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Q: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: barneca-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 14 May 2006 11:54 PDT
Expires: 13 Jun 2006 11:54 PDT
Question ID: 728747
I recently started listening to audiobooks to keep from going insane
on a pretty long daily commute.  I will soon finish ?The Dark Tower?
series by Stephen King, and am looking for advice on other books.

Back when I had time to read, you know, actual books, I had a friend
who worked in a bookstore, and if I named an author or series, she was
quite adept at recommending other authors/books that she knew I?d
like.  I have, over the years and after several moves, lost touch with
her.  I?m hoping someone here has a similar ?touch?.
thinks it can do this, but I haven?t been impressed.  I?d like a
human?s opinions.

 The $15 price is for a list of 5-10 quality suggestions.  My criteria:

1.	All should be available as audiobooks.  Most should be available on or for free download (if such a thing exists).  If
something is ?perfect? and sold elsewhere, I?ll take it.  At this
point I don?t want to have to ?join? any other book rental club,
2.	Length: I?m trying to get the biggest bang for my buck.  Audible
generally charges me one ?credit? no matter if the book is 4 hours
long or 16 hours long.  So other things being equal, the longer the
3.	Series are good, but not necessary.
4.	Try to find something like:
?	The Dark Tower, by Stephen King
?	The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R.R.R. Tolkein
?	The Foundation/Robot Series, by Isaac Asimov
?	The Once and Future King, by T.H. White
5.	Don?t count Chronicles of Narnia or Harry Potter, I already plan to
try the first book of each series and see if I like them.
6.	Obviously, if you name something I?ve read and not listed, it won?t
count against you.  I basically stopped reading for pleasure about 10
years ago, so anything written since then is pretty much guaranteed
not to duplicate something I?ve already read.

I used to be semi-omnivorous in my reading habits; if this works out,
I?ll try to see if someone can match books I?ve enjoyed about history,
John Irving, etc.  But let?s focus on SF/fantasy books for now.

I lurk here fairly regularly when I am trying to get to sleep (no
offence), and respect all the answerers? opinions enough so that
?quality suggestions? can mean whatever you think it means.  If anyone
takes this seriously enough to want to know more about my tastes, feel
free to ask personal questions for a clarification.

And, of course, I?m cheap and weaselly enough to hope that I can get
some free Comment suggestions too!

Thank you.

Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
Answered By: djbaker-ga on 14 May 2006 16:38 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for the fun question!  I used to work in a bookstore myself, so
I have given quite a number of book recommendations in the past.  I've
broken my list into two categories below.  The first list is the 10
that you asked for.  The second contains titles that you may be
interested in as well. I broke them into two different lists so that I
could provide you a "cream of the crop" list to keep you from getting

 "The List"          

A Game of Thrones
by: George R.R. Martin

This is the first book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series that has
taken the fantasy book world by storm.  A favorite among Tolkien
enthusiasts, this book (along with those in the rest of the series) is
*long*.  It has been said that Martin "out Tolkein's Tolkein".

From Publisher Weekly:
"In a world where the approaching winter will last four decades, kings
and queens, knights and renegades struggle for control of a throne.
Some fight with sword and mace, others with magic and poison. Beyond
the Wall to the north, meanwhile, the Others are preparing their army
of the dead to march south as the warmth of summer drains from the
land. After more than a decade devoted primarily to TV and screen
work, Martin (The Armageddon Rag, 1983) makes a triumphant return to
high fantasy with this extraordinarily rich new novel, the first of a
trilogy. Although conventional in form, the book stands out from
similar work by Eddings, Brooks and others by virtue of its superbly
developed characters, accomplished prose and sheer bloody-mindedness.
Although the romance of chivalry is central to the culture of the
Seven Kingdoms, and tournaments, derring-do and handsome knights
abound, these trappings merely give cover to dangerous men and women
who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. When Lord Stark of
Winterfell, an honest man, comes south to act as the King's chief
councilor, no amount of heroism or good intentions can keep the realm
under control. It is fascinating to watch Martin's characters mature
and grow, particularly Stark's children, who stand at the center of
the book. Martin's trophy case is already stuffed with major prizes,
including Hugos, Nebulas, Locus Awards and a Bram Stoker. He's
probably going to have to add another shelf, at least."

Amazon User Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Audible User Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

If you like this book there are 4 other books in the series at the
moment.  More are expected to be released.

Audible Link:


Ender's Game
By: Orson Scott Card

Ender's Game is in the Sci-Fi realm of things.  One of my personal
favorites, it is not the longest of books but it is nothing short of
amazing.  This is also part of a series, other titles include "Ender's
Shadow" and "Speaker for the Dead".

From the New York Times:
"Intense is the word for Ender's Game. Aliens have attacked Earth
twice and almost destroyed the human species. To make sure humans win
the next encounter, the world government has taken to breeding
military geniuses -- and then training them in the arts of war... The
early training, not surprisingly, takes the form of 'games'... Ender
Wiggin is a genius among geniuses; he wins all the games... He is
smart enough to know that time is running out. But is he smart enough
to save the planet?"

Amazon User Rating: 4 1/2 Stars
Audible User Rating:  4 1/2 Stars

Audible Link:


Do Android's Dream of Electric Sheep?
By: Philip K. Dick

You know this book probably by another title.  The movie based on this
book was released in 1982 and is considered one of the greatest Sci-Fi
movies ever made.  That movie was "Blade Runner" and it was loosely
based on Philip K. Dick's novel.  This recommendation is more for any
of Philip K. Dick's novels, which include "A Scanner Darkly" (also
about to be released as a movie).  Dick has been called "The most
consistently brilliant science fiction writer in the world." A fact
which is proudly displayed on the inside flap of all his books.

"By 2021, the World War had killed millions, driving entire species
into extinction and sending mankind off-planet. Those who remained
coveted any living creature, and for people who couldn't afford one,
companies built incredibly realistic simulacrae: horses, birds, cats,
sheep. . .
They even built humans. Emigrees to Mars received androids so
sophisticated it was impossible to tell them from true men or women.
Fearful of the havoc these artificial humans could wreak, the
government banned them from Earth. But when androids didn't want to be
identified, they just blended in.  Rick Deckard was an officially
sanctioned bounty hunter whose job was to find rogue androids, and to
retire them. But cornered, androids tended to fight back, with deadly

Amazon Customer Rating: 4 stars

The one note I will make is that this is not the longest book.  It
clocks in on audible at just about 3 hours.

Audible Link:


American Gods
By: Neil Gaiman

Gaiman has done a number of amazing books, including Stardust. 
Unfortunately Audible only has a couple of Gaiman's books available so
the only one I can put on the list is American Gods.

From Publisher's Weekly:
"Titans clash, but with more fuss than fury in this fantasy demi-epic
from the author of Neverwhere. The intriguing premise of Gaiman's tale
is that the gods of European yore, who came to North America with
their immigrant believers, are squaring off for a rumble with new
indigenous deities: "gods of credit card and freeway, of Internet and
telephone, of radio and hospital and television, gods of plastic and
of beeper and of neon." They all walk around in mufti, disguised as
ordinary people, which causes no end of trouble for 32-year-old
protagonist Shadow Moon, who can't turn around without bumping into a
minor divinity. Released from prison the day after his beloved wife
dies in a car accident, Shadow takes a job as emissary for Mr.
Wednesday, avatar of the Norse god Grimnir, unaware that his boss's
recruiting trip across the American heartland will subject him to
repeat visits from the reanimated corpse of his dead wife and brutal
roughing up by the goons of Wednesday's adversary, Mr. World. At last
Shadow must reevaluate his own deeply held beliefs in order to
determine his crucial role in the final showdown."

Amazon Customer Rating: 4 stars
Audible Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Audible Link:


A Short History of Nearly Everything
By: Bill Bryson

This one is not science fiction as much as it is science history.  The
genre may sound boring but this is one of the most interesting and
entertaining books I have ever read.  I can not speak highly enough of
this book.

"From primordial nothingness to this very moment, A Short History of
Nearly Everything reports what happened and how humans figured it out.
To accomplish this daunting literary task, Bill Bryson uses hundreds
of sources, from popular science books to interviews with luminaries
in various fields. His aim is to help people like him, who rejected
stale school textbooks and dry explanations, to appreciate how we have
used science to understand the smallest particles and the unimaginably
vast expanses of space. With his distinctive prose style and wit,
Bryson succeeds admirably. Though A Short History clocks in at a
daunting 500-plus pages and covers the same material as every science
book before it, it reads something like a particularly detailed novel
(albeit without a plot). Each longish chapter is devoted to a topic
like the age of our planet or how cells work, and these chapters are
grouped into larger sections such as "The Size of the Earth" and "Life

Amazon Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Audible Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Audible Link:


Snow Crash
By: Neal Stephenson

Unfortunately, Cryptonomicon is not available from  Snow
Crash is another Neal Sthephenson book which focuses more on the cyber
end of the sci-fi realm.  Stephenson is a very inventive writer and
Snow Crash is an original, exciting, fast paced novel.

From Publisher's Weekly:
"One of the added pleasures of the success of Stephenson's recent
books (Cryptonomicon, etc.) is this better-late-than-never audio
version of his third (and arguably best) novel, which continues to be
a paperback bestseller. Snow Crash (1992), which helped earn the word
"cyberpunk" a place in history, is set in the not-too-distant future
where the Mafia controls pizza delivery, the U.S. is a vast, mall-like
patchwork of corporate-franchise city-states, and young Hiro
Protagonist (yes, that's the hero protagonist's name) uses his
computer game wizardry and pizza delivering skills to combat a deadly
new designer drug (and computer virus) called Snow Crash. "

Amazon Customer Review: 4 stars
Audible Customer Review: 4 stars

Audible Link:


The Colour of Magic
By: Terry Pratchett

Pratchett's works are a little on the lighter side of the
sci-fi/fantasy genre.  The "Colour of Magic" is the first book in his
incredibly popular Discworld series.  If you like it there are 29 more
books in the series available for you to read/listen to.

"he Colour of Magic is Terry Pratchett's maiden voyage through the
bizarre land of Discworld. His entertaining and witty series has grown
to more than 20 books, and this is where it all starts--with the
tourist Twoflower and his hapless wizard guide, Rincewind ("All
wizards get like that ... it's the quicksilver fumes. Rots their
brains. Mushrooms, too."). Pratchett spoofs fantasy clichés--and
everything else he can think of--while marshalling a profusion of
characters through a madcap adventure"

From Audiofile:
"The first thing required of a performer reading one of Terry
Pratchett's zany comic fantasies is a command of tone to create an
ambience reminiscent of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Nigel
Planer gets it just right (with amazingly clear diction for a man with
his tongue so far into his cheek). He also delivers a marvelous array
of aurally overdrawn, cartoon-like character voices. There is a plot,
involving (surprise, surprise) an odd assortment of types going on a
Journey or Quest. But the real delight of this book, on the page or in
the ear, is the moment-to-moment barrage of outrageously funny
language and quirky ideas."

Amazon Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Audible Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Audible Link:


The Eye of the World
By: Robert Jordan

The "Eye of the World" is the first in a very long series of books
known as the Wheel of Time.  I have not personally read this series,
however during my time working at the bookstore these were incredibly

"The peaceful villagers of Emond's Field pay little heed to rumors of
war in the western lands until a savage attack by troll-like minions
of the Dark One forces three young men to confront a destiny which has
its origins in the time known as The Breaking of the World. This
richly detailed fantasy presents a fully realized, complex adventure
which will appeal to fans of classic quests."

Amazon Customer Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Audible Customer Ratings: 4 1/2 stars

Audible Link:


The Sword of Shannara
By: Terry Brooks

Another exceedingly popular series where I worked, "The Sword of
Shannara" is the first book in the Shannara series.

"Living in peaceful Shady Vale, Shea Ohmsford knew little of the
troubles that plagued the rest of the world. Then the giant,
forbidding Allanon revaled that the supposedly dead Warlock Lord was
plotting to destory the world. The sole weapon against this Power of
Darkness was the Sword of Shannara, which could only be used by a true
heir of Shannara--Shea being the last of the bloodline, upon whom all
hope rested. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flew into the
Vale, seeking to destroy Shea. To save the Vale, Shea fled, drawing
the Skull Bearer after him.... "

Amazon User Rating: 4 stars

Audible Link:


Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
By: Susanna Clarke

This one is an amazing book which seemed to come out of nowhere but
flew off the shelves.  Definitely worth checking out.

"It's 1808 and that Corsican upstart Napoleon is battering the English
army and navy. Enter Mr. Norrell, a fusty but ambitious scholar from
the Yorkshire countryside and the first practical magician in hundreds
of years. What better way to demonstrate his revival of British magic
than to change the course of the Napoleonic wars? Susanna Clarke's
ingenious first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, has the
cleverness and lightness of touch of the Harry Potter series, but is
less a fairy tale of good versus evil than a fantastic comedy of
manners, complete with elaborate false footnotes, occasional period
spellings, and a dense, lively mythology teeming beneath the
narrative. Mr. Norrell moves to London to establish his influence in
government circles, devising such powerful illusions as an 11-day
blockade of French ports by English ships fabricated from rainwater.
But however skillful his magic, his vanity provides an Achilles heel,
and the differing ambitions of his more glamorous apprentice, Jonathan
Strange, threaten to topple all that Mr. Norrell has achieved."

Amazon User Rating: 4 1/2 stars
Audible User Rating: 4 1/2 stars

Audible Link:



Other books you should check out...

The books on this list are great but not appropriate for the above
list for a variety of reasons.  Either they did not fit into the
genre's which you specified, I was not confident that you would
necessarily like them, or they just were not quite top ten list
material.  They are worth a look though as I imagine you will probably
enjoy most of them.


The Company
By:  Robert Littell

Hands down, the best book I have ever read.  "The Company" is the
*epic* fictional history of the CIA.  Littell is the master of the spy
novel and this is his magnum opus.  The story starts in the early days
of the CIA and follows it up to present, using real details when
available (a lot of the characters are real people).

Audible Link:


By: George Orwell

I'm sure that you have probably read this, but I included it in case
you had not.  It would have made the top 10 list had it not been so
old.  A must read if you have not already.

Audible Link:


The Artemis Fowl Series
By: Eoin Colfer 

Technically kids books, the Artemis Fowl series is a fun and light
sci-fi/fantasy series.  Much like the Harry Potter books, they are
intended for young adults but easily enjoyed by people of all ages.

Audible Link:


The Historian
By: Elizabeth Kostova

Publisher's Description:
"Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds
an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all
addressed to "My dear and unfortunate successor", and they plunge her
into a world she never dreamed of: a labyrinth where the secrets of
her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an
inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity
has ever known, and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of
that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad
the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis
of the legend of Dracula. Generations of historians have risked their
reputations, their sanity, and even their lives to learn the truth
about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula. Now one young woman must decide
whether to take up this quest herself, to follow her father in a hunt
that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young
scholar and her mother was still alive.

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern
world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed, and that
he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable
ends? The answers to these questions cross time and borders, as first
the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy
League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern
Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters
and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the
Impaler's dark reign, and about a time-defying pact that may have kept
his awful work alive down through the ages."

Audible Link:


Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
By: Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

You never knew that economics could be this interesting.  Another
non-fiction book but fascinating and gripping just the same.

"Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.
The annual Nobel Prize winner in that field never receives as much
publicity as his or her compatriots in peace, literature, or physics.
But if such slights are based on the notion that economics is dull, or
that economists are concerned only with finance itself, Steven D.
Levitt will change some minds. In Freakonomics (written with Stephen
J. Dubner), Levitt argues that many apparent mysteries of everyday
life don't need to be so mysterious: they could be illuminated and
made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing
connections. For example, Levitt traces the drop in violent crime
rates to a drop in violent criminals and, digging further, to the Roe
v. Wade decision that preempted the existence of some people who would
be born to poverty and hardship. Elsewhere, by analyzing data gathered
from inner-city Chicago drug-dealing gangs, Levitt outlines a
corporate structure much like McDonald's, where the top bosses make
great money while scores of underlings make something below minimum
wage. And in a section that may alarm or relieve worried parents,
Levitt argues that parenting methods don't really matter much and that
a backyard swimming pool is much more dangerous than a gun. These
enlightening chapters are separated by effusive passages from Dubner's
2003 profile of Levitt in The New York Times Magazine, which led to
the book being written. In a book filled with bold logic, such
back-patting veers Freakonomics, however briefly, away from what
Levitt actually has to say. Although maybe there's a good economic
reason for that too, and we're just not getting it yet."

Audible Link:


The Time Traveler's Wife
By: Audrey Niffenegger

From Publishers Weekly:
"This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an
intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a
touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with
"Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly
disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future,
usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to
some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his
wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him
exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never
seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to
Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood
and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and
Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses
the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their
unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry.
Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when
he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his

Audible Link:


By: Stephen King

Publisher's Description:
"On October 1st, God is in His heaven, the stock market stands at
10,140, most of the planes are on time, and Clayton Riddell, an artist
from Maine, is almost bouncing up Boylston Street in Boston. He's just
landed a comic book deal that might finally enable him to support his
family by making art instead of teaching it. He's already picked up a
gift for his long-suffering wife, and he knows just what he'll get for
his boy Johnny. Why not a little treat for himself? Clay's feeling
good about the future.

That changes in a hurry. The cause of the devastation is a phenomenon
that will come to be known as The Pulse, and the delivery method is a
cell phone. Everyone's cell phone. Clay and the few desperate
survivors who join him suddenly find themselves in the pitch-black
night of civilization's darkest age, surrounded by chaos, carnage, and
a human horde that has been reduced to its basest nature...and then
begins to evolve.

There are one hundred and ninety-three million cell phones in the
United States alone. Who doesn't have one? Stephen King's utterly
gripping, gory, and fascinating novel doesn't just ask the question
"Can you hear me now?" It answers it with a vengeance."

Audible Link


Deception Point
By: Dan Brown

Dan Brown has become a lightning rod for criticism with his book "The
Da Vinci Code" however that does not mean his writing is bad. 
Regardless of ones feeling about The Da Vinci code, you should check
out one of his other books "Deception Point" which is fantastic.

Publisher's Summary:
"When a NASA satellite discovers an astonishingly rare object buried
deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a
much-needed victory, a victory with profound implications for NASA
policy and the impending presidential election. To verify the
authenticity of the find, the White House calls upon the skills of
intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton. Accompanied by a team of experts,
including the charismatic scholar Michael Tolland, Rachel travels to
the Arctic and uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific
trickery, a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into
controversy. But before she can warn the President, Rachel and Michael
are ambushed by a deadly team of assassins. Fleeing for their lives
across a desolate and lethal landscape, their only hope for survival
is to discover who is behind this masterful plot. The truth, they will
learn, is the most shocking deception of all."

Audible Link:


Also, I thought you would be interesting in this list.  Amazon has a
of the Stephen King books which have a connection to the Dark Tower

Enjoy the listening!


Request for Answer Clarification by barneca-ga on 11 Dec 2006 14:07 PST
hi djbaker,

no clarification needed, just wanted to say thanks again for the good
book advice before GA closed up shop completely.  it has really eased
the commute.  i've gone thru all available "song of ice and fire"
books, "american gods", "short history of nearly everything",
"freakonomics", and am now halfway thru "jonathon strange and mr.
norrell".  not one misfire yet; i enjoyed them all.  your list should
last me a good while longer.  after that....  :(

good luck.

barneca-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $3.00

Thank you for a very promising and thorough list.  I looked up the
first ten for starters, and a brief perusal gives about 20% I’ve
already read, 20% that appear somewhat interesting, and 61% (rounding
error) that look very promising.  .610 is a pretty good average,
especially based on limited info, and I find it promising that I liked
the two books you recommended that I’ve already read.

I look forward to delving into the rest of your above-and-beyond-the-call list.

Thank you.


Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: sonoritygenius-ga on 14 May 2006 12:39 PDT
I know what a long commute can do! ( I KNOW << ) on Subway for 2
hours.. it feels like each second is 20 years long (especially with
all the people full!)

I would like to suggest The Firm, and The Client by John Grisham --
they were my first two "audibles" - I loved them alot! and became
addicted to listening to novels.. though they are mostly
thriller/fiction, I think you will enjoy them seeing as you've read

Scifi novels, I finished reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon  -I
am not sure if words can ever describe my experience!! Check it out,
its a great read! very fun.

I am reading Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife right now
(2 days ago) and so far I am very addicted into listening to it while
not on commute.

I cant wait for the researcher to answer this though!
Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: barneca-ga on 14 May 2006 19:05 PDT

Thanks for the advice.  Saw both Grisham movies; I liked them well
enough, and I know books?movies, but I?m not sure if I want to use
precious audible credits on things I?ve already seen/read.

Cryptonomicon sounds like something I?d like to read as a book, but
evidently the only audio version available is -very- heavily abridged.
 I forgot to mention it in the question, but I am not a fan of
abridged books (for several reasons, one of which is that I?m trying
to spend time, not save it).  Can?t just buy the book, since I?m

The writeup on Time Traveler's Wife looks interesting; djbaker liked
it too.  I will likely give it a try next month.  Thank you.

Hope you can make some use of djbaker?s list as well.

Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: thither-ga on 14 May 2006 19:40 PDT
You might want to look into Stephen R. Donaldson's "The Chronicles of
Thomas Covenant" - Lord of the Rings-ish.


"Since their publication more than two decades ago, the initial six
books in The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant series have sold more than
six million copies and have been published in 10 countries around the
world. Now, starting with The Runes of the Earth, Stephen R. Donaldson
returns with a quartet of new Covenant novels that are certain to
satisfy his millions of fans, and attract countless new followers."

Have a good day.
Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: barneca-ga on 14 May 2006 19:53 PDT

I was just about to say that I had already read, and enjoyed, that
series 15-20 years ago, back when I was a pup.  Then I took the
trouble to actually read what you posted.  A new series, eh?  As I
evidently like to say, very ?promising??

Thank you, you have a good day too.

Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: thursdaylast23-ga on 14 May 2006 23:10 PDT
"A book worth reading only in childhood is not worth reading even
then." C.S. Lewis

Given the above comment and your willingness to try the Narnia and
Harry Potter series, I'll recommend a couple other series that fall in
the same genre. Both my kids and I loved them, and they are
well-written and conceived. The first is Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles
of Prydain 5-book sequence (beginning with The Book of Three, all
available unabridged from; the series chronicles the
quest for identity of Taran, a one-time pig-keeper. It was originally
recommended to me by one of my college English profs, who read it to
his son. The second is Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising 5-book
sequence. It begins with Over Sea, Under Stone, which features several
very ordinary children holidaying in Wales with (as it turns out)
their rather un-ordinary grandfather, but also involves a particularly
imaginative breadth of multiple times/characters in the rest of the
series. The latter is, unhappily, not available in its entirety from (they're listing books 2 & 5--huh??), but my local library
says they're available on cassette and cd. If you're well-read in
fantasy already, you probably already know about the Ursula LeGuin
Wizard of Earthsea books (although I see there's a new addition to
that series that I wasn't aware of, thanks to

I'll make another suggestion that is a very unique fantasy/reality
mix. Let me start by saying that I have very little interest in
sports, particularly baseball (forgive me), but Michael Chabon's
Summerland, in spite of being entirely based on that game, held me
spellbound, perhaps because he read it himself on the audiobook I had.
Again, I'm not seeing this on, but it was available
as an unabridged audiobook from my library, and I see it listed on
eBay and in cd or cassette format.

And although I'm not a librarian, I'd like to recommend that resource,
if you're not limited to books in electronic form. I've found I can
request audiobooks online, even before the library has actually
acquired them, and pick them up at the drive-through of the closest
branch. My library allows me to make up to 5 suggestions a month for
acquisition, and puts me first on the list if they decide to order any
of the titles I suggest. And all for free!

I don't want to waste space posting longer descriptions of books you
may already have read, but if any of the titles I've mentioned sound
interesting, I'm happy to post further details.
Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: barneca-ga on 15 May 2006 04:55 PDT

Thanks for the suggestions on Alexander and Cooper.  From what I see
on Amazon, I may save them for a couple of years or so and try them
out (in book form) with my kids.  I suspect my oldest is going to be
into this kind of thing, but I?m probably more than a year away from
my youngest being able to sit still long enough to listen to a
non-Clifford bedtime story.

I definitely wouldn?t say ?well read? in fanstasy; I used to be more
into SF than fantasy, but would sometimes just stumble upon things in
bookstores, and if I liked them I read the whole series.  I do know
LeGuin, but didn?t like it, can?t put my finger on why, I know others
loved it; that was a long time ago too.

I?ll look into Summerland when I get back tonight.  Thanks for all of
the suggestions.

Already used up my library?s tiny audiobook resource.  Most are
self-help books on cassette and in rough shape.  I?m actually going to
donate some of the books-on-cd I used before I switched to downloading
files, but of course that does me no good.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, I look forward to sharing some
of these things with my kids.

Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: sgiovanni-ga on 21 Sep 2006 17:47 PDT

Sorry for the delayed response but I just saw this question and had to
respond.  I just finished reading Eragon, by Christopher Paolini and
it is *superb*.  If you love Tolkien and even Star Wars you'll really
enjoy this book.  I'm about to start on the second one in the Trilogy
(Eldest) and I hear it's even better.
Subject: Re: SF/fantasy audiobook suggestions
From: barneca-ga on 22 Sep 2006 05:33 PDT
hi sgiovanni,

thanks for the advice, i'll add it to my queue.

i took djbaker's advice on several books, and am now 2.5 books through
George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series. i like it. 
djbaker mentioned that some people think it "out tolkein's tolkein",
and i disagee with that, but it's still good.  if you haven't tried
it, you might consider it.  warning: it is LONG.


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