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About Wilbur

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  1. And some recommendation threads: and
  2. Thank you, Wert! I am surprised to see that Wert's list of non-Wildcard, non-ASOIAF fiction, not appearing in Dreamsongs is so short. In fact, I believe that I have read everything on that list from 1972 up to the Wildcards stuff. The only exception is Patrick Henry, Jupiter, and The Little Red Brick Spaceship, which I have never previously heard of before. This list reminds me of this hilariously-true video:
  3. Given the issues with obtaining the publishing rights to everything GRRM ever wrote, this would be quite a substantial undertaking. Remember that in the 1970s, for instance, everything was done on paper. Texts were submitted to ten or twenty different outlets, agreements and contracts drawn up on paper, the final edition printed on paper. Then in the consolidation of publishers and computerization of the industry in the 1990s, lots and lots of paper got lost / discarded / purposely destroyed. Knowing what was the final edit of a story, and who owns the rights to the story, is not necessarily a straightforward act. Furthermore, consider the size of the task of collecting and editing it. I draw your attention to the Vance Integral Edition, which according to the linked wikipedia article took 300 volunteers almost eight years to complete, and resulted in 45 hardback volumes. Now GRRM isn't quite Jack Vance, but his output isn't negligible, either. The VIE was a labor of love from a community that treasured Vance, and there is no way the VIE was profitable. Who will take on this task for GRRM?
  4. The Dreamsongs audio book has George as the narrator for the interstitial remarks, and I found his style to be very satisfying when combined with his personal remarks. Well worth the effort to get your hands (and ears) on. A few of the stories in the collection were ones that appeared in magazines or anthologies, so I had read them before outside the context of his other work. However, when you read his work in a comprehensive or combined grouping like this one, his philosophy really comes into focus. And once you have read and understood his philosophy, understanding his approach to ASOIAF becomes much, much easier. Ideas such as, "The White Walkers are the One True Evil" become much less believable.
  5. I didn't think so either until I read that The Pale Child Bakkalon, the god of the Steel Angels from The Thousands Worlds was re-created in the House of Black and White over in Braavos. This realization led me to this article, where the author points out that ASOIAF is basically re-creating the GRRM-tropes and themes of And Seven Times Never Kill Man. https://cantuse.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/influences-on-asoiaf-and-seven-times-never-kill-man/ I don't see any strong, form-criticism-based reason why ASOIAF can't exist in the universe of The Thousand Worlds. Personally, I hope that in the final book, Tuf shows up. And that he has cloned himself, and that clone is Varys. Now THAT would really blow some readers' minds.
  6. William Gibson's work is interestingly close to high literature, within touching distance of middlebrow modern thrillers, and still science fiction.
  7. The gods are the same, but I don't believe that the settings or characters appearing in the Chalion books re-appear in the Penric stories.
  8. GRRM's The Pear-Shaped Man is creepily weird.
  9. I also recommend the Jack Vance works including the Lyonesse trilogy, and of The Dying Earth, Cugel's Saga and Eyes of the Overworld. If you enjoy them, you might also seek out The Last Castle and The Dragon Masters. Lyonesse! Lyonesse audio book! Cugel's Saga audio book! Further, based on the books you enjoyed, I would also recommend Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion, an extensive series of books with strong writing, fine world-building and a good story line along with sympathetic characters. If you enjoy Lois McMaster Bujold's Curse of Chalion, I recommend to you Harry Turtledove, writing as Dan Chernenko, and his books in The Scepter of Mercy series. If you like Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword books, I recommend The Hammer and the Cross by Harry Harrison and John Holm, a pseudonym for the Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey. There are two sequels that continue the story, One King's Way and King and Emperor. If you liked ASOIAF, I recommend Glen Cook's The Black Company books. If you liked Dragonlance, I recommend Raymon E. Feist's Riftwar Trilogy, The Riftwar Saga. I also strongly recommend the Empire Trilogy he wrote with Janny Wurts. I do not recommend anything else either of them wrote. If you liked the Elric series, I recommend to you The Cingulum series by John Maddox Roberts. He also wrote a Dragonlance mystery, A Murder in Tarsis. If you seek a good female writer, try Kage Baker, especially her books in The Anvil of the World series. And of course, another female writer who has a large bibliography of fantasy as you have described is Tanith Lee. Finally, you might also consider Celia Friedman's Coldfire Trilogy. Boocoo Magic!
  10. In one of the later books, the answer of why the forvalaka was different in appearance is implied. I don't want to suggest that it is a complex answer, but it isn't an answer that a first-time reader approaching the first book would be able to foresee or predict. One-Eye is not a truly intelligent character. He is crafty and cunning, but as we learn more about him, we learn that he probably would not figure out the reason for the difference on his own.
  11. The Secret of Terror Castle by Robert Arthur, Jr. - The first of the Three Investigators books. It was scary and exciting and set in an exotic locale (California!) and had three interesting characters who formed a cool club and solved tremendous mysteries. Also, who can resist the free use of a gold-plated Rolls Royce chauffeured by the stalwart Worthington?
  12. The Malazan troopers certainly reflect the Black Company in tone and style.
  13. SRD has a couple of novellas called The King's Justice that came out in 2015. I just finished it, and he certainly hasn't lost his ability to portray wounded characters or moral ambiguities. This is an author that could make me feel disquiet while reading the phone book to me.
  14. Here is an excellent graphic that best illustrates how Tolkien should have done a better job of incorporating more non-patriarchial, non-racial characters and plot situations into his work. http://static.boredpanda.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/58d8c66761316_nd4UQsfr__880.jpg
  15. Fragile Bird, will you take up the Gene Wolfe re-read again some time in the future?  Without your impetus, the rest of us won't move it along.