melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
melannen ([personal profile] melannen) wrote2017-03-28 03:15 pm
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FMK #6: Beloved Authors

So last week's FMK loser was Ben Bova's The Multiple Man, and tbh my only qualm with dumping that one is that I will no longer have a nice big pile of books with MEN in their title. Well, and also feeling a little bit bad for Jamie Madrox.

The winner was The Female Man by Joanna Russ! (The Bester was surprisingly close for awhile, probably because the Russ was getting a lot of M votes. Predictably.) I will be putting up a response for that one when I have finished reading it.

This week's theme is "Authors who have at least one series on my 'definitely keep' shelf but I am kind of afraid to branch out to their other stuff in case I don't like it". This should be a fun one!

How FMK works, short version: I am trying to clear out my unreads. So there is a poll, in which you get to pick F, M, or K. F means I should spend a night of wild passion with the book ASAP, and then decide whether to keep it or not. M means I should continue to commit to a long-term relationship of sharing my bedroom with it. K means it should go away immediately. Anyone can vote, you don't have to actually know anything about the books.

I pick a winner on Friday night (although won't actually close the poll, people can still vote,) and report results/ post the new poll on the following Tuesday, and write a response to the F winner sometime in the next week.

Link to long version of explanation (on first poll)
Poll #18117 FMK #6: Beloved Authors
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 59


Westmark by Lloyd Alexander (1981)

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F
18 (48.6%)

M
16 (43.2%)

K
3 (8.1%)

Harvest of Stars by Poul Anderson (1993)

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F
7 (29.2%)

M
3 (12.5%)

K
14 (58.3%)

The Spirit Ring by Lois McMaster Bujold (1992)

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F
20 (52.6%)

M
11 (28.9%)

K
7 (18.4%)

Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly (1986)

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F
21 (61.8%)

M
10 (29.4%)

K
3 (8.8%)

Captive Universe by Harry Harrison (1969)

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F
7 (28.0%)

M
1 (4.0%)

K
17 (68.0%)

The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber (1964)

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F
8 (33.3%)

M
5 (20.8%)

K
11 (45.8%)

The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip (1988)

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F
14 (48.3%)

M
14 (48.3%)

K
1 (3.4%)

Space Viking by H. Beam Piper (1963)

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F
6 (25.0%)

M
6 (25.0%)

K
12 (50.0%)

Nation by Terry Pratchett (2008)

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F
10 (25.6%)

M
26 (66.7%)

K
3 (7.7%)

The Sleeping Dragon by Joel Rosenberg (1983)

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F
8 (40.0%)

M
3 (15.0%)

K
9 (45.0%)

Forge of the Elders by L. Neil Smith (2001)

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F
5 (22.7%)

M
2 (9.1%)

K
15 (68.2%)

The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge (1980)

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F
23 (69.7%)

M
8 (24.2%)

K
2 (6.1%)

The Nargun and the Stars by Patricia Wrightson (1973)

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F
12 (54.5%)

M
7 (31.8%)

K
3 (13.6%)

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen (1992)

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F
16 (44.4%)

M
17 (47.2%)

K
3 (8.3%)

rachelmanija: (Book Fix)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-03-28 10:30 pm (UTC)(link)
The Changeling Sea is my favorite McKillip novel. If you like her books at all, you will love it. It's got that lyrical yet grounded quality of the first two Riddlemaster books.

Dragonsbane is fantastic. It has great characters, a middle-aged heroine and hero, and a very thoughtful and poignant look at the choices we make in life. It was meant as a standalone and has a great ending. Then Hambly inexplicably wrote sequels which are AWFUL. Ignore their existence.

Westmark is a good book but its sequel, The Kestrel, is a great book - one of the best war novels I've ever read. Much as I love Prydain, I think it's Alexander's best book. The whole trilogy is absolutely worth reading. Like A Changeling Sea, each book is short but has way more substance than a lot of 800 page novels.

I read The Spirit Ring but don't recall it at all. I'm guessing it's not that memorable.

Briar Rose is well-done and interesting, especially if you've read other books/stories by Jane Yolen, because it brings together some themes that come up a lot in her work, like the power of stories (for better or worse), generational trauma, the Holocaust, and fairy tales.

But I REALLY want you to read The Sleeping Dragon, in which D&D players go to D&D land. It's very readable and also pretty terrible, and has one of the most gratuitous and obnoxious rape scenes I've ever encountered, plus lots of rah-rah Americans will abolish slavery in fantasyland. I would find your review highly amusing, I'm sure. ;)

I think I read something once by L. Neil Smith that sucked.
muccamukk: A squadron of x-wings flying low over the water. (SW: X-Wings)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-03-28 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the heads up on the Dragonsbane sequels. I think I have them as a bundle on my e-reader, but will stop with the first one.
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-03-28 10:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Yes, just read the first! The sequels were written fifteen years later and are both bad and unnecessary.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-03-29 04:12 am (UTC)(link)
It's worth noting that McKillip's latest, Kingfisher, is a) my favorite of her books, which is saying a lot; b) has a modern tech level; and c) is an absolutely crazy-ass Arthurian. Apparently people who don't Arthurian novel find it totally confusing, but you do Arthurians, so.
rushthatspeaks: (sparklepony only wants to read)

[personal profile] rushthatspeaks 2017-03-29 07:41 pm (UTC)(link)
It does indeed involve the Fisher King!
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2017-03-29 04:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Maybe my vague impression of Dragonsbane is related to having read some of the sequels. Is there weird sex stuff, or am I thinking of some other author with a dragon-named book? (Not Touched by Venom, different weird sex stuff.)
rachelmanija: (Default)

[personal profile] rachelmanija 2017-03-30 12:04 am (UTC)(link)
Not that I recall. Maybe in the sequels? I tried to blot them from my memory. There's weird sex stuff in Anne McCaffrey's dragon books.
brownbetty: (Default)

[personal profile] brownbetty 2017-03-29 04:24 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh man, the sleeping dragon! I got maybe five books in before I went "Aaaaaaa!" and stopped. I can't have been more then fourteen at the time, though.