Books for role-playing inspiration?

Dr Zaius

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What kind of books are you reading at the moment? Anything good? I'm finishing up the War of the Spider Queen series and have enjoyed that quite a bit.
 

Bootaaay

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I just got done reading 'The Jokes Over' by Ralph Steadman, which is Steadman's memoirs of his 30 year friendship with Hunter S Thompson - was an awesome book, although a little sad towards the end. I'm not sure what i'll read next, either the 3rd book in Naomi Novik's 'Temmeraire' series - 'Temeraire: Black Powder War' or I might stight re-reading George RR Martin's 'A Song of Ice & Fire' series...i'd like to read it all again before the next book comes out (whenever the hell that may be) or the HBO series airs.
 

Aries

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Dune Series, nothing in scifi surpases the works of Frank or the sons of Frank and Poule.

Terry Brooks Shanara series and the two trilogies that predate the Shanara storyline.

Terry Goodkind and the Sword of Truth series, the only real competition Terry Brooks has ever had.

A level of detail and background so absorbing it is impossible to copy.
 

Bootaaay

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I tried to like Terry Goodkind, but I found his style of writing just too boring for my tastes - granted, I have only read Naked Empire but as an introduction to his work, it really wasn't very good...especially as i'd just come of the back of reading Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, which for me is the pinacle of good epic fantasy (although I have no doubt that once George RR Martins series is complete it will easily surpass Jordan's, as RJ has kinda lost the plot with the newest Wheel of Time books - but even so, the first 8 or so books of the series are very impressive imho).
 

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Just like reading a random Jordan novel would be utterly pointless, reading Naked Empire without having read anything previous in the series was indeed a waste of your time though.

It would be like watching 20 minutes out of the Return of the King, and expecting to understand why anyone liked the movies.

Myself, I found Jordan to be the definition of unable to just end the friking saga :) And will admit, I have heard of Terry Goodkind being accused of Jordanitis hehe.

I found Jordan shouldn't have used 100 pages when 40 would have done the job.
 

Dr Zaius

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I have all of Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, but have mixed feelings about them. He is a very good writer when it comes to developing backstories and filling the novel with interesting details. But Goodkind, like Stephen King, seems to have a lot of difficulty crafting a decent ending to his books. The only book in the Sword of Truth series that had a satisfying ending was Wizards First Rule. All the others left me feeling a bit dissappointed.

I've tried reading the Dune series and found them to be too dry, although I really wanted to like those books. But for some reason they just didn't appeal to me.

For hardcore sci-fi, has anyone read Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars? The author has a writing style similar to Arthur C. Clark.
 

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Never even heard of them Don, but I love Clarke so I guess I will check them out.

I like Goodkind, but I'm not afraid to agree. He writes a book that goes to the 95% completed point, and then suddenly everything resolves in a single chapter it often seems like.

Often reading his books makes me think of being a crash test dummy. You race along at breakneck speed and then BAM! it's over. Everyone of his books have felt like that so far to me. If the last book does that, know this, I will be greatly pissed off.
 

Dr Zaius

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Never even heard of them Don, but I love Clarke so I guess I will check them out.
Here is a link: Amazon.com: Red Mars (Mars Trilogy): Books: Kim Stanley Robinson

Be advised, these books will only appeal to the hardcore sci-fi fan (like Arthur C. Clark's stuff). The trilogy is a slow read. It's full of super-detailed (and very believable) technology of all kinds, but the human side of the story is very often frustrating. The most interesting characters seems to die off for no good reason and there are so many that it is often difficult to keep them straight. Still, the author does a good job of describing what the colonization of mars might really be like.

I like Goodkind, but I'm not afraid to agree. He writes a book that goes to the 95% completed point, and then suddenly everything resolves in a single chapter it often seems like.
That's exactly right! His endings seem almost like an afterthought.
 

Bootaaay

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Just like reading a random Jordan novel would be utterly pointless, reading Naked Empire without having read anything previous in the series was indeed a waste of your time though.
Yeah, I thought as much - I didn't realise it was part of a series when I got it to be honest (I forgot to order from my SF&Fantasy book club one month and they sent me the editors choice, one of which was Naked Empire) I didn't feel the setting was explained in enough detail though, and that may admitidly be because all the explanation was done in previous books of the series - but a compeling and vivd setting is the main selling point for me in fantasy novels, and I didn't feel that Naked Empire met my requirements to check out any other of Goodkinds other novels.

Anyone here a fan of Terry Pratchett btw? He's easily my favourite author.
 

Cherper

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I found Jordan shouldn't have used 100 pages when 40 would have done the job.


I think you meant 100 pages when 40 words would have done. Huge descriptions about the fashions of some non-important character is really annoying.
 

Aries

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I read 3 of Jordans Wheel books, and I found I just didn't have the energy level to plod through them.

I'll grant you my liking all the Dune books makes me seem to be contradicting myself, but the first book was awesome. The second a sequel. After that, spans of time on a massive scale separate the novels. They are indeed linked by setting, but by the time you reach the last one done by Frank, you've gone through thousands of years.

The two sons went and wrote two prequel trilogies that explained a lot of the background, how the world of Dune came to be etc. They remain faithful to the way Frank wrote.

Finally I'm getting to read the last two books which Frank had planned to one day write based on his notes. It will complete the experience.

Terry Brooks is a masterful writer though, you just end up wandering off into his stories. I could likely read and enjoy anything he wrote.

I like Clarke for his technical excellence. His book the Light of Other Days was a shockingly accurate glimpse into what our world would look like if we were unable to hide behind our facades and lies and secrets.

I'm also a big fan of Azimov. Azimov is in my view king of the simple english writing style. Where most authours like to bathe in flowery wordy writing styles, Azimov uses plain easy ordinary english. His Foundation series is a very relaxing read.
 

Dr Zaius

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Terry Brooks is good. David Eddings is also good.

What I like about Goodkind is that is takes fantasy into the realm of dark, violent, and sexy and out of its traditional fairy tale settings. His books are probably not a good choice for a younger reader because of the extreme violence and sexual content, but that's part of what makes his books different than other high fantasy.
 

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Right now I'm reading The Bloody Crown of Conan. But the best book I've read for role playing inspiration is a d20 book called Encyclopaedia Arcane - Chaos Magic - Wild Sorcery. This book is short and sweet. Not to mention interesting, with examples of how magic is used to do the impossible and it's unfortunate side effects to mortal beings that use it.
 

Dion

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Interestingly enough a new J.R.R. Tolkien book is coming in April of 2007. It's called The Children of Hurin, and it's setting will be in Middle Earth.
:)
 

Dr Zaius

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kcdusk

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John Wyndom - Day of the Triffids.

William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson - Logans Run

Simon Clark - Night of the triffids.

Mathew Reilly - Ice Station
 

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I am currently reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. Can't recommend it yet as I am only 60 pages in so far....

If you want a hard sci-fi read, check out Jack McDevitt's Moonfall. It is a great doomsday story about a rogue comet hitting Earth's moon. Riveting fun!
 
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