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Old 12-03-2010, 07:07 PM   #46
drofgnal
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I can't believe I forgot to mention Zelazny, either!
Oh, yea!! I forgot all about that. I just bought the Amber Chronicles in paperback. (All ten volumes in one).
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:07 PM   #47
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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).
It's fantastic that people have such varied tastes. You've mentioned quite a few authors that I love. I think Consider Phlebas by Iain Banks may even fall into the B grade movie category you've set for the author which I don't think is necessarily an insult. I found the book immensely entertaining. Although I think Player of Games is much more sophisticated than a B grade movie. It reminded me a little of a re-imagined Enders Game.

Some of the authors you mentioned have interested me before and I'll have to give them a go if I get the chance. I did steer away from Brent Weeks previously because I thought his books looked like jumping on the Assassin's Creed bandwagon. Assassin-like novels are cropping up a bit lately, although not quite as much as teeny vampire/werewolf romances.

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Old 12-04-2010, 12:02 AM   #48
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Yep, Banks is awesome. The Algebraist is excellent, but takes 200 pages to get going.

Now then. I have a hot, hot tip for you. Read Roadside Picnic by Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. It's phenomenal and intelligent Sci-fi. The Strugatsky brothers are as good as Asimov / Clarke / Banks.

You can find the text file (legally) here.
http://www.rusf.ru/abs/english/index.htm

For those that love Bank's Culture novels, try to find Hard to be a God. I'm not aware of an ebook and the printed version isn't cheap (I found one for 50 cents!). Bank could have based the Culture on this, though I'm not suggesting that he actually did.
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:19 AM   #49
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Oh yeah, and the Nightland, by William Hope Hodgson. One of the greatest works of imagination ever written. Lovecraft said it was the darkest fruit that could be found.

It, and his other works, can be found here:
http://www.thenightland.co.uk/nightlin.html#content
You can find an ebook version on Gutenberg;
The House on Borderland is also very good.
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Old 12-04-2010, 10:07 AM   #50
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I hope you're considering some of MR's member SF authors, of which--ahem--I am included. I haven't finished uploading all of my backlist yet, but I think you couldn't go wrong with Verdant Skies. And please check out the other books in there, you might find any number of books that look good.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:49 PM   #51
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Nobody's suggested Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkisigan books, which are science fiction and have elements of politics, Military SF, mystery and (dare I mention this to a 20 year old male) romance, generally fairly fast paced and fun to read. Lois likes to describe the way she writes a Miles Vorkosigan book is that she likes to think up "What's the worst I can do to Miles" and watch him weasel his way out of it. The first of the series with Miles as the main protagonist is Warrior's Apprentice, which is free at the Baen Free Library, and all but one of them are on the CD bound with the latest Vorkosigan book, Cryoburn. I liked her Chalion fantasy, especially Curse of Chalion, but I had a tougher time with the Sharing Knife series, which I think has a stronger dose of romance themes.
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Old 12-05-2010, 09:49 PM   #52
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I can't believe I forgot to mention Zelazny, either!
Unfortunately Zelazny's estate hasn't put any of his works out in ebook formats. But his collected works are available in a series of hardcovers that I covet.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:08 PM   #53
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If these do not have to be in eBook, I can highly recommend David Eddings Belgariad series

Belgariad
1. Pawn of Prophecy (1982)
2. Queen of Sorcery (1982)
3. Magician's Gambit (1983)
4. Castle of Wizardry (1984)
5. Enchanters' End Game (1984)
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:21 PM   #54
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If these do not have to be in eBook, I can highly recommend David Eddings Belgariad series

Belgariad
1. Pawn of Prophecy (1982)
2. Queen of Sorcery (1982)
3. Magician's Gambit (1983)
4. Castle of Wizardry (1984)
5. Enchanters' End Game (1984)
I believe they were also collected as a two set omnibus. For some reason, I remember the second of the two being available as an ebook at one time, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more, so either it's been pulled, or I simply misremembered.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:38 PM   #55
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Just about anything sci-fi by Iain M Banks. His novels are some of the best science fiction I have ever read. His writing is very imaginitive and often on a huge scale, and is laced through with a dark sense of humour. Most of the books are set within his Culture universe, but there are a number of standalone novels as well. Start with Consider Phlebas or The Player of Games for the Culture ones. Against a Dark Background is standalone and also particularly good.
I cannot recommend Ian M. Banks at all no matter how good he is. The reason being is that his Culture series is incomplete in eBook. And when a series is incomplete like that, I say "Go away, you won't get my money and I'll do my best to make sure nobody else wastes their money too."
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:38 PM   #56
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I believe they were also collected as a two set omnibus. For some reason, I remember the second of the two being available as an ebook at one time, but that doesn't seem to be the case any more, so either it's been pulled, or I simply misremembered.
You remember correctly. But the first two or three were not eBooks. I have no idea what happened there.
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Old 12-06-2010, 03:16 AM   #57
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I cannot recommend Ian M. Banks at all no matter how good he is. The reason being is that his Culture series is incomplete in eBook. And when a series is incomplete like that, I say "Go away, you won't get my money and I'll do my best to make sure nobody else wastes their money too."
Is it really incomplete?
Is it really a series?

I must admit I haven't read all of them - just Consider Phlebas, Player of Games, Use of Weapons and State of the Art. I own all in paperback except Surface Detail (hoping to change that soon).

But the reason I'm asking is because I don't notice them being a series as such. I've been thinking that they are standalone and my chosen reading order has been mainly because I'm anally retentive.

Regards
Caleb
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Old 12-06-2010, 06:26 AM   #58
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Is it really incomplete?
Is it really a series?

I must admit I haven't read all of them - just Consider Phlebas, Player of Games, Use of Weapons and State of the Art. I own all in paperback except Surface Detail (hoping to change that soon).

But the reason I'm asking is because I don't notice them being a series as such. I've been thinking that they are standalone and my chosen reading order has been mainly because I'm anally retentive.

Regards
Caleb
Yes, they are a series and at least one book is missing from the list. Have a look at Fantastic Fiction. Excession is only available in the UK. So those outside the UK cannot get a complete series.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/b/iain-m-banks/
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Old 12-06-2010, 07:46 AM   #59
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Again though - and I'm trying not to be argumentative - although I haven't read all of his space operas, there is little to no relationship between the books of his I've read other than the notion of "The Culture", so to me it's more that he wrote a large number of books using a particular setting.

Incidentally I found Excession available as ebook to Australia straight away in Amazon. In fact I found 32 books of his on Amazon. I'm still buying paperback for his space operas as they look nice on my shelves together. However, for his other books I'm reverting to ebook for remaining titles.

Could available in UK extend to Australia but not the US? I'm not sure of the regional limitations in this regard.

Regards
Caleb
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Old 12-06-2010, 11:00 AM   #60
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Again though - and I'm trying not to be argumentative - although I haven't read all of his space operas, there is little to no relationship between the books of his I've read other than the notion of "The Culture", so to me it's more that he wrote a large number of books using a particular setting.

Incidentally I found Excession available as ebook to Australia straight away in Amazon. In fact I found 32 books of his on Amazon. I'm still buying paperback for his space operas as they look nice on my shelves together. However, for his other books I'm reverting to ebook for remaining titles.

Could available in UK extend to Australia but not the US? I'm not sure of the regional limitations in this regard.

Regards
Caleb
Because of Agency nonsense, the UK is under Geo restrictions. Thus, if you are not in the UK, you won't be able to buy eBooks from the UK.

3. The State of the Art
5. Excession
6. inversions

Those are the eBooks not available in the US. But they are available in the UK. The rest of the series is available in the US. But what good is even starting the series in eBook if you cannot get it all if you want? It's just going to be a problem when you come to #3. This is a major issue that's been in place since before agency garbage. Series in eBook being incomplete. And now we have yet another issue too. Even if a series is complete, it may not be complete in the same format. So you may have to buy different formats and be able to strip DRM and then convert. So if you don't strip & or convert, you are screwed. Not all series are like this. But a number of them are and that's a problem.
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