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    • Hayley

      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
Michelle

Win a Year's Supply of Books from TorUK [Closed]

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Ok, so I know some of you read a ton of books in a year, but Tor UK are very kindly offering one lucky winner a new book every month for a whole year!

 

Tor UK are an imprint of Pan Macmillan, covering Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror, and they most certainly have an excellent selection. Take a look at their blog, to find out more: Tor Books

 

So first the rules - to enter this competition, you must be a member of this forum, and have 10+ posts at the time of entering (sorry, but posts can't simply be 'great post', 'love this book' etc). The closing date is Sunday 28th June 2015, and it's open to members in Europe as well as the UK. The moderating team are eligible, as this is being organised just by myself. 

 

To enter, simply reply to this post, telling us a little about one of your favourite fantasy, SF or Horror books or authors - why you like it/them, who you'd recommend it/them to, etc.

 

After the closing date, I will pull a name of a (virtual) hat, and pass the details on to the publisher. The choice of books will be theirs, but if you have a preferred genre, let me know, and I'll pass it on.

 

Good luck, and send me a PM with any questions. 

 

 

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I'd love to participate, because fantasy and science-fiction are two of my favourite genres.

 

Some of my favourite authors are (for the purposes of this list, I have only included authors of whom I've read at least two books):

 

Fantasy

 

Robert Jordan - who wrote the The Wheel of Time series, which is one of my favourite fantasy series. The books feature a big epic story, with magic (which I love), evil, great characters, and an interesting world. I love the attention to detail in this series.

 

Brandon Sanderson - who did an excellent job on finishing the The Wheel of Time series (after Robert Jordan, another favourite author of mine, passed away), but who also wrote a lot of other great books. I love the Alcatraz books which I sadly don't own yet (they are very funny), and I also really liked Elantris. I've still got to read his Mistborn series. Sanderson's fantasy books always feature such interesting magic systems.

 

Terry Pratchett - His books are very funny and while I haven't read them all yet, I have read a lot of them. I do find you have to be in a certain kind of mood to read them, but I'd recommend them to people who like 'British' humour as they are very funny.

 

Karen Miller - I've read most of her books, and I really liked them. They don't feature as many characters as The Wheel of Time books, instead focusing on a couple of characters. The books do have an epic feel to them though which is a good thing.

 

Trudi Canavan - I've only recently started to read her books but I really enjoy reading them. They have an interesting collection of cultures in them (the ones I've read, that is. I've read 6 out of 9 books that I own by her).

 

George R. R. Martin - I do quite like the A Song of Ice and Fire books. The books don't feature much magic, which is something I find a shame personally as I love magic in books, but they do feature a lot of politics and scheming and adventure. The books contain a lot of characters, but I'd definitely recommend them to anyone who likes the TV show, or who is interested in this type of book. It's an epic story but without a lot of magic.

 

Maria V. Snyder - I really like her Study and Glass series of books. I do believe she writes for young-adults nowadays, but I really enjoyed these two series. The books are pretty fast paced and have interesting fantasy elements.

 

J. K. Rowling - Well the list wouldn't be complete without me mentioning the Harry Potter books. They are written for children and young-adults but that doesn't mean that they're not good. A lot of imagination went into creating this world and the books are a joy to read. I would recommend them to most people who like fantasy books, or even those who like fantasy elements but don't necessarily read a lot of fantasy. The adventures of the characters are very fun to read, and if you like the films I'd certainly recommend the books.

 

James Clemens - I love The Banned and the Banished series. I read some of the books in the series on the train to university, and they were so suspenseful I almost missed my stop a few times! They contain an epic story with multiple characters who are on a quest. I found the books to be really good.

 

David B. Coe - The Chronicles of Lontobyn was the series that got me into (adult high epic) fantasy. Because of that, it will always have a special place in my heart. The books aren't that well known but I love them. What's special about these books is the role that birds play in the magic system.

 

Tad Williams - The Otherland series was one of the first science-fiction books I read. There are four books and they are about this 'online' world that people can plug into. It's amazing it was written quite a while ago. I really like the cast of the characters, !Xabbu for example comes from an African tribe. A lot of imagination went into these books as the characters travel from 'world' to 'world' within this online thing.

 

Science-fiction

 

Peter F. Hamilton - I love his epic space opera books, such as the Night's Dawn series and more recently the Void series (I've finished book 1 and will start book 2 soon). His books feature many different planets and a lot of characters (not all of his books do, but the ones I love the most, do). I love the science of his books, and the way things are explained. They are not just futuristic books, there is an element of science to the science-fiction and I really enjoy that. The Night's Dawn trilogy was, aside from Otherland by Tad Williams, the first science-fiction series I read.

 

Scott Meyer - I discovered him recently, but his Magic 2.0 series is hilarious. It's a mixture of science-fiction and fantasy, about a guy who finds out he can change things by hacking an online file.

 

Douglas Adams - I love The HitchHiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, it is very funny. Not everyone likes this sort of humour, but I really enjoy it.

 

Iain M. Banks - His books require a bit of thinking, but if you're up for it you can find a lot of imagination in this science-fiction worlds. My personal favourite so far is The Player of Games, which is the one I'd recommend as a starting place. He has written several books in the Culture universe, as well as several standalone books.

 

Joe Haldeman - This was another author of whom I read some books while I was just beginning to read science-fiction books. I quite enjoyed them, they may not be the best ones out there but I liked them.

 

Horror

 

Stephen King - I think most of us have heard of him, but he writes really good horror books. My favourite is IT, also for nostalgia reasons as this was the first adult horror book I ever read. Carrie and The Shining 1: The Shining are also very good, though.

 

R. L. Stine - When I was a child and teenager I really enjoyed R. L. Stine's books. First Goosebumps, later on the various Fear Street series and also Point Horror. Definitely worth checking out if you like horror books and don't mind to read something that is intended for children or teenagers. I haven't read any of the books he wrote for adults.

 

EDIT: Well, that was a well spent half an hour :).

Edited by Athena

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Ok - I have to enter this.

 

One of my favourite fantasy authors is a woman called Julian May. In the early 80's she wrote a series of four books called The Saga of the Exiles; Book one was The Many-colored Land. She actually went on to write a number of other books that were set in the same universe as these, but these four books remain my favourites.

 

The premise is that the known universe exists in peaceful co-habitation. Some humans now have psyhic abilities, although the majority still don't. Those with abilities are able to partake in a sort of universal communion of minds, called Unity.

Of course, any society has out-siders and outcasts, and these books follow a group of these outsiders as they travel to exile.

 

Exile is a one way trip through a time-machine that is fixed in Pliocene age Earth in Northern France. No one who has travelled through is able to return or communicate back. This group travels through the time-machine... and find that Earth is in fact being controlled by two alien races, who are constantly at war with each other. One of the races, the Tanu, enslave the incoming humans by palcing iron torcs around there necks that give them simple psyhic powers and enables the aliens to control them.

 

The books tell the story of how these humans fight against these aliens.

 

Not sure I've done them justice, but they are great books!

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I'd like to go in the virtual hat, please.  Not literally.  You know what I mean :giggle2:

 

Tor have published some of my favourite books and authors (and have some of the best covers) but to pick just one author I'd have to go with Vernor Vinge.  He's written two of my all-time favourite novels, A Fire Upon the Deep and its prequel-of-sorts A Deepness in the Sky, both of which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel. 

 

They're big books, but I'd recommend them to anyone who may be interested in reading science fiction but wants a book that has both great ideas and great characters.  A Fire Upon the Deep also has the feel of epic fantasy in parts, so anyone who likes fantasy but hasn't tried science fiction may feel more at home (even if the beginning makes their head hurt like it did mine :giggle2: ), and it's got a sense of fun about it, too.  What I love about Vinge's books is that even though they are full of huge ideas and the stories have a real epic scope, this is just a backdrop to the human drama, rather than the focus.  He's also created my favourite aliens.  A Deepness in the Sky has an alien character at the heart of its story and he, and his family, are a joy to read about, full of humour and charm, and a sense of wonder and excitement.

 

Every time I write about these books I end up wanting to read them again :lol:

 

Science fiction is my preferred genre :smile:

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Every time I write about these books I end up wanting to read them again :lol:

Now that's the sign of a great and well loved book :)!

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Ooh, please enter me too! :)

 

Fantasy is my favourite genre (it's pretty much the only genre I read :lol: ), and my favourite fantasy author is probably Steven Erikson. His ten-book epic fantasy series The Malazan Book of the Fallen is possibly the best work I've ever read. The main series spans ten books, and has the most enormous cast of characters you'll ever see. There are multiple strands of the story taking place at the same time, and the time scales of the books often overlap each other in really intriguing ways. It's incredibly complex, but also captivating and well-written, as well as alternately epic, poignant and hilarious. Highly recommended to anyone looking for fantasy with a bit more depth than the norm.

 

My preferred genre is fantasy (but you already knew that :giggle2: ).

 

Thanks Michelle! :D

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Although I am a Mod and my instincts say I should not enter.... the rules say its okay :lol:

 

I love horror books, and am kind of new to fantasy and sci-fi - although there are some fantasy books that I adore (C. S. Friedman, Lev Grossman, Cornelia Funke and J.K. Rowling to name 2 adult and 2 kids authors). I don't have one favourite horror author despite it being one of my favourite genres, though I have high hopes for my recent discovery, Kathe Koja.

 

I'm torn between telling ye about The Cipher, the Kathe Koja book I read recently and one of my favourite ever fantasy series, The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Since I only reviewed The Cipher in my thread recently and it's been a couple of years for The Magicians, I'll tell you about that.

 

I love it primarily because it's dark and it doesn't pander. It is about a college-age guy who discovers that magic is real, and he goes to a college of magic named Brakebills for four years. Yep, sounds like Harry Potter. But it really isn't - its defining theme is the idea of exposure to immense power having severe consequences if handled badly. It's definitely got elements of both Harry Potter and Narnia, but is also extremely adult and original. Its also the first in a trilogy!

 

My preferred genres would be Fantasy and/or Horror, but I'm totally open to a mix of both with sci-fi too!

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I know my continent isn't eligible, but I'm getting great suggestions! :D

 

Not sure if I should thank y'all or not!! LOL

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Me! I'd like to enter! Some of my favourites:

 

The Stand by Stephen King (Unabridged)

This is a book I've read in all its unabridged glory (well over 1000 pages in hardback!) about a dozen or so times over the years (and it's due a re-read, really!). Opening the pages fells like visiting old friends, and even though I know the story inside out, I never fail to find something new and fresh in there, whether it's something I've forgotten since reading it last, or something I'd missed, or a new realisation that has come with age and experience and allows me to see things more clearly from another angle. To me, King is incorrectly pigeon-holed as a horror writer - he's a student of the human condition, and writes characters that are living and breathing and walking around with you long after you've turned the last page. The Stand is his magnum opus, and everyone should read it at least once in their lifetime.

 

Lightning by Dean Koontz

I don't usually enjoy time-travel plots, as paradox really grinds my gears something chronic, but Koontz handles it in a nifty way that is so cleverly simple you wonder why every other time travel writer didn't think of it before. The plot is so tight you couldn't possibly squeeze anything else in there, nor could you leave anything out, and the characters are easily relatable and likeable. You really feel for them. This ventures more into the sci-fi realm than horror (which is where Koontz is usually pitched - again, I think, incorrectly, as he's truly an eclectic!), but even so, it seems so madly plausible and almost everyday, that it never seems out of place that someone is in entirely the wrong time.

 

Maia by Richard Adams

This is pure fantasy, and chock full of titillation, almost to the point of pornography in places, as its so erotic, but it's so beautifully written that even though the eroticism is one of the main plot points (a young woman sold as a sex slave by her own mother after she sleeps with her step father!), it often takes a back seat to the panoramic epicness of the intricately woven plot. With a cast of thousands, it's so easy to lose and confuse your readers, but Adams is a master, and the characters are so memorable that, even with unusual names that feel foreign on your tongue, one doesn't easily lose track of the players or their intrigues. It's another door-stop of a book, but well worth picking up - maybe get it on your e-reader so you don't give yourself a hernia lugging it around with you all the time, because you will not want to put it down!

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I think it would be remiss of me not to mention my favourite fantasy book(s): His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman.

 

What impresses me most about these books is the sheer scope. The ideas are just marvellous, Pullman tackling everything from armoured bears, witches, a knife that cuts through to other worlds, not to mention a healthy dose of philosophical mediation. In my opinion, these books are up there with top-tier fantasy that will stand the test of time--like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia.

 

They have everything and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages.

Edited by Ben

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And our winner is...

 

   drumroll....

 

Signor Finzione

 

Many congrats! Please send me your address... and shall I tell them you have a preference for Fantasy? ;)

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Arrrggghhhhhh thanks so much guys!! This is so exciting!! :exc: :exc: :exc: I've NEVER won any sort of competition before so this is a huge milestone for me. :D

 

 

Many congrats! Please send me your address... and shall I tell them you have a preference for Fantasy? ;)

 

Yes please! :D (How did you know? ;):D )

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