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Thursday, May 17, 2012

What I'm Reading - 8/18/10

I have somewhere around 2,000 books at home and am usually reading at least one fiction and one non-fiction book. I usually go through ‘phases’ where I devour several books in the same genre, recently having finished a couple books on one of my favorite subjects, the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

I’m currently close to finishing Thieves’ World: Enemies of Fortune, edited by Lynn Abbey. This is sword and sorcery stuff, but with an original premise. The original Thieves’ World series started back in 1979 and was unique in being a ‘shared universe.’ Each book contained multiple short stories written by different authors. The authors mixed and matched characters and storylines.

The main setting was Sanctuary, a city at the edge of the Rankan Empire, nicknamed Thieves’ World. The original series consisted of twelve anthologies, as well as six official spin-off novels. There were several unofficial spin-off novels and short stories as well. Robert Aspirin started the project, and his now ex-wife, Lynn Abbey, was a major participant. The whole shebang ended in 1993.

But in 2002, Lynn Abbey revived the Thieves’ World brand (though set years later than the original series and using almost all new characters) with the novel, Sanctuary. This was followed by a new anthology, Turning Points, and finally, Enemies of Fortune. There have been no new books since the latter came out in 2004.

The original series, while pretty dark at times, was, on the whole, very good, with some quite interesting characters. And the two new anthologies aren’t bad, though the novel Sanctuary was a huge disappointment.  It reminded me of somebody tearing down a big sand castle and building a new one on the same spot. And then saying, ‘Look at mine. It’s much better than that old one.’ Lynn Abbey basically peed on the original.

This is an informative site for the series:

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