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Books reminiscent of Fallen London Messages in this topic - RSS

steamwork
steamwork
Posts: 27

7/29/2015
Rupho Schartenhauer wrote:
Gail Carriger's The Parasol Protectorate series! Soulless (1), Changeless (2), Blameless (3), Heartless (4), & Timeless (5). It's priceless.

I don't usually quote press kits but in this case it's spot-on: "The Parasol Protectorate books are comedies of manners set in Victorian London: full of vampires, dirigibles, and tea. They are Jane Austen doing urban fantasy meets PG Wodehouse doing steampunk."

Actually, Carriger herself would be a perfect Fallen London character. Her real name is Tofa Borregaard and originally she's an archaeologist... smile
edited by Rupho Schartenhauer on 3/24/2015


I love that series!

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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

3/12/2017
While not a book in any way, shape or form, and indeed revolving around *gasp* the French, I found the Cato-Jeunet film "The City of Lost Children" to be very reminiscent indeed. There's a number of Urchins in it, naturally. And a Docker. Also an inexplicably peckish child who eats candles, and an atmosphere that is...let us say, adjacent to steampunk, in the same ways that FL is. Much of the story is left teasingly unelucidated. More than all of this, it is profoundly visual, so if you ever wanted to spend a few hours just enjoying the spectacle of what a Fallen city might look like, there's your chance.

(*Yeah, it's in French. But no one on this forum minds a little extra reading, right?)

Update: Definitely the City of Lost Children. Freudian slip.
edited by Teaspoon on 3/13/2017

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Chubaka
Chubaka
Posts: 15

3/13/2017
Teaspoon wrote:
While not a book in any way, shape or form, and indeed revolving around *gasp* the French, I found the Cato-Jeunet film "The City of Fallen Children" to be very reminiscent indeed.

Might You perchance mean "The City of Lost Children"? The one which is called "La cité des
enfants perdus"?
It was quite an...interesting and enjoyable picture (with its flaws, of course). Yet it was made
with the help of countries of two other languages of the Game, as well, thus it may be not that
unknown..

Besides the works of Mr. Lovecraft, obviously, there was always a strange sense of déjà vu
when I re-read "The Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov, and not because of the Devil(s). It
was this weird...mixture of "Faust", Mr. Lewis style (see "The Screwtape Letters") and a de-
construction of the society at the time. And, well, the religious stuff, but that is only one aspect.
(I also think that the allusions – here again – to Bradbury and Wells *may* be intended... But
these are hardly unknown writers, so I digress..)

If the underground-ish atmosphere is sought after, "The City of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau
may be an interesting take on a post-apocalyptic world (and society) where everyone fled un-
derground and lives with a dooming sense of oblivion regarding knowlegde and trust. It was
also adapted into film.
And, continuing in that style, "Letter Bee" (translated title) by Hiroyuki Asada has a very similiar
feel to it as the ember city, but it is mainly (and essentially only) in this aspect similiar to our Fifth
City (and is also not the best series there is, generally speaking and in my humble opinion).
Furthermore, it is a picture book from the 'Orient' (– and what a disgrace would it be to read
picture books! I mean, *picture books*! That are books with pictures instead of long, well-written
pages! How utterly outrageous! *Our* beloved writers would never approve of something like
this!)
, so maybe I stand there alone.
If someone is interested in books in a somewhat similiar style as "The Invisible Cities" by Italo
Calvino (one of the books this very Fallen City is based on, among others), a quite well-written
(but good-to-okay-translated, again, in my opinion, that is) series called "Kino's Journey"
(translated title) by Keiichi Shigusawa. Yet, again, these are from the 'Orient', albeit not picture
books.

...I reckon, this is enough for now. Hopefully, I did not cover my fellow citizens here over with
rubble.

Teaspoon wrote:
(*Yeah, it's in French. But no one on this forum minds a little extra reading, right?)

Delicious Friend, I reckon no-one here is this ill-mannered to be aghast at or irritated by some-
one who is versed enough in the wor(l)d to dabble in the Game or societies..
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zamothac
zamothac
Posts: 2

3/21/2017
There's something about Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy that's been really striking a FL chord with me during a recent reread, particularly the first book (The Golden Compass). For those who've not read it or heard of it, Pullman essentially conceived of it as an atheist reply to C.S. Lewis's Narnia series. Lyra, a rash girl from a world where science has become entwined with religion and everyone's soul walks with them outside their body as an animal, embarks on a quest to save her friend from the mysterious Oblation Board, a shadowy organization said to kidnap children, take them North, and do something terrible to them. Of course, it becomes something much larger than that over the next two books, and alternate universes, terrible sacrifices, and literal battles with gods and angels alike ensue. It's EXTREMELY good, and very well-written, with flashes of dry humour and a singular atmosphere.

Lyra and Pan's world of dirigibles and Northern Mysteries, full of mazelike streets, odd terminology, treacherous factions, lone scholars conducting perilous research, dangerous religious themes, and the threat of losing one's soul in a multitude of ways... yeah, there's definitely something Neathy there. They've even got a University (although admittedly one which is largely Summersetish rather than Benthicesque) with a thriving community of Urchins! And honestly, the Gyptians feel like a new faction just waiting to be discovered.

Quite aside from all the twisted semi-Victoriana, there's just something ineffable about the writing which gives me the same kind of feeling as FL - like I'm exploring a living, breathing world, both wonderful and terribly dangerous, full of people with their own lives and agendas which just happen to intersect with mine. (And maybe I've just been reading too many journal entries from those who are Seeking, but some of the sacrifices Lyra, Pan, and Will have to undergo remind me of the trials which must be borne for the sake of The Name.) Good stuff.

(Sidebar: wouldn't a Neath with daemons as well as demons be an interesting place?)

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Zarrg
Zarrg
Posts: 31

4/14/2017
I would recommend checking out Steven King's The Dark Tower series
I have only just started it, but so far it seems to share themes with the Echo Bazaar-verce.

The final two chapters of the first book are especially reminiscent of SMEN, with themes of obsession, sacrifice and terrible cosmic truths.
edited by Zarrg on 4/22/2017
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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

7/22/2017
Has anyone else read Judith Flanders? I'm very fond of her tomes on Victorian living.

They're full of useful tidbits such as how many people walked across London every day for work (most of them, which justifies the Neath's apparent lack of public transport) and the ubiquity of takeaway. Great fun.

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gronostaj
gronostaj
Posts: 403

7/22/2017
I'd recommend Lies of Locke Lamora. It's not exactly victorian england (the city is actually reminescent of Italy and Venice), but it's like..... a better version of Oliver Twist. Plus, there are remnants of an older city from a different civilization over which the new city grew, orphan gangs and all sorts of criminals and thieves, and some elegantly subtle, but really peculiar supernatural things. And lot of high-quality stealing. Anyone who enjoyed thievery and heists in Flit, or Persuasively.... persuading Londoners to part with their riches, as well as the Watchmaker's Hill's and Docks' storylines, will certainly love it. Those who didn't will very probably also love it, because it's a rather good book. The author's debut book, actually. Some people (sighs).

--
Gronostaj (pl. Ermine), a decadent duellist of mysterious and indistinct gender. Seeker. Willing to die- but not of boredom. Open to all social actions, including the harmful ones.
Soft-Spoken Surgeon, a doctor who owes an onerous debt. Professor of medicine at the University by day, at criminal employ by night. Open to all non-harmful social actions.
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Ragnar Degenhand
Ragnar Degenhand
Posts: 208

7/23/2017
Teaspoon wrote:
Has anyone else read Judith Flanders? I'm very fond of her tomes on Victorian living.

They're full of useful tidbits such as how many people walked across London every day for work (most of them, which justifies the Neath's apparent lack of public transport) and the ubiquity of takeaway. Great fun.


Thank you for the recommendation! Don't know how I missed her, but I've placed an order...

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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

8/2/2017
I'd remembered that "Anne of Windy Willows" had gossipy scenes set in graveyards, and a school named Summerside, and whole paragraphs going on about winds and Storm.

And yet, I had entirely forgotten about the cannibalistic subplot.
edited by Teaspoon on 8/2/2017

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Catherine Raymond
Catherine Raymond
Posts: 2641

8/3/2017
gronostaj wrote:
I'd recommend Lies of Locke Lamora. It's not exactly victorian england (the city is actually reminescent of Italy and Venice), but it's like..... a better version of Oliver Twist. Plus, there are remnants of an older city from a different civilization over which the new city grew, orphan gangs and all sorts of criminals and thieves, and some elegantly subtle, but really peculiar supernatural things. And lot of high-quality stealing. Anyone who enjoyed thievery and heists in Flit, or Persuasively.... persuading Londoners to part with their riches, as well as the Watchmaker's Hill's and Docks' storylines, will certainly love it. Those who didn't will very probably also love it, because it's a rather good book. The author's debut book, actually. Some people (sighs).


I know the books well (it's a series) and I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth one, "The Thorn of Emberlain" which was supposed to come out last September but was delayed.

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gronostaj
gronostaj
Posts: 403

8/3/2017
Catherine Raymond wrote:
I know the books well (it's a series) and I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth one, "The Thorn of Emberlain" which was supposed to come out last September but was delayed.

aha! One of my favourite things about the failbetter playerbase is that it has an unproportional amount of people who have impeccable tastes wink

i'm waiting for Thorn too. I still remember the day I accidentally bought "republic of thieves" (which I couldn't even read back then, because I didn't speak English, but I'd've been damned if that stopped me from getting my useless unreadable ridiculously expensive hardcover book signed) when I ran into him signing books at some big London book-store. Seemed like a really swell guy in addition to being a good writer

--
Gronostaj (pl. Ermine), a decadent duellist of mysterious and indistinct gender. Seeker. Willing to die- but not of boredom. Open to all social actions, including the harmful ones.
Soft-Spoken Surgeon, a doctor who owes an onerous debt. Professor of medicine at the University by day, at criminal employ by night. Open to all non-harmful social actions.
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Bitty
Bitty
Posts: 235

8/8/2017
Although not really similar setting wise, John Dies at the End has kinda the same mix of creepy, funny and weird that Fallen London and Sunless Sea has, it's sequel, This Book is Full of Spiders is also great
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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

8/10/2017
If you, like me, have developed a habit of checking out books just to see if they're at all Fallen London-esque - don't bother with "The House of Sight and Shadow". Fair-to-middling story, some solid horror concepts (Jean-Baptiste Denys's blood transfusions are a key underpinning of the plot) but it never properly evokes the era it's supposed to be set in and that's murder for a historical novel. Also the heroine's dull.

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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

8/18/2017
Oh look, double-posting.

Graham Greene's "Travels with My Aunt". The Inconvenient Aunt in which makes Wodehouse's relatives seem like tame stuff, by comparison.

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Truth lies at the bottom of a well.

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Chrisotoph
Chrisotoph
Posts: 18

8/18/2017
Michael Ende's The neverending story (Die unendliche Geschichte) is one of the fondest reading experiences of my childhood (I unfortunately don't know how good the English translation is, but I suspect it can't be terrible). It is a story about stories, telling stories, and alike fallen london, about love and desire. I don't know if it will be as defining a novel to everyone as it was to me, but I still wholeheartedly recommend it.

Also, adding my voice to those of my compatriots: read Neil Gaiman. Anything Gaiman. I adore Neverwhere, I love Sandman, but if you are in a rush, just pick up one of the short story collections - I always recommend Fragile things, since it has several of my favorite Gaiman stories in it. The language is just mesmerising.

And on a less fantasy side of things - I am a big fan of Umberto Eco (if you haven't read The Name of the Rose (Il nome della rosa) and you think you may like a masterful mix of (immensely well researched) historical fiction, detective mystery, abbeys, philosophical and theological debates, libraries, labyrinths, and a book on books, you should) and I often feel that the great games of fallen london are much in the vein of The Prague Cementery (Il cimitero di Praga), an (immensely well researched) historical fiction told in the memories of a schizophrenic backboneless spider of a man who plays every person or affiliation he comes in contact with for his personal benefits regardless of the consequences to anyone else. Great recipes though. (Again, I have not read the English translation, but I don't think it can be that bad.)
edited by Chrisotoph on 8/18/2017

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Yours, Correspondent Chrisotoph
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Cosette des Fleurs
Cosette des Fleurs
Posts: 11

8/19/2017
I know it's been mentioned before in connection with Fallen London, but I want to bump Rodger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. I've rarely had more fun with a book than this one, with it's mix of homage to classic monsters, humor, HPL, Victorian England, certain real and fictitious Victorian Englishmen, things in mirrors, talking animal companions, and moments of pure spookiness. If you squint hard enough, you might even notice a Waxwail Knife.

--
Mlle Cosette des Fleurs: The-Not-Entirely-Canonical Monster Hunter. Delicious roleplaying relished.
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Teaspoon
Teaspoon
Posts: 866

10/21/2017
Joseph Conrad's "The Secret Agent".

Recommended reading for all Great Game players and Revolutionary types. And easier to fathom than some of this other texts.

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Ignatius Sixsmith
Ignatius Sixsmith
Posts: 2

10/23/2017
Mike Carey's Felix Castor series has that lovely grimey London feel, with an exorcist who deals with ghosts through music as the main character.

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Malcolm Harris
Malcolm Harris
Posts: 35

10/26/2017
I've been reading Embassytown by China Mieville. Not too far in, but the novel's take on interstellar humanity definitely makes it a great book to read alongside Sunless Skies.
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Clifton Royston
Clifton Royston
Posts: 110

10/27/2017
Thanks to the commenters up-thread for the recommendation of Catherynne Valente's _Palimpsest_ which I'd been meaning to read anyway, but...
Wow. Such dark. Much sex. So strange. Many wow.

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