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Your Favorite Novels Nobody Else Ever Heard Of

Discussion in 'Art & Literature' started by AnOminous, Feb 26, 2018.

  1. Fitzpatrick's War was quite feted when it first came out, but after the relatively unknown author followed up with The Martian General's Daughter , he seemed to have stopped writing and fallen of the face of the earth. Too bad, I would have liked to read more from him.

    For the inverse, a relatively unknown novel by a celebrated author, there's The Lost Continent by ER Burroughs. I thought it had a clever premise considering the political and historical circumstances in which it was written.

    millais The Yellow Rose of Victoria, Texas

  2. “Tinker” and the rest of the Elfhome series by Wen Spencer. It’s fun what with Pittsburgh transferred to a different universe, though once a month it’s sent back to Earth. There’s a bunch of different species and cultures all intertwined.

    neverendingmidi it just goes on and on and on and on...

  3. I've mentioned it here before, but the Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker.

    It's a fantasy series in a fantasy world but very obviously based on the Crusades and very obviously heavily drawing from Tolkien, but the descriptions of the magic are some of the coolest shit I've ever read.

    Vengeance roamed the halls of the compound—like a God.

    And he sang his song with a beast’s blind fury, parting wall from foundation, blowing ceiling into sky, as though the works of man were things of sand.
    And when he found them, cowering beneath their Analogies, he sheared through their Wards like a rapist through a cotton shift. He beat them with hammering lights, held their shrieking bodies as though they were curious things, the idiot thrashing of an insect between thumb and forefinger . . .

    Death came swirling down.

    He felt them scramble through the corridors, desperate to organize some kind of concerted defence. He knew that the sound of agony and blasted stone reminded them of their deeds. Their horror would be the horror of the guilty. Glittering death had come to redress their trespasses.

    Suspended over the carpeted floors, encompassed by hissing Wards, he blasted his own ruined halls. He encountered a cohort of Javreh. Their frantic bolts were winked into ash by the play of lights before him. Then they were screaming, clawing at eyes that had become burning coals. He strode past them, leaving only smeared meat and charred bone. He encountered a dip in the fabric of the onta, and he knew that more awaited his approach armed with the Tears of God. He brought the building down upon them.

    And he laughed more mad words, drunk with destruction. Fiery lights shivered across his defences and he turned, seething with dark crackling humour, and spoke to the two Scarlet Magi who assailed him, uttered intimate truths, fatal Abstractions, and the world about them was wracked to the pith.

    He clawed away their flimsy Anagogic defences, raised them from the ruin like shrieking dolls, and dashed them against bone-breaking stone.

    Seswatha was free, and he walked the ways of the present bearing tokens of ancient doom.
    Butta Face Lopez

    True & Honest Fan

  4. Daisy Ashford is best known for The Young Visiters, the precocious-ish Victorian comedy of manners she wrote at age nine. She thought her best work was a story she wrote at thirteen called The Hangman's Daughter, which is rarely discussed.

    Wouldn't say it's better than Visiters – it's pretty stock melodrama, and I wish she would've done something with, y'know, the whole hangman angle – but it's thoroughly Ashford. Read: everyone is so fucking polite, it's hilarious.
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    Henry Bemis

    Henry Bemis Irony: Not even once.
    Retired Staff

  5. The Traveling Vampire Show by Richard Layman. It's like Stand By Me but with vampires.

    Ruin Mercenary Slut
    True & Honest Fan

  6. When I was quite a bit younger, several people recommended this book to me but for whatever reason, I never read it. I hadn't thought of it in years - I'll take this as a reminder to keep an eye out.
    A while back, I found an old box of eighty-some-odd crime novels under a boathouse and decided to read all of them because boy howdy, I do not value my time. Most of them were forgotten for good reason, but "One For My Money" was a jewel amongst dross. (I will admit the possibility that it is not actually a very good book, but only very much better than the trash surrounding it.)

    An escaped convict who has reinvented himself under the name "Tim Sunblade" becomes enmeshed with a call girl, and they rob an armored truck, fail at normie life, and it all ends badly. It is bleak and luminous and I have had no success in lending out my copy and convincing anyone else to read it, because it has creepy-feeling pages and a bad case of old book stink.

    e: Oh, NYRB has it back in print as "Black Wings Has My Angel." Well, that solves the creepy-crappy-old-book problem - NYRB Classics are so aesthetically appealing.

    e again: And the full text seems to be available online. Nice.

    "Dere Mable," “That's Me All Over, Mable,” “Same Old Bill, eh Mable!" and "As You Were, Bill!" are a series of four humorous and poorly spelled epistolary novels from a doughboy - that's Bill - to his sweetheart - that's Mable - back home in Philopolis, NY. Bill is a doofus; if you imagine a spectrum running from "The Good Soldier Švejk" to Harry Langdon in one of his service-themed comedies, he'd be just about the midpoint.

    These books are adorable and they confuse the hell out of me - I can't wrap my head around the goofy, low-stakes comedic vision of wartime and combat that was evidently so popular with the American public at the time. Was it a whistling-past-the-graveyard thing? Juxtaposed with the well documented horrors of the first modern war, this stuff start seeming weird and actually pretty fucking jarring the more you think about it.

    In this children's book from the 40s, Smilin' Jack is a Coast Guard pilot who is caught infiltrating an enemy spy ring and, with the assistance of his loyal Polynesian sidekick, Fat Stuff, escapes from a prison island on a homemade glider.

    Almost every character is some sort of insensitive caricature, and the "daredevil girl pilot" is regrettably boring; she is just a rich Daddy's girl who flies around falling in love with people. However, the comic-book fight scenes and the descriptions of how to build and fly a glider are wonderful. When I stumbled on this book, I had just outgrown that industrious phase of childhood where one has the ability and wherewithal to do things and has not yet discovered girls, but if I had been just a little younger, I would've very likely hurt myself in a glider accident. As it was, I spent a lot of time thinking about that glider.

    Another children's book, this one from the 30s. An unwanted infant is rescued by her nursemaid who - as nursemaids do - turns into a bear and carries the baby into the woods. Raised by mythical creatures, the child goes on a series of quests and in the process she becomes human and eventually more-than-human. Apparently it is recently back in print and being promoted as, <Rich Evans shill voice>"Like 'The Hobbit,' but for girls!"</Rich Evans shill voice>. This makes me want to cry a little.

    As a little kid, I liked the fairytale elements in the beginning but thought the end was boring for grown-ups. As an adult, I'm kind of in awe of what the author managed to do with the shape of the story. As a musing on the ubi sunt/ubi nunc motif, I've never read anything else quite like it.
    #46 Durable Mike Malloy, Mar 18, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    Durable Mike Malloy

    Durable Mike Malloy Fine &/or dandy.
    True & Honest Fan

  7. My fave obscure book is City and Stars/Fall of Night (printed under both titles) by Arthur C Clarke. Everyone knows his sci fi, but that was his attempt at a kind of Narnia ish young fantasy, (although it's supposed to be magical technology) and I really liked it and found it really magical.

    everything Laymon is awesome

    it's easily found online as a free ebook...

    some of my favourite recent fantasy books are Blood Song by Anthony Ryan and Copper Promise by Jen Williams - both just gripping non stop adventure - not complex like Game of Thrones, but not simple like D'n'D novels either, just gripping and good.
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    BurningPewter 10 Lolcows who are gay - 9 will shock you!

  8. you know Poppy is now Billy Brite...?


    BurningPewter 10 Lolcows who are gay - 9 will shock you!

  9. Finding Kansas by Aaron Likens
    an interesting look into Asperger (its nothing but a collection of essays he wrote)
    it hit me hard
    Mc StarChild

    Mc StarChild In just 2 days I went from 1 to 3 negative ratings

  10. If you're into fantasy, just about anything by Brandon Sanderson will do.

    He's well known for his Mistborn and Stormlight series, but he's written dozens of amazingly good books that don't get talked about. Warbreaker is a favorite. Elantris is pretty good. And if you like YA novels his Alcatraz series is lots of fun.

    The hallmarks of his series are similar. Each world will have a very well-thought-out magic system, he will use and abuse common tropes to surprise the reader, and every series will have plot points foreshadowed long in advance. If you find a plot hole in his work, it's more likely because you missed something, rather than because you found an actual plot hole.

    He can also write strong female characters without being preachy or sounding like he's never met a woman, which I can't say for a lot of other authors.
    The Lizard Queen

    The Lizard Queen Lizard boobs. Your argument is invalid.

  11. Wagner the Werewolf (or wehr-wolf depending on edition) by George W.M. Reynolds- holy shit this book is insane. If you like just straight up bonkers Victorian gothic, this is exactly that and so much more. I don't want to give anything away because it'll take away from the surprise- It's like reading Faust on Meth. There's also a bunch of really bizarre racism, but it's against Jews and Muslims so at least it's diverse? I found this book on an off chance in a charity shop- it doesn't even have a wikipedia page- but it's available on the font of all things wonderful- Project Gutenberg.

    A Sicilian Romance is another batshit gothic novel, this time by a sexually repressed woman, so there's lots of handsome young men getting brutally murdered and inexplicably brought back from the dead. Less crazy than Wagner, but still worth a read if you've got a some free time.
    I think this one's more well-known, but then lots have people have heard of old books and never read them, so take this as an encouragement to read some of the shit crazy old religious noblemen and women with syphilis wrote between poisoning rivals and doing incest.

    admiral I am not dead
    True & Honest Fan

  12. 'Fugue for a darkening island' by Christopher Priest (the author of the Prestige) is depressingly relevant and believable. Its about waves of African refugees going to the UK and the problems that arise. And how some people seem to be unaware its happening. It was written in 1972 but it feels like it was released last Tuesday. Its not a racist book, its pretty humane about the migrants and shows them as desperate and traumatised rather than ravenous hordes, in case thats what you're wondering.

    Also Priest's first sci fi novel 'The Inverted World' is great high concept stuff about a city that has to move as the world is being created in front of it and vanishing behind it (literally, or at least the inhabitants think literally).

    I know Priest's books sell well and he gets awards but I have actually never met anyone in real life who has read any of them, which is why I mention them in this thread.
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  13. I am genuinely jealous of people who have not yet read this book - for anyone who hasn't, please do yourself a favor and do not look up anything about it! I thought it was right up there with "Ada, or Ardor" in the great fun of recognizing that there is something off about the world in the story and figuring out what on earth- ahem -is going on with it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    Durable Mike Malloy

    Durable Mike Malloy Fine &/or dandy.
    True & Honest Fan

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