your favourite book/ book series and why

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by munkiejunkie, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. wonk

    wonk Valued Member

    Given the common interests of this community, I'll confine myself to recommending three martial arts related science fiction adventure series....

    • As mentioned on another thread, Steve Perry's Matador Trilogy is about a group of highly skilled martial artists, generally loners, who are brought together when they are swept up a galaxy-wide rebellion against a corrupt, declining central authority. I like to think of the series as fulfilling the potential as a great martial arts saga hinted at in Lucas' second Star Wars film, Empire Strikes Back, something I don't think was ever fully (or at least effectively) realized.

      Perry's prose is pretty lean, verging on the schematic at times. However he somehow manages to squeeze a lot of characterization into his fast paced stories. Perry's characters are first and foremost martial artists, and the evolution of thier skills and personaltiies through thier practice (and it's application) is central to at least half of the books in the series. I found myself caring about the main characters and looking forward to "seeing" them in each installment. It's just light fantasy, but it's also tailor made for people who are fascinated with martials arts. The trilogy includes the titles: The Man Who Never Missed, Matadora, and The Machivelli Interface. The prequels and sequels include The Albino Knife, The 97th Step and The recently published Mushashi Flex.

      Steven Barnes wrote three novels Street Lethal, Gorgon Child and Firedance, about the life and adventures of Aubrey Knight, a streetfighter and hired assassin who evolves into a heroic community leader in a dystopian future America, that just happens to be dotted with colonies of advanced martial artists. Loony as it sounds, the books are pretty well written and have a surprising degree of depth to them. And like Perry in the the Matador series described above, Barnes writes great fight scenes - better than Perry's, thought the Knight books don't quite have the epic sweep of Perry's story of intergalactic rebellion. The second book in the series, Gorgon Child is probably the best of the three, so far.

      David Wingrove's Chung Kuo books are the densest of the three series, and to be honest, however much I liked this epic tale of a future Earth that's been taken over by a literal dynasty of Chinese rulers, I never finished the series due to the increasing length of time between installments (we're talking years here). I have no idea if Wingrove ever finished the story, but if you have any interest in what a world dominated by Chinese culture, their Northern European Mercanary Armies, and competing power blocs comprised of the decendents of major American and European corporations, lethal Chinese Triad/Tong organizations, and a nascent resistance movement, I can strongly recommend giving this series a try.

      One of the great things about the series is that it's def. not simplistic. A complex web of political, social and economic ties connects the large cast. No character (well, maybe the triad leaders) are utterly evil, or unspeakably noble or saintly. And though there are wars and hand-to-hand duels a plenty, you really get a sense of a global society inexorably evolving, despite it's leaderships' at times desperate attempts to maintain social stasis. It's fascinating stuff.

      Titles include: Chung Kuo: the Middle Kingdom, The Stone Within, Days of Bitter Strength, The White Mountain, The Broken Wheel. White Moon-Red Dragon and Beneath the Tree of Heaven.
     
  2. samuri-man

    samuri-man New Member

    go anything published by black library you can tell it'll be good.
     
  3. freak

    freak Valued Member

    i really like the dark tower series form stephen king...theres 7 books and i am just about to start the fifth book...long books, good story lines, stephen king is a great author
     
  4. MusashiUeshiba

    MusashiUeshiba Valued Member

    really like
    1.stranger from a strange land
    2.1984
    3.musashi
    4.diet for a new america
    5.47 ronin story
     
  5. Taiji Butterfly

    Taiji Butterfly Banned Banned

    Just want to add - "Chronicles of Tao" by Deng Ming Dao...
    Top book imho :cool:
     
  6. stefthewise

    stefthewise (Modestly self-titled)

    Like many of you, I couldn't possibly pick just one series, so I'll recommend a few:

    - JRR Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy
    - Raymond E Feist's 'Riftwar' and 'Serpentwar' sagas (I hope to read more of his stuff soon)
    - 'The Spiderwick Chronicles' by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
    - James Ellroy's 'LA Quartet'
    - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes' series
    - Anything by Enid Blyton (I loved these in my youth)
    - Stephen King's 'The Green Mile' (originally released as a series)

    I'm sure there are more but I can't remember them at the moment :D
     
  7. CinMike

    CinMike Valued Member

    I have a few favorite series.

    A Song of Ice and Fire - Geore R. R. Martin

    Sano Ichiro series - Laura Joh Rowland

    Merlin series - T A Baron
     
  8. SuperSanity

    SuperSanity The Hype

    I'm shocked. No one's mentioned the Redwall series by Brian Jacques.
     
  9. ember

    ember Valued Member

    Tolkien of course.

    But I'm surprised nobody's mentioned:

    Mercedes Lackey, esp. the Velgarth / Valdemar series. But also her urban fantasy

    Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders

    Tamora Pierce (written for children, but also good for adults
     
  10. Cait

    Cait da Bionic is BACK!

    dittos on Tolkein, & on McCaffrey's Pern Books

    Also David Weber's Honor Harrington books

    Connie Willis To Say Nothing of the Dog. funniest book ever.

    Diana Wynn Jones is good too
     
  11. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    A series of unfortunate events; Its funny, sad and weird.
    Harry Potter; A great sense of adventure and humor.
    The Hobbit; Another great adventure book.

    I have to post again when Ive read more good books.
     
  12. jujitsuka07

    jujitsuka07 Body by Pizza Hut!

    I don't read much, but one book that I like was one that I read when I was a kid: "Water Buffalo Days", supposedly a true story about one Vietnamese boy's adventures taking place during a war. Cute, sad, moving, and informative. Not terribly deep or exciting, but something to read to get a look into a life very different than our own.
     
  13. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    To pick one single book as my favourite is impossible. I could probably shortlist about twenty contenders, but I'd never be able to settle for just one!

    But for a favourite book series I'd have to say the 'Flashman' series by George MacDonald Fraser. They are not only highly entertaining, but very educational too.
     
  14. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I've been reading a lot of RE Howard's stuff lately. Conan, Solomon Kane, Kull, Bran Mak Morn, and his random "weird tales" submissions. I've been a big fan of HP Lovecraft since college. And now that I've reread the Conan stories, having been aware of the connection between the two authors AND the difference between Howard's work and the works of various other Conan pastiche authors, I love this stuff.

    So, if you can call them a series, I'd go with the Conan stories certainly. Then various other Howard stories. Some of his "weird west" stuff (set in Texas, mostly) is really entertaining too.

    The one disclaimer I'd add is the same I'd probably add for Lovecraft. It was a different time. And even within that time, Howard and Lovecraft may have been in dire need of some cultural sensitivity training. There are certainly elements of each that could be taken as racist. And a big part of me reacts against that on a molecular level. In my experience, the Solomon Kane stories are the most egregious examples. But then, oddly, Howard seems to be of two minds, simultaneously giving a description that borders on offensive and then another that seems very deeply respectful.

    Long story short: Very entertaining. And I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts on the "issues" with those writers.


    Stuart
     
  15. LovesSticks

    LovesSticks Devalued Member

    Well said that man!

    I am going to have to get me some of 1,2 and 4 because 3 and 5 are my two favorite sci fi series of all time. I was introduced recently to Morgan and I chomped my way through the entire Altered Carbon series in about three weeks. It was just too good: a blend of sci fi dystopia, unmitigated violence and dark brooding detective-noir.

    In an attempt to add something original I would add Haruki Murakami (pretty much anything but Wild Sheep Chase is a good start). I guess he probably wouldn't suit everyone but I love most of the stuff he's written.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2007
  16. southern jester

    southern jester New Member

    although i really like stephen king books (reading 'the cell' right now) the dark tower series lost my intrest after second book. most anything stephen king has written appeals to me although i perfer some of his more recent works. the short story collections like 'everythings eventual' or '1408' are my favorites.

    anther writer that i have always liked is dean koontz. his material varies from science fiction to horror to mystery. and koontz has a descriptive ability like i have seen nowhere else. just finished 'brother odd' a couple of weeks ago. as with stephen king the movie adaptations of dean koontz books are far inferior to books themselves.
     
  17. Emil

    Emil Valued Member

    I love so many. Currently I'm reading two - Don Quixote, and The Colour Purple.
     
  18. Emil

    Emil Valued Member

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime has to be way up the list though, just for it's sheer genius.
     
  19. springhammer

    springhammer New Member

    So many fantasy themes among everyones' favourites.

    There's plenty that I want to read after having seen the same titles cropping up more than once and reading your recommendations.

    I drive a lot and hire audio books on CD as well as read.

    A free copy with GQ magazine started me reading Dave Lee Burke's detective series about Dave Robicheaux - absolutely great writing and the description of Louisiana make you want to go there and see those skies.

    Having finished that series I discovered Michael Connolly's Harry Bosch detective series which I have really enjoyed.

    Now I am reading the Jack Reacher series by Lee Childs. About an itinerant ex-military policeman who gets into conflict with organised crime etc.

    These are all pretty short novels and in a particular genre but I have enjoyed them.

    Also I really loved Paranoia by Joseph Finder - really great story of corporate espionage and a thriller.

    For a UK recommendation - Dead Air by Iain Banks is a great thriller.

    Hope someone will enjoy some of these.

    Regards
     
  20. progdan

    progdan Valued Member

    A few of these have been mentioned, but I'd have to go with:

    David Eddings- The Elenium/The Tamuli
    David Eddings- The Belgariad/The Mallorean
    Robert Jordan- The Wheel Of Time series
    George RR Martin- A Song Of Fire And Ice series
    Robert Ludlum- The Bourne Trilogy
    Robert Ludlum- Covert One series

    haha, its the same on heavy metal (and all of its associated sub-genres) forums, everyone loves their epic fantasy, I guess it must just be the sheer epicness of martial arts.

    I've read some of his other books, I'll definately have to check those out! :)
     

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