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Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

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  • Joe Hoopman
    Phantastes was another one I enjoyed. I actually first encountered it in a book called A Treasury of Fantasy edited by Cary Wilkins. It included, in addition
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 21, 2009
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      Phantastes was another one I enjoyed. I actually first encountered it in a
      book called A Treasury of Fantasy edited by Cary Wilkins. It included, in
      addition to Phantastes, The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris, King of
      the Golden River by John Ruskin, and stories by Lovecraft, Le Guin and
      Howard, amongst others. Quite a nice collection, actually, with a really
      dreadful cover.

      On a semi-BAF-related note, University Press of Kentucky just (re?)
      published a volume containing translations of Amadis of Gaul, books III and
      IV. (Carter included at least one Amadis excerpt in one of the
      anthologies.)

      Hmmmm . . . Now I'm thinking it may be time to continue my next go-round
      through the series -- I think Cabell's High Place would be next in line . .
      .

      Joe Hoopman

      ________________________________________________________________________
      1a. Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
      Posted by: "David Lenander" d-lena@... davidlenander
      Date: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:45 am ((PDT))

      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:
      >> 1a.
      >> 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.
      >>
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      David Lenander
      d-lena@...
      2095 Hamline Ave. N.
      Roseville, MN 55113

      651-292-8887
      http://www.umn.edu/~d-lena/RIVENDELL.html
    • Diane Joy Baker
      What a great question. One I might add is *The History of Our World Beyond the Wave* by R. E. Klein. That has a lot of lingering imagery. ---djb ... From:
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 21, 2009
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        What a great question. 
         
        One I might add is *The History of Our World Beyond the Wave*
        by R. E. Klein.  That has a lot of lingering imagery.  ---djb
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:24 AM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series

         

        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. Worst would definitely be, as
        mentioned, The Shaving of Shagpat by George Meredith. I've also mentioned
        my feelings about the Night Land -- I really wish James Stoddard would
        finish his project/hobby of rewriting it in more readable prose. But I did
        find Hodgson's Boats of the Glen Carrig to be remarkably creepy and
        effective.

        Honorable mention would also go to Mervyn Peake and E.R. Eddison --
        technically, I think they were precursors to the series although they may
        have been retroactively folded into it.

        And whenever I'd get a new volume, even if I wasn't going to read it right
        then, I'd always sit down and at least read Lin Carter's introduction. I
        know that much of what he said was factually dubious at best, but I still
        enjoy his clear enthusiasm and love for the books he was presenting and for
        the genre as a whole.

        So if we were going to assemble a contemporary version of the BAF, what
        would it include? My suggestions would include (in no particular order):

        Stardust by Neil Gaiman
        Dragonfly by Frederic Durban
        Night's Master by Tanith Lee
        The Thread That Binds the Bones by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
        Un-Lun-Dun by China Mieville
        War for the Oaks by Emma Bull

        But that'd be just the tip of the iceberg (and subject to sudden and
        unexplained change in the future) . . .

        Joe Hoopman

        >3a. Re: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
        > Posted by: "pegasus48124" pegasus48124@ yahoo.com pegasus48124
        > Date: Fri Sep 18, 2009 5:48 pm ((PDT))
        >
        >You say you've read the whole series (I'm getting there slowly,also reading
        many other things as I go). What were some of the best and the worst for
        you, if you don't >mind sharing?
        >
        >
        >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups .com, "Joe Hoopman" <hoopmanjh@. ..> wrote:
        >>
        >> 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

      • Joe Hoopman
        Coincidentally, I just read City at the End of Time a couple of months ago. I think there was actually a clear (if not explicit) reference to Hodgson and the
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 23, 2009
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          Coincidentally, I just read City at the End of Time a couple of months ago.
          I think there was actually a clear (if not explicit) reference to Hodgson
          and the Night Land at one point. I quite liked City, but I've always been a
          fan of entropic romance . . .

          Joe Hoopman

          ______________________________________________________________________
          ________________________________________________________________________
          Re: FW: Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series
          Posted by: "alexeik@..." alexeik@... celtbear49
          Date: Mon Sep 21, 2009 10:44 am ((PDT))


          Greg Bear's _City at the End of Time_ (on the long list for the last
          MFA) is rather obviously indebted to _The Night Land_.
          Alexei
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