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Time For A New Product

 I don't know how many ex Harry Potter Fans there are in the world caused by the extremely disappointing Deathly Hallows, but it seems clear to me that it is time for a New Product to replace Harry Potter in the Witch and Wizard fantasy genre.  I am not an author.  I don't read fanfiction, and I'm not making this post to advertize or suggest any particular book or series.  I am just curious how many ex Harry Potter fans are still around reading fanfiction and just waiting to go back on the Harry Potter fansites and compare the idiotic Harry Potter plot in Deathly Hallows to a more realistic and reasonable witch and wizard plotline.

Comments

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
skull_bearer
29th Jul, 2008 00:20 (UTC)
I was in this position after I resigned from the fadom in disgust after the shitstorm of HBP. It's a case of finding something that draws you in a deeply as JKR's butchered world used to. I found the X-men franchise, and while I am a long way from happy with it, it has so many possibilities that no one author can fuck it up for long.
Plus, I think I have fallen irrevokably in love with Magneto. ;D
minkhollow
29th Jul, 2008 01:06 (UTC)
There's also some stuff already out there that covers the ground much better - Jim Butcher's Dresden Files, for instance. (There are rules for magic that you HAVE to follow or you DIE.)
I don't think anything's going to replace Potter, as such.
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nyxfixx
29th Jul, 2008 01:18 (UTC)
Well, for wizards and magic and all that kind of cool stuff, you just can't do better than Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden novels, IMO. I see I'm not the only fan here, too.

They're written for adults from an adult sensibility, Butcher is a real craftsman about details (the magic in the Dresden-verse is consistent and actually makes sense, for example) and each book has the gratifying property of being a little bit better than the last, no matter how great you thought the last one was.

Harry Dresden himself is an appealing, diamond-in-the-rough sort of character (sort of like Phillip Marlowe with magic) that you can really root for, and when this Harry makes mistakes, there are BIG consequences, for him and for others. The action sequences are always amazing and beautifully realized, writing-wise, and Butcher has a wonderful snarky sense of humor so Harry has some marvelous, laugh-out-loud one liners. PLUS, there are not only some very interesting and likable female characters in the books for a change, but there are even some truly terrifying female villains as well. It's all rather a huge relief after HP, at least for me.

And if all that isn't enough to pique some interest here, there are 10 or 11 of these Dresden books so far, and a new graphic novel is scheduled to come out next month. Plus an alternate POV novelette due in October. So, yeah - SQUEEEEE!!!111! - IMHO. Highly, highly recommended.
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nyxfixx
29th Jul, 2008 03:18 (UTC)
LOL! If you found you had that much antipathy to Harry at first meeting, alas, I doubt he'd grow on you if you were to give him another airing or two. I do totally agree that Storm Front has a lot of first novel problems, and the character of Dresden didn't really start to gel for me until around the 3rd novel. That being said, I sort of like noir-style gumshoes who aren't that bright and talk tough because they're scared out of their minds, anyway, so I could wait for the character to come clearer in subsequent novels w/o being too turned off from the outset. But even in his clearest incarnations, Harry is still more or less the same abrasive, somewhat dorky guy with enormously old-fashioned attitudes regarding just about everything (including gender) so he'll never be everyone's cup of tea. And maybe I'm easy to please regarding snark - but when someone asked Harry why he'd made magical hash out of some hideous demon-monster-thingy that beat the living snot out of him first, and he replied "I didn't like his hat" - I nearly laughed my guts up.

If you did decide to give Ol' Harry another go, maybe try Summer Knight; it's one of my favorites in the series. Still, it's no fun to read a first-person series from the POV of a main character you just don't like, so I dunno if the improved quality of the later novels would be enough to offset that for you.

I REALLY need to read some Gaiman, btw. I'm much more a crime-drama, suspense novel, police procedural and straight horror fan, so both the wizard Harrys were a little bit of a departure from my usual reading tastes. But I hear nothing but great things about Gaiman so I definitely need to give your rec a try. Would you say this The Books of Magic is a good choice for an introduction to Gaiman's work?
minkhollow
29th Jul, 2008 04:41 (UTC)
Books of Magic is a comic book/graphic novel series; that may be something to keep in mind before you settle on it. (For some reason, I can never get myself past the first volume of any given comic collection.) I'm also not sure how long Gaiman actively wrote it.
In terms of straight-up reading material, Neverwhere or Anansi Boys might be closer to what you're after (also American Gods, but that's a bit of a chewy read). And to definitely feed the crime-drama/horror, Google around and track down the PDF of "A Study in Emerald." It's sort of Sherlock Holmes meets Lovecraft, but noooot exactly, and the PDF's a free download.
Also also, Good Omens; everyone needs a merry little tale about Armageddon.

(Sorry for butting in, but. XD)
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nyxfixx
30th Jul, 2008 01:06 (UTC)
Ah, thanks for the details and opinion on Gaiman’s work, both to winterfox and minkhollow. Once you both mentioned the titles, I recalled that I actually had read Neverwhere and Good Omens, so it appears I had more of a start with Gaiman than I’d remembered. Good Omens was very enjoyable, IMO, and I’ll add a yea vote for that one, but I only have a vague recollection of Neverwhere (mainly I recall those two awful guys – Mr. Crouch and Mr. … Valdemar? Vandemar? Am I thinking of the right novel?). Maybe my vague memory serves as an illustration of winterfox’s point about bland protagonists in some of Gaiman’s works?

As to Harry Dresden, I’m still in the YAY camp, myself. For me, these novels are fun, solidly-written escapist fare with a likeable hero, and I do recommend them. But perhaps my taste is less discriminating than that of others, so those thinking about giving Jim Butcher and Harry Dresden a try can take that into account. Nice that we have a variety of responses to the same books in this thread too, makes it interesting.

Also, just remembered, though the Dresden novels are urban-fantasy, I understand Butcher also has a more traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy series going too. I haven’t read any of them myself, not my thing, but I've heard those who do enjoy the Dresden series mentioning that they like these as well. “Codex Alera” or something like that is the series title.

The idea of commercial successors to HP is interesting as well. I'm thinking maybe Stephenie Meyers' publishers are trying to position the Twilight series in that spot? I personally don't think anything is going to equal the freakish commercial success of HP for some time, but I'm sure publishers would love to put their fingers on the next big thing if it were possible to predict.
exhpfan
29th Jul, 2008 01:59 (UTC)
I will try Harry Dresden
I will buy a Harry Dresden book and read it on my airplane flight Thursday. I really think that his publisher is missing a big bet if he hasn't started a massive marketing campaign both on and offline going after all the disappointed Harry Potter fans 17yrs and above. If I like the book I might send his publisher a short suggestive email.

I'm not really interested in fantasy per se. What I'm interested in is a total lack of any intensive marketing campaign going after all the disappointed Harry Potter fans.

Edited at 2008-07-29 02:02 (UTC)
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exhpfan
29th Jul, 2008 13:42 (UTC)
Re: I will try Harry Dresden
Thanks Winterfest. I was one of those idiots who had convienced myself that the Harry Potter series was something other then a stupid "Child's fantasy adventure series" where the adults acted in a stupid and illogical manner so the children could be the heros. I had convienced myself that JKR was going to write a suprise ending with a suprise twist that caused everything to make sense. Boy was I wrong.

I have decided that I will never again read a series that isn't already completed so I won't ever again be so disappointed in an author. It was the wait and disappointment that still bugs the hell out of me.

Maybe I will try Sandman on the airplane instead of Dresden. Chices, choices, choices.
marionros
29th Jul, 2008 11:22 (UTC)
Let me see... Some old favourites would be:

Rosemary Sutcliff. She wrote quite a lot of utterly brilliant Young Adult stuff. Mostly historical fiction. One of my favourites of these would be 'The Laternbearers'.

Rumer Godden: I love this author because of the way her stories 'come together' in a tight fit like a jigsaw puzzle. My first Godden book was 'An Episode of Sparrows', and it's still one of my favourite.

If you like SF, how about a golden oldie like C.S. Cherryh's 'The Pride of Chanur'? The fun bit of this novel is that there is only one human being in this story, who is an 'outsider' (non in the Compact has ever seen such a creature before) and is largely unable to communicate. It's all writting from an alien's point of view.
Cherryh did something similar in 'Cuckoo's Egg', which is pretty good as well. And I definetly would recommend 'Port Eternity', which is Cherryh's SF take on the Athurian saga.

Some of the above can only be found in second hand shops or libraries, as are the following, but they are WELL worth it, because one of my favouritest author of all times must be Ansen Dibell, who wrote the Kantmorie saga (the first three were published in english, but the next two never were. They were translated and published in dutch and french, however, since Dibell has a huge following in the Netherlands and France) Still, the first three can be read as a trilogie.

Dibell's Kantmorie saga is brilliant. Trust me on this. Don't be put off by descriptions or blurb texts, just read the books. There are a lot of SF writers Out There, and a lot of good ones too, but none has ever struck a note in my heart as Dibell does.

All these above titles succeed where Rowling fails. These abovementioned books show the readers how to go through despair, hate and bitterness and to still love. They show how immortality is a curse to those who are not born to it and a folly to seek. They teach us what it means to be human.

*bows to Dibell, Cherryh, Sutciff and Godden*
exhpfan
29th Jul, 2008 15:10 (UTC)
What I thought I was getting with Harry Potter probably doesn't exist
I have been trying to figure out what I wanted or at least what I thought I would get with Deathly Hallows and I have decided that the genre I wanted to occur probably doesn't even exist. I have decided that I would like a combination of fantasy(more in the line with Men In Black)and mystery. Throwing in a little Tom Clancey and James Bond wouldn't hurt.
marionros
30th Jul, 2008 08:54 (UTC)
Re: What I thought I was getting with Harry Potter probably doesn't exist
How would you like some historical mystery? (I'm a historian; I lurv the stuff!)

I'd recommend Stephen Saylor's Gordianus the Finder books.
Gordianus is a Roman living at the end of the Republic (he lives in interesting times, between Cicero's first courtcase and Caesar's bid for power)
All the historical stuff is interesting background for some solid whodunnit mystery.
I'd recommend the books 'Catalina's Riddle', 'Venus Throw' and 'Murder on the Appian Way'. You'd start in the middle of the series, but that wouldn't be a hindrance and Saylor is really getting 'in the groove' with 'Catalina's Riddle'.
If you hesitate to tackle a 'large' historical mystery, you could try Saylor's collection of short Gordianus mysteries, 'The House of the Vestals'.

Saylor's mysteries are as good as any that Christie wrote (I love ol' Agatha!) and as a historian I can safely say that he really knows his Romans (but you don't have to be a history buff to enjoy his books)

Check out if your library carries them and try something new and Not Potterish!
marionros
30th Jul, 2008 09:04 (UTC)
Re: What I thought I was getting with Harry Potter probably doesn't exist
On second thought, if you like Tom Clancey and James Bond, I'd recommend you'd start the Gordianus series with the first mysterie in the series, 'Roman Blood'. Gordianus is fairly young and rather 'Bond-ish' (later in the series he mellows somewhat which I - being a woman - rather like)

Blurb for 'Roman Blood':

"From the arrival of an articulate slave on the doorstep of sleuth Gordianus to the riveting re-creation of an actual oration by Cicero, Saylor's remarkable first novel takes the reader deep into the political, legal and family arenas of ancient Rome, providing a stirring blend of history and mystery, well seasoned with conspiracy, passion and intrigue. In the steamy spring of 80 B.C. fledgling orator Cicero is preparing the legal defense of Sextus Roscius, a wealthy farmer accused of the murder of his father. Things look grim for Sextus; it is well-known that his father had threatened to disinherit him in favor of his younger half-brother. Cicero engages Gordianus to get at the truth of the matter, and while the orator practices powerful speech-making the investigator proves the aptness of his sobriquet, "the finder." Gordianus soon discovers that truth and mortal danger walk hand-in-hand through the twisting streets and the great forum of Rome. But he is unflinching in his quest for veritas in a story greatly enhanced by its vivid characters, including Cicero's clever slave Tiro; a mute street urchin and his widowed mother; a beautiful, enigmatic whore; Gordianus's spirited slave and lover, Bethesda; the aging dictator Sulla; and a dyspeptic but brilliant Cicero. A classic historical mystery, in every sense."
quinby
29th Jul, 2008 22:50 (UTC)
Depends on what you want.

Sometimes I think the world needs to step away from the witches and wizards and try something -else- for a change. Read some old-school Agatha Christie. Short-ish books, well written, suspenseful and some of the best mystery out there.

(then again, I wasn't ever much of a fantasy/sci fi person in the first place.)
exhpfan
30th Jul, 2008 02:49 (UTC)
The Queen of Misdirection
You have just referenced one of my favorite authors. The Queen of misdirection was great. What I should of added to my post above was that I wanted a Men in Black with a little Tom Clancey and James Bond written by Agatha Christie. Now that would be great. I just went to my library and pulled down Murder On The Orient Express. Even though I already know the twist I think I'll just take your advice and re-read this book.

Edited at 2008-07-30 02:51 (UTC)
elanor_x
31st Jul, 2008 14:15 (UTC)
I am still in HP fandom and even write recaps for DH. :)
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )