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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 06-26-04, 11:19 AM
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Everyone's already mentioned most of my favorites: Hobb, Martin and Wolfe.
Yep. That's all you need. Gene Wolfe has been called the best living writer in the English language. Best thing about Gene is that he never releases a book in a series unless they're all done! No waiting years inbetween books.

Some of Guy Gavriel Kay's stuff is good, especially Tigana.
Old 06-28-04, 04:59 PM
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R.A. Salvatore's dark elf series.
Old 06-28-04, 06:40 PM
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Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series (sci-fi)
Old 06-29-04, 07:33 AM
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This is a neat thread and there have been many titles listed here that are really great series. And since my opinion is as good as anyone else's here is a list of my favorites.

"The Song of Ice and Fire" series by George R.R. Martin

The "Shannara" series by Terry Brooks and most anything else he has written.

The "Enders" series by O. S. Card

The "Dark Tower" series by Stephen King one of the best story tellers of all time

The "Earthsea" series by Le Guin

The "Darkover" series by Zimmer-Bradley

And here is one that goes back aways but I've been thinking I need to dig them up again to re-read them:

The "Horse-Clan" series by Robert Adams

Well thats my two cents in this poll.
Old 06-29-04, 11:53 AM
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Originally posted by MScottM

The "Horse-Clan" series by Robert Adams
Good post. Never read Adams ... I'll add it to my list.
Old 06-30-04, 03:45 PM
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Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials Trilogy:
- The Golden Compass
- The Subtle Knife
- The Amber Spyglass


one word: outstanding
Old 07-01-04, 12:11 PM
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Overly presumptious?

<small>
Originally posted by mgbfan
He said "not LOTR," so I presume shameless LOTR rip-offs are also out.
</small>Methinks 'tis time to make this here beastie a "listings-only" thread and split off the contrary opinions/arguments/discussion etc: What *is* "the best"....? [companion thread]
Old 07-03-04, 11:21 AM
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Although not a series and not quite fantasy, more mythology, Juilene Osborne-McKnight books are quite good. They are set in the time of and leading up to St Patrick in Ireland. Definitely, worth a read.
Old 07-05-04, 01:20 AM
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I know I'm in the minority, but I really enjoyed the first Dune "prequel" trilogy (House Atreides/House Harkonnen/House Corrino). I certainly enjoyed them more than any of the Dune sequels by Herbert, although none of them can touch the original novel (still a masterpiece.)

I've always been partial to Asimov. The original Foundation trilogy, while a little silly at times (Golden Age science fiction), still holds up as a masterwork. But my favorite Asimovs have always been his robot short stories (in "I, Robot", "Robot Dreams", "Robot Visions", and elsewhere) as well as the Robot novels. I wasn't a fan of tying the Robot and Foundation universes together, but there you are.

I also enjoyed the first two books of "Hyperion", all the books in the "Ender" series except "Ender's Game" (I think Xenocide and Speaker For The Dead are infinitely superior), some of Pratchett's "Discworld", and Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere" and "American Gods" which, while not part of a series, are two amazingly well-written fantasy novels.

Another nod to "A Song of Fire and Ice", although I haven't finished book two yet. I'm loving everything in it so far. Has anyone mentioned "The Chronicles of Narnia" yet? It's absolute religion to me. What about L'Engle's "Time Quartet"? Definitely worth a mention. And then there's gay porn!
Old 07-05-04, 05:00 AM
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re:

Neat thread. Many many great books mentioned in here.

I would like to add Spiderworld Saga by Colin Wilson.

ohhhh, so many good books, so little time =)
Old 07-13-04, 06:11 AM
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hmm, if it's not too late, I'd like to mention a few books.

I usually like to read for amusement, so it's not as classic for some of the books to follow, but I think they'll be worth some fun at least.

Robert Asprin "Myth" series, mentioned in another thread, but fun and light take on fantasy stereotypes and puns.

Christopher Stashaff "The Warlock in Spite of Himself" series, several other spinoffs, but pretty fun stuff, likes to use alot of word play too, also good with this is "Starship Troupers" -- about a band of actors and their adventures in space.

Spider Robinson "Callahan's Saloon" series, actually more fiction than fantasy, but uses fantasy elements in the stories, they're actually collection of short stories put together, but written pretty good IMO.

Piers Anthony "Bio of a Space Tyrant," "Incarnations of Immortality," "Battle Circle," and the first series of "Robot Adept" series. Different stuff, but bound to be something good in there, and you can find them all cheap at used bookshops or library sales.

Terry Pratchett "Discworld" series, takes a new spin on fantasy, his series are actually divided into many parts, "Nightwatch," "Witches," "Death," and the "Unseen University." Start with Mort and see how that goes if anything, or Small Gods which stands on its own because it's in the others section of the universe within the series.

Micheal W. Gear "Forbidden Borders," I'm hesitant to recommend this becasue of the bad reviews on Amazon, and also because it's been a long time since I've reread the series, but I liked it when I was 14 and 17, so, give it a try I suppose if you can find it cheap.

Hope some of these can help you out, or if you've read them before, sorry for the repeat recommendations. Not really more of the introspective, deep fantasy/sci-fi, but for fun reading type of material.
Old 07-13-04, 06:13 AM
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d'oh, sorry missed the remove opinions items in the posts above. Sorry.
Old 07-13-04, 09:40 AM
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My all-time fave is Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber. They're out in one big volume now, so you don't have to worry about getting them in the right order.
Old 07-14-04, 02:11 PM
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I thoroughly enjoyed the Ender's Game series. The Shadow series is an entertaining read as well.
Old 07-22-04, 12:12 PM
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Both Anne Bishop trilogies are very good. The Black Jewels one I think is better and definitely worth reading.
Old 07-28-04, 11:35 AM
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Once there was a man who created a thread and immediately forgot all about it...

Actually, I just spent an amusing 45 minutes reading this and the companion thread, and I'd like to thank everyone for their suggestions. I was surprised that I forgot to laud Song of Ice and Fire, and that people either haven't read or don't like Kate Elliot.

I've never read any dragonlance books for one good reason:they are written by Weis & Hickman (yup I read the Death Gate Cycle). I'd have to say I generally agree with mgbfan, though. It causes me pain every time someone who never or barely reads the genre calls Harry Potter fantastic. I also remember how much I enjoyed Eddings' Belgariad as a 12 year old, and how little I enjoyed reading it again (or reading the Mallorean, talk about regurgitation) at 25.

The Dark Tower rocks, but that's partially because King has managed to tie it in with nearly every book he's ever written, a luxury most authors don't have before finishing their series.

Tad Williams' Otherland is great. Don't think Memory, Sorrow, & Thorn cut it though.

I'm appreciate the input, but Feist? On a "best of" list? At least there was no mention of L.E. Modesitt or Anne McCaffrey. Then someone would have to die!
Old 07-28-04, 01:07 PM
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Originally posted by atreyue

I'm appreciate the input, but Feist? On a "best of" list? At least there was no mention of L.E. Modesitt or Anne McCaffrey. Then someone would have to die!
Heh - even Pern would beat the snot out of some of what I saw listed here. And that ain't sayin much. Never read Modesitt ... probably never will. Agreed also on Eddings. Another set of books that don't hold up for a mature reader.

Since we seem to be talking mostly fantasy at the moment, what's your opinion on Bradley's Darkover?
Old 07-28-04, 02:07 PM
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Great thread! I'd been meaning to try some new sci-fi authors but didn't know where to start...

I agree that George R.R. Martin's books are hands down the best. I used to feel the same way when Robert Jordan's books first came out but they have totally lost their steam... at least the series will be ending soon!
Old 07-29-04, 12:39 AM
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My top 3 list would go like this
1. George Martin
2. Tad Williams
3. Robert Jordan(only for the first 5 books or so)

I tend to prefer darker books. I have read some great books that have not been mentioned here that I just cannot remember. I wish that publishers would reprint some older books. Several of my favourite fantasy authors are not available anymore. I really would prefer to see some great older stuff reprinted than a stack of David Drake books that will end up in the bargain bin for $1.50 a month after they come out.
Old 07-29-04, 10:51 AM
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I have just finished 2 of Steven Baxter's Manifold books, Space and Time. And now I'm going to start on the 3rd one orgin. Fasicinating Stuff, I haven't read any other books like these.
Old 07-29-04, 01:31 PM
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Adding Darkover to my list right now, mgbfan, thanks!

Nighthawk, if you like dark, there's almost no anti-hero writer better than Stephen R. Donaldson in sci-fi or fantasy.

I tried the Elric Saga, but got tired of all the side (read other incarnations or elric, etc, etc) stories.

And for the record, Terry Goodkind is fantasy's Ayn Rand meets Dr. Laura. Will he every give it a rest? Spring 2010, Wizard's 27th Rule: Stop Making Excuses and Stand Up For Yourself part 3:
Spoilers!!!!!!

Spoiler:
Something is wrong with the magic!!! Richard discovers that the Evil Siamese twins who sometimes have magic and sometimes don't are in fact his half-siblings possessed by the spirits of his dead parents from beyond. Kahlan gets pregnant, miscarries, and betrays Richard in a misguided attempt to save his life. How will Richard deal with the fact that half of the known world is related to him? How is Zedd still alive? Why does Goodkind always let his Message of the Day (which is the same one every day) completely supplant any story he might write?


and Terry Brooks' Shannara series is the most unoriginal ever.
Old 07-29-04, 01:40 PM
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omg, how many books are in that Darkover series? Looks like I'm going to have to pay my library fines...
Old 07-29-04, 01:43 PM
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I've only read a couple, but thought they were well done. Very dark.
Old 07-29-04, 01:55 PM
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I have to second Tad Williams' Otherland series. Don't let the sheer length of the volumes scare you away (4 books, averaging 700-800 pages each), the story really pulls you in and the characters make it one of the best series I have ever read.
Old 07-29-04, 02:25 PM
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then as soon as I can figure out the order of the books and find them, I'll get to reading. I once read a Heinlein (pseudo)series (one of the boooks is called "the Cat Who Walks Through Walls") that I found really enjoyable. Can't remember the name of it, if there was one. For those of you who know what I'm talking about, anything along those lines to recommend?

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