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Old 12-03-2010, 06:16 AM   #31
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I would not recommend these, because they are dull and are going nowhere very slow: Robin Hobb, Connie Willis, China Mieville, Dan Simmons. These also have characters if they died on page 100, I could not care less. Mieville is original yes, and the world he build is fascinating, but it lacks both the characters and the story.

Iain M Banks is the equivalent of a B-movie action flick from Hollywood. At least it is entertaining. And sorry, Gavriel Kay is way too sentimental and contrived.

Awards do not mean a thing, there are plenty of awards for very bad books. Awards frequently go to books that are a challenge to read, they are so dull.

On the other hand, quite excellent books go totally under the radar.

Of course, different people = different tastes... I like books that are realistic (not in the world building but the story and acts of the characters), logical (not contrived, no silly plot elements to have the desired outcome for the author) and consistent (no silly inconsistencies all over the place).
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:20 AM   #32
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Such criticism without giving examples of who you think does a better job, is quite lame.
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Old 12-03-2010, 07:34 AM   #33
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Try the books of Will Greenway, very fast and furious action! Starts out in the first book 'Shadow of the Avatar' as Fantasy, works its way up to SF in the later books, reads like anime action flicks, without the drawn out fighting scenes . His battle scenes are erm BIG, and i mean B I G, like God's do battle and such, i like them a lot Totally over the top, but funny, and very gripping reading material.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:20 AM   #34
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So many suggestions made me feel completely overwhelmed! I ended up playing it safe; I got my friend's son a subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction, along with The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology. (I've at least heard of most of the authors in that anthology, and even read a few!) I figure this way I'm giving him both current and classic examples of the genres, and perhaps helping him discover new authors.

Thank you all so much!
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:38 AM   #35
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Such criticism without giving examples of who you think does a better job, is quite lame.
I posted my recommendations earlier, for example: Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, Paul Kearney.
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Old 12-03-2010, 08:51 AM   #36
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I posted my recommendations earlier, for example: Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, Paul Kearney.
Fair enough. With the exception of Sanderson, I enjoy those authors too... especially Kearney.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:32 AM   #37
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I liked George RR Martins books as well, but am increasingly frustrated that he will ever finish the tale. A Dance with Dragons is now about 5 years in the making with no apparent end in sight. A feast with Crows was also a couple of notches down from the first three books. I fear he is lost in his own tale.

I've kind of written him off. I won't read any of them again, unless he finishes the entire series.

But many good recommendations here.
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:41 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by drofgnal View Post
I liked George RR Martins books as well, but am increasingly frustrated that he will ever finish the tale. A Dance with Dragons is now about 5 years in the making with no apparent end in sight. A feast with Crows was also a couple of notches down from the first three books. I fear he is lost in his own tale.

I've kind of written him off. I won't read any of them again, unless he finishes the entire series.

But many good recommendations here.
A Dance with Dragons is apparently almost done:

http://booktionary.blogspot.com/2010...s-getting.html

While I, too, am frustrated with the long wait and I can understand where you are coming from, I'd rather wait and have a great book to read than the author rush to finish the manuscript and to have that affect the quality of the book.

Last edited by Latinandgreek; 12-03-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:08 AM   #39
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A Dance with Dragons is apparently almost done:
While all recent signs do indeed point to a publishing date sometime in 2011, it's important to remember that ADwD has been "almost done" for five years running.

I have nothing bad to say about GRRM (the first three books were fantastic), but like others, I won't be picking the series back up until I see the final installment sitting on the bookstore shelf (and readers that I trust can convince me that the downward spiral that started with the fourth book has been halted and reversed).

Plus, I just don't recommend books from incomplete series... unless the individual books can stand on their own two feet.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 12-03-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:42 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by drofgnal View Post
I liked George RR Martins books as well, but am increasingly frustrated that he will ever finish the tale. A Dance with Dragons is now about 5 years in the making with no apparent end in sight. A feast with Crows was also a couple of notches down from the first three books. I fear he is lost in his own tale.
I've kind of written him off. I won't read any of them again, unless he finishes the entire series.
I agree, except I have given up on him. While he does possess a number of excellent skills, he's just dragging the series out as long as he possibly can. That was evident to me in book 2, which was where I stopped. The series was originally supposed to have been 4 books (I've even heard some say 3), but now I hear 7 or 8. You're also not the first person I've heard express disappoint with book 4. However, if the original poster hadn't already made up his or her mind, I would say these would be well-suited for a 20-year-old male.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #41
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I happen to love Frank Herbert. I find his style unique and clever. Any of the DUNE books are fantastic.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:56 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
So many suggestions made me feel completely overwhelmed! I ended up playing it safe; I got my friend's son a subscription to Fantasy & Science Fiction, along with The Very Best of Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sixtieth Anniversary Anthology. (I've at least heard of most of the authors in that anthology, and even read a few!) I figure this way I'm giving him both current and classic examples of the genres, and perhaps helping him discover new authors.

Thank you all so much!
Playing it safe is a smart move! You can see all the disparate opinions in this thread ("X, Y, and Z are the best books ever written!" "X and Y are both tripe, not worth reading, but Z is good.") so it's hard to know what someone will really like unless you know them well or have examples of things they've loved. (And even then it's hard. I loved both Abercrombie's trilogy and Mieville's books and would have recommended one to someone who liked the other, but I guess that wouldn't have worked out so well in some cases. )

Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine is itself a classic, and the anthology you picked has a lot of authors that any f&sf fan needs to be introduced to as early as possible. (I can't believe I didn't mention Zelazny earlier! ) Many famous authors have gotten some of their first stories published there, and it's often considered to be the best fantasy/sci-fi magazine currently being published. I would have been ecstatic if someone had gifted me a subscription (still would be, hah).
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Old 12-03-2010, 12:53 PM   #43
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While I, too, am frustrated with the long wait and I can understand where you are coming from, I'd rather wait and have a great book to read than the author rush to finish the manuscript and to have that affect the quality of the book.
True

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I won't be picking the series back up until I see the final installment sitting on the bookstore shelf (and readers that I trust can convince me that the downward spiral that started with the fourth book has been halted and reversed).
We can only hope that he's heard the cries of book 4 and has taken this much time to halt the 'downward spiral'.

But alas, I've read his blog, its football season, and nothing will happen for a while....
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Old 12-03-2010, 01:20 PM   #44
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Opinions vary. I would never have used the word dull to describe the works of China Mieville or Dan Simmons. I'd say challenging. Their books require more work to read than average (Mieville especially uses excess description but it sets a mood) and more thought to fill in the blanks. Some of their books were extraordinarily satisfying to me.
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Old 12-03-2010, 04:31 PM   #45
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Playing it safe is a smart move! You can see all the disparate opinions in this thread ("X, Y, and Z are the best books ever written!" "X and Y are both tripe, not worth reading, but Z is good.") so it's hard to know what someone will really like unless you know them well or have examples of things they've loved. (And even then it's hard. I loved both Abercrombie's trilogy and Mieville's books and would have recommended one to someone who liked the other, but I guess that wouldn't have worked out so well in some cases. )

Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine is itself a classic, and the anthology you picked has a lot of authors that any f&sf fan needs to be introduced to as early as possible. (I can't believe I didn't mention Zelazny earlier! ) Many famous authors have gotten some of their first stories published there, and it's often considered to be the best fantasy/sci-fi magazine currently being published. I would have been ecstatic if someone had gifted me a subscription (still would be, hah).
I can't believe I forgot to mention Zelazny, either!
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