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The prognosis on, like, every contemporary fantasy series ever.

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Of interest to some of the folks here?
"The book deals with a man committed to the Cambridgeshire Asylum “after being nearly three years in a melancholy mood”. We never get to lean the man’s name. We do known that he remained there for two years, spending “much of his time in writing – sometimes verses, at others long letters of the most rambling character, and in drawing extraordinary diagrams, of which the coloured illustrations… They are not quite so incomprehensible as they at first appear, for on close inspection a good many ideas may be made out.”"

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(this is our first break away from just books, and we're allowing it for now since the original source is a graphic novel)

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Ballantine Fantasy very rare edition 24211 cover art uncredited,, 1974 second printing Evangeline Walton is unmatched in her retelling of the Mabinogion the unparalleled book of Welsh mythology. If you can find this series believe me the effort is worth it.
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Salambo
I just learned of this book by Gustave Flaubert - a historical fantasy set in ancient Carthage in the aftermath of the First Punic War. The first review I read on Amazon made me both want to and not want to read it! It's hilarious. Also, I'm pretty sure there's a dancing girl in it. ;)

"4.0 out of 5 starsLike a gory Carthaginian Sears catalog
ByKarl Janssenon October 14, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

In 1856, Gustave Flaubert became famous with his debut novel Madame Bovary, a ground-breaking work of realism that greatly influenced the subsequent development of literature. Despite being hailed as the poster child of realism, Flaubert did a literary 180 six years later with Salammbô, a romantic epic set in ancient Carthage. Even more surprising than his willingness to throw off his laurels and undertake this grand experiment is the fact that he succeeds at it.

Salammbô takes place in the third century BC in and around Carthage, in present-day Tunisia. It is a historical novel based on actual events that took place just after the First Punic War (Punic is a synonym for Carthaginian). In that war, Carthage hired a host of mercenaries from all over North Africa to help them fight the Romans. Now, with the fighting over and the treaty signed, those mercenaries are eager to be paid, and Carthage isn’t coming through on its promises. So the mercenaries—also referred to as the Barbarians—revolt against their former employers and start pillaging Carthage and its territories. They begin with the house of Hamilcar Barca, one of the chief magistrates and military leaders of Carthage. Barca is not at home, but his beautiful daughter, Salammbô, addresses the unruly crowd of unpaid warriors. Upon seeing her, Matho—a Libyan who becomes a leader of the mercenaries—immediately falls in love with her, and from that moment their destinies are entwined.

Despite the epic warfare, the pace of Salammbô is lethargic and the mood is lugubrious. There is little room for plot amidst the mountain of descriptive detail that Flaubert has massed. For most of its length, the book reads like the catalog of a Carthaginian department store. Clothing, furniture, home decoration, jewelry, cosmetics, cookware, and hardware (weapons), are lovingly depicted in intricate detail. The amount of research Flaubert must have done to accumulate all these atmospheric details is staggering. More than a novel, the book resembles a gallery of paintings by romantic masters like William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Léon Gérome, or Jacques-Louis David. In a chapter in which Salammbô prays to her god, for instance, that’s all that happens. Nothing else. At times this can get tedious. You wish something would happen, but people are too busy rubbing their cheeks with vermillion or outlining their eyes with antimony. Luckily, Flaubert applies the same descriptive faculty to diseases, wounds, and violent atrocities. The book is loaded with gore galore, which ends up being its saving grace. I will confess that I couldn’t always keep track of who was fighting whom during the military scenes, but the images Flaubert creates of brutal ancient warfare are indelible.

Amid the bloodshed he still manages to weave a story, however tenuous. The narrative of Salammbô is not as well-constructed as other 19th-century sagas of the ancient world like Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis or Lew Wallace’s Ben-Hur, yet somehow more than them Flaubert’s tale manages to ascend to the legendary heights of ancient epics like The Iliad or The Aeneid. I wouldn’t call it a masterpiece, because it frequently frustrates and occasionally bores, but although I didn’t always enjoy it I always admired it. I’ve read Madame Bovary and The Sentimental Education, and both left me feeling lukewarm. Salammbô, however, for all its faults, is one Flaubert book I’m unlikely to forget."
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I'm re-sharing these here. These books have been on my shelf for ages and I keep meaning to read them , but never do. I don't have these editions, but these covers are awesome.
Ballantine/Fantasy 24210 1974 second printing cover art uncredited, and the second part of Evangeline Walton retelling of the Welsh Mabininogion
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Ballantine 24209 3rd printing 1974 uncredited cover art, but one of my favorite cover illustrations. The Third Branch of the Mabinogion the essence of Welsh Mythology brought alive for us by Evangeline Walton. 
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Another controversy, as requested by +Apocryphal Chris​. The overwhelming majority of fantasy I find really boring. When there's an alternate world, I need either a really special hook or fond memories from my youth to drag me in.

Discuss.

Not sure its controversial. We read books for inspiration to create adventures but can the opposite be done? Have you ever thought of using or used the story of your RPG sessions to write a real short story (not a session report).

Actually this isn't general book babble but I couldn't see a better category... As some of you know, I fiddle around with Alexa skills and thought folk here might be interested to hear that the latest crop of updates from Amazon include native support for all manner of less common dice - D8, D20 and D100 among others. Obviously you could always program your own but this makes life easier.
So this made me wonder if anyone in the group had ever pursued a techie route to gameplay, or if all are firmly wedded to personal involvement.
I haven't gone far into games on Alexa, being more focused on book-related skills, but it seems to me that it should be possible to have group play as well as solitaire.
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