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Favourite authors other than Tolkien?
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noWizardme
Valinor


May 11 2013, 4:20pm

Post #1 of 83 (845 views)
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Favourite authors other than Tolkien? Can't Post

On the grounds that what a fellow Reading Room inmate likes would be well worth considering...
So 'fess up, what else do you like to read?


A thread about George RR Martin is already under way here: http://newboards.theonering.net/forum/gforum/perl/gforum.cgi?post=603265#603265 so let's call him covered already.

I'm going to suggest Galactic Pot Healer by Philip K Dick. It's funny (and sad in parts), weird, and rather thought provoking. It concerns a repairer of ceramics in a rather dystopian future. He's hired to join the conservation team of an apparently omnipotent being, which has decided to raise a sunken cathedral. However, an apparently infallable group of future predictors say that the attempt will fail. A theme about faith plays through the whole thing.

Yes, as you suspected, noWizardme is a serious "Dick-head" Smile

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


(This post was edited by noWizardme on May 11 2013, 4:22pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 4:47pm

Post #2 of 83 (497 views)
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authors other than tolkien? [In reply to] Can't Post

 
are you ill? what is your temperature?



cheers --

.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel


Annael
Immortal


May 11 2013, 5:20pm

Post #3 of 83 (489 views)
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Ursula LeGuin! [In reply to] Can't Post

She actually beats out Tolkien for me. Both her fantasies (Earthsea series) and her sci-fi (especially The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and Lathe of Heaven.

John Varley is another favorite sci-fi author. Especially love his Titan trilogy. Frank Herbert's Dune is a must-read (and the next two in the series, but I'd stop after that).

I also like David Brin and Greg Bear for sci-fi. For fantasy, Patricia McKillip (both the Riddlemaster series and the two Cygnet books), Joan Vinge, and Jo Clayton.

Venturing into "straight" fiction: Austen, the Brontes, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell, A. S. Byatt, Rumer Godden, Charles Dickens, and Anthony Trollope rank high with me.

In the realm of "creative nonfiction" I like Annie Dillard, David Abram, Anne Lamotte, John McPhee, Ann Zwinger, Thomas Moore, and James Hillman.

The way we imagine our lives is the way we are going to go on living our lives.

- James Hillman, Healing Fiction

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

(This post was edited by Annael on May 11 2013, 5:21pm)


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


May 11 2013, 5:24pm

Post #4 of 83 (498 views)
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I must admit [In reply to] Can't Post

That I find it hard to read fantasy books because they never ever seem to compare to Tolkien-the books I read always seem too similar or lackluster, yet sometimes the similarity is a good thing. Trouble is I'm in a tight corner because I don't get on with realistic fiction on the whole.

That said one fantasy series I hugely enjoyed was The Belgariad by David Eddings, which I have just finished reading. I haven't started reading the follow-up series, The Malloreon, yet, so I can't say how good it is although it will be worthwhile if it's anything like its predecessor.

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities."-J.R.R.Tolkien

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."-Gandalf


Brethil
Half-elven


May 11 2013, 5:41pm

Post #5 of 83 (475 views)
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Oh NoWiz....! [In reply to] Can't Post

  

In Reply To
Yes, as you suspected, noWizardme is a serious "Dick-head" Smile




(**pfffft!!) I have GOT to learn NOT to be drinking beverages when I read your posts NoWiz.

As a reply though, I do love Frank Herbert and reread Dune about annually. In fantasy genre I was enjoying Robert Jordan for a while until the tedium of skirt-twitching descriptions lost me, and I like Dragonriders of Pern, first three books - after that I sort of drift off. Thomas Tryon is perennial favorite. For a long time I would have put Dorothy Sayers, but after reading her biography I am not much of a fan anymore. I also read a lot of paleoanthropology books and I enjoy Dean Falk a lot.

Its hard because even with great plots if I find the prose a bit clunky and then I just put it down.

Like your recommendation, sounds interesting. Smile

Manwe, when asked a simple "Yes" or "No" question, contemplated, and responded "the middle one."


noWizardme
Valinor


May 11 2013, 5:46pm

Post #6 of 83 (472 views)
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Replying to Radagast-Aiwendil : maybe we can help? [In reply to] Can't Post

What aspects of Tolkien particularly hit the spot: language, world-building, plot, themes? Maybe we an suggest something with a similar taste?

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


IdrilofGondolin
Rohan

May 11 2013, 5:50pm

Post #7 of 83 (469 views)
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These [In reply to] Can't Post

CS Lewis
Jane Austen
Dorothy L. Sayers
Charles Dickens

Don't like modern fiction writing. Much of it reads like the author was already turning it into a screenplay. Am more of a nonfiction fan. Love military history, so read that.


Ardamírë
Valinor


May 11 2013, 5:50pm

Post #8 of 83 (466 views)
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C.S. Lewis [In reply to] Can't Post

Love The Chronicles of Narnia, and his Space Trilogy is excellent as well (though I'm only 2/3 into it).

Other than those two, I don't think I have any other favorite authors. I basically just look for books that interest me or that I've heard good things about.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




(This post was edited by Ardamírë on May 11 2013, 5:50pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 11 2013, 5:59pm

Post #9 of 83 (468 views)
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Getting away from Tolkien [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
That I find it hard to read fantasy books because they never ever seem to compare to Tolkien-the books I read always seem too similar or lackluster, yet sometimes the similarity is a good thing. Trouble is I'm in a tight corner because I don't get on with realistic fiction on the whole.



I don't know what you've read that compared so poorly against Tolkien (although I could make some guesses), but maybe you should try some darker, more subversive fantasies.

Michael Moorcock's work might appeal to you. On the fantasy side, I would recommend his Elric, Hawkmoon, or Corum series. For science fiction, I would suggest his Jerry Cornelius stories or The Dancers at the End of Time books.

The late Fritz Leiber is known for both his short fiction ("Conjure Wife") and for his Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series (dark, sardonic and often funny stuff!). Well worth seeking out.

Gene Wolfe might be considered the American Tolkien, due to his world-building and his fascination with language and its use. The Book of the New Son quintet is a favorite of mine.

I'm familiar with Eddings. You might also like his two Sparhawk trilogies: The Elenium and The Tamuli.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


May 11 2013, 6:53pm

Post #10 of 83 (451 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that what makes Tolkien so special for me is the amount of background his world has. Now of course no other fantasy writer has come close to developing such a strong image of an entire world (unless they have written it in the real world, in which case it is done for them). Sure, worlds like Narnia have a background but how much history is there to all of it? And I admit that I find Narnia rather on the silly side.

Tolkien's style of writing is great and I do like books that generally use "Ye olde speake" as such. I'm fairly open as far as the plot and characters are concerned, although I am rather fond of many of "archetypes" used in LotR (The wise old man, the unlikely hero(s)/heroine(s) etc.)

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities."-J.R.R.Tolkien

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."-Gandalf


Radagast-Aiwendil
Gondor


May 11 2013, 7:03pm

Post #11 of 83 (460 views)
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Some well known authors of fantasy series who have disappointed me [In reply to] Can't Post

Include J.K.Rowling (Whose work I personally despise), Christopher Paolini (I enjoyed Eragon but lost interest in Eldest), C.S.Lewis (Good story but too light-hearted for me). Works along those lines don't do much for me, though I do prefer my fantasy in a medieval setting as opposed to modern day or futuristic. Preferably I like to read a series of books as opposed to one book, though I'm fairly neutral on that front.

However, there are some other works of fantasy that I have enjoyed immensely (besides Tolkien). These include The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, The Once and Future King and The Belgariad (as I have already said).

Once I have finished The Malloreon I was thinking of giving the work of George RR Martin a go, as it appears to be my kind of thing, at least on the surface.

"A single dream is more powerful than a thousand realities."-J.R.R.Tolkien

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."-Gandalf


noWizardme
Valinor


May 11 2013, 8:03pm

Post #12 of 83 (445 views)
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George Martin sounds worth a try; maybe also Ursula Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea series?// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 11 2013, 8:16pm

Post #13 of 83 (442 views)
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I will stick to my previous recommendations and add... [In reply to] Can't Post

Try LeGuin's Earthsea books and/or The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey. Also, The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. I know that many fantasy readers have enjoyed Piers Anthony's Xanth books. I, myself, am quite fond of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Back in the day, I very much enjoyed the shared-universe Thieves' World novels.

I am guessing that a popular series that might disappoint as seeming too derivative might be the Shannara books by Terry Brooks. I liked the first one well enough, but never felt the need to look into the sequels. Also along those lines there is Stephen R. Donaldson's The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. If it sounds interesting to you, go ahead and try the first book, Lord Foul's Bane. However, the series is not for everybody.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


Angharad73
Rohan


May 11 2013, 8:33pm

Post #14 of 83 (431 views)
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There are a few... [In reply to] Can't Post

I read a lot. And, perhaps surprisingly, the books I go for ae not Fantasy. I've read the Harry Potter series and loved them, and I've read Tolkien, obviously, and love all of his books, so most people assume that I must read a lot of Fantasy books. But that's not the case at all. Those are pretty much the only books that fall into this genre that I have read. I've tried a few others but could not get through them. Most of them, I gave up after a few chapters because they just did not interest me enough. I have read two or three of Terry Pratchett's books, and I liked them a lot, but somehow I don't want to read more of them for the time being.

What I do like to read are mysteries, mainly historical ones. And for those, my favourite authors are
Charles Todd
C. S. Harris
Alan Bradley
Anna Dean
Stephanie Barron

Another favourite author of mine, mysteries aside, would be Jane Austen. And I collect ghost stories, and of these, my favourite author would be M. R. James.

I also read lots of non-fiction, which, I suppose, doesn't count in this context, but I just want to mention Carola Oman as a favourite, because her biographies read like novels.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


May 11 2013, 8:44pm

Post #15 of 83 (428 views)
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Even more... [In reply to] Can't Post

Damn the limited editing function. I couldn't add the following in time:

A handful of excellent writers have emerged from the Dungeons & Dragons novels published by TSR and (currently) Wizards of the Coast, especially from the various Forgotten Realms books and series. Those who I have most impressed with include: Elaine Cunningham, Douglas Niles, R.A. Salvatore, Troy Denning, Richard Lee Byers, Richard Baker and Ed Greenwood (creator of the Forgotten Realms campaign). I especially recommend the series of stand-alone novels published as The Harpers. There is hardly a misfire among them and many of the above names are represented (and more besides).

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on May 11 2013, 8:45pm)


Maciliel
Valinor


May 11 2013, 8:57pm

Post #16 of 83 (431 views)
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maciliel-thoughts [In reply to] Can't Post

 
absolutely, in +no particular order+ (!)

edith wharton
flannery o'connor

poppy z. brite
neil gaiman

edgar allen poe
h. p. lovecraft

f. scott fitzgerald
tanith lee

stephen j. gould
ursula k. leguin

jane austen



cheers ---


.


aka. fili orc-enshield
+++++++++++++++++++
the scene, as i understand it, is exceptionally well-written. fili (in sort of a callback to the scene with the eagles), calls out "thorRIIIIIIN!!!" just as he sees the pale orc veer in for the kill. he picks up the severed arm of an orc which is lying on the ground, swings it up in desperation, effectively blocking the pale orc's blow. and thus, forever after, fili is known as "fili orc-enshield."

this earns him deep respect from his hard-to-please uncle. as well as a hug. kili wipes his boots on the pale orc's glory box. -- maciliel telpemairo


Aragalen the Green
Gondor


May 11 2013, 9:11pm

Post #17 of 83 (424 views)
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There are other authors? [In reply to] Can't Post

Wink

C.S. Lewis
Edward Eager
Ursula K. LeGuin
Anne McCaffrey
Lloyd Alexander
Patrick O'Brian
Dorothy Dunnett
Jean Auel
Isaac Asimov
Ray Bradbury
Robert Heinlein
Frank Herbert
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Marguerite Henry
Robert Lawson

And many, many others; I would say however these are the authors whose books I have enjoyed most over the years, and come back to read again and again.

'"Never laugh at live dragons, Bilbo you fool!" he said to himself, and it became a favourite saying of his later, and passed into a proverb.'


elaen32
Gondor

May 11 2013, 9:35pm

Post #18 of 83 (418 views)
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Books and authors..... [In reply to] Can't Post

Too many to name here and to be honest, I often like specific books but may not like other things by the same author as much. I have never been a great fantasy/sci-fi fan and was surprised by how much I love Tolkien. I have tried a number of others, but they have not held my interest- I prefer medieval historical fiction. In no particular order favourite authors include-
Classics- The Brontes- esp Emily's masterpiece, Wuthering Heights, Jane Austen, Dickens, Wilkie Collins
Fantasy type- JK Rowling- there is more depth there than some people credit and also there is a sentimental attachment in having read these books with my nieces as they grew up.
CS Lewis- Narnia- although the prose is rather dated, I still love the stories

Historical fiction- especially Sharon Kay Penman,, whose work is so well researched as well as being a good read
Alison Weir (as well as some of her historical non-fiction)

Crime fiction- Kate Atkinson, Peter Robinson

Children's books that I loved and occasionally go back to for who knws what reason- Watership Down by Richard Adams (was obsessed by this as a child), Anne books by LM Montgomery, Narnia, as above, The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Gouge

There are many more, but I could be here all night!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


noWizardme
Valinor


May 11 2013, 9:45pm

Post #19 of 83 (427 views)
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China Mieville! [In reply to] Can't Post

China Mieville might be a good one for Niel Gaiman fans. He has a varied output. Perdido Street Station is a gritty slightly steam punk fantasy, Embassytown is more scifi. And The City& TheCity is a police procedural set in a divided city where the two parts overlap oddly in space.

The audacity with which be an imagine his worlds is quite something, and his themes are good and thoughtful. There's also usually a story rattling g on T a fair old lick.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimë I am in the West, and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "


Hamfast Gamgee
Grey Havens

May 11 2013, 10:37pm

Post #20 of 83 (400 views)
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Micheal Moorcock [In reply to] Can't Post

Similar but different. And he did write some rubbish as well. But he was, is interesting!


Malveth
Rivendell

May 11 2013, 10:44pm

Post #21 of 83 (398 views)
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Right now. . . [In reply to] Can't Post

'Cause it changes all the time. . . it's definitely Robert Jordan! Absolute genius. I'm loving the Wheel of Time more than I have any other epic fantasy series apart from maybe Tolkien, Oz & Prydain. Astonishing!

I'm also deeply into Tolstoy at this stage of my life.

Overall, my favorite novelists are: George Orwell, EM Forster, Evelyn Waugh, A.S. Byatt, Michael Chabon, Louis L'Amour, Frank Herbert, Ian Fleming and lots of others.

But I mostly enjoy reading anthropology & natural history.


Fredeghar Wayfarer
Lorien


May 11 2013, 11:12pm

Post #22 of 83 (407 views)
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My list [In reply to] Can't Post

Lloyd Alexander -- I'm a big fan of his Chronicles of Prydain. Probably my second favorite fantasy series after LOTR. I love his characters, his sense of humor, and the influence of Welsh mythology.

Marion Zimmer Bradley -- I love the Avalon series and the way it blends Arthurian legend, Celtic myths, and historical figures. It also helped shape many of my opinions on religion and tolerance.

Diana L. Paxson -- Co-wrote the Avalon series and took over authorship after Bradley's death. She's done a fine job continuing it.

Douglas Adams -- The Hitchhiker books are hilarious. I love his dry, sarcastic British wit.

Neil Gaiman -- He's one of the best at contemporary fantasy and crafting worlds outside, within, or under the one we know.

Robert E. Howard -- The Conan books have a fully realized fantasy world but a much more visceral and violent style than Tolkien. Great heroic fantasy.

William Shakespeare -- Maybe you've heard of him. Do I really need a reason for this one? Tongue

I'm also a big comics fan but if I listed my favorite comics writers as well, this list would be twice as long.


Ardamírë
Valinor


May 11 2013, 11:24pm

Post #23 of 83 (395 views)
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Have you read Lewis's Space Trilogy? [In reply to] Can't Post

It's for adults (unlike the oft-maligned Narnia), and beautifully written.

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Elizabeth
Half-elven


May 12 2013, 12:57am

Post #24 of 83 (392 views)
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I'm put off by what I've heard of Martin. [In reply to] Can't Post

My friends who love him admit that his books are very violent, and have a terrible tendency to kill off characters that one becomes fond of.

And I read an interview with him in which he admitted that he didn't make extensive efforts to ensure consistency in things like geography or history.








Elizabeth
Half-elven


May 12 2013, 12:59am

Post #25 of 83 (385 views)
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LeGuin and McCaffrey are among my favorites. [In reply to] Can't Post

I particularly like The Dispossessed (mentioned above) and almost everything I've read by McCaffrey. McCaffrey is less serious in intent than Tolkien, but still entertaining, and very good at world building.







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