Course in romance/SF-Fantasy romance friendly books.

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Tommy Bevins

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Jul 29, 1997, 3:00:00 AM7/29/97
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> Subject: Course in romance
>
>
> SF Romance. I'd say Justine Davis's LORD OF THE STORM and SKYPIRATE.
> Jayne Castle's SHIELD'S LADY. Though the SF in these is not like the SF
> you get in SF. Also, Lois McMaster Bujold's SHARDS OF HONOR. You might
> like to look at Cecilia Holland's FLOATING WORLDS and Anne McAffrey's
> RESTOREE as well.
>
> Jo
>

I (and some others) had put together a list of SF/Fantasy titles that
might appeal to romance readers in the Romance forum on Compuserve. I
am enclosing my contributions to the thread (I don't have permissions
yet to post others). It's a fairly long post that I did originally over
several nights.


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Sb: Fantasy Recommendations?
Fm: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526
To: Bonnee Pierson/Sysop 76710,2122


I'm sending this message to you but it is really to all. I
figured while the thread is active, to actually do a list of
books. This will be a long message and will probably take me a
couple of nights to get them all. I know I have some books boxed
up that I couldn't find on my shelves. Hopefully not too many
typo's will creep in - I'm playing with a new toy, a laptop, and
I'm not used to the keyboard yet.

This is a list of authors and my favorite book(s) from each. The
authors are primarily fantasy authors who tend to write what I
call character books. Although, the character is usually trying
to accomplish something, a lot of the book is about the
characters growth. Also, the books tend to have a "happy" ending
and the two main characters (man/women) seem to have a happy
future together. I guess one drawback to the romance reader is
the sex is on the light side and more often than not happens
behind closed doors. I guess one clasic example of this is part
of the Morgaine series by Cherryh. It takes the characters 4
books (and 10 years for the readers) to actually m ake love -
then it happens behind closed doors.

The authors/books in no particular order.

A little unusual for me but a short story "Tin Soldier" by Joan
Vinge is really great. This story shows up in a collection
called "Eyes of Amber". She has another collection that has
another really good story but I can't remember the name right
now. I don't usually go for short storie but hers are usually
just amazing. Only one other author was better and that was
Theodore Sturgeon.

Patricia McKillip, "The Forgotten Beasts of Eld", Fantasy. Chock
full of mythical beasts with a wonderful romance between a
sorceress and mortal man. I would recommend most of her books.
She has a strange writing style but it fits this type of story.

Jennifer Roberson, "Sword Dancer", Fantasy. This is start of a
series about Del and Tiger, sword-dancers. Be warned, the
second book in this series has a major cliffhanger
ending.

Alida Van Gores, "Mermaids Song", Fantasy. The book really is
about mermaids/mermen and a classic struggle against good and
evil. Not something Disney would ever do.

Dave Duncan, "Strings", Science Fiction. Although the book seems
to be targeted at younger readers, it is one of his best. The
romance is kindof light but it's a nice read.

Kathy Tyers, "Firebird", Science Fiction. A couple of books
follow this one and she has some other books not related but set
in a similar time. Almost the closest any SF author has come to
writing a "Romance" published as SF.

Lois McMaster Bujold, "Shards of Honor", Science Fiction.
Probably one of the best SF authors I've read in the last few
years. I have a soft spot for her book "Falling Free" also. No
one has ever quite captured the feeling so correctly on how an
engineer thinks and works.

Adrienne Martine-Barnes, "The Fire Sword", Fantasy. This is the
first in a series of fantasy books (All have "sword" in the
title) about one family line and their dealings with the gods and
fighting evil. Set in a time period around the time of King
Author and Camelot. The main character sleeps with Author and
gives him his sword.

M.J.Bennet, "Where the Ni-Lach", SF. Although it has SF elements
this book reads like a fantasy. The culture is that of colony
that has regressed back to a primitive culture.

Alison Rush, "Last of Danu's Children", Fantasy. Set mostly in
the modern day with excursions into folklore. A young girl is
bewitched by the Horned God, Cernunos. Her sister and friend try
to save her. Not that much romance, the characters are teens,
but a really good read and it's foreshadowed that the sister and
friend will end up together.

Elizabeth Scarborough, "The Unicorn Creed", Fantasy. Any book
has to be good with a description starting as - "Proper unicorns
fall in love with willowy virginal princesses. Moonshine had
fallen in love with Maggie Brown, an unkempt, unruly hearthwitch
whose sole claim to princesshood was the battered coronet the
king had given her for saving his bride". Her other fantasy
books are good but nothing on par with this one.

Susan Shwartz, "Silk Roads and Shadows", Fantasy. The emporer of
Byzantium's sister travels to Tibet in an attempt to bring back
new silkworms. Sorcery and magical creatures follow her along
the way. Also check out "Imperial Lady" by her and Andre Norton.

R.A. MacAvoy, "The Grey Horse", Fantasy. Basically a buy on
sight author. Another of her books worth mentioning is "A Book of
Kells".

Susan Dexter, "The Ring of Allaire", Fantasy. The first of 3
really good books about the attempts of a magicians apprentice to
conquer evil. The apprentice is a klutz but overall the books
are dark and can bring tears to your eyes occasionally.

Janny Wurts, "Sorcerer's Legacy", Fantasy. Basic marriage of
convenience book only the bride is captured from an alternate
world by a wizard. The groom is a ruler who will be disinherited
if he doesn't marry and have a child. A small problem since he
has been cursed and can't father children.

A.C. Crispin and others, the "Starbridge" books. Oriented
towards a younger audience but a good set of books. BTW, I've
found several really good books in the YA sections (McKillup and
McKinley). Also look for her as co-author with Andre Norton on
some Witch World books.

I think I will call it quits for tonight and continue on later...

-Tommy


Sb: Fantasy Recommendations?
Fm: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526
To: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526


( Now I'm talking to myself )

The list continued...

Judith Tarr, "A Wind in Cairo", Fantasy. A spoiled prince
offends a wizard and is transformed into a horse. His new owner
is an emirs daughter who has been raised like a son. Further
entanglement is the prince's father the girl's father are
enemies. An amazing book.

M Coleman Easton, "Iskiir" and "The Fishermans Curse", Fantasy.
A nice couple of fantasy stories set in a world full of magic.

Barbara Hambly, "Dragonsbane", "Search the Seven Hills", "The
Time of the Dark", Fantasies. These three books are a good intro
to Hambly, but virtually any book by her is good. "Dragonsbane"
has a rather unusual dragon slayer and witch in it. It puts a
new twist on "Hero". "Search" is more of mystery set in early
Rome. "Time" is the first book in a alternate world fantasy
trilogy that is great. Her new book coming out now/soon is set
in the same world. The cover to "Time" is intriging - a wizard is
sitting at an ordinary kitchen table drinking beer and eating
chips.

Vonda McIntyre, "Dream Snake", SF. This is an after the nuclear
holocaust book. Healers use an alien snake to make dying easier
when death is inevitable. These snakes are very rare and one
healer's snake is killed. This is about her quest trying to find
a new one.

Claudi J. Edwards, "Taming the Forest King", Fantasy. Colonel
Tevra, a woman in a mans world is sent to subdue a forrest
province - Only part of the problem is demons and sorcery. Good
if reluctant romance between her and one of her younger captains.
Her other fantasy books are worth looking at too.

Katherin Eliska Kimbriel, "Fires of Nuala", SF. An assassination
of most of the ruling family on Atare is the start of an
uprising. An offworlder and one of the members of the ruling
family must survive and find out who is behind the assassination.

That's all for tonight... Stay tuned, same channel, same time,
next day!

-Tommy


Sb: Fantasy Recommendations?
Fm: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526
To: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526 (X)


A few more titles...

Emma Bull, "The War for the Oaks", Fantasy. Clash between good/dark
elves in modern day Minneapolis. A rock singer gets caught in the middle.
A great book.

Christopher Stasheff, "The Warlock in Spite of Himself", SF. Not too
heavy on romance but just a funny and good feeling type book about
a colony that has reverted back medieval style living only with real
witches, warlocks, (Telepathics/Telekinetics), a robot horse, and time
travelers. The first few books set in the same place are good but he
eventually gets in rut.

Steve Miller and Sharon Lee, "Conflict of Honors", SF. I think this is the
best of their books but "Carpe Diem" and the other books by them are good.

B.W.Clough, "The Crystal Crown", Fantasy. A marriage of convenience
type book complicated by the fact the husband and wife don't understand
each others language and the husband is a very reluctant ruler of his
people. A lot of the book is spent with them separated and then clearing
up the misunderstandings once they are back together.

Jaunita Coulson, "The Web of Wizardry", Fantasy. This is my favorite
by her. Sword and Sorcery type fantasy and epic battles. Don't pass up
her other books because they are almost as good - even her LaserLine book.

That's all for this session.
-Tommy


Sb: Fantasy Recommendations?
Fm: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526
To: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526 (X)


Finally adding some more books...

Ru Emerson, Princess of Flames, Fantasy. This is my favorite of
hers.

Mercedes Lackey, "Arrows of the Queen", Fantasy. The first book
of a trilogy. I liked this series by Lackey the best. After a
while her books became rather repetitive and I quit reading her.

Robert Heinlein, "Star Beast", SF. Ok, I know there will be
screams of protest about Heinlein on this list... This is just a
fun book with one of the strongest/smartest female characters
from early SF in it. The boy is pretty clueless about what to do
throughout the entire book. Oriented towards the younger readers.
Personally, anything by Heinlein up to and including "The Moon is
a Harsh Mistress" is a good book, after that it's all downhill.

Melanie Rawn, "Dragon Prince", Fantasy. This is the first book
in the Sunrunner set of books. This one is the best of the
bunch. Later books kindof fizzled out for me.

Sharon Green, "The Rebel Prince", SF/Fantasy. Although set in a
future with space travel, etc... the book "feels" like a fantasy
to me. Sometimes Green goes a little too far into domination,
but, well, every once in while her stories work for me.

Robert Frezza, "McLendon's Syndrome", SF. The cover blurb starts
"Not all vampires are black-haired and sinister... murder,
mayhem, intrigue, and interspecies war". This book had such a
wry humor to it I can't resist putting it on the list.

John Dalmas, "The Lantern of God", SF. Another one of those
books labeled SF but reads like a fantasy. 2000 years after a
cargo ship crashes on a planet, the descendants of the crew are
trying to take over the descendants of the cargo (pleasure
droids). The book explores the question of what is human and an
interesting romance develops between a couple on opposite sides.

Rick Cook, "Wizards Bane", SF alternate world. A wizard summons
a computer programmer to fight evil. The problem starts early
with the wizard being killed, the programmer or anyone else knows
why he was summoned, and before he died, the wizard had placed a
love spell on the programmer with a hedge witch. This is the
first book in series of related books.

(Still a few more to go)

-Tommy


Sb: Fantasy Recommendations?
Fm: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526
To: Tommy Bevins 76510,1526


This is the last bunch of recommendations... And it seems I saved
some of the best for last. It's pathetic that with the exception
of a few books/authors all of these have been several years old.
It seems only a few authors are still writing SF/F books that
appeal to me. Too many are trying to be "serious" and write
"life sucks, and then you die" type of books or epic never-ending
series.

Walter Tevis, "Mockingbird", SF. A future world where the world,
or whats left of it, is run by robots to make live easy for
humans. Only it is too easy, humanity has become useless and
illiterate. Suicide is a common way of escaping the boredom. It
seems one robot has almost made the human race extinct he can
commit suicide (He's programmed against suicide as long as a
human lives). Similar to a "coming of age" type stories for the
two main characters. This is a really good book.

Andrew M. Greeley, "The Magic Cup", Fantasy. Set in legendary
Ireland. A young king goes on a quest for the Holy Grail. A
slave girl helps him on the quest. Strong mixture of paganism
and religion at the same time with significant overlap between
the two. Another author that I find rather hit or miss, but his
fantasy type books are usually a hit.

Scott Russel Sanders, "Terrarium", SF. In the 21st century
humanity has moved into domed cities to give the environment a
chance to recover. Inside the cities, the people hide behind
masks, ritual, and drugs overcome the discontent. A small group
of people are planning to leave the city and go back to nature.
A little preachy on the environmental issue, but the relationship
between a couple of the characters is great.

Marion Zimmer Bradley, "The Winds of Darkover", SF. I think this
is one of the best Darkover books. I keep going back and re-
reading this one. A traffic controller at the Space Port almost
causes a catastrophe over a day dream he's having. Well it seems
the day dream is caused by a Darkovian taking controll in an
attempt to regain his castle from thieves. I like most of her
Darkover books.

Brad Strickland, "Moondreams", Fantasy. An ad man is transported
to a magical world where his phrases are magic. Typical quest
type book where he must save the world but with tongue in cheek
humor.

Denise Lopes Heald, "Mistwalker", SF. One of the few books on my
list that has been published within the last couple of years. An
off-worlder (greenie) hooks up with a sled-hauler in the jungles
of the planet Ver Day. Greenies typically don't last long but
this one suprises every one. Another book where the colonist
elected to go back to nature but this one seems to work.

Paul O. Williams, "The Breaking of Northwall" and other Pelbar
cycle books, SF. Another end of civilization book. This book
takes place several hundred/thousand years after a nuclear? war.
Civilization is starting to recover to about medieval Europe
level with some interesting twists. One thing is the society in
the book is matriarchal. A romance tends to play a significant
part in the stories.

-Tommy


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