The Necessity of Fantasy

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PipeAndPint
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The Necessity of Fantasy

Post by PipeAndPint » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:10 pm

I've started a blog series on the books that were most important to me, formatively. Not only do I list the books, but I also offer some perspectives on what I think each imparted.

Check out the first entry at: The Necessity of Fantasy
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Post by GScott » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:26 pm

Nice article. You express yourself very well and I'm looking forward to reading your book when it comes out.

My father got me my first CS Lewis Narnia book in 1957 when I was 10. I still have it. I Read LOTR in 1967 when it first came out. I was in the Navy then. I couldn't put it down. Since then, there have been so many, most sci fi I guess, that I couldn't begin to name them. However, the series that I have most enjoyed in recent years has been Lawhead's "Song of Albion" triloly, though that really isn't in a fantsy genre as much as historical fiction--in a fantasy sort of way.

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Post by Skip » Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:35 pm

"I will not keep them out of Valinor in order to prevent them from straying into Mordor."

J - that sentence rocks.

My parents had similar views - my father refused to pay for a semester at college if I insisted upon taking Fantasy and Science Fiction as an English elective. He won that battle; I won the war.

I'm glad you mentioned "northerness" and "joy"; I was thinking those very words before I reached your mention of them.

Now, then, ever read any Brust?
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Post by PipeAndPint » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:18 am

Skip wrote:I'm glad you mentioned "northerness" and "joy"; I was thinking those very words before I reached your mention of them.
Imagine how surprised I was when I read about them in Lewis' autobiography and thought, "Yes! That's it exactly!" Amazing how people who live a hundred years apart, across an ocean, could experience the exact same thing.
Skip wrote:Now, then, ever read any Brust?
Nope, never even heard of him/her. Recent years have not allowed me to read much in the way of the fantasy genre, sad to say. A bit of Robert Jordan, a smidge of George MacDonald - that's about it.

My little brother, however, has taken up the mantle - he reads fantasy voraciously. GScott, I'm pretty sure he's at least mentioned Lawhead's books to me.
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Post by Zed » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:10 am

I am starting to feel a little left out. I never read LOTR (lord of the rings?). Having never read fantasy what would you recommend as a first book? I read your blog and now I’m interested.
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Post by PipeAndPint » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:23 am

Zed wrote:I am starting to feel a little left out. I never read LOTR (lord of the rings?). Having never read fantasy what would you recommend as a first book? I read your blog and now I’m interested.
I'm torn as per recommendations, Zed. Although I feel that LOTR is the absolute masterpiece here, it may not have the "quick delivery" needed for a first-timer.

My little brother told me lastnight that Lawhead's Pendragon cycle is also quite good. But they are more historical-mythical fiction; not pure fantasy.

I still think the Wishsong of Shannara is good, but I would not really recommend you read any other of Terry Brooks' novels. Why not start there?
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Post by Zed » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:08 am

THANKS
YEAH COBS

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Post by Zed » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:37 am

Why wouldn't you reccomend reading any of the other books?
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Post by Zed » Fri Nov 17, 2006 9:49 am

PNP
One last silly question: Are these books written for kids or adults? I was reading some of the reviews on Amazon and looks like mostly kids are reading these books. Not that is matters I am just curious.
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Post by TweednBriar » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:04 am

Zed wrote:PNP
One last silly question: Are these books written for kids or adults?
TNB for PNP:

The answer is yes.

TNB contra PNP:

Start with The Hobbit, then buy the LOTR in its three parts (i.e. three separate volumes). By the time you've finished The Hobbit, you'll have a taste for 'fantasy' and for JRRT in particular.

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Post by PipeAndPint » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:26 pm

Zed wrote:Why wouldn't you reccomend reading any of the other books?
After reading Tolkien, I realized especially how derivative a lot of Brooks' writing is.. his later books, moreover, are all quite formulaic..
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Post by PipeAndPint » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:29 pm

TweednBriar wrote:
Zed wrote:PNP
One last silly question: Are these books written for kids or adults?
TNB for PNP:

The answer is yes.

TNB contra PNP:

Start with The Hobbit, then buy the LOTR in its three parts (i.e. three separate volumes). By the time you've finished The Hobbit, you'll have a taste for 'fantasy' and for JRRT in particular.
The Hobbit is definitely for kids, but I enjoyed it as a teenager. With LOTR, the writing gets a bit darker - and suitably so, I think. But even so, it is a book that both adults and children can enjoy.

Once you're really "into" fantasy, you will even be able to enjoy the unappreciated treasure that is The Silmarillion.
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Post by Skip » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:32 pm

Baah - don't worry so much about getting LOTR in three parts, especially if you just go straight for the hardback. And The Hobbit remains one of my favourite reads - at least once a year.

And if the $$$ outlay is your concern, just head for a library. Unless you're in Podunk, USA, they'll have a copy you can borrow.

And while you're there, consider the following and note that you might have difficulty finding some of them:
  • McKiernan, Dennis - the Dark Tide series has been (rightfully) accused of being a mini version of the LOTR, but is still entertaining
    Brust, Steven - especially the Vlad Taltos series, Jhereg, et. al.
    Moorcock, Michael - especially the Elric series. We're talking the hard stuff here, but if you can handle it...
    Salvatore, R.A. - he's prolific, but definitely start with the Icewind Dale Trilogy, and yes, that IS the same name as the AD&D computer game. But unlike other game/book pairs, in this case the books came first.
    Le Guin, Ursula K. - The Left Hand of Darkness is a common read for fantasy literature classes, but the Earthsea Trilogy is my preferred, especially the first of the three - A Wizard of Earthsea. The SciFi channel absolutely butchered this one. Do NOT waste your money on the follow-up stories and novels; head to the library if you must.
    Lanier, Sterling E. - Hiero's Journey - a post-apocalyptic priest with mind powers
I've tried to keep to the 'fantasy' genre and avoided any of what might be considered sci-fi. The closest I came to that was the Lanier. Terry Pratchett is an absolute scream - just about any of the Diskworld books are worth a laugh. There are some ongoing characters between the books, but most of the books still stand well on their own.
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Post by John-Boy » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:34 pm

Piers Anthony - the Xanth series.
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Post by Skip » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:36 pm

John-Boy wrote:Piers Anthony - the Xanth series.
I was going to mention those, but Anthony's writing style finally wore me down after about a half-dozen. It seemed like it was the same old stuff: here's a bunch of puzzles and here's how they got solved. That said, a few Xanths couldn't hurt. Much. Just as long as he keeps clear of the Gap Dragon...
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Post by PipeAndPint » Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:56 pm

Another decent set is Memory, Sorrow & Thorn by Tad Williams.
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Re: The Necessity of Fantasy

Post by infidel » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:34 pm

PipeAndPint wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:10 pm
I've started a blog series on the books that were most important to me, formatively. Not only do I list the books, but I also offer some perspectives on what I think each imparted.

Check out the first entry at: The Necessity of Fantasy
This blog seems to have evaporated into the ether, do the posts live on anywhere else?
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Re: The Necessity of Fantasy

Post by John-Boy » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:35 pm

infidel wrote:
Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:34 pm
PipeAndPint wrote:
Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:10 pm
I've started a blog series on the books that were most important to me, formatively. Not only do I list the books, but I also offer some perspectives on what I think each imparted.

Check out the first entry at: The Necessity of Fantasy
This blog seems to have evaporated into the ether, do the posts live on anywhere else?
Jerry's been busy with other projects. Send him an email and ask.
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Sometimes memes can be helpful as well as humorous - Jocose
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