Single Male Seeking Non-Violent Fantasy and Sci-fi Novels for good times and adventure.

Vaz

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#1
As the title suggests I'm looking for some non-violent novels, I've just had a Grimdark fling so I'm after something a bit lighter.

Character driven stories are a plus.


Thanks in advance

V
 

ratsy

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#2
Vaz, have you read Robin Hobb? There is a bit of violence in her Fitz books, but not a lot in some of her stuff. The Rain Wilds Chronicles is a pretty solid series, and set in her main world, but can act as a stand alone series.

Having just read his third book as a beta reader, I would suggest Robert M Campbell's Trajectory Book One. It is a super great book about mining ships trying to get back to their Mars colony while being hunted by a foreign object. Really great series.

New York Deep by Andrew J Morgan was another one I just read and its a cool story set in New York. While digging and working underground in NYC, the MC finds a large box buried there. He steps into it, and we are taken on a wild ride through time and reality. Highly recommend.
 

Brian G Turner

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#5
Character driven stories are a plus.
Have you ever tried Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser/ Lankhmar series?
The First Book of Lankhmar (FANTASY MASTERWORKS): Amazon.co.uk: Fritz Leiber: 9781857983272: Books

It's very much old skool fantasy that defined the Sword and Sorcery genre, as well as popularised the odd-couple rogue pairing for fantasy. It can read as a little slow by comparison to the punch of modern novels, but it otherwise has a great sense of fun and adventure - or should that be misadventure? - once they pair up.

I originally read the comic series in the late 80's/early 90's, which was much more immediate than the novellas - but sell for stupid prices on Amazon, so better seeing if you can find it on Xcomics or similar:
Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Book One ~ Ill Met In Lankhmar by Williamson, von Valkenburgh Cha Mignola: Amazon.co.uk: von Valkenburgh Cha Mignola Williamson: Books
 

BAYLOR

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#6
Flying Dutch by Tom Holt A comic fantasy novel about the Flying Dutchman and his crew .

Silverlock by Jon Myers Myers also comic fantasy.

Lest Darkness Falls by L Sprague de Camp a 20th century man named Marin Padway suddenly finds himself transported back in time to 6th century Rome.

These are all fun books to read. (y):cool::D
 

Brian G Turner

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#7
Another recommendation would be the original Dragonlance Chronicles by Weiss and Hickman. You can get the original omnibus here:
Dragonlance Chronicles: Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawnin (TSR Fantasy): Amazon.co.uk: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman, Denis Beauvais, Jeffrey Butler: 9780140115406: Books

or the first three books as standalones:
Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Chronicles, Volume One (Dragonlance Chronicles Book 1) eBook: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Dragons of Winter Night: Chronicles, Volume Two (Dragonlance Chronicles Book 2) eBook: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store
Dragons of Spring Dawning: Chronicles, Volume Three (Dragonlance Chronicles Book 3) eBook: Margaret Weis, Tracy Hickman: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store

Either way, they move between exciting action and fun humour. As it's based on mammoth D&D sessions you can sometimes practically hear the dice rolling. But it does contain some of the most memorable characters in fantasy.

Worth a try if you fancy something light and fun but still an engaging action adventure.
 

ralphkern

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#8
Betaing Robert M Campbell's third novel too - oh my, that is one hell of a series. I'm a total fanboy. Tense and thrilling, but not violent in the guns and ammo kind of way. Think the Martian dialled up to 11. (Which would be another suggestion)

Peter Cawdron would be another recommendation. Anomaly would fit the bill, as would Galactic Explorations.

Jack McDevitt would be another strong contender. Love his Alex Benedict Series. (Far future treasure hunters solving mysteries) Or the Academy series (Rescue missions often involving an interesting physics based problem). IMO though, his best is a standalone called Slow Lightening - a really spooky tale of first contact)

My first, Endeavour has only a small amount of violence in it. Equally, I'd reccomend Explorations: Through The Wormhole - An anthology which contains more, well, exploration than pew pew pew.
 

The Bluestocking

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#9
@Vaz - As an anti-violence against women activist (who can't stomach Grimdark and other ultra-violent genres unless it's Horror but even then - no gore wanted or needed), I'm always on the lookout for books and stories that go light on violence. And you know, I don't think there is any fantasy novel that can escape having violence, even if it's just a minor amount of violence. Even children's books (beyond picture books for toddlers) have violence (see "fairy tales").

For what it's worth, here are my recommendations:
  • The COURTYARD OF THE OTHERS series by Anne Bishop - Some violence due to power struggles but it's used sparingly and often only referred to in character conversations.
  • The CASSANDRA PALMER series by Karen Chance - Hilarious urban fantasy, some explosions, some fighting, but no visceral gore or gore porn at all.
  • The WARM BODIES series by Isaac Marion - Yes, it's about zombies but it's low on gore and has a great twist to it. Read it - you'll see. I hate the zombie subgenre so it's says something that I love this series.
  • The GLAMOURIST HISTORIES series by Mary Robinette Kowal - Set in an alternative Regency England where some people have the highly prized talent of being able to glamour illusions. Good if you like Jane Austen type stories with a twist.
  • The MAGIC EX LIBRIS series by Jim C. Hines - About a badass librarian. Yes. A LIBRARIAN. Some fantasy violence but overall very funny and original and humane.
 
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Randy M.

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#10
Like others, I'll offer a broad range of fantasy rather assume you want all epic all the time. There will be some violence in these books, but that's neither their reason for being nor their emphasis.

Tea with the Black Dragon by R. A. McAvoy -- charming short novel in which an older woman and an older man, who may be somewhat more than a normal man, try to find the woman's missing daughter.

Midnight Riot (a.k.a.: The Rivers of London) by Ben Aaronovitch -- there is some violence here and a few horrific moments, but this is mainly about a young man finding his place in the London constabulary. His affinity for magic and shrewdness when dealing with magical beings is really more fascinating than those violent moments, and the overall tone of the book is as much comic as dramatic.

The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle -- another story of a man trying to find his place in the world and the woman who helps him by finding hers. Oh, and there's a unicorn and the unicorn has some issues, too. Like the McAvoy, I'd call this charming, maybe the most charming fantasy I've read.

Druid's Blood by Esther Friesner -- a surprisingly good fantasy pastiche of a Holmes/Watson adventure, though the names were changed I think because Friesner couldn't get permission at the time to use them. Some violence, but not dwelled on.

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart -- a lot of readers enjoyed this more than I did, but I did enjoy it and as a loose-footed adventure, it's good fun.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore -- Moore brings together characters from some of his other novels and they deal with the zombie apocalypse right around Christmas time. Somehow he melds Night of the Living Dead with touches of "The Gift of the Magi" and It's A Wonderful Life and there were moments I had to stop reading so I could stop laughing and breath again. Since I hadn't read the other novels and still enjoyed it, I don't think they are a prerequisite.


Randy M.
 

The Big Peat

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#12
Seconding The Goddess Project and Bridge of Birds, both of which I love to distraction. BoB is probably lighter in content and tone, although both are character driven and not particularly violent. I'd also throw out GGK's Tigana tentatively, which is character heavy and fairly action light, but can be quite heavy on the misery.

This is of course a wonderful opportunity to recommend the Discworld books, which is possibly coals to Newcastle here but do fit the bill wonderfully if you haven't read them before.
 

Vaz

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#15
Thanks for all the recommendations, folks! I have made some orders, you have successfully depleted my book fund for the month.

@ratsy funilly enough im reading the Farseer trilogy at the mo, great books. Bit heavy on the sadness though.

@The Judge Goddess is on my TBR pile. Just bumped it up a few notches. :)

@Brian G Turner What did you think of Dragonlance? I've heard mixed reviews about the series from readers on Reddit. Is it any good?

Cheers gals and guys.

V :)
 

The Big Peat

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#16
Dragonlance is the fantasy equivalent of good pop music or Hollywood films. If you like the mainstream and want a well crafted bit of a straight-forwards piece of fun, fill your boots. If you find that mainstream tastes drag and that you want something more, or something off-kilter, you'll probably find it a bit meh.

Note - the mainstream here is 20-30 years ago mainstream, rather than today's mainstream, but its still pretty mainstream.
 

Brian G Turner

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#18
What did you think of Dragonlance? I've heard mixed reviews about the series from readers on Reddit. Is it any good?
As an epic fantasy, it's a decent all-rounder that appeals to a wide range of ages, and doesn't get too stuck in its own history like some. It has its own unique weaknesses and strengths, but far more of the latter.

EDIT: I was going to suggest you at least try the first book, but you've just replied that you've ordered it. Will see what you think. :)
 

hitmouse

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#20
Zenna Henderson's People stories
The Silver Locusts by Ray Bradbury
The City and the Stars by Arthur C Clarke (not much violence in Clarke generally)
City, and Waystation by Clifford Simak (again, limited violence in Simak)
Little Big by John Crowley
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham ( although the weasels are nasty)
 

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