Changing tastes in fantasy reading

nixie

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#1


I've been reading through some old threads from when I first joined whilst putting off doing the housework.
I'm pretty shocked how much my tastes have changed over the years.

Some of the authors I mentioned are still very much part of my life, Feist, Donaldson, Brookes, King, Dennis Wheatley, Williams who I'll reread or buy.

Others have dropped of the radar,
Hobb, Keyes, Canavan, Barclay, Nix not saying I won't read them again but I've lost interest.

Others I think did I actually read them, Goodkind, Newcombe, Eddings Dreamer Series and Redeemption of Altheus ( note I don't regret reading his other series)
I still have all of the books.

Now I look for Erikson, Esslemont,Abecrombie, Lawerence, Sanderson, Lynch.

Not complete lists but you get the idea.
 
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CTRandall

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#3
I've found myself getting much more picky about fantasy. I still like Scott Lynch and Robin Hobb (though I never liked some of her later series). I'd have a tough time re-reading most of the things I enjoyed in my teens/early twenties, though I wouldn't hesitate at recommending the old Dragonlance series and, depending on the person, even Michael Moorcock.

That said, there was a big stretch of my life where fantasy got set to one side, so I have to catch up on the late 90s/early 00s
 

dwndrgn

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#4
Well tastes definitely change. Back in the days before electricity (ok, not really) I really enjoyed reading the Thomas Covenant books. I tried to go back and re-read and couldn't get past the first chapter. I no longer have the patience for jerks so I put it down. I also am much more apt to drop a book I'm not enjoying within the first 100 pages or so, but I attribute that to no longer being a review writer for a blog, and giving myself leave to actually not finish a book. I realized that I was making myself unhappy for no good reason and stopped reviewing and reading books that weren't my cup of tea.

Now I only read books that I am actually enjoying. Which means that I actively avoid all the latest grimdark and other bleak things with anti-heroes and such. I've been doing a whole lot of re-reading of books that make me laugh lately and that I think is attributable to the problems in the world today. Laughter is awesome medicine.
 

Extollager

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#5
Tastes do change -- I've been reflecting on that a bit, too. I'd have told you Lord Dunsany was one of my favorite authors when I was 15. Can't read his famous fantasies now, it seems.

I read whole categories of books now that I didn't read then, of course.
 

soulsinging

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#6
I also am much more apt to drop a book I'm not enjoying within the first 100 pages or so, but I attribute that to no longer being a review writer for a blog, and giving myself leave to actually not finish a book. I realized that I was making myself unhappy for no good reason and stopped reviewing and reading books that weren't my cup of tea.

Now I only read books that I am actually enjoying. Which means that I actively avoid all the latest grimdark and other bleak things with anti-heroes and such. I've been doing a whole lot of re-reading of books that make me laugh lately and that I think is attributable to the problems in the world today. Laughter is awesome medicine.
That has changed my life too. I'd force myself to finish things, even if it meant I barely read for months at a time because I was still fighting to the end of something I found dull. Now i figure if I hit the 1/3rd mark or 100 pages and am just going through the motions, I need to let it go. I don't owe it to anyone to finish and my life is short enough and still has enough unread books to where it doesn't make sense to force myself to the end.

10 years ago I was very into the big names here... GRRM, Abercrombie, Lynch... 10 years before that it was Dragonlance, LOTR and Robert Jordan. I do find myself more interested in going back to the latter than the former, but also find myself reading more classics (Dickens, Asimov) than fantasy lately.
 

Parson

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#7
I no longer have the patience for jerks so I put it down. I also am much more apt to drop a book I'm not enjoying within the first 100 pages or so,
I find this too. The other day I was reading outside my normal genre. I was reading a romance, and sorta enjoying it, until about half way through the book the normal thing I hate about romances came up. People started assuming things without actually asking the other person. I HATE that! I hate it because communication is so central to any real relationship. So I closed the book and sent it back to Kindle Unlimited never to be seen again.

Now I only read books that I am actually enjoying.
Same for me. For me I think that this is because I very, very seldom read a book that costs more than $3.99. And I don't feel the same urge that comes from laying out $25 or more for the book.
 

Overread

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#8
Tastes change over time, but I also find mine shift with situation as well. If I want to dig into something meaty like a Robin Hobb book I find I want to have more control over my free time so that I can dedicate the hours to reading big chunks in one go. Meanwhile whilst I've less control over time I find I gravitate toward shorter and even adventure stories. I still love something epic, but shorter stories and even comics are currently more my focus; partly because they are quicker exploration and because they can be finished quicker. An epic saga can't be replaced, but it requires more dedication to get through tomes
 

BAYLOR

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#9
I can think of quite a few more that have dropped off the radar.

Charles Burnet Swann
Henry Kuttner
C L Moore
Karl Edward Wagner
David Gemmel
Tanith Lee
Robert Holdsstock
Roger Zelazny
Fred Saberhagen
Fritz Lieber
 

Vince W

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#10
I can think of quite a few more that have dropped off the radar.

Charles Burnet Swann
Henry Kuttner
C L Moore
Karl Edward Wagner
David Gemmel
Tanith Lee
Robert Holdsstock
Roger Zelazny
Fred Saberhagen
Fritz Lieber
So if an author dies, we stop reading/enjoying their work? :unsure:
 

BAYLOR

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#13
So if an author dies, we stop reading/enjoying their work? :unsure:
Death doesn't necessarily mean they will be forgotten. James Branch Cabell fell out of favor with readers years before he died, So did Arthur Machen.
 
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Vince W

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#14
Death doesn't necessarily men they will be forgotten. .
I should hope not. They were all fine writers and their stories deserve to be more widely read. I think it's their publishers fault for letting their banners fall.
 

Overread

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#16
Thinking on one or two of the names, like Garth Nix, I think it also shows where, for me, an author had one or two books that I really liked, but never a continual series of books that I did. For example I really like his first two books, but felt his third lost the fire/passion a bit and I've never really kept up with his others.

Trudy Canavan is the same in that I liked her first series but never got into her second.

Other authors either work within the same world and keep up to a standard that is fun (Terry Pratchett would be a fine example); whilst some others can get long in the tooth with more books (Dragonriders of Pern series and I'd say also good chunk of Raymond Fiests continual series).
 

vanye

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#17
I agree with the part about being older and grumpier and less patient. I used to be able to put up with gobs of unpleasantness to get to nougaty goodness of the book. Now I need a much higher nougat to gob ratio.
I like to think of it as older and wiser.
 

Vertigo

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#19
These days I seem to require a much larger degree of plausibility in my reading and this in turn has taken me away from pretty much all fantasy and, to be fair, quite a lot of SF; if I don't find the science at least plausible I become very impatient with it. It doesn't have to be hard SF but it must be plausible. This has resulted in a lot of adventure style SF now being rejected and a serious struggle with a lot of classic SF.

It's funny how I used to be very tolerant of this sort of thing but I have become steadily less so over the years. I have now largely replaced my desire for fantasy with historical fiction - but even there I want to believe that the historical aspects are reasonably accurate. I'm not really knowledgeable enough to make that judgement myself, but if I find it to not be the case it is very disappointing to me.
 

The Big Peat

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#20
I feel quite lucky reading these threads. My tastes have expanded, but I can't say there's anything I've lost a love for. Obviously, as long as you enjoy what you're reading is all cool and the gang, but I'd feel sad if I couldn't go back to a more youthful favourite and not enjoy it.

That said... I do hunger for big new ideas a lot more than I used to. I've got enough great genre fiction to last a lifetime in my brain already.
 

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