Wednesday, February 01, 2006

My name is Tripp and I have a problem

My stack of unread fantasy books is ginormous. Fantasy books are worse than other books for stack purposes. When you find one you like you are then going to invest in all the follow on books. Those of us suckered by Jordan have put up with ten books to date! Think of the reading opportunity cost! Anyway, my unread fantasy books are as follows:

Carol Berg: I picked up the first two (at Goodwill!) of the Bridge of D'Arnath books solely on the strength of her outstanding Rai-Kirah books. She is severely underrated and should be counted among the likes of Martin. Her scale is not as epic, but her books are gripping and nonconventional. The main character is more or less a pacifist and most of the action takes place inside people's heads (literally, with demons possessing the psyche.) I linked to her site because it is CRAMMED with content. Lots of spoilers so beware.

China Mieville: The crown prince, he. I have the Scar and Perdido Street Station, both of which are highly prasied, even getting props from the intellectual types. Mieville is a British Marxist and one of the interesting things about his books is that he tries to create actual economies in fantasy worlds. Now in truth most books avoid economic reality so it is not too surprising that fantasy does. Then again, fantasy writers are praised for "world creation" and it makes sense for those worlds to have economies. Mieville is also famous for dissing Tolkein. It feels a bit like Johnny Rotten dissing Pink Floyd, something that might be recanted in later years. Here is someone who says Mieville sucks.

Stephen Erikson: I have Gardens of the Moon, the first of TEN books, so if the first one doesn't rock....I will probably still read the second one. Here is a site dedicated to the books. There has been a fair amount of excitement about these. We'll see.

Scott Bakker: I bought his Darkness that Comes Before based upon on the strong praise from frequent commenter Brack. Here is an example of reviewer praise. This book is in the drop in you in the deep end before you know how to swim school of fantasy. He throws all kinds of unexplained backstory at you all with strange syllables. Brack is highly trusted so I plan to dig in deep.

Guy Gavriel Kay: I amazon wishlisted Sailing to Sarantium based on tossed of web recommendation by Brad DeLong. Kay's written piles of books, none of which I have read. Who knows how this one will be, should I ever get to it.

Gene Wolf: The Book of the New Sun. Have it, haven't read it. This is one of the ur-texts of fantasy, but nope still haven't read it. I may get kicked out of the nerd club for admitting this.

Chaz Brenchley: I bought the first three of his Outremer books because I think the Crusader states (also known as Outremer) are interesting. I bought all three at Goodwill because they were 67 cents each. My logic being that if I liked the first I would want the others so I might as well buy them when I can get them cheap. Now you see why I have 275 unread books.

Sean Stewart: He is borderline fantasy, modern fantasy or science fantasy if you will as most of books take place on earth after strange happenings in our future. Apparently he is getting into the games biz. His books are a bit dreamy, but I liked the one I read, so when I saw Galveston cheap, I picked it up.

John Crowley: I have his Little Big, which is lyrical fantasy, or beautifully written text about really strange things, like an adult Alice in Wonderland. Here's a review that compares Crowley to Cormac McCarthy and Harold Bloom loves Little Big, so you can tell we are Capital L literature land now.

I think I have few more (Blaylock, Tim Powers, J Gregory Keyes) , but you get the idea.


Lady Yuki Shizuka said...

I have a similar problem with my fantasy novel stack (which is small) because science fiction grabs my attention more nowadays. How bad is that?

Tripp said...

Hey sci-fi is cooler anyway. Or to me it seems to have far wider horizons and possibility. The good fantasy breaks out of the Tolkein/D&D mold, but so much can't seem to do that.

Lady Yuki Shizuka said...

They always fall because of "that fantasy mold" you mentioned of D&D and most fantasy novels also goes into cyberpunk (a relatively new sub-genre of sci-fi) novels such as Sharowrun by Robert N Charette (and occasionally other authors).