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What is your favourite fiction?

By neilb@uk ·
I have a train journey to and from London every day and I can either stare out of the window, break out the laptop or I can read a book. I read fast and I'm always running out of things to read. I could use the journey "productively" by reading something educational but we are only two cups of tea into the day!

One of the questions I always ask of friends and acquaintances and sometimes of near-strangers is "what's your favourite book?" and down the years this has introduced me to good and bad but mostly good and some incredible stuff.

I'm in the middle of a "sword and sorcery" series by George R.R. Martin (thanks, Lee) but the next ones not due out for months.

I like almost anything - if its good - but I'm quite partial to good "hard" sci-fi and fantasy if it's not too silly. I like series - the more the better if it's good but they do need to have an end!

"Classics" don't work in the morning. I don't like Dickens (heresy!) and Russian novels really need concentration though I did "read" War and Peace. I haven't read much classic American except Hemingway and Steinbeck and I'd like some pointers, there.

Australian and Canadian authors? I don't know a thing about them.

I've enjoyed the light British historical war novel series like Hornblower and Sharpe and I'd like to try some American equivalents.

Some of my recommendations (which nearly all seem to be fantasy or sci-fi):

Lord of the Rings - Tolkein of course
Gormenghast - Mervyn Peake
"Thomas Covenant" and "Gap" series - Stephen Donaldson
Saga of the Exiles - Julian May
Anything by Larry Niven
Anything by Iain Banks (general fiction) or Iain M. Banks (same author, but writing sci-fi)

OK, TR'ers. Where should I go next? I have an Amazon account and I'd like to use it.

Thanks

Neil

p.s Oh, and I absolutely LOVE Terry Pratchett's Discworld series

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God I could keep you on the train for ever

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to What is your favourite fi ...

Hard SF (Best I've ever read)
The Mars Trilogy + Antartica & Martians (5 Books)
Three favourite Authors
Stephen Donaldson
Chronicals Of Thomas Covenant (Trilogy)
2nd Chronicals Of Thomas Covenant (Trilogy)
Mordants Need (Two, and brilluant)
The Gap series (first one of five is a little strange, but after that it just gets better and better)

CJ Cherryh's early merchanter universe novels and the compact series Chanur) are very good.
(something like twenty altogether)

For straight fantasy. Steven Erikson's Mazalan Books of the Fallen are lierally without peer.

Peter F Hamilton's NightsDawn Trilogy should keep you happy.
Greg Bear's Eon/Eternity.

I'm stopping now, if you like any of these I can direct you to others, meanwhile I'm waiting to find out what happens to Tyrion in the next installment of a Song Of Ice & Fire.

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The THIRD Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

by neilb@uk In reply to God I could keep you on t ...

are being written. Book 1 is out already. I don't have it, though, 'cos with really good series, I try to wait until the last before I can buy them all else I always end if with the first in paperback and the last in hardback. I made that mistake with the Gap series! I agree about each "Gap" getting better but they also get thicker!

Peter Hamilton is one of my favourites but I didn't know if he's published in the USA so he wasn't in my list. Dumb, really as the purpose of this thread is to get just that type of recommendation. Pandora's star was just TOO good - I read it within two days of its publication (hardback) - and the finish isn't due for ages and I'm twitching! That's why I can't buy the Thomas Covenant book.

Bear I've read and like.

Cherryh I will look into today (thought it was a typo! LOL) and Erikson. I'll order the first of the Mars Trilogy and one from each of the other two from Amazon and if any are not good then it won't be the first book I've pushed through the letterbox of the Oxfam shop half read.

Thanks, Tony.

Neil

Not only Tyrion! FINISH THE BLOODY SERIES!

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George is barking mad

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to The THIRD Chronicles of T ...

Daresay Tyrion's going to die horrible death in chapter one. The rate he kill's his characters off is unreal.
I know what you mean about waiting. I read Mordant's Need in one sitting, and was almost in physical pain, when I realised how long I'd have to wait for the second installment.
The Erikson one I picked up because the recommendation was from Stephen Donaldson.
I'm a bibliomaniac, it runs in the family, The second hand book sellers at the local market rub their hands with glee every time I get near the place.
Pandora's star was good, much better than that Fallen Dragon Crap.
Oh nearly forgot, Cherryh's Naked Sun Trilogy, her aliens are just brilliant, especially when some of them are human which is the essence or the merchanter universe.

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Here are my suggestions

by Rpj101 In reply to God I could keep you on t ...

1. Orson Scott Card
-Enders Game
-Speaker for the Dead
-Xenocide
-The Seventh Son
-Red Prophet
-Prentice Alvin
2. Frank Herbert
-Dune -- and all of the rest of this series.
3. Terry Brooks
-The Sword of Shannara -- and all of the rest of this endless series.
4. David Brin
-Sundiver
-Startide Rising

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Reality Books

by Roger99a In reply to What is your favourite fi ...

"The Adventures of Captain Aplonso De Contreras" is one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. It's the autobiography of a 16th century Spanish Captain, but it reads like you're hearing the story on the pub.

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Australian fantasy

by p.castle In reply to Reality Books

This may have been mentioned already, but being an Aussie you don't get many local fantasy authors. The best i've seen (and am currently just finishing) is the Axis Trilogy (Battleaxe, Enchanter, Star Man) by Sara Douglass. It's a littel different from your classic elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc. Definitely a must read if you particularly want something Australian.

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Australian fantasy

by p.castle In reply to Reality Books

This may have been mentioned already, but being an Aussie you don't get many local fantasy authors. The best i've seen (and am currently just finishing) is the Axis Trilogy (Battleaxe, Enchanter, Star Man) by Sara Douglass. It's a littel different from your classic elves, dwarves, gnomes, etc. Definitely a must read if you particularly want something Australian.

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hmm

by Jaqui In reply to What is your favourite fi ...

light, humourous

Piers Anthony:
Fantasy
Xanth Series ( 10 books )
Sci-fi
ox
omnivore
mute
cthon / cthor ( 2 books series )

sci-fi + Fantasy combnied
blue adept series 5 or 6 books

Bujold, Lois McMaster
spirit ring
Miles Vorkosigan adventure series, 8 books, space opera/comedy. often brings tears to the eyes from laughing so hard.

Military Sci-Fi
David Drake*
Hammers Slammers Series
the General Series

Joe Haldeman
hard core sci-fi, military

Keith Laumer
comic space opera
Reteif series
bolos Series & anthologies

Anne McCaffery
Dragon Riders of Pern series
Darkover Series ( ongoing set of stand alone works )

could keep going for a while here.

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Thanks

by neilb@uk In reply to hmm

Read Piers Anthony. Read most anything that Anne McCaffrey has written. I've added "Spirit Ring" and "Miles Errant" to my Amazon order. I'll work through the others. Haven't read Drake, Haldeman or Laumer - at least I haven't remembered them.

This is working! I have already reached Free Delivery level,

Thanks,

Neil

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Haldeman

by apotheon In reply to Thanks

Of that list, I'd place Haldeman's The Forever War at the top of the queue, without question. Particularly if you like hard sci-fi, since the rest of that stuff is "fluff" sci-fi in comparison, for the most part. There are a couple of sequels to it that I intend to read at some point, but I haven't gotten 'round to it yet.

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