Sharing Day: Favorite Novel Edition

This week’s Sharing Day topic is simple:

What is your favorite novel?

If you’re an avid reader like me, you probably will be choking trying to think of just one to be The One. If you want to break it down into genres, feel free.

For me, I’ll be boring and say my favorite fantasy novel series is “The Lord of the Rings”. I’m such a traditionalist.

My favorite sci-fi novel is probably “Ender’s Game”. Whenever I want to introduce someone to science fiction who hasn’t tried it before, this is the one I give them. I’m probably on copy 24, I’ve given away so many.

My Amazon list of “Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books That Moved Me” has more of the ones I particularly loved, but I’d really like to hear yours!

If you like, in return for answering my question to you, you may ask a question of me on any topic and I’ll do my best to answer honestly and completely.

69 Responses to Sharing Day: Favorite Novel Edition

  1. My favorite single novel is “The Stand”, and my favorite series is “The Dark Tower”. I’ve probably read “The Stand” at least 30 times since I first picked it up, and I consider it the best piece of Post-Apocolyptic fiction I’ve ever come across.

    My question to Jeff is based on one I remember him answering in one of the other Sharing Days: If they made a Flash live-action movie, which of his villains would you like to see as the antagonist?

  2. Gero: My favorite single novel is “The Stand”, and my favorite series is “The Dark Tower”. I’ve probably read “The Stand” at least 30 times since I first picked it up, and I consider it the best piece of Post-Apocolyptic fiction I’ve ever come across.

    I’m some kind of anti-geek freak, because King has never done it for me. I remember liking “The Stand” when I first read it as a young teen, but ten years or so back I tried to re-read it again and I honestly couldn’t get through it. I found the writing thick, clumsy, and irritating. However, I’m the only geek I know who feels that way so I am probably in the wrong!

    Gero: My question to Jeff is based on one I remember him answering in one of the other Sharing Days: If they made a Flash live-action movie, which of his villains would you like to see as the antagonist?

    This is tough, because so many of his villains are just silly. I have a hard time seeing how you could take “Captain Boomerang” seriously in live-action, for instance. And after Arnold’s take on “Mister Freeze” in the Schumacher Batman film, I can’t go with “Captain Cold” either.

    I think I’d probably take Mirror Master, mostly because of the storyline where he finds out he’s dying and so sets a series of ingenious traps for Flash so he goes out in a blaze of glory.

    Another good alternative would be Gorilla Grodd. Who doesn’t love evil, talking gorillas?!

  3. I don’t know if it’s “The One”, but I remember reading Jurrassic Park in 2 days. It kept me on the edge and was a real rollercoaster ride. Then I saw the movie and was disappointed. (like always)

    Question – New items?

    Have a great weekend! Cheers!

  4. Hard to choose just one, even from any particular genre. In fantasy, I have to go with LotR, too, as I have read it through more times than any other (maybe with the exeption of the Dark Elf Trilogy, but the rest of the Drizzt Do’Urden saga weight that down a bit as it has run on for too long). If talking about sci-fi (if Star Wars can be categorized as such) I would say Timothy Zahn’s Outbound Flight is my favourite, but if the two more recent novels from Zahn (Allegiance and Choices of One) are counted as a serie/duology I would have to say that one. But if we take in my favourite genre of historical fiction/adventure/romance, choosing becomes absolutely impossible…

    No question atm, might come up with one later.

  5. My favorite novel (actual novel) of all time is a toss-up between The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

    I’m also going to be the geek that I am and give my Top 5 Graphic Novels:
    1) Superman: Birthright
    2) Deadpool: Wade Wilson’s War (Dan: See, I don’t hate ALL Marvel characters)
    3) Green Lantern: Rebirth
    4) Flash: Rebirth
    5) Identity Crisis (a tie with Wolverine: The Best There Is)

    As far as my question: For my next Review Rewind feature, what 3 comic story lines (trades or graphic novels published prior to 2007) would you prefer to see?
    Again, anyone can answer this one. I’m currently writing a Review Rewind for the premiere story arc of WildC.A.T.s.

  6. ams:
    I don’t know if it’s “The One”, but I remember reading Jurrassic Park in 2 days.

    DAMN!! I knew I forgot something (aside from my pants in that one nightmare) and it was NEXT by Michael Crichton. Great story, sort of half-truths mixed with not-too-elaborate sci-fi. Go ahead and actually replace Cat’s Cradle with NEXT.

  7. “Retief’s War” by Kieth Laumer. Now that the technology is up to it, I’m working on a screenplay for it. Wish Laumer had been alive to beat Brin’s ass for stealing the Quop for his childish 2nd trilogy.

  8. ams: I don’t know if it’s “The One”, but I remember reading Jurrassic Park in 2 days. It kept me on the edge and was a real rollercoaster ride. Then I saw the movie and was disappointed. (like always)

    Question – New items?

    Have a great weekend! Cheers!

    I never read the second novel but I loved the first one.

    I’m an idiot — you meant the original. Which was awesome.

    New items? Yes, coming at some point. I got the dblade items transferred to the new laptop so hopefully during my next stint in Austin I can crank some out.

  9. Well for Fantasy I’d have to go with one of the first I read; The Sword of Shannara. (Yeah, I’m a bad man and haven’t read LotR yet, so I can’t compare)

    If you want to go to a sub genere, the the Dresden Files in Urban fantasy are pretty high on my favorite books list.

    I’d have to dig deep for a Scifi book, that’s a tough one. So many to choose from….

  10. McKnight57: As far as my question: For my next Review Rewind feature, what 3 comic story lines (trades or graphic novels published prior to 2007) would you prefer to see?

    Frank Miller’s “Born Again” Daredevil run; any “Impossible” set; and “Batman: Year One.” I know, boring.

  11. Jeff Hebert: Frank Miller’s “Born Again” Daredevil run; any “Impossible” set; and “Batman: Year One.” I know, boring.

    Batman: Year One is certainly manageable, but as far as the DD titles, I’d be more inclined to do Frank Miller’s Visionaries Vol. 1 of DD. I believe it even features the yellow suit.

  12. I’m not a huge fantasy fan, but I’m going to go old school with the original Dragonlance trilogy by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. A more contemporary fantasy favorite is Genevieve Valentine’s MECHANIQUE: A TALE OF THE CIRCUS TRESAULTI. For sci-fi, I have always loved Mike Resnick’s SANTIAGO and George R. R. Martin’s WILD CARDS series (inspired me to write my own superhero series).

    I don’t have a question for Jeff. I’m easy like that.

  13. Ian Thomas Healy:

    I’m easy like that.

    That’s what she said. (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Easy target.)

  14. alphaalpharomeo

    My favorite series is between The Chronicals of Narnia and the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo…

    My question to Jeff is if you were to get a tattoo what would it be of? In the case that you have one, what new one would you get?

  15. alphaalpharomeo: My question to Jeff is if you were to get a tattoo what would it be of? In the case that you have one, what new one would you get?

    I do not have a tattoo, and any one I get would be covered by huge thickets of disgusting body hair. However, if I had to get one I’d probably go with a Superman logo. I love that insignia.

    Or, I’d tattoo hair all over my scalp. That would work, right?!

  16. My favorite novel series would have to be the Three Musketeers and its sequels. Alexandre Dumas is definitely my favorite author… better than Charles Dickens, even. Dickens can come up with a good story and all, but the way he presents the story is a total snoozefest. Not so with Dumas. He doesn’t just make a good story, he keeps you interested in the story by NOT wasting your time with overly-long paragraphs upon paragraphs filled with repetitive metaphors describing every last detail… Dumas instead lets the story tell itself through the events that take place in the story, giving you an action-packed sequence of events that keeps you interested while still giving enough descriptive detail to let you know what’s going on.

    As for my question: What class or character archetype do you feel would go well in a fantasy game, which hasn’t been done before to a satisfactory degree?

  17. Jadebrain: As for my question: What class or character archetype do you feel would go well in a fantasy game, which hasn’t been done before to a satisfactory degree?

    I’m having a hard time thinking of any that haven’t been done well in at least the “Baldur’s Gate” series. They covered all the D&D classes and I thought did a stellar job all the way around.

    I guess, though, I’ll go with Necromancer. They’re always so evil, it’s hard to like them, even if they’re effective in a games-mechanic sense.

  18. The Wheel Of Time By Robert Jordon and Brandon Sanderson. When Jordon died and Sanderson took over the series I was a little leery however his writting style at least for these books is close enough to Jordon’s that the series is still enjoyable to read. I’d just wish they get the last book published already ( book #14 A Memory of the Light )

  19. For fantasy I would have to go with the Game of Thrones series. I really like the gritty setting and I never feel safe reading it.

    For Sci-Fi I would say Ender’s Game is up there but I keep going back to Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap series. I love Donaldson’s world building and writing style.

    Jeff. If someone was paying you to make a calendar of illustrations for a book or book series of your choice what would it be and what scene would you be most excited to create?

  20. Like Jeff, I’m a traditionalist when it comes to fantasy. LOTR stands as my favorite in the genre, but I also loved Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibone series and Fritz Leiber’s Fafrhd and the Grey Mouser.

    For science fiction, Starship Troopers stands as great favorite. As a veteran, I understand the journey Rico takes from selfish boy to leader of men. I try to blot out the movie from my memory.

    I could easily spend the rest of my day talking books and not working. There are so many great ones out there. Unfortunately, I have this nasty habit called “eating” and it is a harsh addiction.

  21. Kaldath:
    The Wheel Of Time By Robert Jordon and Brandon Sanderson. When Jordon died and Sanderson took over the series I was a little leery however his writting style at least for these books is close enough to Jordon’s that the series is still enjoyable to read. I’d just wish they get the last book published already ( book #14 A Memory of the Light )

    I’m waiting for that last book too. I stopped reading at book 9 and decided to wait until the series was finished before picking it up again. Talk about great world building.

  22. I have to say, I never find Peter S. Beagle listed in people’s favorites. The Last Unicorn is one of may favorite stand-alone fantasy books. I keep going back to it. Favorite fantasy series is Tad Williams’ Memory Sorrow & Thorn, although… you need have read LOTR, I think, to see where he draws some things. Sci Fi is harder for me. I love so many sci fi movies and shows, but have never found a novel or series that grabbed me. For futuristic, I’d go with A Brave New World, but I was totally drawn into the Hunger Games series this year. I’ll leave it there– too many genres. We won’t go into my secret favorite chick book or whether I prefer Kinsey Milhone or Flavia DeLuce…

  23. Read and liked LOTR, the Shannara series, the Dark Tower series (1st 2 books), the Wheel of Time series (up to book 11), and got bored around the 5th series from R.E.Feist.

    Love the Hunger Games series, anything by Anne McCaffrey, Terry Pratchett, Eileen Wilks, Patricia Briggs or Diana Wynne Jones, currently reading A Clash of Kings (Song of Ice and Fire book 2) by George R.R.Martin, but I gotta say, my all-time favourite is the Chronicles of Narnia.

  24. dblade: Jeff. If someone was paying you to make a calendar of illustrations for a book or book series of your choice what would it be and what scene would you be most excited to create?

    Ooo, good question! Before Peter Jackson I would’ve said LOTR, but he pretty much cornered the market on that one.

    Others that leap to mind are the “Dragonriders of Pern” series, which I see as being gritty but cool. I like the Dresden Files books but I don’t think my style would be a good fit there.

    Ultimately I’d probably go with the “Adventures of Vlad Taltos” series of books by Steven Brust, which are awesome. You get a wide variety of interesting scenes and characters from which to choose and not a lot has been done yet visually with the property so you’d be able to innovate.

    You’re a designer, dblade, which would you choose?

  25. Kaldath: The Wheel Of Time By Robert Jordon and Brandon Sanderson. When Jordon died and Sanderson took over the series I was a little leery however his writting style at least for these books is close enough to Jordon’s that the series is still enjoyable to read. I’d just wish they get the last book published already ( book #14 A Memory of the Light )

    I bailed on WoT after something like Book 7 I think, that seemed like 700 endless pages of turgid writing that didn’t actually advance the plot, instead rehashing the exact same scene with slight variations from earlier books. It was maddening.

  26. my favourite novel is skulduggery pleasant. its quite childish but it has everything a book needs, fantasy, fighting, drama, mystery and sarcasm. its also a good series and each book leaves u desperate to read the next.

    my question: can we have some more background items like a bed and tables?

  27. BloodlessRose: my question: can we have some more background items like a bed and tables?

    I would definitely like to add those, yes.

  28. McKnight57:
    See, I don’t hate ALL Marvel characters

    I never said that you hate all Marvel characters, but you do tend to rip into the Marvels and praise the DCs. And that’s nothing wrong with that. You’re a DC guy. I’m a Marvel guy. I tend to look at DC as if they are dated and desparate, and you see Marvel as being cheap knockoffs. I worked in a comic book store years ago, and the one thing I learned is that you will never get two people to see eye to eye about comic characters. Besides, if we all took the same sides in the polls, they wouldn’t be much fun anyway.

  29. That’s a hard one- I’ve read a lot of books so it’s really hard to pick out a single one.

    Sci-fi- that’s quite a tricky one, and there’s still a lot of stuff I want to read but haven’t got round to actually getting the books. I’m torn between Arthur C. Clarke’s Rendezvous With Rama, Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and Dune (which I’m about two-thirds of the way through.). But even then, there’s a bunch of Ray Bradbury stuff, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five (or six, if you count And Another Thing) that I’ve enjoyed.

    I’ll have to admit that I haven’t read much fantasy. I’ve been meaning to get around to reading Lord of the Rings, but I keep getting sidetracked.

    As far as comics and graphic novels go, I’m a little useless there since I’m still fairly new to comics and haven’t picked up very many trades except for the stuff my school library’s got (which isn’t a huge amount). But, I have read Watchmen and Crisis on Infinite Earths, and I liked them both.

    So Jeff, my question is- what are your top 5 or so recommendations for comic series/trades/graphic novels/whatever you want to call them?

  30. I’m a bad geek, in that I really don;t read that much, and when I do, I don’t really have much diversity. I have read LOTR, and I’m in the slow process of reading all the Star Wars novels, and some of them are just painfully bad. My favorite ones have been the Republic Commando series and the first half of the X-Wing series.

    So, my question to everyone is this, when superhero movies go bad (such as Superman 3 or Batman & Robin) would you rather see reboots like Amazing Spider-Man and Batman Begins, or see them keep them keep going James Bond style?

  31. I think my favourite series of novel has to be either A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R.Martin or The Banned and the Banished by James Clemens because both have fantastic storylines and a great sense of history that has shaped the world you experience in to what it is. Both series have many strong characters but my favourite in ASOIAF has to be Eddard Stark, in TBATB it would be Er’ril of Standi.

    My question is one for anyone to answer (and i apologize if someone has already mentioned these books) Has anyone read either series?

  32. Trekkie: So Jeff, my question is- what are your top 5 or so recommendations for comic series/trades/graphic novels/whatever you want to call them?

    For someone new to the field, I’d probably do some combination of “The Dark Knight” series by Frank Miller; the first two “Ultimates” trade paperback collections by Mark Millar; the first and maybe second “Invincible” TPBs; and Darwyn Cook’s two “DC: New Frontier” collections. Those are mostly “Origin of” types of stories that are easy to get into without knowing much about the characters from before (except for Dark Knight, but come on, it’s Batman!), and which are great reads.

  33. Dan: So, my question to everyone is this, when superhero movies go bad (such as Superman 3 or Batman & Robin) would you rather see reboots like Amazing Spider-Man and Batman Begins, or see them keep them keep going James Bond style?

    Personally I’d rather see reboots. It’s awfully hard to recover from a bad edition of these kinds of movies in the first place, and secondly I think you run the risk of going way too “soap opera” the longer they continue. Towards the end, there, the Roger Moore Bond movies were pretty awful.

  34. Dan: Steven Brust

    If you liked the first part of the X-wing series, make sure and read I, Jedi. (But you do have to read the Jedi Academy series before I, Jedi for some of the background stuff to make any sense)

    You know, I’d rather see them just barrel through and keep going than reboot. I’m not a big fan of origin stories, especially after they’ve been told and retold to death. The last Hulk movie did a good job at this – replaced all the main actors, abut didn’t retell the origin – they just kept going.

    They are talking about a fantastic four and daredevil reboot – please no. Just keep going. We know how they got their powers. Please don’t tell us again.

  35. Gene: The last Hulk movie did a good job at this – replaced all the main actors, abut didn’t retell the origin – they just kept going.

    The opening credits of that movie were absolutely brilliant. The entire origin told in the time it takes to get comfortable in your seat, wham bam thank you ma’am, done, let’s get rolling into the action! I love love loved the way they rolled that out.

  36. Gene, I did read I, Jedi and I actually liked it alot. Michael A. Stackpole is probably one of my favorite SW writters.
    I’m in agreement that they should do the reboot when necessary, but skip the origin if you can. But, then again, if you bring something new like they did in Batman Begins the origin can work well. As much as I enjoyed X-Men First Class, I kinda wish they would have just started fresh instead of trying to conform to the other movies.
    BTW, I read on Cracked that some ppl have an interesting theory about Bond, that the name “James Bond” is a code name, and is passed down to a new Bond when the old one is killed / retires. So the get the name with the 007 number. It helps with the real world aspects of them getting old and changing looks and personality. Any thoughts?

  37. This is indeed a toughy… Hmmm… I think I can narrow it down a little: Fantasy: The Inheritance Series (Eragon) though the movie was complete bull… except for Jeremy Irons. Sci-fi: Toss-up, but I think either the Dragonriders of Pern or the Dragonback series (yes, I know I’m obsessed with dragons); Dragon and Theif etc.

    My question: Do you have any recomendations for breaking into the voice acting business? As in video games and computer animation?

  38. ams:
    I don’t know if it’s “The One”, but I remember reading Jurrassic Park in 2 days.It kept me on the edge and was a real rollercoaster ride.Then I saw the movie and was disappointed. (like always)

    I hated–absolutely HATED–the Jurrasic Park novel. It’s still, to this day, the only book I’ve ever read that I liked the movie version more. The Lost World was a good book, more like the rest of Crichton’s works, but Jurrasic Park was just aweful. The movie made some very wise changes (making Hamilton a nice guy, cutting down on background characters, etc.), and I think it worked out better than the book ever did…

  39. Tuldabar: My question: Do you have any recomendations for breaking into the voice acting business? As in video games and computer animation?

    I have no clue, sorry.

  40. Dan: BTW, I read on Cracked that some ppl have an interesting theory about Bond, that the name “James Bond” is a code name, and is passed down to a new Bond when the old one is killed / retires. So the get the name with the 007 number. It helps with the real world aspects of them getting old and changing looks and personality. Any thoughts?

    The Phantom used that idea first!

  41. Tuldabar: This is indeed a toughy… Hmmm… I think I can narrow it down a little: Fantasy: The Inheritance Series (Eragon) though the movie was complete bull… except for Jeremy Irons. Sci-fi: Toss-up, but I think either the Dragonriders of Pern or the Dragonback series (yes, I know I’m obsessed with dragons); Dragon and Theif etc.My question: Do you have any recomendations for breaking into the voice acting business? As in video games and computer animation?

    Darn it! I knew I forgot something! Love the Inheritance Cycle! And the Dragonriders of Pern series, but I mentioned that (under Anne McCaffrey).

    I also realised I forgot my question…
    Jeff, what happened to Power User Profiles? I can think of plenty of people I’d like to see profiled, and you could always go back to the first ones and start again if you’re stuck – it would be interesting to see how much they’ve progressed and changed. :)

  42. Kaylin88100: Jeff, what happened to Power User Profiles? I can think of plenty of people I’d like to see profiled, and you could always go back to the first ones and start again if you’re stuck – it would be interesting to see how much they’ve progressed and changed.

    Yeah, I kind of ran out — I sent out some with no response, then I couldn’t ever get it going again. I think tomorrow I might just post the form and everyone can answer it!

  43. my fave series is the Inheritance Cycle, because i love all 4 books equally.

  44. My favourite books are mostly the sci fi’s and fantasy books.

    My all time favourite is the original dune by Frank Herbert. I love to he build up a full world of his imaginery.

    My Fantasy favourite is R. A. Salvatore – Dark Elf triology. Drizzt is rock.

    I have also have hungarian books but i don’t think they published out in the country.
    First is Tibor Fonyódi (Harrison Fawcett) – Cathedral and András Gáspár (Wayne Chapman) – Carneval
    (In some reason in the 90’s more better selling stat if an author sell the book with english name)

    Jeff my question What your now the most anticipated PC game or movie.

  45. This is not an easy question, Jeff. I’m trying to narrow it down, and I think I’m stuck on Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (at least the first 3 books of the series, after that I’m not so sure), The Hobbit (I liked LOTR okay, but it started to drag after a while. On the other hand, I can always go back to read The Hobbit), Harry Potter (The Prisoner of Azkaban is probably my favorite of that series), or maybe Harry Turtledove’s “Ruled Britannia” (because I’m a history geek).
    But, again, because I’m a history geek, you’ll find some titles in my library like “History of the Ancient World,” or “Triad Societies: Western Accounts of the History, Sociology and Linguistics of Chinese Secret Societies.” And does non-fiction constitute a “novel?” Probably not, but I’m still throwing that out there, given that, in a way, that might be even more nerdy than sci-fi/fantasy.
    No question yet, Jeff, but I will also add in this: I actually share your opinion of Stephen King’s writing style, and I know others that feel the same way, so it’s not just you. On the other hand, both my Dad and my fiancee love his books, which really doesn’t have a point, but I still wrote that anyway. To each their own.

  46. Dan: I never said that you hate all Marvel characters, but you do tend to rip into the Marvels and praise the DCs. And that’s nothing wrong with that. You’re a DC guy. I’m a Marvel guy. I tend to look at DC as if they are dated and desparate, and you see Marvel as being cheap knockoffs. I worked in a comic book store years ago, and the one thing I learned is that you will never get two people to see eye to eye about comic characters. Besides, if we all took the same sides in the polls, they wouldn’t be much fun anyway.

    Quite true. I typically try to be fair, though I know more about DC characters in general. Anyway, it was funny that you mentioned that because I counted up my comics and realized just how many DC comics I have. Surprised me. 371 comics, over 110 trades and about 70% are DC.

  47. StarMan2000: I think my favourite series of novel has to be either A Song of Ice and Fire by G.R.R.Martin or The Banned and the Banished by James Clemens because both have fantastic storylines and a great sense of history that has shaped the world you experience in to what it is. Both series have many strong characters but my favourite in ASOIAF has to be Eddard Stark, in TBATB it would be Er’ril of Standi.

    My question is one for anyone to answer (and i apologize if someone has already mentioned these books) Has anyone read either series?

    Yes, I’ve read all but the latest “Song of Fire and Ice” books. Brilliant stuff.

  48. Tarkabarka: Jeff my question What your now the most anticipated PC game or movie.

    I lust after “Star Wars: The Old Republic” but I’m too lazy and cheap to buy and install Windows on my Mac just to play it.

    In terms of movies, currently I am most anticipating “The Avengers”. It looks pretty awesome so far.

  49. Myro: No question yet, Jeff, but I will also add in this: I actually share your opinion of Stephen King’s writing style, and I know others that feel the same way, so it’s not just you. On the other hand, both my Dad and my fiancee love his books, which really doesn’t have a point, but I still wrote that anyway. To each their own.

    Definitely, to each their own. My sister LOVES King, and I still love her even though she’s wrong wrong wrong.

  50. “Belgariad” series by David & Leigh Eddings. It lacks “universe depth” and is a little naive, But the characters are written beautifully and they really play the “orphan farm boy turns into epic hero king” old narrative into something authentic and clever. The oldest and most powerful sorcerer ever is a hopeless drunk, constantly teased by his uptight daughter, but the most brilliant character is Silk, the long-nosed, theiving spy with a clever comeback for every remark.

    My question to jeff is: What’s your opinion on all the down-to-earth, realistic take on superheroes in cinema (aka “the Nolan approach”)? Doesn’t it restrict the possibilities for cinematic universes like cosmic wars, epic god interventions, time travel and other genre conventions? I get that Hollywood is trying to attract the general crowd to this world, but don’t we lose something in the process?

  51. thejay: My question to jeff is: What’s your opinion on all the down-to-earth, realistic take on superheroes in cinema (aka “the Nolan approach”)? Doesn’t it restrict the possibilities for cinematic universes like cosmic wars, epic god interventions, time travel and other genre conventions? I get that Hollywood is trying to attract the general crowd to this world, but don’t we lose something in the process?

    I loved the Belgariad as well — great fun. I wish he hadn’t written the same story eight more times after that series, but such is life.

    I think that each medium has to be true to itself. Something that “works” in a comic book doesn’t necessarily translate to film. And that’s ok. I don’t have a problem with keeping true to the art form in which you’re telling your story. You can do things in a novel that you can’t do in a comic that you can’t do in a movie that you can’t do in theater. Each has its narrative toolbox, certain aspects of the experience that can’t be replicated in any other medium, which for me is part of the fun.

    Even within the medium you can change things up, though. For instance, “The Incredibles” is a very “true to comics” sort of superhero story that completely works on-screen, including a lot of fantastical elements made possible simply because it was animation and not live-action.

    Sorry for the ramble!

  52. Like you, it is hard for me to narrow down my favorite book. Even broken into genres, it is still a tough decision.

    Sci-fi: Ender’s Game or Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy or one of the Foundation series.
    Fantasy: Princess Bride, book is essentially the same as movie, so still awesome
    Mystery: Caves of Steel, I know it’s more of a scifi, but I still love its mystery
    Comedy: Catch 22 or HGTTG
    Random other favorites: 1984, Princess of Mars, and the Percy Jackson series.

    My question is TBA

  53. Iago Valentine

    I’m gonna jump on this one a little late. If I had to pick one, I’d say my favorite sci-fi novel would be “The Hammer of God” by Arthur C. Clarke. It’s one of his later novels, but still excellent. For fantasy, it would probably be “Shadowmarch” by Tad Williams. There are close seconds in both categories, but those are the ones that spring to mind.

  54. I would have to say the big comic book/books about the death of superman. I loved them as a kid, I even had a big one about spiderman and the black suit. Hey jeff, have you seen the new series on syfy called “lost girl”? I like it a lot.

  55. Also hard. I LOVE the song of ice and fire books, as well as the Night Angel Trilogy. Those two would probably be my favorites, but I also LOVE the Bartemaeus Trilogy, the Dark is Rising Sequence, and the Alchemist series (Michael Scott). As for a question (open to anyone): What is your favorite role playing game (vidoegame/pc game or table top). Mine is definitely Exalted.

  56. thejay:
    “Belgariad” series by David & Leigh Eddings. It lacks “universe depth” and is a little naive, But the characters are written beautifully and they really play the “orphan farm boy turns into epic hero king” old narrative into something authentic and clever. The oldest and most powerful sorcerer ever is a hopeless drunk, constantly teased by his uptight daughter, but the most brilliant character is Silk, the long-nosed, theiving spy with a clever comeback for every remark.

    The Belgariad was a very good series of books, but I liked Eddings The Elenium and The Tamuli better.

  57. Only one? That’s harsh. I doubt that I could really narrow it down to a top twenty. My favorite author, overall, is Mick Farren. Very weird stuff, but I love it. Best new stuff I’ve read in 2012 is Jim Bucher’s Alera Codex. I waited until they were all out for these because I hate waiting for the next book in a series. I’m a couple behind in the Wheel of Time for the same reason. Best reread in the last couple of month’s is Larry Niven and Steven Barnes “Dreampark”. Absolutely required reading for anyone who enjoys RPGs. Unless that makes you think of anti tank weapons, in which case YMMV.

  58. Favorite, all time: Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Every time I read that book, even knowing how everything’s going to turn out, there are just so many clever scenes and turns of phrase that it thrills me all over again.

    Close runners-up: Tad Williams – Otherland series; Lois Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga.

    I also love several of Moorcock’s Eternal Champion series, especially ‘A Nomad of the Time Streams’ and the Hawkmoon books.

    Oh, and anything by Kevin J. Anderson. (Just kidding.)
    _________

    My question: Have you been watching AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ series and if so, what do you think of it?

  59. The Atomic Punk

    Never was much of a reader. Raised on the radio. I read mostly for information and education. Would borrow my dad’s Heinlein books, my brother’s LOTR trilogy and Hitchhiker’s. Most other books I read for book reports in school. H.G. Wells is my favorite writer, but his works are short stories not novels.

    Of the books that I remember, probably Hitchhiker’s. Even at 12, I understood the satire. Douglas Adams’ style was very free and easy to follow.

    Thinking of picking up Gecko Keck’s Bayala, Die Töchter des Elfenkönigs or Jules Verne’s De la Terre à la Lune. Can’t decide whether to brush up on German or French.

    Jeff: Any plans for another Friday Night Fights?

  60. The Atomic Punk

    TOOL: lost girl

    Actually, Lost Girl is in its second season in Canada. Since this thread is about books, I’ll save my TV reviews for another Sharing Day. ;)

  61. Favorite Fantasy: LOTR, Silmarillion, Poul Anderson’s Operation Chaos, C.S Freidmans Cold Fire Trilogy, Tad William’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn Trilogy. Elizabeth Moon’s Deed of Paksenarrion Trilogy/Omnibus, Elizabeth Haydon’s Rhapsody series

    Favorite Sci Fi: Poul Anderson’s David Falkayn Series, Tanya Huff’s Valor Series, Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano Series, S. A. Swanns Forests of the Night and sequels, The Frederick Pohl’s Heechee Series, Ender’s Game, Starship Troopers, Starrisk Ltd. Series

    Superhero: Comics: Kingdom Come, Astro City, Invincible, Astonishing Wolf Man, 80’s Spider-Man and X-men, T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents, Thunderbolts. X-men God Loves Man Kills, Days of Future Past, Brereton’s Nocturnals and Psycho

    Superhero: Fiction: Confessions of a D-List Supervillain, Michael StackPoles Peer Review.

    RPG’s: Marvel Superheroes (FASERIP), High Valor, Hearts & Souls, Shadowrun 4E, Dungeons and Dragons Cyclopedia, Hellas: Worlds of Sun & Stone. Lone Wolf: Multiplayer Game. Atomic Highway, and Cartoon Action Hour Season 2.

  62. Love the question, Jeff. Reminds me of the Bridge Keeper from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

    I’ve read a lot of novels, even more so since I graduated three years ago and haven’t been able to find a job. However, my favourite is Haunted by James Herbert, with Raymond Feist’s Faerie Tale a close second.

  63. I am a little behind, and I have become a bad geek – far too many of the answers on this thread I have not yet read! But for my favorite fantasy, I think maybe The Door int Shadow, the sequel to The Door into Fire. Oh heck, the whole series by Diane Duane probably qualifies as my favorite fantasy story. Favorite Sci-Fi? The Werewolf Principle by Clifford D. Simak, or else maybe The R-Master. Horror is the genre where it gets worst for me, picking a favorite. Lord Ruthven? At The Mountains of Madness? The Door into Summer? (Oh wait, dropped back into Sci-Fi there…)

  64. If anyone’s still reading this thread, I just want to advocate the Majipoor series by Robert Silverberg. I started with Lord Valentine’s Castle, a good intro and I believe the first in the series. Possibly the richest, most complex (tho not hard to follow) world-building I’ve ever seen. Sort of a political sword n sorcery n sci-fi hero’s-quest epic.

  65. Joel:
    As for a question (open to anyone): What is your favorite role playing game (vidoegame/pc game or table top). Mine is definitely Exalted.

    Mine is Alternity, TSR’s science fiction roleplaying game from the late 90s. The Alternity core game mechanics are my favorite of all time. I like it so much that I have been constantly trying to adapt the mechanics to epic super hero rules, the one genre people thought would be near impossible to do with these “cinematically realistic” rules. I found a way though and it has worked well in playtesting.

  66. Sadly coming in waayyyy late but I have to give it to Spider Robinson’s Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. Probably one of the best books in any genre I’ve ever read. Although RAH’s Stranger in a Strange Land comes pretty damned close as #2.

  67. Stephen King’s It remains my favorite book of all time (hey, I’ll take my guy with the love it or hate it writing style over your guy that advocates overthrowing the US govt if gay marriage is allowed! ;) ), but my favorite book of right now is constantly changing. I reread John Steakley’s Armor recently and remembered how much I loved it, for instance. And although I doubt it’ll linger in my memory as a favorite, I’m enjoying the hell out of Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? by Max Brallier.

    My question, if you’re still answering, is: why do you prefer the Mac? I’ve never used one, so I’m genuinely curious what the benefits are that outweigh the ability to play Old Republic.

  68. I definitely have faves, but a favorite book for me would be like having to like an entire album best when I usu. only like 1 or 2 songs. Ender’s Game has my favorite backhanded sidestep treatment of conspiracy theory (the questions about elders lying abt artificial gravity, etc) and it is my favorite leadership/management manual of all time–I found the story too predictable. Trek has my favorite b-h, s-s treatment of tech expl and is my fave ethics discussion material–too formulaic. P. K. Dick seems to have the best forward-thinking concepts that still haven’t been outdated–irrit. style. Butcher I like best for cross-genre but his notions of evil seem oversimple. Rothfuss, probably best–first author I’ve been impatient to publish. Drizzt was the best demo of a person being himself. . . I’m one of those guys who would pick 4 blank books to accompany me on the desert island. Are there plans for footstep/trail templates or knots?

  69. spidercow2012:
    If anyone’s still reading this thread, I just want to advocate the Majipoor series by Robert Silverberg. I started with Lord Valentine’s Castle, a good intro and I believe the first in the series. Possibly the richest, most complex (tho not hard to follow) world-building I’ve ever seen. Sort of a political sword n sorcery n sci-fi hero’s-quest epic.

    Excellent series, dude. Man, I need to re-read those one of these days…