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Your favourite novels?

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  • Your favourite novels?

    Gasp! another book thread!! - for which I apologize in advance. I simply find these enquiries really useful for discovering new books to read. The last few years I have mostly read short story collections of the horror / weird fiction variety. But reading some of MM's books has reminded me how much I used to love reading novels. Here is a list of some of my all-time favourites:

    J.G. Ballard, The Drowned World, Concrete Island, Crash.
    Ramsey Campbell, The Grin of the Dark.
    Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, UBIK.
    William Gibson, Neuromancer.
    Frank Herbert, Dune.
    Aldous Huxley, Brave New World.
    Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Haunting of Hill House.
    Franz Kafka, The Trial.
    Ursula Le Guin, The Books of Earthsea.
    Cormac McCarthy, The Road, Outer Dark.
    Gustav Meyrink, The Golem.
    China Miéville, The Bas-Lag Trilogy.
    Yukio Mishima, The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea.
    George Orwell, 1984.
    Jean Ray, Malpertuis.
    Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles, Sanatorium Under the Sign of the Hourglass.
    Arkadi & Boris Strugazki, Roadside Picnic.
    Roland Topor, The Tenant.
    Robert Walser, Jakob von Gunten.
    Michael Moorcock, Stormbringer.

    I also got the following which were recommended to me - but haven't got around to read them yet:

    Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire.
    Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five.
    Amos Tutuola, The Palm-Wine Drinkard.
    Adolfo Bioy Casares, The Invention of Morel.
    Angela Carter, The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman.
    Italo Calvino, The Invisible Cities.
    Neil Gaiman, American Gods.
    Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood.
    Jeff Vandermeer, Borne.

    Do you know of any other good sff or weird novels out there?

    Also, what is in your opinion Moorcock's best novel?

  • #2
    Have you picked up Cawthorn & Moorcock’s 100 Best Fantasy? Your list is awfully close to that list. Which is admirable. I wish I had discovered many of those books when I was younger. I’m only finally reading 100 Best Fantasy now and making a very late bucket list. I read too much “fan-fic” as a kid. Star Trek and Dr Who novels. Some were good, but most were mass-market dreadfuls. I wish I had read the good stuff. What I did read (earthsea for example) was very defining for me. But I read a few good books and many lesser forgettable novels sadly.
    "Self-discipline and self-knowledge are the key. An individual becomes a unique universe, able to move at will through all the scales of the multiverse - potentially able to control the immediate reality of every scale, every encountered environment."
    --Contessa Rose von Bek, Blood part 4, chapter 12

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    • #3
      I think we have some similar tastes. I would read a phone book that Ballard wrote, but I think Kingdom Come might be my favorite. I, too, really like Mieville’s work. Among his biggest literary heroes is M. John Harrison, and you can see the influence if you read some of Harrison’s Viriconium novels. I’m a huge fan of his later work. Course of the Heart is amazing, and closer to the new weird, and the trilogy he started with Light is the best kind of SF. If you like Shirley Jackson, you may like Kelly Link (although more people
      compare her work to Angela Carter’s).

      Jeffrey Ford has some stuff that is often lumped with the new weird. His well built city trilogy that starts with The Physigonamy is amazing, and his short stories are great.

      Another novel worth seeking out is KJ Bishop’s The Etched City. Ten years on and I don’t think I’ve read a better new weird novel. Sadly, she has apparently stopped writing for the most part, concentrating on studio art.

      And Mike’s best book is the last one you read. Haha. I can’t pick a consistent favorite. Maybe War Amomgst the Angels, maybe Gloriana, maybe Behold, the Man. Or Mother London.

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      • #4
        @ J-Sun, no I am afraid I haven't followed up on the 100 Best Fantasy yet. I am almost broke, so I get most of the books I am reading from the library. Meaning that a lot of books are out of reach, whereas others are surprisingly available. Re: forgettable novels, yeah I have also read a lot of those :) I used to read whatever other people read, and still do, to some extent.

        @ Doc, Kelly Link mainly writes short stories doesn't she? I read her Stranger Things Happen collection some time ago. I have also read The Etched City, which I liked - but not enough to be on my top 20 :) Harrison and Ford both sound intriguing, thanks.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sir Sorcerer View Post
          @ J-Sun, no I am afraid I haven't followed up on the 100 Best Fantasy yet. I am almost broke, so I get most of the books I am reading from the library. Meaning that a lot of books are out of reach, whereas others are surprisingly available. Re: forgettable novels, yeah I have also read a lot of those :) I used to read whatever other people read, and still do, to some extent.

          @ Doc, Kelly Link mainly writes short stories doesn't she? I read her Stranger Things Happen collection some time ago. I have also read The Etched City, which I liked - but not enough to be on my top 20 :) Harrison and Ford both sound intriguing, thanks.
          I knew we had similar tastes! Link writes almost nothing but short fiction, with the exception of the contributions to the things she’s edited. Get in Trouble is as strong a collection as Stranger Things Happen.

          If you give Ford a try, it might be wise to start with his earlier stuff. He’s done a lot of interesting stuff in the last several years, but it may not suit you the way the earlier stuff does. And definitely give Harrison a shot. He writes such amazing sentences.

          And while I’m giving out all of my recommendations, have you read any of the late, great Graham Joyce? Requiem and The Tooth Fairy are my favorites. They are both somewhere between urban (ish) fantasy and horror and really neither.

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