I thought this was a pretty good list, and quite helpful for me to add the first books on Goodreads. I wonder how long it took to research and compile this list. I’d like to add that Malazan isn’t just written by Erikson, but some were written by Ian Cameron Esslemont, the co-creator of the world of Malazan.


Every one of you has done it: fallen in love with an epic, fantasy series that goes on and on forever. The ones that begin so grandly then morph into multi-volume nightmares that never seem to end. Even the authors know they are bloated beasts, for example take Tad Williams, writer of the “Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn” series, who labeled that trilogy “The Bloated Epic.”

Having gone through this horror myself more than once, I wondered what fantasy series in my life (I was born in 1970) were the longest and most bloated. Not “bloated” in the sense that they were terrible reads (though there are some that were horrid) but rather that the author had contracted “Herbert’s Syndrome”, in which he is overwhelmed by the temptation to keep expanding his popular universe. (I’ve read that the Fantasy Review came up with the label “Herbert’s Syndrome” when Dune creator Frank…

View original post 1,477 more words

Religion in Speculative Fiction

When creating a new world, not only do you have to develop the lands, the characters, the history, and the culture, but you also have to think about religion.  Religion is a major force in cultural development and history.  Just look at the history of Earth.  Most wars were fought because of religious reasons. Religions were used by leaders to control the people.  Likewise, religions were banned so leaders wouldn’t have their hold over the people influenced by an unwanted religious group.

In science fiction, religion tends to have less of an impact on the story, though there are exceptions.  In Dan Simmons’ Hyperion Cantos, many religions, altered from their present condition, are present and powerful.  In particular, the Endymion novel uses a kind of perverted neo-Catholicism to control the people.  Orson Scott Card’s Ender series also uses religion, particularly in Speaker for the Dead, where the Catholic church is present on the planet he goes to.  Ender himself is Atheist, though he works with the local church to try resolve their problem.  Card is a devout Mormon, and has rather strong and controversial religious and political views, yet he creates a world where he employs other religions, or even a lack of religion.  However, with the current trend towards secularism and the growing number of nonreligious people in the world, I would tend to think the future is less religious.

In fantasy, religion is extremely important.  It’s often the source of the struggle, as magical powers are derived from supernatural sources.  There’s a powerful cult-like religion based around the evil in fantasy, while the good side may use several gods or maybe even a more natural source, such as how Wicca and native North American people draw their beliefs from nature.  In any case, religions in fantasy are central to the cultures, magic, plot, and even characters.  Different races and mystical creatures all have their own spiritual beliefs.

In my upcoming books based on Ariadne, religion does play a part.  I won’t go into details, but one of the religions is not based on any Earth religion.  The other is entirely based on Earth, though it’s different than what we’ve got on our world.  The former will play a major role in a couple of the planned books.  While I don’t follow any religion as an Atheist, I still find religion plays an important role in speculative fiction, as well as in our own world.  Without it, everything would be different.

How do you feel about religion’s role in science fiction and fantasy? Please leave a comment.

Facebook Author Page Now Open

This was originally posted on my author page. Please read, and also follow that page!

Jay Dee Archer

I’ve started an author page on Facebook.  If you use Facebook and would like updates that way, please head on over and like my author page.

I’d also like to take the time to remind you of other ways of interacting with my via social media.  You can follow me on Twitter, as well as on Google Plus.  If you use Goodreads, please send a friend request there.

In case you’re wondering, Journey to Ariadne is coming along, albeit a bit slowly lately.  It’s been outlined completely, with most characters established.  But keep watching, as new parts will come out soon.

View original post

Reading and Writing Updates

This post has a bit of everything.

Reading seems to have slowed down.  At one point, I was 2 books ahead on my Goodreads reading challenge of 25 books this year.  I’m now 3 books behind.  Why?  I’m reading a couple somewhat longer books than usual.  The eBook is the longest eBook I’ve read so far, while the paper book is a Wheel of Time book.  They’re long.  I’ll be finished that one very soon, though.  Then I get to read some shorter books, and I should catch up fairly quickly.  I’ve revised my reading order by adding a bunch.  This time, I decided to alternate between best and worst overall ratings on Goodreads, though I added a couple others as well.  Here’s the new order:

  1. The Wheel of Time: The Great Hunt – Robert Jordan (currently reading)
  2. 2010: Odyssey Two – Arthur C. Clarke
  3. Eric – Terry Pratchett
  4. The Reality Dysfunction Part 2: Expansion – Peter F. Hamilton
  5. A Knight of the Word – Terry Brooks
  6. Red Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson
  7. Throne of Jade – Naomi Novik
  8. Life, the Universe and Everything – Douglas Adams
  9. Wizard’s First Rule – Terry Goodkind
  10. 2061: Odyssey Three – Arthur C. Clarke
  11. Angel Fire East – Terry Brooks
  12. Xenocide – Orson Scott Card
  13. The Rise of Endymion – Dan Simmons
  14. Moving Pictures – Terry Pratchett
  15. A Storm of Swords – George R. R. Martin
  16. The Seeds of Earth – Michael Cobley
  17. So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish – Douglas Adams
  18. 3001: The Final Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
  19. Homeland – R. A. Salvatore
  20. Star Trek: Nemesis – J. M. Dillard
  21. Deadhouse Gates – Steven Erikson
  22. Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare
  23. The Neutronium Alchemist – Peter F. Hamilton
  24. The Iliad – Homer
  25. The Dragon Reborn – Robert Jordan
  26. Mercury – Ben Bova
  27. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
  28. Redemption Ark – Alastair Reynolds
  29. Reaper Man – Terry Pratchett
  30. Green Mars – Kim Stanley Robinson

That’s a long list, and I won’t finish it this year. However, I’m going to try to set aside more time at home for reading.

As for writing, Journey to Ariadne is coming along, though nothing is being published on my website yet.  I have plenty of work to do on it.  But it is coming. I also have another project going, and this time, it’s for an actual magazine.  I’m writing blog posts for the World Spa & Travel Magazine blog.  Check it out!  My posts are under my name. The magazine is an actual print travel magazine from Singapore, though the writers are quite international.

Finally, with the upcoming 12th Doctor in Doctor Who, I’m getting pretty interested in starting to watch the revival series.  I used to watch the old show every weekend on PBS when I was a teenager.

So, what are you up to?