George R. R. Martin

Ian W. Riddell iwr77 at hotmail.com
Thu Jun 27 13:03:31 EDT 2002


Wow!

Thanks Melissa! That list will keep me going for a while. I've always had 
this suspicion I might like Tad Williams, so I'll give it a try.

As for Eddings, I have started the first book of the Belgariad and I can see 
what you mean. I found the prologue quite horrible to be honest. The actual 
chapters are much better - but I wonder if he would have been better served 
integrating all of the prologue back-story into the text as he went along.

I'll let you know what I think of Williams when I get started.

Thanks

widdy

>From: Melissa Proffitt <Melissa at Proffitt.com>
>Reply-To: dwj at suberic.net
>To: dwj at suberic.net
>Subject: Re: George R. R. Martin
>Date: Thu, 27 Jun 2002 09:43:53 -0600
>
>On Thu, 27 Jun 2002 11:07:59 -0400, Ian W. Riddell wrote:
>
> >OK, I know that some on this list don't like Martin's "Song of Ice and 
>Fire"
> >sequence, but I am currently enamoured of them and have just finished the
> >third volume and am looking for other work along the same line to fill 
>the
> >time between now and the release of the fourth volume.
> >
> >Any recommendations?
> >
> >I will of course, continue my quest to read all of DWJ and reread all of
> >LeGuin, but I'm also in the market for some really big-scale, political
> >fantasy.
> >
> >What's Tad Williams like. Eddings?
>
>Tad Williams is big-scale epic fantasy.  "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn" is more
>or less traditional stuff; "Otherland" is a fantasy dressed up in
>near-future clothing and is even more epic in scale.  I loved it.  It is, 
>in
>fact, a single novel in four volumes and about 3500 pages (I think).  The
>big difference is that it isn't "medieval" fantasy, it's "cyber" fantasy.
>Sort of.  When I started it, and one of the first images was a WWI soldier
>encountering the Hanged Man, I knew I was going to love it.  It was one of
>the best things I read last year.  I didn't like "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn"
>as much, but I don't really know why; it was very good.  Not as heavy on 
>the
>politics, I think.  In fact I'm ashamed to say I can't even remember how it
>ended, which probably means I should read it again sometime soon.
>
>If you like George Martin, you might also like Mary Gentle's _Ash_.  I
>haven't finished it, because the profanity (which is an integral part of 
>the
>main character's personality) really put me off.  But I thought the premise
>was interesting and the story engrossing: warfare and politics combined.  
>Is
>it Dorian who likes these books so much?  My mind is going.  Anyway,
>somebody else here can probably elaborate.  If you don't like frame stories
>it might annoy you, but *I* like them and I thought this one was as clever
>and engrossing as the novel--in fact, given my antipathy to Ash's language,
>I kinda wished there was a version that focused more on the frame a la
>_Possession_.
>
>David Eddings.  Where to begin.  Jacob just finished re-reading The
>Belgariad and indulging in some misty nostalgia.  I do not recommend any of
>the others except perhaps the Elenium (_The Diamond Throne_ etc.) and I 
>ONLY
>do so on the basis that you have specifically requested information.  I
>personally detest Eddings' writing style and his characters make me
>seriously annoyed.  But the Belgariad itself has many fine qualities and
>when I was younger, I really loved it.  I think, somewhere beneath all the
>annoying prose, there must be some kernel of universal truth--you know, the
>kind of thing you just resonate to, regardless of form.  Or maybe I was 
>just
>young.  :)  Anyway, the real point is that this is not nearly on the same
>scale as Martin.  Even the bad things that happen are painted in rosy
>colors.  Where with Martin you constantly have the feeling that anyone 
>could
>die at any moment, Eddings takes a more heroic approach.  If the dark
>"realism" of Martin is what you like, Eddings is probably not going to fit
>the bill.  His books are, however, concerned with politics on the 
>world-wide
>scale, so that might work.
>
>I like the politicking of Katherine Kerr, but her later books are not as
>interesting to me.  The first four, _Daggerspell_, _Darkspell_, _The
>Bristling Wood_, and _The Dragon Revenant_, are all exceptionally
>interesting and full of Celtic-flavor politics and warfare.  I would have
>been happy if the series had ended there, but it didn't.  But don't let my
>bad opinion put you off reading the others if you like the first ones,
>because my opinion is colored by my strong dislike of seeing characters 
>grow
>old and die too quickly.  ("Too quickly" from my perspective, like in one
>book the character is 25 and in the next he's 50.  Not in the sense of 
>aging
>more rapidly than is normal.  I love watching Miles Vorkosigan get older.)
>
>I would recommend Robert Jordan, but it would earn me the scathing disdain
>of my fellow DWJ-listers, so I won't. :)  Plus the series isn't even
>finished yet and he TOTALLY stalled out around book 6.  I haven't even
>bothered reading book 9.  I really did love this series--it satisfied my
>need for epic heroic fantasy, for which I do not have much need--but he had
>too many plotlines, too many characters, and the series lost focus.  Pity.
>It's my feeling he got burnt out by the demands of rabid fans.  Besides,
>this is more like soap-opera fiction than epic fantasy: it's driven by
>multiple plotlines and you tend to tune in to find out what happened to Mat
>when he was kidnapped by invaders and taken back to their foreign country,
>where he's doomed to marry the Daughter of Nine Moons...that's an actual
>plot snippet there.  In my head I hear Hughnon Ridcully, High Priest of
>Blind Io, recounting the daily squabbles of the gods....
>
>I can't think of any others right now.
>
>Melissa Proffitt
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