Genre: Fantasy

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Brendan

Genre: Fantasy

Post by Brendan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 5:49 am

Just thought I’d start some threads on favourites we may have in various genres. Typical of me, I do a few good reviews and include on I think a stinker, however popular.

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
What can one say? Too little or too much, and nothing of consequence compared to the many words spilled already. Loved it as a lad and still do today. Transports me as no other work ever has. I also enjoyed The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, but nothing else has quite the effect of LOTR.

So which are the two towers anyway?

The Black Company, The Dread Empire – Glen Cook
The first two fantasy trilogies by Glen Cook were unlike anything seen before or since. I dislike all the additional volumes subsequent to them, but the original sets remain my favourite fantasy works apart from Tolkien. The Swordbeaer and the Darkwar books are also excellent, and the Garrett novels worth a quick read.

Conan the Barbarian – Robert E Howard
The original Conan stories, published in Weird Tales, they were as much horror as fantasy (like Lovecraft) – but are just brilliant. Economy and effect of language are striking with Howard’s pen, the stories coming alive off the page with urgency.

Time and the Gods – Lord Dunsany
A collection of Dunsany’s works, they remain unique. An epic tale in four pages? I am in awe. His longer works are also magnificent, The King of Elfland’s Daughter a particular favourite.

Tales of the Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erikson and Ian C Esslemont
Just the worst novels I think I have ever read in my life. So bad they were funny, until tedium set in. Why assemble massive armies of people simply to be slaughtered every time but some weird magic or whim of the gods? Seems an expensive waste of time to me, in every way.

IcedNote
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Re: Genre: Fantasy

Post by IcedNote » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:15 am

Back when I was in 5th grade or something I read Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragonlance Chronicles Triology (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning). I really, really liked those but never got into any other fantasy...until...

George R R Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows). I was/am totally blown away. The series is absolutely massive in both sheer size of the world and number of characters, yet each story is fantastically engaging. Too bad we've been waiting for the fifth book (A Dance with Dragons) for over 3 years now.

-G
Harakiried composer reincarnated as a nonprofit development guy.

Brendan

Re: Genre: Fantasy

Post by Brendan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:01 pm

I've just started A Game of Thrones, but am already wary at this point. The Lannisters seem such comic bad guys and girls, the Starks ever so noble and nice you know they are going to be betrayed and all manner of tragedy befall them. King Robert ain't long for the story, and his buddy Ned better look out.

Also, I just don't enjoy the modern "screenplay-style" of writing: create one scene, build to dramatic point - CUT! - next well-drawn scene elsewhere, build to dramatic point - CUT! - etc etc. The narrative flow of epic and heroic fantasy that I learned to enjoy in a bygone era has a different pace and feel to the modern works I've tried. Paid off for Mr Martin, though - the reason I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire is the up-coming HBO series.

BWV 1080
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Re: Genre: Fantasy

Post by BWV 1080 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:12 pm

Brendan wrote:I've just started A Game of Thrones, but am already wary at this point. The Lannisters seem such comic bad guys and girls, the Starks ever so noble and nice you know they are going to be betrayed and all manner of tragedy befall them. King Robert ain't long for the story, and his buddy Ned better look out.

Also, I just don't enjoy the modern "screenplay-style" of writing: create one scene, build to dramatic point - CUT! - next well-drawn scene elsewhere, build to dramatic point - CUT! - etc etc. The narrative flow of epic and heroic fantasy that I learned to enjoy in a bygone era has a different pace and feel to the modern works I've tried. Paid off for Mr Martin, though - the reason I'm reading A Song of Ice and Fire is the up-coming HBO series.
the second book is where the series gets good and breaks away from the genre conventions - think war of the roses as the model

btw the two towers are sauron's and saruman's (i forget the names)

Brendan

Re: Genre: Fantasy

Post by Brendan » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:17 pm

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Two_Towers:

Tolkien wrote, "The Two Towers gets as near as possible to finding a title to cover the widely divergent Books 3 & 4; and can be left ambiguous." At this stage he planned to title the individual books. The proposed title for Book III was The Treason of Isengard. Book IV was titled The Journey of the Ringbearers or The Ring Goes East. The titles The Treason of Isengard and The Ring Goes East were used in the Millenium edition.

A note at the end of The Fellowship of the Ring and Tolkien's final illustration of the towers gives the pair as Minas Morgul and Orthanc. However, in a letter to Rayner Unwin, Tolkien instead gives Orthanc and the Tower of Cirith Ungol, but felt such an identification was misleading due to the opposition between Barad-dûr and Minas Tirith. Loosely, any pair from the set of five towers in the story could fit the title: the tower of Cirith Ungol (Cirith Ungol being a pass), Orthanc, Minas Tirith, Barad-dûr and Minas Morgul.

However ambiguous the title may be in the book, director Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Two Towers designates the title as referring to the towers of Barad-dûr in Mordor and Orthanc in Isengard
.

D
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Re: Genre: Fantasy

Post by D » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:36 pm

I like any fantasy with lots of quick-paced adventure. I'm a quick-paced adventure kinda guy.

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