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He equals Tolkien


Burn the heretic!

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Burn the heretic!


w00t!!!!

We are talking about a man born on 28th of August 1916.
Winner of
the Edgar Award in 1960,
the Hugo Award in 1963 and 1967,
the Nebula Award in 1966,
the Jupiter Award in 1975,
the Achievement Award in 1984,
the GilgamXs Award in 1988,
the World Fantasy Award in 1990,
and the Grand Master Award in 1997.

This is not some new kid on the block, this is someone who authored of over 60 books. Jack Vance's first book, The Dying Earth, was published in 1950. That is around the same time Tolkien was publishing... Give the man the credit that he earns. This author is good.

*climbs of the soap box now*
That's OK - we are burning you not him.
It doesn't matter how much that man has won, or how many ppl read his books. You are not good, you are thought to be good. The same is true for JRRT.

Also I think that Llyod Alexander (The Prydain Chronicles) is a superb writer. He writes the same genre as Tolkien, Ancient Fantasy as does a wonderful job with the characters. If you haven't picked up any of these books, I suggest you do. The first book is The Book of Three. Hurry and go read it!
~Celebrimbor
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That's OK - we are burning you not him.


Oh sweet!
Moderator Smilie Vee, I didn't see any mitagating smilies with your recent comments. I know you were just making funny, but some people might not; so please be more careful in the future . Thanks. Moderator Smilie Happy Elf Smilie

I have read and enjoyed both Jack Vance's Lyonesse Trilogy and Llyod Alexander's five volume The Prydain Chronicles. They are all very good but they are not Tolkien; we are talking apples and oranges here, and as such we shouldn't put anyone's books down that have withstood the test of time.
But.... Grondy - a smiley would have meant I was joking......


Heheee..... OK...... OK......... I was.. I admit it....... and Rhapsody knows I was.

Wiggle Smilie

So come back in all you newbies.......... sacrifices are temporarily suspended..... which makes a change from boiling in oil.... I meant, they are off the menu.... er.... (someone give me a shovel to dig this hole....)
*throws Vee a shovel from a safe distance*

!!! Safe?!? Vee!! Run!! Super Scared Smilie
Vee, how could you? Bad, bad VEe! We won't BURN him. WE'll just keep him alive on bread and water for six weeks in a REALLY small cell. *joking, of course

But seriously, folks....

I fin dit hard to believe that I could find an author EQUAL to Tolkien. But I shall try thi author. He can't be TOO bad, winning all those medals. WHat's his name again? Very Big Grin Smilie
One of the author's who I thought had a very similar writing style is the author of the His Dark Material's Series: Philip Pullman. He also went to Oxford and taught there as an English professor. I still don't think he's quite and good as Tolkien (c'mon ppl who is as good as Mr. Tolkien?!?! Ha Ha Ha Smilie ) but he does have an excellent style of writing and some great plots. I haven't read all his books but the three I did read were SUPERB!!!!! He's creative (not like Tolkien but again who is? I mean unless you've come up with your own world, in depth cultures, like 5 new languages and 4 new races you're not quite as inventive as JRRT) but in more of a sci-fi-ish sense. And the thing is, the whole time you think you know who's the bad guy, what the main character's are supposed to be fighting and what is considered "evil" and then the whole perspective changes. It's great. You get a sense of uncertaintly because that's what the main character is experiencing. And the characters are fabulous too. I REALLY like the main character's father. He's so mysterious!!!!! Wary Smilie But I love him! Ooooh! Like Aragorn! In Love Smilie
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It doesn't matter how much that man has won, or how many ppl read his books. You are not good, you are thought to be good. The same is true for JRRT.


I always say don't judge an author before you have read his or hers works. Since I can't gather if you read Jack Vance at all, I assume you have not. Jack Vance is a brilliant author. I'll tell you why I think he is. Bare in mind this is my opinion although many share it.

He is a story master. He knows how to weave stories; they captivate you instantly. Tolkien could not captivate me straight on. I spent 3 years reading Lord of the Rings before I got to the chapter the Prancing Pony. Too descriptive, too much details. If you take a closer look at Lord of the Rings you see how Tolkien grew into the story and became a good storyteller. I see a growth in that book. It is awesome. There is a reason why Return of King is my favourite part of the trilogy.

Now back to Jack Vance. I don't like Science Fiction books. Trust me I tried. Greg Bear, Heinlein, Asimov, I tried. But then I read some Science Fiction written by Jack Vance... and I loved it! Tschjai is an amazing book. I read short stories from him; both Fantasy and Science Fiction and I loved them all.

Tolkien was a linguistic professor, Jack Vance is an author. I love them both.
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Vee writes: Heheee..... OK...... OK......... I was.. I admit it....... and Rhapsody knows I was.


Maybe to subtile V? No BBQ then? Okay, I have to find another way to roast some marshmellows.

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Loni said:We won't BURN him. WE'll just keep him alive on bread and water for six weeks in a REALLY small cell.


Milambar can I please get the title the Confuser* back???? Now Loni, who is this him? Virumor?

* given to me by Floyd and Milambar
It may be that popularity confirms that an author is 'good' but whether an author is 'brilliant' is another matter. There are those who don't like Tolkien's books or his style but they may still recognise his brilliance. They may not but we can burn them all! (Insert smiley of your choice).

Those who have dug deep into Tolkien should recognise his brilliance - there is so much more to it than an epic fantasy, much more than just LotR or the Silmarillion. He has a world created from nothing..... evolved in culture and language and there is such scope for discussion and research, theories and differences of opinion.

I doubt that Jack Vance inspires the same dedication. You may think him a great author, he may be a great author or just a good one but is his brilliance in the same league as Tolkien? I doubt it.

I am a great fan of Orson Scott Cards 'Ender' books. Ender's Game affected me like no other book (except for Tolkien) but I don't think he is anywhere close to Tolkien's level.

We are talking similarity (and I suppose similar doesn't have to mean equal to) but I see no other author who has created such an epic with all the detail that Tolkien has, the background and mythology etc - except maybe The Bible and I suspect that was a ghost writer..... or collective effort. As a readable book I think Tolkien wins on that one.

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We are talking similarity (and I suppose similar doesn't have to mean equal to) but I see no other author who has created such an epic with all the detail that Tolkien has, the background and mythology etc - except maybe The Bible and I suspect that was a ghost writer..... or collective effort. As a readable book I think Tolkien wins on that one.

Homer has with the Illiad and Odyssee. Of course he didn't create all Greek mythology, but the same is true for JRRT : JRRT didn't invent trolls, dwarves, elves, etc. he just knew how to put them into a story.

Of course, Homer's works can't really be considered fantasy because it's non-fiction (ha ha). If i have to pick out a fantasy author which is similar to JRRT, i'd say Guy Gavriel Kay. He has won 100,000 prizes, so he really is brilliant.

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Milambar can I please get the title the Confuser* back???? Now Loni, who is this him? Virumor?

No, i reckon Loni thinks you are a boy.
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Homer has with the Illiad and Odyssee. Of course he didn't create all Greek mythology, but the same is true for JRRT : JRRT didn't invent trolls, dwarves, elves, etc. he just knew how to put them into a story.


I am no expert on Homer but, masterpiece that they are, the Illiad and Oddyssey were written within the confines of a world and culture already created and have much historical value to us but Tolkien created his world from scratch and gave it the gods, myths, legends, cultures, languages and morals that it has. I think Tolkien wins. Maybe Homer second, some way behind......

Maybe PJ could turn the I and O into a two part film?
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Maybe PJ could turn the I and O into a two part film?

Why? There's already Troy and there are already movies on the Odyssee. They all stink, so we don't need PJ to make it stink even more.

Concerning JRRT, it's not very hard to create Gods : every fantasy author does it. Create worlds : every fantasy author does it. Create languages : every fantasy author who studied filology, can do that. Create cultures : every fantasy author can take dwarves, elves, orcs, goblins, trolls from scandinavian mythology and adapt them to their own stories. All not very hard to do. LOTR is unique because of the story. Every fantasy author nowadays who wants to earn money fast, tries to duplicate it.
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Virumor wrote:
All not very hard to do. LOTR is unique because of the story. Every fantasy author nowadays who wants to earn money fast, tries to duplicate it.


I agree, some are just copycats and I just dislike them for that. I almost put down Magician of Feist because of it. I did not bother to read the sequal.

V, regarding Jack Vance: I said imho. That means: in my humble opion. Vance is a excellent in creating his own worlds, races and so on. Go and read Tschjai. Go and read the Lyonesse trilogy. Just give it a try.

But on this matter: consider this. Tolkien created one world, one 'mythology'. Vance created many worlds, races and civalizations. I do not say that in that respect the other is better, but I do admire authors who can come up with so much creativity and storytelling to amaze me over and over again.

I love Orson Scott Card as well, especially his Alvin books. : )
A lot of generalisations in there. A lot of 'can or could do' but not many do to the extent that Tolkien did. As for it being the story that makes it unique, I disagree. There are many unique things about the story but the basic story has been told many times before and since - good, evil and a quest with a hero. Not only was Tolkien able to do all you mention but he did DO it. And he did it well, Let me hear you sing - #BETTER THAN ALL THE REST.......
Well replace 'can' by 'are able to' in my previous post. Generalisations... padlocks to that. English just ain't my mother tongue.

Maybe if you've read all stories in the world, by all authors in the world, you are able to say what's best in your opinion. I have done that, and so i can say that the best story ever is "The adventures of Ziggy, the lonely duck".

(edited by the Black Council)
For clarity's sake can I say my previous post was in response to Vir not Rhapsody who got in the way. Smile Smilie

I've arranged to borrow some JV books from an avid JV fan I know. Will let you know what I think when I've read them.

To avoid confusion, it usually helps to use the quote-function. Not that i do that, but anyway.
No problem Vee, I know what I wrote... Please continue, it is interesting.
You are right, Llyod Alexander can't measure to Tolkien. You really can't compare authors, even in the same genre. I mean every author (except copycats) have their own style of writing. Even if you compare two fantasy authors (Tolkien and Alexander for example) you could take weeks saying "I like this about him." or "I like how he worded this..." it's nearly impossible and to everyone who's tried it (me), don't waste your time. I would like to compare authors but everybody has a different sense on to how something should be written or how that should've been phrased. Therfore the "Authors similar to Tolkien???????????" Is a faulty question because nobody is similar to Tolkien's highly advanced writing style of fantasy Oink Smilie Smoke Smilie I are a genius
Song-singer of the Edu Choir
~Celebrimbor
The views in Celebrimbors opinion in no way affect of what he thinks about authors therefore you should not listen to his poison words. Happy Elf Smilie
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Celimbor wrote:
Even if you compare two fantasy authors (Tolkien and Alexander for example) you could take weeks saying "I like this about him." or "I like how he worded this..." it's nearly impossible and to everyone who's tried it (me), don't waste your time. I would like to compare authors but everybody has a different sense on to how something should be written or how that should've been phrased.


My final 2 eurocents on this.

It can be fun! Especially over a pint of Ale in a nice and cozy tavern Wink Smilie Talking about authors and the books they wrote can be very interesting, just as long if you listen to each other and not say in advance (especially without even read a single word of that author): oh it is nothing because.... Just give another author a shot and well, hey you never know, you might like it!

During this thread I had a couple of times the thought: oh that might be a nice author to try, maybe I should read her or his work. But I love more authors then Tolkien and yes I might look at other things then the others, but it would get kinda boring if we all had the same opinion, don't you think?

Well I am off to get me that pint of Ale. It might take a while before I have reached a tavern though.
I agree heartily! Although I am not old enough to drink ale. Very Sad Smilie But Mum lets me drink wine!!! Big Smile Smilie
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Jack Vance is a brilliant author. I'll tell you why I think he is. Bare in mind this is my opinion although many share it.

He is a story master. He knows how to weave stories; they captivate you instantly. Tolkien could not captivate me straight on. I spent 3 years reading Lord of the Rings before I got to the chapter the Prancing Pony. Too descriptive, too much details


Well, I said I would give him a try and I did. I read the Lyonesse Trilogy as recommended. But I didn't like it. The story didn't flow. So much time was spent bringing a character to life only to have them die and be left wondering "what?" "why?" A few sentences could have dealt with the character's relevance to the story. And then the story went from fantasy into fairytales with trolls under bridges, magic purses, three wishes etc...... nah, it didn't grab me at all. Could have been an RPG!

Tolkien still reigns supreme!
Virumor, you may be right Tolkien didn't invent trolls and all that, but he didn't make the elves seem like fruity, totally not cool. He gave them their own way of life and their own art to everything. tolk never even said ANYTHING about Elves having pointy ears. Nor about hobbits. Trolls came from mythology, no doubt, but the way he describes them being captured and used to kill people is his own way. He didn't copy from other books, he took his own creautures and created their culture one by one. He then interpereted their own ways into one story. You never hear of an elf embarking on a quest that way, knowing almost his certain death. That's what made each character special, Tolkien using the Ring to test peoples (and races) minds and strengths. So in a way, the Ring is like everyones fear coming to life. tolkien could've even used other items to symbolize this as well.
~Celebrimbor
He has probably already been added to this thread, but I'll say David Eddings is a great read for Tolkien lovers.
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Trolls came from mythology, no doubt, but the way he describes them being captured and used to kill people is his own way. He didn't copy from other books, he took his own creautures and created their culture one by one.


As a Norwegian I can tell you that the trolls in the Hobbit are typical Norwegian/Scandinavian trolls; living in caves in the mountains, collecting treasures, killing and kidnapping and eating people, easy to fool if you are brave enough, huge, evil, strong and not so smart, and turns into stone in the sun.

Bilbo, the dwarves and Gandalf beat the big nasty trolls, and could claim the trolls' treasures and weapons as their own. The blue print of any fairy tale involving trolls.

The elfs people belived in around here lived in the forrest, they were prettier than humans, had great powers, danced and sang beautifully, but most of the time they stayed away from humans. They could be good (light elfs) or bad (dark elfs). Sounds a lot like faded wood elves too me. And that is what I think Tolkien intended. His stories are ment to be a forgotten history of the world. Present day mythologies are remains of this past.

And elven and hobbit ears were sligthly pointed, not long and pointy like this: Happy Elf Smilie
Smile Smilie
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And elven and hobbit ears were sligthly pointed, not long and pointy like this: Happy Elf Smilie
Smile Smilie
You mean elven ears really aren't long and floppy like a bunny wabbit's? Elk Grinning Smilie
Hey hey hey, my wab's ears aren't long and floppy!!!! (WEll, my brother's one is) BUT NOT MY WAB!!!! He has long stickyuppy ears like a normal wab!!!! My brother has a lop.
I think that the ARABIAN NIGHTS are similiar to Tolkien's writing. Though the stories are more simple fables than high fantasy, the detailed way in which they are told echoes the style of The Silmarillion or Lost Tales. For example, in many of the stories the lineage of the main character is given as well as their country, status and wives. These things give both stories a depth, a hinting of a bigger world beyond the immediate tale.
I tend to think that Paolo Coelho' s "Alchemist" is worth reading, of course, there almost no similar things with LOTR, but...! This book is very optimistic and magic in its own way!!!
Fjodor Dostojevski's "Crime and Punishment" is recommended fantasy for anyone. And it was even written 100 years before Lord of the Ring des Nibelungen. Heavy!
Right.... these dudes aren't famous enough to be similar to Tolkien!!!! HAVE NEVER HEARD OF THEM!!!!!! (But that doesn't mean I'm right)
Not famous enough? Your literature teacher is rolling in his grave, or is going to do that.

Beowulf is also a must.
Galenhir is right, Beowulf is a must...I was thinking of topics for my research paper for English when I came across a strange parallel to Tolkien...Stephen King's Dark Tower Series. Now don't lash out at me if you have not read SK's Dark Tower(DT) series. The DT series is nothing like the rest of his books and to understand it you have to have read most of his other books as well...but for those who have read all 7 of the books you would know where I'm coming from...I am in no way saying that SK is a good as Tolkien was, but I believe that he is a close second in my opinion. Now everyone can hate and curse me but I have a valid point, and those who have read the DT series know what I'm talking about...
I agree. The DT is very realistic, modern fantasy. It beats all the rest. Also the books related to DT are my excellente.
Virumor thanks and I agree with you...have you read all 7 books?
Nope, not yet : the last one i read was Wolves of the Calla.
I finished it about a week after the last book came out...It has a good ending in my opinion...good luck in finishing the series!
You must be kidding!? Never heard about Fedor Dostojevski's "Crime and Punishment"!? This is one of the masterpieces of the world literature!!! Of course, there're many different opinions about his works...but I don't agree that this book is similar to LOTR, no way. This book is about real life - one crazy guy kills an old woman etc, at the end he finally goes crazy!!!
Umm... did you just give away the ending of the book? You won't get many people to read it if you tell them how it ends.
No, actually I haven't...the end is different...it's my opinion that the main hero goes crazy...) the author made a happy end!
ER Eddison was one of Tolkien's favorites among his modern precursors. I think Eddison's "The Worm Ouroborous" is outstanding. It has some pleasures largely absent in Tolkien, such as engaging villians. Ursula Le Guin, in a famous essay in which she tried to specify the difference between good and bad fantasy (for the modern genre) used it as one of her three examples of "good" fantasy (of course, LOTR was one of the other two.) The "Worm" can be a bit long winded and at times is "somewhat crabbedly writ"; it also has some surprising weaknesses (e.g. some of the names are silly; just the opposite of JRRT). But overall it works very well, and has some great scenes. The early chapter "Conjuring in the Iron Tower" is the best description of black magic being practiced I've ever read, far surpassing more recent efforts along these lines (for example, Terry Goodkind's first book.) I recommend it to any Tolkien lover (presumably anyone reading this), with the approval of Tolkien himself behind it. It starts slow; make sure you get to the wrastling bout between King Gorice XI and the Lord Goldry Bluzco before giving up.
I've been reading over more of this thread, and I have to say that I agree that Vance is great - but he is VERY uneven. For example, the first Dying Earth novel is fantastic, but the next one was so toungue in cheek that it was unreadable (at least by me). Of course Lewis is fine- but though I grew up obsessed with Narnia and Middle Earth, and some point I laid Narnia aside and have almost never returned to it (unlike ME). I believe JRRT is really unrivalled in modern fantasy and SF (I'm more of an Sf buff than fantasy).

Dostoevsky is another story; I'm surprised his name even came up on these threads, as he is a fantasy writer only by a huge stretch of the term (there are a few places - "The Double" or parts of "The Brothers Karamazov" where it more nearly fits). The insensity of his realism and moral analysis make him one of the greatest writers of all time. I'd have to rank him above JRRT in significance; though I have to admit that though I love both of them, I love Tolkien more. Frankly, only the Bard is dearer to my heart than Tolkien. Do "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "The Tempest" get him included as a fantasy writer?
Has anyone been watching the Sci-Fi Channels two part mini-series Legend of Earthsea? Part 1 is being rerun tonight Tuesday at 7 PM PST and Part 2 at 9 PM PST with a rerun of part 2 at 11 PM PST.

They have combined the first two books of Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea series in parallel. One major difference from the books is the inclusion of lady wizards also studing at the Wizard's University on the Isle of Roke. "Shades of Arwen!" Still, it didn't hurt the story so far; and having Tenar, the young priestess of the second book, The Tombs of Atuan, doing her thing while the boy wizard, Ged is learning his lessons (including his major one) keeps the action moving.
I hope they show it over here in the UK. I haven't read the books for yearsso I probably won't notice any changes. Heck, I'm still trying to come to terms with the trilogy becoming a quadrology (or whatever). I have several Le Guin books waiting to be read, one of them the fourth in the Earthsea Trilogy (Ha!) and one called 'Changing Planes', described as an armchair novel for the mind.
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