Jan. 9, 2006, 3:12 a.m. CST
Because much of the characteristics sound scarily similar - just transposed to reimagine an historical period with fantasy added - which isn't that unique either (Strange and Norrell last year being the most recent big one probably).
Jan. 9, 2006, 4 a.m. CST
okay... I get why is this is sort of addictive for us idiots.
Jan. 9, 2006, 4:18 a.m. CST
Quint, you should read "The Time Machine Did It" by John Swartzwelder
Jan. 9, 2006, 5:29 a.m. CST
by Lezbo Milk
It would be a fantastic idea. Book reviews from a nerd/geek/psycho nutjob angle. I love it. Sci-fi/Fantasy/Horror (sorry all you Jackie Collins fans) would fit the bill nicely. I mean really, does anyone at Barnes and Noble have half the clue that we partakers of AICN have on the genre?
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:13 a.m. CST
there is a massive dragon glut in the fantasy genre in general too, and when i saw the headline for this i went "oh no, not ANOTHER dragon-based fantasy series." and even though Quint was giving it his best, the description leaves me less than flat. been there, done that, and then some. want some truly original fantasy to read by a world-class author? try the latest from Stephen R Donaldson, Runes of the Earth. its the first book of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:16 a.m. CST
If you really want some really good high concept magical steampunking, go for Gregory Keyes' Age of Unreason series. What if Sir Isaac Newton discovered magic? And what if Ben Franklin got his hands on this new 'science'? The series is pretty darn epic (involves all the big players in the 18th century), involves supernatural beings (don't wanna spoil it), and has some pretty darn good twists. And who wouldn't want to see Franklin running around kicking ass?
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:26 a.m. CST
but this sounds alot like Eragon, with the dragons choosing their masters from the eggs etc just set in this world instead of a fantasy one
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:37 a.m. CST
Cuz they rule. A little warning, the beginning of the first book seems a little too "familiar," but that was done on purpose to ease people into it. Give it a shot, the first book is great, but the second is even better.
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:48 a.m. CST
it just starts getting a little long winded after book 8
Jan. 9, 2006, 7:29 a.m. CST
...a series I find hugely enjoyable is William R Forstchen's Lost Regiment. It takes place on a planet where sizeable numbers of humans have been transported throughout the centuries through bizarre and periodic wormholes. As a result, you have human societies consisting of, among others, Romans, medieval Russians, 17th Century Chinese etc. The dominant species on the planet, however, is a race of 8-foot tall, flesh-eating, sword-wielding aliens on horseback who migrate across the globe in massive hordes. At each human settlement they stop, a tribute of human flesh is demanded to prevent the aliens from wiping them out forever. Humans are essentially cattle. This all changes when the latest group of humans arrive: a shipload of Union troops from the American Civil War. After befriending a Russian community, the Americans set about manufacturing modern weapons of war and training a human army to defy the alien horde set to arrive a mere two years in the future. It's colossal numbers of alien cannibal giants with swords and bows against a few humans with 19th Century weapons and tactics. Like I said, not the most well-written books in the genre, but very much a pleasure to read -- not least of all the battle scenes which are fantastic. A movie based on this would have the potential to own some serious ass. You KNOW you want to see a Yankee bayonet charge against homicidal, blood-thirsty, alien monsters on clydesdales. Last I heard, Cruise/Wagner had the rights but had decided to pass on it.
Jan. 9, 2006, 7:38 a.m. CST
reviewing books? personally, i think reviewing scifi and fantasy books fits in pretty well with the general geekness of AICN. but here's a suggestion: get someone who knows something about fantasy books, not a guy whose only experience with modern fantasy writing is stephen fucking king. quint might be a competent film reviewer, but his book reviewing sucks.
Jan. 9, 2006, 7:42 a.m. CST
would AICN ever give so much space to a film review of, say, an unknown SF movie by someone who admitted upfront that they "weren't really into SF"? just curious.
Jan. 9, 2006, 8:12 a.m. CST
Ever occur to you that maybe the book actually is as good as he says? I mean, imagine if, when the first Harry Potter book came out, Quint had written, "Listen, I don't generally review books, especially not ones about boy wizards learning magic and riding broomsticks, but this one's something special, I couldn't put it down, and you might like it, too." Would you have bitched about how he's wasting valuable space writing about this unknown Rowling person's unknown fantasy book? Probably. But would you have been right to? Probably not. If Quint says this unknown author's unknown book blew him away, I'm glad to know it. Maybe it'll blow me away too.
Jan. 9, 2006, 9:06 a.m. CST
I felt sorry for, was it McCaffery, when Eragon came out a I believe she had that concept nicely laid down already. And now we have another take. I know people say it's not the concepts, but how you present them, but some base originality would be nice. You could say the history angle adds originality, but it sounds a bit shoehorned to me. I mean c'mon dragons in the Napoleonic Wars? Next thing you'll be saying there were Wizards.....Oh wait...The only books that used the concept I can actually comment on were from Weiss and Hickman; Dragons of Autumn Twilight and all that. I remember there was a knight called Sturm and they had these fabled Dragonlances. Now that series would make a great set of films.
Jan. 9, 2006, 9:28 a.m. CST
Think this idea was about to go into motion about 10 yrs ago but the studios wanted to pretty much completly change the story and characters so Weiss and Hickman refused to give over the rights. Would admit that if done right this would make a great trilogy of films
Jan. 9, 2006, 10:22 a.m. CST
then what would be the point of reading reviews, dumbass? i don't visit AICN to get the opinion of a bunch of n00bs, just like i don't read car reviews by people who don't drive. i read AICN reviews because they're written by people who - whether i agree with them or not - watch an awful lot of movies. and if someone who - by his own admission doesn't read any modern fantasy except stephen king - tells me that this other fantasy book is really cool, then his review is pretty much a waste of my time. if i had to read every book myself just to see whether i agreed with the critic or not, then it would kinda defeat the point of using reviews in the first place. the next time you feel like responding, grow a brain first.
Jan. 9, 2006, 10:39 a.m. CST
Real Philip Pullman's novels. Trust me.
Jan. 9, 2006, 10:41 a.m. CST
by Smilin'Jack Ruby
Crazy brilliant series, really. Enjoyed the hell out of it.
Jan. 9, 2006, noon CST
if you read 'The Northern Lights' by Philip Pullman, don't read 'the Amber Spyglass' - it's shit.
Jan. 9, 2006, 12:07 p.m. CST
any news on the Golden Compass films? As long as they aren't nuetered, those would be absolutely amazing films.
Jan. 9, 2006, 12:59 p.m. CST
Great job, Quint, you got fooled by another hack. Harry Turtledove, a much better hack, wrote The Darkness series that speculated on the history of WWII fought with magic, dragons, and other strange creatures. The best fantasy RIGHT NOW is A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. He's no fuckin' hack.
Jan. 9, 2006, 1:32 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2006, 2:01 p.m. CST
nice to see i'm not the only one who latched on to the pern similarities.
Jan. 9, 2006, 2:20 p.m. CST
...are swiftly becoming the vampires of fantasy fiction, much like vampires became the Star Trek of horror about 15 years ago. Why not combine them in the ultimate genre crossover? A moody, goth vampire whose soul has been bound to that of an ancient, noble reptile that breathes fire. They could then pilot a Starfleet vessel together and send the hearts of a million female renaissance fair freaks into overdrive. Think of the fan fiction! The cosplay! The filking!
Jan. 9, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST
Jan. 9, 2006, 2:35 p.m. CST
Can't remember the names of all of them, but I think the main title was Books of the New Sun. Great story, and a real mix of genres.
Jan. 9, 2006, 3:16 p.m. CST
Forget this crap he's talking about. Go read A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, start the series, and then you'll see. He's the truth. The only shit worth reading in the genre. Hands down.
Jan. 9, 2006, 3:46 p.m. CST
They will blow your mind. Sex, violence, high concept sci-fi, throw in some horror...and unbelievable action. Totally mind bending stuff, I can't recommend the author enough.
Jan. 9, 2006, 3:47 p.m. CST
They need no explaination.
Jan. 9, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST
This series started of so stellar I could hardly contain myself...by book six the dialog had become so tedious, the plot so convoluted I can't stand to continue the series. I mean, a guy can only stand stuff like: "Elaine huffed as she pulled her braid and gave the everyone a stare like steel" about 999 times before he goes mad.
Jan. 9, 2006, 3:58 p.m. CST
His Dark Materials, is a great fantasy read. His stuff is oringinal and not a giagantic cliche. Refreshing in a world of "Boy meets dragon, boy finds elvin forged sword, boy is train by sage like mentor, mentor dies, boy conquers evil super powerful mage dictator, peace prevails, boy and dragon live happily ever after...all in a three book set of course.
Jan. 9, 2006, 4:13 p.m. CST
'the northern lights' was a great fantasy book. the second in the 'dark materials' trilogy was so-so. the third was crud from start to finish. as trilogies go, it makes 'matrix revolutions' seem like 'return of the king'.
Jan. 9, 2006, 4:14 p.m. CST
thats the title of the first book in the series, if memory serves. very cool, but very complex and cerebral series. i mean, it is written in the first person, but since the main character has another personality within him due to a cannibilistic ritual halfway through the first book, reading it can get a little confusing at times because it isn't always clear just which first-person personality is talking. still, i agree with your recommendation. good stuff to be sure. just don't read it on acid or you may never come back to this reality, lol.
Jan. 9, 2006, 6:59 p.m. CST
by Everett Robert
...about Eargon and Trurtledove when i read this concept. As far as tedious fantasy books go, I loved the Alvin Maker series at the beginnng then about 1/2 though book 4 or 5 I releized it was a "Mormon" Narnia...but that didn't even really bother me but it was just tedious...I think card could have finished that series in about 3 or 4 books...
Jan. 10, 2006, 12:01 a.m. CST
John Varley's Gaea trilogy includes the sex, violence, high concept sci-fi, horror, and everything else. Question the existance of gods? In there. Interspecies relationships? In there. It's one mindf*ck after another.*** Or if you want less Gilliam or more 2001, try David Brin's Uplift Saga. Epic, epic, epic. You think humanity is a messed up race, you should see our neighbors.
Jan. 10, 2006, 12:52 a.m. CST
I'm not big on fantasy anymore. But that series is fantastic.
Jan. 10, 2006, 3:23 a.m. CST
by Hot Carl
The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. All I can say is...holy shit! I must agree with Nerdgasm, they blew me away. World building on an epic scale: sci-fi/horror/action. Those books were the total package. Those books would make a movie trilogy that would make the Matrix look like an afternoon at Sunday School. I don't think it could ever be done (would be much more difficult to do than LOTR for instance)...but someday maybe? The mind boggles.
Jan. 10, 2006, 3:46 a.m. CST
by Lezbo Milk
Love anything she writes, check her out you won't regret it.
Jan. 10, 2006, 4:03 a.m. CST
I'm with you on Brin's Uplift saga. While reading Startide Rising I was utterly stunned by the vast scope of what a galaxy-wide civilization billions of years old would entail. That was the first time SF actually provoked a feeling in me which approached vertigo. Absolutely mind-boggling. And yes, the Galactics are seriously fucked up.
Jan. 10, 2006, 4:51 a.m. CST
by Wyrdy the Gerbil
"Temeraire began for me with an era,the Age of Sail and the Napoleonic wars:I wanted to write in this monumental time period and experiment with the contrast between the world shaping events taking place,against the backdrop of every day life,one of the greatest pleasures of speculative fiction is to ask what if...what if there were Dragons" and yes she was influenced by the Pern stories the Hobbit and Earthsea and their various themes about Dragons
Jan. 10, 2006, 5:03 a.m. CST
by Wyrdy the Gerbil
Night's Dawn Trilogy now your talking.. bring it on and while we`re at it lets have Stephen donaldsons Gap books.. Martins ASOIAF.. Brin's Uplift saga..Alastair Reynolds Inhibitor series..Iain M Banks Culture im game for them
Jan. 10, 2006, 7:53 a.m. CST
Yes, Shadow of the Torturer is the one. I'm on the second collection at the moment, and struggling a little with Wolfe's compression at the end. Other good books to pick up are Hyperion (the Shrike would be one of the great cinematic characters), Ilium, Forever War..
Jan. 10, 2006, 7:59 a.m. CST
would get an NC-17 rating as movies if they kept everything thats in the books. some great character work too. it would be so cool to see Angus Thermopyle realized on-screen. hhmm, as much as so many people despise Jack Black, he certainly looks the part to a T, and would be a chance for him to play someone who is a real low down sonofabitch, at least to start the series. Angus is the ultimate anti-hero, makes Vin Diesel's character in Pitch Black look like a girl scout.
Jan. 10, 2006, 8:02 a.m. CST
Jan. 10, 2006, 10:33 a.m. CST
Pick up the first book in the series, A Game of Thrones. If if it dosn't grab you by the balls right away then there is something wrong with you. There are no good guys, no archetypes, no "main" characters, and if you let yourself get attached to any one character too much chances are they are going to die a terrible, horrific death.
Jan. 10, 2006, 11:25 a.m. CST
by Henry Jones Jr.
Check out her picture: http://www.cs.columbia.edu/mice/persons/showPerson.php?personID=1506&base=%2Fmice%2Fpersons%2F& She needs to trim those eyebrows, but I'd still let her ride my dragon.
Jan. 10, 2006, 11:50 a.m. CST
..you have GOT to get out more often dude.
Jan. 10, 2006, 3:51 p.m. CST
Best series in sci-fi. First novel Hyperion second best only to Dune.
"First novel Hyperion second best only to Dune." Brain explodes.
Jan. 12, 2006, 6:35 p.m. CST
by Orbots Commander
Jan. 13, 2006, 6:18 a.m. CST
you MUST read those books, trust me
Jan. 13, 2006, 4:49 p.m. CST
Those looking for book reviews of books that AICN readers (like myself) might enjoy could try my website, The Agony Column at trashotron.com -- follow the link to nowhere. FWIW, the podcast of my author interviews which include Chuck Palahniuk, TC Boyle, Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, James Barclay, Richard Morgan and others is now in the New & Notable section of iTunes. I'd second Quint's suggestion of this series for those who enjoyed Strange & Norrell (I have an interview with Susanna Clarke in the podcast as well) and the Patrick O'Brian novels. My slightly obscire suggestion for this thread would be James Barclay.
Jan. 15, 2006, 2:52 p.m. CST
Update the damn site!
Jan. 16, 2006, 9:15 a.m. CST
I don't read a lot of fantasy, haven't read these dragon series mentioned above, but I have been reading Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series, and I believe it transcends the fantasy genre much like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Massive cast of characters, all with complete and distinctly different personalities. Fully realized world that they all exist in. Plot follows from characters' personalities, characters are affected and changed by what happens to them. Very mature writing. Not pulp. If thinking about what you're reading appeals to you, if you're looking for a complex story involving complex characters, if you're not afraid of a little darkness in your characters or in their fates, then you gotta read this.
Jan. 19, 2006, 11:20 p.m. CST
by The Continental
Fantasy as a genre can be divided into two periods of time, pre A Game of Thrones, and post A Game of Thrones. Martin's series has changed the landscape of the genre in its entirety. Do yourself a favor and pick it up immediately.
Feb. 21, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST
I'm reading the 3rd book in this book series at the moment and it looks like there's a 4th(at least) on the way. For skeptics of this series; I've read a lot of dragon books and so I have to say this series has a unique flare to it. It's not like Eragon or the Pern books due to it's setting and the fact that dragons have crews. Anyway, the first book is now becoming a movie and being done by the drirector of the LOTR movies so you know it'll be true to the book and good.