Nine Princes in Amber is nearly perfect if only for giving us "Ye olde Kentucky fried lizard partes."
That's my favorite detail in the entire book. That plus the spoked wooden wheels on the car suggests an entire wild alternate history. One quibble: Kentucki fried lizzard partes. They're first-rate misspellings.
That brief moment in the hellride sequence taught me something important: when a detail prompts a reader to say "I'd love to know more about that," it's not necessarily appropriate to explain more. The sense that there's something cool lurking in the background is a great effect in its own right.
A mainstream novel that I love: James Clavell, Shogun. It's a massive book, the kind that you can really get lost in for weeks on end, and the combination of intriguing characters and the background of 17th-century Japan makes for an amazing combination.
you radiate cold shafts of broken glass
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Thanks for correctly misspelling the quote, Teresa. I didn't have the book handy and it's been about 20 years since I read it. I'm going to have to do that one of these days. I also recall that when I finally got to walk down the Champs-Élysées I thought of Corwin as he was re-inscribing the pattern.
I totally agree that the nuanced mention of things can be very effective. Let the reader fill in the details.
I Guess For Myself, The Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books Are Ones That You Re-Read Through Your Life, That Being Said, Here Are Mine:
The Hobbit, And The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy......Classic & Ageless
Dune, Is Awesome, And If You Re-Read That, Than You Must Read Dune Messiah & Children Of Dune....But Stop There IMO
A Song Of Ice And Fire Series.....George RR Martin Is Now My Favorite Author, And At The Top Of This Genre....IMO
KingKiller Chronicles.....The Name Of The Wind & The Wise Man's Fear....Are My Newest Favorites!
The Wheel Of Time..... Excellent If You Stick With The First 4 Or So......IMO
Ender's Game(Book 1)....I Know There Is A Whole Series, But This Is A Stand Alone Novel, That Stands Out!
Those Are My Picks, I'm Just About Finishing Up The Way Of Kings(Book 1:The Stormlight Archive), And This Seems Like A Hope full Beginning To Make This List, But With Only One Book Out, Does'nt Make My List, Just Yet............
Last edited by MorganInFlames; 02-29-2012 at 06:38 PM.
Yeah, Dune was probably the best Sci Fi book I every read... if you can call it that.
RiddleMaster of Hed, for being quietly, ridiculously awesome and under-appreciated.
Kingkiller Chronicles, for being clever and beautiful and excellent.
The Inheritance Trilogy, N.K. Jemisin, for an imaginative, lovely, heartful story.
For me, these are the best fantasy has to offer. Of course it will change - though RiddleMaster has been in my top three since I first read it at sixteen. (I encountered it as an omnibus of the trilogy, which is why I just refer to it as one book). Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead are up there. Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising series - I cherish it so much, I can't stand to reread it, in case it doesn't live up to my memories.
Most impact: Hmmmm. I know the only book that has successfully made me burst out in protracted weeping, *twice*: Magic's Pawn by Mercedes Lackey. Read it in high school and bawled through the last half. Read it again in college... and bawled through the last half.
I always go back and forth between Emma and the Brothers Karamazov for what I think the best book ever is. (If you think it's odd that my favorite two authors are Jane Austen and Dostoevsky, you won't be the first.)
As far as genre, LOTR is still the one to beat. Whenever my husband and I are working on the series we're writing and get into trouble, asking ourselves "WWTD?" is frequently how we solve problems. Just so damned good
And if we're talking new stuff, I adore The Kingkiller Chronicles. Jo Walton's reread is what brought me to this site (which will hopefully lead me to more good fantasy, since I'll admit I haven't read all that much).
Anything at all by Kurt Vonnegut. Ubik runs a close second to those.