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Saturday, February 04, 2012

A couple fun fantasy "sets"

I bought a Kindle about six weeks ago, because I wanted to start reading more than I have in recent years. I like reading Science Fiction (and Fantasy) and I've found that the list of Hugo and Nebula Award nominees offers a really good reading list. I find that while I frequently enjoy the winners, I often like the other nominees as well or better. There are a few authors that I just can't stand and therefore avoid--usually due to style, but sometimes b/c of subject matter.

Once I find an author that I like via Nebula/Hugo nominee sampling, I feel comfortable taking a deeper dive into their other works. And when I've not been reading for a span of years, sometimes I find an author I like with some new books on this list, and that makes my book selecting life easy!

This time around I found two "sets" in this category, both in the fantasy genre and both containing as much "theology" as "magic". Plain old good stories by good writers...worth the read. The first set is by Lois McMaster Bujold (The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, The Hallowed Hunt) and the second is by Gene Wolfe (The Knight, The Wizard).

I was familiar with Bujold from reading a few of the science fiction (space opera) stories of Miles Vorkosigan. I am quite impressed with the fantasy series, which are each distinct and separate stories all in the same world with each focusing on a different "type" of magic. I very much recommend the set to people that enjoy SF&F--I thought reading them in order was helpful.

The "set" by Gene Wolfe is really one story that takes 2 books to tell. While I mostly enjoyed the first book (coming of age)--Wolfe used a somewhat heavy hand on the Sir this and Sir that, and a non-too-subtle "name-enclature" which I found tiresome--I think it was really necessary to read the second book to get the full scope of the story. As the story unfolds one soon realizes that the "side trips" into alternate plains of existence and the mythology of the Knight/Wizards world are really central to the story. Or if central is not the right word, then at least the most interesting part of the story.

3 Comments:

At 12:44 PM, Anonymous renewable energy investments said...

As a Brit living temporarily in the States, I had never heard of Kindle or eReaders when I first arrived. However, seemed like a neat idea so purchased one, and now cannot live without it. Another great example of American ingenuity at work!

 
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