## Winter 2014

### (Jun-Aug)

# Mr Feist Recommends ...

Had a lady from Oz (kangaroo, not Emerald City) as me about other series and books I can recommend.

I don't comment on contemporaries, because none of them write like I do. George R.R. Martin would probably write lousy Feist, just as I would write lousy Martin. Each author has a unique voice and its that voice that appeals to you or not. And you don't need me to recommend current writers, because they are recommended all over the place on fantasy review blogs everywhere, "best of lists," reading clubs, etc.

Now, I will however recommend some people who I found wonderful, who you might not have read because they stopped writing some time ago. When I was a kid, I loved "boys adventure" a category that really no longer exists. These "adventure" novels were what we had going before fantasy became the rage.

Going back farthest was Sir Walter Scott. * Ivanhoe *is a great book, so is

*(same war as*

**Castle Dangerous***), and*

**Braveheart***(Third Crusade). The writing style is very different than modern writers, but if you can get into it, highly recommended. Robert Louis Stevenson,*

**The Talisman***,*

**Kidnapped***,*

**Treasure Island***(also titled*

**David Balfour***), and my all time favorite*

**Catriona***(influenced Martin Longbow's character) and he wrote a very funny comic novel,*

**The Black Arrow***--not remotely related to fantasy or adventure, but really funny.*

**The Wrong Box***, a pirate named Helen Tavrel in*

**Sword Woman***, names you might recognize Bélit the Pirate Queen (*

**The Isles of Pirates' Doom***), Valeria of the Red Brotherhood (*

**Queen of the Black Coast***) and Red Sonja of Rogatino in*

**Red Nailes***. BTW, Sonja in the book is not a "chick in chain-mail" as depicted in the Conan Marvel comics and movies.*

**Shadow of the Vulture***and*

**Red Nails***are the two Conan stories any fantasy fan or writer should read.*

**Rogues in the House**Fritz Lieber. His Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series may be the biggest single influence on my writing as far as how to move a story along and do punchy prose. Wonderful, nasty, pragmatic characters in terrific stories.

Roger Zelazny: * Lord of Light* was a huge influence on my depiction of the gods of Midkemia, though his were humans with huge technology, but I borrowed "Kalkin" from him as an alternate name for Ban-ath.

*is great, but I felt the series started to decline with*

**Nice Princes in Amber***.*

**Guns of Avalon***was brilliant, as was*

**Roadmarks***. Brilliant writer taken from us far too young.*

**Doorway in the Sand**

And one guy who's still writing, Michael Moorcock. The Valheru were influenced by his Elric of Melniboné stories. Not so much in style, because the Melnibonians had an ordered culture, and the Valheru were chaos embodies, but the concept of an "elder" race and the "younger races" really resonated so I cribbed that. His vision is vast, as vast as any author I've ever encountered. He approaches the concept of The Eternal Champion from several different directions, in as many as four different and unique series of books, starting different heroes in different universes, but who are at heart essentially the same person. And in one book, * Sailor on the Sea of Fate*, brings them all together. Wonderful stuff if you are familiar with the other work; I can't recommend it enough.

To me, the closest analogy I can give you is music. My son, a young lady friend of mine, and a few others I know many years my junior, listen to all the modern music, but they also listen to the Rolling Stones, the Who, Lynrd Skynerd, Beach Boys, etc. because they hold up with time. Because they're good.

So, if you can't find something brand new on the shelves, may I suggest you seek out some "oldies, but goodies?"

(Reprinted by permission June, 2014

Raymond E. Feist answers The Usual Questions

Official Raymond E. Feist website

## New series in the Series Series

The Kate O'Hare/Nick Fox series by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

## The Usual Questions Project

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