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20851Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

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  • David Lenander
    Sep 20, 2009
      I think that I remember _Lilith_ by MacDonald as the book that I liked best, and which impacted me most.  But there was an anthology of 4 shorter pieces, including one of Richard Garnett's _Twilight of the Gods_ stories (or maybe two) which I really liked, the four Evangeline Walton *Mabinogion* books, the Joy Chant _Red Moon, Black Mountain_, and all of the Dunsany, especially _The King of Elfland's Daughter_, and at the time I was very taken with _Deryni Rising_ by Katherine Kurtz, though that didn't wear so well for me. I like Cabell better now than I did then, and for that matter, much of Dunsany was too ironic for my tastes at the time. Saunders Anne Laubenthal's _Excalibur_ was a big hit with a lot of people in the Society, but I didn't like it quite so well, though I liked it better than some of the others mentioned.  I can't remember if the Peter Beagle books eventually acquired the logo, but they may have been part of the series, and they'd be among my top choices, too.  The Gormenghast Books were added to the series later on, and I loved those, too. Oh, and I almost forgot Poul Anderson's _Broken Sword_ and _Hrolf Kraki's Saga_, which are wonderful.  The latter is something of a masterpiece.  The Bramah Kai-Lung books are fun, though didn't actually read them until long afterwards. _Vathek_ is another masterpiece, and Lin Carter did something that was obvious but no one else had done, he put in the short stories in the middle, the ones that were told in the course of the narrative, but which Beckford actually wrote later on, after publication of the original edition.  Another Lin Carter editorial change was to leave the poetry out of _Phantastes_.  His version is the only one I've read, I wonder sometimes what I would think of the poetry.  I didn't actually read _The Man Who Was Thursday_ until much later, in another edition, but it would've been a book I liked a lot if I had discovered it then. Oh, and David Lindsay's _A Voyage to Arcturus_.  I still don't know what I think of that book, but it had a big impact on me (as it clearly did on C.S. Lewis, not to mention Harold Bloom).  I did like _Lud-in-the-Mist_, but not to the degree that many people, especially other writers, seem to love it. And I have to confess that I still haven't managed to read _The Shaving of Shagpat_, despite starting it several times, and even though as someone who is supposedly interested in the Victorians, and particularly the Pre-Raphaelites, I ought to have done so long ago.  I mostly read Morris in the public library, but I may have first discovered his books in the Carter editions, at least the first one.  I never really liked Morris in my teens, but I read him dutifully, and could see how influential he was. Years later, after some essay in one of the MSA-nominated anthologies, I went back to the _Water of the Wondrous Isles_, which I had in the Carter-edited edition, and I liked it a lot. LIkewise, I finally came to appreciate Morris's "Defense of Guenivere," but that wasn't part of the Ballantine Series.  

      On Sep 20, 2009, at 4:27 AM, Joe Hoopman wrote:

      Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

      Posted by: "Joe Hoopman" hoopmanjh@...   hoopmanjh

      Sat Sep 19, 2009 9:25 pm (PDT

      Best would probably be the usual suspects: Clark Ashton Smith, James Branch

      Cabell, Lord Dunsany (although I must say I prefer his short stories to the
      novels), Lovecraft, Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees, and maybe the
      occasional William Morris or George MacDonald. And I have to say I really
      enjoyed the anthologies Lin Carter edited for the series -- Young Magicians
      and New Worlds for Old in particular. 

      David Lenander
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113


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