I need new authors.


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The Exchange

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I've hit a bump in my reading. I don't know who to pick up now?

I feel in love with Brandon Sanderson's works. Re-reading my way through Mistborn, but I'll soon finish.

I am digesting part 2 of the John Dies at the End series.

And now...nothing.

I enjoy smart fantasy and sci-fi. I dislike overpowered chosen one characters. Assume I'm a Black Company kinda guy. The descriptions of say The Likes of Locke Lemora set of my Mary Sue alarms so I haven't touched it.

That said, I could go for some romantic fantasy that doesn't make me figet at the dumb and I'm not too tight in my ways that romance has to be traditional. Gay, strange, whatever. Just as long as I can believe the relationship. But I turn a wan eye towards the excess Romantic Fantasy novels of the 90's.

I detest stuff like torture porn (see Terry Goodkind skree/also The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant make me ill). If the protagonists can't make a meanful dent in the universe with out fate stepping into save their bottoms. Screw em.

I'm being picky, but eh. I'd rather enjoy the book than suffer through the stuff that would have me groaning.

I also enjoy hard(ish) sci-fi like the Culture series, Transhuman Space, etc. But I also can stand a bit of pulp.

Any suggestions for my gronard heart?


You could try something outside the field of fantasy and science fiction. One of my favorites is To Kill A Mockingbird.


Though I feel, in my opinion only, that "The Great Gatsby" is over rated, F. Scot Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" was one of the books that I was most moved by in my life.


May I draw your attention to the Advanced Readings in Dungeons and Dragons thread? If, as a grognard, you've already read all of them, some recommendations of the top of my head:

Jane Gaskell
Leigh Brackett (lots of stuff available from Paizo)
Daniel Abraham
Joe Abercrombie
Mervyn Peake


Joe Abercrombie

The Exchange

Rictras Shard wrote:
You could try something outside the field of fantasy and science fiction. One of my favorites is To Kill A Mockingbird.

Please restrict options to Fantasy/Sci-Fi. Thank you. YA fiction is also an option.


It occurred to me, The Lone Cleric, that you may have meant "current" authors. If so, most of my above post is useless, except for Abraham and Abercrombie.


my apologies. Good luck, I know of no new fantasy authors that are worth reading.

Shadow Lodge

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Quote:
I enjoy smart fantasy and sci-fi. I dislike overpowered chosen one characters.

Any of the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois Bujold should be right up your alley, then, I think. I started with The Warrior's Apprentice and The Vor Game myself before doubling back to read the Cordelia books, but you could start with those instead if you wanted.

The Exchange

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

May I draw your attention to the Advanced Readings in Dungeons and Dragons thread? If, as a grognard, you've already read all of them, some recommendations of the top of my head:

Jane Gaskell
Leigh Brackett (lots of stuff available from Paizo)
Daniel Abraham
Joe Abercrombie
Mervyn Peake

Excellent suggestions. Thank you.


Sanderson finished up the Wheel of Time Series. It's a very detailed, well-developed world.

There are a number of 'main characters', and while there is certainly a character destined to be 'The One', all the characters shape their world and are equally important to the plot.

As for romance, there's not too much until a bit later, but there is a rather unconventional love... er... "Y" that you'll within the first book.

It's great, and i actually think that Sanderson brought out the very best in Jordan's world- the last book had me reading until the wee hours of the night.

The Exchange

Current is more useful. Don't take the gronard statement too literal, I'm in a weird mood.

Classic authors who have their work on kindle/nook/ereader is fine too though. I want to check out Mervyn Peake's collection, looks nice and dark.

Lois Bujold is okay. I've read some of that. Not a fan of Mile Vorkosigan or anything too Baen(ish) if you get my drift, and if you suggest John Ringo I'll laugh.

The Exchange

Tsoli wrote:

Sanderson finished up the Wheel of Time Series. It's a very detailed, well-developed world.

There are a number of 'main characters', and while there is certainly a character destined to be 'The One', all the characters shape their world and are equally important to the plot.

As for romance, there's not too much until a bit later, but there is a rather unconventional love... er... "Y" that you'll within the first book.

It's great, and i actually think that Sanderson brought out the very best in Jordan's world- the last book had me reading until the wee hours of the night.

Sanderson did a fine job, but the Wheel of Time series lost me long before he took the helm. I prefer his own works and I'm VERY happy he's done with that series. Steelheart was interesting, again he uses his trademark 'well thought out supernatural' way of writing.


I would say give THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA a chance. The main character (well, the title character, there are actually several 'main' characters) is very definitely not a Mary Sue, at all. He is hugely flawed and makes quite major mistakes throughout the three books to date.

I'll back up Daniel Abraham. His LONG PRICE QUARTET is superb for a slightly 'different' fantasy series, which mixes Asian influences more than European and has very different magic, a reasonable cast and elements of romance and tragedy. His current series, THE DAGGER AND THE COIN, is much more traditional but still a lot of fun. His SF series (written as James S.A. Corey), THE EXPANSE, is also great fun for a bit more of a pulp SF vibe.

Chris Wooding's TALES OF THE KETTY JAY is a fantasy series (four volumes, complete) but with airships and magic. I'm a bit leery of calling it 'steampunk FIREFLY', which is what everyone call is, because it's a bit different from both, but it's still enormously fun (and again, at the pulpier end of the spectrum).

If you're a Black Company guy, I definitely recommend Steven Erikson's MALAZAN BOOK OF THE FALLEN. It's a massive, massive series, but Erikson is probably Glen Cook's most ardent pupil and Cook is a fan of Erikson's books. For a much shorter (so far) series (a single trilogy and three semi-self-contained follow-ups), Joe Abercrombie is worth a shot.

I always recommend Paul Kearney, who writes in a style not far removed from Cook (or David Gemmell). His MONARCHIES OF GOD series is a big fantasy series set in a Renaissance-style time period with guns and cannons rather than the traditional swords and bows. It's pretty good. His later MACHT trilogy draws on the Anabasis and other Greek/Persian sources for inspiration and is very powerful.

If you like Banks, I'd look at Alastair Reynolds. He has a similar style, though much lower in tech level (Reynolds's signature REVELATION SPACE series has a strict 'no FTL' rule). Reynolds's stand-alone novel TERMINAL WORLD is also worth a look if steampunk planetary romance is up your alley, PUSHING ICE if you're more of an Arthur C. Clarke 'big dumb object' kind of guy, or his current POSEIDON'S CHILDREN series for something more near-future.

If you want SF which has real science but is also pulpy and has elements of romance (also a fair bit of sex), there's Peter F. Hamilton's NIGHT'S DAWN TRILOGY, which is excellent. Great pacing (despite the three 1,000-page books), great scientific ideas, a lot of memorable characters and some really good twists.

The Exchange

Thank you Werthead. I do read Reynolds btw.

Shadow Lodge

TheLoneCleric wrote:
Lois Bujold is okay. I've read some of that. Not a fan of Mile Vorkosigan or anything too Baen(ish) if you get my drift

Afraid I don't.

Sounds like your tastes and mine are too different for me to give any worthwhile suggestions though. Good luck in your search.


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber

Following on from Werthead's Alastair Reynolds recommendation (which I second), another good Scottish Sci-Fi writer is Ian MacDonald. I especially enjoyed River of Gods, which follows a number of story-lines - including (from my vague memory) the police chief tasked with dealing with rogue AIs, his wife's burgeoning friendship with their gardener, an Afghani-Swedish journalist reporting on soap-operas who stumbles upon a huge story, an American computer-wiz looking for a girl's parents, and his old girlfriend who's looking for him, the son of an Indian energy-mogul who's whisked back from his career as a stand-up comedian in Edinburgh to take charge of the family business, and one or two more.

That may sound like a lot, but MacDonald tells it very efficiently and vividly, doing a good job of skipping between high-energy bits to more sedate scenes.

In a more traditional fantasy mould, I'm currently enjoying Juliet E. McKenna's Tales of Einarrin books.

If you want a laugh, you can't go wrong with Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, or Rosemary Jones.

Dark Archive

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Steven Brust's Jhereg

The Exchange

Brust is already read. Pratchett bores me, MacDonald is intereesting.

No idea on the rest.


Love paul kemp and richard lee byers.


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If you aren't afraid of oddball, but enjoy a good description and character, you might enjoy Lynn Flewelling's works.

You might also check out Stephen Leigh (alias S. L. Farrell). He does fantasy, also sci-fi, though he's a mixture of both character and...I'd say sociology driven. He does his research.

In the end, I wrote some thoughts on each author. Instead, I'll just point to the Amazon reviews.

Lynn's Nightrunner Series

Lynn's Tamir Trilogy

Leigh's Dark Water's Embrace

Leigh-as-Farrel's Cloudmages Series

I would not suggest Leigh to a younger reader. It's not that his books are gratuitous, it's more that the storylines involve a more mature theme and difficult topics. In fact, I linked to Dark Water on purpose.

Connie Willis does an impressive blend of sci-fi and fantasy, more modern supernatural possibly, but may not be your style. She's quite accomplished, however. She just tends to not raise a fuss, so flies "under the radar" often times.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Deed of Paksenarrion?

The Exchange

This thread inspired me to navigate Amazon.com for a bit, and I found something that might be of great interest to the OP:

The Powder Mage Trillogy

It's a new series made by someone who is a "student of Orson Scott Card & Brandon Sanderson", and while I avoided reading reviews to dodge spoilers, I did notice that many seemed pleased with a "unique and refreshing magic system", which sounds a lot like something Sanderson would approve of. I recommend you check this book out, it sounds like it's aiming exactly to your tastes.


Dave Duncan. His books are available as eBooks.
Particularly, I enjoyed the Tales of the King's Blades (The Gilded Chain, Lord of the Fire Lands, and Sky of Swords) as well as Chronicles of the Kings Blades (Paragon Lost, Impossible Odds, and The Jaguar Knights). I have heard good things about the A Man of his Word series.

For something more gritty, see if you can get an electronic copy of Crooked by Richard Pett and/or The Hole Behind Midnight by Clinton S. Boomer. I'm about halfway through The Hole Behind Midnight and it is VERY good. The three chapter preview of Crooked that I read was very promising.

If you are in a weird mood, you could try out Piers Anthony's Xanth books. I enjoyed a bunch of them back in the late 90's. They are kind of like candy: good in small amounts, too much and I get sick.

-Aaron


Brent Weeks is pretty good, and have some neat worlds built up.

The Night Angel Trilogy is finished and he's started on a new one that starts with a book called The Black Prism which was good. The magic in both is a bit different with the former having somewhat traditional magic with a few different twists and quirks and the latter having a very interesting color/light based magic dependent on creating different materials from colors (the colors of the rainbow plus Ultrabiolet and Infrared).

Both of Jim Butcher's series' are good, with The Dresden Files being a bit of a "magic noir" series and Codex Alera being an awesome fusion of two "lame ideas" he pulled out of a hat: The Lost Roman Legion and Pokemon (though the Furies are more like elementals than Pokemon so the resemblance is slim).

The Exchange

Thank you all, I'll do some ebook surfing this weekend to try some out.


Lord Snow wrote:

It's a new series made by someone who is a "student of Orson Scott Card & Brandon Sanderson", and while I avoided reading reviews to dodge spoilers, I did notice that many seemed pleased with a "unique and refreshing magic system", which sounds a lot like something Sanderson would approve of. I recommend you check this book out, it sounds like it's aiming exactly to your tastes.

It reminded me of Mistborn


Barbara Hambly's fantasy novels, starting with The Time of the Dark. Great, great stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Second for Hambly; she hasn't written much fantasy lately, but she's got some very good stuff out there. From your description of what you'd like, Charles Stross and Tim Powers are probably not going to fit the bill. Ryk Spoor writes for Baen, but don't hold that against him--he's pretty good.

Speaking of the Black Company, have you looked at anything else by Glen Cook? The Dread Empire stories made for some enjoyable reading, as has Instrumentalities of the Night. The Starfishers books are straight SF, and The Dragon Never Sleeps was an excellent standalone SF novel.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

If you're in the mood for some romance in your fantasy, may I suggest Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey?

Pretty much anything by CJ Cherryh is great, particularly her Chanur series and Foreigner series.

I also like Jim Butcher, Scott Lynch, Joe Abercrombie, Gregory Keyes, China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, Charles DeLint, Elizabeth Bear, Steven Brust....


Pathfinder Adventure Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:

If you're in the mood for some romance in your fantasy, may I suggest Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey?

[snip]

I also like [snip], Scott Lynch, [snip], [snip], China Mieville, Neil Gaiman, [snip], Elizabeth Bear, [snip]....

Seconded.

(And the snipped ones are all writers I haven't read (yet), so I'm not going to say anything against them.


John Woodford wrote:

Second for Hambly; she hasn't written much fantasy lately, but she's got some very good stuff out there. From your description of what you'd like, Charles Stross and Tim Powers are probably not going to fit the bill. Ryk Spoor writes for Baen, but don't hold that against him--he's pretty good.

Speaking of the Black Company, have you looked at anything else by Glen Cook? The Dread Empire stories made for some enjoyable reading, as has Instrumentalities of the Night. The Starfishers books are straight SF, and The Dragon Never Sleeps was an excellent standalone SF novel.

Forgot Stross and Powers. Both are incredible.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Neil Gaiman.

Grand Lodge

Jim C. Hines has some good fantasy.


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Mercedes Lackey's Valdamar series. So far I am up to book 5 of The Collegium Chronicles. There's: Mage Wares, The Last Herald Mage, Vows & Honor, Exile, Arrows of the Queen and several other series.


David Weber.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Richard K. Morgan.

Grand Lodge

TheLoneCleric wrote:

I enjoy smart fantasy and sci-fi. I dislike overpowered chosen one characters...

...That said, I could go for some romantic fantasy that doesn't make me figet at the dumb and I'm not too tight in my ways that romance has to be traditional. Gay, strange, whatever. Just as long as I can believe the relationship...

...If the protagonists can't make a meanful dent in the universe with out fate stepping into save their bottoms. Screw em....

Any suggestions for my gronard heart?

I just finished the first four novels of the Laundry Series, by Charles Stross and I'd highly recommend it. Very well done, funny, and a fairly original view of magic.

The Laundry Series is "Cold War Spy Thriller" meets "Cthulhu" written by an old D&D guy. Stross used to write for White Dwarf back in the day, and invented a bunch of classic D&D monsters (like the Slaad).

Chekov would be impressed by the number of guns Stross leaves lying around the books (both funny and serious). Off-hand jokes from the first book become major plot points in the third. It's pretty awesome.

The main character is a computer programmer/necromancer (magic = math) who is conscripted into a top secret government agency after almost accidentally summoning Nyarlathotep during his graduate computer programming class. Which is the sort of thing that happens occasionally, and the reason The Laundry exists.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I just finished The Rook by Daniel O'Malley, and it is also about an occasionally hilarious supernatural British intelligence agency.

:-)


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'd recommend the Dresden Files from Jim Butcher. They are urban fantasy, but very well written.


Seconding Ian McDonald especially Hearts, Hands and Voices. A curious and breathtakingly accurate comment on so many different social and political inconsistencies with wry insights into everything from the self importance of revolutionary edicts to the fetishism of paramilitary apparel.

CJ Cherryh's Morgaine saga is a beautifully contained set of three stories that are atmospheric and hauntingly described. A fourth book, Exile's Gate written ten years later is a fine addition. Finely crafted stuff that works well within a limited scope and manages to transcend the genre. I love Cherryh's ability to describe things by distance and elision.
Less fond of the Foreigner series. Still nice stuff.
Her Forty Thousand on Gehenna is dated technologically and is rough in chronology, but is a beautiful work.
Cyteen is a classic. A fantastic study of cloning and aristocracy in a galactic milieu.

Terry Dowling's Wormwood (not to be confused with the Palladium Campaign setting of the same name). This Australian author's works are absolutely stellar speculative/hard/out-there sci-fi. His short stories are well constructed and nuanced examlples of enticing the reader with tiny fragments of intriguing motes that combine to create an amazing world of chaos and oportunity. Well worth the effort to track down - a rare joy.

Others:
* Ken McLeod's sci-fi Cosmonaut Keep, Stone Canals etc

* Robin Hobb's Assassin books. Haven't read the Liveship Traders.

* Marge Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time.

* Conan series by R.E.Howard, not later ones by Jordan. A guilty pleasure.

* David Brin's Uplift series especially Startide Rising and the recent trilogy Brightness Reef/Infinity's Shore/Heaven's Reach.

* The Quantum Thief by the wondrously named Hannu Rajaniemi. Great plot and interesting transhumancy.

* Anything by William Gibson.

* Natural History by Justina Robson. Some more nice transhumance issues.

* Empire of Bones by Liz Williams (not the recent title by N.D. Wilson) and her unrelated novel The Poison Master.

* Paul Park's Soldiers of Paradise, Sugar Rain and The Cult of Loving Kindness. A fantastic series that is very unconventional.

* Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon and others. Like a hardboiled Ken McLeod or Wiliam Gibson.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Cyteen is an amazing contrast of nature vs. nurture with clones. Amazing. Its sequel (Regenesis) is real good too.

I'm more of a Foreigner fan than a Morgaine fan. I really like Cherryh's anthropological science fiction, particularly Chanur and Foreigner.


SmiloDan wrote:
Cyteen is an amazing contrast of nature vs. nurture with clones. Amazing. Its sequel (Regenesis) is real good too.

Thanks for the heads up SmiloDan. I wasn't aware of Regenesis.

I've spoilered this for those who haven't read Morgaine or Foreigner.

Spoiler:
I'm more of a Foreigner fan than a Morgaine fan. I really like Cherryh's anthropological science fiction, particularly Chanur and Foreigner.

I guess I like Morgaine more because I find it much more foreign than Foreigner. I love the master/ilin relationship, Vanye's code and "primitive understanding in Morgaine, and the dark, moody atmosphere. That the plot hooks you in and drags you through three (then four) worlds, each with a different culture and yet a relationship to the previous/others is a wondrous technique. The qhal are a fantastic creation, and their duplicitousness, internecine rivalries and various faction/alignments is refreshing, even now.

I absolutely love Wells of Shiuan, the beginning is beautiful and stark in its imagery, the links to the first book are not in your face but beautifully woven into Jhirun's history. The dissolute Shiua, half blood/full bloods, "priests" and Ohtij-in are hard to forget.

Also, each book has different strengths - there is no "weak" book in the three, and the fourth book is like an added bonus.

I have heard Cherryh's writing described as "distant third-person" - now I don't understand that exactly in English, but it sure as hell makes sense to my heart!

As for Foreigner, the native's culture was just too rigid and reminiscent of pre-Western involvement Japan, and the culture of the aliens (us) was just a bit under-described and yet waaaay too familiar. I was pleasantly surprised when the two protagonists got it on species to species. Like that was ever in doubt...

I enjoyed the lost starship intrigue and the flipping of power structures in space, but then the series just kinda went on and on and on.

I have *never* read any Chanur. It just didn't interest me. And I like cats.

Oh and I really liked C J Cherryh's Fortress series. A fantastic protagonist, interesting milieu and good plotting. Just realized there is a fifth book. Written 7 years ago. Hmm.

Oh and a bother vote for China Mieville. I've only read The Scar. Fun, rollicking and highly creative stuff with great characterizations, plots and locations...


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Pratchett bores you? Wow.

Shadow Lodge

HolmesandWatson wrote:
Pratchett bores you? Wow.

Yeah I've really been surprised by how many people on this forum just don't seem to care for him.

Course, I imagine given some of the other threads there are just as many people bewildered by my and others' dislike of Tolkien and/or other classic writers. So not much room to talk there.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Aberrant Templar wrote:


I just finished the first four novels of the Laundry Series, by Charles Stross and I'd highly recommend it. Very well done, funny, and a fairly original view of magic.

The Laundry Series is "Cold War Spy Thriller" meets "Cthulhu" written by an old D&D guy. Stross used to write for White Dwarf back in the day, and invented a bunch of classic D&D monsters (like the Slaad).

Chekov would be impressed by the number of guns Stross leaves lying around the books (both funny and serious). Off-hand jokes from the first book become major plot points in the third. It's pretty awesome.

The main character is a computer programmer/necromancer (magic = math) who is conscripted into a top secret government agency after almost accidentally summoning Nyarlathotep during his graduate computer programming class. Which is the sort of thing that happens occasionally, and the reason The Laundry exists.

Fifth one* comes out next July, and I think the sixth one is already written. (He had a very, very, VERY productive year, something like 370,000 words of fiction between 1 Oct 12 and 30 Sep 13.)

*It's called "The Rhesus Chart," and the first sentence of the book is

Quote:
"Don't be silly, Bob," said Mo, "everybody knows vampires don't exist!"

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Cyteen is an amazing contrast of nature vs. nurture with clones. Amazing. Its sequel (Regenesis) is real good too.

Thanks for the heads up SmiloDan. I wasn't aware of Regenesis.

I've spoilered this for those who haven't read Morgaine or Foreigner.

** spoiler omitted **...

I haven't read the Fortress series because I can never find book 1! :-(

China Mieville is real good. I haven't read the Tain yet, but I think I've read all his other long-form fiction. And Waiting for Jake.

Editor

In terms of smart and engaging fantasy, I'd recommend Sean Russell:

The Initiate Brother duology:

The Initiate Brother
Gatherer of Clouds

Moontide and Magic Rise duology:

World without End
Sea without a Shore

River into Darkness duology (prequels to M&MR):

Beneath the Vaulted Hills
Compass of the Soul


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Oceanshieldwolf wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Cyteen is an amazing contrast of nature vs. nurture with clones. Amazing. Its sequel (Regenesis) is real good too.

Thanks for the heads up SmiloDan. I wasn't aware of Regenesis.

I've spoilered this for those who haven't read Morgaine or Foreigner.

** spoiler omitted **...

Chanur is brilliant. One of my favorites of hers, along with Morgaine.

If anything it gets you even deeper into alien culture/psyche. Several of them. For me, deep enough in that the humans seem weird when you meet them. Which is a weird experience.

Along with good, tense, gritty space action.

The Exchange

I'd second giving Brent Weeks a look particularly the Night Angel Trilogy (The Lightbringer series whilst interesting has some quite odd decisions in it.)

Sharon Lee and Steve Millers Liaden series is a good solid read, makes me think of Traveller alot.

David Webers Honorverse is also a personal favorite though more recent books arn't quite as good as the stuff in the middle due to a deviation in story that is apparently Eric Flints fault, who is also on my list of authors to check out.

John Ringo's written some good stuff if you can take his politics.

Basically most of these guys have books on Baens free online library which are normally good jumping on points for various book series.

Oh and if people are into the Dresden Files I'd suggest picking up Benedict Jacka's Alex Verus novels

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