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message 1: by Stertay (new)

Stertay | 4 comments I'm sorry if I'm posting in the wrong place. I wasn't sure how I qwas supposed to proceed. Anyway, here's my stuff:

Name: Sterling Taylor
Location: Alabama (now)
Favorite SF authors: Gene Wolfe, David Brin, Philip K. Dick
Favorite Fantasy authors: John Crowley, Jack Vance, Peter S. Beagle
Favorite SF books: The Book of the New Sun (SF, right?), Brin’s Uplift novels (especially Startide Rising), The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch (or any of several other Dick novels)
Favorite Fantasy books: Little, Big (Crowley), Lyonesse (Vance), The Innkeeper’s Song (Beagle)
Other genres you read: Literary fiction, classics, horror, some crime/mystery
Worst book you read this year: Light by M. John Harrison
Best new author you discovered: Maybe Paul Park (I loved the Starbridge Chronicles - didn’t take to the Roumania books) P.S. -- I know Starbridge is about 20 years old, but it was new to me and is unfairly overlooked.
What are you reading now? I’m trying to wade through Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle, as well as some non-SF books (not that The Baroque Cycle is SF, exactly)
What are you going to read next? I don’t know, maybe Vance’s Planet of Adventure
Favorite SF/fantasy films: Blade Runner, Dune (Lynch), Dark City
Favorite graphic novels: Watchmen, From Hell
Favorite place to read: Kicked back at home
Do you usually buy books or borrow them from the library? Buy
What factors help you decide whether or not to buy a book by an unfamiliar author? Reviews, blurbs (from someone I respect), indefinable gut feeling
How many books do you read in a year? Two or three a month, more if they’re short
Do you read more than one book at a time? Yes
How did you find out about this group? Stumbled across on Yahoo

message 2: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Hi Sterling, glad you made it here! I just moved the post to the Members Lounge, otherwise it's perfect.

I wonder if we should revive this questionnaire (which we used to have in the Yahoo group back in the day) for GoodReads...

message 3: by Stuart (new)

Stuart (asfus) | 136 comments Hi Stertay

message 4: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 114 comments i'm amazed to see so many of my favorites within your own favorites...crowley, park, VANCE, alan moore, dick, lynch, brin (although he's more of a guilty pleasure).

Little, Big and Lyonnesse are truly special. the Starbridge trilogy is certainly underrated. and now i'm going to have to see what The Innkeeper's Song is all about - haven't heard of that one before.

i've read the first of stephenson's Baroque Cycle. it was fascinating but for some reason i found it a challenge to return to it again & again - it took almost a year to finish and i usually go through a book or two a week. but eventually i'd like to get to the rest of the cycle.

message 5: by Stertay (new)

Stertay | 4 comments mark wrote: "i'm amazed to see so many of my favorites within your own favorites...crowley, park, VANCE, alan moore, dick, lynch, brin (although he's more of a guilty pleasure).

Little, Big and Lyonnesse ar..."

Well, Mark, I'm amazed to find someone with tastes close to mine, too. Park?! You know the Starbridge Chronicles? Wow. I don't think I've ever met anybody, online or off, who has heard of them.

I agree that Brin is a guilty pleasure. But Startide Rising and the The Uplift War are probably my two favorite space operas. When introducing myself, I didn't want to seem so totally esoteric that I came off as a snob. I'm not. I enjoy space opera, sword and sorcery, Stephen King [sometimes], etc., too. They are just not my favorites.

Jack Vance. Why isn't he more widely read? He's such a fine stylist while still being so accessible that I would think he'd be one of the beloved masters. I guess something about his work puts off the more mainstream fantasy/sf reader.

Speaking of which, part of the reason I joined the group is to read and participate in the discussion of Little, Big. It's a contender for my favorite book of all time. I've long stopped recommending it to others, though, because so many people don't seem to respond to it. I look forward to the discussion.

The same goes for The Innkeepers Song. It also, like Little, Big, seems to be a divisive book. Many of my friends didn't like it much, so I no longer recommend it either. Still, you like so much else that I like that I hope you give it a try. (You won't hurt my feeling if you don't like it. ) It is OOP, but easily located. I was pleased to see it averages 4.5 stars at Amazon, with 25/35 rating it with 5 stars.

I looked at your previous posts and saw that you're hesitating over the Aegypt cycle. This is understandable. You know how so many people loved the Cryptonomicon so they decided to read the Baroque Cycle? I'm having the same experience with Quicksilver as you. It's very good, but I have trouble making myself return to it.

Well, I started reading the Aegypt cycle because I loved Little, Big so much (also Engine Summer, some short stories, and so on). Aegypt is not exactly hard to read. It can be maddeningly slow, and there are at least three separate storylines -- the "modern" one (set in about the late 1970s, as I recall), Jonathan Dee's 16th century story and Giordano Bruno's 16th century story. I kept expecting the latter two to merge, but mostly they don't. Crowley has an almost infuriating knack of cutting away to a different story just as you're really getting interested in the one you're reading. I have never recommended these books to anyone. They make Little, Big seem mainstream. And yet, I would rate them five stars, and I will never forget them. They're nowhere near as much work as Quicksilver, and I have not given up on it. Give them a try.

message 6: by mark (last edited Nov 01, 2010 12:52AM) (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 114 comments - yep, loved Starbridge Chronicles, read them many years ago in alaska. the sheer strangeness of the tale(s) was fascinating. many fantasy/scifi worlds seem at least vaguely familiar; the world of SC was so alien. nightmarish at times, but with so much poetry. the religious themes were very heavy but i didn't find them off-putting. i read the trilogy after reading elizabeth hand's Winterlong trilogy, and so the two are often linked in my mind as books that were so compellingly strange, the worlds so bizarre and richly detailed, the writing often heartless but with a certain sense of nostalgia and romanticism coming through as well.

- vance is so wonderful. i like him in both his stripped-down, fast-paced adventure and in his lush, slower-paced modes. i love the Lyonnesse novels but also really enjoy the Demon Prince & Planet of Adventure series. the Dying Earth series is also wonderful; my favorite is the timeless first novel of the sequence.

- i've recommended Little, Big but sadly the folks i recommended it to did not find it particularly compelling. coincidentally, a Goodreads & real-life friend just mocked my overwrought review of the book (on this site) last night! i tried to defend myself but describing what Little, Big is like, its plot & theme & how it affected me...well it just doesn't go over to well in a social setting and i'm afraid i may have made the novel sound corny. i will really never understand why folks who like fantasy that isn't action-packed still don't connect with it - i practically had a love affair with the novel (coincidentally enough, i also read this one in alaska as well).

- loved the uplift trilogy, particularly the Startide Rising. but the second trilogy in that universe...somewhat embarrassing.

- thanks for your thoughts on the Aegypt cycle!

message 7: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2354 comments Mod
Poking my head in to say that I, too, absolutely adored the Uplift books. I didn't think the second trilogy was that bad, but Startide Rising was definitely the best one.

message 8: by mark (new)

mark monday (majestic-plural) | 114 comments that villainous dolphin mastermind is one of my favorite villains in scifi.

message 9: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3317 comments Mod
Brandon wrote: "It might help to know I'm thirteen. "

Only if you think it's relevant, Brandon. : )


message 10: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 372 comments Brandon wrote: "Hey!! Stertay, I hope you don't mind me using your thread to introduce myself...Well anyways I'm in a bunch of other Fantasy groups but I'm really not a fan of Science Fiction but Keven Xu sent me ..."

Thanks for mentioning me!

message 11: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 372 comments Brandon wrote: "Ooops I spelled your name wrong lol! Kevin! Not Keven..I'm so dumb."

Its all good!

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