Friday, December 12, 2008

PBW Holiday Giveaway #2 -- Times Change

For the last couple of years I've probably read a hundred blog posts, trade articles and other gems o' wisdom telling me that no one reads anymore. These are always written by the Sit Around, Watch and Complain People. They say that we don't have time to read books. That, for whatever reason being perpetuated by the conspiracy theory of the moment, that we don't care anymore about the written word.

This always makes me laugh for many reasons, one being that they're writing this. If people don't read, isn't writing to bitch about it kind of an exercise in futility?

There are readers out there, my friends. Millions of people around the world use the internet every day. The internet is not all pictures. To use it, you generally have to do some reading. I think there are more people than we can even imagine reading every single minute of the day. And they're writing, too -- show me a kid with a mobile phone, and I bet you they've used it at least once a day not only to call someone, but to "text" them.

I write stories about the future, and never once in any of them have I left out stories. In my StarDoc universe, my space-traveling characters listen to stories or read them on computers. Amazingly enough, they also tell stories to each other. Just as our ancient ancestors told their stories in their ways. They etched them in colored pigments on cave walls. They carved them into clay tablets and baked them in the sun. They painted them on papyrus and animal hides. They tattooed them on their skins. The most frequently-used delivery system for stories is in oral retellings. In every culture, stories have been told around the fire or the hearth or at the bedside, passed along from father to son, mother to daughter.

Now, if you could go back and ask, say, an Egyptian stone cutter what he thought would happen to stories once his people gave up chiseling them into the walls of tombs, he'd have probably said, "Well, that's it, then. We're done for, dude."

There will always be someone to whine about the way it used to be, the way it is now, and how we're all, all doomed. They did it when e-books got started (that was supposed to kill print.) Then again when Y2K was about to arrive (that was supposed to destroy all the world's computers.) Now it seem that it's all about how print is on its way out. Again.

Times change. So do the ways we tell stories. You change with them, or you get left behind. But the pleasure and wonder of storytelling will never die just because times change. The only way stories die is when we stop telling them.

For the second PBW Holiday Giveaway, I have:



A Gift Bag of 11 Wonder-filled Reads

-- unsigned hardcover copy of Just After Sunset by Stephen King

-- unsigned trade paperback copy of Halo ~ The Cole Protocol by Tobias Buckell

-- unsigned paperback copies of The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu, Red by Jordan Summers, and Nightlife, Moonshine and Madhouse by Rob Thurman

-- a signed copy of a rare paperback-size hardcover edition of my S.L. Viehl novel Bio Rescue

-- signed paperback copies of my S.L. Viehl novels Afterburn, Blade Dancer and Omega Games

To have a chance to win this giveaway, in comments name your favorite SF or fantasy story or novel (or, if you can't pick just one, toss your name in the hat) by midnight EST on Saturday, December 13, 2008. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the gift bag with the 11 wonder-filled reads, plus an extra stocking stuffer -- a signed, printed* copy of my December Darkyn novella e-book release, Master of Shadows. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, even if you've won something from PBW in the past.

*Printed by me on bond paper and placed in a three-ring binder.

124 comments:

  1. Too many scifi to choose from. So I'm just going to have to toss my nam in the hat.

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  2. I just reread George Stewart's Earth Abides and read for the first time Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Hey, I was in a post-apocalyptic mood. Two VERY different novels, and each shined in the other's light (or darkness, as the case might be). I'm still thinking about The Road.

    But you asked about favorite SF or fantasy. For fantasy, I'm partial to Tammy's books. And David Gemmell's Legend, too. For SF, I have a soft spot for PK Dick's Valis trilogy. Essential Dick!

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  3. There really are just too many to choose just one. So a few favorites
    Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson, Desolation Road by Ian McDonald. Almost every dang Samaria book by Sharon Shinn. I'm certain I'll remember 12 more the moment I hit submit.

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  4. I'm going to have to say the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

    After a decade of it sitting on the shelf, I recently opened the book to a random page and started reading. The precision of the writing reminded me of why the book was my favorite for so long.

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  5. The LOTR series and anything by Neil Gaiman. :)

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  6. madscientistqld1:15 AM

    There are so many books I like, that I decided to choose the book that has been on the favorites list for the longest - Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, first read as a teenager 18 years ago and still brilliant!

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  7. Soooo many, but for straight sci fi, I think it's Ender's Shadow. For me, somehow, it was so much more interesting to read the parallel story than the actual story. Who knows why.

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  8. So many great ones to choose from but I remember the Jules Verne classics Journey to the Center of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea as being among my first SciFi reads. Also The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.

    I also remember being fascinated with 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clark although I am not sure I ever truly understood it.

    And I loved Michael Crighton---my first by him was The Andromeda Strain. He will be sorely missed.

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  9. Ghatti's Tale: Finders-Seekers - by Gayle Greeno resonated with me for a long time after reading it.


    sorry if this is multiple postings - i have not yet seen the message -comment held for moderator

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  10. Stephen King's THE STAND.

    It even trumps my books :)

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  11. Ray Bradbury's short story "The Last Night in the World." Your average family learns the world will end that night, and in response they just... follow their normal routine. Have dinner, brush their teeth, say goodnight, and go to sleep, knowing they'll never wake up again. A very pretty elegy.

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  12. Sheila2:24 AM

    River Of The Dancing Gods by Jack L. Chalker.
    Then my all time favorite, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

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  13. The Darkyn series

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  14. I think one of my favorites is Simon R. Green's Nightside series.

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  15. Emma Frost, kickass White Queen of the Hellfire Club3:28 AM

    How can I pick just one?

    I read Karin Lowachee's Warchild a few times a year, and it makes me breathless every time. *Incredibly* well written.

    Blade Dancer is another one that appeals to my very nerdy heart. Very Ender's Game-ish.

    Emma Frost
    (because I really am that much of a Marvel Comic nerd as well. X-Men rawk!)

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  16. I have a lot but will go with IN CONQUEST BORN by C. S. Friedman.

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  17. I can't pick one favorite, but I can pick my favorite series. Anita Black, Vampire Hunter by Laurell K. Hamilton. Especially the earlier ones. Hmm. If I'd have to pick I would say Circus of the Damned.

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  18. The Ugly Little Boy by Isaac Asimov.

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  19. My favourite sci-fi has to go to Ender's Game. :) I really had to sit back and think about that one for a while after I read it.

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  20. Mitzi Flyte:

    Fantasy: Mists of Avalon
    Although in my best moments I consider it history.

    One of the many who would still rather read than "sit around and complain".

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  21. has to be Lord of the Rings, I'm afraid, tedious though that might be.

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  22. I read (almost) everything that has aliens and/or starships in it but my all-time favourite SF author is Isaac Asimov. There are many many others but I always come back to re-read his Foundation series. So if it has to be a single book, it's "Foundation" by Isaac Asimov.

    And - well - among the recent purchases, StarDoc was the best one ;-)

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  23. A top favorite for me is actually a series - The Lensman by E.E.Smith. I read all of them about 20 yrs ago and can still recall many of the scenes in my mind.

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  24. Very, very difficult to choose. I would say one of Asimov's Foundation novels or Orson Scott Cards Shadow books, but I see those more as future history than science ficton. Hmmm...I think I'll have to throw my name in the hat. Robin is right. There is just too much to choose from.

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  25. I'll always say The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey. While some argue it's fantasy more than sci fi, I really don't care. :) When I was 11 years old and my world was falling apart, a kid named Jaxom and his white dragon immersed me in a world I'd never entered before...and I love the story to this day. :)

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  26. A month ago I would've said "Daughter of the Empire" by Janny Wurts and Raymond E Feist, but I happened to discover Twiligt recently (yeah, a bit late, I know) and now I think nothing is ever going to beat that book (or the sequels)!

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  27. Issy rd6:51 AM

    too many to mention a favourite story or novel. Must mention Ian M Banks and Stephen Donaldson's Gap series .
    Name in hat
    Issy Doyle

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  28. Carol Berg's Transformation.
    The Coldfire Trilogy by C.S. Friedman

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  29. Anonymous7:04 AM

    Lynn, please DON'T put my name in the hat (I've acquired most of the books on this list already in some form or another), I'm just writing to say that I love your mirror ball christmas tree and am dying for one of my own! It's soo sparkly!

    Jay Montville

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  30. StaceyB7:06 AM

    I'm reading the Cast series by Michelle Sagara. I love these books. Thanks for the contest!
    StaceyB

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  31. Dune and Ender's Game have always been favorites.

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  32. Ooh, it's so hard to pick a favorite! One of my all time favorites is The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin; another is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle; another one is Watership Down by Richard Adams; yet another is The Stand, and...

    I better stop now :)

    Michele L.

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  33. Eh, today it's probably William Gibson's "Count Zero". Tomorrow it may be "Quarantine" by Greg Egan. Or PKD's "A Scanner Darkly". Who knows? Sqrls are changeable.

    ("The Road" was awesome. Deserved every award it got.)

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  34. I have so many favourite books. My favourites of the ones I am currently reading are by Jeff Vandermeer and Stephen Baxter and Patricia Briggs.

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  35. The Ladies of Madrigyn by Barbara Hambly or her Darwather trilogy. Thanks for the contest.

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  36. I loved Once and Future King.

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  37. Currently my favorite is Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner. It has swordfighting and fussy nobles and tragic starcrossed lovers!

    What more could you ask for?

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  38. Too many to choose from. Just throw my name in the hat, please!

    -DiDi

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  39. Name in the hat please

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  40. Keita Haruka8:19 AM

    Urf! You've set me an impossible task here. :P It's impossible to name just one...but I also don't want to just my name in. So I'll settle on the two books I seem to reread most often in either genre: Sci-Fi - "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. Fantasy..."Daughter of the Empire" - R.E. Feist and Janny Wurts. I love the empire trilogy!

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  41. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. That book absolutely haunted me. It's a first contact story about humans going to another planet for the first time. They meant no harm. Really, they didn't....

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  42. I love the Stardoc series! The Stand by Stephen King is a favorite. For fantasy anything by Robin McKinley and although the subject matter was disturbing I thought Deerskin was an outstanding novel. For romance with science fiction I recommend Linnea Sinclair novels - Games of Command is my favorite.

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  43. I'm a big Margaret Atwood fan. I loved Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.

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  44. I'll have to go with the one that dropped me down the proverbial Rabbit's Hole: Joe Haldeman's "The Forever War."

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  45. Gotta say I'd rather win today than yesterday, LOL. Gahhhh I want them.

    And pick a favorite? *snorts with laughter* Not possible.

    I could name authors - you, Holly Lisle, C. E. Murphy, Jeri Smith-Ready, on and on. But actual BOOKS? Oh I'll still laughing. :D

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  46. I have to say Frank Herbert's Dune Series. I had the privilege of setting in on one of Mr. Herberts lectures on writing back in the late Seventies... in fact, it was due to his words that I began my writing journey as well. Intelligent, thought provoking... original. Pretty much sums the man up.

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  47. not sure what my favorite is, but one of the books i remember most is dan simmons hyperion novels.

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  48. *G* THis is a no brainer for me. Endurance...by SL Viehl.

    however, I already have most of those, so don't add me into the draw

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  49. So many to pick from. Neil Gaiman's stuff. LOTR. Brooks' Shanara. Pierce's Alana series. Dune. Ender's Game.

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  50. Favorite romance Sci-Fi/Futuristic - C.J Barry " unraveled"

    Sci-Fi/Fantasy - tough D. Eddings Series and D. Admams - Hitchhiker Books

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  51. I love the Lord of the Rings series and Anne Aguirre's Jax series.

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  52. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now but this is the first time I've ever made a comment here.

    Firstly, well done and thank you! You are a new author to me, and I was introduced to your work and blog by a buddy of mine. I love your writing style and your blog is always on my must-read list.

    And as long as I'm here I might as well enter the contest, huh?

    The two books that shaped my reading habits when I was a little bitty Maria are "A Wrinkle in Time" and "Brave New World".

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  53. I am a Stargate fan.

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  54. I have so many favorites, so I'll go with the first.

    The first fantasy novel I ever read was a stripped paperback copy of Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks. I had no idea what it was til I opened it and found the lovely drawings by the Hildebrandt Brothers. It was a literal moment of the clouds parting and the sun shining down on me with the realization that stories of such wonder existed.

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  55. My dad has me reading the Chronicles of the Lensman series, and while SF isn't normally my cup of tea, they're not bad.

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  56. In high school I read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and LOVED it. I still do. The movie was terrible! I was so disappointed.

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  57. Fantastic! I'm really excited you're offering an alternative book selection.

    I really love Linnea Sinclair. Not strictly sci-fi/fantasy. Games of Command is my fav.

    And, um...Happy Chanukah!

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  58. I'd have to agree with everyone how hard it is to pick, but Ender's Game always sticks with me and is an old favorite..

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  59. Can't decide on one. Throwing my name in the hat!

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  60. Jonathan10:30 AM

    I am a fan of a lot of different authors, but I have a special place in my heart for the books of Jim Butcher.

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  61. Way to many to choose just one, so here's a couple of series.

    McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern
    and LKHamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series.

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  62. I can't choose a favorite author but I will say that Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey are the 2authors whose books started me on my reading addiction. Before that you couldn't get me into a bookstore or library.
    Thanks!

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  63. Ann Maxwell's Fire Dancer series. Fire Dancer, Dancer's Illusion, Dancer's Luck. I remember sitting in a mall play area while my son, now 29, played and reading about Reba and Kirt'n. LOVED them!

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  64. Storytelling will always exist, but what about the financial model that allows some storytellers to practice their art full time? That's what I worry about.

    -o-

    My favorite novel is Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card.

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  65. I'm going to go with Sunshine by Robin Mckinley.

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  66. Anonymous11:26 AM

    I'll always love The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbitt. Can't go wrong with Tolkein! ~JK

    P.S. If no one reads anymore, why are there so many bookstores? Duh!

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  67. I'm afraid I can't pick just one. And I will always have books around me no matter what - I love books! (and the stories that are told in them)

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  68. I loved Sharon Green's Warrior series. The way the characters changed and grew through out the series and the way it ended was great! But of course you can't forget the Stardoc series either. I remember reading an except from a Catherine Coulter book and could not wait to get my hands on the book!

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  69. Gosh, what a wonderful gift bag. I would say either Wild Seed by Octavia Butler or Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey

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  70. I'm going to have to go with two short stories as "favorites": Richard Matheson's "Button, Button," and “The Book of the Grotesque" from Sherwood Anderson's *Winesburg, Ohio*.

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  71. Cynthia Dalton12:06 PM

    Putting my name in the hat.

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  72. My favorite book, regardless of genre, is Kurt Vonnegut's SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE. It's often categorized as SF because aliens play a major role, although Vonnegut himself wasn't fond of that classification.

    My favorite inarguably SF book, and the one I've been encouraging everyone I know to read for the last year, is SPIN by Robert Charles Wilson. This book blew my mind and punched me in the stomach and had the type of writing that made me doubt my own would ever be half as good, but inspired me to try anyway. Wilson balances the cosmic scale of events affecting the whole world with the intimate story of three friends as they progress through their lives. It's simply fantastic.

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  73. The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop

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  74. Anything by Lois McMaster Bujold!

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  75. I really loved Stardust by Neil Gaiman!!

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  76. I'd have to go with The Lord of the Ring books, thanks for the opportuinty at a sweet prize!

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  77. Do sub genres in each count?

    My favorite urban fantasy series at the moment is Kim Harrison's Rachael Morgan/ "Hollows" books. Can't pick just one title out of them, sorry! :)

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  78. Wow to chose one book is like trying to chose a star, there are so many and each wonderful in their own light. I guess I'll just list the last book I just finished: Club Dead, the third Sookie book.

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  79. I'm going to have to say that L.L. Foster's The Servant series is my current fantasy favorite.

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  80. Too many scifi and Fantasy to choose from.
    So I'm just going to have to toss my nam in the hat.

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  81. Anything by Christopher Pike. His books always made me think and ask questions.

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  82. Please add my name into the hat.

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  83. Robin F2:32 PM

    I adore early Mercedes Lackey, but my hands down favorite that always makes me smile is A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold.

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  84. What a great giveaway! Thanks! Stephen King's The Dark Half

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  85. Consider my name thrown in!

    Great post by the way. Kudos for pointing it out and for dissing the evil doers!

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  86. The Curse of Chalion/Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster-Bujold are my favorite fantasies, and somehow unsurprisingly Memory, Komarr, and A Civil Campaign by the same author are my favorite SF books.

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  87. Anne McCaffrey's Pern series has always been one of my favorites

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  88. I can't believe people say that no one reads! I read constantly, and I work with 20 other people who are all very different but the one thing we have in common- we all read SOMETHING! Jeff likes military history, Yvonne likes spiritual books, Sandy likes young adult romance, etc. I am, of course, the sci-fi/fantasy/urban fantasy girl. My all time favorite fantasy books are the His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman. For urban fantasy, I adote the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher. I would love to win this giveaway, all the books look GREAT!

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  89. My current favorite fantasy novel is The Mystic and the Rider by Sharon Shinn.

    *kerplop*

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  90. My favorite is The Book of Ti'Ana(Myst, Book 2) by Rand Miller.

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  91. I'm such a fantasy junkie, I'm not sure if I can pick just one. Let's say The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley; otherwise, Native Tongue by Suzette Haden Elgin!

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  92. Either StarDoc :D) or George RR Martin or Mercedes Lackey.

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  93. My favorite SF and fantasy books? Wow!

    Anything by Holly Lisle
    Anything by SL Viehl

    LOTR by Tolkien
    Dune series by Frank Herbert

    Too many more to list.

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  94. Too many to count. I've read so many of ht ebooks listed.

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  95. AnnaM.6:33 PM

    Hi!

    My favorite short SF story is "Realtime" by Daniel Keyes Moran. Don't know why, but I adore it. He did a wonderful job with AI.

    My favorite SF novel will probably always be Dune. I was 12 when I first read it and fell in love with Paul.

    AnnaM.

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  96. My favorite fantasy is Lord of the Rings. Hands down.

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  97. I enjoyed The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks.

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  98. I love the Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey. (not kid friendly, btw lol). I've read all the books at least once a year, and am avidly watching for the next in the series next year. I've also given away 2 copies of the first three books because I think they are such a good read!

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  99. Eeeeeee! What a tempting giveaway!! You can definitely count me in for this! You are so amazing to be doing all these giveaways like this; you are so good to your readers. :3

    P.S. I hope this comment works because the scroll bar isn't showing up in this comment box. :( If you still get this, this comment comes from Lleeo!

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  100. The Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee. Gorgeous prose and a heartbreaking story.

    Holly Lisle's Hawkspar is outstanding too. I can't imagine the editor wanting to gut half the book.

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  101. I think blogger ate my comment earlier. If not, sorry for the double post! :(

    My favorite fantasy book of the year has been Joely' Sue Burkhart's "The Rose of Shanhasson."

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  102. Karen W.8:52 PM

    Wow... This is hard since I'm a long-time SF/F reader. Asimov's robot stories/novels, anything by Theodore Sturgeon & Clifford D. Simak, Harlan Ellison's short stories, CONTACT by Carl Sagan, and many more. Thanks for all the generous & fun contests! Happy Holidays!

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  103. something by terry pratchett. :)

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  104. I can't decide. Just throw my name in the hat, please!

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  105. Love your stardoc sereies. But fantasy would be Robin D. Ownes summoning series. and there are many more that i love.

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  106. Too many to choose from - Peter F Hamilton's books always top the list, though.

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  107. Too many. But, oooh... Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy! Fantastic reading.

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  108. Too many to choose from but.. Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy.. fantastic read!

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  109. I love Stranger in a Strangeland and Time Enough for Love. Both by Robert Heinlein.

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  110. Anonymous11:01 PM

    Hmm I will have to go with the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton and the Kushiel series by Jacquelyn Carey.

    Terri W.

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  111. Picking just one is way too difficult, I'll just toss my name into the hat.

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  112. Once a Hero by Elizabeth Moon.

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  113. Too many SF favorites! The whole Stardoc series; A Deepness in the Sky by Verner Vinge; the classics like Dune and Ender's Game - I'll have to choose a favorite fantasy novel -whoa! Too many there also.

    So - one I've re-read, again, recently, the first Darkyn novel, "If Angels Burn". Throw my name in hat please.

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  114. Paula3:14 AM

    I can't decide on the best one. But to mention at least something, the 3rd book in Robin Hobb's Faarseer Trilogy is the first fantasy book I remember actually buying because I couldn't wait to get it from the library.

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  115. Too many!

    Probably the best is a short story I read whose author I have long since forgotten, but I do remember it appeared in a book edited by Aidan Chambers. The name was "Rigel Lights". Brilliant story.

    Ender's Game is a fave, as is Dune.

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  116. Definitely a lot to choose from but seeing as others have said more than one I'll do the same:

    Ender's Game
    Brave New World
    Redemption of Althalus (D & L Eddings)
    Good Omens by Terry Pratchett
    (And all his other books)
    LotR
    Alanna series by Tamora Pierce
    Liveship Traders by Robin Hobb
    The dragons of Pern stuff by Anne McCaffery
    Twilight Saga
    Harry Potter!

    I told you I couldn't choose...

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  117. My favorite fantasy novel would have to be one of the first I ever read and that was Exiles: The Ruins of Ambrai by Melanie Rawn. I still read it once every couple years. Unfortunately, it was part of a trilogy that, 14 years later, STILL hasn't been finished.

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  118. I have a ridiculous love for short stories, especially "The Cask of Amontillado", "The Cold Equations" (yeah, I know, the science fails, but I love the story just the same) and "The Secret Shih Tan". But my all-time favorite is "The Spiral Dance", by R Garcia y Robertson. I still recall the last line, as if I was reading it for the first time - "Anne looked at Jock with loving eyes, thinking how just this once, he 'war the only man na dancin'.'

    *sigh*

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  119. I love fantasy and Science Fiction so I have a lot of favourites. Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, Laurell K Hamilton, Isaac Asimov, Alan Dean Foster - the list goes on and on :D

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  120. Too many to chose from to pick a favorite. However we never forgort our first -- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.

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  121. It's a difficult choice, but, because of sentimental value, I think I have to say Wizard's First Rule. My boyfriend got me to start reading the series just before we started dating, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

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  122. Pick one? Yeah, right. Just add me to the hat, please.

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