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Best Obscure Books?

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by Otis, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Otis Gems: 2/31
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    I'd like to hear about your encounters with books that really impressed you but are not considered mainstream "hits". Preferably scifi/fantasy, but that's up to you.

    A couple I've run across:

    "Master of the Five Magics" by Lyndon Hardy
    "From the Legend of Biel" by Mary Stanton
    "At the Narrow Passage" by Richard C. Meredith
    "The Two Faces of Tomorrow" by James P. Hogan

    I'm also currently reading "The Gameplayers of Zan" by MA Foster and really enjoying it. It might end poorly, though.

    [ January 30, 2007, 04:33: Message edited by: Otis ]
     
  2. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    I've read a great sci fi book by a French author, Richard Canal, it is entitled Swap Swap and it's the story of a man who is in search of his identity and of his past. There is a certain poetry in the writing. At first it is like William Gibson's books (especially Neuromancer, Count Zero or Mona Lisa Overdrive) but in the end it feels a lot different.
    I don't know if it has been translated in English.
     
  3. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Did you finish the set of books starting with Master of the Five Magics? I liked them all.

    One of my favorites was the Riddlemaster trilogy by Patricia A. McKillip
     
  4. DarkStrider

    DarkStrider I've seen the future and it has seen me Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Ok Louise Cooper, Roger Zelazny, Gene Wolfe, Michael Moorcock, Sean Russell, Iain M Banks, Theodore Sturgeon, Adrienne Martine-Barnes, Phillip Jose Farmer, Jack L Chalker, Patricia A Mckillip, Charles de Lint, Barbara Hambly; some of them well-known, some not, but not really mainstream and different.
     
  5. Caradhras

    Caradhras I may be bad... but I feel gooood! Veteran

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    Henry Kuttner, If you like old (but good) sci fi. I'm partial to two of his short stories: The Proud Robot and Gallegher Plus. It's funny, inventive and mixes sci fi and the detective genre.

    Or if you have never read anything by Jack Vance it's not too late. I'd recommend The Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel Saga which are part of the Dying Earth series (that's not what I'd call "obscure" stuff but it's great fantasy literature).
     
  6. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    "Under the Bleachers" by Seymoure Heineys is a diamond in the rough if I ever saw one. Man, that book changed my life. It's superior to the classic "Pantsplitter" by Hugh Jass...but not by much.
     
  7. Otis Gems: 2/31
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    [​IMG] Yes, I did like all three of the Lyndon Hardy books. I just couldn't remember the titles of the other two. :)

    Anybody else have any suggestions? For those that mentioned authors, are there particular works you recommend?

    I'll probably end up buying several of these. If I do, I'll have to remember to buy it via the SP affiliate page!

    [ January 30, 2007, 04:33: Message edited by: Otis ]
     
  8. DarkStrider

    DarkStrider I've seen the future and it has seen me Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Ok try these

    Louise Cooper: The Time Master trilogy (there is a seuqel trilogy and a prequel trilogy); Indigo series
    Roger Zelazny: Doorways in the Sand; Lord of Light; Creatures of light and Darkness
    Gene Wolfe: Shadow of the Torturer; Claw of the Concilator; Sword of the Lictor; Citadel of the Autarch
    Michael Moorcock: Any books with Elric of Melnibone in them
    Sean Russell: The Swan's War series; Moontide and Magic Rise series
    Iain M Banks: (Start with) Player of Games
    Theodore Sturgeon: More than Human
    Adrienne Martine-Barnes: Sword series
    Phillip Jose Farmer: World of Tiers series; Riverworld Series
    Jack L Chalker: Well World series; Flux and Anchor series
    Patricia A Mckillip: The Ridddle-Master of Hed trilogy
    Charles de Lint: Moonheart; Greenmantle; Memory and Dream
    Barbara Hambly: The Windrose Chronicles; The Darwarth series; Sun Wolf and Starhawk series

    These are all good introductions to the authors and their varying writing styles, I hope you enjoy, they include some of my personal favourites.
     
  9. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    I'll second Moorcock and Chalker as worth reading.
     
  10. SatansBedFellow Gems: 7/31
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    The following are some of my favourite obscure or unjustifiably forgotten fantasy novels:

    • The Queen of Atlantis by Pierre Benoit
      The King of Elfland's Daughter by Lord Dunsany
      A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
      Lud-in-the-Mist by Hope Mirrlees
      The Well at the World's End by William Morris
      The Well of the Unicorn by Fletcher Pratt
      The Witches of Karres by James H. Schimitz
     
  11. Enagonios Gems: 31/31
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    A Game of Universe by Eric S Nylund. Excellent stuff. Got me reading fantasy.

    Yes, he's pretty popular because he's now involved with the game HALO, but his stuff is excellent. Also check out Pawn's Dream and Dry Water also by him.

    It still amazes me that nobody on SP (afaik at least) has read his stuff.

    Also, he's pretty popular now I think, but Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire is an excellent, moving take on the Spartan stand at Thermopylae
     
  12. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    I'm not really sure if they count as mainstream or not, but...

    Kushiel's Dart, Jacqueline Carey
    The Bone Doll's Twin, Lynn Flewelling
     
  13. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    The Dark Border novels by Paul Edwin Zimmer (he is, or was, the brother of the much better known Marion Zimmer Bradley). I think there are 4 novels by him all in all, and I count them as some of the best fantasy I ever read. Somewhat more mature than the LotR of Tolkien, and a little bit darker, too. Unfortunately the author died young, so there are no more books by him (that I could find, at least).
     
  14. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    Well, much of what you guys list arent exactly very obscure. Wolfe and Zelazny are two of the most famous SF/Fantasy writers in the world. McKillip cant be very obscure either, anything that has been translated to Swedish one time or another must be somewhat mainstream. ;)

    I think many of us young people mistake old for obscure.
     
  15. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    The Saga of the Exiles/Intervention/The Galactic Milieu Trilogy by Julian May. These books seem to get no recognition despite their awesomeness.

    The Last T'En Trilogy by Cory Daniels is one than I really like but am not actually sure if it's any good or not.
     
  16. DarkStrider

    DarkStrider I've seen the future and it has seen me Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    @joacqin 1. wtach who you're calling young
    2. Wolfe and Zelazny may be famous, but walk into a mainstream bookshop (Waterstine's, WH Smith's here in the UK) and try and find any books by Zelazny other than the Amber series, anything bu Gene Wolfe. And 995 of the time you won't, that makes them obscure. The same goes McKillip her books don't sell in mainstream shops.
    3. Michael Moorcock will always be obscure for his writing style and vivid Acid sceneries.
    4. Iain M Banks of course is always found in mainstream shops since he is Iain Banks the 'literary' novelist who writes fantasy. His books and storylines are well obscure.
    5. Jack Chalker and Philip Jose Farmer are wierd nuff said.
    6. The others are obscure in that I have to go online or (in the old days) to specialist shops to find them.

    That was my reasoning
     
  17. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    Hmm. I guess we've got different stores; I can't go into a mainstream store (well, Borders & Barnes and Noble) withouth seeing those two. Not that they're in display stands or anything, mind.
     
  18. Otis Gems: 2/31
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    Well, I know I titled it "Obscure Books", but I'm certainly happy to hear about books that are simply underappreciated, as well.

    Lots of interesting titles, so far!

    [ January 30, 2007, 04:34: Message edited by: Otis ]
     
  19. Clixby Gems: 13/31
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    Try the Principia Discordia and the Illuminatus! trilogy. The former is the Discordian bible, and has a lot of good philosophy laced with total absurdity. The latter is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced story which takes a trek through various conspiracy theories.
     
  20. The Magister Gems: 26/31
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    I'm based in Australia and therefore any books I manage to get that are of American print (such as Dead Man Rising by Lilith Saintcrow) are obscure.
     
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