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Guessed authors - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
Guessed authors
It's my mum's birthday in August, and she usually has a book wish-list which she gives to my dad, my sister and me in case we can't think of anything else to buy her. Now while I don't really mind buying stuff off the list, a) it seems a bit daft given that she's quite happy to buy them for herself anyway, and b) there's always a lot of faff between the three of us as to who buys what, sometimes resulting in duplicate copies. I'd quite like to get her something that she wouldn't buy for herself, i.e. something she might not even know exists, but should like anyway.

So, knowing that there are a fair few SF/Fantasy geeks reading this, I'm turning to you guys for help. Things I know she has read and enjoyed recently:

[edited to include suggestions that I know she's already got/read]
  • Pratchett (funny how it's always the obvious ones you forget to mention)
  • Katherine Kerr (? I think she's got some of these)
  • Terry Goodkind
  • Ursula Le Guin
  • Mercedes Lackey
  • Raymond Feist
  • Julia Gray, The Guardian Cycle series
  • Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time series
  • Guy Gavriel Kay, pretty much everything AFAICT
  • Robin Hobb, "Assassin" / "Fool" series
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Sheri S. Tepper
  • Barbara Hambly
  • Elizabeth Moon
  • Diana Wynne Jones
  • "Bridget Jones" :-)

Can anybody recommend anything that someone who's liked all these might enjoy? (Apologies in advance if I end up saying "I think she's got/read that", I can't remember everything that's on her shelves...) Ideally I want to avoid authors she's already buying everything by, because it's just too easy to duplicate stuff.

NB it doesn't have to be Fantasy (you know I don't really do genre anyway!) but she doesn't read that much SF and I've not had that much success finding non-genre things that she likes... at least, I lent her a huge stack of books a while ago and she wasn't wildly enthusiastic about any of them. Open to suggestions, though.
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j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'd never heard of author or title until now, but if the review/summary on Amazon is accurate, it sounds fantastic! Suspect this is one for me to read anyway (and buy a copy for my mum if I think she'll like it too).

BTW, um, those Georgette Heyer books... [looks sheepish] ... there was faff, & I didn't have an address for you, but mostly there was just faff, & I'm sorry. I do still have them, and if you email me an address, I'll post them to you -- will pay postage ('printed paper' will be cheapish anyway) for the sake of giving them a good home & gaining the space in the library. :-)
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k425 From: k425 Date: July 4th, 2005 01:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Diane Duane is nice. Fantasy, cats. Book of Night With Moon and On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service - cats, kids and dinosaurs fight and save the world.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
The name rings a bell, which may just mean that other people have mentioned her or may mean my mum's already got some... Sounds good, though, so I will try to sneak a peek at bookshelves (or ask my dad to do so).
From: bibliogirl Date: July 4th, 2005 02:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lois Bujold? I hear a lot of good things about her stuff even if I've not got round to reading it myself yet.
keirf From: keirf Date: July 4th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I found Lois McMaster Bujold irritating. Combined the worst traits of EE Doc Smith and Asimov.
senji From: senji Date: July 4th, 2005 02:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wizard of the Pigeons is Megan Lindholm's (Robin Hobb's less famous name!) most consistently recommended book. And, well, I enjoyed it…
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
ISTR sion_a said he hadn't been too keen on the Lindholm he'd read (which may not have been that one), but will look into it, thanks.
From: fluffymormegil Date: July 4th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'll recommend the earlier Mercedes Lackey stuff - Oathbound/Oathbreakers, Arrows of the Queen/Arrow's Flight/Arrow's Fall. After that she starts writing too many angsty gayboys. (I have nothing in principle against angsty gayboys, but Vanyel Ashkevron is such a stereotype!)
From: bibliogirl Date: July 4th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually, you could always try her on some of the non-Valdemar Lackey, too -- the recent stuff like _Gates of Sleep_ is quite fun, as is _Fairy Godmother_. I mean, we're not talking deep literature here, but still entertaining.
perdita_fysh From: perdita_fysh Date: July 4th, 2005 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I *heart* Diane Wynne Jones (and she has written so much stuff that you can probably find something she doesn't already have without too much effort too, Amazon marketplace is good for out of print stuff).

On the grounds that anyone else who loves DWJ might also love other things I love, I also love Ursula Le Guin. Not that the styles are the same in any way, I think it is more to do with intelligent, well written stuff not about 'real life'. The Earthsea stuff is her most fantasy, least sci fi, work but also what she's most likely to have already come across. Maybe she hasn't already found things like 'Worlds of Exile and Illusion' 'The Left Hand of Darkness' 'The Lathe of Heaven' or 'The Dispossessed' though?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm afraid she's already got all the Le Guin I'd be likely to be able to find... and I thought "The Left Hand of Darkness" was required reading for anybody who claimed to have ever read SF/Fantasy (or is that just in Cambridge?) ;-)

There may be some DWJ she doesn't have but I know she just got rid of "Howl's Moving Castle" and, um, another one (in the same series? Looked like, anyway...) on the grounds that she probably wouldn't bother reading them a second time, so I suspect I may have mined that seam to the limit.

vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: July 4th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

totally off, but

She might really like David Nobbs's "Going Gently" (he's the originator of Reginald Perrin, amongst other things). It's a very lively and satisfying read, and as it includes humour, elements of fantasy and the surreal, more than one wise woman, and insight, it might be a memorable birthday book.

She might also like "Notes from Overground" ('Man is born free but is everywhere in trains'), by 'Tiresias', which is fantastically funny and can be returned-to over and over again.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 04:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: totally off, but

"Notes from Overground" sounds fantastic, definitely one for me if not for her... I should ask for recommendations for other people more often! (Not that I actually need to lengthen my reading list any, but hey ho.)

Not sure about the Nobbs book (for reasons I can't quite put my finger on), but I'll have a look. Thanks for the suggestions.
geekette8 From: geekette8 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Jasper Fforde (the Thursday Next series)?
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, yes, possibly. I started reading one of them & it didn't really wow me, but it looked quite good fun, so I might have another look with a view to "will she like this?" rather than "do I like this enough to bother reading it given that I have a zillion other things to read as well?" IYSWIM. :-)
From: fluffymormegil Date: July 4th, 2005 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Other thoughts...
Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics et seq (two others whose precise titles I forget, although their numerical parts follow on from five).
Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels.
Ardath Mayhar - Khi To Freedom and others.
Patricia C. Wrede - Talking to Dragons and its related works are fairly light-hearted, the other stuff rather less so.
PC Hodgell - God Stalk et seq. (Though laying hands on God Stalk itself may be Hard :/ )
(Pretty much everything I'm mentioning is off my mother's bookshelves.)
borusa From: borusa Date: July 4th, 2005 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
Lyndon Hardy's Master of the Five Magics et seq (two others whose precise titles I forget, although their numerical parts follow on from five).

"Secret of the Sixth" and "Riddle Of The Seven Realms", I believe. I loved Master of the Five, but the sequels were a bit disappointing and quite frankly awful, respectively.
From: rmc28 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've got books by about 2/3 of that list and would add the following (some of which I know other people have said, but I may as well add a vote or two):

* Diane Duane
* Lois McMaster Bujold (especially Shards of Honor & Barrayar, sometimes sold in one book as Cordelia's Honor)
* Ursula Le Guin (especially The Left Hand of Darkness, because it is excellent and everyone should read it)
* Vernor Vinge: A Fire Upon The Deep or A Deepness In The Sky as a first one, I was less enthralled by Across Realtime although it is still good.

* Jenny Crusie, who's definitely Not SF or fantasy, but more like Georgette Heyer except set *now* rather than in costume drama. And makes me laugh a lot.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Bujold and Duane are looking like the top of the list so far...

I utterly loathed "A Fire Upon the Deep", I'm afraid, so I really don't think I could wish it on anybody else!

Never heard of Jenny Crusie, but will investigate -- thanks.
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julietk From: julietk Date: July 4th, 2005 02:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is she much on the historical stuff? I very much enjoyed 'Quicksilver' by Neal Stephenson which is sort of, er, historical-fantasy-epic, er... I dunno, I enjoyed it in the same sort of way as I enjoy fantasy, because he has this richly detailed & enormously complicated world to get engrossed in. So your mum might like it too.
keirf From: keirf Date: July 4th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Mythago Wood, by Robert Holdstock.
The Riddlemaster of Hed, by Patricia McKillip.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, good point on the Holdstock. Except I now have to try to remember if I've already lent it to her. :-}

Will look at the other one, thanks!
rillaith From: rillaith Date: July 4th, 2005 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've seen others have already mentioned George R R Martin and Diane Duane, who I'll second, but what about...

Katherine Kerr - Deverry series
Terry Goodkind - Sword of Truth series
James Patterson (mostly writes crime / mystery type fiction - although his latest is, shockingly, Mills and Boon-esque!) The Lake House, which is fairly fantasy-based.
James Clemens, the Wit'ch series (Banned and the Banished - 5 books), which are engrossing once you get past the apostrophe-itis.

I've found that a lot of people I know with similar tastes in fantasy to myself have enjoyed a lot of crime/murder mystery authors - in particular ottah, beckyl and myself are pretty much consistently enjoying the same books.
j4 From: j4 Date: July 4th, 2005 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hm, my mum's not too keen on crime/murder mystery -- she used to read Agatha Christie and Margery Allingham but seems to have gone off the whole genre a bit in recent years.

I think she's got some Terry Goodkind and Katherine Kerr, but will check.

Sorry to be awkward! :)

Oh, and the Clemens sounds interesting -- she managed to read a lot of David Eddings so I suspect she can cope with apostrophes. ;-)
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From: vatine Date: July 4th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Possibly Peter Hamilton?
the_elyan From: the_elyan Date: July 4th, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
To add my own tiny voice:

1) the last book that really blew me away was "The Light Ages" by Iain MacLeod - "alternative England" with Fifth Element and lots of industrial-Age griminess. The sequel is a bit of a mess, though.
Though I haven't read it myself, I am led to believe Perdita (?) Street Station by China Mieville is very good in the same vein.

ii) Aberwyswyth Mon Amour by Malcolm Pryce - very, very funny Raymond Chandler spoof set in south Wales.

iii) anything by Neil Gaiman (but then I'm sure you knew that already)

iv) "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" by Susanna Clarke - weighty but ultimately rewarding (more alternative Englandery, this time with explicit magic, and jane Austen period setting). And if you get bore of it, it makes a very good brick.

v) Iain Banks - always reliable. The Crow Road is probably the best start-point of the non-genre...

And so on...
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