What to read, what to read (sci-fi/fantasy/classics)
July 6, 2017 10:45 PM   Subscribe

I've got a bunch of travel coming up and a Kindle on the way. What should I load it with?

I'll be spending a bunch of time on airplanes and in hotels, so I finally sprung for a Kindle. Now I need to figure out what to put on it. I lean towards sci-fi and fantasy, but I've very much enjoyed some "classics" as well.

Absolute requirements:
  • If you recommend a series, the series MUST be complete and available. I'll read the whole thing, but I'm not waiting around for years while the next book comes out.
  • Must be available on Kindle, but I kind of assume everything is.
  • That's it.
Some context into my tastes, in no particular order:
  • The Wheel Of Time series -- Best books ever. Long, complex, deep, long-running and uniquely-motivated characters, a great balance of intrigue/action/plot-progression.
  • The Song Of Fire And Ice series -- Worst books ever. I read a thousand pages and still didn't know who the protagonist was, or why anyone was doing anything. Not my style.
  • Ender's Game and sequels -- Very enjoyable. Easy but I ate 'em up.
  • On Basilisk Station -- Couldn't get into it. I tried, but it didn't grab me.
  • Mistborn trilogy -- I loved these. A unique take on magic, and a pretty action-heavy plot.
  • Kingkiller Chronicle, books 1 & 2 -- Loved these too. This is where the "complete series" rule comes from; I liked them too much to wait around.
  • 1984 -- Enjoyable, mostly because of its obvious parallels to current events.
  • Brave New World -- Same, but more enjoyable on its own.
  • Fahrenheit 451 -- Enjoyable *only* because of its relation to current events; the writing style didn't grab me at all.
  • Foundation series -- Asimov's style was fine-but-not-great, and the ideas were neat. Fun enough to read but not the best, which actually describes all of the Asimov I've read.
  • Seveneves -- Fantastic fairly-accurate-science-once-you-accept-the-initial-premise book. I tore through this one, although I liked the first and second "parts" more than the third.
  • Cryptonomicon -- Fun read, with an interesting blend of historical fiction and technical details. I'm a software guy, so the crypto stuff was neat. Could've been about a hundred pages shorter, but I still enjoyed it a lot.
  • Something by Tolkein -- God, I don't even remember which book. They walked for four hundred pages. Nothing happened. Pass.
  • Ready Player One -- Super fun nostalgia romp. I had a great time with this.
I've poked at this old thread and extracted recommendations for the Assassins series and The Stars My Destination.

What else should I hit? I heavily favor fantasy/sci-fi, but feel free to recommend gems outside of these genres too! "Young adult" or "easy reading" books are fine as well; this is recreation, not necessarily an intellectual pursuit :)

Thanks in advance!
posted by Dilligas to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 64 users marked this as a favorite
Well, since you like Stephenson and have read Cryptonomicon, "The Baroque Cycle" is the next enterprise for you, IMO. "Quicksilver," "The Confusion," and "The System of the World" are set in the 17th/18th century and feature the ancestors of all the Cryptonomicon characters, as well as one non-ancestor (no points for guessing who), who are exploring the heady days of enlightenment and the inventions that followed, both physical, mechanical, chemical, and economical. Also pirates, STDs, gold, codes, swords... so much. Three very fat books that were also released as 8(!) trade paperbacks.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:59 PM on July 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Arrakis. Dune. Desert Planet.

The first book is a book you'll reread for eternity. The two that follow, "Dune Messiah" and "Children of Dune" are good followups following the lives of characters from the first book. After that, "God Emperor of Dune" jumps into a more distant future and turns weird enough that I bailed, but there are those who say it's rewarding.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:04 PM on July 6, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My go-to recommendation for people asking your question is Jack Vance's Lyonesse trilogy (Suldrun's Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc).

It's fantasy that's not cookie-cutter stuff. Well written, engaging, interesting characters, laced with just the right amount of quirkily pleasing wit, and something you'll savor long after you have forgotten the most recent Extruded Fantasy Product doorstopper.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:21 PM on July 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

Recent sci-fi I really enjoyed were The Three Body Problem trilogy by Chinese sci-fi writer Cixin Liu and short stories by Paolo Bacigalupi. Neal Stephenson's other novels Zodiac, The Big U and The Diamond Age are good if you can find them. For something more out there, try Rudy Rucker's Ware tetrology. Or Matt Ruff's Sewer, Gas and Electric and Fool on the Hill.
posted by ldenneau at 11:36 PM on July 6, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You might enjoy Robert Jackson Bennett's City of... series. The third and final book was just released a couple of months ago. I thought it was gripping, with good characters, solid premise and worldbuilding (especially in the first one), and plenty of action and intrigue.
posted by tavegyl at 11:46 PM on July 6, 2017 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky fit nicely into the hard-SF "fairly-accurate-science-once-you-accept-the-initial-premise" category. They have big spaceships, interesting aliens, strong AIs, and people measuring time in kiloseconds and megaseconds instead of hours and days, because space. They're set in the same universe but they only intersect tangentially, so read either one first.

I also like to recommend Connie Willis's time travel novels, although they don't feel quite as much like SF/F because the action largely takes place in a historical setting. The premise: in the mid 21st century, time travel is a thing, but because of its limitations it's used mainly by academic historians who want to study the past on-site. Things go wrong; shenanigans ensue. Doomsday Book is a tragedy, To Say Nothing of the Dog is a comedy, and Blackout / All Clear reads a bit more like a mystery.
posted by egregious theorem at 12:21 AM on July 7, 2017 [4 favorites]

Best answer: If you like Neal Stephenson and are a software guy, try Snow Crash. I believe it is by far his shortest work and very enjoyable. Also try Neuromancer by William Gibson.

A really great fantasy series is The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. I is a fantastic popcorn-series with great characters, a good deal of humor, although a bit on the dark side. I reread it three times already!

As for recent SF, The Martian is excellent and about the "hardest" and scientifically most accurate SF you can get. If that whetted your appetite for colonizing Mars, read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.

Another book I reread once in a while is Hyperion by Dan Simmons, as for as space operas go it is second only to Dune by Frank Herbert.

As third in Space Opera I would put Peter Hamiltons The Night's Dawn trilogy, its extensive, inventive and an overall excellent read.
posted by SweetLiesOfBokonon at 1:07 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: David Mitchell, The Bone Clocks. I couldn't put it down.

Margaret Atwood, the MaddAddam trilogy. Totally immersive dystopia. Funny, sly, suspenseful, sharp, terrifying, but always compassionate for her flawed characters.

Ben Winters, The Last Policeman trilogy. The world is ending in six months because a giant asteroid is going to hit it, but one police detective continues to do his job, doggedly solving murders. I found this series very moving and thought provoking.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:38 AM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

cj cherryh, the chanur series (4 books, gritty space trucker hard sci fi space opera) and the Morgaine series (fantasy, but where the magic is all clearly technology)

gene Wolfe, the new sun ( four books, he wrote a bunch of others but to my mind the style changed unpleasantly)

italo calvino invisible cities, if on a winter night a traveler
posted by Sebmojo at 2:16 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My standard SF recommendations:
Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds (there's a series of three books plus other novels set in the same universe)
Culture novels by Iain M Banks (less of a series than a shared universe, there are few direct links between individual books)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:53 AM on July 7, 2017 [6 favorites]

Seconding the City of . . . series (fantasy), which is complete. Seconding The Last Policeman (SF).
A slight cheat, NK Jemisin's Broken Earth series, which will be complete Aug 15 (F).
Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice series, also complete (SF).
Mefi's own John Scalzi has some one-off books, I cannot recall which series are and are not complete, but they are light and fun.
Max Gladstone's series isn't exactly complete, but each book tells its own story (in the same world as all the others), and the first five books, which complete the first cycle, are all finished (F). You're waiting for more books in the world, not for a plot to finish.
I really liked Kim Stanley Robinson's Aurora -- he also has piles of books and none are incomplete series.
The Rook and its sequel Stiletto by Daniel O'Malley (F). Not sure if the series is complete, but each book told a full story.
Darker Shade of Magic series by VE Schwab (F). Trilogy complete.
Maybe China Mieville's New Crobuzon books.
posted by jeather at 4:53 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm going to guess that you might not have read many of the classics, just from how you asked this?

Anyway, some classics:

Heinlein, _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_. This is the one that still feels shockingly modern to me and it's before the brain eater got him. If you really must read _Starship Troopers_ instead you are morally required to follow it up with Haldeman's _Forever War_.

Clarke, _Rendezvous with Rama_. This is arguably the everything-best-about-Clarke book. Alternately maybe _Imperial Earth_ or any of the various short story collections.

LeGuin, _The Lathe of Heaven_. About a man whose dreams come true. Sort of, kinda. Really _The Dispossessed_ or _The Left Hand of Darkness_ are her most towering classics but IMHO TLoH is an easier introduction.

Pohl, _Gateway_. Humans from a pretty dystopic, gone-to-shit Earth find asteroid full of alien starships they don't understand.

Brunner, _The Shockwave Rider_. Arguably the first cyberpunk book, before there was cyberpunk. From 1975. Alternately _The Sheep Look Up_ (environmental horror) or _Stand on Zanzibar_ (hard to explain but super fun).

Miller, _A Canticle for Liebowitz_. One of the postapocalyptic classics. Trigger warning: absolutely drenched in catholicism.

More recent stuff, but still going back a ways:

Bear, _Blood Music_. One of the first nano-thingy books. Sort of pairs with Herbert's _The White Plague_. Sort of.

Simmons, _Hyperion_

Vinge, _The Peace War_

Hamilton, _The Reality Dysfunction_

Banks, _The Player of Games_ (imho the best introduction to the Culture)

MacLeod, _Fractions_ (is _The Star Fraction_ and _The Stone Canal_ for one money)

Up to date stuff:

Scalzi, _Old Man's War_, start of an AFAIK concluded series. Or the standalones _Redshirts_, _Agent to the Stars_, or _The Android's Dream_.

Stross, _Singularity Sky_. Short series that's concluded. Or the sort of pair of _Accelerando_ and _Glasshouse_. Woudl recommend _The Atrocity Archives_ but that series ain't done yet.

Morgan, _The Steel Remains_. SF-based more-or-less fantasy. If lots of gay sex bothers you, or if you'd rather just straight-up SF, then _Altered Carbon_.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:58 AM on July 7, 2017 [5 favorites]

Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne by Brian Staveley

Fantasy trilogy that was completed last year, though the author recently released a standalone novel set in the same world.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 5:14 AM on July 7, 2017

The Once and Future King by T. H. White. The first book, The Sword and the Stone, was fairly faithfully adapted by Disney, and it just gets better from there.
posted by BrashTech at 5:27 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Biting the Sun!
anything by Tamora Pierce,
and seconding Three Body Problem series!
posted by sacchan at 5:36 AM on July 7, 2017

Since you liked 1984 and Brave New World, let me recommend their predecessor, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We.
posted by General Malaise at 5:55 AM on July 7, 2017

All of these are easy and fun reads:
The Time Travelers Wife.
The Windup Girl.
On Such A Full Sea.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War.
The Knife of Never Letting Go.
posted by scorpia22 at 6:08 AM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: N'ting Vernor Vinge (but, I'd add The Children of the Sky, which is in the same series as those mentioned above, his short stories, and Rainbow's End), the Revelation Space series by Alastair Reynolds, and everything by Paolo Bacigalupi (which reads as much more magical realism than SF, but is great.) I'm not sure any of them are technically complete series, but all their books stand alone and come to entirely satisfying conclusions.

Scalzi's Old Man's War series is also worth a try, though I found my interest flagging toward the end. I've lately been enjoying Iain Banks' Culture books, mentioned above, though they've got a Fight Club vibe that sometimes makes me cringe as a reader. (Editing out ten percent of the content would make them 100 times better, and it's worth reading them and overlooking the obnoxious bits.)

If you like Stephenson, Anathem is, without question, his best work. The first 7/8 of it are among the best English language books of the century; the end is okay too. On the other hand, some years ago I bought The Baroque Cycle in preparation for a year long trip. By page 5, I regretted the decision; somewhere in the middle of book #2 I gave up entirely and recycled them all. (The only thing less interesting than historical European court intrigue is fictional historical European court intrigue written by science fiction authors. . . but to each their own.)
posted by eotvos at 6:11 AM on July 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

I just happened to reread Clifford Simak's Waystation and it held up much better than I expected so for classic authors I'd recommend his books.
posted by sammyo at 6:23 AM on July 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Our tastes are roughly aligned: The Wheel of Time was one of my favourite books ever (see my username), even if it did waffle on for a bit; enjoyed Ready Player One though by no means in my list of all time favourites; enjoyed Enders Game; loved Foundation and its entire series for the broad, overarching concepts but not writing style; completely disliked The Song of Fire and Ice.

A few things I have enjoyed:

- Ursula LeGuin Earthsea, in particular the first two books (A Wizard of Earthsea and Tombs of Atuan)
- Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (as a previous poster has recommended)
- Wool was an easy summer read, though writing and plot really falls off a cliff by the last book.
- Jasper Fforde Thursday Next series (especially first few books). Fun excursion, packed with a lot of concepts, both scientific and literary.
posted by moiraine at 6:24 AM on July 7, 2017

Ammonite, by Nicola Griffith, might be of interest - it's a swashbuckling planetary adventure with a lesbian protagonist (and mostly women characters). I read it while recovering from wisdom tooth surgery and it was ideal for that purpose - it's a really classic adventure tale that manages to have good politics with no slow-down on the swashing.

I want to second the Robert Jackson Bennett books* - the second one in particular. They have a surprising amount of feelings-about-serious-issues for such fast-paced, kinda light adventure tales, and the women viewpoint characters are, IMO, very good - way more realistic (given the differences between fantasy and SF) than Neal Stephenson's.

It sounds as though you mostly like big adventures, cast of thousands, vast horizons, complex but not experimental plotting, characters with emotional development rather than a cookie-cutter "romance" plot arc, relatively straightforward prose.

Here and here are two parts of a list that is on my reading list - it's from, uh, some guy's blog, and it's a two part list of his favorite fantasy series. He has pretty good judgment about fantasy and SF, IMO, and the second part in particular has some stuff that sounded interesting to me but that I really hadn't read.

I hope you follow up with your opinions on what you chose!

*With the caveat that the gay character in the first book embodies some great ways not to write Tragic Gay Men.
posted by Frowner at 6:33 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Mr. gudrun recommends All Our Wrong Todays.
posted by gudrun at 6:56 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Two series suggestions: C.S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet series and Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:06 AM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: How has no one mentioned Ramez Naam's Nexus trilogy? It's set in the near future, after nano-machines make a brain-computer interface possible. It's part sci-fi, part spiritual journey, part spy novel. It's a great trilogy.
posted by domo at 7:11 AM on July 7, 2017

The Alchemists, Geary Gravel, *might* interest you. No idea if it's available on Kindle. No guarantees as it is rather slow-paced. The premise and character interactions were unusual and interesting, however. I'm with you on LOTR and Song of Ice and Fire type stuff. They seemed... interminable.

Also, perhaps, A Song for Arbonne, by Guy Gavriel Kay, along with his Summer Tree trilogy.
posted by Crystal Fox at 7:16 AM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: I’m pretty surprised to not see Discworld on here already. It’s been on my to-read list just about forever and I finally borrowed The Color of Magic through my local library on Kindle to read on MY vacation, which I’m on right now. I’m really blown away (not that I expected anything different!). Can’t recommend it enough, it has a real Douglas Adams feel to the writing style that I’m really digging. Anyway there are approx. 8000 of the Discworld series books and no particular order as far as I can make out.
posted by sixfootaxolotl at 7:29 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

I really loved the Eternal Sky series by Elizabeth Bear. Fantasy, "medieval" tech but with east, south and central Asian motifs.

Have you tried Bujold? Not sure I'd recommend her Vorkosigan stuff based on your list but The World of Five Gods settings (3 books and four novellas, accept for the novellas only loosely connected) might appeal to you.
posted by mark k at 7:39 AM on July 7, 2017

I can't speak to availability on the Kindle, but some recommendations (in no particular order):
  • Eclipse, Eclipse Penumbra, and Eclipse Corona, by John Shirley, collectively known as A Song Called Youth. Exciting, intense, over-the-top, and extremely relevant.
  • Snowcrash or The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson (as mentioned above). Far and away his strongest books. Phenomenal ideas, and unlike his earlier (or later) books, very tight, controlled writing.
  • Pattern Recognition, Spook Country, and Zero History, by William Gibson. Not as iconic as his Sprawl or Bridge trilogies, but his strongest, imo.
  • Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword, and Ancillary Mercy, by Ann Leckie, collectively the "Imperial Radch trilogy" (as mentioned above).
  • Paintwork, by Tim Maughan. A short collection of three very solid near-future stories.
  • Normal, by Warren Ellis. Like the Maughan, but closer to home.
  • The Outback Stars, The Stars Down Under, and The Stars Blue Yonder, by Sandra McDonald, collectively the "Outback Stars trilogy". Military SF with a slightly mystical bent. The procedural stuff is my favourite part, but there's lots of good weirdness here.
  • After the Apocalypse (short fiction) or China Mountain Zhang, by Maureen F. McHugh. Fantastic ideas alongside really solid character work and unusually good, thoughtful writing.
  • Zoo City or Moxyland, by Lauren Beukes. I sometimes describe her to new readers of her work as "imagine if William Gibson were a South African woman", but that's doesn't really get to the heart of things. An original voice who breathes new life into old ideas and has plenty of new ones of her own. All her books are good (except that short story/essay collection she released, which was mostly pretty weak), but these two are her best, imo. Zoo City is techically fantasy, but it feels like science fiction.

posted by Fish Sauce at 7:44 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Lev Grossman's Magicians trilogy is great! It has a more hard-fantasy feel like the KingKiller/Mistborn novels.
posted by gregr at 8:22 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Because you like The Wheel of Time Series but didn't care for Song of Ice and Fire... you should look at 2 series that fit in the middle of the space between them:

Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series
(the similarities to the Wheel of Time books in structure is pretty fascinating). The books get a bit repetitive after the first 3 or 4 and they are all 800 page monsters but fast reads. Goodkind is not afraid of sex or violence, but sometimes his dialogue is over wordy and overwrought.

Stephen R. Donaldson's Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.

The first 3 are very good, like Tolkien without a lot of the political formality. The second 3 elevate it, the writing gets better, the story spreads out. The final 3 books were written later and for me didn't have the punch, but still good.

The story is heavy, and deep. Donaldson is a good writer and has some ideas you haven't read before and many influences that will appeal to you.
posted by bobdow at 9:24 AM on July 7, 2017

Simon R Green's Nightside series is vastly fun popcorn... Shithole World Noir? I love them.

Ian M. Banks' Culture novels are a mixed bag, but Player of Games is indeed a brilliant book.

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files fails the "completed series" criteria, but it's still well worth it[ books one and two are a bit generic, but they better and better] . And he will actually finish the series too. The graphic novels are also good fun.

Asimov is a better short story writer than novelist, so most of his collections are a great read.

And speaking of anthologies, any of the Year's Best ____ is probably well worth picking up

Neil Gaiman, full stop
posted by Jacen at 9:25 AM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: Hyperion series! All four. If reading is a diet, the Hyperion series has all food groups and tastes like filet mignon and strawberry cheesecake. It's simply the best. Love, religion, horror, war, mystery, history, empire, literature, poetry, technology, culture, revenge and on and on. It has absolutely everything!

It's the only series I can read again and again.
posted by Lord Fancy Pants at 9:29 AM on July 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Also, Robin Hobb writes massive trillogies that reminds me of Jordan. I prefer the Liveship Traders as a almost entirely stand alone series, though it is set in the same era as her Assassins books, which I recommend reading in order (also, each trilogy is a complete story by itself, but the latest trilogy in the Assassin series isn't completed yet)
posted by Jacen at 9:32 AM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: One of my favorite authors is Elizabeth Hand. Her first works were a trilogy and quite good: Winterlong, Aestival Tide and Icarus Descending. My favorite; Waking the Moon, is a sort of dark, adult alternative Harry Potter novel.
posted by jabo at 10:30 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I really enjoyed the Uplift series by David Brin. Compelling, complex, good world-building.
posted by rekrap at 10:46 AM on July 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

nthing the Hyperion Cantos.

The Book of the New Sun

If you've still got the time and like Stephenson, I enjoyed his Baroque Cycle trilogy - would probably never be able to make myself re-read it, though.
posted by porpoise at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2017

Keith Laumer's books about Jame Retief, a junior diplomat employed in Earth's foreign service (based on Laumer's own service in the US Foreign Service). These are light reads, satirical SF about a diplomat who does not waste time on superfluous protocol, when he can get the same results with clever dealing and judicious use of violence. Before there was Captain Kirk, there was Jame Retief.

There appears to be some 16 books; i've read probably 4-5 and enjoyed them all, but there's no overarching story that I need to finish, there's just one assignment followed by another job; some books are basically collections of jobs, while others are a series of challenges on a given world.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:53 AM on July 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't think anyone has mentioned Redshirts yet, so - Redshirts.
posted by wittgenstein at 1:46 PM on July 7, 2017

Best answer: OMG so many books to recommend.

My first thought was the Culture series, starting with "Consider Phlebas", and I'm tickled that I was beaten to that recommendation by EndsOfInvention and ROU_Xenophobe (Very minor spoilers). "Player of Games" is a good start too, but jumping in somewhere in the middle also works. And Iain M. Banks' non-Culture novels are fantastic.

If you haven't read Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and The Diamond Age, run, don't walk, and pick those up. And Anathem was one of his best, although it's on the longer side.

The Magicians trilogy was definitely fun.

Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice trilogy was great - book 1 won every single SF award, and for very good reason.

The first Expanse trilogy is pretty self-contained, comes to a very satisfactory conclusion, and you don't have to worry about further books if you don't want to. I really enjoyed Leviathan Wakes.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:18 PM on July 7, 2017

Also, Robin Hobb writes massive trillogies that reminds me of Jordan. I prefer the Liveship Traders as a almost entirely stand alone series, though it is set in the same era as her Assassins books, which I recommend reading in order (also, each trilogy is a complete story by itself, but the latest trilogy in the Assassin series isn't completed yet)

The last book in the whole (18 book?) series was published recently (April or May perhaps?), and was a great conclusion for an ace story. I'd really recommend it.
posted by bifter at 3:28 PM on July 7, 2017

bobdow: ... Thomas Covenant... The final 3 books were written later and for me didn't have the punch, but still good.

THERE. ARE. FOUR. BOOKS. < /picard>

The Last Chronicles covers four books - The Runes of the Earth, Fatal Revenant, Against All Things Ending, and The Last Dark.

I love the Chronicles, and have a tendency to re-read whatever's already been published every 3 or 4 years. One of the first aliases I used online, back in the days when I was playing AirWarrior on GEnie, was "Lord Mhoram". But it is a DARK series, and parts of the first trilogy come across as little more than travelogues (although not as bad as Tolkien).
posted by hanov3r at 4:50 PM on July 7, 2017

Response by poster: Holy shit y'all, thank you so much! I am well and truly set for a looooong while!
posted by Dilligas at 10:09 PM on July 7, 2017

Please read the Steerswoman series by Rosemary Kirstein. I know it isn't finished yet, but I honestly have a sneaking suspicion that book 5 is never going to come.

And since I already broke the rules, how about Jasper Fforde's Shades of Grey? It is by far his best work (according to me), and a sequel has been planned for years but he admits it is hard to write, so who knows.
posted by Literaryhero at 6:37 AM on July 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

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