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That mechanic may not exist, remember you are talking to Tizzy…

And not to put words in Tizzy’s mouth, heaven forbid, I would never want to do that…

But I don’t think he was implying anything bad about older books. Remember he’s more centuries old than anyone seems to know (or at least care).

I myself am pretty jaundiced on newer works. By the time Robert Jordan came on the scene, I’d been so exhausted by the old archetypes that I’d already started on DoA, just for something different.

Now, there’s been a lot of great stuff since then, but the market has also expanded tremendously and so weeding the garden for the gems (mixed metaphors) is a big chore.

Jane Austen rocks, I think she’s the best English language plot generator since Billy Shakes…and quite frankly neither of them originated their plot lines they just perfected them to the point that everyone thinks they’re the core script for everything since. Sort of like Lucille Ball and the sitcom.

So random hits of old books/authors I really like:

The Faerie Queen (tedious)
Le Morte d’Arthur (tedious)
Canterbury Tales (decent)

Jane Austen, Dickens, Shelly, Stoker, Cervantes, Baroness Emma Orczy (Scarlet Pimpernel), Alexander Dumas, Poe: All Great

Thomas Hardy, anyone named Bronte: Bleck….ick ick ick

Jules Verne: extremely original and good adventure (technical writing ~)
ERB (Edgar Rice Burroughs): original and good adventure (technically worse than Verne)
CS Lewis: Decent/light, get over the allegory already.
JRR Tolkien: Why read this guy when you can read Terry Brooks? :^o
Charles L Dodgson (Lewis Carrol): Lot’s of fun!
Frank Baum (Wiz Oz): I enjoyed these books.

EE Doc Smith: Totally bogus SF, but what a blast!

Alice Mary Norton (Andre Norton): Probably second to Heinlein in terms of prodigious quantity/quality. Not quite there on overall strength, but pioneering.
Robert Heinlein: The Grokiest and most versatile SF writer ever.
James Blish: Cities in Flight–in my memory that says it all. But he did a lot of other great stuff.
Ursula K. Le Guin: Wow.
Gardner DoZois: Fascinating
Philip K Dick: yes, they do dream of electric sheep

And with these last masters we are drug into the 60’s/70’s and what I consider modern SF/Fantasy. Add Frank Herbert in there to put some icing on the cake.

I could then go into a huge post on my favorite 60s/70s/80s authors. I think SF (not Fantasy) pretty much peaked during those 3 decades, Dick and Gibson signally the top of the mountains. (see manned space flight and moon landings, birth of computers)

Once we get to the ‘post modern era’ things start to dry up in terms of the greats.

Brom, Stephensen, Gaiman, GRRM…and others I am sure…but the bodies of work just isn’t there yet for me to perceive them at these stratospheric levels.

But I’ll take suggestions!

(in the pre-post modern era: A.Rice, PZB, Storm Constantine, Jordan until he sold out, Modessit until he sold out)

And if we want to talk authors that don’t know when to end a story…I just have to throw in Piers Anthony (late modern), a guy who comes up with (CAME up with) some of the best ideas and greatest first, second and maybe third book, and then drives the story into the ground with a steam pile driver…

PS: And what I mean by sold out is, milking a story/series to death rather than creating new original storylines after the $$ starts rolling in.

PPS: Advanced Warning: If I can get a 99 book deal from some publisher, I may change my definition of sold out, and I may end up being Tizzy’s slave!