Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Fantasy Blogger Award

I just got a blogger award from Angie at Notes from the Writing Chair-Thanks. Seems I am supposed to name 5 fantasy books or movies that have inspired me (or at least narrow it down to 5) so...

The Broken Sword, by Poul Anderson
In some respects this is similar to Tolkien's reworking of myth, but it comes at from perhaps an even bleaker Norse angle-the Elves aren't good guys-they keep
Dwarven slaves (thralls) and when other Dwarves try to bargain for their rescue, they are shot down with a, No they are more useful as slaves than getting ransom. And guess what-Anderson doesn't owe anything to Tolkien this was published back in 1954. A lot of the same source material sure-but worlds apart in execution-AND I haven't even touched on the main character a human named Valgard who is switched at birth with a changeling-chaos and war with Trolls ensues. One more thing I like was that although there was all Norse pagan stuff happening-all the magical creatures were dealing with the advent of Christianity as well-even Satan makes one of my all time favorite fictional appearances. Yes, I stole from this book.

Death Angels Shadow, by Karl Edward Wagner
KEW wrote several novels and a passel of short stories detailing the adventures of cursed Kane (yes, that Cain)-this one in particular is three novella's of great worth. Certain nuances of KEW's style abound in my writing, I love his Gothic mood,
the man can put you in the grim setting like nobodies business. An absolute master that doesn't get near enough credit. Plus yet another Frazetta cover-best of all possible worlds.

A Storm of Swords, by George R.R. Martin
When it comes to the big fatty epic fantasies this is probably my favorite, in that it has engaged me as a reader more than any other. Martin's skill as a writer to make you feel characters and motivations surpasses almost anyone. This doesn't mean he is my favorite writer or these are my favorite books-but they are very good. As mentioned in an earlier post-I have to love the characters and lots of fantasy writers have given me characters I want to follow better than Martin has (REH=Conan, Abercrombie=Logen, Cornwell=Uthred, KEW=Kane, Tolkien=Aragorn etc) but I think A Storm of Swords #3, is the best in this series so far. You are kept on the edge of your seat for many interwoven adventures and intrigues-I also love that no one is safe-you will be afraid that virtually any of these characters could get killed off at any given time (especially whomever you like the most). Martin plays with the readers emotions better than anyone. I am looking forward to the HBO mini-series-even if I have to wait for DVD. One more thing-I love that he is very light on magic in the series-the magic has to cost, not many people can do it, but when they can watch out!

Tigers of the Sea, by Robert E. Howard
Anyone who reads this blog knew I would put some REH on this list, but I decided to mix it up a little and mention this fantastic collection of the 4 Cormac Mac Art
tales. Set during King Arthur's Britain these are Heroic historical adventures that gripped me like a python when I first picked the book up. I was rude to my wife's friends we were visiting because I could not put this down. "In my mind" I have borrowed heavily from these tales. Amaron and Zelph remind me of Cormac and Wulfhere, albeit quite a bit more on the side of angels (so it may all just be in my, the creators head-Charles).

and to mix it up a little more a movie...

Brotherhood of the Wolf

A French film from 10 years ago, (my #1 favorite thing to ever come out of France) this blew me away when I first saw it (just watched it again last night) Loosely based on a real paranormal event. In the the mid-1700's something akin to a wolf terrorized the French province of Gevaudan. According to the movie we get the rest of the story and in my opinion its got everything-excellent action, romance, political intrigue and Monica Bellucci,
and it was even funny in the appropriate scenes-considering it would be fair to call this a period-action-horror film for those of you that are squeamish.

so passing this on to five people I pick.

Charles Gramlich at Razored Zen

Elizabeth Mueller supposed to work on a Atlantis project together.

Andrea Pearson We're in a critique group together.

And TJ Bronley who organized that critique group.

Amalia at Good to Begin Well, Better to End Well


T.J. said...

So confused. Am I supposed to name 5 fantasy books or movies that influenced me?

Charles Gramlich said...

I haven't read "A Storm of Swords" but I'd agree with your other choices. Love "the Brotherhood of the wolf." Very Howardian. I'd probaly include a David Gemmell in there, The Swords of Night and DAy"

David J. West said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David J. West said...

TJ-yes, list out 5 books/movies that influenced you.

Charles-I am behind in my Gemmel reading (need to start Silver Bow) I have only read 2 of his novels yet-they wree g reat but can't say they influenced me yet.

Amalia T. said...

Thanks!! I'm excited for this one! I'll have to really think about my book choices! :)

David J. West said...

I look forward to your answers Amalia.

Angie said...

Nice list. That movie sounds intense. Thanks for posting the award!

David J. West said...

Thanks again Angie. Yeah it is a pretty intense movie.

Buck said...

Good to see KEW gettin' some love. He was an outstanding writer.

David J. West said...

Right on Buck-he is one of my faves.