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The Terrifyingly Similer Fantasy and Sci FI books

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  • The Terrifyingly Similer Fantasy and Sci FI books

    I recently was in town near me, with someone else. And i was looking at the Sci Fi and Fantasy sections of books. The amount of times ive seen the words *save the world* *race against time* and various other cliches, i dont know. The adult section had so many similer ones. The childrens and teenage, on the other hand, they showed imagination, though they were some worthy pukefests.

    It was in WHSmith. I know its not the most interesting shop, but they could have tried harder that the usual writers.

    I hadnt the energy to go into ALL the bookshops, of course. I had things to get.

    Worlds are so rarely endangered its silly to have that all the time. A part of a world, yes, but not save the world all the time.

    Its was depressing.

    So, could anyone recommend something thats not a conservative cliche, yet not gross?

    I like Fantasy, not Sci FI. I just need to get some new books, new writers.
    Something good, but not too insane. It has to have a plot, etc.

    I like something that has a point, heros go on quest, etc. I know some of you will think
    *why not buy the boring books* , but i like good books, not the faint scent of copying these have.
    Something interesting and adventure filled, speedy but not so fast it forgets details.

    I dont like sexuel content or nasty grossness. I dont want full on sex scenes and lavish discriptions of gore.

    I just want something different and good.Something cool.No depressing *issues*.

    One thing, it made me gratefull i found Michael Moorcock books.
    Also im glad iv read what i have.

    That Robert Jordan Wheel Of Time Series looks damn intimidating when they are all stood together.

  • #2
    If you're looking for something different, here are some of my standby choices--

    Veniss Underground by Jeff Vandermeer is sort of science fantasy. It involves a quest and salvation, but far different than a "save the world" quest.

    Perdido Street Station is another that is more science fantasy than fantasy or science fiction. No quest at all. No good guys, either.

    Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock-- Jungian psychology through Britain's wild wood.

    Bones of the Moon and/ or Sleeping in Flame by Jonathan Carroll-- more fairy tales than anything else. By that I mean they are dark, at times sinister, and based in myth.

    Neil Gaiman's American Gods is another good choice for a break from cliche fantasy.

    Or, if you're looking for heroic fantasy, just find some good old stuff from Fritz Leiber.

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    • #3
      Yolanda, are you familiar with Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingaham and its sequel The Moon of Gomroth? They are both classic fantasy novels but Garner tends to write what some call 'urban fantasy', that is fantasy filtered through the perceptions of contemporary protagonists rather than the mythical 'pseudo-medieval' worlds favoured by more generic fantasy novels.

      Other books by Garner you might look for are Elidor, Red Shift and The Owl Service. Amazon should have synopses that should prove helpful.

      Another 'urban fantasy' novel I recommend is Graham Joyce's The Tooth Fairy but there's no quests or "saving of the world" in that one.
      _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
      _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
      _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
      _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by demos99
        Yolanda, are you familiar with Alan Garner's The Weirdstone of Brisingaham and its sequel The Moon of Gomroth? They are both classic fantasy novels but Garner tends to write what some call 'urban fantasy', that is fantasy filtered through the perceptions of contemporary protagonists rather than the mythical 'pseudo-medieval' worlds favoured by more generic fantasy novels.

        Other books by Garner you might look for are Elidor, Red Shift and The Owl Service. Amazon should have synopses that should prove helpful.

        Another 'urban fantasy' novel I recommend is Graham Joyce's The Tooth Fairy but there's no quests or "saving of the world" in that one.
        Don't mean to jump in before yolanda, but...

        Thanks for those, Demos. I like urban fantasy, so I'll have to give those a shot.

        And, for what its worth-
        I should have listed The Tooth Fairy, too, as I am a big fan of Joyce's, though Requiem is actually my favorite of his books.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by demos99
          Garner's Weirdstone of Brisingaham and its sequel The Moon of Gomroth
          Always liked Garners work, but haven't read any of it for ages, considered these two sort of a Narnia series gone right.
          "A man is no man who cannot have a fried mackerel when he has set his mind on it; and more especially when he has money in his pocket to pay for it." - E.A. Poe's NICHOLAS DUNKS; OR, FRIED MACKEREL FOR DINNER

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Doc
            Thanks for those, Demos. I like urban fantasy, so I'll have to give those a shot.
            I think, for what it's worth, that 'urban fantasy' in Garner's milieu might more accurately be described as 'rural fantasy' in that the landscape of Alderley Edge in Weirdstone is an actual 'beauty spot' in Cheshire, rather than an imaginary locale like Gondor, Narnia or Melnibone.

            It's 'urban' in as much as the 'heroes' at the heart of his stories are (iirc) urbanite children deposited in a strange and unfamiliar environment, i.e. the countryside - in a similar way to the children in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are evacuated to the countryside and billeted with the Professor.

            Whereas Tolkien and Moorcock locate their fantasy stories in 'imaginary' landscapes with pre-historical characters, Garner sets his stories in the present (or the 1960s, at least, which is when he wrote them) and brings the myths and legends of the Past into his protagonists' Present.

            Novels like Joyce's The Tooth Fairy and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere strike me as being more 'urban' than Garner's books, but I think I 'get' what people mean. :)
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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            • #7
              I've read Elidor, but that was only because of the TV adaptation they did of it in the Mid-90's.

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              • #8
                Try Roger Zelazny's Amber series, Yolanda. I think it's been reprinted in a nice omnibus with all ten stories included. It deals with similar themes that MM deals with in the EC books; about maintaining the balance of good and evil, or law and chaos. Immensely enjoyable and addictive.
                ..he weeps with the wonder of suddenly recollected innocence, of something he believed lost as everything else is lost to him and which makes him believe, if only for this moment, that what he has lost might be, perhaps, restored.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by demos99
                  Originally posted by Doc
                  Thanks for those, Demos. I like urban fantasy, so I'll have to give those a shot.
                  I think, for what it's worth, that 'urban fantasy' in Garner's milieu might more accurately be described as 'rural fantasy' in that the landscape of Alderley Edge in Weirdstone is an actual 'beauty spot' in Cheshire, rather than an imaginary locale like Gondor, Narnia or Melnibone.

                  It's 'urban' in as much as the 'heroes' at the heart of his stories are (iirc) urbanite children deposited in a strange and unfamiliar environment, i.e. the countryside - in a similar way to the children in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are evacuated to the countryside and billeted with the Professor.

                  Whereas Tolkien and Moorcock locate their fantasy stories in 'imaginary' landscapes with pre-historical characters, Garner sets his stories in the present (or the 1960s, at least, which is when he wrote them) and brings the myths and legends of the Past into his protagonists' Present.
                  Still sounds interesting! I often like re-set fairy tales and updated mythology. Another on the ever-growing "to find" list, which is only slightly larger than the "to read" stack. :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The Terrifyingly Similer Fantasy and Sci FI books

                    Originally posted by yolanda
                    I recently was in town near me, with someone else. And i was looking at the Sci Fi and Fantasy sections of books. The amount of times ive seen the words *save the world* *race against time* and various other cliches, i dont know.
                    Another reason i liked Sword & Sorcery, was how the heroes weren't out to save the world, but out to help themselves. Conan being the biggest go getter out there - I need gold, I lost the war, I want revenge, etc - the pastiches led toward more clique world-saving plots, but how well. Karl Edward Wagner's Kane was a good twist, instead of saving the world, Kane wanted to rule it. See "Dark Crusade" where you see the "hero" join forces with the apparent bad guy, very great anti-clique plot if ever there was one. :D

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