Penfold wrote: Who's Wee Dug wrote:
That's what got me to buy the book those many years ago, as soon as I seen that passage about the two unsavoury rogues it made me laugh, I then put it back on the shelf because it had a tiny tear in the dust jacket and it was the last one.
I think it may have been that passage that got me hooked, together with the Lovecraft references. It takes a great deal of skill to take the micky like that without giving offence to fans of those books (LotR fans vs. Bored of the Rings, anyone?).
Most LotR fans I know
Bored of the Rings - my copy's almost falling to bits...
I can't name my favourite series even by genre (Discworld and Tolkien's books) because really I like them for different reasons and the comparison is therefore compromised.
I adore Discworld for Terry's humour, satire and parody (no matter what he's writing about) and sheer variety, 'draw in' factor and 'nose' for a cracking yarn. Characterisation is also mostly excellent with a memorable cast to draw on and interweave as they grow with the cumulative word count.
Tolkien - also the 'draw in' factor but in his case it's because of the sheer depth and breadth of scope of his various writings beyond TH and LotR in which he's created viable cultures, history and language and then gone on 'colouring in' with more detail and just exquisite writing that does have humour and morality and - in this he definitely exceeds Terry - consistent myth and magic (as I've been saying in the Snuff threads the magic in Discworld is definitely consigned to the background, especially in the AM influenced books).
Other series are, for the classics, Jane Austen and her visionary chick-lit
The woman was nothing short of brilliant, no question about it; truly wise and funny with it and her characterisation was sublime and always plausible (something that Tolks and Terry fall down on sometimes).
Finally another SF&F writer who's extremely underrated and manages to pull off what seems impossible with sci-fi and fantasy fusion in her series The Saga of the Exiles
and it's follow-up stand-alone Intervention
and sequel trilogy The Galactic Milieu
. Again good characterisation, humour and compassion with a strong dash of realism in terms of the infirm nature of the human beast and, most importantly, extremely inspired research skills. Anyone who can write almost seamlessly about folklore, time travel, prehistoric geology, aliens, psychic powers, sentient inter-Galactic 'Ship' creatures, Arthurian and Celtic legend and genetics and pull off a fully rational, always coherent, engaging and exciting storyline over a 6 million year timespan has to be brilliant in anyone's book surely?
I can't choose between them because what they all do with their storytelling is to 'take me' as in take me into the tale so I'm fully engaged with plot and characters, identifying with them and the environments and situations whilst all being different in their approach and technique. They're all my favourites but for different reasons and therefore they're all incomparable.