A long ramble: Regency fantasy, book recommendations, etc.

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Tue Sep 4 07:55:22 EDT 2001

Jacob, replying to my long ramble.

> Sci. Fi. Has it's own version of this.  I love it when they have
> galactic civilizations that have been around for hundreds of years
> essentially unchanged.  On Earth, we've had a tough time keeping any
> single government around for longer than a couple centuries.  The
> longest lasting governments I can think of are Rome and China, but
> both of those underwent *substantial* change--to such an extent that
> I have kind of a hard time calling them the same government.

Good point.  We've had ours here in the UK for a bit over 300 years now, but
it's changed a lot in that time...

Like I said, SF writers are used to technological progress.  As you point out,
that doesn't mean they get social progress right, too.

>> Alan Dean Foster, whose SF I recommend, but not his fantasy.
>> Very readable.  I don't think it would stand up to
>> hard-science scrutiny, but it's still good SF.
> I *loved* the Flinx novels.  It's been ten years or more since I
> read them, but I wouldn't mind reading them again just to see if

Me too.  I'm not sure I've got all of them yet (either read or owned).
Ironically, the first Flinx novel I read was "Flinx in Flux", I think the last?

But Flinx, and other characters from his books, come up elsewhere in ADF's
commonwealth books, too...

> the memory holds.  I think he wrote _Quozl_ as well and that book
> stands as one of the few fundamental stories I've read that changed
> the way I think about some things.  The story was so unique and
> fresh that I can still remember significant details as well as the
> broader storyline.

He did indeed.  Yes, that is an excellent book too.

>> To me, "Urban" means "to do with cities".  We finally settled
>> on two competing definitions last time - "Fantasy of, rather
>> than merely in, a city", favoured by me, and "Fantasy which
>> contrasts magic and modern city life as light and darkness"
>> (I think) favoured by Mr and Mrs Proffitt (who will no doubt
>> pop up with a far better statement of their definition).
> Nah.  That's about what my definition comes down to.  Charles DeLint
> serves as my measuring stick for my kind of Urban Fantasy.

Fair enough, although I find he often makes the fantasy just as dark as the
city, if not darker.

I think my measuring stick for urban fantasy, which I forgot to mention last
time, is Fritz Leiber's "Our Lady of Darkness".  Definitely "of" a city; here
the contrast is fantasy=dark, city=bright, though...


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