Welcome to Drying Ink, blog hoppers! I review an eclectic mix of fantasy and science fiction, with my favourite authors including Robin Hobb, Steven Erikson, and Patrick Rothfuss. I also include a number of articles and toplists: just below this post, for example, you can find my (very subjective) ranking of what I think are the best five fantasy (non review) blogs. Comment and say hello!
This week, the questions were:
If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?Hm, difficult question! Assuming I'm not allowed to bring an e-reader (or kidnap my favourite authors) my list would be:
1. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
(Because such a beautiful, subversive historical fantasy deserves a place in the nuclear apocalypse. Plus, it's a standalone: no ten book series here!)
2. The Player of Games by Ian M. Banks
(For such a fantastic metaphorical game, and the antics of Mawhrin-Skel)
3. Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson
(Anyone who reads my blog knows I'm a big Malazan fan: and all I can say with regard to this book is THIS)
4. The Name of the Wind, by Patrick Rothfuss
(This earned a place on my list of Essential Fantasy Reads, and my Best of Character-Driven Fantasy. For all of its - entirely forgivable - first novel mistakes, Rothfuss is a born writer, and his perfectly-crafted, lyrical prose makes Kvothe's tale a masterpiece - not even mentioning the scientific magic system, elegantly-portrayed supporting character, and the fun banter)
5. Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
(This is the Farseer novel in which everything changes: Fitz may be the Catalyst, but Royal Assassin is the book in which he really gets his - admittedly, blundering - stride up. Court intrigue, the magic of the Skill, battles against the Red Ship Raiders... This novel has it all)
6. Mistborn: The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson
(Traditional fantasy with a subversion: the prophecied hero lost, and Kelsier and his crew are attempting to start a revolution in the middle of the thousands-of-years-old pieces. And their revolution isn't as clean as they'd like. This is an 'Evil Overlord' (TM) who really works)
7. The City and the City by China Mieville
(I don't know how to describe this novel, other than in superlatives. Mieville takes a mystery into an Eastern Europe with a twist, using it not as supernatural - because it isn't - eyecandy but as a vehicle for delicate themes that run throughout the novel)
8. Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
(Moist von Lipwig is my favourite of Pratchett's protagonist: an ostensibly reformed conman on a forced mission to rejuvenate the postal service. And you mustn't forget Reacher Gilt...)
9. Temeraire by Naomi Novik
(A fantastic alternative history/historical fantasy: the Napoleonic Wars -with dragons. Although the later books aren't quite up to the standard of the originals, there's no question that Temeraire is a series you have to read)
10. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
(This is Stephenson at his best: ideas of Platonic ideals, philosophy, science and mathematics mix in a parallel universe where intellectuals have been cloistered as monks - the Avout)
Which 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to?
Well, there's a few I'm looking forward to this summer, but after the dramatic - and surprisingly, not final - cliffhanger of Changes, it has got to be Ghost Story. Dresden Files all the way.
What do you think?
Comment and say hello below!