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Books reminiscent of Fallen London Messages in this topic - RSS

Ryyme
Ryyme
Posts: 5

7/9/2014
Corentin Os wrote:
Ria Byss wrote:
the werks of Mervyn Peake. the Titus Groan books especially. I think that the Failbetter guys have cited him as an influence. mandatory!
edited by Ria Byss on 4/7/2012



I could not agree more. Titus Groan and Gormenghast are two of my all-time favourite books; Mervyn Peake's writing is like nothing else, the language is exquisite. I'm always saddened by how few people have read them, even among bibliophiles. The world contained in these books is even stranger, darker, and moodier than Fallen London; such a host of wicked, sublime characters! Such delicious description! Forgotten acres of castle rooms, ridiculous poetry, odd traditions, murder, deceit, seduction, and insanity, these books have it all.


  • Sorry to disagree with the two of you, but I just finished Titus Groan last week, after hearing so much raving about it. I’d grant it a 1 ½ stars out of 5. It took me several months to get through this book (and this coming from a guy who read Dostoevsky's “The Idiot”). I would go several days without even touching the book, forgetting I even had it and can’t recall the last time I had such animosity towards a book.
    The first 100+ pages there is absolutely no plot other than establishing the many characters in the story, none of whom I ever cared about.
    Caution: This is not a book for everyone.


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    Ryyme
    Ryyme
    Posts: 5

    7/9/2014
  • Not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but Fallen London seems very apt towards the Mike Mignollia Books of the Drowned City, e.g. joe Golem series. They are easy and quick reads.

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    Ridiculus Undarke
    Ridiculus Undarke
    Posts: 48

    7/13/2014
    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 reasurring growl. "All is well, and all is well, and all shall be well."


    But T.S.Elliot (in Little Gidding) wrote:
    A symbol perfected in death.
    And all shall be well and
    All manner of things shall be well
    By the purification of the motive
    In the ground of our beseeching.


    I think we can safely say that's the source of the famous saying from FL, and not Julian of Norwich whom Elliot took it from. Gaiman was always close to FL in... atmosphere? style? tone? approach to history and fantasy? I can't figure out what it is, but they indeed feel like literary cousins. And the reason for this is that they come from the same parents, obviously (Chesterton, for example, as one can see from the Gaiman quote above).


    Ryyme wrote:

  • Sorry to disagree with the two of you, but I just finished Titus Groan last week, after hearing so much raving about it. I’d grant it a 1 ½ stars out of 5. It took me several months to get through this book (and this coming from a guy who read Dostoevsky's “The Idiot”). I would go several days without even touching the book, forgetting I even had it and can’t recall the last time I had such animosity towards a book.
    The first 100+ pages there is absolutely no plot other than establishing the many characters in the story, none of whom I ever cared about.
    Caution: This is not a book for everyone.

  • Dostoyevsky is easy to read, Peake isn't. Obviously he isn't "for everyone", nor he is meant to be. He was like a painter who used words instead of colours and strokes (and indeed he was one). But that doesn't make him less worthy by default.


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    Korianne Finch
    Korianne Finch
    Posts: 5

    7/17/2014
    If you wouldn't mind something semi-modern day, the first thing that came to mind was Simon R. Green's Nightside series. 13 books, but they go quickly, and they're wonderfully bizarre for urban fantasy.

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    BelleauWoodsman
    BelleauWoodsman
    Posts: 4

    7/21/2014
    Not so reminiscent of Fallen London, but relevant: The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk is worth checking out if you find the espionage side of Fallen London to be your thing. It's a (sort of narrative) history of the real life "Great Game" between England and Russia.
    edited by BelleauWoodsman on 7/21/2014
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    The Dark Gentleman
    The Dark Gentleman
    Posts: 192

    7/21/2014
    I was recently gifted with a copy of The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar. The tone is very much in keeping with Fallen London. Dirigibles, secret revolutionaries, strange and unusual rulers, literary elements (obviously), and the great question of death (how don't some die, how to bring others back, etc.) Also, there are whales in the Thames. Hurrah for whales.

  • edited by The Dark Gentleman on 7/21/2014

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    Felix Merivel
    Felix Merivel
    Posts: 20

    12/16/2014
    A Study in Emerald - another Neil Gaiman mention, not a book but a short story. Free for download from his website. And the graphic lay-out by Jouni Koponen is brilliant.


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    Polycarp
    Polycarp
    Posts: 16

    12/17/2014
    I think "In Viriconium" and "Viriconium Nights", from M.John Harrison's Viriconium series, would be startlingly familiar to any resident of Fallen London. Those are much the best books in the series (the earlier ones are much less interesting). Nail Gaiman wrote a very good review of his work: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2012/01/of-introductions-and-viriconium.html



    And then, no longer baroque, M. John Harrison’s prose became transparent, but it was a treacherous transparency. Like its predecessors, In Viriconium is a novel about a hero attempting to rescue his princess, a tale of a dwarf, an inventor and a threatened city, but now the huge canvas of the first book has become a small and personal tale of heartbreak and of secrets and of memory. The gods of the novel are loutish and unknowable, our hero barely understands the nature of the story he finds himself in. It feels like it has come closer to home than the previous stories – the disillusion and decay that was pupating in the earlier stories has now emerged in full, like a butterfly, or a metal bird, freed from its chrysalis.


    The short stories which weave around the three novels are stories about escapes, normally failed escapes. They are about power and politics, about language and the underlying structure of reality, and they are about art. They are as hard to hold as water, as evanescent as a shower of sparks, as permanent and as natural as rock formations.


    The Viriconium stories and novels cover such aspects of life as gardening, anatomy, mathematics, and geometry, card games, flying contraptions, and labyrinths. Also, they talk about art.


    edited by Polycarp on 12/17/2014

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    Rook Crofton
    Rook Crofton
    Posts: 83

    12/17/2014
    BelleauWoodsman wrote:
    Not so reminiscent of Fallen London, but relevant: The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk is worth checking out if you find the espionage side of Fallen London to be your thing. It's a (sort of narrative) history of the real life "Great Game" between England and Russia.

    Seconding, and recommending Hopkirk's Foreign Devils on the Silk Road even more! The author synthesized the travel accounts of archaeologists from colonial powers as they scrambled to navigate, map, and claim manuscripts and artifacts from Central Asia (~1890s-1930s). There's the discovery of manuscripts hidden in a secret room behind a plastered-up wall in a desert monastery, and the plundering of medieval Chinese murals from grotto-temples, all under the shadow of the Great Game. The tone is conversational, like an after-dinner chat by the fireplace, but the content is rigourous enough that this was used as a textbook in my undergraduate class on the Silk Road. Very readable (and picaresque) history!

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    Rook Crofton: dreamer, antiquarian, mystic
    Now a Scarlet Saint. Happy to send anyone an invite to the Temple Club.
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    Morbs Beauchene
    Morbs Beauchene
    Posts: 7

    3/6/2015
    The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding. It's about 'wytch-hunters' in an au london. Also by Chris Wooding is Storm Thief wherein 'probability storms' can change everything from the colour of your lipstick to the number of limbs you have. It's set in a grungy, grimy, not-quite steam-punk city.

    If it's fantastical archipelagos and places where the sun never shines that tickle your fancy you might also like (my favourite books of all time), Clive Barker's Abarat series. The basic premise of Abarat is that each island represents and hour of the day you have twelve islands where it's always daytime and twelve where it's always night. Try and get the overpriced and out of print hardcover versions if you can. They're the only editions with illustrations and the illustrations are a big part of the experience (and barker is a brilliant artist).

    I think someone mentioned The Clockwork Century already? but those too! (though the narrative really drags in some places)

    (these are all y/a books but what can I say? I'm a tiny child in an over-sized body!)

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    Marianne Anders
    Marianne Anders
    Posts: 127

    4/7/2015
    I just finished reading Invisible Cities, which was very evocative of Sunless Sea. and an interesting read, to boot.

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    GabrielleBenoit
    GabrielleBenoit
    Posts: 4

    4/23/2015
    Not sure if anyone has metioned it befor ebut the Johannes Cabal series are really really similar in writing and with a similar athmosphere. The books currently in the series are (in order):
    Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
    Johannes Cabal the Detective
    Johannes Cabal and the Fear Institute (this one actually has a warning very similar to the ones FL gives at the beginning)
    The Brothers Cabal

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    Rook Crofton
    Rook Crofton
    Posts: 83

    4/28/2015
    Marianne Anders wrote:
    I just finished reading Invisible Cities, which was very evocative of Sunless Sea. and an interesting read, to boot.


    I love Invisible Cities too, and I think it's one of the inspirations for Fallen London as well.

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    Lord Hoot
    Lord Hoot
    Posts: 47

    6/14/2015
    More reminiscent of Sunless Sea, but here's one I brought up on Reddit:

    Before A Game of Thrones George RR Martin wrote a supernatural horror novel called Fevre Dream set aboard a Mississippi steamboat in the mid-19th century. It's excellent, full of darkness and melancholy and technical detail about steamships of the era. The protagonist could easily be a character from Sunless Sea.
    edited by Lord Hoot on 6/14/2015
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    fortluna
    fortluna
    Posts: 306

    6/21/2015
    Frances Hardinge's Cuckoo Song should satisfy anyone who was missing the option to devour everything in sight. Eventually —spoilers -- the main character starts to slide feebly protesting porcelain dolls (along with her clothes, her trinkets, and her sister, nearly) down her gullet. (all this in a kids' book!)
    Johannes Cabal would be a perfect fit for irreverent Fallen London, if only for the things he does to devils and the oblong tentacular horrors.
    I was also looking through Invisible Cities again and I’d always assumed that TRAVELLER RETURNING was a direct reference, as "futures not achieved are only branches of the past”. Now I have no idea what Salt wants, if it’s not a traveller who is always returning to rediscover possible pasts, since without it—is Salt only returning to threaten the white? ((sorry I’m so bad at reading comprehension))

  • edited by fortluna on 6/21/2015
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    Snotra
    Snotra
    Posts: 67

    7/18/2015
    Is there a thread like this for music? Either way, I do recommend Emilie Autumn. Lots of violins and harpsicords. 'Marry Me' and 'Thank God I'm Pretty' split my seams.

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    Lady Taimi Felix
    Lady Taimi Felix
    Posts: 202

    7/18/2015
    Snotra wrote:
    Is there a thread like this for music?


    There is!

    http://community.failbettergames.com/topic230-radio-neath--echo-bazaar-soundtracks.aspx

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    Snotra
    Snotra
    Posts: 67

    7/18/2015
    Lady Taimi Felix wrote:
    Snotra wrote:
    Is there a thread like this for music?


    There is!

    http://community.failbettergames.com/topic230-radio-neath--echo-bazaar-soundtracks.aspx

    Cheers, I'll share it there too. Her work is worth sharing in any venue.
    edited by Snotra on 7/18/2015

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    Ren
    Ren
    Posts: 11

    7/22/2015
    Reading through this thread, and being highly impressed by some of the reccomendations, Niel Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Mark Gatiss, China Mieville and of course Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves (how amazing that novel is...just the mention of it never fails to send shivers throughout my body), I began to compile the list for my own future use, but soon realised this list may be of help for others...

    Neil Gaiman
    -Neverwhere
    -American Gods
    -A Study in Emerald
    -(with Terry Pratchet) Good Omens

    Terry Pratchet
    -Watchmen series

    Gordon Dahlquist
    -Glass books of the Dream Eaters

    S.M. Peters
    -Whitechapel Gods

    Mervyn Peake
    -Titus Groan
    -Gormenghast

    Gail Carriger
    -The Parasol Protectorate: Soulless (1), Changeless (2), Blameless (3), Heartless (4), & Timeless (5)

    Brian Selznick
    -The Invention of Hugo Cabret: A Novel in Words and Pictures

    China Mieville
    -Perdido Street Station

    Jeff Vandermeer
    -City of Saints and Madmen

    Jay Lake
    -Trial of Flowers

    Stephen Hunt
    -Jackelian books: Court of the Air, Kingdom Beyond the Waves, Rise of the Iron Moon, Secrets of the Fire Sea

    Tim Powers
    -The Anubis Gates

    Mark Z. Danielewski
    -House of Leaves

    Ted Naifeh
    -Courtney Crumrin and The Twilight Kingdom

    Holly Black
    (no specific title)

    Shaun Tan
    -The Arrival

    Laura Powell
    -The Game of Triumphs

    Dmitry Glukhovsky
    -Metro 2033

    Kim Newman
    -Anno Dracula

    Catherynne M. Valente
    -Palimpsest

    Susanna Clarke
    -Johnathan Strange & Mr Norrell

    Alan Moore
    -From Hell

    Barbara Hambly
    -Those who Hunt the Night

    Phil Foglio
    -Girl Genius

    Frederic Morton
    -Rotschilds

    Margery Allingham
    -Campion series

    M.John Harrison
    -In Viriconium
    -Viriconium Nights

    Peter Hopkirk
    -Foreign Devils on the Silk Road
    -The Great Game

    Chris Wooding
    -Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
    -Storm Thief

    H. P. Lovecraft
    -Beyond the Wall of Sleep

    Jonathan Stroud
    -Bartimaeus Sequence

    Clive Barker
    -Abarat series

    Cherie Priestt
    -The Clockwork Century

    Mark Gatiss
    -The Vesuvius Club

    Italo Calvino
    -Invisible Cities

    Jonathan L. Howard
    -Johannes Cabal the Necromancer
    -Johannes Cabal the Detective
    -Johannes Cabal and the Fear Institute
    -The Brothers Cabal

    George RR Martin
    -Fevre Dream

    Frances Hardinge
    -Cuckoo Song

    Jonathan Barnes
    -The Somnambulist and The Domino Men

    Jacques Tardi
    -(no specific titles)

    Dave Morris and Leo Hartas
    -Mirabilis: Year of Wonders

    Tony Ballantyne
    -Dream London

    Mike Mignollia
    -Books of the Drowned City

    Simon R. Green
    -Nightside series

    Lavie Tidhar
    -The Bookman
    edited by Ren on 7/22/2015

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    steamwork
    steamwork
    Posts: 27

    7/23/2015
    I am here to recommend the Parasol Protectorate series featuring...
    -Vampires that don't sparkle
    -A great deal of LGBT diversity
    -One vampire in particular who while fabulously and openly gay still kicks ass,is incredibly clever,and of great importance
    -Werewolves that wear cravats as well as shirts (though sometimes said cravat will be in disarry)
    -A witty,stubborn,intelligent woman who can hold her own and also render the immortal mortal via touch
    -Witty writing
    -Romance of the intelligent variety
    -Delightful gadgets
    -Well written characters

    Edit: Moved to the reading recommendations thread. - Babel
    edited by babelfishwars on 7/23/2015

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