What are some high quality books that /tg/ loves? Need some reading material.
Here are some of mine:
Mazlan Book Of The Fallen, by Steven Erickson
Select Dragonlance books
Select Forgotten Realms books
The Inheritance Cycle Series
The Shanarra Series
More if I can think of them, used to read like a bookworm.
R Scott Bakker is great if you can get past his rampant philosophizing, The Prince of Nothing hassome pretty decent world building, and I love the way he handles magic and magical races.
Abercombie's First Law is excellent, especially the three stand-alone novels he wrote after the main trilogy.
Fuck what /tg/ loves/thinks, i'm just going to list/rant on about fantasy books I enjoy. Fuck you, this list is subjective and I don't care you disagree with my taste.
The Witcher series - the quality of the english translation varies wildly from excellent to fan-translations, but the characters and world are excellent. A bit slow to start, but it definitely picks up the whole 5-man band party feel to it later on.
Perdido Street Station - A bizarre mix of biopunk, fantasy and steampunk with a dash of lovecraftian horror. Excellent worldbuilding and beautiful prose. Possibly the best thing I read last year.
Anything written by Guy Gavriel Kay. The man's a genius.
Malazan Book of the Fallen - it's fucking Malazan. Love it or hate it, it's setting is excellent and when characters die it hits you right in the fucking gut. It's not perfect though, it get confusing with too many characters and I still have no idea what actually happened in the last two books, despite having read the whole series twice.
The Dresden Files - The first few novels feel very same-y, but after book three it gets great. Excellent urban fantasy. Also has some of my favorite lines I've ever read. Also consider the author's other two series.
Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire/Red Queen's War - pretty decent grimdark (despite the author's hilarious essay rant about how his grimdark series totally isn't grimdark). The Broken Empire has such a little shit for a MC though, never have I wanted to throttle a fictional character so much. Note I don't mean this as a bad thing, it's a testament to how well it's written. The Red Queen's War thankfully has a much nicer cast of characters.
Conan the Barbarian - self explanatory.
Any of the various series by Robin Hobb - can be a mixed bag (skip river wilds), but overall great nonetheless.
The Lies of Locke Lamora - Ocean's Eleven meets fantasy. Snappy dialogue, elaborate confidence schemes and great characters. Also consider the sequel for more of the same + pirates. The third novel was quite disappointing, but book four is due soon and hopefully will be better.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - victorian England with two magicians and fae shenannigans. i'm tired and can't be bothered typing any more, but it's excellent, read it.
I can also make a dump of my ebook collection, if anyone's interested. Also contains some Sci Fi and other fantasy not listed here (eg various Sanderson)
OK, i'll post a link when it's done uploading.
It's fairly well organised, I haven't cleaned it in ages though so there might duplicates hiding in places. Most are in .epub format, there might be some .pdfs and .mobi floating around too.
Eh, I'm new to tabletop games and by extension /tg/. I just opened the thread and saw Malazan hate through the wazoo, so I added the disclaimer to be safe.
>lists shit /tg/ recommends all the time
If that's the case, then I guess there's decent taste here. Neat.
It's been forever since I read a book but I liked The Keys to the Kingdom books.
Unfortunately books are to expensive and I cant read unless I have a real physical book. I just cant get into the mood.
They lean a bit too heavily on physical short hand and archetype (often inverted or distorted archetype, but the artifice there is obvious) to feel like more than characters in a story. There's a lot of emphasis on cool little physical catch phrases and shorthand in place of more indepth characterization.
His work in the First Law series is mostly commentary on the cliches of most high fantasy as well, but they (characters and story) don't really hold up well in my mind outside that framework of genre commentary.
And his early female characters were to a one very poorly written, though he got better at that with time.
One of the few /tg/ recommendations I really loved. Written for kids and yound adults but there's tons of clever stuff and the world building is top notch.
The Laundry Files have become my favorite urban fantasy series. Clever dialog, believable characters, and supernatural horror. It's great.
Though the newest book was a little tedious, comparatively.
I don't really read stuff that /tg/ seems to be interested in, but I guess I'll do my best out of stuff I have read recently.
>Last Wish/Sword of Destiny
The only good "witcher universe" books, the Witcher Saga itself being trashy and boring.
Full of useful character archetypes, places, and ideas for running campaigns set on a wild frontier or borderlands region. I liked it more than The Road, though a lot of people seem to disagree.
Don't bother trying to run a STALKER-style game without reading this, you'll just fuck it up. It was a re-read and it remains my favorite short novel of all time.
Off the boat.
How to Run Basic D&D Megadungeon
I read the first trilogy when I was about 16 and it was 10/10 from what I remember.
A loser suddenly up in a strange fantasy world that can make you think of Dr. Seuss or Alice in Wonderland and ends up as a special detective who solves mysteries of magical nature while trying to adapt to the strange and backwards customs of this new world.
It's a Russian fantasy series, and the writing style is very different from what we are used to, very VERY different. A lot of people give up because they don't manage to grasp it, but you grow used to it and it's worth it in the long run.
One of the biggest draws is just how fucking different the setting is. Your social status is measured by the bathrooms in your house, the more outrageous colors you wear the more stylish you are, a magical "sorting hat" for one-night stands, talking birds instead of computers, trying to put it to words doesn't really do it justice.
There's also a lot of humor in it.
>Your social status is measured by the bathrooms in your house
A common observation made about the homes of the wealthy is that they have more bathrooms than they will ever actually need.
>the more outrageous colors you wear the more stylish you are
That being the norm for a lot of European history.
>a magical "sorting hat" for one-night stands
>talking birds instead of computers
I just realized that first sentence was a bit long.
It's really a love it or hate it kind of series. Not everyone can get past the drastic change from the traditional storytelling style we are used to.
W-well, they have carriages that can drag themselves without horses!
What I read when I wanna get in 'the mood.'
>anything by Mercedes Lackey
She's shit. A truly awful, trashy writer with lots of really dated stories. Almost always hilarious and filled with really dumb almost good ideas. There are lots of Cadillac driving werewolf hunters, rock and roll playing elves, young women out of their element getting hard-fucked by fae aristocrats, lots of sleazy nonsense that's good for pulp or 'urban fantasy,' whatever that means.
She's written like a hundred and fifty books and they all suck. Start anywhere.
Dude wrote some Star Trek episodes, and it kinda shows. I love his stuff for idealistic space opera. All of it is pretty good. 'Bordered in Black' is a surprisingly spooky short yarn.
Darker and grittier than Niven. I kinda use him as a base for my more 'realistic' ideas.
>Robin Hobb's Assassin trilogy
I'm a sucker for these damn books. I feel I'm a bit old for them now but they're pretty clever, appreciably gritty and have a few deeper themes than most shitty fantasy. I've found them to be endless ideas for quests or set pieces, and the depictions of fantasy psychic racism is kinda fun.
Post-war drug addict German crime author. Full of creepy, sad, haunting ideas that fit just fine into Call of Cthulhu.
kinda patchy even for a comic book, but Manhattan Island as Baghdad is more or less a fun enough setting to carry the fairly arbitrary story. Some great art direction. Good for near future or contemporary war.
You have to remember, /tg/ is not a hive-mind. And because of the wide array of genres and styles, many of us are going to have different tastes, especially in Literature, Film, and other media.
That aside, you're more likely to see people posting about things they felt intensely about, and anger/disdain is a powerful emotion. Like, I never get involved in discussions about the series, because I've never read it. I have a friend who likes it, but that's not a particularly interesting post: "Never read it myself, but I know a guy who likes it." isn't something most people will spend the energy to post.
On the converse, while I liked Abercrombie's style with the First Law series, I didn't like the actual end of the first trilogy. I much prefer his side works, and that's a popular series on /tg/.
Personally, I like Jim Butcher/Simon R Green stuff for schlocky, pulpy reading, to just enjoy myself for a bit. It's no "One Hundred Years of Solitude", but it doesn't have to be.
I personally liked several of the Eberron novels that Wizards released for similar purposes. I was never a big fan of Dragonlance book, Forgotten Realms had a couple good ones, but overall was just meh.
Robert Jorden I feel should be...hmm. It's hard to categorize it. I think he should be skimmed. Or maybe someday people can take all the extraneous crap out, and give us an abridged version, because I think he has some great ideas and cool scenes, but there's just so MUCH around them that's not great.
I recently picked up Sorceror to the Crown, by Zen Cho. I have mixed feelings. I wouldn't personally recommend it, because it spends so much of its time in a "The main characters aren't white men in Victorian England, therefore their lives are hard. Let's see how people treat them poorly!" Then, out of nowhere, the last third of it is actually quite enjoyable.
I'm also a fan of the Night Watch books. Darker Russian urban fantasy series.
I lost interest in the Harry Dresden books when it essentially turned into a shonen manga what with the escalating power levels.
I always prefer clever heroes to strong ones, and Butcher is writing more the latter as time goes on.
To be fair to that guy, it's really hard to properly convey some things without just literally reproducing them.
Like, sure, we can joke here that 'talking birds instead of computers' are just 'Twitter', but it's different to read a passage about some dude's study, rich in darkwood, one wall covered in shelves of weighty books the owner probably never read, a fire burning low in the corner, throwing shifting shadows over the man as his toucan recited the shifts in the day's markets in a low baritone.
And the idea of a sorting hat for hook-ups is kind of weird. Like, what does he mean? is there one in every bar? How does it know who to recommend? Does it only choose among those who've also put it on? Or does it just somehow know who in the next two blocks wants to bang, and is willing to bang you.
I've never personally seen the sense of that argument, but I accept it. He's grown in power over time, that's what has to happen eventually. He's had a couple ups and downs, though we are in the middle of an up-swing, I personally kind of like it. He spends so much of each book complaining that I kind of want to see him get to a point where Harry has to look around and go "Huh, I guess things aren't so bad anymore."
>He's grown in power over time, that's what has to happen eventually
Not necessarily. It only 'has to happen' because that's the standard method of showing progress in these kinds of things. Phillip Marlowe never became a better fighter or crack shot over the course of Raymond Chandler's work.
My problem is I thought I was reading detective books, not shonen battle manga.
Anything Walter Moers, really. A good middle ground between normal look-I'm-so-grim fantasy pretenciousness and retarded hurr-durr-muh-meta-satire. Also brilliant writing, and occasional pretty good feels. A lot of reference to other literature, but not too overt. Best in original (haven't read any translations), but I imagine /tg/ would find it quite enjoyable.
As for the "sorting hat", it's more of a large building called "The Quarter of Trysts" where you just go, sign up, and "draw" a number that fate (aka magic) has decided will be a good match for you and go find that person.
Also, said fate demands that this IS a one night stand and that any attempts at further pursuing this relationship will end in misery. If you meet your crush in the quarter of trysts, hurrah, you get to screw her, but you're never doing it again.
Shrug. To each his own.
Personally, the idea of reading a series where a guy does a job for 12 years and doesn't get better at it strikes me as mildly absurd, but I see what you mean. Harry does definitely improve in ways that could be better explained.
Hm. Interesting. The idea of Fate/Magic putting a time limit on the relationship is neat. It opens some interesting questions in-universe.
Its way too big to accurately describe with the limited amount of effort I'm willing to put in.
The first thing to say about it is that it is big. There are probably series with higher wordcounts or more books but none that approach it in scope. Individual books in the series can have absolutely nothing to do with each other besides the fact that they're in the same universe, broadly speaking. There are dozens of important named characters who will be in one book, do stuff offscreen for the next three, then show up again to solve a problem, or create one. It is done pretty well, there are convergences that make everything meaningful and once you're done the series none of it feels like it was a waste, but it can be frustrating to fall in love with a character then go read about someone else for 2000 pages while you know they're still doing stuff.
Theme wise there's a lot of stuff about dead civilizations, the loss of cultures and histories, ancient mythologies etc. Lots of time spent following small groups doing individual things that make up the entire story of the setting, which is the real focus. There are character arcs, and some of them are great, but the main character is definitely the world itself.
Basically, if you think someone's massively detailed worldbuilding notes would be a cool thing to look through, you'll probably like it, because that's basically what it is, with a story woven through it. If that sounds boring, you'll probably get tired of it and drop it around the 4th book.
I tried Mazlan recently. I couldn't get passed the first chapter. Maybe it gets better, but I wasn't sold.
Forgotten Realms books are okay. I read them, but I'm never really blown away.
The Dragonlance setting kind of turns me off, but I guess I should try the books at some point.
Never heard of any of the other stuff you listed. I'll check em out.
I like Tolkien and GRRMartin. Sue me.
Solomon Kane is great, but there aren't very many stories to him. I highly recommend them though, as long as you don't let yourself get distracted by the occasional unsubtle racism.
All of Howard is bitching and great.
Patrick Rothfuss is great but /tg doesn't get the concept of unreliable narrator lying to make himself look good so get ready for people screaming "Mary Sue" for the rest of the thread.
...except Rothfuss is a hack? His prose is good, but the man can't properly write a fucking character. Kvothe's friends, his love interests, his mentors, all of them devoid of any kind of personality. Plus, at this point we can be sure the unreliable narrator isn't so unreliable after all. Kvothe IS the author's self insert in the story.
Kvothe says (the story):
Best at Magic
Good at swords
Great at Kung fu
Prettiest lute player
Mind-meltingly good at sex
Kvothe does (the framing device):
No magic ever no matter what
Not use a sword even when he fights a demon
Fuck up basic forms of his martial art
Never fucking touches a musical instrument
Not have a woman
Please note this is an incomplete list and doesn't include the times he acknowledges his reputation is mostly hype (the Bloodless cause I drugged myself). Kvothe is a shitheel trapped in his own lies. This is the point of the book.
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser
Book of the new sun
Someone already suggested Perdido Street station, but Mieville's other stuff like Iron Council and the Scar are pretty good too.
>tfw my dream is to open up a bookstore
>tfw Barnes and nobles would destroy me anyways
>tfw forced to carry pleb books in order to attract people
I just want to carry old fantasy and sci-fi, literary fiction and nonfiction, tabletop gaming books, and DIY guides bros... Would an online store be better?
Does /tg/ of all places seriously not appreciate where a good chunk of all this fantasy shit comes from in the first place?
I might set up a site with a huge masterpost of public domain, /tg/ related stuff, and start selling later. If tumblr ever gets the ability to 'sticky' posts to the front of your blog I'll use that, but for now, wordpress seems to be the way to go. Give me a few days.
I'm thinking of starting off with:
>Greek Myth (Probably that one 'Mythology' book that discusses the different storytellers in Greece and their spins on the myths)
>Norse Myth (Haven't found a super good collection, but I can look.)
>The Odyssey, The Birds, various greek tragedies and comedies
>The earliest sci-fi like the Time Machine
I dunno, what do you guys think would work, that wouldn't get me shut down by the FBI?
Couple requests, are there any 40k novels worth reading? Just starting to poke around the setting.
2) any decent novels (any setting) featuring a merchant prince/black marketeer/empire builder? Bonus points for mundane in magical society.
Since we're doing that, I also have one. Is there anything good featuring dimension hopping? I mean as the main focus, not "character travels to another world and has an adventure there".
In the middle of the first book of The Abhorsen Trilogy and it's really good so far. Imagery and the way they do necromancy (and magic in general) is really great especially. Can't speak for the other two in the trilogy because I haven't gotten to them yet.
The Eisenhorn series is not bad, gives an impression of 40k that isn't just space marines and might actually be a decent story about getting old. The first 3 or so Horus Heresy books also not bad if you already have a feel for 40k and want to read a tragedy. The Night Lords series, and/or Lord Of The Night are interesting and worth looking at if you're into chaos anti hero stuff. Lots of people enjoy the ciaphas cain series, not my bag, but its lighter hearted and a rif on british colonial pulp.
Even then, its mostly pulp. The good stuff is entertaining, sometimes even clever. The rest of it is usually forgettable action at best.
Yeah the last few books turned into a mess. I still liked them. But they were not as good as they could have or should have been.
What is it called when some of the fanfiction is better than the actual books?
I feel like there should be a term for that.
Man, I went and re-read A Connecticut Yankee a few months ago, and it was wayyyy more political than I'd realized.
It had to be something like 40% him bashing on contemporary Monarchies and the Catholic Church. All that flew over my head when my father read it to me as a kid.
Anyway, still a fun book. Actually the political commentary sort of adds something of its own if you're historically minded.
Oh, I also recommend that anyone who likes the book read Roughing It, which is Twain's exagerated tales of his multi-year excursion to the freshly-settled American west. I think it's Twain's best work.
I view it slightly differently, that while Kvothe is a moderately unreliable narrator, and many of his feats have been blown out of proportion, it's also the story of unintended consequences. Kvothe has sworn something on "his magic, his good left hand, and the ever-changing moon." It's implied that he breaks that oath, and that's why he can no longer do magic, play instruments or fight, and why the demons are invading. Because the Moon doesn't change in the Lands of the Fae, and his stupid oath has made it freeze in reality, thus weakening the borders between worlds.
I disagree, as several of his friends have functional characters, as do some of his mentors. I think his prose and...I guess the only phrase is 'worldbuilding by omission', rank him at above mediocre. I don't personally think he's great, just good enough to look out for if you're in the mood. The fun you can have just by picking out the connections in the stories and ideas around Kvothe that he doesn't pay attention to is enough for me.
He is an archaeologist which explains the massive amount of worldbuilding. As a fellow archaeologist nothing puts me off a setting more than poor worldbuilding.
He also varies his writing style depending on which character a specific chapter is following, which does make getting into each book a bit of a chore.
Characters tend to be well written and he really does get the chaotic nature of combat and warfare right. Even if you dont read much of his work, I'd heartilly recommend Deadhouse Gates just for the retreat/refugee march of the Chain of Dogs.
>Nobody mentions Hyperion Cantos
It has everything a good Space Opera needs, plus very intelligent themes and writing.
Some historical novels. By Dumas, Cervantes, Sienkiewicz.
But I want everyone to read "The Assyrian" by Nicholas Guild. Probably one of the best books I ever read.
Also everything by James Joice if you want to impress hipsters.
While it would be nice that the whole thing is unrealiable narrator bullshit, is just probably that Kvothe IS THAT AWESOME OMG, changed (or is in the process of changing) his True Name and by the end of the book will have to be Kvothe and be AWESOME again.
Kingkiller Chronicles has some grat characters and worldbuilding but, holy shit, Kvothe and his main plot is a fucking mess. If you want a good book about fantastical quests with an unrealiable narrator check pic related
Riftcycle series (Magician by Raymond E Fiest and onwards)
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson
Gotrek and Felix series
Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks
The Expanse series by SA Corey
Black Man by Richard Morgan
I wouldn't call it high quality, but I enjoyed Raymond Feist's Magician (now published in two volumes, Apprentice and Master).
The first two Black Company books were fun to read, but I got bored with the third and dropped it.
A lot of people hate them, for some reason, but Jim Butcher's Codex Alera series is a fun kind of braincandy series. Neat races with good characters and story.
The Lies of Locke Lamora, about a "gentleman bastard" thief in fantasy Venice is quite enjoyable. One of the few times I've seen someone write a too-clever-for-his-own-good character well and without making him OP.
When Gravity Fails: cyberpunk Middle East (something I've never seen before or since), but the city is heavily based on the New Orleans French Quarter, where the author is from. Fun detective story.
Caves of Steel: second Robot novel by Isaac Asimov. While I like the first as well, CoS is just great. It's another science fiction detective story (written by Asimov because someone told him it was impossible to write mystery/detective lit in the scifi genre). Invents the concept of hive cities, but also explains what needs to go into keeping one running.
The Foundation series, also by Asimov, is also great. Like Dune and other great scifi books, it introduces a lot of concepts we now take for granted.
I couldn't stand the book, but some people like Name of the Wind.
Just stay away from anything written by Terry Goodkind.
Ciaphas Cain series by Sandy Mitchel
Gaunt's Ghosts and
Eisenhorn by Dan Abnett
Night Lords trilogy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Space Wolves (only the William King ones), for a more pulpy, swashbuckling approach to the setting.
I can't think of any one off book that really stands out. Just stay the fuck away from CS Goto. He neither understands the setting nor cares to learn it. In his Blood Ravens books, he mixes uses the names of different vehicles interchangeably, has a main battle tank of one of the most advanced species in the setting get taken out by a barbarian human with a rock, and has a terminator do a backflip.
If you're new to 40k that might not sound too bad, but it is. It really, really is.
If you're interested in Warhammer "RIP" Fantasy Battle, I'd suggest reading Ambassador and its sequel Ursun's Teeth. They're the only Black Library books I've read which I can call legitimately good books instead of "good 40k/whfb books."
William King's (and only William King's) Gotrek and Felix novels have the same fun swashbuckling vibe as his Space wolf books, but it fits the setting better here. Skavenslayer is my favorite.
>She's shit. A truly awful, trashy writer with lots of really dated stories. Almost always hilarious and filled with really dumb almost good ideas. There are lots of Cadillac driving werewolf hunters, rock and roll playing elves, young women out of their element getting hard-fucked by fae aristocrats, lots of sleazy nonsense that's good for pulp or 'urban fantasy,' whatever that means.
>She's written like a hundred and fifty books and they all suck
all of what you've said is true, anon. yet somehow, i still love them for some damn reason
>I tried Mazlan recently. I couldn't get passed the first chapter. Maybe it gets better, but I wasn't sold.
look, i love malazan, but if you don't like the first chapter, at some point, you're going to get tired of the books. objectively, the second book-where the story really starts, as opposed to the prologue that is gardens, is a better story, but erickson's style never really changes
that's because lcoke-after-his-father-lamora actually is to damn clever for his own good, as opposed to the "too clever for their own good" characters who are actually just clever
>First picked that up in high school and still have a copy on my shelf
hell, the copy i picked up in high school is the one on my shelf. the school was getting rid of them
I really like that he portrays crossbows properly among many, many other things. Also, if I ever GM moranath munition will be a standby. Love how they are balanced with how exceptionally dangerous they are to the user.
Also him being an archaeologist explains a lot. Never seen better worldbuilding. or technically multiverse building.
Well World and 4 Lords of the Diamond series by Jack Chalker.
They're kind of everything "bad" about 70s-80s pulp scifi rolled up and pressed out. Science is basically magic, the plots are fairly standard adventure stories underneath the alien setting, the writing is pretty "vintage," and I'm pretty sure sure the author has a transformation fetishwhich I picked up, reading these at 13.
But everything that makes them so dated is also what makes them great. There's really nothing else like them, when you were a weird kid in the early nineties they were fucking magical, and you can still get a glimpse of that feeling from them. That's what pulp scifi is all about, and despite a lot of other books being better in a lot of ways there's something special about that.
Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman.
It's a dark fantasy, historical horror novel. A fallen knight along with a spiritually lost priest journey across a black death infested France with an orphaned girl. All while Lucifer and the fallen angels are rising for a second war on Heaven.
So far I've been enjoying it.
Off the top of my head, in no particular order:
John Brunner - Stand on Zanzibar
Roger Zelazny - Lord of Light
Richard K. Morgan - Altered Carbon
Neal Stephenson - Snowcrash
Gene Wolfe - Book of the New Sun
Frank Herbert - Dune
Philip K. Dick - Everything