[Not April Fools] reading lists as exclusive sets

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James Nicoll

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Apr 1, 2006, 4:45:59 PM4/1/06
to
What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
books are published, the odds that the people who post their
lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
very large field these days.

My reading for the last month or so (so mostly material for
late summer 2006 [No Spoilers]. Feel free to use this as a guide
so I can talk to someone about them in the future.


The Years Best SF, 23rd collection (Dozois)

As usual, a long collection from Dozois. Oddly, this is the first one where
I had read most of the contents, so I guess I am catching up on short work.
It only took me five years.


The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)

Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
book is.

Part one of two but inexplicably, Bujold has included a complete novel
in part one, while making it clear the rough direction the second book
will take.


Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)

Oh, well. A backswing book. People who like Brooks (are on my list)
might like this one.


Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)

Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.


Hounding the Moon (P.N. Frost)

A vampire shagger novel, except this one is a holy warrior and I don't think
there are any vampire that _we_ see.


Star Wars: Path of Destruction (Drew Karpyshyn)

Not totally certain the Jedi version of how the Sith were dealt with is
compatable with this book of the old Sith. Also, it's really weird how
_nothing of importance_ changes in the thousands of years between this
period and the usual one.


The Lightstone (David Zindell)

Part one of N. Standard collection the magic, lost M&Ms, which seem
to be very easily found for things that haven't been seen in thousands
of years.

For the record, I can see why people didn't like this but come on! One
of Zindell's previous books was clearly composed by rolling on the
Galactic Encounter Table and ahimsa-boy was very, very annoying, much
worse than weepy boy in The Lightstone.


In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)

Comic fantasy. Seems to be an American trying to emulate Pratchett. Reach,
grasp, purpose of non-infernal afterlife.

Kitty Goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)

OK, I admit that the scene I keep hoping for in one of these does not
appear (Vampire Lord of [American City Here] meets the Process Server,
and discovers that a subpoena, properly brandished by a public servant,
counts as a holy symbol) and there is one small dangling detail* but Kitty
continues to act _like she grew up in the United States of America
in the late 20th century_ before being bit and that counts for a _lot_
in my book. Also, Vaughn does have a scene not a million miles from the
one I want.

One thing I've noticed about Kitty is that she sometimes provides
an example of why some authors like idiot plots. There was at least
one subplot that could have been milked for books that won't be
because, well, Kitty isn't an idiot and it got resolved with the
tools at hand.

My only gripe is that yet again, this series has (but does not depend
on, unlike, say, Parker's Spenser) a Useful Sociopath. I am really sick
of those.

* Although it's obvious how it had to been handled.


The Virtu (Sarah Monette)

Ah, not my thing. I know people loved the other book but I can't like
everything.

[No, Andrew, that should not read "anything"]


Mistborn (Brandon Sanders)

Apparently related to his other fantasy but it stands on its own. A
complete novel but you can hear the whistle of the sequel coming down
the track. Rather Dave Duncanish.


The Privilege (Ellen Kushner)

Um.


Dzur (Steven Brust)

This one I expect to generate some conversation. Vlad visits his old
hometown for a while. It's fun _and_ educational!

Escape from Earth (Dann & Dozois)

Anthology based on the odd idea that YA SF should be fun for YAs to read.
With Andrew's permission, I can review this in more length (It's an
SFBC original).


The Space Opera Renaissance (Hartwell & Cramer)

This is one of those books I was happy to read in MS, because it
meant I did not sprain my arms lifting it. Despite the title,
it's close to a look at SO from the early days, when some awful
science and terrible characters were acceptable) to the modern
era, when things are completely the opposite.


Honored Enemy (Feist & Fortschen)

This will be a familiar sort of story to a lot of us (Including, I think,
fans of Baaa Baaa Blacksheep) but younger readers might not have come
across it. I am not the target for these, anyway.



--
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/
http://www.livejournal.com/users/james_nicoll

Sea Wasp

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Apr 1, 2006, 4:54:43 PM4/1/06
to
James Nicoll wrote:

>
> Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)
>
> Oh, well. A backswing book.

[*]

> People who like Brooks (are on my list)
> might like this one.

I'll have to take a look. I like Terry (and his writing, for that
matter). He's a really nice guy, in case you never met him.


--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Live Journal: http://www.livejournal.com/users/seawasp/

Mike Schilling

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Apr 1, 2006, 5:07:41 PM4/1/06
to

"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com...

> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>
> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
> book is.

I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's a
Chalioniverse book.

> The Space Opera Renaissance (Hartwell & Cramer)
>
> This is one of those books I was happy to read in MS, because it
> meant I did not sprain my arms lifting it. Despite the title,
> it's close to a look at SO from the early days, when some awful
> science and terrible characters were acceptable) to the modern
> era, when things are completely the opposite.

Terrible science and awful characters?


James Nicoll

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Apr 1, 2006, 5:13:14 PM4/1/06
to
In article <442EF6A8...@obvioussgeinc.com>,

Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>James Nicoll wrote:
>
>>
>> Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)
>>
>> Oh, well. A backswing book.
>
>[*]

The sort of SF (well, fantasy/SF -- it's the lead in
to what we see by the time of Shanarra) where most of humanity
is unavoidably butched to give the hero more room to swing
his sword.

Sea Wasp

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Apr 1, 2006, 5:17:45 PM4/1/06
to
James Nicoll wrote:
> In article <442EF6A8...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>
>>James Nicoll wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)
>>>
>>>Oh, well. A backswing book.
>>
>>[*]
>
>
> The sort of SF (well, fantasy/SF -- it's the lead in
> to what we see by the time of Shanarra) where most of humanity
> is unavoidably butched to give the hero more room to swing
> his sword.

Oh, you mean a postapocalyptic? (That's what I recall such things
being called) Or is this different?

Jo'Asia

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Apr 1, 2006, 5:42:47 PM4/1/06
to
Mike Schilling wrote:

> "James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
> news:e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com...
>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
>> book is.

> I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's a
> Chalioniverse book.

It's not. See <http://www.dendarii.com/news/06Jan.html> - the second entry
is about _TSK:B_.

Jo'Asia

--
__.-=-. -< Joanna Slupek >----------------------< http://esensja.pl/ >-
--<()> -< joasia @ hell . pl >--< http://members.chello.pl/s.sokol/ >-
.__.'| -< Anatomically impossible, Mr. Garibaldi, but you're
welcome to try ... anytime ... anywhere. {B5, Bester} >-

Dan Tilque

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Apr 1, 2006, 6:15:34 PM4/1/06
to
James Nicoll wrote:


> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>
> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what
> genre this book is.

She seems to think it's fantasy, so we'll consider it that until
proven otherwise.

>
> Part one of two but inexplicably, Bujold has included a
> complete novel in part one, while making it clear the rough
> direction the second book will take.

From what she's posted on her mailing list, she wrote the entire
thing as one novel. But fashions in book publishing have changed
and the publishers now want smaller books and more of them. So
they decreed that it was going to be two books. Fortunately,
there was a natural breaking point in the middle and it only took
a small amount of rewriting to turn it into two novels.


Mike Schilling wrote:

> I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's
> a Chalioniverse book.

New universe. Unrelated to Vorkosiverse or 5GU. Her next book
after TSK2 will be in the same world.

--
Dan Tilque


Tim McDaniel

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Apr 1, 2006, 5:32:43 PM4/1/06
to
In article <e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com>,

James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:
>The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
...

>Part one of two but inexplicably, Bujold has included a complete
>novel in part one

'Sblood! Is that *allowed* these days?!

>Hounding the Moon (P.N. Frost)
>
>A vampire shagger novel

*slaps forehead* What a wonderful succinct term for the genre!

>The Privilege (Ellen Kushner)
>
>Um.

You read a N-hundred page book and "Um" is the only thing you can say?

Is it in the _Swordspoint_ universe?
SF? Fantasy? Horror? Mystery? Romance? Some combination?
Did it make an impression on you?
Did it make an impression on the wall?
Are there strong good parts?
Are there strong bad parts?
Sex? Violence?
Do you think it will cause discussion, due to controversy, theme,
handling?
Do you have a notion of whether Kushner fans will like it?

--
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tm...@panix.com

David Cowie

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Apr 1, 2006, 6:21:47 PM4/1/06
to
On Sat, 01 Apr 2006 16:45:59 -0500, James Nicoll wrote:

>
> Star Wars: Path of Destruction (Drew Karpyshyn)

<snippage>

> Also, it's really weird how
> _nothing of importance_ changes in the thousands of years between this
> period and the usual one.

You're only saying that because you're smart.

--
David Cowie

Containment Failure + 20862:46

Joe Bernstein

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Apr 1, 2006, 6:26:26 PM4/1/06
to
In article <e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com>, James Nicoll
<jdni...@panix.com> wrote:

> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
> posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
> mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
> books are published, the odds that the people who post their
> lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
> very large field these days.

Well, I don't post reading lists (if only because it would be
embarrassing to list how many books I don't finish) (but also
because it would be annoying Effort), but want to note that as
regards *general* discussion as opposed to the lists, we tend to
talk much more about older works than about the newest titles,
except for a very few newest titles typically by already-established
authors.

(And in my case, at least, this tendency is exaggerated by my actual
reading habits. I've been wanting to decrease the percentage of my
library I've never read, and not *only* by buying books I've read but
do not own. So for example I read in the last couple of days Elizabeth
Boyer's <The Sword and the Satchel>.

(Which, since you've asked so nicely, is an *interesting* book, even
though the EoF disses her for being "unambitious". Boyer seems to
have set out to write, not a Nordic-tinged fantasy novel, but a
book in which the Nordic elements and the fantasy elements are very
nearly evenly mixed. Dialogue, for example, varies weirdly between
fantasy-standard and saga-ish. Characters veer between stupidity and
smarts - esp. smarts as in "Oh, I've heard *that* myth" - in about the
same proportions as we see in sagas and such; I could almost always
convince myself without difficulty that a given instance of stupidity
was characterisation, not idiot plotting. The plot's *overall*
shape [he euphemises to avoid spoilers] is modern, but its flow feels
Nordic to me. You get the idea. I don't know whether the other eleven
books the EoF mentions dumb this down to pablum or this is just a
difference in taste between ?Clute and me, but anyway, I'm looking for
<The Elves and the Otterskin> because the EoF claims - though I suspect
wrongly - that Boyer's books are all loosely connected, and I own #3
and #4 but not #2.)

> My reading for the last month or so (so mostly material for
> late summer 2006 [No Spoilers]. Feel free to use this as a guide
> so I can talk to someone about them in the future.

Tee hee. I'll probably get to some of them a year from now, possibly
some sooner.



> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>
> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
> book is.
>
> Part one of two but inexplicably, Bujold has included a complete novel
> in part one, while making it clear the rough direction the second book
> will take.

Eh, what's inexplicable about it? OK, the "making clear" part is new
for her, but Bujold has never done novel fragments.



> Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)
>
> Oh, well. A backswing book. People who like Brooks (are on my list)

[*]

(I mean, what's "(are on my list)" supposed to mean?)

> might like this one.

Well, before the Boyer, but recently, I read <Magic Kingdom for Sale -
Sold!>. Found it mildly rewarding to those parts of my brain that look
for popcorn reading, enough so that they're following their automatic-
reflex training and demanding that I look at the sequels, but so far
the more sensible parts of my brain are resisting without difficulty.

That said, I seem to like Brooks selectively. I liked <Running with
the Demon>, I mean actively liked not just my reaction to <Magic Kingdom>,
and did not quite run out of patience with the sequels. Though I was
happy to give the first book to my niece when *she* was a cross-country
runner in her mid-teens, and would certainly not have given her the others
even if she hadn't told me she no longer read fantasy.

I also decided sometime in the past few years that I ought to make a
serious attempt to figure out whether the Shannara series had improved
as it went along. Re-reading <The Sword of Shannara> was surprisingly
painless; evidently the first thirty-odd pages of the first Dragonlance
book have permanently changed my pain threshold for bad writing. That
said, I'm not at all sure I finished book 2, and am reasonably sure I
did no more than skim whatever other books I looked at (at least book 3,
maybe more).

*Anyway*, getting back to <Magic Kingdom>. What really struck me was
the care and even little bit of skill devoted to the first hundred
pages or so which establish that Our Hero is a prime candidate to leave
his world of birth behind for good and go elsewhere. I found that
I simply could not get your phrase "anti-enlightenment" out of my
head. This is not the only time this has recently happened to me,
either; shortly earlier I read half and skimmed the other half of
Sarah Ash's <The Tears of Artamon> and was profoundly irritated that
a) to the extent that there's a villain at all, it's a guy modeled
on Peter the Great who Learns Better;
b) the main plot thread left dangling - and not so as to suggest
a sequel, but so as to suggest Ash didn't really care - is what
becomes of a highly anachronistic *democratic* republic.

Specifically to <Magic Kingdom>, I found myself very much wanting to
read the story of a noble in Fantasyland who comes to our world and
loves it, so much so that I was tempted, if only briefly, to write it
myself. Meseems this is some of what volume 1 of Charles Stross's
Merchant Princes series is doing. I also vaguely remember seeing at
the library (this is a YASID) a book in which a family comes here
from Fantasyland and winds up in a refugee camp; seems I oughta look
at that. (Kara Dalkey's <Steel Rose> is similar in spirit but not
actually what I'm wanting.)

[some Star Wars book]


> Also, it's really weird how
> _nothing of importance_ changes in the thousands of years between this
> period and the usual one.

Tee hee. OK, you may've left *me* stuck with a meme that'll dampen
my joy in lotsa reading, but at least I've returned the favour!



> The Lightstone (David Zindell)
>
> Part one of N. Standard collection the magic, lost M&Ms, which seem
> to be very easily found for things that haven't been seen in thousands
> of years.
>
> For the record, I can see why people didn't like this

Huh? This is something you've just read that's actually *already* been
released?

> but come on! One
> of Zindell's previous books was clearly composed by rolling on the
> Galactic Encounter Table and ahimsa-boy was very, very annoying, much
> worse than weepy boy in The Lightstone.

Well, I've bounced *hard* off Zindell's much-ballyhooed revolutionary
science fiction, and haven't heard anything about his subsequent
fantasy that leads me to think it's anywhere near as mandatory.
Sorry. Well, unless he's the author of the aforementioned book with
Fantasyland folk in a refugee camp.



> Kitty Goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)

> Kitty continues to act _like she grew up in the United States of America

> in the late 20th century_ before being bit and that counts for a _lot_
> in my book.

Have you read Christopher Moore's <Bloodsucking Fiends>?

> The Virtu (Sarah Monette)
>
> Ah, not my thing. I know people loved the other book but I can't like
> everything.

I'm getting very tired of how the Renaissance/early modern period,
primarily its nobles, have turned into the Hot New Thing now that
the 19th century's limited fantasy potential is looking tapped out
and one can no longer see the spot where the dead horse once called
the middle ages used to be. I think this is transference from the
mini-flurry of Elizabethan fantasies some years back; if Lisa
Goldstein couldn't do one I'd like (<Strange Devices of Sun and Moon>)
and nor could Neil Gaiman with his Shakespeariana in <Sandman>, why
should I trust all these newcomers? So although I've liked the
occasional, usually older, book in this setting a *lot* (that McIntyre
book about sea-folk whose title I'm now blanking on, for example, or
more guiltily but at least not nobles-worshipping Flint's 1632verse),
my general reaction is one of displeasure. I'm sure this is part
of why I was annoyed by the Ash.

So OK, folks. Are there any of these Elizabethan / early modern
fantasies growing on trees these past two-three years that are actually
*worth* reading? Are, by any chance, Monette's among these?



> The Privilege (Ellen Kushner)
>
> Um.

[*]

Joe Bernstein

--
Joe Bernstein, writer j...@sfbooks.com
<http://www.panix.com/~josephb/> "She suited my mood, Sarah Mondleigh
did - it was like having a kitten in the room, like a vote for unreason."
<Glass Mountain>, Cynthia Voigt

Marilee J. Layman

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Apr 1, 2006, 8:01:31 PM4/1/06
to
On 1 Apr 2006 16:45:59 -0500, jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:

> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
>posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
>mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
>books are published, the odds that the people who post their
>lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
>very large field these days.
>
> My reading for the last month or so (so mostly material for
>late summer 2006 [No Spoilers]. Feel free to use this as a guide
>so I can talk to someone about them in the future.
>
>
>The Years Best SF, 23rd collection (Dozois)

As you know, I read five years behind these days, and this is likely
to be the only one I buy of your list.
--
Marilee J. Layman
http://mjlayman.livejournal.com/

Marilee J. Layman

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Apr 1, 2006, 8:03:03 PM4/1/06
to
On Sat, 01 Apr 2006 22:07:41 GMT, "Mike Schilling"
<mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:

>
>"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com...
>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
>> book is.
>
>I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's a
>Chalioniverse book.

I've read a number of places that it's in a new universe.

Will Briggs

unread,
Apr 1, 2006, 8:21:25 PM4/1/06
to

Humm, I seem to be reading many, many years behind - I read Heinlein,
Bradbury and others growing up in the 80s and 90s, but am just now
discovering authors like Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Avram Davidson, Borges
and others.

I try to sprinkle some newer works into my list in order to keep up with
the more recent stuff, but I've fallen terribly, terribly behind; I
probably have 25+ books that I've purchased and have yet to read (not
all speculative fiction, but most are). In a group with this many
bibliophiles, I'm hoping I'm not alone in my compulsive book-purchasing.

Garrett Wollman

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Apr 1, 2006, 9:32:21 PM4/1/06
to
In article <e0n272$8r7$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
Joe Bernstein <j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:

>Well, I don't post reading lists (if only because it would be
>embarrassing to list how many books I don't finish) (but also

>because it would be annoying Effort), [...]

Hmmm. I don't post reading lists (much) because it's embarrassing to
list how many books I've bought but not yet read, and I'm buying very
little SF these days anyway so I'd have to post them in another
newsgroup, and I don't read another froup that would be appropriate.

The SF publishers (including what few SF lines are left at
non-specialist houses) are very much giving me the same feeling as the
music industry has been for the past few years: enh.... I'm trying
hard to come up with the last book I really wanted to buy right away,
and I think it's Jo Walton's /The King's Peace/. Now I've certainly
paid full price (or even more) for books since then (hard to believe
it's been five and a half years), but for most authors I've felt like
I could wait for the BCE to come out. (And for the more popular
authors like Pratchett, the BCE comes out nearly simultaneously with
the publisher's edition, so it's not even that much of a wait -- never
mind that my backlog is probably several years long now![1])

-GAWollman

[1] A quick tally of the fiction bookcases gives 46 titles in the
category of "not read or not finished, but intend to do so some day",
out of a total of 300 (codices -- this includes some duplicate
titles). There are at least 60 on the "do not intend to read and/or
finish some day", but this status is always subject to change. I just
bought ten books today -- all of them non-fiction -- so the backlog is
likely to continue to grow. Obviously I need to stop listening to
panel-game reruns on BBC 7[2] and start reading!

[2] Thanks to the television tax^W^W"licence fee" payers of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland for funding the world's entertainment in
this manner.

--
Garrett A. Wollman | As the Constitution endures, persons in every
wol...@csail.mit.edu | generation can invoke its principles in their own
Opinions not those | search for greater freedom.
of MIT or CSAIL. | - A. Kennedy, Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

Taki Kogoma

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Apr 1, 2006, 9:32:16 PM4/1/06
to
On Sat, 1 Apr 2006 15:15:34 -0800, "Dan Tilque" <dti...@nwlink.com>
allegedly declared to rec.arts.sf.written...

>James Nicoll wrote:
>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what
>> genre this book is.
>
>She seems to think it's fantasy, so we'll consider it that until
>proven otherwise.
>
>> Part one of two but inexplicably, Bujold has included a
>> complete novel in part one, while making it clear the rough
>> direction the second book will take.
>
>From what she's posted on her mailing list, she wrote the entire
>thing as one novel. But fashions in book publishing have changed
>and the publishers now want smaller books and more of them. So
>they decreed that it was going to be two books. Fortunately,
>there was a natural breaking point in the middle and it only took
>a small amount of rewriting to turn it into two novels.

I wonder if she's having flashbacks to when she was writing _Shards of
Honor_/_Barrayar_/_Cordelia's Honor...

--
Capt. Gym Z. Quirk (Known to some as Taki Kogoma) quirk @ swcp.com
Just an article detector on the Information Supercollider.

Taki Kogoma

unread,
Apr 1, 2006, 9:47:38 PM4/1/06
to
On Sun, 02 Apr 2006 00:21:47 +0100, David Cowie <m...@privacy.net>
allegedly declared to rec.arts.sf.written...

>On Sat, 01 Apr 2006 16:45:59 -0500, James Nicoll wrote:
>> Star Wars: Path of Destruction (Drew Karpyshyn)
>
><snippage>
>> Also, it's really weird how
>> _nothing of importance_ changes in the thousands of years between this
>> period and the usual one.
>
>You're only saying that because you're smart.

Well there's the loss of personal shielding technology (Knights of
the Old Republic) which has only been recently rediscovered by a
very few people (Kyle Katarn, Mara Jade, Jaden Korr)...

Elaine Thompson

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Apr 1, 2006, 11:09:51 PM4/1/06
to
On Sat, 1 Apr 2006 23:26:26 +0000 (UTC), Joe Bernstein
<j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:

>I'm getting very tired of how the Renaissance/early modern period,
>primarily its nobles, have turned into the Hot New Thing now that
>the 19th century's limited fantasy potential is looking tapped out
>and one can no longer see the spot where the dead horse once called
>the middle ages used to be. I think this is transference from the
>mini-flurry of Elizabethan fantasies some years back; if Lisa
>Goldstein couldn't do one I'd like (<Strange Devices of Sun and Moon>)
>and nor could Neil Gaiman with his Shakespeariana in <Sandman>, why
>should I trust all these newcomers? So although I've liked the
>occasional, usually older, book in this setting a *lot* (that McIntyre
>book about sea-folk whose title I'm now blanking on, for example, or
>more guiltily but at least not nobles-worshipping Flint's 1632verse),
>my general reaction is one of displeasure. I'm sure this is part
>of why I was annoyed by the Ash.
>
>So OK, folks. Are there any of these Elizabethan / early modern
>fantasies growing on trees these past two-three years that are actually
>*worth* reading? Are, by any chance, Monette's among these?
>

I keep picking up the Monettes in the bookstore, flipping through them
and putting them back down. They don't strike me as that good. (But
the packaging is excellent.)

If you can read Mary Gentle (I bounce off) her 1420 is probably worth
looking at in this line.

A couple of Teresa Edgerton's early works were early modern/ vaguely
Regency-ish and I remember enjoying them. The Gnome's Engine was one
title.

And Sean Russell's first duology Starting with Sea Without A Shore,
IIRC. Sort of based on Darwin's voyage, IIRC, and if I don't I'm sure
someone will correct me.

I didn't like Sarah Ash's Artamon story either, although my verdict
was 'Third artist work' from Dorothy H's fable of the generations of
artists: working from original, copying the first guy, copying the
copy.


Have you read Gillian Bradshaw's latest SF?

--
Elaine Thompson <Ela...@KEThompson.org>

Damien Sullivan

unread,
Apr 1, 2006, 11:58:17 PM4/1/06
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:

>The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)

I'll be reading this.

>Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)

I'd avoid this. Not that I've actually read any Brooks. And avoid "book 2 of
some fantasy series" and Star Wars novels.

>Dzur (Steven Brust)

I'll read this, too.

>The Space Opera Renaissance (Hartwell & Cramer)
>
>This is one of those books I was happy to read in MS, because it
>meant I did not sprain my arms lifting it. Despite the title,
>it's close to a look at SO from the early days, when some awful
>science and terrible characters were acceptable) to the modern
>era, when things are completely the opposite.

This fiction, or some critical book?

-xx- Damien X-)

Damien Sullivan

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:00:14 AM4/2/06
to
Joe Bernstein <j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:

>Specifically to <Magic Kingdom>, I found myself very much wanting to
>read the story of a noble in Fantasyland who comes to our world and
>loves it, so much so that I was tempted, if only briefly, to write it
>myself. Meseems this is some of what volume 1 of Charles Stross's
>Merchant Princes series is doing. I also vaguely remember seeing at

And even more so in Volume 2, I think, where a female noble is brought over
and Doesn't Want To Go Back.

-xx- Damien X-)

David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:21:44 AM4/2/06
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) writes:

> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
> posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
> mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
> books are published, the odds that the people who post their
> lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
> very large field these days.

Well, let's see.

> The Years Best SF, 23rd collection (Dozois)

Unlikely to buy that (haven't bought or read any of the others).

> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)

Possibly; I've avoided the 3rd Chalion book in protest against the
2nd, after loving the first, and I generally like Lois' books a lot,
so even though it's fantasy I probably should read it.

> Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)

Absolutely not.

> Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)

Unlikely, but somebody could push it at me or otherwise convince me to
try it.

> Hounding the Moon (P.N. Frost)

Ditto

> Star Wars: Path of Destruction (Drew Karpyshyn)

No

> The Lightstone (David Zindell)

Absolutely not, I read part of a Zindell book once (shudder).

> In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)

Unlikely, but who knows (as above).

> Kitty Goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)

ditto

> The Virtu (Sarah Monette)

Maybe, didn't read the previous one

> Mistborn (Brandon Sanders)

No

> The Privilege (Ellen Kushner)

Unlikely, but.

> Dzur (Steven Brust)

Definitely (and I haven't yet).

> Escape from Earth (Dann & Dozois)

Unlikely.

> The Space Opera Renaissance (Hartwell & Cramer)

Pretty unlikely.

> Honored Enemy (Feist & Fortschen)

nope.
--
David Dyer-Bennet, <mailto:dd...@dd-b.net>, <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/>
RKBA: <http://www.dd-b.net/carry/>
Pics: <http://dd-b.lighthunters.net/> <http://www.dd-b.net/dd-b/SnapshotAlbum/>
Dragaera/Steven Brust: <http://dragaera.info/>

David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:25:33 AM4/2/06
to
wol...@csail.mit.edu (Garrett Wollman) writes:

> In article <e0n272$8r7$1...@reader1.panix.com>,
> Joe Bernstein <j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:
>
> >Well, I don't post reading lists (if only because it would be
> >embarrassing to list how many books I don't finish) (but also
> >because it would be annoying Effort), [...]
>
> Hmmm. I don't post reading lists (much) because it's embarrassing to
> list how many books I've bought but not yet read, and I'm buying very
> little SF these days anyway so I'd have to post them in another
> newsgroup, and I don't read another froup that would be appropriate.

Now *that* I just don't understand. Or am I missing the fact that you
*already* post buying lists?

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:38:09 AM4/2/06
to

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:87bqvk3...@gw.dd-b.net...

>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>
> Possibly; I've avoided the 3rd Chalion book in protest against the
> 2nd, after loving the first,

And you were right to do so.

> and I generally like Lois' books a lot,
> so even though it's fantasy I probably should read it.

I'll read it, but from the library before I decide whether to buy it.


Damien Sullivan

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:22:46 AM4/2/06
to
"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message
>news:87bqvk3...@gw.dd-b.net...
>>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Possibly; I've avoided the 3rd Chalion book in protest against the
>> 2nd, after loving the first,
>
>And you were right to do so.

I haven't been able to re-read it, but I liked it. But then I've re-read the
second book with pleasure, so obviously I diverge from David.

-xx- Damien X-)

Joe Bernstein

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:53:28 AM4/2/06
to
In article <uviu2213nd3ipl5ou...@4ax.com>,
Elaine Thompson <Ela...@KEThompson.org> wrote:

> On Sat, 1 Apr 2006 23:26:26 +0000 (UTC), Joe Bernstein
> <j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:

> >So OK, folks. Are there any of these Elizabethan / early modern
> >fantasies growing on trees these past two-three years that are actually
> >*worth* reading? Are, by any chance, Monette's among these?

> I keep picking up the Monettes in the bookstore, flipping through them
> and putting them back down. They don't strike me as that good. (But
> the packaging is excellent.)

Sure is. Those and this new book by Maria Snyder are well-packaged
enough that I keep forgetting I've already ruled them out and looking
at them again.



> If you can read Mary Gentle (I bounce off) her 1420 is probably worth
> looking at in this line.

Is this <Ash>, or something new? I generally found Mary Gentle very
readable but had a hard time with <Left to His Own Devices> (the book,
not just the short novel of the same name) and have yet to make myself
get through the beginning of <Ash>.



> A couple of Teresa Edgerton's early works were early modern/ vaguely
> Regency-ish and I remember enjoying them. The Gnome's Engine was one
> title.

Fair enough, but these were older. I remember liking some of Edgerton's
books a fair amount and mildly bouncing off others - IIRC, actually
the pair that includes <The Gnome's Engine>.



> And Sean Russell's first duology Starting with Sea Without A Shore,
> IIRC. Sort of based on Darwin's voyage, IIRC, and if I don't I'm sure
> someone will correct me.

Again older. I wasn't able to make myself finish these which is
annoying since I really liked the followup duo set in that world's
not-20th century. Also didn't actually finish the Swan's War
trilogy, for that matter. Possibly Russell is for me a one-pair
writer, so to speak.



> I didn't like Sarah Ash's Artamon story either, although my verdict
> was 'Third artist work' from Dorothy H's fable of the generations of
> artists: working from original, copying the first guy, copying the
> copy.

Huh.

I was intrigued enough by the setting, up front, to look some stuff
up. (Well, OK: actually I was mostly just saying "What on Earth is
a republic doing in early modern or late mediaeval Russia?" So
stupid me, but...) Eventually I decided that Ash had built her
setting from the <Encyclopaedia Britannica> at best, not from serious
research - but had anyway looked at history and folklore, not just
at previous fantasies. (The EB charge derives from the fact that
those late-mediaeval and early modern republics were, well, *not
democratic*, duh ... See the United Provinces of ca. 1600-1800 if
you want an idea how that works.)

Also some of her plot resolution struck me as original-ish. It's
mildly unusual to find forgiveness in fantasy that isn't explicitly
Christian. I'm wondering whether her first three, non-US-imported,
books are explicitly Christian. Problem is, the buildup for this,
all those scenes of Kiukiu in Supernatural Places, is precisely
what I read least in the half of the total that I skimmed, so I
can't really talk about it intelligently.

But yeah, lots of it was copying copies. In some sense, seems to me
Ash knew she needed originality so she built a setting that hasn't
been worked to death and she came up with a sorta different ending,
but she found that kind of thing *boring* compared to painting by
numbers. Like Kiukiu as Commoner Makes Good, our explicit counter-
example to Blood Will Tell - not only is this vitiated when we learn
who her father was, but at some level Ash doesn't have the guts to
*do* anything with it. (Granted, historically, Commoner Makes Good
is an excellent recipe for Reactionary Bastard, over the long haul.
But surely in the *short* term, Kiukiu ought at *some* point at least
to look at Smarna and say "Ooh, cool! I coulda gone to *school* here!"
or something. After all, in doing so she'd just be reinforcing the
general "Gavril Is Perfect" theme that's her main motivation, snark
snark.) Or for another example, again, Smarna as anachronistically
democratic, and that whole plot thread's abandonment. She gives Prince
Eugen enlightenment, but then explains what's wrong with him; I think
this has *some* anti-modern point - at some level he's clearly a modern
politician who thinks nuclear weapons are Good - but I also think she
basically just forgets that she's painting her exponent of education and
industry as a villain.

Now, this is *exotic* - how many other authors are there who don't
instead want to bore *us* with whatever's original in their work? -
but still doesn't make for thrilling reading.

> Have you read Gillian Bradshaw's latest SF?

No. Is this relevant? If so, please say on!

As to the last books by her known to me: I've not seen, as yet, a
copy of either <The Somers Treatment> or (if you're being unspecific)
<Alchemy of Fire>. Bloody idiots at Severn House. One of the main
reasons I wanted a credit card to buy stuff online with was to buy
these books and <Dangerous Notes>, but Severn House's online shop is
broken; my web browser [1] crashes when I try to deal with the Seminary
Co-op; and I haven't yet convinced myself to set up an account at Amazon.
So what I'll probably do is just try to special order the things when I
can find time to physically be at the Co-op.

The whole effort was delayed by my library's ordering <Alchemy
of Fire>. The only other copy in the county is suburban, see [1].
So I waited and waited and *waited*, and finally my library gave up.
Damn fools at Severn House.

Joe Bernstein

[1] To unpack references to other recent threads, the only web browser
still being updated in versions that sort of work on my computers'
operating system is iCab (no, not Opera), which has a bad habit of
crashing the computer on occasion; and when I borrow a book from
a suburban library my own library has to pay a fee, but this doesn't
cover the suburban library's actual costs, so it's kind of lose-lose.
I'm still willing to *do* this, but not if I have a reasonable
alternative, such as waiting for my own library's order to come in.
Fucking Severn House.

Stewart Robert Hinsley

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 6:55:23 AM4/2/06
to
In message <e0n272$8r7$1...@reader1.panix.com>, Joe Bernstein
<j...@sfbooks.com> writes

>
>Well, before the Boyer, but recently, I read <Magic Kingdom for Sale -
>Sold!>. Found it mildly rewarding to those parts of my brain that look
>for popcorn reading, enough so that they're following their automatic-
>reflex training and demanding that I look at the sequels, but so far
>the more sensible parts of my brain are resisting without difficulty.

That series rapidly changes tone from light fantasy to dark fantasy.


>
>That said, I seem to like Brooks selectively. I liked <Running with
>the Demon>, I mean actively liked not just my reaction to <Magic
>Kingdom>, and did not quite run out of patience with the sequels.
>Though I was happy to give the first book to my niece when *she* was a
>cross-country runner in her mid-teens, and would certainly not have
>given her the others even if she hadn't told me she no longer read fantasy.
>

Perhaps you'd prefer the sequels to "Magic Kingdom For Sale - Sold".
--
Stewart Robert Hinsley

Tony Zbaraschuk

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 8:05:25 AM4/2/06
to
In article <NQCXf.54613$F_3....@newssvr29.news.prodigy.net>,

Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com...
>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
>> book is.
>
>I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's a
>Chalioniverse book.

No. According to Herself on the Bujold list, different universe.


Tony Z

--
Much of what are called "social problems" consists of the fact that
intellectuals have theories that do not fit the real world. From this
they conclude that it is the real world which is wrong and needs changing.
--Thomas Sowell

Dr. Dave

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 9:19:22 AM4/2/06
to

I found the second book to be a mild let-down after the first, but it
has improved tremendously on re-reading. Still not as good as _TCoC_,
but then what is?

The third book was MUCH more disappointing than the second to me,
despite a few very cool bits. It suffers tremendously (IMHO) from
having the protagonists be the least interesting characters.

David Tate

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 11:03:02 AM4/2/06
to
In article <NQCXf.54613$F_3....@newssvr29.news.prodigy.net>,
Mike Schilling <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
>news:e0msan$3io$1...@panix3.panix.com...
>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>
>> Competent, as ever. I look forward to the discussions of what genre this
>> book is.
>
>I know you can't say much, but perhaps you can tell us if it's a
>Chalioniverse book.

It would be very hard to reconcile the magic in this and
the setting with what we see in the Chalion books.

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 11:17:28 AM4/2/06
to
In article <e0nll9$90d$1...@naig.caltech.edu>,

Damien Sullivan <pho...@ofb.net> wrote:
>
>>The Space Opera Renaissance (Hartwell & Cramer)
>>
>>This is one of those books I was happy to read in MS, because it
>>meant I did not sprain my arms lifting it. Despite the title,
>>it's close to a look at SO from the early days, when some awful
>>science and terrible characters were acceptable) to the modern
>>era, when things are completely the opposite.
>
>This fiction, or some critical book?

It has a long essay on Space Opera and biographical notes but
mostly it is a collection of stories labelled space opera at the time
(The changing definition of SO is one of the things the editors discuss).
The balance favours recent SO over old (which considering that as it was
I ended up reading The Star Stealers twice in one year is just fine with
me). The stories included are as follows (Note that information about the
structure of the book has been stripped):

The Star Stealers (Edmond Hamilton)
The Prince of Space (Jack Williamson)
Enchantress of Venus (Leigh Brackett)
The Swordsman of Varnis (Clive Jackson)
The Game of Rat and Dragon (Cordwainer Smith)
Empire Star (Samuel Delany)
Zim Left Unguarded, the Jenjik Palace in Flames, Jon Westerly Dead (Robert
Sheckley)
Temptation (David Brin)
Ranks of Bronze (David Drake)
Weatherman (Lois McMaster Bujold)
A Gift from the Culture (Iain M. Banks)
Orphans of the Helix (Dan Simmons)
The Well Wishers (Colin Greenland)
Escape Route (Peter Hamilton)
Ms. Midshipwoman Harrington (David Weber)
Aurora in Four Voices (Catherine Asaro)
Ring Rats (R. Garcia Robertson)
The Death of Captain Future (Allen Steele)
A Worm in the Well (Gregory Benford)
The Survivor (Donald Kingsbury)
Fools Errand (Sarah Zettel)
The Shobies Story (Ursula K. Le Guin)
The Remoras (Robert Reed)
Recording Angel (Paul McAuley)
The Great Game (Stephen Baxter)
The Lost Sorceress of the Silent Citadel (Michael Moorcock)
Space Opera (Michael Kandel)
Grist (Tony Daniel)
The Movements of Her Eyes (Scott Westerfeld)
Spirey and the Queen (Alastair Reynolds)
Bear Trap (Charles Stross)
Guest Law (John Wright)

David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:05:36 PM4/2/06
to
jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) writes:

> It has a long essay on Space Opera and biographical notes but
> mostly it is a collection of stories labelled space opera at the time
> (The changing definition of SO is one of the things the editors discuss).
> The balance favours recent SO over old (which considering that as it was
> I ended up reading The Star Stealers twice in one year is just fine with
> me). The stories included are as follows (Note that information about the
> structure of the book has been stripped):

Humph; only one story by a person named "Smith", and the least
space-opera-y of the Smiths. The two missing Smiths are pretty much
the defining instances of space opera. So now I know definitely that
I will be giving this a miss by policy; the editors apparently have no
idea what space opera is!

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:15:34 PM4/2/06
to

"Dr. Dave" <dt...@ida.org> wrote in message
news:1143983962.7...@t31g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> Damien Sullivan wrote:
>> "Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>> >
>> >"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message
>> >news:87bqvk3...@gw.dd-b.net...
>> >>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>> >>
>> >> Possibly; I've avoided the 3rd Chalion book in protest against the
>> >> 2nd, after loving the first,
>> >
>> >And you were right to do so.
>>
>> I haven't been able to re-read it, but I liked it. But then I've re-read
>> the
>> second book with pleasure, so obviously I diverge from David.
>
> I found the second book to be a mild let-down after the first, but it
> has improved tremendously on re-reading. Still not as good as _TCoC_,
> but then what is?

Mirror Dance, A Civil Campaign, ...

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:17:18 PM4/2/06
to
In article <442EFC12...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:
>James Nicoll wrote:
>> In article <442EF6A8...@obvioussgeinc.com>,
>> Sea Wasp <seawasp...@obvioussgeinc.com> wrote:

>>
>>>James Nicoll wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>>Armageddon's Children (Terry Brooks)
>>>>
>>>>Oh, well. A backswing book.
>>>
>>>[*]
>>
>>
>> The sort of SF (well, fantasy/SF -- it's the lead in
>> to what we see by the time of Shanarra) where most of humanity
>> is unavoidably butched to give the hero more room to swing
>> his sword.
>
> Oh, you mean a postapocalyptic? (That's what I recall such things
>being called) Or is this different?
>
It's more of an attitude, although it does turn up in
post-apocalypse more often (Might preadapt authors to write that
kind of material). It's the view that the mass of humanity is
a disagreeable necessity at best and an impediment to the people
who matter at worst. The best use of humans is to provide fields
of corpses for the hero to pose on top of.

One marker is the "tragic necessity", where it turns out
that most people regretably need to be allowed to die so that some
more important goal than their survival might reached.

Dr. Dave

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:36:13 PM4/2/06
to
Mike Schilling wrote:
> "Dr. Dave" <dt...@ida.org> wrote in message
> news:1143983962.7...@t31g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
> >
> > I found [Paladin of Souls] to be a mild let-down after the first, but it

> > has improved tremendously on re-reading. Still not as good as _TCoC_,
> > but then what is?

> Mirror Dance, A Civil Campaign, ...

I know there are people who feel that way, but I don't grok why.
_Mirror Dance_ is a fine book; _A Civil Campaign_ is a
sometimes-brilliant sometimes-annoying dimidiaton[1], quite enjoyable
overall, especially on rereading (when you can skip the annoying
parts). _Komarr_ is outstanding; _Memory_ is excellent. But none of
them even approaches (to me) the near-perfection of _The Curse of
Chalion_, which I fully expect to show up on everyone's "top 5 all-time
works of fantasy" 50 years from now.

De gustibus, etc.

David Tate

[1] Dimidiation (n.) Heraldry: an old method of impalement [2] in
which the dexter half of once coat was joined to the sinister half of
the other, often with quite extraordinary (not in a good sense)
artistic results.

[2] Impalement (n.) Heraldry: The division of a shield per pale (i.e.
by a vertical line) to incorporate two different coats of arms side by
side.

Definitions cribbed and paraphrased from Stephen Friar's _A Dictionary
of Heraldry_.

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 12:47:27 PM4/2/06
to

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:87zmj4k...@gw.dd-b.net...

> jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) writes:
>
>> It has a long essay on Space Opera and biographical notes but
>> mostly it is a collection of stories labelled space opera at the time
>> (The changing definition of SO is one of the things the editors discuss).
>> The balance favours recent SO over old (which considering that as it was
>> I ended up reading The Star Stealers twice in one year is just fine with
>> me). The stories included are as follows (Note that information about the
>> structure of the book has been stripped):
>
> Humph; only one story by a person named "Smith", and the least
> space-opera-y of the Smiths. The two missing Smiths are pretty much
> the defining instances of space opera. So now I know definitely that
> I will be giving this a miss by policy; the editors apparently have no
> idea what space opera is!

To be fair, those two Smiths are already widely published, and there's not a
lot of point including stories people have already read (or own.). I was
mildly disappointed to the "The Weatherman" listed, not because I don't like
Bujold, but because I already own The Vor Game.


David Dyer-Bennet

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 1:44:32 PM4/2/06
to
"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> writes:

Why would one want to be fair to editors? Surely they knew it was a
dangerous job when they took it? :-)

I suspect lots of the people who read this book will *not* have read
either E.E. Smith or George O. Smith. And they will thus get a badly
warped and seriously deficient idea of what Space Opera is.

Richard Todd

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 1:32:18 PM4/2/06
to
"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> writes:

> "David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message

>> Humph; only one story by a person named "Smith", and the least
>> space-opera-y of the Smiths. The two missing Smiths are pretty much
>> the defining instances of space opera. So now I know definitely that
>> I will be giving this a miss by policy; the editors apparently have no
>> idea what space opera is!

> To be fair, those two Smiths are already widely published, and there's not a
> lot of point including stories people have already read (or own.). I was

That and, well, *are* there any short stories by the greater of those two
Smiths (E.E.)? I don't recall ever hearing of or reading any.
--
NewsGuy.Com 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 2:35:28 PM4/2/06
to

"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message
news:87u09b7...@gw.dd-b.net...

>
> I suspect lots of the people who read this book will *not* have read
> either E.E. Smith or George O. Smith. And they will thus get a badly
> warped and seriously deficient idea of what Space Opera is.

George O? I was sure you meant Cordwainer.


Konrad Gaertner

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 2:57:58 PM4/2/06
to
James Nicoll wrote:
>
> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
> posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
> mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
> books are published, the odds that the people who post their
> lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
> very large field these days.

ObXThread: I suspect this, more than personal definitions or
expectations, is the cause of the sf vs f arguments. Or rather, it's
the base cause.

> Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)
>
> Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
> of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
> made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
> the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.

I've been considering trying her (she was recommended on Robin Hobb's
newsgroup), but your comment about rules is worrying.

> In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)
>

> Comic fantasy. Seems to be an American trying to emulate Pratchett. Reach,
> grasp, purpose of non-infernal afterlife.

Could you unpack the last sentence?

> Mistborn (Brandon Sanders)
>
> Apparently related to his other fantasy but it stands on its own. A
> complete novel but you can hear the whistle of the sequel coming down
> the track. Rather Dave Duncanish.

Explicitly a trilogy. I liked _Elantris_, but the prologue for this
one implies a focus on slavery.

> Dzur (Steven Brust)
>
> This one I expect to generate some conversation. Vlad visits his old
> hometown for a while. It's fun _and_ educational!

When hasn't Vlad been educational? This will be preordered in
hardcover.

> Kitty Goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)

Will read (from library if they have it).

> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)

I may read this, but I'll check the reviews here first.

--
Konrad Gaertner - - - - - - - - - - - - - - email: gae...@aol.com
http://kgbooklog.livejournal.com/
"I don't mind hidden depths but I insist that there be a surface."
-- James Nicoll

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:24:57 PM4/2/06
to
In article <44301EAD...@worldnet.att.net>,

Konrad Gaertner <gae...@aol.com> wrote:
>James Nicoll wrote:
>>
>> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
>> posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
>> mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
>> books are published, the odds that the people who post their
>> lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
>> very large field these days.
>
>ObXThread: I suspect this, more than personal definitions or
>expectations, is the cause of the sf vs f arguments. Or rather, it's
>the base cause.
>
>> Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)
>>
>> Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
>> of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
>> made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
>> the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.
>
>I've been considering trying her (she was recommended on Robin Hobb's
>newsgroup), but your comment about rules is worrying.

The societies are quasi-feudal and most of the roles available
for women deplorable (Admittedly, the roles open to most people are
such that "sex slave" is a move up for a lot of them). The characters
are stuck with the laws of the land at the moment (It's pretty hard
to reform things when it's not clear one counts as a person in the
eyes of the law but at least one major change seems likely). They do
what they can do squeeze the best possible result from their
circumstances.

Even the people who seem like they should be on top of the world
are constrained by law and custom: there's an evil warlord in a previous
book whose motivation, as I recall, is that the terms of the deal that
created his kingdom have a clause about reversion should his line daughter
out and sadly, none of his _male_ heirs are legimate. One solution is to
have a boy-child. Another is to pre-emptively invade the nation that would
absorb his if he dies without a legitimate son. This is bit like a
hypothetical Prince Rainier (pre-2002) deciding that the interests of
the Monaco that will follow his death require him to invade and subjugate
France but at least the fellow is ambitious.


>> In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)
>>
>> Comic fantasy. Seems to be an American trying to emulate Pratchett. Reach,
>> grasp, purpose of non-infernal afterlife.
>
>Could you unpack the last sentence?

He is not as good as Pratchet but at least he has set himself
a goal worth struggling for.

>> Mistborn (Brandon Sanders)
>>
>> Apparently related to his other fantasy but it stands on its own. A
>> complete novel but you can hear the whistle of the sequel coming down
>> the track. Rather Dave Duncanish.
>
>Explicitly a trilogy. I liked _Elantris_, but the prologue for this
>one implies a focus on slavery.

On the end of it, perhaps.

Justin Bacon

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:25:31 PM4/2/06
to
Dr. Dave wrote:
> I know there are people who feel that way, but I don't grok why.
> _Mirror Dance_ is a fine book; _A Civil Campaign_ is a
> sometimes-brilliant sometimes-annoying dimidiaton[1], quite enjoyable
> overall, especially on rereading (when you can skip the annoying
> parts). _Komarr_ is outstanding; _Memory_ is excellent. But none of
> them even approaches (to me) the near-perfection of _The Curse of
> Chalion_, which I fully expect to show up on everyone's "top 5 all-time
> works of fantasy" 50 years from now.
>
> De gustibus, etc.

Most definitely in this case. I liked CURSE OF CHALION, but found it to
be nothing more than a rather interesting fantasy. From another author
it might have gotten a reaction of, "Hmm. That was nice. I'll have to
keep an eye out for more books from them." But for Bujold it was most
along the lines of, "Hmm. That was nice. I think I'll go re-read
MEMORY."

It didn't leave any kind of lasting impression on me, and I haven't
bothered with the sequels. I'm not actively avoiding them (in fact,
PALADIN OF SOULS is on my bookcase)... I just haven't worked up the
interest to turn my attention to them.

--
Justin Alexander
http://www.thealexandrian.net

Tim McDaniel

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:32:24 PM4/2/06
to
In article <44301EAD...@worldnet.att.net>,
Konrad Gaertner <gae...@aol.com> wrote:
>James Nicoll wrote:
>> In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)
>>
>> Comic fantasy. Seems to be an American trying to emulate
>> Pratchett. Reach, grasp, purpose of non-infernal afterlife.
>
>Could you unpack the last sentence?

"Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what's a heaven for?"
-- ROBERT BROWNING, "Andrea Del Sarto"

In other words: nice try, keep it up.

--
Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tm...@panix.com

Elaine Thompson

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:24:58 PM4/2/06
to
On Sun, 2 Apr 2006 07:53:28 +0000 (UTC), Joe Bernstein
<j...@sfbooks.com> wrote:


>
>> If you can read Mary Gentle (I bounce off) her 1420 is probably worth
>> looking at in this line.
>
>Is this <Ash>, or something new?

It's newer and I got the title wrong completely wrong (told you I
bounce off Gentle) It's A Sundial in a Grave: 1610

Summary cut 'n pasted from Amazon:

In an effort to expose the newly crowned queen Marie de Medici's
ruthless plot to assassinate her husband, French king Henri IV,
professional duelist and court spy Valentin Rochefort inadvertently
carries it out. Now the noble yet unscrupulous swordsman must plan a
perilous escape from Paris, reluctantly paired with the insolent,
insouciant youth Dariole, who also swings a mean epee. Their journeys
take them to the glittering London court of King James Stuart, where
they become involved in another assassination attempt; to a wind-swept
Japanese beach, site of a duel between noble and samurai; and back to
Paris. This sweeping and absorbing historical novel takes minor
characters from The Three Musketeers and tells their breathless story
15 years prior. Fictional and historical characters and events are
deftly intertwined among the multiple plot strands within an
intriguing literary device--this novel is the supposed restored
translated text of actual memoirs and related historical papers. Some
highly charged sexual content should not put off fans of riveting
historical fiction with strong romantic elements and a touch of
alchemy.


She posted about it on rec.arts.sf.composition while she was writing
it, and it sounded very interesting. I just can't read it her novels
- my eyes slide off the words or something. Nothing sticks.

>I generally found Mary Gentle very
>readable but had a hard time with <Left to His Own Devices> (the book,
>not just the short novel of the same name) and have yet to make myself
>get through the beginning of <Ash>.
>


>> A couple of Teresa Edgerton's early works were early modern/ vaguely
>> Regency-ish and I remember enjoying them. The Gnome's Engine was one
>> title.
>
>Fair enough, but these were older. I remember liking some of Edgerton's
>books a fair amount and mildly bouncing off others - IIRC, actually
>the pair that includes <The Gnome's Engine>.

Oh well.

I can't think of much that's newer that I liked. Sorry.

There was a Goldstein a year or two ago dealing with John Dee in
Prague; it drove both me and my husband to a severe case of yawning.
_The Alchemist's Door_. Mileage varying and all you might want to
take a look if you run across it.

I did kind of like a somewhat older book with the same conceit by
Michael Scott Rohan, the fourth book of the Spiral, told by someone
other than the narrator of the first three, who gets to go back with
John Dee and his assistant to Prague. _Maxie's Demon_. According to
Amazon from 1997.


>
>> I didn't like Sarah Ash's Artamon story either, although my verdict
>> was 'Third artist work' from Dorothy H's fable of the generations of
>> artists: working from original, copying the first guy, copying the
>> copy.
>
>Huh.
>
>I was intrigued enough by the setting, up front, to look some stuff
>up.

...

>
>Also some of her plot resolution struck me as original-ish. It's

I didn't get that far. There was enough of interest to pull me into
finishing the first book, I remember looking at the second but I think
I didn't buy it. I'm sure I didn't finiish it.


>mildly unusual to find forgiveness in fantasy that isn't explicitly
>Christian. I'm wondering whether her first three, non-US-imported,
>books are explicitly Christian. Problem is, the buildup for this,
>all those scenes of Kiukiu in Supernatural Places, is precisely
>what I read least in the half of the total that I skimmed, so I
>can't really talk about it intelligently.

Maybe I'll go back and skim to see what you're talking about.


>
>Now, this is *exotic* - how many other authors are there who don't
>instead want to bore *us* with whatever's original in their work? -
>but still doesn't make for thrilling reading.
>
>> Have you read Gillian Bradshaw's latest SF?
>
>No. Is this relevant? If so, please say on!

Not that I know of, just I remembered you have praised her here in the
past, and I haven't gotten around to getting hold of _Elixer of Youth_
(SF) to read. The previous two (Somers Treatment (SF) and Alchemy of
Fire(hist fiction dealing with Greek Fire's invention) were ok, but
not her best so I've been holding off on this one. Of her more
recent stuff, ISLAND OF GHOSTS and .. er.. the one with the alien,
title escapes me, Amazon is taking forever to pull up her list of
titles and my copy is downstairs.


>
>As to the last books by her known to me: I've not seen, as yet, a
>copy of either <The Somers Treatment> or (if you're being unspecific)
><Alchemy of Fire>. Bloody idiots at Severn House.

I do wonder why she doens't get picked up by one of the better
publishers.

If you want to read any of the above I'll be happy to pass on my
copies. Drop me a line privately if you're interested.

--
Elaine Thompson <Ela...@KEThompson.org>

Andrew Wheeler

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:47:34 PM4/2/06
to
Konrad Gaertner wrote:
>
> James Nicoll wrote:

<snip>

> > Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)
> >
> > Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
> > of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
> > made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
> > the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.
>
> I've been considering trying her (she was recommended on Robin Hobb's
> newsgroup), but your comment about rules is worrying.

I don't think James was talking about "rules of magic" or anything like
that; Fallon's books are set in pseudo-medieval worlds, and this series
is focused on a woman. (And, as you know, Bob, the roles of women in
things that look like actual medieval societies are quite often
unpleasant for said women).

> > In the Company of Ogres (A. Lee Martinez)
> >
> > Comic fantasy. Seems to be an American trying to emulate Pratchett. Reach,
> > grasp, purpose of non-infernal afterlife.
>
> Could you unpack the last sentence?

"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or else what's a heaven for?"
The poet Browning, as Jeeves would say.

--
Andrew Wheeler: Professional Editor, Amateur Wise-Acre
--
If you enjoyed this post, try my blog at
http://antickmusings.blogspot.com
If you hated this post, you probably have bad taste anyway.

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 3:57:49 PM4/2/06
to
In article <44302A56...@optonline.com>,

Andrew Wheeler <acwh...@optonline.com> wrote:
>Konrad Gaertner wrote:
>>
>> James Nicoll wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>> > Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)
>> >
>> > Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
>> > of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
>> > made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
>> > the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.
>>
>> I've been considering trying her (she was recommended on Robin Hobb's
>> newsgroup), but your comment about rules is worrying.
>
>I don't think James was talking about "rules of magic" or anything like
>that; Fallon's books are set in pseudo-medieval worlds, and this series
>is focused on a woman. (And, as you know, Bob, the roles of women in
>things that look like actual medieval societies are quite often
>unpleasant for said women).

The book to which it is a sequel has a male as a significant
character. He serves to demonstrate that even for a male in this
society, the only choices available can be to look for the least
bad master (He chooses a naive mistress over, well, "horribly brutally
killed along with all of his household").

Any number of the aristocrats discover that one side effect
of the system that they live in is a sharply reduced lifespan for
people who look like impediments or who just get in the way.

James Nicoll

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 4:18:52 PM4/2/06
to
In article <44302A56...@optonline.com>,
Andrew Wheeler <acwh...@optonline.com> wrote:
>Konrad Gaertner wrote:
>>
>> Could you unpack the last sentence?
>
>"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or else what's a heaven for?"
>The poet Browning, as Jeeves would say.

Possibly the finest slogan ever used by a manufacturer
of firearms.

Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 4:34:41 PM4/2/06
to

"Andrew Wheeler" <acwh...@optonline.com> wrote in message
news:44302A56...@optonline.com...

> "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or else what's a heaven for?"
> The poet Browning, as Jeeves would say.

One of Jeeves's gags, as Bertie would say.


Mike Schilling

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 4:35:42 PM4/2/06
to

"James Nicoll" <jdni...@panix.com> wrote in message
news:e0pbjc$q7g$1...@reader1.panix.com...

> In article <44302A56...@optonline.com>,
> Andrew Wheeler <acwh...@optonline.com> wrote:
>>Konrad Gaertner wrote:
>>>
>>> Could you unpack the last sentence?
>>
>>"A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or else what's a heaven for?"
>>The poet Browning, as Jeeves would say.
>
> Possibly the finest slogan ever used by a manufacturer
> of firearms.

Reach for it! Higher, I said "Reach", not "Grasp".


Johan Larson

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 4:37:29 PM4/2/06
to
Richard Todd wrote:
> That and, well, *are* there any short stories by the greater of those
> two Smiths (E.E.)? I don't recall ever hearing of or reading any.

"Triplanetary" is a fixup of stories that were published separately earlier
in Smith's career.

--
Johan Larson Daly City, California

J Moreno

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 5:22:32 PM4/2/06
to
James Nicoll <jdni...@panix.com> wrote:

-snip-


> Kitty Goes to Washington (Carrie Vaughn)

-snip-
> My only gripe is that yet again, this series has (but does not depend
> on, unlike, say, Parker's Spenser) a Useful Sociopath. I am really sick
> of those.

I don't think that Hawk is a sociopath. Certainly not in the later
books, but arguably not even in the beginning -- his concern for others
is limited, but not non-existent (even those others that he isn't
personally acquited with).

--
JM
"Everything is futile." -- Marvin of Borg

Elaine Thompson

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 6:03:06 PM4/2/06
to
credits snipped after I took too much out to id the quoting properly


>>
>>> Warrior (Jennifer Fallon)
>>>
>>> Part two of a three part fantasy series, set in one (actually several)
>>> of those fantasy societies where you just want to smack the people who
>>> made up the rules with a stick. Oddly, the characters, esp the ones on
>>> the short end, seem to be aware that things aren't fair.
>>
>>I've been considering trying her (she was recommended on Robin Hobb's
>>newsgroup), but your comment about rules is worrying.
>

Chiming in with an opinion based on her trilogy which includes the
title _Lion of Sennat_ .

I wouldn't pay hardcover prices. And I should have taken a warning
from the remark in the author's note about thanking <whosis> for
helping make <character> smarter than the author could have on her
own.

None of the characters seem really smart, and several of them have
only one note, except when the author needs them to do something out
of said one-note character. I skimmed at least half of the first
book, and have stalled in the second. But I'm somewhat curious as to
how it all turns out and I hope for an explanation of the orbital
mechanics that produced the backstory's main event that is still
driving plot, so I may finish - by skimming - yet. There's a
respectable story in there, but my fingers itch for a red pencil.

For calibration of taste, some of my favorite genre writers are CJC,
LMB and McKillip.


> The societies are quasi-feudal


Yes, that holds in this trilogy, too.


>and most of the roles available
>for women deplorable (Admittedly, the roles open to most people are
>such that "sex slave" is a move up for a lot of them).

Things aren't *that* bad in the trilogy

--
Elaine Thompson <Ela...@KEThompson.org>

Marilee J. Layman

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 7:30:56 PM4/2/06
to
On Sat, 01 Apr 2006 20:21:25 -0500, Will Briggs <wrbr...@gmail.com>
wrote:

>Marilee J. Layman wrote:


>> On 1 Apr 2006 16:45:59 -0500, jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:
>>
>>> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
>>> posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
>>> mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
>>> books are published, the odds that the people who post their
>>> lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
>>> very large field these days.
>>>

>>> My reading for the last month or so (so mostly material for
>>> late summer 2006 [No Spoilers]. Feel free to use this as a guide
>>> so I can talk to someone about them in the future.
>>>
>>>
>>> The Years Best SF, 23rd collection (Dozois)
>>
>> As you know, I read five years behind these days, and this is likely
>> to be the only one I buy of your list.
>
>Humm, I seem to be reading many, many years behind - I read Heinlein,
>Bradbury and others growing up in the 80s and 90s, but am just now
>discovering authors like Jack Vance, Gene Wolfe, Avram Davidson, Borges
>and others.
>
>I try to sprinkle some newer works into my list in order to keep up with
>the more recent stuff, but I've fallen terribly, terribly behind; I
>probably have 25+ books that I've purchased and have yet to read (not
>all speculative fiction, but most are). In a group with this many
>bibliophiles, I'm hoping I'm not alone in my compulsive book-purchasing.

Heh. I have at least 200 unread books at any time.
--
Marilee J. Layman
http://mjlayman.livejournal.com/

Craig Richardson

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 8:20:33 PM4/2/06
to
On Sun, 2 Apr 2006 07:22:46 +0000 (UTC), pho...@ofb.net (Damien
Sullivan) wrote:

>"Mike Schilling" <mscotts...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>
>>"David Dyer-Bennet" <dd...@dd-b.net> wrote in message

>>news:87bqvk3...@gw.dd-b.net...


>>>> The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)
>>>

>>> Possibly; I've avoided the 3rd Chalion book in protest against the
>>> 2nd, after loving the first,
>>
>>And you were right to do so.
>
>I haven't been able to re-read it, but I liked it. But then I've re-read the
>second book with pleasure, so obviously I diverge from David.

I feel much the same. The third isn't a travesty, and I enjoyed it,
but it has less of what makes this universe special than the second,
which is less in turn than the first. Not that the second has so much
less to make it not worth reading, and re-reading - far from it. But
I do think that the third did dip below a certain threshold.

--Craig

--
"It's great to be known, but it's better to be known as strange."
- Chairman Kaga

jtingle

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 8:47:45 PM4/2/06
to
On 1 Apr 2006 16:45:59 -0500, jdni...@panix.com (James Nicoll) wrote:

> What I find vaguely baffling about the reading lists
>posted here is how little they overlap with mine. I don't
>mean the six month jump I get but the fact that when those
>books are published, the odds that the people who post their
>lists will have read this seems to be close to nil. SF is a
>very large field these days.

[snip]


>The Years Best SF, 23rd collection (Dozois)

[snip]


>The Sharing Knife: Beguilement (Bujold)

[snip]

Prime example. With the exception of the first two, I've never read
anything by any of the authors you discuss, with the possible
exception of some short fiction by Kushner. Her name sounds familiar.
And admitting to having read Dozois's annual mega-anthologies is about
as distinguishing in sf as admitting to breathing. Maybe less
depending on how the vampire humper thing works.

Regards,
Jack Tingle

jtingle

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 8:50:17 PM4/2/06
to
On 2 Apr 2006 12:25:31 -0700, "Justin Bacon" <tria...@aol.com>
wrote:

You might be like me and like Paladin _better_. That seems to be a
minority view, but I found _Chalion_ a little ... um, twee? No, not
exactly, but it lacked a certain bite. _Paladin_ was properly
seasoned.

Regards,
Jack Tingle

Craig Richardson

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 8:45:43 PM4/2/06
to
On 2 Apr 2006 09:36:13 -0700, "Dr. Dave" <dt...@ida.org> wrote:

>Mike Schilling wrote:
>> "Dr. Dave" <dt...@ida.org> wrote in message
>> news:1143983962.7...@t31g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>> >
>> > I found [Paladin of Souls] to be a mild let-down after the first, but it
>> > has improved tremendously on re-reading. Still not as good as _TCoC_,
>> > but then what is?
>
>> Mirror Dance, A Civil Campaign, ...
>
>I know there are people who feel that way, but I don't grok why.
>_Mirror Dance_ is a fine book; _A Civil Campaign_ is a
>sometimes-brilliant sometimes-annoying dimidiaton[1], quite enjoyable
>overall, especially on rereading (when you can skip the annoying
>parts). _Komarr_ is outstanding; _Memory_ is excellent. But none of
>them even approaches (to me) the near-perfection of _The Curse of
>Chalion_, which I fully expect to show up on everyone's "top 5 all-time
>works of fantasy" 50 years from now.

I'm much in sympathy with the Doctor, here. But I would put _Memory_
and _Komarr_ in the region of _Chalion_ - I can't separate the fact
that they're the sharp head at the end of a long spear. _Chalion_, as
an individual work, is a classic, though.

Dr. Dave

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 9:29:29 PM4/2/06
to
jtingle wrote:
> On 2 Apr 2006 12:25:31 -0700, "Justin Bacon" <tria...@aol.com>
> wrote:
>
> >Dr. Dave wrote:
> >> I know there are people who feel that way, but I don't grok why.
> >> _Mirror Dance_ is a fine book; _A Civil Campaign_ is a
> >> sometimes-brilliant sometimes-annoying dimidiaton[1], quite enjoyable
> >> overall, especially on rereading (when you can skip the annoying
> >> parts). _Komarr_ is outstanding; _Memory_ is excellent. But none of
> >> them even approaches (to me) the near-perfection of _The Curse of
> >> Chalion_, which I fully expect to show up on everyone's "top 5 all-time
> >> works of fantasy" 50 years from now.
> >>
> >> De gustibus, etc.
> >
> >Most definitely in this case. I liked CURSE OF CHALION, but found it to
> >be nothing more than a rather interesting fantasy. [...]

> You might be like me and like Paladin _better_. That seems to be a
> minority view, but I found _Chalion_ a little ... um, twee? No, not
> exactly, but it lacked a certain bite. _Paladin_ was properly
> seasoned.

Part of what makes Chalion stand out for me is that it is, as best I
can tell, the only "protagonist has been Chosen By the Gods and Has a
Destiny to Fulfill the Prophecy" book that *works*[1], that is set up
and told in a manner that allows the protagonist to retain his free
will and the Destiny to be real. That accomplishment, on top of a
rip-roaring tale and the usual great prose and characters, is why I
think it's a classic. If that aspect of it didn't work so well for
you[2], I can see not rating it nearly as highly as I do.

David Tate

[1] Lawrence Watt-Evans's _Touched by the Gods_ isn't bad, but it
avoids the whole Destiny-with-a-capital-D thing.

[2] Something like the way the main plot devices of _Use of Weapons_
don't work nearly as well for me as they do for many people in this
group.

Tim McDaniel

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 9:41:14 PM4/2/06
to
In article <3kkv22d6advt911k1...@4ax.com>,

jtingle <jti...@email.com> wrote:
>depending on how the vampire humper thing works.

*amused snort* I like that too.

Wasn't "vampire layer" used on _Buffy the Vampire Slayer_?
If so, I can't find it in the transcripts.

Gene Ward Smith

unread,
Apr 2, 2006, 9:57:58 PM4/2/06