Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Which ‘Older’ Book Should I Read Next?

After what seems like far too long, I’ve finally managed to work my way through the rest of ‘Viriconium’. I found it to be a lot better read the second time round and you can expect to see my review posted at some point over the weekend. So, what book should I pick up next..?

While the focus of the blog remains primarily on the newer genre releases (and I’ll be continuing to read these) there are a few older books on my shelves that I bought a while ago and haven’t got round to reading. Seeing as one of my New Year’s resolutions was to do just that (and it’s April already) I thought that not only should I get on with this but I could enlist you kind people to help me decide what book to pick up next.
The choices are...



‘A Nomad of the Time Streams’ – Michael Moorcock

Oswald Bastable’s adventures in the Multiverse are collected in ‘The Warlord of the Air’, ‘The Land Leviathan’ and ‘The Steel Tsar’. It’s been years since I read these and I found myself a very nice first edition of this collection which has been sat on the shelf for far too long now. Will it be the book I end up reading or will it have to wait a little longer? Check out the other two options...



‘The Anubis Gates’ – Tim Powers

Brendan Doyle is a twentieth-century English professor who travels back to 1810 London to attend a lecture given by English romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This is a London filled with deformed clowns, organised beggar societies, insane homunculi and magic. When he is kidnapped by gypsies and consequently misses his return trip to 1983, the mild-mannered Doyle is forced to become a street-smart con man, escape artist, and swordsman in order to survive in the dark and treacherous London underworld. He defies bullets, black magic, murderous beggars, freezing waters, imprisonment in mutant-infested dungeons, poisoning, and even a plunge back to 1684. Coleridge himself and poet Lord Byron make appearances in the novel, which also features a poor tinkerer who creates genetic monsters and a werewolf that inhabits others' bodies when his latest becomes too hairy.

This book was the overwhelming reply when I asked readers where would be a good place to start reading Tim Power’s work. Life got in the way though and I still haven’t picked this one up yet. Should it be the next book that I read...?



'No Present Like Time’ – Steph Swainston

The Emperor San and his Circle of Immortals strive to protect the medieval empire of the Fourlands from monstrous creatures called Insects, but the continuity of the Circle is threatened. Serein, the Swordsman, is unexpectedly defeated in ritual combat by a young upstart, who is then sent—along with Comet, the Messenger, and other Immortals—on a mission to Tris, an idyllic and recently discovered island nation. Unfortunately, the Immortals, who assume their own superiority to mere humans, make a mess of things, upsetting the democratically minded islanders and accidentally loosing on them an Insect they'd brought along to help persuade the natives to join the empire...

Swainston’s ‘The Year of Our War’ was one of the first books I read for the blog and the release of her latest book, ‘Above The Snowline’, makes it a good time for me to catch up on the books of hers that I haven’t read in the meantime. Should it be the next book that I read though...?

It’s the same deal as ever, if you think one of these books should be read before the other do then simply leave a comment next to the post and tell me which one you think it should be! The book with the most votes wins :o) I don’t know how long I’ll leave the voting open for (a week maybe?) so don’t be shy about posting a comment...

20 comments:

Jamie Gibbs said...

My vote goes for the Anubis Gates, I've heard some pretty good things about it on blogs and podcasts.

Larry said...

If you have any interest at all in the development of Steampunk, you read/review the Moorcock first.

Booknutt said...

Anubis Gates. It's one of the best Time Travel books I've ever read.

Joe said...

I have liked what I have read of Moorcock's (mostly Elric), but the blurb for Anubis Gates sounds awesome. Go for that one!

Daniel said...

Having read two of the three - Anubis Gates and the Swainston - I'd say, if you're willing to invest in a series, the Swainston; if you want a single novel (about half the length of the total Swainston series, by my estimate) go for the Powers. However.

In terms of quality, they're both excellent - and reasonably similar.

On a purely personal note, though, since I do use your blog as a bit of a buying guide... go for the Moorcock! That way I can find out a little about it and decide whether I want to read it!

Goran said...

Anubis gates.

N. R. Alexander said...

Definitely the Steph Swainston.

Todd said...

I've only read the Tim Powers, but it was very good. Very good.

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Moorcock! Can't really go wrong with him. :)

brainshades said...

"The Anubis Gates" is one of the greatest Fantasy novels ever written... an incredible stand-alone Fantasy at that - not a trilogy! I love everything Tim has ever written, and have read many of his books multiple times. I hope someday he writes a better book than this one, but if he doesn't he can be damn proud of it.

The Moorcock is going to provide some good reading, but nothing spectacular in the end. The Swainston is just a different take on themes you are already very familiar with so why bother?

Look, you've only got so many books you will ever read in your lifetime - that's a problem we all suffer from. Don't let "The Anubis Gates" be one of those you miss... that would be a crime.

Aidan Moher said...

The Anubis Gates, no question.

Anonymous said...

Nomad of the Time Streams is good, but not Moorcock's best (and his best is the genres best). Now if you had Dancers At The End of Time in there....

ediFanoB said...

It seems I'm the only one who didn't like the Anubis Gates. It was not my kind of book.

So I vote for Moorcock.

RedEyedGhost said...

The Anubis Gates

Lou Anders said...

Moorcock.

DiapDealer said...

Anubis Gates.
Powers makes most genre authors seem like 3rd graders.
(no offense intended, I like a lot of those 3rd graders)

Mauberly said...

I say No Present Like Time by Steph Swainston. But you should read them all, really.

Eric M. Edwards said...

Without a doubt, The Anubis Gates is a fine way to discover a truly great fantasy/sci fi author.

That said, the Drawing of the Dark is even better (place to start) though perhaps not the better book between the two.

Best of all, simply put in an order for Tim Power's entire back catalog and don't leave the house until you're done.

Happy Reading

Terry Weyna said...

The Anubis Gates is one of the best bits of fantasy I've ever read. Tim Powers is truly wonderful. Try it!

Anonymous said...

THE ANUBIS GATES is, in my opinion, one of the best time travel tales ever written.