Friday, January 28, 2011

Share your favorite sci-fi or fantasy!

Who is your favorite sci-fi or fantasy author?  Post your favorite title or author, and I'll add their covers below with a link to our catalog.  This is one of my favorite genres, so I have several authors to add to the mix: Kim Harrison, Laurell K. Hamilton, George R.R. Martin, Karen Chance, Charlene Harris, and I'm sure I'll be adding more. 

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,
Jan

: :  Request each book from the Bangor Public Library by clicking on the cover  : :

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45 comments:

  1. I tend to read SFF with romance elements, so bear that in mind with this list! really like Sharon Shinn, the Twelve Houses series. For sci fi, I like Linnea Sinclair. Meljean Brook's The Iron Duke, also very enjoyable, is the first in her steampunk romance Iron Seas series.

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  2. Oh, wow, where to start? A Song of Ice and Fire is a favorite of mine as well (and I still need to get caught up on the Rachel Morgan books!). Some favorite authors are:

    Elizabeth Bear
    Robin Hobb
    Sarah Monette (The Doctrine of Labyrinth series)
    Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles Vorkosigan series)
    Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson series)
    Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels series)
    Catherine Asaro (Skolian Saga)

    Some favorite books:
    The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
    The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

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  3. Jessica and Kristen, you have given me a treasure trove of recommendations! Thank you so much! On Monday I will go through our catalog at the library and see what we own and what we need to order. I love Robin Hobb and Patricia Briggs as well, but I haven't read some of the others. It may take me a few days, but your suggested covers will be appearing above, with either a link to our catalog, or to the author's website.

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  4. I haven't read Meljean Brook yet, but I also really like Linnea Sinclair and Sharon Shinn (I've only read Archangel by her so far but it was great!).

    Catherine Asaro's Skolian Saga is also science fiction with some romance... and hard science. Not all of the books have hard science but some of them do. My personal favorite out of the ones I've read so far is The Last Hawk which is also one of the books that is a good starting point for the series.

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  5. Maria Lima's Blood Lines series is pretty good.

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  6. I've noticed that Catherine Asaro has won some Nebula awards. I'm going to try the Last Hawk.

    If you like sci-fi with romantic elements, please check out my Nalini Singh entries in this blog. She is my absolute favorite author of the moment! Slave to Sensation is the first of her Psy-Changeling series, set in the future--- as if the human race evoled into three seperate entities, changeling, psychic, and human that remained the same. The changelings and psychics are at war, sort of, and I know I'm not describing this well, but I adore this author's writing style. I get lost in her world, no matter how fantastical it is, and the journey is amazing. However, it leans heavy on the romance and sensuality: FLAMING CHILI PEPPER advisory! :o

    Angel's Blood is just as amazing. The third in her series is due out this month!

    A new Rachel Morgan (Kim Harrison) is due out in February. Too many books and not enough time. Let's hope she finally lets Ivy bite her! :o)

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  7. Pale Demon, The Hollows-Book 9 by Kim Harrison, February 22nd... I can't wait!

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  8. Hope you like The Last Hawk!

    I've been hearing very good things about Nalini Singh, but I haven't read any of her books yet. Might have to add them to the mile long list... There are definitely too many books and not enough time.

    And I can't believe I forgot to include Elfland by Freda Warrington as a favorite book. Probably because it's a recent favorite so I'm not yet used to rattling it off when listing favorite books!

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  9. I just ordered Elfland for the library and reserved it. It sounds wonderful. Although I try not to be lured by a beautiful book cover, this one is amazing! :o)

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  10. Great! I know what you mean about the cover - it is very eye-catching and the cover for both that and Midsummer Night (the other Aetherial Tales book) are gorgeous. There is a romance and some spicy scenes in Elfland as well - it definitely goes beyond the first chili pepper rating. I'd call it chili pepper red personally, but then I'm also not really sure where other people might draw the line between red and flaming.

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  11. You just made me smile about the chili peppers. Now I'm really glad I reserved the book!
    Jan

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  12. You'll probably wonder what I'm talking about until about halfway through the book, but then... You'll know what I mean! ;)

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  13. Alas, I wish I could order everything... Sigh... However, I have ordered The Iron Duke by Brooks and the entire Kate Daniels series by Iiona Andrews, including a pre order of book 5 due out this spring.

    I'm reading Primary Inversion first before The Last Hawk by Asaro. It's wonderful so far.
    -Jan

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  14. Glad you are enjoying Primary Inversion! I started with that one too. There are a few books you could start the series with since the books are all written out of order and some of them deal with different people. The Radiant Seas is a direct sequel to Primary Inversion, though, so that's a good one to read after it!

    The Kate Daniels books get better and better. The first one is somewhat interesting but not a strong book, the next one is better, and then the 3rd and 4th books are amazing!

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  15. I'm intrigued. The Iron Duke looks... Well, interesting. I might have to give this one a whirl.

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  16. Is this really a library blog????

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  17. Yes, we really are a library blog! :o) I'm sitting at work at this very moment, in the most beautiful library in the world, but then I'm prejudiced. If you're ever in Bangor, Maine, be sure to look us up. (There's a link to our website on the left.)

    Also, if you're not interested in the genre of books we discuss on this blog, jump over to the "Lighter Side" through the vortex link above, where we discuss literary fiction, and other misc. books.

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  18. I've spent many enjoyable hours in a Mercedes Lackey book over the years.

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  19. Here's a romantic Sci-fi for you----Jane's Warlord by Angela Knight----Soldier from the future comes to earth to save Jane, complete with a telepathic dog and some very entertaining moments, if you know what I mean.

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  20. ~ I don't know how I missed Mercedes Lackey over the years myself, but I have never read her, though she's been recommended to me many times. I guess I just don't know where to start. Do you have any recommendations?

    ~ On Jane's Warlord... Oh, yeah... I have read this book and I know what you mean. It is, shall we say... special. Unfortunately, like Anne Rice's fantasy erotica, and Zane, this book has a tendency to grow legs and walk out of the building. I'm not sure we have a copy on the shelves anymore. I'll have to check. :o) Please note: ROASTED CHILI PEPPER level on this one!

    ~ On a different note, I just finished Primary Inversion and enjoyed it. I haven't read a strait sci-fi in a long time, though there was a strong romantic element in the story. It was a nice diversion. I loved the characters, especially Jaibriol.

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  21. Glad you enjoyed Primary Inversion! I really liked Jaibriol too and the story of him and Soz continues in The Radiant Seas.

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  22. My two favorite fantasy authors of all time are Lois McMaster Bujold and Mercedes Lackey! Jan, if you are looking to start with Mercedes Lackey, you may want to go two different routes (sionce she is QUITE a prolific writer): The Fairy Godmother (recent start of series) or Arrows Flight (1st of a trilogy in her epic Valdemar sereis). And I adore each and every Miles Vorkosigan story!!

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  23. I noticed you listed Touch the Dark by Karen Chance. I really enjoyed book one and two of her Cassandra Palmer series. I haven't tried book three or four yet. She also has a vampire series I've been meaning to read.

    I also think Jaibriol is awesome. I haven't read an Asaro in a long time. Good memories though.

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  24. ~There was I big stretch in the in the 90's where I didn't read much other than children's books (young babies in the house) so I missed Bujold as well, though I think I read every one of Piers Anothony in the 80's---in my younger years. :o) I added the Cetaganda cover above. I'll have to do some research and see if that's a good place to start.

    ~I had The Sleeping Beauty by Lackey in my hands a few weeks ago and almost brought it home, but I let it go because a patron wanted to read it first. I'll have to pick it up again, if that's a good one to start with.

    ~On Karen Chance, I like her books because they are such a fun read. I haven't picked up the vampire series yet either - Midnight's Daughter, I believe, is the first. It's on my list!

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  25. There are a couple of places to start with the Miles Vorkosigan books. Ceteganda is one of the more stand alone books, but I'd recommend reading them in chronological order starting with either the first Miles book or the prequels.

    The prequels are about Miles's parents and they start with Shards of Honor, which is somewhat romantic since it's about how his parents met. The next book of the two prequels is Barrayar (this one won a Hugo and is one of my favorites in the series). These are also both available in a collection called Cordelia's Honor.

    The first book about Miles himself is The Warrior's Apprentice. (That's where I had my husband start reading the series since I was worried the first book would be too heavily focused on a romantic relationship for him.) This book is also available with another novella and novel in the omnibus Young Miles.

    Bujold has also written some fantasy books, but I haven't read any yet. I've heard they're good, though, and they have fewer books than the Miles series. The Sharing Knife series is supposed to have a decent amount of romance and is completed at 4 books long. She's also written The Curse of Chalion, which has two sequels Paladin of Souls and The Hallowed Hunt. Paladin of Souls also won a Hugo (as did some of the other books in the Miles series).

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  26. I just requested Shards Of Honor through interlibrary loan. We didn't own it but other libraries did. I need to check this one out! I'll get it sometime next week.

    I'm reading Archangel's Consort, book 3 of Nalini Singh's Guild Hunter series next. It just came into the library and Sarah snagged both copies for us. :o) It's all her fault I'm hooked on this series.
    Jan

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  27. I like this thread! There are good suggestions here that I'm going to have to keep coming back to.

    I did want to point out that The Virtu, by Sarah Monette, as pictured in the cover list, is not the first book in that series (I'm one of the group members and know that we like to start at the beginning). I'm guessing it's shown because the BPL does have it. The first book is actually Melusine, and may be a bit difficult to find, but worth it for readers who like their fantasy on the "raw" and unusual side. It's narrated alternately by two characters with very different voices.

    In that "rougher" vein, I'd also suggest Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel series -- the first title is Kushiel's Dart. It does contain darker sexual material that may bother some readers.

    Another author to consider is Lynn Flewelling. She has written the Nightrunner series -- the first title is Luck in the Shadows -- and the Tamir trilogy -- the first title is The Bone Doll's Twin. Flewelling is a Maine native, although she doesn't live in the state anymore.

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  28. I do like to start a book series at the beginning! I'll have to see if I can find a copy of Melusine. Kushiel's Dart sounds really familiar, and I've heard really good things about Lynn Flewelling. Just one of the many that's on my list! :0)
    Jan

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  29. I really appreciate this thread, too. Thank you for all of the suggestions!

    I have read a few Nalini Singh Psy/channgeling books -- she is beloved in the romance community, for good reason -- but they did not grab me and I moved on. I may try her new series. I was able to meet her at a romance conference last summer. She came all the way from New Zealand. What a smart, interesting and nice woman!

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  30. RRRJessica, that's very cool! I love Nalini. Her writing style is very smooth for me. I'm just about to book RWA (Romance Writers of America) conference in NY. It's in June this year and I'm looking forward to it. New York always has a different energy.
    ~Jan

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  31. I quite enjoyed the Harry Potter series, even though it was written for young adults.

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  32. I like seeing everybody's suggestions too!

    I like Jacqueline Carey a lot as well (as mentioned, some people may be bothered by some of the content, though).

    I've heard a lot of good things about Lynn Flewelling, too. She's on my "to-read" list for this year. A friend and I exchange favorite books read during the last year at the beginning of the year. One of her picks for me this year is Lynn Flewelling. :) Now I'm looking forward to reading her even more.

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  33. ~ I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all your suggestions. I've been raving to everyone to check out this post. Thanks to you, this has turned into an amazing reader's advisory for SFF, the stuff that librarians and book lovers get really psyched about.

    ~ Kristen, I wouldn't worry about the graphic nature of Carey's books. :o) I had one of my book group members tell me to stop warning them about our books, because that falls under the description of "edgy and uncensored", which is how I advertise the nature of the books we discuss! I thought she had a valid point, and I tend to like books on the graphic side - and if the bestseller lists are any indication, so does the rest of the world.

    P.S. Our book shipment just came in, and I'm really hoping Elf Land and the Iron Duke are in those beautiful boxes!! The "On Order" notification will be taken off the covers above as soon as they arrive and are catalogued.

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  34. Angela Knight is the "graphic" author, in my opinion. Jane's Warlord is, as you said, special. I didn't enjoy the following sequels as much, though they were still entertaining in their own way.

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  35. It looks like a lot of what people have already suggested are more on the fantasy side. Just something to think about for the Science Fiction side: Philip K. Dick. This guy is very prolific. His books can sometimes be a little weird but if you ever watch scifi films you probably have already been introduced to his stuff. He wrote Blade Runner (the book was titled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, see he is weird). He wrote Minority Report (2002), Imposter (2001), A Scanner Darkly (2006), Total Recall (1990), Screamers (1995)(book was called Second Variety), and a few more. If you liked any of these movies, take a chance on one of his books. He tends toward authoritarian governments, altered states of being and the like.

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  36. I am pleased to say we just ordered Linnea Sinclair's series, starting with Gabriel's Ghost! It looks wonderful.

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  37. Good choice - I LOVE Gabriel's Ghost and its sequel. They're my favorite Linnea Sinclair books out of the ones I've read, but they are darker than her other books (which would be why I like them so much but sometimes other people don't like them as much as her other books for that reason).

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  38. Okay, now I have a feeling I'm REALLY going to like Gabriel's Ghost!

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  39. Magic Bites and Jane's Warlord has arrived if anyone wants to reserve them! Shards of Honor arrived for me, so I'm going to read that one first. :o)

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  40. Too many awesome books and I don't know which one to start next!!! :o)

    Everything we ordered for the library is in and ready to be checked-out, except for Elfland.

    I just finished The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, and what an awesome new discovery in Sci-fi/paranormal romance. The first few chapters opened many questions, but if you find this confusing, please keep going, because the author answers most of her teasers in the following chapters. As always, the Amazon reviews made this book seem much darker than I thought it was. I enjoyed the journey this author took with her characters, and found her story interesting, and her characters compelling. If anything, I wanted more, more description, more answers about time and the fictional world she created, and another story to follow quickly - please.

    I'm moving on to Gabriel's Ghost next, and still working on Shards of Honor.

    However, ALL my gathered books will have to take a backseat once Elfland arrives.

    Jan

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  41. Hope you like Gabriel's Ghost - I loved it so much that I went to Borders to get Shades of Dark about an hour after finishing it because no other book would do.

    I hope you like Elfland too. There's more emphasis on the characters and romantic/family drama than fantasy, but I couldn't put it down.

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  42. Thanks Kristen! I noticed Gabriel's Ghost won a Rita, an RWA award that is judged by fellow authors. I usually try to log on to RWA to see who the winners are each year. I don't know where I was with this one, but thanks so much for bringing it to my attention!
    Jan

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  43. I just finished Elfland. A faery saga, dark and compelling. It was not a light read, I might add, and I really can't think of an author I would compare Freda Warrington to. She has an amazing grasp of the English language. I'm sure my coworkers grew tired of me blurting out beautiful sentences from this book on our breaks in the staff room. I think I'm going to do a full post once I think about the story a little more. It's well worth the read. I thank you for bringing it to my attention!!! As for the chili pepper rating on this one, I would give it a red chili pepper with Rosie and Sam - although a mild one. :o)
    Jan

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  44. In the Not Just for Young Adults catagory you should check out The Giver by Lois Lowry. It won a Newbery Medal and it has a futuristic setting. It tells the tale of a young boy named Jonas who, on turning 12, recieves his job assignment as the "receiver of memories" for his community. Preparing for his future he learns some disturbing truths about his family and his world. I thought it was great and that it ended too soon. Very compelling

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  45. Thanks Kelly,

    I've added this recommendation to our latest post! The premise does sound compelling!!
    Jan

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