FAQ Search Register Login



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Author Message
 Post subject: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:20 pm 
Offline
Goddess
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 5732
Location: The Shore
Because he deserves his own thread!

I read the Spellsinger series ages ago & so I already knew what a lovely storyteller & exceptionally strong character writer (definitely one of, if not the, strongest I've ever read) he was. And you all know how much I love strong characters. Even his non-human characters are steeped in personality.

Someone, I think it was Xerius, pointed out that I should try Foster's signature Flinx series. Recently, I did.

Well, I've read the first book, For Love of Mother-Not, now I need to go buy the others. New or used, I must have them!

The story is short (only about 250 pages in paperback). It's simply told & wholey engaging & follows the adventures of the orphan, Flinx, & his minidragon companion, Pip (yes, Flinx names it after the Dickens character, lol). Flinx has a strange Talent that's starting to manifest itself but when someone kidnaps his adopted mother, he goes to rescue her & in doing so, discovers exactly what he & Pip are capable of.

Definitely two thumbs up. I'd give it more thumbs if I had them :P

_________________
"I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen."
~John Steinbeck


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:58 pm 
Offline
The Scribe of Athero
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 7448
Location: FantasyFic HQ
I love the Alan Dean Foster books too. I have read the entire Spellsinger series (7 books I think?) and loved JonTom and all his furry and feathered friends. He makes that world seem so real. And you never know what's going to happen when he Sings a song. I especially enjoyed the one where he Sang the song "The Sloop John B" and a sloop appeared...with a malevolent mind of its own :P (Note to Z: This is a series I would recommend that you read vis a vis your Dragon Princess story.)

The Flinx series is a wonderful group of adventures. I am particularly intrigued by the co-existence of the two races...the antlike creatures and humans and what each learns from the other. I still have a little bit of trouble believing it would be so conflict-free, but then I don't think he wrote in depth about what went on before.

Anyhow, I agree that Alan Dean is a topnotch writer and writer's friend.

_________________
ImageImage

Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back * up. ~Maxine


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:05 pm 
Offline
Regent
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:57 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: Unfamiliar Limbo
Well, this answers a question I have been trying to decide on for the last two weeks.

The final Flinx book came out early this year in hardcover, but I held off on getting it until it showed up in softcover at the beginning of July. Since this is a Fantasy Fiction forum, I did not know whether I should mention my impressions of it, since it is Science Fiction, so I waffled.

This thread decided to show up though, so it makes my decision for me.

I first ran into Flinx in 1972 when I read The Tar-Aiym Krang. I found the book so impressive, it hooked me on Science Fiction for the rest of my life, since Foster blended the future tech with human emotion so perfectly that there was no point where you were forced out of the book into reality. I re-read that book several dozen times over the rest of my time in school and was delighted to find two copies of it in a used bookstore in 1983, where I grabbed the older copy, the one with the cover I rememebered.

Flinx showed up a dozen more times over the years, and even though none of the books came up to the same level as the first one (Bloodhype came close), I enjoyed the books greatly.

Foster fell a bit though in more recent times. He was an established writer and it felt like he did not try as hard anymore, and his Flinx books were thinner, as if they were half a story tossed out for sale on the grounds that any book with that author would sell.

Flinx Transcendent goes back to earlier days. The book is very sizeable, and Foster makes a valiant effort to tie up every loose end from all the previous Flinx books (and several other Commonwealth books). He succeeds, but he does not feel like the writer he used to be. The book is well written, but I am used to masterful from him and he comes up just a bit short.

I am also a bit unfond of Foster's tendancy in his more recent books to include plot conscious villians (they seem to know what is going to happen next in the book) and we run into two sets of those in this book.

Still, the book is enjoyable and very true to the Flinx history, so read it and enjoy it, but make sure to read most of the other books first, or you will miss a lot (and technically, you will miss references unless you read several other Commonwealth books as well.

_________________
Littera scripta manet - The Written Word Endures


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 3:24 pm 
Offline
Goddess
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 5732
Location: The Shore
Interesting...

It's not surprising that Foster fell into that trap, once he was established, but it still makes me sad to hear it. I had no idea he'd still been writing them up 'til recently.

I do intend to read the Flinx books from the beginning, on. Mother-Not is the first, isn't it? It seems like it should be, since that's when Mother Mastiff adopts him & all & he meets Pip. Aha! Yeah, I looked it up on Wiki...seems that timeline-wise, For Love of Mother-Not comes first, although Foster wrote The Tar-Aiym Krang (which, by the series timeline, comes 2nd) before anything else. 1972 & wrapping it up 37 years later. My lawd.

And yeah, I cheated a bit, throwing a sci-fi in here but that's why I segued in with Spellsinger ;) (also, I can cite precedent...I made that Armor thread a while back, too, hehe)

_________________
"I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen."
~John Steinbeck


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:02 pm 
Offline
Regent
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:57 pm
Posts: 1259
Location: Unfamiliar Limbo
Yes, The Tar-Aiym Krang was one of Foster's first books and was his showpiece for several years, as he specialized during the 1970's in writing Novelizations of movies (Clash of the Titans and Alien for example), as well as writing screenplays for Star Trek and a book that tied up a couple of loose ends left in the original Star Wars movie (Splinter of the Mind's Eye).

His various Flinx books were certainly not written in the order they 'occurred', and a couple of times, he tried to end the series (The End of the Matter the most obvious one), only to start writing Flinx again after fans begged him to continue. In some cases, the books take place at indetermined times and Flinx Ascendent puts Bloodhype into the chronology much later than its publication would indicate.

There are really no loose ends left in the Flinx stories to work on though, so it is very likely there will be no more Flinx books (maybe another short story, since those have shown up a couple times in other books). Spellsinger also seems to be over with, since Jon Tom has pretty much retired and his son was one of the main characters of the most recent Spellsinger book.

_________________
Littera scripta manet - The Written Word Endures


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:05 pm 
Offline
Goddess
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:01 pm
Posts: 5732
Location: The Shore
Oh yeah, I forgot about his movie novelizations! And it's funny, because when I was a kid, I distinctly remember my mother positively raving about his Aliens one (have I ever mentioned what a rabid sci-fi, horror, & fantasy fan my mother is? LOL). I didn't know it was him at the time, though I learned in recent years ;)

_________________
"I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen."
~John Steinbeck


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Alan Dean Foster
PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:48 pm 
Offline
The Scribe of Athero
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 7448
Location: FantasyFic HQ
To clarify - although ours is mainly a fantasy site, and this is mainly a fantasy forum, fantasy and sci-fi have been linked together for years. Indeed, there are many stories where it's hard to tell when fantasy stops and sci-fi begins. My own Battle Cleric is based on the premise that the Eslin elves came from another galaxy, landed on Athero, and dedicated themselves to helping the natives of the planet. The story itself is pure fantasy, but there are a few touches of sci-fi in it.

Same with Witchcanery, where the witches and wizards are star travelers directed by the Maker to help the people of planet Earth.

Therefore, I would like to remove any constraint from people talking about sci-fi in this forum (or any other forum on our site). Again, as I said, our main thrust is fantasy, but every sci-fi story I have ever read had elements of fantasy in it. It is too hard to absolutely and definitely place a story firmly in sci-fi with no fantasy or in fantasy with no sci-fi. The genres are even lumped together in bookstores. Should we be less generous? I think not :)

_________________
ImageImage

Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back * up. ~Maxine


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

All times are UTC - 6 hours

Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ]  [ Print view ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron




Elveron - the online strategy game
Elveron phpBB3 style by Ulf Frisk and Michael Schaeffer
Copyright © Ulf Frisk, Michael Schaeffer 2007


Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group