Top 5

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Long Series.

I don’t know about you, but I love a long series, which is anything more than three books. What are your favorites?

I love long series and I read many of them. Choosing just five was very hard, but here goes:

1, Lois McMaster Bujold: The Vorkosigan series.

This is a long-running science fiction series, but it’s very character oriented. No aliens. Instead, the various planets have their own human cultures. The first two books are Shards of Honor and Barrayar (combined in the omnibus Cordelia’s Honor) which follow the parents of Miles Vorkosigan who is the main character for the rest of the series. You can also start with Miles in the book Warrior’s Apprentice.

2, Steven Brust: The Vlad Taltos series.

Another long-running series, this time fantasy. The main character Vlad Taltos is human, a witch, and an assassin. He lives in a world which is ruled by Dragaerans and humans are second-class people, at best. Vlad and his familiar Loiosh banter a lot in sarcastic tones. The first book is Jhereg but the first three books are collected in the omnibus called Jhereg.

3, Genevive Cogman: The Invisible Library series.

Cogman’s series is a newer one. It’s a delightful mix of librarians on secret missions, alternate realities, magic, fairies, and dragons. The first book is the Invisible Library.

4, Kerry Greenwood: Phryne Fisher series

A wonderful cozy mystery series set in the 1920s Australia. Phryne is an independent, stubborn woman who becomes Australia’s first female detective. She has many lovers and lives her life the way she wants to. The TV-show Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is based on this long series. While I loved the TV-show, too, I adore the Phryne in the books. The first book is Cocaine Blues.

5, Elizabeth Peters: Amelia Peabody series

Another long historical mystery series. This is set in Victorian Egypt. Amelia and her husband are amateur Egyptologists who solve murders while working on the digs. The first book is Crocodile on the Sandbank.

The hosts of SciFiMonth have gathered cool prompts and top ten lists. Today, I’m going to tell you about my favorite male characters.

I couldn’t choose just one so here’s my current top five.

1, Captain Jean-Luc Picard
My favorite spaceship captain, Picard is a real Renaissance man. He’s not “just” a diplomat and a leader of soldiers. He’s also interested in archaeology on various planets, he acts, rides horses, and plays a flute. He’s also dappled in painting. As a diplomat, he knows many alien cultures and customs. He keeps his private life private from his crew. However, during the seven years of Star Trek: TNG we get to know him very well. He’s ethical to a fault and never takes the easy way out.

2, John Crichton
Another man who lives up to his ideals. At the start of Farscape, he’s a scientist and an astronaut who is flung accidentally through a wormhole across the universe. There he meets a lot of new cultures. His sense of humor keeps him sane even though he knows that it’s quite possible he’ll never return home. He’s brave and loyal but also quite mischievous.

3, G’Kar
Babylon 5 has lots of very interesting male characters so it’s was hard to pick just one. G’Kar is the Narn ambassador to the Babylon 5 space station. He despises the Centauri who occupied his home world for years, keeping the Narn as slaves. But on B5 he must be at least civil to the Centauri. He has a wonderful character arc through the series.

4, Doctor Emmet Brown
I love the Back to the Future Trilogy and the Doc is one of the best things about it. He’s so upbeat and optimistic all the time in addition to being a genius inventor.

5, Magneto
Magneto’s childhood was cut off horribly when he was sent to a Nazi concentration camp. Now, he wants to protect all mutants from similar oppression. His methods sometimes are questionable, but at other times, he’s a full member of the X-Men.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 SFF BFFs
— Discuss your favorite friends in Scifi and Fantasy, or characters you’d be BFFs with.

Even though a lot of main characters are loners (especially in fantasy) and romances tend to take the center stage, fantasy and SF have some great friendships, too. Because May is the Wyrd and Wonder month, I’m going to my favorite friendships just in fantasy:

1, Sam and Frodo by Tolkien
An obvious choice but they go through so much together. Tolkien has some other great male friendships as well: Merry and Pippin and of course Legolas and Gimli.

2, Shara Thivani and Sigrud by Robert Jackson Bennett
Shara and Sigurd are both spies, essentially. Shara has essentially rescued Sigurd and he’s very loyal to her and she to him. I think of them as fantasy’s Modesty Blaise and Willie Garwin; very close and loyal friends but not lovers.

3, Loch and Kail by Patrick Weekes
Loch and Kail are former soldiers and now they’re conmen and thieves. They’re gathering a group for a heist job to get back Loch’s property which was stolen while she was in jail.

4, Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber
Fafhrd is a tall fighter from the frozen North while the Grey Mouser is short and nimble fingered Southerner with some magical skills. However, they’re united by their thirst for wealth and for adventure. They’re also great friends.

5, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, and Rupert Giles
I just can’t end a list of fantasy friendships without the original four from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Favorite jokesters.

Actually my favorite funny characters come from comics or TV-shows but these are from books. While I’ve read a lot of funny books, I don’t remember a lot of jokesters from them.

1, Mark Watney (Andy Weir)
I laughed out loud several times while reading the book.

2, Loiosh (Steven Brust)
Loiosh is the familiar of Vlad Taltos. They joke around to each other a lot.

3, Nanny Ogg (Terry Pratchett)
Often enough, Pratchett’s characters aren’t really cracking jokes but Nanny does that from time to time.

4, Isaac Vainio (Jim C. Hines)
Isaac is a Libriomancer who can pull items from books. He’s also really funny.

5, Cisco (The Flash tie-in novels)
Cisco is one of my favorite jokesters from TV-shows and he was just as funny in the two tie-in novels I’ve read.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Independent Ladies.

–Favorite leading ladies who aren’t distracted from getting shit done by their love interest (they can still have a romance subplot – this is going to be subjective based on what you think would be ~too much~).

Many, many of the leading ladies I’ve read aren’t too caught up in romance. It was quite difficult to choose just five.

1, General Turyin Mulaghesh by Robert Jackson Bennett in City of Blades
Turyin is a middle-aged career military woman and a governor of a conquered city when we first meet her in the City of Stairs. In the City of Blades she’s the main character and travels to the City of Blades to do some investigating or rather spying. No romance.

2, Ista by Lois McMaster Bujold in Paladin of Souls
Ista is a middle-aged woman whose daughter already has a family of her own. Ista doesn’t want to just lay down and die; instead she goes on a pilgrimage which turns into high adventure. And she gets rewarded with a man (not the other way around).

3, Irene de Winters by Genevieve Cogman in the Invisible Library
Irene is a junior librarian in the Library which exists between worlds. She travels to alternate worlds and steals, er, rescues books. She also gets entangled with fae and dragon politics and while she has two love interests, she doesn’t let them get in the way.

4, Phryne Fisher by Kerry Greenwood in Cocaine Blues
Phryne is a flapper, living in 1920s Australia. She lives by herself, well, with her maid Dot and a couple of other servants. She’s independent and stubborn and the first lady detective in Melbourne. She has a romance in almost every book but they don’t stop her from investigating and solving various crimes.

5, Pyanfar Chanur by C. J. Cherryh in Pride of Chanur
Pyanfar is the captain of her clan’s starship, crewed by her female kin. She’s married but her people’s tradition says that the females go out and the males stay at home.

Honorary mentions to Joanna Baldwin by Rachel Caine in the Ill Wind, Mira by Jocelynne Drake in the Nightwalker, Alice Seymour by Trish Heinrich in Serpent’s Sacrifice, Vicky Nelson by Tanya Huff in Blood Price, Amelia Peabody by Elizabeth Peters in Crocodile on the Sandbank, Cordelia Naismith by Lois McMaster Bujold in Cordelia’s Honor, The Boss by Kristine Kathryn Rusch in Diving to the Wreck, Mitchie Long by Karl Gallagher in Torchship, Ky Vatta by Elizabeth Moon in Trading in Danger, Jenny Casey by Elizabeth Bear in Hammered, and Samarkar-la by Elizabeth Bear in Range of Ghosts.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Nostalgic Ships
— Discuss the first fictional couples you ever got butterflies over, or couples you used to be really into when you were younger.

These are my most nostalgic couples from comics:

1, Cutter and Leetah from Elfquest
The hotheaded young chief of the Wolfriders and his gentle healer lifemate, who is much older, sound like a cliche these days, but they’re excellent together.

2, Cyclops and Phoenix from X-Men
You know, before Scott lost his mind. The graphic novel ”The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix” where Jean and Scott are transported to a bleak future to raise Nathan together is exactly how I always think of them.

3, Reed and Susan Richards from Fantastic Four
Still going strong after all these years. Even though Reed sometimes keeps secrets from Susan, most of the time they support each other very well.

4, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson-Parker
Married Spider-Man worked really well for me.

5, Meggan and Brian Braddock from Claremont and Davis’ Excalibur
They had quite a rocky road but were often really great together.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Books to Give _____ as Gifts

— Create a recommendations guide for a person. Be creative with this. It can be simple such as “books for parents”, more elaborate like “books for Ravenclaws”, or expert level like “books for -insert your favorite fictional character here-“. You can even take out the category completely and have all 5 be suggestions for different types of people!

I chose books to give to a dragon lover as gifts

It’s, of course, possible that a dragon lover will already know these book but hopefully at least one will be new. 4 and 5 are for younger readers but I’m sure older reader can enjoy them, too.

1, Temeraire by Naomi Novik
The first book is His Majesty’s Dragon. Will Laurence is the captain of a sailing ship when he accidentally encounters a dragon egg. The egg hatches and the little dragon imprints on Laurence. The series takes place in alternative history during the Napoleonic wars. Napoleon has lots of dragons and so do the British. The dragons here are huge, carrying platoons of soldiers in their backs. In addition to young Temeraire, we get to know a lot of other dragons.

2, Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
The Dragonriders of Pern is labled as science fiction because it’s set on another planet and the dragons are supposedly genetically engineered animals. But who cares when you can ride along a dragon who is mentally bonded to his or her rider.

3, Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambley
When a vicious dragon threatens his country, a young prince asks for help from John who is the only still living Dragonsbane. However, he’s older and his method of slaying a dragon wasn’t quite what the prince, and the court, imagined it it was. John’s common law wife, Jenny, is witch. She and the prince must help John against the dragon.

4, The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
Princess Aerin is outcast from her father’s court. She’s the Dragon-Killer but since the only dragons still left are small animals, more annoying than dangerous, that’s really a taunting nickname. However, when last of the great dragons start marauding, she must confront it.

5, Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
For younger readers, this is a delightful series with very independent and intelligent dragons. Cimorene is a princess but also a headstrong tomboy. When her parents start to a arrange a marriage for her, she runs away and volunteers to be a dragon’s “captive”.
I’m thinking of rereading the series next year.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 Book Wish List
— If you celebrate a gift-giving holiday this time of year, or even if you don’t, talk about the books or bookish items you have on your wish list!

Everything! (Just kidding.) (No, I’m not.) I have a really long want to read -list on GoodReads and on my computer. But narrowing it down to five books was really hard.

1, J. Y. Yang: The Red Threads of Fortune
The twin novella to The Black Tides of Heaven.
2, The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal
The first book in the new SF alternate history duology. And the next book, The Fated Sky, of course.
3, The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard
I loved her Aztec fantasy books and this sounds great: alternate history fantasy with demons.
4, Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett
I loved his Divine City trilogy and I’m very excited to read his newest book.
5, Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I love her Temeraire series but haven’t yet tried her other work.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is Top 5 books you want to read before 2019

So many! So many books, so little time. However, right now I’m thinking of finishing the series I’m in the middle of so:

1, Juliet Marillier: the Den of Wolves
I loved the first two books in this fantasy series.

2, Seanan McGuire: Night and Silence
The new Toby Daye book! Of course, things looked quite bleak for our heroine at the end of the previous book, I’m a bit worried about reading the next.

3, Kristine Kathryn Rusch: Searching for the Fleet
Rusch’s Diving universe continues!

4, Some more Star Trek: TNG books
I’m thinking of diving into the Genesis Wave trilogy.

5, James S. A. Corey: Caliban’s War
The second book in the Expanse series. I really enjoyed the first one and I enjoyed the TV-show.

Top 5 Wednesday is GoodReads group where people discuss different bookish topic each week. Today the topic is
Favorite Books Featuring [Paranormal Creature of Your Choice]
— This is a repeat topic from last year, but as it’s a good one AND interchangeable so it can be different each year, it’s back again.

This time I’m going to choose the Fae/Faeries/elves because I love them and I love how different they can be. Of course, I love different versions of them so it was very hard to choose just five.

1, Elfquest by Wendy and Richard Pini
When I first got my hands on Elfquest comic, the Wolfriders and the other Pini elves were very different from the other elves I read at the time, which I think were just Tolkien elves and roleplaying world elves, specifically the Forgotten Realms elves, including the dark elves. The Pini elves are unashamedly primal and intense. They’re also sexual. At the time, the independence of the female elves and the sheer variety of them really impressed me. Yes, Elfquest has the gentle healer Leetah but also fierce and loyal hunter Nightfall, the young hunter Dewshine, and Moonshadow who is a quiet cloth maker but also a hunter. Not to mention Kahvi the fierce and stubborn chieftess of the Go Backs. And they were just as important characters as the male elves and their storylines didn’t revolve around secret pregnancy and competing who gets a specific man.

2, J. R. R. Tolkien’s elves
The regal and ethereal Tolkien elves are pretty much the standard against which all other elves are compared.

3, Toby Daye series by Seanan McGuire
McGuire has several different faerie races who have different abilities and attitudes depending on their race, the sea elves most prominently. They have dukes and duchesses who rule over their own Knowles. Mentally, they’re very human-like.

4, Robin Goodfellow or Puck by William Shakepeare
He’s a mischievous elf who plays pranks on people. Sometimes, he’s depicted as a much nastier person.

5, The Seelie and the Unseelie Courts
These are from old Scottish myths about the Fair Folk. Typically, one court is favorable towards us mere mortals while the other is either very mischievous or down right malevolent. Marie Brennan uses them in her historical fantasy series the Onyx court and Elizabeth Bear uses them in her Promethean Age books

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