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  • Oh my gosh, I have that exact same cover right next to my computer. So I'm going back and forth and giggling.

    Where is Gaiman? Is he the tall guy with the black jeans and sweater thing? I always assumed that was Nick.

    Actually, this cover confuses me. I recognize Marie and Rob and the cyborg secretary...but is the guy in the trenchcoat Rupert? He looks too old. And is that supposed to be Zinka in the pink top hat?

    I love the refrences. And I finally found out what filking is, after like two years. And that scene is one of the funniest in the whole book. "WORRRPH-EH!" "Eyenose cuzzidin lyebeans." lol.

    And the poisonous Janine's designer sweaters are just hilarious. And the Dutch gopher with the Dutch jokes. And the panel on fantasy. *snort*


    • Yup, Neil's the one in black. That's how he dresses in real life. I don't think Rupert or Nick are on the cover, but that's just my personal take. I suppose you could ask Charles Vess the next time you see him. He goes to an awful lot of these cons, too.

      Another book where Neil Gaiman "appears" is John M. Ford's Star Trek novel, How Much For Just the Planet? This was, I believe, back in the days before Neil was a fantasy author and was still a journalist. He asked Mike (the "John" is silent) if he could be in the book, and was given a walk-on. In that one, it's easy to figure out which character is Neil Gaiman if you do anagrams.

      What's even more fun about HMFJTP? is that it's a musical and everybody gets to sing. Including a certain Princess Dee Dee... Mike put in a lot of walk-ons.
      Last edited by Kathy Li; January 7, 2010, 10:21:06 PM.
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      • Alright, I mentioned this in TOGR, but figured this would be a better place to get an answer.

        Terry Pratchett. I've heard him mentioned around here a lot, and a friend recommended him to me recently, only couldn't remember which book would be a good one to start with. So, for anyone who knows this kind of thing: which Terry Pratchett book should one start reading first?

        Right now, I'm about to get off the computer and start Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which I'm pretty sure somebody here has read. I like Gaiman's writing style, though at the moment the name of the books of his I've read, other than Stardust, escape me. I'm kind of scatterbrained at the moment.


        • For Pratchett, I'd recommend starting with Wee Free Men. It's the first in a side-series set on Discworld about a young witch named Tiffany Aching. You could also try the standalone title, Nation, before deciding if you want to tackle the wild wacky abundance that is the Discworld.

          For Neil Gaiman, I actually don't recommend American Gods, but that may just be me and where my head was at when I read it, but I like its sorta/kinda "sequel", Anasi Boys much better. I'd actually recommend The Graveyard Book or Coraline if you want a YA title,or Stardust or Neverwhere first. Or, the Sandman comic books, if you're feeling very brave.
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          • Ditto to the Wee Free Men first. It's a little simpler to read than the T.P. books in the adult fiction section (starting with The Colour of Magic).

            I haven't read any Gaiman except Coraline (creeepy)'s on my to-do list.

            When I see Charles Vess? Sadly, I probably go to any cons anytime soon. Being a minor is not conducive to going to fantasy cons when your parents don't read fantasy. And I've got music camps at various colleges all lined up for summer anyway. Sigh. (Not that I don't like music camps- I'm veeeery excited! Just sighing about the lack of cons.) Oh well, the world probably won't end before I'm 21. Hopefully.

            And if it does, I won't care about cons anyway.

            So who's read the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson? If you haven't, you need to. NOW. It is fantastic.


            • Kli: I remembered which I read! I read Neverwhere a week or two ago, actually. The fact that I couldn't remember the name of a book I recently read either means: A. I really am getting old (not true, despite what my brother says) or B. I have read what some people would consider to be too many books over this break. But I digress. Now that I actually remember reading it, I remember that I really enjoyed it, and therefore recommend it.

              I've also read Anansi Boys and Stardust, both during last school year. But anyway, so far I'm liking American Gods a lot; it's just the sort of book I need to read before the semester starts on Monday, and I get sucked into reading a whole bunch of literature written during the Renaissance. The class is taught by my new adviser, who I haven't met yet. Should be interesting...hopefully I can get some good book recommendations from her, so far all my English professors have been able to recommend some pretty good books that aren't usually on college reading lists.


              • Oh, if you've read a ton of other Gaiman, then no problem with American Gods. My problem reading it was I'd come off my umpteenth re-read of Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles/House of Niccolo series, and after that, anything would've seemed flat and simplistic by comparison.

                To me, George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy-tinged Dunnett-lite. Then again, to me, Rafael Sabatini is Dunnett-lite which is simply perverse.
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                • So I just finished reading The Sound and the Fury and boy, was it depressing. And very, very full of run-on sentences. I think that there was two full pages in one instance with out a single period. But it was very interesting to read the strem-of-conciousness stuff, especially in places where Faulkner would put "normal" conversation and the thoughts in between. He really had a good insight into the way the mind works (even though most of it was depressed or half-insane minds, but still).

                  It was interesting how the 'half-wit's' chapter had almost the simplest and most coherent view. Still, I don't know if I'll read it again unless I'm in a really bad mood.

                  On the opposite end of the scale: The Goose Girl! (And the sequels.) I love Shannon Hale's books very muchly. They're written so beautifully.

                  ...Although I think Robin McKinley is the all-time champion of lyrical epic fantasy. I actually cried while reading the scene where Aerin is dying after fighting the dragon. And I almost NEVER do that. The only other book I've cried about was the Princess Bride. And possibly the audiobook version of Blackbringer, where Poppy dies and Magpie's dying.

                  I doubt anyone's read Blackbringer, since it's a children's fantasy and it's a little young for most people here, but I'm blacking it out just in case. It's cute, and the audiobook is totally awesome. I was walking around trying to talk with a Scottish accent for days because I loved listening to it so much.

                  Okay, I'll stop rambling now.


                  • re: Pratchett, because I see a couple of people saying "Start with Wee Free Men" and I happen to disagree - I think Pratchett start-offs should really be tailored to the individual personality. If you've read a lot of cheesy epic fantasy and you don't mind reading a very critical, not-that-well-written parody, start with Colour of Magic (I started with CoM and loved it, but a majority of people don't like it.) If you dig urban fantasy and/or crime novels - for example, if you've read a lot of the Dresden Files books - start with Men at Arms or Feet of Clay. If you like fairy story retellings, start with The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. If you like rock n roll, start with Soul Music. If you like Shakespeare, start with Wyrd Sisters or Lords and Ladies. If you like Twilight or Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals, PLEASE start with Maskerade and follow it up with Carpe Jugulum (which should be compulsory reading for anyone who likes any kind of vampire fiction). If you like journalists (...), start with The Truth.

                    General tips: don't start with the first in any given group of books (Colour of Magic for the Wizards, Equal Rites for the Witches, Guards! Guards! for the Watch, Mort for Death - although some people really love Mort, so what do I know.) Read the second or third and go back and read the first one. There are some stand-out standalones, especially The Truth (my favourite) and Small Gods (especially good if you're an agnostic.)
                    Go ahead! Panic! Do it now and avoid the June rush! Fear death by water!


                    • I've really enjoyed the recent ones Pterry's been doing with Moist Lipzweig (sp?), Going Postal and Making Money. Vetinari making an 'honest' man out of a professional con artist by winding him up and letting him go on a given problem is priceless.
                      "Thus is Balance maintained." A Wizard of Earthsea
                      "Condensing fact from the vapor of nuance." Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash


                      • I read Stardust about two years ago or so. Probably around when the trailers for the movie first started showing up, since I like to read the book before watching. I enjoyed it. I have yet to read any of Gaiman's other work though. Its on my list of I'll-read-it-somewhere-along-the-line. There are a lot of books on that list. Is Coraline good?

                        For those of you who like fantasy (pretty much everyone, right?) I suggest The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. My brother suggested it to me when we were perusing a Barnes and Noble, so I bought it. It sat on my desk for about a year before I finally read it. But when I did I loved it. I seem to remember it took a little bit to get started, but once it did, I didn't want to put it down.
                        My only warning is that it is a trilogy, or will be, but he has yet to finish the second book, so patience is necessary.
                        I love the bit on the back of the book.
                        I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon, I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep.
                        You may have heard of me.
                        Tantalizing, anyone?

                        As for now, I came to the conclusion that I can not go on in life without reading Tolkien. I tried reading The Hobbit when I was younger after my brother gave me a box set with the four books in it. He had told me to read it after the trilogy since it takes some time to get into... well anything in it. As he predicted, it did not catch my interest. So the books have lain on my bookshelf.
                        I picked up The Hobbit last week, and by dogged determination made it to the trolls, where it picks up the pace. Today I started The Fellowship of the Ring. I have heard that Tolkien can be a bit long-winded, but I am finding that I enjoy his writing style. I know some don't because of this, but I find it helps in imagining a real world, in visualizing the characters.
                        And I was wondering how many here have actually read the books? I suspect the older members have, but I am not sure about some of the others.

                        PS. SilveredBlue, you've only cried at three books? I can't even come close to saying the same. I pretty much cry anytime a character dies. My mom makes fun of me for it. You should have seen me at the end of the fifth and sixth Harry Potter books.


                        • Tui, my recommendation of Wee Free Men was made with the general population of this board in mind: mostly female with a penchant for YA fantasy. I do agree, though, that when recommending, it's usually best to know the tastes of the person you're recommending for.

                          illiriam, yes, Coraline is good, but it's spooky.

                          And yes, as an older member, I can say I've actually read LotR. The first time I read it, I was the right age for The Hobbit but far too young for LotR, so for me it was kind of a painful slog I never forgot. If I'd reread LotR in my late teens or early twenties, that would've probably been the ideal time, but as it was I only got around to finallly re-reading them thoroughly the year before the movies came out, and then I was just slightly too old to fall wildly in love with them as so many others do. I love them and the language, and most especially as a piece of WWII-era British writing. I'd say, keep going for as long as you're enjoying it. If you stop enjoying it, putting it aside until you're ready for it can be a good thing.

                          Meteorite: I am sooooo behind with Laurie R. King. I still haven't read THE LANGUAGE OF BEES. (sigh). And THE GOD OF THE HIVE is due out in April. Too many books, too little time.
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                          • I've read LoTR. I was 12 when I read them, I'm not sure what made me decide to read them but I read The Hobbit and then started right in on the trilogy. The first movie came out only a few months later, I remember I was so excited that I'd read the books before the movies.

                            Has anyone read "The Hunger Games"?
                            "Doctors help you to live, the Arts give you a reason to live."


                            • Ah Lord of the Rings - people haven't read it? I first read Lord of the Rings itself in 5th or 6th grade, after having been obsessed with the Hobbit. I have my mom's boxed set, and have read it so often that the covers have fallen off. Because the boxed set was missing the Hobbit when I got it, I almost bought the matching copy of The Hobbit at a used bookstore, but ended up not picking it up.

                              Re: Pratchett, everyone else has said it already. I personally started at Colour of Magic, but I don't think anyone else I know irl has successfully started there. Some started there and went back after, but in order to get into the series had to start elseware.

                              I've been really into the books that start with Wizard's Bane lately. They're really hilarious. A programmer is pulled into a world where magic works and he ends up writing a programming language for magic, and the books are full of bad puns.

                              I've been in a very...mathy mood lately. I got a set of The World of Mathematics from a used bookstore (that same one I almost got The Hobbit from), and have read some. I find it really interesting to read things like The Mathematicians Apology (which is a good description of Mathematicians, I should make my parents read it), and about computers from the 1940s and 1950s. I'm currently reading Turing's paper where he mentions the Turing Test.
                              We will remember you PM. And your little GingerBear.


                              • bookgirl: Hunger Games....yes. It was very violent, at the end, was it not? Yet punctuated by descriptions of gorgeous dresses. I love the 'fire' theme and how it comes back, dress and all, in Catching Fire .

                                I was trapped from the first page.

                                Yet Catching Fire didn't draw me in as much. It was kind of filler-ish, and not as original as the Hunger Games. I thought that the whole Katniss-gets-in-trouble-with-the-government-and-has-to-flee thingy could have been accomplished in a better way than basically a repeat of the Games in book 1. Yes, there was new stuff, but, but...couldn't Katniss just have been put on trial if she was such a problem? Or sent to the Capital?

                                I'm a Peeta/Katniss, btw. You?

                                Tuttle: Ooh, I love mathy books! I read a cool one about the evolution of zero recently. And another about key patterns and infinity patterns that was sorta written weird. And a great book called The Number Devil. You gotta love it when an author calls functions "vroom!". I think it was functions, at least...Anyway it was funny.

                                Wow, the first three posts are all me. I need a new hobby. Can you get expelled for posting too much? *cowers*
                                Last edited by SilveredBlue; January 12, 2010, 12:45:53 AM.