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Books reminiscent of Fallen London Messages in this topic - RSS

Karaeir
Karaeir
Posts: 90

12/13/2013
Yesterday I started reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and while it's not exactly reminiscent of Fallen London there was this one fragment of it that had me staring at the page for a few minutes:
"Go," said Wednesday, his voice a reasurring growl. "All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well."

--
Karaeir, an inescapable, sagacious, midnight and sinister lady
Social actions welcome, except for SMEN and Affluent Photographer.
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Four
Four
Posts: 18

12/13/2013
I'd forgotten about that.
While on books not strongly reminiscent of FL but still bear mentioning, I feel tasked to bring up A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you've never read them, read them! If you read them while younger than you are now, read them again. There's little else more similar to FL as far as tone of writing and blackly comedic sense of paranoid dread. One could do worse than to look into Mr Snicket's new series, All the Wrong Questions, as well.

  • edited by Four on 12/14/2013
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    Alexander Feld
    Alexander Feld
    Posts: 371

    12/13/2013
    Four wrote:
    I'd forgotten about that.
    While on books not strongly reminiscent of FL but still bear mentioning, I feel tasked to bring up A Series of Unfortunate Events. If you've never read them, read them! If you read them while younger than you are now, read them again. There's little else more similar to FL as far as tone of writing and blackly comedic sense of paranoid dread.

  • edited by Four on 12/13/2013

  • Frequenters of SMEN should appreciate the frequent and painstakingly tantalizing warnings not to continue.



    --
    I am a star-gazer, story-eater, and a smelter of words.

    I filch hidden things from hidden places, to hide once more in my dark cabinet of curiosities

    Alexander Feld, the mad, damned, lord of seekers.
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    Four
    Four
    Posts: 18

    12/14/2013
    And increasingly surreal, near-meta diversions from the books themselves to that end in later novels of the series.
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    Sackville
    Sackville
    Posts: 295

    12/14/2013
    Alexander Feld wrote:
    Frequenters of SMEN should appreciate the frequent and painstakingly tantalizing warnings not to continue.


    And who could forget the similar themes explored in this timeless classic?
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    Spacemarine9
    Spacemarine9
    Posts: 2234

    12/14/2013
    I am incredibly disappointed that the pivotal plot twist of that literary masterpiece is spoiled right in the product description. You can't trust anyone these days.

    --
    my rats will blot out the sun
    Ratgames
    FL lore/mechanics questions and answers
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    Alexander Feld
    Alexander Feld
    Posts: 371

    12/14/2013
    Sackville wrote:
    Alexander Feld wrote:
    Frequenters of SMEN should appreciate the frequent and painstakingly tantalizing warnings not to continue.


    And who could forget the similar themes explored in this timeless classic?

    My god.... Mr Eaten's name is Grover. That's it. You can all go home now, mystery solved.

    --
    I am a star-gazer, story-eater, and a smelter of words.

    I filch hidden things from hidden places, to hide once more in my dark cabinet of curiosities

    Alexander Feld, the mad, damned, lord of seekers.
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    Lawrence Growe
    Lawrence Growe
    Posts: 96

    12/18/2013
    I happened upon the Parasol Protectorate "Soulless" just the other day and practically swallowed the book in one evening.

    It is beyond magnificent and is probably the best book I read in the whole of year of our Lord 2013. And let it be said that I read A LOT.

    I am still grinning and cannot stop. This book made me feel happy, warm and fuzzy inside. Few books do.
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    Amoury De Domremy
    Amoury De Domremy
    Posts: 34

    1/25/2014
    WintersNight wrote:
    I sincerely recommend Perdido Street Station by China Mieville. Watch a steampunk scientist (read: wizard) and his insectoid girlfriend hunt, what is essentially, The Vake.


    Mieville is a very duplicitous writer in my mind. I very, very sincerely rate The City And The City as a brilliant book, one of the best pieces of fiction I've read. But the universe of Perdido Street Station and the follow-up, The Iron Council, are the complete opposite end of the scale to me. It felt sloppy & underdone, like he was trying to work on too many ideas at once & not fleshing out any of them sufficiently. The insectoid Khepri race & the vegetative Cactaci made no sense biologically - are they naturally evolved, or were they genetically created? If natural, then how is that form possibly useful enough to have been evolutionarily viable?? If they were created, then by who? Why? How did they then become independent agents of their own destinies? The one & only saving grace of that book for me was the culture of the Garuda race. It felt like the one aspect he'd actually devoted any real thought to forming the proper mechanics for. And describing a potentially viable but utterly alien form of society (to his readers' experiences) is arguably what Mieville is master of. It was this aspect that made me so impressed with The City And The City.

    --
    Never done nuffing. Never saw nuffing. Wasn't even there.
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    Diptych
    Diptych
    Administrator
    Posts: 3633

    1/25/2014
    Amoury De Domremy wrote:
    It felt sloppy & underdone, like he was trying to work on too many ideas at once & not fleshing out any of them sufficiently.


    Wow, yeah - big part of why I struggled with Mieville. I've only read Perdido and The Scar, but... a lot of it felt like he was just throwing in steampunk and urban fantasy elements, a mix of nonspecific historical fantasy language and modern English, and dashes of internet-style vulgarity and cynicism, and seeing what stuck.

    --
    Sir Frederick, the Emancipationist Esotericist. Lord Hubris, the Bloody Baron.
    Juniper Brown, the Ill-Fated Orphan. Esther Ellis-Hall, the Fashionable Fabian.
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    adagio
    adagio
    Posts: 15

    1/25/2014
    The anarchists from The Man Who Was Thursday are reminiscent of the Calendar Council in Fallen London. The story has a similar tone, but the plot is different. This quote makes me think of something that could be in Fallen London:
    “The sun in heaven denied it, the earth and sky denied it, all human wisdom denied it. And when I met you in the daylight I denied it myself.”

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    Lady Eris
    Lady Eris
    Posts: 162

    2/25/2014
    Lots of the books I'd have suggested have already been mentioned (and there are several I'm going to check out). But I'd add, for your consideration, Mark Gatiss's 'The Vesuvius Club'. It's set in an an alternate Victorian universe, is very funny, very arch and riddled with puns (as well as being a cracking spy story).


  • --
    Lady Eris Psmith, Society darling, devoted wife. Dangerous when crossed. Accepts most social invitations. Distributor of Parabolan Kittens. Welcomes new acquaintances, especially those who write 'in character'.

    William Templeton, Viscount Manningham, newcomer, gentleman, all-round good egg - accepting absolutely all invitations.
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    Periwig
    Periwig
    Posts: 1

    2/26/2014
    A lot of these suggestions I haven't read and they sound marvellous. I've definitely made a note for a few.

    I'd put a word in for the Johannes Cabal series by Jonathan L. Howard.


  • They're set in an indeterminate but somewhat retro time period about a reprehensible Anglo-German Necromancer. In the first, he's forced to run a diabolical carnival for a year by the Devil with his Vampire brother in order to get his soul back. In the latest one he accepts a job to act as a guide through the Lovecraftian Dreamlands. Much of the descriptions and humour put me in mind of Fallen London.
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    dismallyOriented
    dismallyOriented
    Posts: 215

    2/27/2014
    I recently started Terry Pratchett's novel Dodger. It's not exactly as fantastical or bizarre as Fallen London is, but it's definitely got that Victorian, industrial era gritty feel. The main character is, essentially, an urchin who eventually ends up working with Charles Dickens. There's a mystery, a girl of foreign nobility, misadventures in the sewers and London's underbelly, and rats.

    But the passage that definitely caught my eye was this line Dickens says.

    "Is there any point in my asking you for the truth about that delicious little episode, or should we perhaps let a veil of mystery descend upon it?"
    edited by dismallyOriented on 2/27/2014
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    Amoury De Domremy
    Amoury De Domremy
    Posts: 34

    3/2/2014
    Dodger was excellently neathy, yes! Very much the tale of a Shadowy and rather Watchful young man from the rookeries who undertakes a daring and Dangerous rescue of a young lady in need, and is seen by a Society gent and a fellow with connections to the Clergy. His Persuasiveness allows him to grind enough ech... guineas to upgrade his wardrobe & slowly climb the social ladder, to the point that he's being invited to salons where he makes connections with Constables and more Society types, and eventually ends up with a Profession. Makes me almost wonder if P-Terry has actually been a fellow Fallen Londoner all this time...

    --
    Never done nuffing. Never saw nuffing. Wasn't even there.
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    Marasquine
    Marasquine
    Posts: 5

    3/3/2014
    Karaeir wrote:
    Yesterday I started reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman, and while it's not exactly reminiscent of Fallen London there was this one fragment of it that had me staring at the page for a few minutes:
    "Go," said Wednesday, his voice a reassuring growl. "All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well."


    Given Failbetter's portrayal of the Devils, I feel compelled to add Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens to this list. It deals with the End of Days, and how it is apparently not such a great deal after all, and it really is a delight to read.

    The game also reminded me of Asimov's series Foundation, not necessarily for its setting (it classifies as sci-fi), but because of the way the characters' individual stories were put in perspective on a bigger scale (the Universe's history as a whole, in this case), with a heavy emphasis on human choice or lack thereof. It is vary unique in terms of world-bulding and narrative, and I haven't found any equivalent until now. Perhaps playing as a crazed inquirer - to whom any little secret, contact or information has to somehow be part of some Grand Scheme - has rub off on me more that I thought, but this is oddly similar to our neathy experience, innit?

    ... And the collective works of Jules Verne, for the care he puts in details.

    Problem is, it's hard to acurately describe FL's tone - it has echoes of Steampunk, some Edwardian satire... at times I'm hit with flashes of Oscar Wilde, others I think of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy's text-only game... That being said, the mixture is part of what makes it so enjoyable !

    (I'm sorry for the lack of contemporary books - modern English lit isn't my forte. I'll have to find time to read your suggestions ! Some of them sound really tempting.)
    edited by Marasquine on 3/3/2014

    --
    Miss D. Mare's flimsy flophouse floor. Trespassers welcomed.
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    Terpsichore
    Terpsichore
    Posts: 3

    4/3/2014
    Some of the graphic novels of Jacques Tardi have a very strong Fallen London vibe (even though they're more of a fin-de-siecle Paris thing).

    The Arctic Marauder (Le Démon de Glaces in the original) features a Jules Verne-like sea-fortress, disguised as an iceberg, and built by two mad scientists to practice piracy. They are opposed by a horrible old woman who is basically a slightly more psychotic Cheesemonger, on a Zee adventure. The whole book is illustrated and narrated like an old newspaper serial.

    The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec has the eponymous Adèle, a straight up Fallen London POSI: freelance writer, drinks, smokes, sharp tongue, extreme disregard for the law, shoots to kill. Among others, she encounters a Babylonian demon cult, a mummy who claims to be an ancient Egyptian nuclear physicist, a psychic pterodactyl, an infestation of flesh-eating crabs in the Seine, and a man who can summon humongous tentacle monsters from the depths of his dreams.

    Just watch out for his books on World War I. They're very good, but ... not like Fallen London at all.

    --
    Terpsichore
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    "Many" Chin
    Posts: 383

    4/5/2014
    Feet Of Clay and maybe Going Postal by Terry Pratchet have golems that behave very much like the claymen of the neath.

    --
    "My little China girl/You shouldn't mess with me/I'll ruin everything you are/I'll give you television/I'll give you eyes of blue/I'll give you man who wants to rule the world"
    - The Goblin King.
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    Ridiculus Undarke
    Ridiculus Undarke
    Posts: 48

    6/29/2014
    I've discovered something today. Something special. I have done a search on the forum and found this has not been mentioned before, so here it is:

    Mirabilis: Year of Wonders, by Dave Morris and Leo Hartas. It is a graphic novel series by none other than one of the authors of Fabled Lands gamebooks, which were one of the influences on Fallen London itself. About the green comet that brings magic to our world, making the boundary between reality and fantasy blurred. Time period: the very beginning of the twentieth century. And the antagonist is named the Kind Gentleman. smile

    --
    http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Ridiculus
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    Voiceless
    Voiceless
    Posts: 24

    7/5/2014
    "Dream London" by Tony Ballantyne. This book can be viewed from many angles (politically bitter commentary among them) and it is somewhat racy but aside of that it has many things that bring Fallen London in mind as well.
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