Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Random Ten: "Read, dammit!" Edition

First, an addendum to yesterday's You Must Read These post. These are also books you must read. Because I said so, dammit!

Winterbirth and Bloodheir by Brian Ruckley - books 1 & 2, respectively, of Ruckley's The Godless World trilogy. This is classic epic fantasy, in the mold of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Magic is at a minimum here, though it has its place. Plus, militant religious fanatics bent on domination! This is one of the better series in epic fantasy in recent years, a solid bit of storytelling with a complex, fully-realized world and some characters that you can actually get behind. I'm anxiously awaiting the trilogy's conclusion, Fall of Thanes, which will be published in May, 2009.

The Darkness That Comes Before; The Warrior ProphetThe Thousand-Fold Thought by R. Scott Bakker - comprising The Prince of Nothing trilogy, Bakker's epic fantasy series is simply the best fantasy going. Yes, better than GRRM. Way better than Jordan. This series is what every epic fantasy should strive to emulate. Well-written, deftly-plotted, world-building that's almost daunting (and definitely envy-inducing), brutal and beautiful and painful and joyous, The Prince of Nothing books spin a dark tale of one man, the ultimate trickster, who arrives from the North and manages to finagle his way into the ultimate position of power, through manipulation and a preternatural understanding of human nature. And he doesn't care who he ruins along the way, who he kills or betrays, for he is on a mission. And that mission: save the world from the rising of the No-God. Yeah, I read these a while ago, but I'm thinking I need to re-read them again soon. I'm sure there's a ton I missed on the first go-round.

Okay, I'm sure there are more I'm forgetting, but the music, she calls. Onto the list!

1. "True Dreams of Wichita" - Soul Coughing
2. "I've Got Your Number" - Elbow
3. "We Might As Well Be Strangers" - Keane
4. "Fuck and Run" - Liz Phair
5. "Nude" - Radiohead
6. "Lost!" - Coldplay
7. "Buddy Holly" - Weezer
8. "Seal the Bulkheads" - Richard Gibbs (Battlestar Galactica (2003) soundtrack)
9. "One Of These Things First" - Nick Drake
10. "Cold Water" - Damien Rice

Yes. Yes, I think I like that list, and would like to subscribe to its newsletter. But what about the bonus?

11. "Such Great Heights" - The Postal Service

Not bad, not bad at all. I think my musical self-worth has been mildly assuaged for the week.

Cue Gordon Ramsey: "Video."


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