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Also, in addition to my brief tale of conversational gaffes and… - Dreamtigers and other fantastical beasts [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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[May. 28th, 2006|11:24 pm]
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Also, in addition to my brief tale of conversational gaffes and soul-sucking awkwardness in my last post, I meant to direct a question to my f-list:

On the heels of KdS's analysis of spec-fic, I've been thinking about my on-going struggle to update my personal canon of sci-fi and fantasy. My dilemma has been to avoid the "pulp" stuff (if, while browsing the bookstore, I have to read one more title with some variation of the words "mage," "dragon," "magic/magick/majick/majoke," etc, often with a colorful picture of what is obviously an elf on the cover, I swear I will start endorsing censorship.) Searching on-line doesn't help much -- most of what I see is either 1) stuff that doesn't remotely interest me (Lackey, Pierce, Gaiman, Salvatore, anime/comics, et cetera) because they seem to be too "pop fic," if that makes sense, or 2) stuff seems a bit too overtly oriented in the socio-political. I find the latter extremely distracting because most writers I've seen of late have no sense of subtlety, so the message comes to dominate the medium. I don't necessarily disagree with the message, but I don't need to have it glaring angrily at me while I'm trying to relax and enjoy a book.

I'm fond of old-school stuff -- the Tolkiens and the Liebers and the Heinleins and the Bears and the Nivens and Besters and the Le Guins and the Golden/Silver Age fiction -- but I've pretty much run through those in terms of interest...I'm ready to join the 21st century and find out who the new grandmasters of good old-fashioned sci-fi and fantasy are. It shames me to say so, but the last stuff to really fascinate me were Stephen Donaldson's fantasy and sci-fi (even if he did have a wee problem with over-writing and over-emoting) and William Gibson's stuff (even if his works other than Neuromancer are rather formulaic.) But those date from the late 70's, early to mid 80's. At least their original stuff does, though Donaldson did some excellent sci-fi stuff in the 90's and Gibson has been writing solidly, but not spectacularly, since the apex he reached with Neuromancer.

I'd ask around for recs, but I have no idea if anyone else has the same tastes as me. And reading titles in the bookstore just depresses me no end because all I can think about is how, time was, I could immediately tell you whether a given book or series (I like series) was a fun read. The Books of Swords, the Robot series, Heinlein's "total psychotic pontificating sex-fiend nutjob" period from Stranger until his death, even the Moorcock stuff. Nowadays, though....

p.s. I've now read 15 pages of "The Da Vinci Code" in 5 days. I hate it more than even Snacky does.
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[User Picture]From: midnightsjane
2006-05-29 04:25 am (UTC)
I like the old school stuff like Le Guin and Tolkien too. I don't have any recs, but I do have a good friend who owns both a science fiction/fantasy bookstore, and a vast knowledge of the genre. He can tell by the books you read who you might enjoy, and give recommendations;
http://www.deadwrite.com is their website, and I'm sure Walter would be happy to help if you drop him an email.
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[User Picture]From: randomways
2006-05-29 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've looked over it and have formulated some ideas. The sheer numbers of the genre books are staggering, so I'll definitely need some sort of spirit guide to lead me past the landmines of "our hero, a 20th level Drow Enchanter with a +3 Wand of Immaculate Imitation" type books. :)

How do I address him? Coming out of the blue with a random "howdy, stranger, this is what I like, cater to me" e-mail seems a little abrupt.
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[User Picture]From: midnightsjane
2006-05-29 06:30 pm (UTC)
His name is Walter, and I'll tell him I told you to email him. Just mention that their friend Jane sent you!
He'll be happy to help.
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[User Picture]From: randomways
2006-05-30 04:05 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'll formulate an e-mail (once I formulate my thoughts, heh) and contact him sometime this week, then. You've been very helpful.
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[User Picture]From: midnightsjane
2006-05-30 05:27 am (UTC)
I mentioned it to him tonight, and he's going to keep an eye out for your email.
Glad I could help!
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