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Brief Reason::

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Robert Harris
Series: Pompei, Imperium, Lustrum
Reason: Three seperate books, although Lustrum does follow on from Imperium. Why, because they are amazing well researched insights into Roman life. Pompei is a gripping story that taught me much I didnt know about Roman society and specificaly about aquaducts. Imperium and Lustrum, 2 books in which there is zero flashing swords, but major political and legal intrigue. These are about Cicero (lawyer and politician and staunch opponent of Gaius Julius Caesar) and at first I was a bit hesitant thinking they were not really my cup of tea. How wrong I was. These are excellent and recomended reads. Eye openers to this big Caesar fan. My biggest complaint is they were not longer. Fortunatly there is scope for a third book......

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Morgan Howell
Series: Queen of the Orcs
Reason: Well firstly I love orcs. Always have. But this is no regular series about orcs. Morgan Howell turns the whole concept on its side. In these books orcs show a greater degree of civilisation and are far more peace loving than humans - something I was initially hesitant of. But Howell has thought through his concepts so well and as a result presents an in depth well researched fantasy culture that gels with the setting and allows one to empathise with the various characters. In fact if this series were named Queen of the Elves I would not have given it a second glance, and more so would have been the pity. Well done!

On a personal side note, very interesting and purely coincidental, Howells orcish names are also hyphenated, just like the ones in my own (as yet unpublished) short fiction. Must be a sort of group consensus that orcs need a hyphenated name, it just seems to fit.

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Judith Berman
Short Fiction: The Poison Well (Black Gate Adventures in Fantasy Literature Magazine # 7)
Reason: To be honest, the main reason I liked this is it gave me some really interesting ideas for the RuneQuest campaign I run. Apart from that I think its a solid, well told story and I would be quite interested in reading more of ms Berman's work. For the chapskates among us the story is available online at: The Poison Well

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Terry Pratchett
Book: Night Watch (Diskworld Series, Guards Sub Series)
Reason: I went off Pratchett some years back. Basically Moving Pictures was a bit of a watershed for me. The books written before were innovative, clever and fun to read, the books thereafter just thinly veiled copies of earth phenomina. (Not to say the ones before wern't, but they were more cleverly done). Over the years I tried one or two more times, only to be dissapointed by the likes of Hogfather etc. Well, on come Night Watch loaned to me by a friend (thanks Anna) who insisted I read it - which I duly proceded to do and boy was I glad I did. Enthralling read from start to end. A few characers I did not know or had forgotten (depending on what previous books I has skipped I suppose), but generally a enjoyable and throught provoking read.

Submitted by: Daniel Clegg
Author: Roger Zelazny
Series: Chronicles of Amber
Reason: An interesting read. One of the main themes is Order vs. Chaos.

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Oliver Dickinson
Book: The Complete Griselda
Reason: A collection of short stories based on a character (Griselda) and her adventures in and around Pavis, a Gloranthan city. The writing style was a bit odd at first, but once I got used to it i really enjoyed the stories. A must for any serious Glorantha or RuneQuest fan.

Submitted by: Carol
Author: Garth Nix
Series: The Abhorsen Trilogy
Reason: "A tale of dark secrets, deep love and dangerous magic".
This is really a nice read. Interesting new ideas on the river of life. I really
enjoyed this.

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Penelope Love
Book: The Widows Tale
Reason: Wow! At first this book had me reaching for my Gods of Glorantha. The literary device took a chapter or so to get used to but what a read. I suppose the fact that it was RuneQuest based played a factor but even so, I really enjoyed this book. I loved the use of cunning repetition to illustrate points and how all the protagonists see each other and their own actions. Now I must just find a way to contact the author and beg for more of the same!
Update as at XXX January VIII was contacted by The Chaos Society. It appears that a follow up book containing some stories about certain characters from The Widows Tale is in the pipeline. Publication date is unknown at this stage but a press release will be issued closer to the time. ~Tony

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Mary Gentle
Book: Grunts!
Reason: Fast paced, action packed book about orcs. One of the few books I have re-read. Breaks many, if not all, of the usual fantasy rules and in so doing leads the reader along a wild and unpredictable trail of exciting adventure.

Submitted by: Emil
Author: JV Jones
Series: The Book of Words
Reason: As fate controls our lives, Jones controls the mind. A treasure trove of intrigue, destiny, love, honour, friendship and war.

Submitted by: Tony -
Author: Glen Cook
Series: The Chronicles of the Black Company
Reason: Gritty and realistic with plausible characters. this is not high fantasy happy elves stuff - its about real soldiers who live and die by the sword.

Submitted by: Garett
Author: Raymond E Feist
Books: Magician, Silverthorn & Darkness At Sethanon
Reason: Good combination of sci-fi and fantasy. Manages to keep reader engrossed in the story even through the flat spots that occur in every lengthy book.

Submitted by: Carol
Author: Robin Hobb
Series: The Liveship Trilogy
Reason: Unique ideas I haven't come across in any other books.

Submitted by: Tony
Author: Stan Nicholls
Series: Orcs - First Blood
Reason: Action all the way. Plenty graphic battle scenes and plausible story line. Easy reading. Besides, I love orcs.

Submitted by: Lawrence Johnson
Author: Lawrence Johnson
Series: Escape 2 Earth
Reason: Escape 2 Earth is a fast moving sci fi novel that's easy read. The reason for this recommendation is obvious. I am the author. The story follows Matt, Will, and Art
from 2004 to December 2012. The mayan calendar, stonehenge, secret alien bases, strange planets, and space ships are all part of this story. There are plenty of twist and turns to hold your interest right up to the end.

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