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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:00 pm 
Sanci
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Xephyr wrote:
This seems a decent place to ask: what's the best place to start into Dunsany?


Project Gutenberg. If it's old enough to no longer fall under copyright, there's a good chance PG has it.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 4:18 pm 
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Gotta second Project Gutenberg. I'm halfway through Don Rodriguez there at this very moment. It's AWESOME!

You could say Dunsany was years ahead of his time, because of the amazing way he addresses his audience and his incredible insight into the human condition. I believe rather that the past few decades have seen an influx of mediocrity in the guise of innovation, in literature as well as art, so untraditional genius is much more shocking to us than it would be to a reader of bygone days.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 4:46 am 
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Unless I've skimmed this thread too fast, nobody yet has mentioned Jack Vance. Though perhaps arguably most known for his SF works, he wrote a considerable amount of fantasy, e.g. the Lyonesse and Dying Earth series, and I find that even most of his more straight forward SF has a high fantasy content.

In my youth I read about every SF and fantasy book from the local library, and I have recollections of many non-mediaeval themed fantasy stories, of which I have unfortunately no idea what they were called or who wrote them, e.g. a story about a ghost hunter that's himself a ghost, helping his son that grew up with a brutal step father that made him play a double necked lute (which turned out to be fabricated by the father himself just to pester his step son). Or the one about a world without pack animals, using humans as couriers that ran long distances through the mountainess world. I think the protaganost was a young female.


JAL


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:39 pm 
Sanno
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The second one sounds like Anne McCaffrey, although I thought that specific story was only about ten years ago or so.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:56 am 
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I got Ben Aaronovitch's "Rivers of London" for Christmas - Urban fantasy and a fun read, despite a lot of gruesome murders.
It reminded me somewhat of Douglas Adam's Dirk Gently books ("The Electrical Monk", "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul"), which also belong on the list here.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:16 am 
Avisaru
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R.Rusanov wrote:
I believe rather that the past few decades have seen an influx of mediocrity in the guise of innovation, in literature as well as art, so untraditional genius is much more shocking to us than it would be to a reader of bygone days.
On the other hand, the fate of mediocre literature is oblivion, so we just don't know about the tonnes of rubbish that were thrown out before we were born. (Who's heard of Colley Cibber? or Morsimus?)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 11:46 pm 
Avisaru
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I have been enjoying this thread (as well as taking a few tips for future reading).

It seems that many of the works people have been bringing up as non-Tolkienian (or more broadly, non-medievalish-epic-fantasy) have fallen into the following categories: (a) works based on non-European cultures; (b) works based on time periods other than the medieval; (c) urban/contemporary fantasy focusing on the here and now, as well as works that combine these (or may contain none of them).

I wanted to note a trio of books I've read relatively recently that match the three categories above:

1. Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander, set in an explicitly Chinese-flavored setting and including mention of "women's writing" inspired by Nushu. I suspect that many people will find it overly precious, but it does have a few bits of decent worldbuilding.

2. Dark Sleeper by Jeffrey Barlough, the first of his Western Lights series. A mock-Victorian England society set against an Ice Age background (men in bowler hats herding wooly mammoths, stagecoach routes where travelers have to keep an eye out for saber-tooth cats). The plot is rather amorphous and meandering, but I enjoyed the setting and many of the mock-Dickensian characters.

3. Little, Big by John Crowley, a 1981 novel sometimes called a forerunner of the current urban fantasy movement, although the language and atmosphere are quite different from most urban fantasy works I've read, closer in some ways to works more often defined as magical realism. The setting is 20th-century and loosely modern, but with a "timeless" element, and the supernatural elements are frequently lurking offstage, intersecting the plot only periodically. I'm still in the middle of this one, and not quite sure what I think of it yet.

Mornche Geddick wrote:
On the other hand, the fate of mediocre literature is oblivion, so we just don't know about the tonnes of rubbish that were thrown out before we were born. (Who's heard of Colley Cibber? or Morsimus?)


I strongly suspect that this is the case; I am struck when I learn not only about little-known works that have gone into the dustbin of history, but even many who were bestsellers in their day, but are now almost completely forgotten.

(I have been lurking without posting for the last few years, but this thread, along with the related Tolkienian fantasy thread, has been one of the things encouraging me to step out of the shadows for a moment. :) )


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:43 am 
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Welcome back, Glenn, and thanks for the recommends.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:20 pm 
Avisaru
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Ketumak wrote:
Welcome back, Glenn, and thanks for the recommends.


Thanks! As I noted, I have been following activity on the board, even though I rarely contribute anymore.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:55 pm 
Sanno
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Glenn wrote:
Ketumak wrote:
Welcome back, Glenn, and thanks for the recommends.


Thanks! As I noted, I have been following activity on the board, even though I rarely contribute anymore.


But we treasure every post nonetheless!
[seriously, it's good to see you around again, even if only sporadically]

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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2014 1:14 pm 
Smeric
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Location: tʰæ.ɹʷˠə.ˈgɜʉ̯.nɜ kʰæ.tə.ˈlɜʉ̯.nʲɜ spɛ̝ɪ̯n ˈjʏː.ɹəʔp
I don't know if anyone's mentioned this already, but I recently picked up The Sea Watch by Adrian Tchaikovsky (book six of the Shadows of the Apt series).

There are different races of human, each based on a invertebrate species. There is some magic, though I'm not quite sure of its nature, apart from a division of Apt and Inapt. The Inapt are "mystics" but have no technical/common sense skill, the Apt are not mystical and can invent things and work things like door handles.
Technological level seems to be industrial revolution in at least one city (Collegium). Not sure how widespread it is.

Now I'll go through the thread and find someone has mentioned it. :roll:

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2014 7:46 am 
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What is Non-Tolkienian? I mean, does it have to be non-epic, non-european, non-medieval? All at once? Because Liliana Bodoc's Saga de los Confines is based on amerindian culture, history and mithology, but it's structurally reminiscent of JRRT's work.

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