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The Crackpot Ferments

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  • Michael
    I had anticipated soliciting advice on my next read and then fading into the mist like any self respecting lurker. Then, last night as I sat gazing into a box
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 6, 2005
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      I had anticipated soliciting advice on my next read and then fading
      into the mist like any self respecting lurker. Then, last night as I
      sat gazing into a box of books deposited at my doorstep by a man in a
      big brown truck, my trance was broken by the American Idol theme song
      blaring from a nearby TV. As I listened to the schoolboy banter
      between Ryan Seacreast and Simon Cowell, a strange idea began to bubble
      up inside me.

      Fantasy Idol!

      In my hands I held six highly recommended fantasy novels, and I was
      looking for some method of selecting the best-of-the-best (excluding
      gentlemens Tolkien and Martin) upon which to lavish my precious time.

      It is doubtful that a more insipid idea could have conjured itself in
      my mind but once it was there, I could not be rid of it. There was
      only one thing to do. Start round one!

      True to my inspiration, the first round would be short with each
      contestant having just five pages to grab my attention. At the end of
      this round, one of my stellar authors would be eliminated. For those
      who have wisely avoided or forgotten my previous emails, here is a
      quick rundown of the contestants:

      The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
      Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
      Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
      Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
      The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Kay
      The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

      In true Idol fashion, I must keep you in suspense until the votes are
      tabulated. I will return tomorrow with the results of round one.

      PS> My goal, beyond my own personal amusement, is simply to spur
      discussion of these books and authors. If you find my little game
      annoying, please treat me as you would in the flesh. That is to say,
      ignore me. Life is too short to spend it flaming those with good but
      perhaps slightly misplaced intentions. Having said that, I welcome
      differing and opposing opinions and I recognize that I do not have a
      pipeline to the truth, let alone the credentials upon which to stake
      such a claim.

      Let the games begin!
    • Peta Smith
      I have read four of the six (Hobb, Williams, Kay and Jordon) and they are all good. Of these I would read in order, Hobb, Kay, Williams, Jordon. Peta
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 6, 2005
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        I have read four of the six (Hobb, Williams, Kay and Jordon) and they are
        all good. Of these I would read in order, Hobb, Kay, Williams, Jordon.
        Peta


        > In my hands I held six highly recommended fantasy novels, and I was
        > looking for some method of selecting the best-of-the-best here is a
        > quick rundown of the contestants:
        >
        > The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
        > Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
        > Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
        > Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
        > The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Kay
        > The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
        >
      • Edwin Phua
        Personally, I prefer the books in this order: Jordan, Hobb, Williams, then Flewelling. I actually started the Wheel of Time series with Book 2 Thye Great Hunt,
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 7, 2005
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          Personally, I prefer the books in this order: Jordan, Hobb, Williams, then Flewelling.

          I actually started the Wheel of Time series with Book 2 Thye Great Hunt, but it got me hooked, because of the detailed world-building, and the complexity of the plots (although I do agree some of the subplots really got lost). There is a lot of background to the book, so it makes for a rich story.

          Hobb is a good writer, but as I prefer third person narratives to first person , I was not particularly bowled over by Assassin's Apprentice. But her characterisations are indeed very good, and she understands the human character very well, and it shows in her writing. Her world is pretty interesting too, but the later books/series (Liveship Traders, The Tawny Man) bring out the context better.

          I also started the Williams series with the second book The Stone of Farewell. The pace is better with the second book, so I read the first book, I found it slow going. The plot and setting are very well written though.

          I did read Flewelling's first books The Nightrunner series, which are set a few thousand years from the story in the Bone Doll's Twin. They were more light-weight, so I carried the impression over to the new book. Of course, the plot is more interesting and the main character Tobin is well characterised. However, I cannot but feel that what Flewelling does is not that original, and her writing is not as flowing and beautiful as Hobb's.

          Cheers!
          Edwin
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Michael" <mashepardson@...>
          To: <Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 9:37 PM
          Subject: [Fantasy_Books] The Crackpot Ferments

          In my hands I held six highly recommended fantasy novels, and I was
          looking for some method of selecting the best-of-the-best (excluding
          gentlemens Tolkien and Martin) upon which to lavish my precious time.

          It is doubtful that a more insipid idea could have conjured itself in
          my mind but once it was there, I could not be rid of it. There was
          only one thing to do. Start round one!

          True to my inspiration, the first round would be short with each
          contestant having just five pages to grab my attention. At the end of
          this round, one of my stellar authors would be eliminated. For those
          who have wisely avoided or forgotten my previous emails, here is a
          quick rundown of the contestants:

          The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
          Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
          Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
          Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
          The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Kay
          The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Gloria & John Oliver
          lol!!! Go for it! Should be amusing! Gloria Oliver www.gloriaoliver.com Fantasy Novels ... From: Michael [mailto:mashepardson@msn.com] Sent: Wednesday, April
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 7, 2005
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            lol!!! Go for it! Should be amusing!

            Gloria Oliver
            www.gloriaoliver.com
            Fantasy Novels

            -----Original Message-----
            From: Michael [mailto:mashepardson@...]
            Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 8:37 AM
            To: Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [Fantasy_Books] The Crackpot Ferments



            I had anticipated soliciting advice on my next read and then fading
            into the mist like any self respecting lurker. Then, last night as I
            sat gazing into a box of books deposited at my doorstep by a man in a
            big brown truck, my trance was broken by the American Idol theme song
            blaring from a nearby TV. As I listened to the schoolboy banter
            between Ryan Seacreast and Simon Cowell, a strange idea began to bubble
            up inside me.

            Fantasy Idol!

            In my hands I held six highly recommended fantasy novels, and I was
            looking for some method of selecting the best-of-the-best (excluding
            gentlemens Tolkien and Martin) upon which to lavish my precious time.

            It is doubtful that a more insipid idea could have conjured itself in
            my mind but once it was there, I could not be rid of it. There was
            only one thing to do. Start round one!

            True to my inspiration, the first round would be short with each
            contestant having just five pages to grab my attention. At the end of
            this round, one of my stellar authors would be eliminated. For those
            who have wisely avoided or forgotten my previous emails, here is a
            quick rundown of the contestants:

            The Bone Doll's Twin by Lynn Flewelling
            Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams
            Assassins Apprentice by Robin Hobb
            Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey
            The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Kay
            The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

            In true Idol fashion, I must keep you in suspense until the votes are
            tabulated. I will return tomorrow with the results of round one.

            PS> My goal, beyond my own personal amusement, is simply to spur
            discussion of these books and authors. If you find my little game
            annoying, please treat me as you would in the flesh. That is to say,
            ignore me. Life is too short to spend it flaming those with good but
            perhaps slightly misplaced intentions. Having said that, I welcome
            differing and opposing opinions and I recognize that I do not have a
            pipeline to the truth, let alone the credentials upon which to stake
            such a claim.

            Let the games begin!





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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Char
            Hmm. Can t say which one would be eliminated, but if you re going by the first 5 pages, I d bet Kay s going to land on top. TTYL Char P.S. [If I were
            Message 5 of 6 , Apr 7, 2005
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              Hmm. Can't say which one would be eliminated, but if you're going by the first 5 pages, I'd bet Kay's going to land on top.

              TTYL

              Char

              P.S. [If I were American, I'd vote Carry Underwood!:) *grin*]

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Michael
              Apparently our taste in music mirrors our taste in books. One of us should probably be very scare ;-) ... the first 5 pages, I d bet Kay s going to land on
              Message 6 of 6 , Apr 7, 2005
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                Apparently our taste in music mirrors our taste in books. One of us
                should probably be very scare ;-)

                --- In Fantasy_Books@yahoogroups.com, "Char" <charv@m...> wrote:
                > Hmm. Can't say which one would be eliminated, but if you're going by
                the first 5 pages, I'd bet Kay's going to land on top.
                >
                > TTYL
                >
                > Char
                >
                > P.S. [If I were American, I'd vote Carry Underwood!:) *grin*]
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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