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SF/Fantasy/Magical realism anyone?

(99 Posts)
JessM Sat 31-Aug-13 15:16:05

Currently reading The Long War, by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter.
Very enjoyable read, as was its predecessor, The Long Earth. Flashes of vintage TP humour.
Anyone else like reading about imaginary worlds? What's your favourite?

Mishap Sat 31-Aug-13 17:53:52

Do you know, I cannot bear any of this sort of literature. It just doesn't hit my button! I even can't stand Tolkein.

Convince me chaps - what is there to like!?

Brendawymms Sat 31-Aug-13 18:01:19

I like the Nalini Singh books the psy-changeling series. The changelings are the good side and are various animal/ humans, mainly wolf, leopard and rats. The Psy side are a race of humans who have abolished emotion and live within a psychic type network. I found them so good that as soon as I finished one had to download the next.

feetlebaum Sat 31-Aug-13 18:41:34

Love Pratchett. Find Tolken unreadable. Love Robert Rankin...

annodomini Sat 31-Aug-13 18:48:59

Imaginary worlds? For me the 'Culture' series of sci-fi books by the late Iain M Banks are unbeatable, but you'd need to start with the earliest ones like The Player of Games to get into them.

JessM Sat 31-Aug-13 19:22:51

Tolkein is too sexist in the 21st C methinks. I went out for a walk in the middle of the second film I was so bored.
The Long Earth etc by contrast have some wonderful female characters.
Two written for children maybe mishap The Northern Lights (and 2 others) by Phillip Pullman. A parallel universe story in which the main character is a courageous girl. As the trilogy goes on he brings in references to Paradise Lost. I cried at the end of the 3rd book.
And A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett. Another brave girl and another series - he grows her up during the series from a brave child to a young midwife who has to make difficult choices.

Deedaa Sat 31-Aug-13 23:23:49

I hated Phillip Pullman's trilogy. I just didn't like any of the characters, except perhaps the hare and her human - I was sorry when they died. I do love Pratchett though. His writing is so clever and funny and the books work on so many levels.

JessM Sun 01-Sep-13 07:49:49

Gosh, Deeda did you struggle all the way through it not liking it? The film was a disaster on so many levels, which I thought a pity. Do you have a favourite Pratchett?

BerylBee Sun 01-Sep-13 12:05:17

try Dark Eden by Chris Beckett.
No dragons, fairies, or magic swords etc.
Just a terrifically well written story set on a very different world.
The dilemmas the (likeable) characters face will have you sucking your teeth.

JessM Sun 01-Sep-13 18:08:20

Although there was a time when I enjoyed reading all those Dragon rider books by Anne McCaffrey. Until she flogged the formula to death.
Ursula le Guin wrote some great books. Influence by anthropology. The Wizard of Earthsea and others set in that world, for kids. The Left Hand of Darkness... And then there is Octavia Butler, who brings the perspective of an African American woman to the genre.

AlieOxon Sun 01-Sep-13 18:50:04

I was disappointed in 'The Long Earth'. Like the Felix Francis books, it just wasn't the same.
I like Lois McMaster Bujold for fantasy/space opera. I think I have all of them!

AlieOxon Sun 01-Sep-13 18:50:29

Oh, and Ursula.

annodomini Sun 01-Sep-13 19:07:15

I liked Ursula le Guin's post disaster novel, 'Always Going Home' though it's about half a century since I read it.

Stansgran Mon 02-Sep-13 17:53:51

What about Alice Hoffman? Generally women with magical powers.

Deedaa Mon 02-Sep-13 22:02:54

Yes I did JessM I think I kept hoping that I would finally find something I liked (really must get out more!) I have several favourite Pratchetts - Mort and Soul Music and The Wyrd Sisters which I read while I was involved in a production of Macbeth. And I like all the Tiffany Aching books.

AlieOxon Tue 03-Sep-13 18:15:35

anno I looked it up and it's 'Always Coming Home'....and sounds like something I should read.

I don't go for too much magic and weird powers and why do I like Pratchett? I really don't know! ......
I think because it's funny! Other books are rather too serious about these things.

annodomini Tue 03-Sep-13 18:19:20

Uh, oh. Alie. I obviously don't know if I'm coming or going! I tried Terry Pratchett but he didn't quite gel with me.

j08 Tue 03-Sep-13 18:32:32

Game of Thrones is fantastic! (literally I guess) (as I may have mentioned before) smile

Deedaa Tue 03-Sep-13 20:57:00

AlieOxon I think Pratchett's secret is that he just treats all his characters as normal people. They may have magical powers or be an odd shape but he's much more interested in their personalities and most of the things that happen to them are down to their own personalities rather than anything supernatural.

AlieOxon Wed 04-Sep-13 09:26:29

Think you're spot on there Deedaa.

JessM Wed 04-Sep-13 20:41:37

Downloaded a sample of Game of Thrones jo and couldn't get into it. Finished the Long War. Yes it is a bit of a meander, and not so much TP as time goes on, but a nice bedtime read. Tried to download some samples of recommendations as above, last night. Kindle in uncooperative mood.
Ended up reading a Father Brown story which was astoundingly racist. Some people think he ought to be a saint apparently - not FB, but Chesterton.
I enjoyed reading all the Sam Vimes stories, in order, on holiday last year.

JessM Wed 04-Sep-13 20:41:45

AlieOxon Wed 04-Sep-13 21:24:04

People are weird.

AlieOxon Wed 04-Sep-13 21:31:34

I just remembered and reserved 'Always Coming Home' at the library.
Also the latest Kathy Reichs, 'Bones of the Lost'.

I'm in the middle of a Pratchett I hadn't read - 'Snuff'.

annodomini Wed 04-Sep-13 21:49:47

I agree, Jess. I also downloaded a sample of 'Game of Thrones' and found that I really wasn't interested in finding out what happened next.
The best magic realism author I have come across is Isabel Allende whose House of the Spirits and Eva Luna are in that genre without being in the realm of fantasy.