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best sci-fi/fantasy series ever? NOT LOTR!!!

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best sci-fi/fantasy series ever? NOT LOTR!!!

Old 06-03-04, 09:46 PM
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I really liked Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Series:

Cordelia's Honor
The Warrior's Apprentice
The Vor Game
Brother's in Arms
Borders of Infinity (short stories that fit in somewhere)
Mirror Dance
Memory
Komarr
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity

And Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis trilogy:

Dawn
Adult Rites
Imago
Old 06-04-04, 01:06 PM
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Fun stuff:

World of Tiers - Philip Jose Farmer
Spellsinger - Alan Dean Foster
Flynx and Pip/Commonwealth - Alan Dean Foster
Old 06-04-04, 01:08 PM
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Landover series by Terry Brooks is also good.
Old 06-04-04, 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by marka351
I recomend "A Song of Fire and Ice" series by George R.R. Martin
This is the best I have read so far. And it is better than others by far (including LoTR).
Old 06-05-04, 01:24 AM
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I just started Speaker for the Dead, and I think I can already agree that the Ender's Game series by Orson Scott Card is one of the best, esp. if you are like the philisophical side of things.

I'd also agree with those who mentioned Feist, Martin, Williams, Jordan, and Goodkind. A lot of the comments were dead on IMHO. Goodkind is hit and miss. Feist was good, but I barely remember it.

Since this was supposed to be about the best ever, I'd say the first 4-5 books of Jordan's stuff are the best, but I wish he would have stopped shortly thereafter.

The only major series I've read that haven't been mentioned previously was Katherine Kerr's Deverry series, and the Drizzt stuff by Salvatore. I thoroughly enjoyed them both.
Old 06-06-04, 11:06 AM
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Another vote for Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. However, The Wolves of Calla was kind of a letdown.

dettam
Old 06-07-04, 03:51 PM
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Originally posted by resinrats
I enjoyed the Tripods trilogy. "White Mountains", "City of Gold and Lead" & "Pool of Fire". Have read them multiple times since I was around 10. Would love to see them adapted to film.
I think Spielberg has repeatedly expressed interest in doing a Tripod movie. Not sure what exactly is happening on that front but I wouldn't be surprised if he did one in a few years.
Old 06-10-04, 02:24 PM
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I've always been partial to Michael Moorcock's Elric saga. It's very dark and unconventional. It's often overloocked which is a shame.
Old 06-13-04, 12:52 PM
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A Song of Ice and Fire, by far. I have also read all of the Farseer books by Robin Hobb and they are completely engaging
Old 06-16-04, 05:48 PM
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Donaldson's Covenant Series...Brooks Shannara Series...Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Storm...
Old 06-17-04, 07:52 AM
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Raymond Feist - The Riftwar Novels(Magician Apprentice, Magician Master, Silverthorn, and Darkeness at Sethanon)
Isaac Asimov- The Robot Novels (Caves Of Steel, Naked Sun, RObots of Dawn, and Robots and Empire)
Old 06-17-04, 03:33 PM
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Not sure about best ever, but I've really enjoyed Isaac Asimov's Empire, Robot, Foundation series
Spoiler:
since it's really all just one series in the end
and the Ender series.
Old 06-18-04, 12:32 PM
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Hmm...I'm going to have to branch out a bit. I started out liking Terry Goodkind a lot. Really loved the first three books. Liked the fourth one. And it was pretty much downhill from there. He seems to be suffering from Robert Jordan syndrome, in that all this ancillary bullshit keeps popping up that has little to do with the characters we really want to read about.

Speaking of Jordan, I totally agree with whomever said that nothing happened in the last book. We've had two books and only one major thing has happened between them. It's driving me crazy!

The Dragonlance novels are definitely hit or miss as well. There are six that I would consider outstanding: the Chronicles series (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawning) and the other set I can't remember the name of (Legends, maybe?) but the books are about the twins, mainly. Time of the Twins, War of the Twins, Test of the Twins. Something like that. Great stuff, IMHO.

The Dark Tower has to be my favorite fantasy series. I really wasn't sure about things at the end of Wolves of the Calla, but I liked Song of Susannah a lot and can't wait for the last book. I also can't believe that it's been like 15 years since I read the Gunslinger! Longest...series...ever. But worth the wait, IMO.

X
Old 06-19-04, 02:37 AM
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Just throwing in another BIG recommendation for Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy (but absorb the three Ship books in the middle before moving to Tawny Man). I would say they have become my favorite books at this point.

I personally have enjoyed Raymond Feist's riftwar novels (Especially Magician). The Empire trilogy co-authored with Janny Wurts is, and has remained, one of my absolute favorite trilogies ever. Think fantasy in a sort-of-Japanese-style Feudal empire. Great stuff..


Also, the Weis & Hickman Dragonlance novels are great (no promises for any of the other ones). They aren't LOTR ripoffs at all - the storyline is in NO way similiar. The story, although appearing to be typical, D&D derived fantasy, is really about the characters. Nothing like a good falling-into-darkness character story

Now, if you want to label something a LOTR ripoff, Terry Brooks' Sword of Shanarra - although I like Terry Brooks' stuff, Sword (his first novel) does share an awful lot of similiarities with LOTR.
Ditto with the [decent until book 6 or so], overrated Jordan books.


If you haven't ever read them, David Eddings's Belgariad & Mallorean is a good read - good fantasy with a sense of humor. Not "best", but a worthy read.

RA Salvatore's Dark Elf books are a good read. A favorite of mine, with some predictable tendencies, but good.

Last edited by GreenMonkey; 06-19-04 at 02:46 AM.
Old 06-21-04, 12:50 AM
  #40  
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The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

Originally published as four books:
The Shadow of the Torturer
The Claw of the Conciliator
The Sword of the Lictor
The Citadel of the Autarch

They are now collected as two:
Shadow and Claw
Sword and Citadel

Wolfe tells a great tale, but BotNS is really set apart by it's prose. It's a pretty simple thing to tell a reader what's happeneing, but it's quite another thing to make them feel it. The Book of the New Sun takes place so far in the future, that the sun is now a red giant and on the verge of dying. While reading it, the reader really gets a feeling of how timeworn the planet is. The very soil of Earth is decaying:

"I have no way of knowing how old those tunnels are. I suspect, though I can hardly say why, that they antedate the Citadel above them, ancient though it is. It comes to us from the very end of the age when the urge to flight, the outward urge that sought new suns not ours, remained, though the means to achieve that flight were sinking like dying fires. Remote as that time is, from which hardly one name is recalled, we still remember it. Before there must have been another time, a time of burrowing, of the creation of dark galleries, that is now utterly forgotten."

Last edited by Dr. Mantle; 06-25-04 at 02:45 PM.
Old 06-21-04, 02:52 AM
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Put down another vote for the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. I sure hope Martin finishes it in a timely manner. It's unpredictable, realistic, and gritty, major characters die, there are "bad guys" that you fall in love with, every character develops quite a bit of complexity and depth... there are no one dimensional bad guys (or good guys) in this series. It's very mature and graphic as well.

Brian
Old 06-23-04, 12:38 PM
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Dune
Austin
Old 06-23-04, 03:12 PM
  #43  
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A lot of good recommendations so far:

Song of Ice and Fire is absolutely phenomenal. Hands down, the best fantasy I've ever read.

Robin Hobb is decent. In some ways, she's more depressing than George R.R. Martin, and the books drag sometimes. In the end, though, they are worth the read.

Tad Williams is very dense. It takes a lot of work to get through his stuff, but I enjoyed both of the series I've read from him -- Otherland and Memory, Sorrow & Thorn. His latest work, The War of Flowers, is just a single book, but it's a big book -- it's sitting on my shelf, but I'm still working my way through Erikson

Steven Erikson wrote The Malazan Book of the Dead. Another extremely dense and confusing book, but I'm enjoying it. I think he's written about 5 volumes, but only the first is available in the U.S.

Terry Goodkind sucks. Big time. Stay very far away. His first book includes a 100 page sequence where the main character gets kidnapped and tortured with S&M sex games that is thoroughly superfluous to the plot. There's also a sequence in which the people of the hero's home village outlaw fire. Yes, you read that right. Stay away from these books.

Robert Jordan was great once. While I disagree that nothing happens after Book 6, it's clear that the best books are the first 6, and the subsequent books do not live up to their potential.

Dragonlance is good. The Chronicles (the first Trilogy) is somewhat derrivative of Tolkien, but has some orriginality. The second trilogy (Legends) focuses on a few of the characters from the original trilogy, and is also spectacular. After that, it became a cash cow for TSR, and the quality becomes very hit and miss.

Others I'd recommend: Guy Gavriel Kay. He initially wrote a trilogy called The Fionavar Tapestry, which was a warmed over LotR/King Arthur story. OK, but nothing great. His next books, Tigana and A Song for Arbonne were more original, though they drew a lot on European history. Finally, his most recent books -- The Lions of Al-Rassan, The Sarantine Mosaic, and Last Light of the Sun -- are blatant rip offs of European history (the legend of El Cid, Justinian's Byzantine Empire, and pre-Norman England, respectively), but they are beautifully written and absolutely worth reading.

Neil Gaiman is best known for his Sandman comics, but his prose is also very good. I recommend American Gods and Stardust.

Del Rey is re-releasing the works of Robert E. Howard. There's a COnan volume out, and a Solomon Kane volume is either forthcoming or recently released. You can't go wrong with the classics.
Old 06-24-04, 03:36 AM
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Originally posted by JasonF
Terry Goodkind sucks. Big time. Stay very far away. His first book includes a 100 page sequence where the main character gets kidnapped and tortured with S&M sex games that is thoroughly superfluous to the plot.
Man, that was my favorite part of the series.


Everyone's already mentioned most of my favorites: Hobb, Martin and Wolfe.

An author that hasn't been mentioned is Glen Cook, who wrote the Black Company novels, which follows a band of professional mercenaries who are not what you would call the Good Guys. Somewhat dark stuff, but he does have a good sense of humor.
Old 06-25-04, 02:00 AM
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The Discworld books by Terry Pratchett
If you loved Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, you'll love Discworld.

The Stainless Steel Rat books by Harry Harrison
The later books lack the fun, but the early ones are da bomb.
Old 06-25-04, 10:09 PM
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Originally posted by Kal-El
My personal favorite of All Time has always been and probably will always be the Dragonlance Saga by Weis & Hickman.
Yay! These are my favorites! I'm reading them again actually. I just follow the seven core books. The chronicles (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Winter Night, and Spring Dawning), the Legend series (Time of the Twins, War of the Twins, and Test of the Twins) and Dragons of Summer Flame. I never get tired of these books!
Old 06-25-04, 10:23 PM
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I would recommend:

The Song of Ice and Fire by Goerge R.R. Martin my favorite series

A Tale of the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson second favorite series, might be my favorite soon if Martin doesn't hurry up.

The Dark Tower series great stuff
Old 06-25-04, 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by LilyLilyRose
Yay! These are my favorites! I'm reading them again actually. I just follow the seven core books. The chronicles (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Winter Night, and Spring Dawning), the Legend series (Time of the Twins, War of the Twins, and Test of the Twins) and Dragons of Summer Flame. I never get tired of these books!
Yeah, those are the only ones I ever bothered reading, too. I might have to re-read that series again soon... it's been 8 or 9 years. Don't they have a new trilogy out now that takes place after Summer Flame?
Old 06-25-04, 11:41 PM
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I love these:

Dragonlance by Weis & Hickman (Legend of Huma is great also)
Song of Ice and Fire (just started but loving it)
Wheel of Time (on book 3)

Will read:

Robin Hobb's books
The Dark Tower
Old 06-26-04, 02:52 AM
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Originally posted by Tom Banjo
Yeah, those are the only ones I ever bothered reading, too. I might have to re-read that series again soon... it's been 8 or 9 years. Don't they have a new trilogy out now that takes place after Summer Flame?
The new trilogy (War of Souls) takes place after all the fifth age stuff, which was what Summer originally set up. Many fans felt fifth age ruined DL, both as a book series and game world. Sine they were planning to rerelease DL into the gaming world with the new DnD rules, the War of Souls books kind of takes the world back more to its roots.

As for the books themselves, they are OK, good and bad parts here and there.

Originally posted by mgbfan
Okay, we really do need to stop and look at the title of this thread. Best ever ... how on God's good Earth are the freakin Dragonlance novels even getting a passing mention? I liked them as a teen, just like everybody else, but people ... these books do not hold up.

In five years, are we going to have to hear that Harry Potter is one of the best ever because the kids that read them and loved them never realized that they're nothing but slickly packaged cliche? The Dragonlance novels fill a role, a niche in the market, but they are entirely derivitave, overwrought, unoriginal, and do not hold up for the adult reader.
And everyone is entitled to their opinion. Books, like movies, music, and anything else, mean different things to different people. Whether it is purely for entertainment, or because a book strikes a cord with us, we will all have our own opinions as to what is the "best" (for us). For some it will be sci-fi, others will argue for "pure science fiction" and more still will stick with fantasy. Different strokes ...

That said, currently I'd say my favorite is the Dark Tower books.

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