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I've discussed it here before, but I'm of the opinion that the Malazan Book of the Fallen is the greatest fantasy series ever written. There are something like 10 books and each of them is a masterpiece in its own right. I've just finished reading the series for the second time and I'm as bowed over by it as I was the first time though. Here's one of my favourite little nuggets.


 

Quote

 

There is something profoundly cynical, my friends, in the notion of paradise after death. The lure is evasion. The promise is excusative. One need not accept responsibility for the world as it is, and by extension, one need do nothing about it. To strive for change, for true goodness in this mortal world, one must acknowledge and accept, within one’s own soul, that this mortal reality has purpose in itself, that its greatest value is not for us, but for our children and their children. To view life as but a quick passage along a foul, tortured path – made foul and tortured by our own indifference – is to excuse all manner of misery and depravity, and to exact cruel punishment upon the innocent lives to come.

 

I defy this notion of paradise beyond the gates of bone. If the soul truly survives the passage, then it behooves us – each of us, my friends – to nurture a faith in similitude: what awaits us is a reflection of what we leave behind, and in the squandering of our mortal existence, we surrender the opportunity to learn the ways of goodness, the practice of sympathy, empathy, compassion and healing – all passed by in our rush to arrive at a place of glory and beauty, a place we did not earn, and most certainly do not deserve.

 

The Apocryphal Teachings of Tanno Spiritwalker Kimloc

 

 

What are your favourite fantasy novels/series, and why?

 

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I've not heard of Malazan, thanks for sharing.  Been a while now since I've read for pleasure, might be time.

 

Fritz Lieber's Fafhrd and Grey Mouser series is one of my all time favorites.  And surprisingly little known among fantasy lovers I've encountered.  I've handed out and repurchased countless copies over the years, spreading my love of his work.  Fritz wrote in series of conjoined short stories about the two anti-heroes Fafhrd of the Northern Ice Tribe Barbarians and Grey Mouser, the slim wizard-thief from the sultry low lands in the South.  The stories link together loosely and can be read in any order really... published over time into about seven books total.  Ill Met In Lankhmar is the first. 

 

Lieber's phrasing was always a keen draw for me, very unique.  He was inspirational to many other writers as well.  He along with Michael Moorcock and Robert Howard are considered the Fathers of the Sword and Sorcery genre.  Fritz was also a deep love and inspiration of JRR Tolkien, whose Lord of the Rings it seems, will always be my crown jewel for high fantasy.

 

While living in NYC in the 90's and riding the tube daily, I devoured both Terry Goodkind's and Robert Jordan's series... each somewhere around a dozen books.

 

The Kingmaker series has been coming to mind lately as well.  I read that while hanging out at The Cloisters Castle in The Bronx.  As perfect a setting for reading that in America as one is likely to find...  sections of five different European castles reassembled into a new castle in the heart of the Bronx, NYC. 

 

And if you want to veer out of fantasy and into top notch sci fi... the Strugatsky Brothers out of Russia... <woof!>  Amazing stuff!  I recommend Roadside Picnic to start.

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I'm haunted by Lieber's short story,  "Gonna Roll Them Bones".

 

Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser are excellent.  The fantasy stories I love that seem to be vanishingly obscure are the "Silver John" stories by Manley Wade Wellman.  A folk singer versus occult evil in Appalachia, so I'm absolutely the demographic for this sort of thing, but I'm surprised how hard the books are to find now.

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Posted (edited)

My current pleasure reading is non fiction,  "Religion at work in a neolithic society ", a collection of writing about the finds at Catalhoyuk in Turkey. Re read Matt Ruff's "Lovecraft Country " as an act of sheer geekery. The last novel i read before that was "The Mahasiddha Field", fantasy adventure by Dwai, who is a very active presence on this forum. 

 

I'm looking forward to the next episode in Martha Wells "Murderbot " series. 

Edited by Sketch
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Just read 'Gardens of the Moon'!  Very excited to keep this one going.

 

My 3 favorite fantasy series, possibly in order, are:

 

The Dresden Files (ongoing)

The Wheel of Time

Stormlight Archive (ongoing)

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On 04/03/2021 at 5:54 PM, Wilhelm said:

Just read 'Gardens of the Moon'!  Very excited to keep this one going.

 

Congrats! The series only gets better.

 

I've been meaning to read the stormlight archive, ill give it a go

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