Archive through June 13, 2006

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Book Nook: Archive through June 13, 2006
   By GOLLUM on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 06:24 am: Edit Post

OK folks.

Due to techincal reasons I'm going to repost my Intro thread here but don't forget to check out my previous few posts above with some author recommendations plus the wonderful Victor Gollancz Fanatsy Masterwork series you may find useful...:-)

Hi all!

I've only recently joined so be gentle with me!

My call sign is GOLLUM. Actually I have to confess upfront to being an active member and moderator on a number of other SFF boards.

Just a quick introduction. I've been reading Fantasy and some horror for the better part of 25 years now and have enjoyed correspondence with several authors in addition to posting the occasional review, writing short bios of potentially lesser known authors of the Genre, exposes of so-called "classics" of the Genre and assisting local unpublished authors as a wannabe critic..(Insert winking smilie here).

I've been following Janny's work for some years now and more specifically her current Wars Of Light and Shadow epic since it's beginning. Probably one of the main aspects I like about Janny's work is the obvious care she takes in her prose. I often get the sense that no word is wasted and indeed I find her style to be highly economical but not so mechanical as to not evince the full kaleidoscope of emotions. The other aspect I particularly like is Janny's ability to develop multi-layered characters reminiscent of personalities like Donaldson's Thomas Covenant. I especially like Arithon, a highly emphatic individual I suspect many fans can sympathise with. A main criticism I've noticed of Janny's work is that people claim to find it boring or not fast-paced enough. I must admit at times I've found the series a little more slow moving than I would've preferred but then I feel it's much more character-driven than action-driven, so I guess it may not suit those persons who like to have their answers wrapped up with their nightly take-away. Must also mention how I love to see how multi-skilled Janny is with her wonderful coverart!

In addition to Janny's work I try to read a lot of older style authors in an attempt to better understand the historical development of the Genre. I like too many to list here but some include S&S authors like Robert E Howard, Fritz Leiber and Michael Moorcock, those from the so-called pulp fiction era of the 1930s and 40s including the Weird Tales triumvirate in Howard, Lovecraft and Ashton Smith, Tolkien influences such as E.R. Eddison and William Morris, horror authors like Walpole, Radcliffe, Poe, HP Lovecraft as mentioned and Thomas Ligottiand many more primarily fantasy authors like Patricia McKillip, Ursula LeGuin, M. John Harrison, Italo Clavino, Fletcher Pratt, Geoff Ryman, Gene Wolfe, Sherri S. Tepper, C.S. Friedman, David Lindsay, Poul Anderson, Mervyn Peake, Edgar Rice Burrough's (Mars series), Verne, Wells, Andre Norton, Kay and the more recent arrivals like Steven Erikson, R. Scott Bakker, George RR Martin, Tad Williams, Jeff Vandermeer, Michael Scott Rohan, Robert Jordan (earlier work), Ted Chiang, Greg Keyes, JV Jones (current series), Rayomnd E. Feist and the list (like the road) goes ever on and on...

As per Janny's encouraging words, I'll try to cover authors and series within the fanatsy Genre including bios in an attempt to reveal to readers authors and novels they may not be otherwise be aware of as well as trying to particpiate in some of the WOLS discussions. In fact as a side note I've basically read everything Janny has published inlcuding her earlier work, To Ride Hell's Chasm and collaborations with Raymiond E. Feist whom I had the pleasure of meeting when he visited my hometown of Melbourne, Australia a few years ago.

Bye for now...:-)

   By Trys on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 11:03 am: Edit Post


BTW Trys what authors haven't you covered yet in the list I provided?

Jo Clayton, C.J. Cherryh, Heinlein (waiting with bated breath for my volume of the Virginia Edition - a limited edition that will include every novel published by him), Frank Herbert (and not JUST for a couple of his Dune books), Robert Silverberg (wrote the first SF/F book I ever read), to name a few (not where I can run upstairs a peruse the collection).


   By Janny Wurts on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 11:10 am: Edit Post

Gollum - not familiar with Calvino's work. If I get in the mood for a contemplative book, I will give it a try. Thanks for the suggestion!

Right now, I am finishing one of mine, and - I have THREE favorite authors lined up, that are LOCKED UP, so I will write and meet my deadline first. Good incentive to finish this book.

As a rule, I tend to drift toward books that have something of a heart and soul underneath...that open a door into another way of seeing that ALSO moves me to feel or perceive or understand another angle more deeply. Idea trends read a touch dry for my taste, even if they are "literary darlings" to others. And of course, for me, predictability kills it...

   By HJ on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 03:51 pm: Edit Post

Hi Gollum,

I love George R R Martin but haven't read Fevre Dream yet. I've never ever spoken to or heard of anyone who's read anything by Sherri S Tepper before. I've got a book of hers I've had a very long time and really enjoyed - "The Enigma Score". Stephen Donaldson's "Thomas Covenant" books I love - have you got the new one - "Runes of the Earth"?

I'm quite ashamed that I used to be very close to someone who was really into Michael Morcock. He gave me some Asimov books and that got me started on that road! I've always intended to read some "Elric" stuff and never quite managed to. Sadly. The same guy gave me a Lovecraft book which was enjoyably creepy!!!

Have you ever read the "Many Coloured Land" series by Julian May? Again, I've never spoken to anyone who has.


   By Janny Wurts on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 04:38 pm: Edit Post

I read that Julian May work, a loooong time ago...

REally nice to see some of my old favorites on that list, like the Evangeline Walton stuff...

   By Trys on Monday, June 12, 2006 - 05:39 pm: Edit Post


I've read a great deal by Sheri Tepper, from her True Game books to some of her somewhat more recent stuff. My favorite books by her are the loose trilogy made up of Grass, Raising the Stones, and {Sideshow}. I've not read her more recent stuff but have the books for when I find time. I suspect I have 25+ books by her.


   By neil on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 07:27 am: Edit Post

Sheri Tepper, Julian May and Michael Scott Rohan's books I read in my teens...when the Tolkien/Feist/Eddings tales "ran out"...

I see MSR had wrote a 6th winter of the world book "Shadow of the Seer"...but it seems to have died somewhere and even his web page seems out of date...

I still haven't read Thomas Covenant...went through a "anti-trilogy" phase (but I liked the gap series...story layers nicely / gradually unveiled)

I have had a hard time trying to read some of the "classics"...not for everyone, I feel, since the style of writing is "older"(?) might just be that my level of english language is not sufficient or that I simply prefer books that are easy to read ;-)

"Each to their own"...

p.s. I see Guy Kay's new book will be Ysabel (Jan 2007)

   By GOLLUM on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:18 am: Edit Post

Hi all and thanks for the kind responses!....:-)

Interesting comments Janny. I certainly agree about the prediciability aspect. Probably why authors like R. Scott Bakker and Steven Erikson's books appeal to me so much. There's just no way you could ever manage to predict what's going to happen plotwise from one minute to the next with their series.

I'm dying to know who those 3 authors are Janny if you're able to share that with us?

Funny you should mention Evangleine Walton. I have the pleasure of corresponding with several US authors including Teresa Edgerton aka Madeline Howard. Don't know if you know her at all (she's a good friend of Kate Elliott and possibly Katherine Kerr) or how much you mix with other authors per se but she refers to Evangeline with obvious respect and she appears to have provided quite a lot of inspiration to later generations of writers. She sounds as if she was quite a character amongst literary gatherings and a wonderful lady to boot.

Trys you list some interesting authors there. That Virgina edition of Heinlien's collected works sounds like it could be a good pickup. I wonder if that SF/F aka science fanatsy novel by Silverberg was one of his Majipoor books. I really like some of Cherryh's work but perhaps not everyone's cup of tea.

Now talkng of Silverberg and May, easily two of the earliest books/series I ever read was the Many Coloured Land, which I remember with a certain degree of fondness and Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle, the start of one of my favourite science fantasy series of all timne in his Majipoor novels. Silverbeg's Majipoor sequence is probably the best example I've read of a series of books that attempt to infuse a sense of sheer vastness or size in terms of describing an imaginary world. Highly recommended.

Hi HJ! Yes having now made my way through Fevre Dream after winnnig a copy of the book on a forum competition *BIG GRIN* I'd have to say it's the best vampire tale I've ever read. Written in 1974, the book describes a vampire's dream of uniting his race with humanity by employing the help of a paddlesteamer captain on the mighty Mississippi River circa 1874. It's described by Zelazny as being part chilling, moody and memorable, Stephen King meets Mark Twain.

Yep read Runes in one sitting, wonderful stuff! I really like Donaldson's series the way it attempts to study the human condition within a fantasy framework. You might like to check out Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone Saga", probably the most famous example of his multiverse themes.

Argh! time to leave you all, duty calls. Next time I'll have more to say on Lovecraft, a tortured genius if ever there was one. A pity he didn't have his own cook but that's another story.

All the best for now.

   By GOLLUM on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 08:28 am: Edit Post

Hi Neil!

I agree that so-called classics of the Genre are not going to be to everyone's tastes but then again given the sheer variety and number of Fantasy books around these days, there's usually something to satisfy alomst all wants.

I've read Seers and all the other MSR books in that series. It really fell away somewhat with the final 3 books I feel. The orginal Winter Of The World trilogy was for me his best work in this world and probably the best example of Ice as a pure malevolent presence I've come across in the Genre. Wonderful atmospherics.

Gotta run, bye for now...:-)

   By Trys on Tuesday, June 13, 2006 - 10:54 am: Edit Post

The first SF/F book I ever read at the age of 10 (4th grade) was bought through the school's book program (Scholastic books or something like that). It was titled Revolt on Alpha C was very thin and definitely intended for a young audience. As to Majipoor... according to Lord Valentine's Castle was copyrighted in 1980. I read that first book in 1963. ;)