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
Entry tags:

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%)

sophia_sol: drawing of Combeferre, smiling and holding up a finger like he's about to explain something (Default)

[personal profile] sophia_sol 2017-03-28 08:13 pm (UTC)(link)
An interesting collection this week! There's several books on this list I want you to read just so I can get a better sense of whether I want to read them. I gotta put in a good word for Nation though - I think it is my favourite book Terry Pratchett ever wrote, which is saying something considering how many excellent books he wrote.
ambyr: a dark-winged man standing in a doorway over water; his reflection has white wings (watercolor by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) (Default)

[personal profile] ambyr 2017-03-28 08:28 pm (UTC)(link)
Westmark is my favorite Alexander book (well, okay, the whole trilogy, but the whole trilogy could fit into Kushiel's Dart three times over and still have room for Thanksgiving dinner), and The Changeling Sea is my favorite McKillip. So I cannot imagine discarding either of them.

(Nation, on the other hand, I found irritatingly didactic...but I know many other people love it, so I figure that's a good one to F.)

The Sleeping Dragon is . . . a thing. I wavered between F and K, because on the one hand it was a formative part of my childhood, and on the other hand, uh, its treatment of rape and women and disability and a whole host of other things is sort of "????" from an adult perspective. Also be aware that (at least IMO) the series never satisfactorily concludes, just wanders off into a weird sideline direction that left me extremely confused.

By and by, did you ever read The Wand in the Word? It's a series of biographical interviews with children's fantasy authors, and I remember the Alexander one being particularly interesting.
boxofdelights: (Default)

[personal profile] boxofdelights 2017-03-28 10:19 pm (UTC)(link)
I remember liking The Spirit Ring very much. I read it when it came out, before I started getting irritated by certain Lois McMaster Bujold quirks related to love and babies, so I can't guarantee that this book doesn't exhibit those quirks; but as I remember it, the important love story is the woman protagonist and her work.
muccamukk: Maxima looks on in horror as Jayna gleefully builds a tower of random food. (DC: Food!)

[personal profile] muccamukk 2017-03-28 10:27 pm (UTC)(link)
I voted Marry Westmark (my first Marry vote, because WESTMARK!!!!!)

I voted fuck Dragonbane because I'd like a review before I read it, lol.
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.
snickfic: (Default)

[personal profile] snickfic 2017-03-29 12:08 am (UTC)(link)
I operated largely on a "K if I have never heard of this author" principle this week. However, I have never read a Poul Anderson work I actively disliked, even very late-career ones, so I gave that an F. And Changeling Sea is the first McKillip I ever read and remains a personal favorite, so that got an M.
elanya: Pensive pony (Default)

[personal profile] elanya 2017-03-29 12:28 am (UTC)(link)
So I know some of these *authors*, but the only book on the list I've read is The Wanderer, and voted Fuck accordingly. It's silly and scholcky and the characters are pretty amusing - it's very Leiber in that sort of sardonic way... and also thee are Cat people, eventually. It is very much an apocalyptic novel and some of it is very dated. I thought it was a fun read, and I kept it because I'm a completionist. If you like his other Sci-Fi, it's like that. if you've nly read his fantasy, it has that similar sort of wryness to it.

Probably it's gonna get killed though, lookin' at the poll - I felt I needed to mount some kind of defense as I assume, possibly incorrectly, that most people haven't read the book, or much leiber at all. I'm happy to be proven wrong though!
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-03-29 12:56 am (UTC)(link)
As far as the Piper goes, I'm not sure if I've read that one in particular, but everything I've tried of his that doesn't have the word 'Fuzzy' in the title has made me froth at the mouth in rage, so...

And I'm not even sure how I'd have reacted to the Fuzzy books if I hadn't come at them sideways from Ardath Mayhar's Golden Dream which gave the Fuzzies some dignity.
birke: (Default)

[personal profile] birke 2017-03-29 02:18 am (UTC)(link)
Briar Rose is an instant and enduring classic in multiple genres.
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)

[personal profile] beatrice_otter 2017-03-29 03:36 am (UTC)(link)
I read The Spirit Ring like twice back in high school. I enjoyed it. I have never felt the need to re-read it.
torachan: (Default)

[personal profile] torachan 2017-03-29 07:50 am (UTC)(link)
I really liked the Westmark series, though it's been so long since I read them that I don't actually remember much of anything about them. Nation was pretty decent, though nowhere near as good as the Discworld stuff.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-03-29 07:37 pm (UTC)(link)
I voted F on the Snow Queen because I remember liking it, but I'm pretty sure I was thirteen or fourteen and only understood parts of it. My memory is that it was complicated and involved high tech and politics and people with a strong desire to live forever. Chewy worldbuilding by my adolescent standards.