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20843Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

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  • Joe Hoopman
    Sep 17 6:35 AM
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      I didn't start seriously collecting the BAF until the 1990's, but I already
      had several volumes (Clark Ashton Smith and some of the Carter anthologies)
      even before I realized there was such a thing as a Ballantine Adult Fantasy
      series. I was able to acquire most of the series over the years just by
      stopping in at Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore and at Dreamhaven
      Books, both in Minneapolis, MN, and scanning the shelves; I picked up the
      last few stragglers online when this new-fangled Internet thing started to
      take off.

      Back in the late 1990's I went through and read the entire series in BAF
      publication order. (Not all at once -- I'd read, say, five BAF volumes,
      then shift to something else for a while, then come back.) Some of the
      books were, um, challenging -- I found The Shaving of Shagpat almost
      unreadable, and there's always The Night Land to consider -- but it really
      was an amazing collection.

      And after finishing the BAF, I sat down and read James Stoddard's The High
      House and The False House, which I highly recommend to any Ballantine Adult
      Fantasy fans (or indeed to anyone who just likes good book) -- Stoddard is
      also a BAF fan and the books have lots of references, some subtle, some not
      so much, to various characters and places from the series.

      Joe Hoopman

      > Just thought I'd try and start a new thread and see where it goes. As an
      > old-timer and reader of adult fantasy, I must say that Lin Carter
      > certainly kept me going through high school and university (and again in
      > later life)with the fabulous and fun books with the unicorn on them that
      > he edited. I first came across Ballantine fantasy paperbacks, as some of
      > you may have, through their publication of The Hobbit, the Tolkien
      > Trilogy, the ER Eddison series, and the Gormenghast books. Always
      > thirsting for more, I stumbled across Morris' Well of the World's End when
      > I was 17 and never looked back. I have since collected nearly the whole
      > series, and read many but not all of the volumes. I am back in the saddle
      > and hoping to complete my collection (both the unicorn series and the
      > pre-series)and read and reread them all. I recently reread The Dream
      > Quest of Unknown Kadath, and was completely blown away by the last short
      > story by Lovecraft in that volume(who is in a very Dunsanyian
      > mood)entitled "The Strange High House in the Mist". Truly mythical
      > stuff!! It's fun going into used book shops and finding owners who know
      > about the series and enjoy talking about it. Maybe a few of you out there
      > would like to share your memories of discovering it. If you haven't yet
      > discovered it, then you really don't know what you are missing!
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