In Despair Over the Fantasy Book Market

If you don't know it, I live in the land of the expensive book. Books over here in Australia cost a mint, even when you take into account the currency exchange. I can walk into a used bookstore and spend as much on a used book as I am used to spending on a new book in the USA. And, the prices of trade-sized paperbacks and hardback books here are truly astronomical. Don't get me started about comics -- I spent $6.00AU on one issue of a comic this week. Sometimes I wonder why the hell I moved here.

Due to the rate at which I rip through fiction, I usually go to used book stores. Why pay full price when you can poke around in a dusty old store and find something just as good for less? I tend to only go to new book stores when I want something in specific.

Well, Frank sent me off to the local new bookstore today, since they were having a "buy 2 get 1 free" fantasy book sale. Just the thing to lure me inside. I went in there ready to spend, and braced myself so as not to flinch at the high prices. There was just one problem.

I don't want to read any book about a main character named Thrace, or Thrice or Thellanda or any of the other stupid damned names that I ran across while perusing back covers. [This may be a reaction due to the fact that I read a fantasy book a few weeks ago which contained a character named Glorianna Belladonna. And yes, the author was serious.] I don't want to read a book by the "Russian J.K. Rowling" (whatever the hell that means). I don't want to read the first in a series of anything. And I sure as hell don't want to read one more word about vampires, werewolves, werevampires, vampwolves, witches who hunt vampires or any combination thereof (except for stories by Charlaine Harris, because she actually attempts to be original in her story lines, can really write humor, and doesn't recycle your standard vampire plot over and over again). I also don't want to read anything by Caitlin R. Kiernan, because I remember the complete and utter crap she used to write back when her work appeared free on the web and her claim to fame was being pals with Poppy Z. Brite. FUCK. Can someone please reassure me that there are fantasy writers out there (not Ray Bradbury, or any of the other old standards -- but NEW writers) that don't completely and utterly suck yet somehow convince a publishing house to publish their 26 book epic series about Tracindelle Helllicathion, the witch-vampire hybrid who hunts werewolves and fucks around? Save me.


Jeff said...

Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha.

V. true. I think books are grossly overpriced, but since most people view them as a luxury, what am I gonna do?

Recommendation: I know you said you want to avoid series, but by all means check out George R. R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series. The first book is called A Game of Thrones, and the whole series is just astounding. My wife and I talk about characters from those books as if we know them. Warning, though: The series is not yet complete, and Martin is taking his own sweet time finishing it.

Dalim said...

Umm Jeff I hope your insurance is paid up... I umm wouldn't mention the GRR Martin name again - I did and still have the scars...

hehehe I like them though!

Greetings, I am April said...

I'm a huge, HUGE fan of Jim Butcher's Alera series. I believe the first book is called Furies of Calderon. I read both of his series, and I don't think I'm quite as picky about my books as you are, but if I was going to suggest a new and quite good fantasy series to someone with obvious good taste, it would be the Alera series.

Also. I'm a huge fan of The Dark is Rising series, so obviously I have wonderful taste.

.... =)