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View Full Version : Any Long Running Fantasy Series That Don't Suck?


Evil Dead Junkie
06-11-2007, 09:37 PM
I'm just wondering.

Seriously Goodkind disapeared up the ass of Ayn Rand long long ago.

I'm convinced Jordan has no ****ing clue what's going on.

I really enjoyed Game Of Thrones but I am literally petrified to read any further as I wonder how Martin will manage to screw this up.

So does anyone know of any long running fantasy series that don't screw the pooch at some point?

PS. The Brits Don't Count.

Jeanie
06-11-2007, 10:01 PM
Oh yeah, someone else who feels the same way about the WoT series as I do. I read book 10 and said fuck it, the ending to book 9 is now "And so they defeated the Dark One and everyone lived happily ever after". I've been much happier ever since.

Let's see, good series eh? Let's go with the obvious Drizt Series by R.A Salvatore, roughly a dozen or so there.

Terry Brooks with the Shannara Series, roughly about 15 or so in that. Pretty good, first book (Sword of Shannara) is, as the author puts it, his version of LotR, but after that it deverges enough to stand on its own. Also it's pretty cool for being a Post-Apocolyptic Fantasy.

One of my favorites that I always like to recomend is The Wayfarer Redemption series by Sara Douglass, 6 books so far, the main story is complete from I understand, but she just put out a new Hardcover set in the same world shortly after the end of the series. Pretty rough stuff, a lot of main characters die through out the series, especially in the last two.

Also good is the Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon, 6 books still on-going, though the latest one was a bit slow, but I'm expecting the next one to be pretty busy though, she's pretty good about throwing some action in after slow parts.

Oh and anything DragonLance by Weis and Hickman, Chronicles doublely recomended. Sturm and Flint always get me a little choked up.

That's all I got for now.

Mazian
06-11-2007, 10:10 PM
Steven Brust. One ongoing series starting with Jhereg, which starts out as your basic assassin with snarky sidekick routine, but then starts going all sorts of odd and interesting places right away even within the first book. The first two books are a little rough around the edges while he settles into the writing style, but after that it's all good. Also, there's a completed 5-book series (starting with The Phoenix Guards) set in the same universe with a different set of characters that is written in a perfect pastiche of Alexander Dumas's style, which are outright superb.

Completely different, but Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series has been good so far and is expected to fill out six or so books by the time he's done. Also he's technically in Scotland, so does that evade your Brits Not Counting rule?

tungwene
06-11-2007, 10:28 PM
I'm seconding Brust.

Others I'm fond of are:

Robin Hobb's three trilogies, Farseer, Liveship Traders, and Tawny Man. The first and last have the same main character. The second is set in a different part of the same world.

Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion trilogy. I like her sci-fi Miles Vorkosigan Saga better. I really love the theology she's built up in the Chalion world. It's more intricate than most magic systems in other series.

Guy Gavriel Kay's Sarantine Mosaic, and other books set in the same historical AU. I hesitate to call this a series since Sarantine Mosaic books are the only ones that are a proper series. He writes a lot of historical fantasy set in different time periods in the same AU world. Heck, ALL of his books may be set in the same "world" since he always slips in a mention of Fionavar, the origin world, from another series of his The Fionavar Tapestry. Tigana, which isn't part of the AU is also a very good book of his.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files and Codex Alera. I'm sure some one else will mention him too. Have them explain them for you.

Eric Flint's 1632. A modern day West Virginian mining town gets transported back in time to Germany in the midst of the Thirty Years War. Stuck with no way to get home, they decide to start the American Revolution over a hundred years too soon on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

reibeatall
06-11-2007, 11:16 PM
Also good is the Symphony of Ages series by Elizabeth Haydon, 6 books still on-going, though the latest one was a bit slow, but I'm expecting the next one to be pretty busy though, she's pretty good about throwing some action in after slow parts.


I 100% agree with this. That is, if you can get past the pre-teen sex in the first book. I'm on the 5th one right now.

Red Hedgehog
06-11-2007, 11:46 PM
I've long been a fan of Raymond Feist. He's written at least fifteen books now set in the same world, usually with some characters linking them. The Riftwar Saga is a pretty good group of four (though I found the two Magician books better than the last two) and just about all four of the Serpentwar Saga were good.

shivam
06-12-2007, 12:41 AM
agree with robin hobb.

also Steven Brust. His series about Vlad Taltos, a mafioso assassin type, is fantastic, funny, sarcastic, and incredibly well told. totally worth reading anything the man has written.

I personally love jordan's world, but he needed to finish a few books back. But if you look at it as one long book, with the climax at lord of chaos, and the following books the downturning conclusion, it works better.

and of course, my one true love, dragonlance.

Crazy Larry
06-12-2007, 02:30 PM
The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant by Stephen Donaldson. Great books, but they can turn some people off because the main characters starts out as an asshole and commits some fairly heinous acts, though there is some justification given for his mindset (how plausible it is depends on the reader.) The series is divided into two trilogies and a final, concluding series that just has one book so far. I kind of get the feeling that this final series is going to jump the shark though.

nadia
06-12-2007, 04:23 PM
Was it Robin Hobb who made some ultra-dumb remark about how fanfic writers can never become real writers? Hmm hmm hmm.

SkywardShadow
06-12-2007, 05:02 PM
Robin Hobb and Martin's stuff have both been mentioned, and they are my favorites. While I love Donaldson's stuff, I normally can't recommend them to others.

I wouldn't call Hobb's remark stupid. From what I've read, she simply thinks that original creations are far more important and fulfilling than fan-fiction, and that most fan-fiction is pretty pathetic. While I think people have the right to write it... I've also come to think that it generally only detracts from the original artistic vision.

nadia
06-12-2007, 05:12 PM
She said something along the lines of, "A gourmet chef doesn't ever use cake mixes." Why not? Is it illegal for a chef to take a day off and enjoy himself, or experiment by adding to a cake mix?

I just think a better metaphor is in order here!

shivam
06-12-2007, 06:09 PM
that wasn't hobb. that was someone else.

Torgo
06-12-2007, 06:52 PM
She said something along the lines of, "A gourmet chef doesn't ever use cake mixes." Why not? Is it illegal for a chef to take a day off and enjoy himself, or experiment by adding to a cake mix?
Instant fail for this writer person, nadia is right. Boxed cake mixes are a fantastic base to get creative with. Even reputable cooks (http://www.altonbrown.com/) who know what they're talking about have said as much.

Jeanie
06-12-2007, 08:33 PM
Instant fail for this writer person, nadia is right. Boxed cake mixes are a fantastic base to get creative with. Even reputable cooks (http://www.altonbrown.com/) who know what they're talking about have said as much.

Alton Brown said so? Well heck, I guess it's true then. That guy is THE Mad Scientist of food.

SlimJimm
06-12-2007, 10:47 PM
Anyone read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series?
It seems a little confusing to me at times, but they aren't that bad of a read.

tungwene
06-12-2007, 11:54 PM
Was it Robin Hobb who made some ultra-dumb remark about how fanfic writers can never become real writers? Hmm hmm hmm.I don't remember if she said that but I know she's ranted against fanfic authors because of the slash that gets written for her series.

Torgo
06-13-2007, 12:13 AM
Alton Brown said so? Well heck, I guess it's true then. That guy is THE Mad Scientist of food.
Alton Brown is the only tv cook I can watch consistently.

To clarify, I've only heard him say that boxed mixes do in fact make a darn good cake. I'll take that as a tacit endorsement for tinkering with them, though.

I don't remember if she said that but I know she's ranted against fanfic authors because of the slash that gets written for her series.
If you don't want to see slashfics of your writing, then you're better off not writing.

I mean, seriously.

Jeanie
06-13-2007, 12:34 AM
Alton Brown is the only tv cook I can watch consistently.

Well I can watch Giada, but that's for some different reasons. Otherwise I agree. The Food Network is almost constantly on my tv as background noice but if Good Eats comes on, I'll usually stop to watch it.

Anyone read the Malazan Book of the Fallen series?
It seems a little confusing to me at times, but they aren't that bad of a read.

I read the first one, it was pretty good once it got going but it was hard for me to get into.

nadia
06-13-2007, 02:56 PM
If you don't want to see slashfics of your writing, then you're better off not writing.

It's either that or give a ninja lobotomy to anyone who reads your book.

Thinaran
06-14-2007, 03:52 AM
I really like the Drenai series by David Gemmell, which (chronologically, and that's how I've been reading them) starts with the book Waylander.

Yeah, it's essensially pulp, with badass guys with badass weapons, being badass towards eachother. But it's so well written, and especially dialogues ... and character interactions ... yeah, and battles, are a delight to read. Classification heroic fantasy; there is magic and monsters, but no elves or dwarves or such.

A good start is the book Legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_%28novel%29).

marcalan
06-14-2007, 06:57 AM
I'm currently reading Midnight Tides, the fifth Malazan book by Stephen Erikson. This is currently my favorite series, even beating out GRR Martin.

The first book, Gardens of the Moon, does take a little bit to get into. I think it was about a third of the way in before things started to make sense. After a certain point, the book just took off. Book two, The Deadhouse Gates, threw me for a bit of a loop, as it takes some of the characters from the first series, introduces a bunch of others, and places it on a new continent that was mentioned a few times in Gardens of the Moon. It gets easier after that, as things are familiar and continue across the series. While the writing is a bit rough at first, Erikson has definately grown as a writer.


Erikson's style is of large scale military campaigns, but he only focuses on several characters, lettting you get a glimpse into how they think and work. He does a great job of keeping the different people sounding different, even though it's written in the third person. Add in a wonderful sense of black humor.

The thing to keep in mind is that Erikson and his friend Ian Cameron Esselmont started the world off as a place to first play DnD and later on GURPS. As such, there is a lot of background information, but he hasn't done a massive "this is how the world works" that some authors seem to need to do.

If you read no other of his books, read Midnight Tides, the latest one. Chronologically, it the first book and really doesn't require too much knowledge of what is going on in the first four. The tone is a bit depressing, but there is one character that actually has me laughing out loud, as his dialogue is so well written.

Sarcasmorator
06-14-2007, 08:40 PM
I really enjoyed Game Of Thrones but I am literally petrified to read any further as I wonder how Martin will manage to screw this up.

Dude, just read em. Four books in and he hasn't missed a beat. They're awesome.

Crazy Larry
06-15-2007, 11:38 AM
Dude, just read em. Four books in and he hasn't missed a beat. They're awesome.Well, a lot of people are down on the fourth book, but that's only because it's really only half a book, and the fact that there's been so many amazing events that the plot had to slow down a little just to set up more awesome.

upupdowndown
06-16-2007, 10:34 AM
Erikson's Malazan series really is kind of incredible. He's pretty big on writing all side of a conflict credibly and even sympathetically. There's ONE character who might be considered out and out Eeeeeeevil, and even that character has really, really good reasons for being so.

There is a crap-ton of things that you could keep track of from book to book, but I've found that the best thing to do is to just give yourself over to the flow and not worry about recalling every last detail.

Kate or Die!
06-17-2007, 07:19 PM
Hmmm...My mom reads stuff by Robert Jordan, The Wheel of Time series. She says it's awesome. I used to read Terry Brooks stuff (Magic Kingdom of Landover, Sword of Shannara) but that was in sixth grade (along with stuff by Brian Jacques...).

NoKidding
06-17-2007, 10:16 PM
Hey, at least it wasn't Piers Anthony

Merus
06-23-2007, 12:50 PM
I tend to try and pimp Ian Irvine in this sort of situation: he's got three series, in the same universe but separate in time and with magic steampunk in the second one.

His hook is that he writes evolutionary fantasy: his villains have good reasons for what they're doing, and his heroes basically have to figure out being heroes for themselves. This gets excruciating about book 2 where the heroes manage to jump out of the frying pan into the fire, but then the payoff where you've been following them the entire time and they finally get to kick some major ass is gratifying.

My only complaint is that the second series is cliffhanger-heavy (even to the point where it ends on a cliffhanger) and one minor subplot from the second series doesn't get paid off until the third. Thankfully, the first four are self-contained and the jumping forward in time makes the arc epic without being unwieldy.

Main attraction in this one, though, is the Anything Goes aspect of it, that the heroes aren't invincible but at the same time they get to be the actual genuine heroes through their own efforts. (One thing that shits me about most American fantasy is that the heroes tend to be heroes just because. They get all this help and support, and mentor figures up the wazoo, which makes one ask why the mentors didn't just get together and run down the list of the world's problems?)