Massive book recommendations!

I’ve tried to touch on different things here over the years, sticking with things that I love as a proud geek fanboy. 

Just like a ferret, I’m not consistent. I bounce all over the place. Ooh, shiny!

I’ll talk about WoW for a month, and then out of nowhere you get a post about John Ringo books, or World War II heist movies, or Top Chef.

This pays off for me, because invariably you folks offer suggestions for things I’D like that you enjoyed, and boom, my music collection explodes with awesomeness, or I hear about a new old movie I end up loving, or like the other day, I take the plunge and buy Jim* Butcher’s first Dresden book, Storm Front, and really like it.

I have gushed about John Ringo before, and I also wrote a post about some of the older books and series I really, really loved a long time ago.

That’s not really very complete. Not when reading is something I have done all my life, and when writing and fiction are among my greatest passions.

I was emailed by Averna a few days ago, asking if there were any other series I would recommend for someone looking for something to read.


I might have a few series of books I could suggest.

What I’m going to do is list the series that retain a permanent place on my bookshelf, regardless of genre.

Each and every one of the following series is a collection of books that I enjoyed so much that I went out and bought all of them, keep all of them on my shelf no matter how little space I have, and will forever retain no matter how many times I do a purge to clear out the stuff I know I’ll never read again.

In many cases, especially on out of print series, I’ve spent many an hour driving around looking in used bookstores or online or by phone for that scarce copy of Sten #4, or something.

Most of my searching was done before there was such a thing as an internet, when finding that one damn book meant networking with eclectic booksellers across the country for weeks, so all you youngsters that can click a button and find that rare book in three seconds? Yeah, you can kiss my butt.

Again, these are the series that I directly support by “voting with my wallet”, by buying new books when they come out with actual cash, and suggest and keep because I love them, in some way.

Many of them I don’t love in all ways, but there will be something that is amazing.

For example, the World as Myth series by Robert Heinlein, some people are turned off by his writing because of the interpersonal relationship issues within the stories, but for me, the concept and way he explores the heart of the subject, worlds of imagination existing as reality somewhere, is just flat out brilliant.

Since 95% of my reading comes for free from the public library system whenever I want, spending money on books, for me, is one hell of a luxury purchase and I have to really want that series to be sitting on my shelves to make it happen.

The great thing about doing this, is that even if you don’t see anything that might be interesting, you get to mock some of my choices,  agree with some others, or suggest your own. Score!

Science Fiction (general)
Space Cops – Three book series by Diane Duane and Peter Morwood
The ‘World as Myth’ books by Robert A. Heinlein
  Time Enough for Love
  The Number of the Beast
  The Cat Who Walks Through Walls
  To Sail Beyond the Sunset  
The Continuing Time by Daniel Keys Moran

Science Fiction (Military)
Posleen War/Legacy of the Aldenata by John Ringo
Sten series by Chris Bunch and Allan Cole
Northworld, RCN and Hammer’s Slammers series by David Drake
TimeWar series by Simon Hawke
Legion of the Damned series by William C. Dietz
Honor Harrington and Dahak series by David Weber
Empire of Man series by David Weber and John Ringo
Robotech novels/book series attributed to Jack McKinney

Prey series and Kidd series by John Sandford
Matthew Scudder novels by Lawrence Block
Jack Reacher series by Lee Child
Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly

Anything in the universe by Terry Pratchet
Dragonriders of Pern and especially the Dragonsong series by Anne McCaffrey
The Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny
The Vlad Taltos series, and the Khaavren romances by Steven Brust
The Deryni series by Katherine Kurtz
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan
The Legion of Videssos series by Harry Turtledove
Doc Sidhe series by Aaron Allston
Lord of the Isles series by David Drake
War God series by David Weber

Honorable fantasy mention;
They’re not a series, but each is freaking brilliant; Talion: Revenant, Eyes of Silver, and Once a Hero by Michael A. Stackpole.
Personally, I don’t enjoy a lot of his other books or series, but I thought Talion in particular was one of the finest works of fantasy fiction I have ever read in my life. Oh, and his Star Wars books also kick ass. A LOT of it. Rogue Squadron? Pretty win.

Military (general)
Rogue Warrior series by Dick Marcinko
Able Team series attributed to Dick Stivers

Dirk Pitt books, particularly the earliest ones, by Clive Cussler

Series I once had all of (or almost all of) back in the day, and wish I still did, but I don’t want them quite enough to spend thousands of dollars rebuilding them;
Casca: The Eternal Mercenary series by Barry Sadler
The Destroyer (Remo Williams and Chium) series by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir
Doc Savage by Kenneth Robeson

Damn it, I knew I was going to forget to include this one, I was driving around thinking to myself, “Gotta remember that series, don’t forget”, and sure enough, I hit publish? Forgot.
I heartily recommend for pure fun the Bureau 13 books by Nick Pollotta.If you have ever been a GM of any crazy fun role playing game, I dare you to read the first book, Judgment Night, and not kill yourself laughing. I shared these with Manny, and I thought he was gonna kill me. Seriously. At least try the first one. They are amazing.


The list above came from my head while I was at work… so it’s not only the permanent ones, but also the ones that came readily to mind.

Now that I’m home, I look at my shelves and see that I had let slip from my mind a few other series, and so let’s bring in the sad and forgotten, but still cherished loves;

Jack Higgens’ series of Sean Dillon counterintel novels
Stephen Hunter’s multiple interwoven series of awesome sniper/counter sniper books spanning generations

Robert Asprin’s Fool’s Company and Myth Adventures series
Raymond Feists’ Riftwar series
The Sword Dancer series by Jennifer Roberson
The Riddle Master series by Patricia A. McKillip
The Gandalara Cycle by Randal Garrett and Viki Ann Heydron
The Darwath Trilogy by Barbara Hambly

Science Fiction:
The StarWolves series by Thorarinn Gunnarsson

Funny how an entire series of books and stories can just fade from memory, only to rush in at once when you see them on the shelves.

74 thoughts on “Massive book recommendations!

  1. wow Jheherrin nailed it. should be otherland, not underworld, i messed up the title with some hohlbein book (german fantasy). pretty embarassing, i hope that coment wasnt unlocked before i wrote mine :S


  2. Vulpinor above had it right: George RR Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” is incredible. I had the same experience of staying up until 4am when I ought have studied. HBO is making a show based on it, and the producers of the game “Dragon Age: Origins” repeatedly site SoIaF as an inspiration.


  3. I finally got my hands on a copy of Brisinger (third book in the Eragon series by Paolini) they only recently released a paperback version, I had the first two in paperback and for some reason I really hate to mix paper/hard backs when i’m buying a series of books. (I have to go back and buy harry potters 1-4, someone gifted me 5-7 in hardback…) It’s almost as annoying as having dvd’s of Star Wars 4-6, and a vhs of 1..

    Anyway, I liked the Eragon series pretty well, there’s supposed to be an eventual 4th book in this trillogy. And I’m glad they did not make any more movies in the series, the one they did make really stunk.. I mean, come on… Urgals have horns!!


  4. Loved the Rift Wars. Have that series on my shelf, too.

    Also a huge proponent of The Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. If you haven’t read it, it’s a personified view of Death, War, Time, Nature, Fate, Satan and God, each as a separate book. The Satan book was probably his best of the 7…


  5. Tad Wiliams – Underworld – best science-fiction-fantasy book i ever read. unconventional & epic, but a bit long.
    Stephen R. Donaldson – The Chronicles of Thomas Convenant – good read, easy english, standard fantasy.
    Be sure to check out Stanislaw Lem’s ancient SF books – antique but awesome (Solaris is my favourite).


  6. I’ll give another recomendation for Iain M Banks and all things culture related. To be honest, given how much of what is on your list is also on mine, I was really surprised not to see Banks on there. Player of Games and Excession are probably the best to start with. Use of Weapons is probably the hardest to follow and is probably one of his most disturbing novels after The wasp Factory.

    The whole “World as Myth” and “future history” books of Heinlein are permanent favourites and my copies are falling apart now.

    I still love the First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R Donaldson, but not so sure on the Third Chronicles yet. His Gap series is also good if a little tedious sometimes.

    All things Riftwar also still capture my interest.

    Three others that I would say are worth merit are Tad Williams Otherland series, David Gemmels Druss novels and Richard Morgans works, especially Market Forces.


  7. Lucasfilm’s “Alien Chronicles” by Deborah Chester (really good author). She also wrote another series called “The Sword, the Ring, and the Chalice,” “The Ruby Throne,” and “Dain.” All of those are great series. She has a new blog over here —>


  8. I have to agree with Vulpinor. I have read most of the authors and series listed by the other posters, but the one that I continually go back to is the “Malazan Book of the Fallen” series by Steven Erikson. Such dark, rich characters and development. You really need to read the books twice to find all the hidden references.


  9. For military sci-fi, I highly recommend Elizabeth Moon’s Serrano Legacy and Vatta’s War series.

    Stackpole’s Battletech books are also excellent (his Warrior trilogy would be close to my favourite sci-fi series). Agreed with your assessment of the Dragoncrown Cycle too – DGW was awesome, the first two in the series itself were pretty good, but the finale was mostly “Huh, they did what now?” rather “Wow, awesome!”. And Aaron Allston’s continuation of the X-wing star wars novels is also a lot of fun (very, very silly, but fun). And “I, Jedi” definitely ranks as one of the best officially sanctioned retcons of previously published material that is out there 🙂

    I second the recommendation of the Sword of Truth series. The whole thing is finished now, so it isn’t an ongoing commitment like Dresden or A Song of Ice and Fire. (And, as with Dresden, the TV show is inspired by the books, but isn’t telling quite the same story).

    As others have mentioned, Sanderson’s Mistborn series is excellent.


  10. I can’t believe no one mentioned Kim Harrison yet. She has an awesome future/fantasy series.

    I also advocate Jim Butcher’s Dresden series. My husband and I love the series so much that we named our puppy Harry for Harry Dresden.

    Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels books (no longer a trilogy, lol) are awesome and will always be on my shelf.

    Good hunting!


  11. I was wondering if someone was going to mention the Song of Ice and Fire… I had to force myself not to buy the 4th novel in the series for a while because I needed to find a job, and the first 3 consumed so much of my attention. I’d pick it up intending to read a chapter or so before bed, and next thing I knew it was 5 AM and I couldn’t put the thing down.

    Another author I highly recommend if you’re into legal thrillers is a gentleman who’s fairly obscure still but picking up interest with a new series he’s writing: James Scott Bell. If you can find it, start with Try Dying… the others in the series so far are Try Darkness and Try Fear. His earlier works are more inspirational fiction, but this series has a much broader appeal.


  12. Hey all. If you like those types of military science fiction I would definitely recommend Dale Brown. He’s a fairly Air Force-centric author, but almost every single one of his books are a good read. If you’re looking for a starting place I would go for “Flight of the Old Dog”…Some of the newer ones are a bit, well, different, than his originals.


  13. I have been enjoying some audio books lately, downloaded in podcast format from iTunes. Librivox has volunteers the world over that read books that are in the public domain, making them available as audio books to the public for free. I am listening to A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and even though in this particular title they switch readers sometimes every chapter, the reading is fantastic and I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s great for while I am hopping from oven to prep table to serving counter to freezer at work. I’d rather read the book, but this sure makes it easier for me to enjoy a classic!

    It’s funny, this was part of my planned post for today, so hop on over tomorrow if I’m not in your reader and chack it out!


  14. OOMG!!! You read and like the Robotech series!!! I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen someone else mention that as one of their favorite series before!



  15. And a second on the Arthurian chronicles by Bernard Cornwell- as well as his Saxon novels from “The Last Kingdom”, the Grail Quest novels from “The Archer’s Tale” and of course his Richard Sharpe series.
    Basically, read the long series’ by Bernard Cornwell- he obsesses over his research and makes history come alive where possible, then fills in the (sizeable) gaps with rich storytelling and fantastic scenes.
    The Saxon novels always send me back to WoW to level a warrior.


  16. If you’ve never heard of them, I’d recommend you take a look at the “Bolo” series. It was created by Keith Laumer some decades ago, and it revolves around sentient, nigh-invulnerable tanks that serve as humanity’s primary military weaponry over course of the centuries. They don’t follow a linear progression; while there are several full-length novels, most of them seem to be self-contained short story collections. They take place over the course of hundreds of years, and the stories often involve the Bolos showing us what things like honor and humanity really mean. They’re very interesting. Weber’s written some, Ringo’s written some, Drake’s written some, among others. The tough part is that I think most of them are out of print now.

    As far as fantasy, I discovered and devoured the “Sword of Truth” series last summer, and I enjoyed them very, very much. The television series doesn’t do the wonderful books justice at all, and I highly recommend them.


  17. First, wow: I thought I was the only one who read Starwolves. One word: LOVE.

    I’ll make a few recommendations based on what has followed me around throughout the years and has survived multiple bookshelf cullings. I’ll leave all the military sci-fi off the list because all the good stuff has been mentioned.

    Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel novels and Susan R. Matthews’ Bench Universe novels. These worlds are unrelated in any way, except as a sort of study of opposites. One is a sensual, warm, lovely (mostly) story about an sexual masochist and her adventures in an alternate history in which France is actually *awesome*. The other is a dark, cold and ugly universe featuring a guilt-ridden sadist and one of the most horrifying future governmental systems I’ve ever read.

    Tad Williams Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Otherland novels. One is sword and sorcery fantasy, and the other is cyberpunk. Both are incredibly lyrical and evocative. If you don’t read any other fantasy series ever, read MS&T.

    Anything by Jack McDevitt. He touches on almost every corner of science fiction. My favourite, A TALENT FOR WAR, explores the concept of military mythology in a far future setting, with a scholar-as-adventurer vibe.

    Everything by C. S. Friedman, but especially the Coldfire Trilogy. Sure, its a story about a vampire and a priest. It’s also a story about the dangers in the back of the human mind. Just find the first book, read the introduction. I’m willing to bet you’ll purchase the entire trilogy and devour it just based on the intro.

    Everything by Sean Williams and Shane Dix. These guys are awesome. On one side, you’ve got the mythical underpinnings of the multiple layers of reality. On the other side, you’ve got Banksian post-singularity action adventure. Actually, there’s more than one post-singularity series going on here (and I really dig those).

    Iain Banks in any form. His pal Ken Macleod isn’t a bad grab either.

    Robert J. Sawyer is a scifi god who spends a lot of time on social implications. He wrote the book that the series Flashforward is based on (and it’s far better the series). He’s also written some incredible first-contact novels. He’s Canadian and it informs a lot of his writing. There’s a different feel to his work than writers from the U.S. and there’s a wide streak of optimism and egalitarianism that the genre otherwise lacks.

    And for fluff, you cannot beat the Mageworlds books by Debra Doyle and James MacDonald. Sure, its almost entirely a Star Wars ripoff, but it’s more fun. 😀


  18. Alrighty, since you’ve given me a few to look for, I’ll give you one. Since we’re keeping to series, try out Guy Gavriel Kay’s Sarantine Mosaic. He has lots of standalone semi-historical fantasy stories, but the Sarantine Mosaic is duology and is definitely my favorite of anything he’s done. His original trilogy, The Fionavar Tapestry, is also excellent but is more straight-forward traditional fantasy than his other stuff.


  19. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the riftwar series right now, and I love it. It’s one of the best series of books I’ve read so far. That said, I’ll have to try out some of the books on this list.


  20. Sorry to be pernickety, but that’s “Iain” M Banks – the second “i” is important to the North British…

    He also writes straight fiction as “Iain Banks” (no middle initial) – “The Wasp Factory” was one of his.


  21. Never heard of Iain M Banks? :O Well consider this a second recommendation, for his Culture novels, and for the other sci-fi stuff he’s done (although Feersum Endjinn is kinda hard going, perhaps intentionally so).

    I’d also recommend George RR Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series, even though it’s only half done and it’s starting to look like he might die before finishing it.


  22. Try some Elvis Cole novels alongside your Michael Connelly- the author is Robert Crais, Elvis is the 21st century wisecracking hardboiled PI, and they’re good reads from “The Monkey’s Raincoat” on up. Harry Bosch even gets a cameo.


  23. Hey BBB,

    One series that I would most ardently and strenuously recommend would be the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R R Martin (starting with Game of Thrones). I’ve lent the series to friends and have never had a bad review. I HAVE however been forced to promise not to lend them the next book until finals were over and I also received complaints of a lack of sleep because “your damn book kept me up till 4 am last night”. I don’t know if it would be fair to suggest that these books should jump to the top of your new “to read” list, but they’re SOOO good. The cast of characters is enormous and so richly developed it’s staggering. There is magic, sword and board battling, enough political intrigue to choke a horse and the characters are so AWESOME. And dragons. Not cheesy dragons. Kickass used to wreck stuff dragons… sorta

    Other highly recommended series:
    The Malazan Book of the fallen series by Stephen Erikson (starts with Gardens of the Moon)
    – a very long and deep series. Dark, challenging and brilliant on a scale that is only realized when you re-read the series a second time (or more).
    The Arthur Series by Bernard Cornwell (starts with The Winter King)
    – A very thoroughly researched attempt at putting together a historical fiction that could have been real events that brought about the Arthur Legend. Some of the best battle scenes I’ve ever read in any genre. You don’t read them as much as watch them take place in your head.

    I sincerely hope you have time/get a chance to read these series. Granted everyone’s different, but I can’t see a way in which you wouldn’t LOVE them.

    ps. if you do, I’d love to hear what you thought.


  24. you and everyone else that likes sci-fi fantasy should check out

    The Unincorporated Man and its sequel The Unincorporated War by Dani and Eytan Kollin
    – very good sci-fi reminiscent of Heinlein.

    The Prince of Nothing Series by R. Scott Bakker
    -first book of the series is The Darkness That Comes Before, really very intelligent dark fantasy.

    Small Miracles by Edward M Lerner
    – a near future novel about nanotechnology

    Daemon and its sequel Freedom by Daniel Suarez
    – an amazing look into what might be possible with computer programing and one of the few series I’ve found that really makes you want the “bad” guy to win.

    Infected and its sequel Contagious by Scott Sigler
    – sci-fi suspense horror unlike many things I’ve read, think Dreamcatcher by Stephen King and you’ve got a starting point.


  25. this is silly of me, but i enjoyed the percy jackson and the olympian books, (rick riordan) but then I have always liked mythology, and bringing the greckoroman gods into present tense is kinda cool to me.


  26. After the dirk pitt book shockwave they started going downhill. As far as older books go try the darksword series or the deathgate series both are very good.


  27. I like many of the series you mention BBB and I will probably pick some of the ones you mention up since we seem to have similar tastes.

    I can’t recommend highly enough the Dies the Fire trilogy by SM Stirling. His stand alone Conquistador is also a great read.

    Starfire and Aftermath by Charles Sheffield. ( I like almost all of his works but that duology floats my boat)

    Psion, Catspaw and Dreamfall by Joan D Vinge

    Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

    The Hechee series by Frederick Pohl.

    I have many, many others but I’ll stop now because I should sleep.


  28. Anne Bishop, basically any of her series, but especially Black jewels universe.

    Troy game quartet and Wayfarers sextet with all the offshoots (though I liked first 3 books a lot more) by Sara Douglass. Velgarth (Valdemar) series by Mercedess Lackey. actually, anything by Mercedes Lackey, she’s amazing. For sci-fi – Harry Harrison Staineless Steel rat books! Mysteries, Nero Wolf, god the language in them is..I cannot find other word – orgasmic. they area ton of fun and great mysteries to boot.

    I’m still a fan of Anita Blake books by Laurel Hamilton, she started losing me a little for a bit, but the latest books totally hooked me again.

    Daene Duane has fantastic young adult series (young wizards) that I will always consider to be loads and loads better then any Harry potter books put together.

    You like Rick Marcinko, but don’t mention Andy McNab and his Nick Stone series???


  29. Ah, but this is about series, Khettian, series!

    Good lord, if I tried to list all the solo books onthe shelves, I’d be here all week. 😦


  30. Robert Silverburg still reminds me of a tame(r) Philip Jose Farmer; if you can get past the weirdness, the Titan/Wizard/Demon series is good. PFJ himself supposedly wrote a series (World of Teirs) that inspired Amber; I’ve yet to read it but want to.

    I am saddened that you haven’t mentioned either Neil Gaiman or Charles de Lint (tho perhaps the second isn’t up your alley?) Both are extremely good at what they do, and NG’s collaboration with Terry Pratchet ‘Good Omens’ is the one of the funniest things I’ve ever read. I can’t imagine you haven’t read (some) Sandman.

    Two of Zelazney’s last books are worth seperate mentions; I happen to love both Donnerjack and Lord Demon, and hate that there won’t ever be a sequel. Jane Lindskold, who collaborated on both books, also has 3 (very!) different series that I think are good. (The series start with Through Wolf’s Eyes, Thirteen Orphans and Changer.)

    Naomi Novik’s ‘Temeraire’ series is very worth a read as well; alternate history of the Napoleonic wars (with dragons!) Alternately, Joan D. Vinge’s ‘Catspaw/Psion/Dreamfall’ series is a futuristic look and aliens, psionics and prejudice and is very readable.

    Finally (I know, that’s a lot) both Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) and Armor (John Steakley) are about as far different as you can be while staying in Military SF.

    …just in case you run short on ideas for books to read.


  31. Brian, I read the Eddings fantasy novels, and to be honest, they didn’t light a huge fire under me. They were good, but they never quite made it onto the “cherish forever” list. His suspense novel, “High Hunt”, on the other hand, is probably one of my most treasured solo novels of ‘coming of age’ done right that exists.

    Andrew, I agree about the Battletech, but I actually found the DragonCrown War cycle disappointing after the HUGE promise of the prequel, The Dark Glory War, which was bloody amazing. Maybe if Dark Glory War hadn’t been so damn GREAT, I would have liked Dragoncrown better. AS it is, that series makes my head hurt at lost chances.

    Stupid mage, I ain’t read any of the books you’ve mentioned, either the S. M. Stirling ones, or The General. I will pick up The General series at some point, though. So, not a question of forgetting, haven’t read ’em.

    Stormhorn, I loved the Elfstones of Shannara, but somewhere along the way in the series, I got… well, I guess I drifted away from Shannara. I need to go check that one out again, it’s been decades since I last looked at it. I agree Dune was outstanding, but it also did not exert a long time pull.

    Sharvhan, I ain’t heard of Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series, so that goes on the library request list. 🙂

    Iceveiled, I’ll just have to check those out, I haven’t read any of them.

    Robin, never heard of Ian M Banks, so that goes on the library list….

    Dierna, I’ve has several friends tell me Sanderson’s Mistobrn series is great, both Melpo and Mark M come to mind, but I’m waiting on that until I’ve read all his Wheel of Time books first and get that out of the way.

    Balthazario, I remember when katherin Kerr’s books in teh Deverry series first came out decades ago, and for some reason, I didn’t pick them up. Here we go years alter, guess it’s time to see what I missed.

    Lazaros, I agree with David Brin. I actually met him once upon a time at an Atlanta Fantasy Fair and playtested a game he was working on. Fleeting 15 seconds of time with a star. 🙂 The Uplift series is one of those that leave you with ideas that keep popping back up years later. And yet, they fell victim to a purge at some point in the last ten years.

    Katt, I too have the big badass book of Amber in one volume. I don’t have Lord of the Rings onmy list, because to be perfectly honest… I had damn near memorized the Hobbit, the trilogy, and the Silmarilion before I graduated elementary school. Please remember… there was a horrific lack of good fantasy in the late 70s. What we had, we read over a LOT. So, yeah, burned myself out on rereading them. Best thing about the movies was bringing back a sense of wonder and joy to those books. I’ve read quite a lot of Lois McMaster Bujold’s books… and while they are very good, I’m not sure why, but there wasn’t that “ooh, i gotta own all of these’ click. I’m good with getting them from the library when i want to reread em. The Return sounds like a good one for me to put on the list, though, so thank you!

    Ursinus… I agree, Spellfire was very good. EVEN THOUGH it had to have Elminster in it for a guest appearance, a character who, at the time, was so overexposed I’d have liked to see the dragon lich eat him. Just saying. Still, that was a good book. I have also read almost all of the Necroscope books by Brian Lumley…after a while, they seemed to become recursive, which is a shame because the first three books were just, holy shit good. In fact, I think the first Necroscope, if all by itself, really should be on my shelves forever. That was a brilliant piece of dark fantasy adventure with the perfect blend of counterespionage thrown in. Hmmm. As far as Dungeon… alas, I have read all of them, and thus the later books KILLED that series for me as dead as a doornail.

    Averna… you asked, and thus I have done my best. 🙂


  32. All very solid books/choices. Some that I’ve also enjoyed:

    Spellfire – Ed Greenwood – the first of a series – you can skip the rest of the books – this one is a great adventure.

    The Compleat Crow – Brian Lumley – based in the Lovecraftian genre, this is a really good series. The House of Doors is also a good fiction novel -and entirely unrelated.

    The Dungeon – Philip José Farmer – read and love the first four books – whatever you do… don’t pick up or even look at the fifth or sixth books in the series. They are putrid.

    Just a few off the top of my head – enjoy!


  33. awesome list bear, i have a single bound volume chronicles of amber (instead of the 10 seperate novels)
    the dirk pitt books rock, I have inca gold, trojan oddesy (mind outta the gutters guys), and sahara. I’ve read almost all of his.

    I have a few recommendations, in fantasy how could anyone neglect Lord of the Rings? and Lois Bujold has a nice little series of books starting with Curse of Chalion.

    In sci-fi I do have an individual book worth mentioning in the star trek universe.. “The Return” takes place immediately following the crash in Generations, and involves kirk, spock, picard, the borg, the romulans and some dirty dealings.


  34. Thanks for the suggestions, Bear. I’ve been looking to add to my list of “next time you’re at the bookstore” list. I appreciate the recommendations, as your palette seems pretty refined when it comes to good reading.

    I don’t know if you’ve read them, but the first three of David Brin’s “Uplift War” series was great. The send trio, I was mixed on, but still enjoyed to an extent. “Sundiver”, “Startide Rising”, and “The Uplift War” were great books with great characters.


  35. Based on your Wheel of Time like, I recommend Brandon Sanderson. The Mistborn series is AWESOME. I personally think his WoT book was the best since Eye of the World.


  36. Is there no room in your collection for any of Iain M Banks’s Culture novels under science fiction?


  37. If you like military non-fiction, try House To House by SSGT David Bellavia (Fallujah, Iraq), With the Old Breed (WWII, pacific theater – this book, along with a couple others inspired the current HBO mini-series The Pacific – a must read for WWII buffs), and Shadow of the Sword.


  38. Vlad Taltos series is fantastic. I also urge you to read Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series for crime/mystery even if you have not seen the show. The books are a riot and don’t go by the Showtime series, so they can be enjoyed separately.


  39. I would also add the Codex Alera series by author Jim Butcher. To me he is one of the few authors to write a second great series where I did not sit there thinking to myself that I was reading about the same character from the main series with a new name and setting. I think he is by far the best and my favorite author today.

    Other series I would add if you have not read them:
    Dune series, both the orginal series by Frank Herbert and the ones afterwards with one of his sons and another author who escapes me at the moment, excellent writing and creation of an entire world!
    Elfstones of Shannara by Terry Brooks. He has done a lot of great writing, but that initial trilogy is by far still my favorite!


  40. Novels of the Change By S.M. Stirling

    Dies the Fire
    The Protector’s War
    A Meeting at Corvallis
    I don’t know what comes after.


  41. Have to give props to Michael A. Stackpole. I love all of his books, especially his Battletech novels and the Dragoncrown War Cycle. Totally worth looking into!


  42. Dresden Files squeeeee! Those books are amazing and Jim Butcher writes his characters so, so well. You should definitely stick with the series; I think you’ll really enjoy it. There are twelve books now, and I’ve loved each and every one of them! I had mixed feelings about the TV series, though. It didn’t really preserve the creative vision of the books, although, in fairness, a 40-minute TV episode doesn’t provide much time to do so.


  43. Jim Butcher. The name is JIM Butcher. I’ll totally take credit for that suggestion, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden is the mouthiest hero I’ve ever met. Love the guy, and his talking skull Bob too.

    OOO, grab “The Name of The Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss too. Excellent book, even if it is part 1 of however many and the 2nd hasn’t been released yet. Yes, Patrick, I’m calling you out on another man’s blog. Get busy with that thing already!!


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