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Something about Reading

Last modified on 24.11.2007 21:16
I think I have gotten my taste for fantasy and science fiction books from roleplaying games. I like those books, because there can happen almost everything and you can't say "Hey, that's against the laws of physics!" or "There is no such thing as magic" - everything is possible, it's your own imagination that sets up the limits. It is very entertaining to read books written by skilful authors who have created their own worlds and everything to them. I don't usually read much in a day unless I'm very intrigued about what is going to happen next. I admit that I read fantasy a lot more than science fiction - and actually I should say I read only fantasy, but the fact is that I like fantasy more for one reason or another.

For those who haven't read fantasy or science fiction, or haven't read the these books, read some of them if you have time. Some of them have also been translated into Finnish, but if you can English well enough, read the original versions. Fantasy books particularly (The Lord of the Rings being the only exception) are a lot better in English, mainly due to the lack of vocabulary.

If you want to have a look at my complete list of books, here it is..

If you want to know why on earth I have chosen just those books to this list or wish to know more about them and what they are like, I would appreciate it that you mailed me..

All these are listed in an alphabetical order. The best are Robert Jordan, Stephen R. Donaldson and George R.R. Martin.

Fantasy for an advanced taste

Stephen R. Donaldson
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, beginning with Lord Foul's Bane
The protagonist is an anti-hero - leper outcast unclean - and story tells about his (in)sanity
George R.R. Martin
Song of Ice and Fire series, beginning with The Game of Thrones
Political fantasy, very enjoyable. Much like Jordan, but faster paced and way more realistic; if a main character gets into a situation he'd die in, he'll die.
Steven Erikson
The Malazan Book of the Fallen, beginning with Gardens of the Moon
High-magical fantasy, even more gruesome than Marin. The "greater story" may be a bit difficult to follow at first, but you start figuring it out after 5000 pages :-)
Glen Cook
The Black Company Series, beginning with The Black Company
An army company gets thrown into the middle of political struggles, and only a couple of persons survive past the first books.

Fantasy for beginners

Robert Jordan
The Wheel of Time series, beginning with The Eye of the World
A word of caution: the first 600(!) pages are not yet excellent, but it gets more and more interesting along the way. The quality of the series starts dropping after the sixth book.
Melanie Rawn
The Dragon Prince series, beginning with The Dragon Prince
R.A. Salvatore
Dark-Elf trilogy and the se/pre-quels, beginning with Homeland
A word of caution: the originality disappears after 4-5 books
J.R.R Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings, beginning with The Fellowship of the Ring.
Well, you have to mention it, right? :-)
Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Dragonlance Chronicles and Legends, beginning with Dragons of Autumn Twilight
Death Gate novels, beginning with Dragon Wing

Science Fiction

Isaac Asimov
Foundation-series, beginning with Foundation
Arthur C. Clarke
Rendezvous with Rama
Space Odyssey 2001
The sequels are not worth much interest
Stephen R. Donaldson
The Gap series, beginning with The Gap into Conflict: The True Story
Really nasty characters involved. A lot of scheming, but in the end they appear to be saving the humankind by accident.
Frank Herbert
Stephen King
The Dark Tower-saga, beginning with The Gunslinger
The first good book is the second, The Draw of Three
Margaret Weis
Star of the Guardian series, beginning with The Lost King.
The first book doesn't offer much new ideas or such, however.

Some links related to reading fantasy and science fiction

The Melanie Rawn Home page
The Tracy Hickman Home Page
The Margaret Weis home page

Authors' Works
The Wheel of Time
The Wheel of Time Index A very thorough page about The Wheel of Time

The Path of Daggers Prologue
The Strike at Shayol Ghul A short story by Jordan on the end of The War of the Shadow

The Wheel of Time FAQ html'ed version - up to The Path of Daggers and New Spring

Who killed Asmodean? Quite a good deduction on the Ultimate Question
An analysis of LTT & Rand combining very good - if RJ has studied psychology, this might be possible. Else, it'd feel rather complicated.

The Wheel of Time Point of View Compendium
Some FUN criticism on Darrell K. Sweet's covers

James F. Beveridge's Wheel of Time Sketches IMO, the best WOT art there is. Example 1, example 2
The Boye Wheel of Time Gallery Different style, but still good.
The Tel'aran'rhiod: Wheel of Time Illustrations by Dragonluv, very nice. Example 1, Example 2
Min Farshaw's Wheel of Time Art Gallery many look like what I imagined. Example 1, Example 2
Wheel of Time Picture Archive a compendium of art: one picture per chapter.
Helena Zeegers's WoT Gallery Some really nice pictures. Example - I just *love* this!

Publishers and Resellers
Del Rey Home page
Future Fantasy Bookstore I used to buy books from here before Amazon etc. got popular.
Amazon Loads of all kinds of discounted books. Shipping to Finland is more expensive, though.
Tor SF and Fantasy The publisher of Robert Jordan
Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Tor's "official" page

The Adventurers home page
The prelude to the Adventurers saga by Thomas Miller
The database of libraries in Helsinki area


If you have any suggestions about developing these pages further or any other comments or questions, please contact me by email, by leaving a little note.