolution of that phase.

The series ENTIRE will have the same format in overview. It is past the 'tipping point' already.

Eight of the books are published. The ninth is completed and I am in 'polish phase' to turn it in ASAP, the pub date should be quick.

The following two volumes are under contract. I take about 2 years per book. Arc starts, a touch more. The last two volumes are 'all denouement' - I expect them to stay straight on schedule.

The arc titles fall as follows:

Arc I
The Curse of the Mistwraith - sets the stage and the characters and the conflict.

Arc II
The Ships of Merior
Warhost of Vastmark
Focuses on the next phase of the conflict, with the characters' immediate circumstance and close up impact as the central focus.

Arc III - Alliance of Light
Fugitive Prince
Grand Conspiracy
Peril's Gate
Traitor's Knot
Stormed Fortress

This arc still focuses on the main characters, but the impact of their actions is taken to the next level - all the magic layers are unveiled, the world impact and ramifications are opened up - the 'mideval' fantasy you thought you saw in vol. I takes on a different thrust. The secondary characters will come forward and develop, and the primary ones will deepen. The cast of characters stays tight - you won't have an overwhelming number of story threads because the secondary characters' tightly tie to the primary ones. the glimpses of the mysteries of the world start to unveil in this arc, too.

The arc ending is extremely strong, lots of things 'tie up' - the finish point would be powerful enough to feel like an ending in itself - but there is more.

Arc IV
(Sword of the Canon)
Initiate's Trial
Due shortly, draft complete.

One could easily read an arc and be contented with the stop point. So one need not necessarily follow the entire series to have a satisfying read. I spent 30 years designing this set of books - it was planned intricately for 20 years before book I ever appeared. The long format was not something 'tacked on' but has been a labor of love from the start. I cannot stand cheap shot cliffhangers or stuff that just 'spins out' - the long format here has a definite design to it.

You don't need to trust me - ask the readers.
It is the style some have difficulty with - it is designed to pull you into immersion - you will adjust to the style after several chapters, since it shifts how you perceive (deliberately). The reason was to sharpen the impact - and it does. But not for people who want to rush - to pull the stunning reverses, to shape the intricacy of the characters, the reader has to be held back from the 'quick take' - by the later volumes, there are layers of meaning NOT stated - you'll have them all straight there, set in place by the prior stories. So the experience by then is multi-level.

This series is NOT for everyone, never claimed it was. The second volume opens enough to put a lot more fun and humor - it is a big investment for anyone to make - me to write, readers to put their time. Proof is in the pudding - my readers perhaps would be better advocates as to how the story affected them.

To Ride Hell's Chasm ran on about three layers.
This series has a lot more depth. Multiple rereaders report still finding stuff they missed - and didn't miss at all - they were focused on another layer. The opening volume would read from a totally changed perspective, seen from the standpoint of the closing volume in Arc III. The layers also matter - younger people would focus on one set, and maturity would change the perspective about every decade. I've had readers as young as 13, but they are extremely rare. I've had notes from readers who could not get through this, but tried it again 5 years later and it blew them away. I've had notes from readers who would have chucked Vol I, but it was the only book they had on a vacation, and when they got done, it blew them away. I've had notes from readers who got it from page 1...the full range of emotion is done, gloves off. That makes it a love it or hate it sort of thing.

The unpredictability of the plot and character developments stands presumptions upside down. Some readers love it, some just hate bucking the current - they want to peg something and 'be right' and the story doesn't move that way. When it doesn't, sometimes the clueless get annoyed.

I haven't deliberately made this 'complex' to pull a fast one - but to open insights and delight. Yes it is an intelligent read, yes, it might make you work a little. Ask the readers about the payoff - what they liked and didn't might help you.

Perhaps it may help to know I value creativity on all levels - with story, character, and style - I am an artist and a musician - many of the 'perceptions' opened on the page ARE the way I see things - if story is the gift of experience and perception given to some one else, I believe in providing the best I have to offer.

Some people bog in it, some write they've altered their vantage for the better - I love to read, and to sail, ride, experience the extreme wilderness, all done at first hand - and have packed everything I have into these pages for the sheer fun of story and for the insights of exploring into life.

If you have any other questions, do please message me - (or e mail off the button on my website) so as not to choke this thread with long posts. There are several readers here who've read some of the books - I'm sure they'd be pleased to give you their take.

There are some wonderful suggestions up for vote, and let me say - I am REALLY glad to be abstaining! :)


message 33: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Okay folks, I just put the nominations up to this point in the first post of the thread. The thread has started to become a bit chaotic with people mentioning lots of different series (which is perfectly fine). I've only added the series that are explicitly nominated by someone. If one of the others was supposed to be a nomination, let me know so I can add it.

If we're looking for "light" reading, I think the Steven Brust series is pretty good. All the books are around 300 pages and fast, easy reads. Most of them are very entertaining and focus on the same main character, a la Miles. The first books have been collected in omnibus editions (a la Miles again) so they're cheap and easy to find. I wouldn't mind rereading those again, to be honest.

Also relatively light, especially for Cherryh, is the Chanur series. Probably some of her most accessible and easy-going work. Wouldn't mind reading those again either.

Discworld - light too, but really too long for our purposes. If it wins, maybe we can do just the first 10, or someone can set up a separate group, because I simply don't want to take up the group series discussion for 3 years with one series.

Note: if a series that has longer, "heavier" books wins, we can restructure the discussion. Maybe do one book every 2 months, or do something similar to tor.com's rereads where we cover e.g. 100 pages, or 2 chapters, or some other smaller amount, per week. That way we can really dig deep and still have time to read other things too. That's actually the format I had in mind when we set up our first series discussion with the Miles Vorkosigan books. So please don't steer away from the series with longer books for that reason - we can work out a way that allows everyone to keep up with the discussion and still have time to be otherwise productive members of society.

That's it for now. Please take a look at the top post to make sure I have your nomination, let me know if I don't, and if anyone else wants to add a series, make sure to do so before May 30th.

Stefan


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I nominate S. M. Stirling's Emberverse series.

They start in Oregon with a change in the laws of physics that causes a complete collapse of society, then the struggles to form new societies (First 3 novels) then an epic journey across the old US in search of a magic sword .... its a little bit Sci-fi, a lotta bit fantasy with lots of wars and dead people ...


message 35: by Carolyn (last edited May 28, 2010 08:02AM) (new)

Carolyn (seeford) Kerry, thanks for the link to the article in MindMeld - interesting read!

I don't have much interest in Glen Cook's Company series, but his light fantasy mystery series looks very good Garrett, P.I., so I'll nominate it.

It starts with Sweet Silver Blues, and there are 12 books out (some in omnibus form), with a new one due in November 2010.

I'd also nominate Julian May's Saga of Pliocene Exile / Intervention / Galactic Milieu trilogies, beginning with The Many-Coloured Land.


message 36: by Ken (new)

Ken (ogi8745) | 1348 comments Hmm you can pull Discworld, I will think about a replacement.


message 37: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments How about Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber? I think we already read the first book in the series a few years ago and all ten books are available in an omnibus version, The Great Book of Amber. Each book is short, light and entertaining.


message 38: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey | 50 comments I think you got two nominations for the Xanth series by Piers Anthony -- the original trilogy is very good.


message 39: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
As I said upthread, several series were mentioned but not nominated. I've only listed the series that were explicitly nominated. If someone (who hasn't made any nominations yet) would like to nominate them, please do so. If not, the first post in the thread contains all the nominations so far.


colleen the convivial curmudgeon (blackrose13) Sandi wrote: "How about Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber? I think we already read the first book in the series a few years ago and all ten books are available in an omnibus version, [book:The Great Book of Amber|5..."

I thought about nominating these, but my concern was the they're very continuous. I consider the first five, Corwin's arc, to almost be one story broken into five parts. I'm not sure it would be to discuss a book which is clearly just setting up the story for future events.

Could be interesting, though - and I do need some motivation to finally read Merlin's arc!


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

I nominate the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card.Seventh Son is the first one.


message 42: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments If Wars of Light and Shadow wins, I'd be honored to help.


message 43: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Last call for nominations! I'm setting up the polls tomorrow.


message 44: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "I nominate the Alvin Maker series by Orson Scott Card.Seventh Son is the first one."

I love that series ... just waiting for Seventh Son to come out as an ebook and I'll be rebuying the entire series.


message 45: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Okay folks, the first round poll is up, so go vote! I'll set up the run-off poll, with the top 2 from this poll, in about one week. Feel free to campaign for your favorite, either in this topic or in the poll comments!


message 46: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments I really love a lot of these series, esp Donaldson, but I am so intrigued to explore what Janny Wurts is doing with Wars of Light and Shadow. This is an epic series, deeply complex and beautifully written. Plus, we have her to consult.


message 47: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Charles wrote: "I really love a lot of these series, esp Donaldson, but I am so intrigued to explore what Janny Wurts is doing with Wars of Light and Shadow. This is an epic series, deeply complex and beautifully..."

Here, here! Bravo! :)


message 48: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3275 comments Mod
I had a hard time choosing because several of these series I have read and thoroughly enjoyed, but I went for something I own but haven't read, considered a classic by many, and that's Julian May's series.

I did pick up a couple of Janny's books while at the used book store yesterday, but I don't own that series. (Am willing to buy it if it wins.)


message 49: by Sandra (last edited Jun 05, 2010 09:39AM) (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Kerry wrote: "Janny - are your books available as ebooks? For health reasons I don't think I could take on your series in paper, but would be interested in it if I can try with an ebook."

You can get four of the books from Arc 2 in ebook format from Amazon.com. I love ebooks because I can read them! Most Mass Market Paperbacks are in print that is too small for comfortable reading for me. The first book in Arc 2 is not available at Amazon, but I found it at Waterstones.com - http://www.waterstones.com/waterstone.... You have to download the Adobe Digital Reader and the book is readable in that reader on your computer. I have a Nook and B&N doesn't have the books in eformat, so I downloaded the Kindle software to my computer and bought the rest of the books from Amazon and read them on my computer. The Waterstones bookstore is in England so prices are listed in pounds. Fugitive Prince was 6 pounds which translated to $9 something in dollars. Good luck.

The first three books in this series in paperback are in nice size print that I had no trouble reading. Good luck!


message 50: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Oh, the other book for reading this month - David Burton's Second Coming is also readable on the Adobe Digital Reader, so that was a happy coincidence.


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