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Author Topic: I was recently at my friendly local library...  (Read 11710 times)
Pyperlie
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« Topic Start: April 07, 2008, 01:59:50 pm »


I was recently at my friendly local library, talking to a friendly acquaintance of mine who still works there and happens to be primarily in charge of the sci-fi/fantasy section.  He recently weeded out some of the really old stuff and had it sold at one of their bi-monthly sales (and I got 43 books, most of them HC, for $21.50, so it was win/win Cheesy), so he's got a nice chink of change to play with in restocking that section.  And the best part is he would welcome my suggestions!  And seemed to mean it when he said that!

So I told him I would ask y'all's opinions and get back to him, to give him a broader consensus. Cool  He doesn't really wanna buy a whole lot of urban fantasy, since that genre is on a fast downhill slide to "vampire sluts," as he so entertainingly put it (he has to buy some, of course, but wants other options).  He's looking for things that will circulate well, or at least steadily, and that aren't boring; there's only so much that can be done w/nanotech, y'know? 

They've got some RAH, and Asimov, but they don't really circulate particularly well, and neither of us knows whether it's that people don't really like it, or don't know it's there, or see the less-than attractive-to-people-less-geeky-than-me 70's covers and think "meh."  Some purchases of vintage reprints are IMO in order, but what else?  I'd hate to see the whole section become nothing but vampsluts and media tie-ins.

I've thought about non-Western sci-fi, but I don't really know much about those, unfortunately, and I'm not sure if long Indian and Japanese names would peak interest and lead to higher circulation, or scare people off who had trouble pronouncing it (I told him that, lately, he might be able to up circulation numbers if he set up a table and changed the featured books every time a big name author dies; it's awfully damn frequent lately Sad).

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #1: April 07, 2008, 02:08:40 pm »


Random list of people I like to read:

Lois McMaster Bujold.  I particularly like her Chalion series, though I believe her Vorkosigan series does well too.  (just doesn't do much for me).

David Weber.  VERY good military sci-fi.

hrm.  McCaffery, if you don't have any of that.  Classic.

Andre Norton.  If there's no Andre Norton, your library sucks. Tongue

Warriors of the Sun God.  absolutely brilliant.  *runs very fast*

Oh!  Modesitt.  both his sci-fi and his fantasy.

CJ Cherryj.  probably misspelled.  Very good stuff.

I'm sure there's tons more, but this is what I'm coming up with right now.  I'll add to the list as I think of it. Cheesy
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« Reply #2: April 07, 2008, 02:10:59 pm »



CJ Cherryj.  probably misspelled.  Very good stuff.

Cherryh (first name is Carolyn, but it's always CJ on her books.....)
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« Reply #3: April 07, 2008, 02:22:25 pm »

Cherryh (first name is Carolyn, but it's always CJ on her books.....)

Thanks.  I don't know why, but I always want to add Js to her name, like, everywhere.

and I can't get at my books at the moment, it would wake up the sleeping swug.
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« Reply #4: April 07, 2008, 02:42:20 pm »

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

No vampsluts, well that leaves me out Cheesy

Most of what I read is either urban fantasy or borders on horror so I may not be able to make good suggestions.

What about some of the stuff that Douglas Clegg has written recently.  Some of his books may be in your friend's horror section but recently he has taken to writing fantasy.  I'm thinking of hiss Vampyricon and Mordred: Bastard Son in particular.  Both are historic dark fantasy.

George R. R. Martin's books are very good, but I'm not sure if they're hugely popular.
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« Reply #5: April 07, 2008, 02:45:15 pm »

I was recently at my friendly local library, talking to a friendly acquaintance of mine who still works . . .

Hubby has a thing for David Brin.

Me: Larry Niven.

Oh yes, if he wants to branch out to Comics, Girl Genius.
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« Reply #6: April 07, 2008, 06:54:40 pm »

Hubby has a thing for David Brin.

Me: Larry Niven.

Oh yes, if he wants to branch out to Comics, Girl Genius.

I definitely agree with the possible comic branch out there. Girl Genius is awesome!
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« Reply #7: April 07, 2008, 07:11:45 pm »

I've thought about non-Western sci-fi, but I don't really know much about those, unfortunately, and I'm not sure if long Indian and Japanese names would peak interest and lead to higher circulation, or scare people off who had trouble pronouncing it (I told him that, lately, he might be able to up circulation numbers if he set up a table and changed the featured books every time a big name author dies; it's awfully damn frequent lately Sad).

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Ooh. Fun question!

For urban fantasy: anything by Emma Bull. (Her recent _Territory_ is Tombstone-based, but several of her other books are classic urban fantasy). Also Charles de Lint.

Neil Gaiman.

Guy Gavriel Kay, especially his most recent _Ysabel_, which is urban fantasy. (No vampires. Ancient mythological figures, yes, but not vampires.)

Lois McMaster Bujold - start with the Cordelia duology and the first few Miles books for SF, or on the fantasy side, with Curse of Chalion.

For non-Western Europe based stuff, I've heard fantastic things about the Inspector Chen novels by Liz Williams. Also, I understand Barry Hughart's _Bridge of Birds_ is in print again, or will be, and it's *fabulous*.  (This one's historical fantasy, set in China.)

On either a fantasy or alternate history take, Jo Walton is a longtime friend of mine online (and in person, when I get to see her!): She has a set of 4 books (one out of print) that are sorta-Arthurian, but not really, one that is a manners novel with dragons (Tooth and Claw) and a three-book alternate post WWII history thing (collectively called the Small Change trilogy: Farthing, Ha'Penny, and Half a Crown - the last one is coming out in September.)

Other friends - Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear are also up and coming in the field. In general, getting at least the Hugo and Nebula nominees for each year is probably not a bad bet.

For lighter reading: Mercedes Lackey generally circulates well: I like her for mind-candy reading (doesn't need to engage my brain a lot). McCaffrey, though they haven't aged as well as they might.  Marion Zimmer Bradley. There's also a whole bunch of just fun themed anthologies out there for SF and F - a few of those can get interest going in a genre again, and encourage people to request other titles.

Finally, I'm sure he knows this one, but the Fiction-L listserv lists are often a great place to start. http://www.webrary.org/rs/flbklistgenre.html has the genre ones: there's a bunch of SF and F specific ones, and the title suggestions come from other librarians, and are usually things that are either circulating well or are just fabulous.
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« Reply #8: April 07, 2008, 08:35:30 pm »

Also, I understand Barry Hughart's _Bridge of Birds_ is in print again, or will be, and it's *fabulous*.  (This one's historical fantasy, set in China.)

*ears perk up*  It is?  Awesome.  I borrowed Dad's copy a long time ago to read it (and I remember liking it very much).  Now maybe I can get my own copy!  Smiley
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« Reply #9: April 07, 2008, 08:46:18 pm »

I was recently at my friendly local library, talking to a friendly acquaintance of mine who still works there and happens to be primarily in charge of the sci-fi/fantasy section.  He recently weeded out some of the really old stuff and had it sold at one of their bi-monthly sales (and I got 43 books, most of them HC, for $21.50, so it was win/win Cheesy), so he's got a nice chink of change to play with in restocking that section.  And the best part is he would welcome my suggestions!  And seemed to mean it when he said that!

So I told him I would ask y'all's opinions and get back to him, to give him a broader consensus. Cool  He doesn't really wanna buy a whole lot of urban fantasy, since that genre is on a fast downhill slide to "vampire sluts," as he so entertainingly put it (he has to buy some, of course, but wants other options).  He's looking for things that will circulate well, or at least steadily, and that aren't boring; there's only so much that can be done w/nanotech, y'know? 

They've got some RAH, and Asimov, but they don't really circulate particularly well, and neither of us knows whether it's that people don't really like it, or don't know it's there, or see the less-than attractive-to-people-less-geeky-than-me 70's covers and think "meh."  Some purchases of vintage reprints are IMO in order, but what else?  I'd hate to see the whole section become nothing but vampsluts and media tie-ins.

I've thought about non-Western sci-fi, but I don't really know much about those, unfortunately, and I'm not sure if long Indian and Japanese names would peak interest and lead to higher circulation, or scare people off who had trouble pronouncing it (I told him that, lately, he might be able to up circulation numbers if he set up a table and changed the featured books every time a big name author dies; it's awfully damn frequent lately Sad).

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Eric Flint.  He's running a series that's half sci-fi and half historical fic.

David Eddings.

And then there's the well-known stuff like Pratchett, Adams, Clarke, Gaiman...
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« Reply #10: April 07, 2008, 09:10:14 pm »

Eric Flint.  He's running a series that's half sci-fi and half historical fic.


You beat me to him.

I'll add John Ringo and Tom Kratman for military SF.  You can look at the Flint and Ringo books in their entirity on Baen's Free Library website.  Other Baen authors mostly have the third of each book on-line. 

Baen also offers it's Jim Baen's Universe for free to librarys.  I don't know the details.
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« Reply #11: April 07, 2008, 09:32:05 pm »

Warriors of the Sun God.  absolutely brilliant.  *runs very fast*

*throws book after Shadow*

Wait... that's my signed copy.  Tongue

*runs and gets book back*



I was wondering when someone would say Pratchett and Gaiman, but I'll add Douglas Adams to that list too. Heinlein, Andre Norton and the old school classic sci-fi fathers (including H.G. Wells and Jules Verne) belong in every library everywhere.

For a rather obscure author, try Cordwainer Smith. He mainly writes short stories; the best collections is The Rediscovery of Man. Rather strange, but beautiful imagery.

Also, for fantasy/alternate history/Britain fans, and for more contemporary fiction, there's Susanna Clarke, who has Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell out, as well as a short story collection related to that book called The Ladies of Grace Adieu. Two of the best books I've read in the past couple of years.
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« Reply #12: April 07, 2008, 09:49:35 pm »

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Having read the other suggestions, I'll add:

Dan Simmons. At the least, _Hyperion_ and _The Fall of Hyperion,_ along with _Endymion_ and the anthology _Prayers from Broken Stones._ (Ja, I'm out of date, but those are still GREAT IMO.) If branching into horror/fantasy, add _Song of Kali_ and _Summer of Night._

Manly Wade Wellman. ALL of the "Silver John" books. Set in Appalachia, short reads, engaging characters, interesting folk magic. LOVE them. (Again, old, but that's no reason not to have them.)

I know there are more, but my brain's turning off for now.
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« Reply #13: April 07, 2008, 09:49:45 pm »

Also, I understand Barry Hughart's _Bridge of Birds_ is in print again, or will be, and it's *fabulous*.  (This one's historical fantasy, set in China.)

This is great news. It's one of my favorite historical fantasies.
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« Reply #14: April 08, 2008, 03:42:33 am »

All opinions and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

For urban fantasy that's not vampslut, Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series is quite good. There are vampires, but the focus is on different sorts of supernaturals. There is an order to the books, but they can be read stand alone, which is usually something that drives me crazy, but didn't bother me with this series. I especially love Bitten and Stolen, as Elena the Canadian Werewolf is awesome.

Anne Bishop I am a raving fangirl for, especially...well, all if it, but if I had to choose I'd say the Tir Alainn Trilogy. Following that the Black Jewels Trilogy, Dreams Made Flesh, and The Invisible Ring.

Jane Lindskold's Firekeeper series is terrific. Order is: _Through Wolf's Eyes_, _Wolf's Head, Wolf's Heart_, _The Dragon of Despair_, _Wolf Captured_, _Wolf Hunting_, and _Wolf's Blood_. I haven't read her other works.

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'll post later if any others come to mind.
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