After finishing the Star Wars Battlefront book last week I dived into my library. Here’s the thing, I obtained some time ago a file that had a lot of ebooks, and most of them were fantasy and sci fi. So when I reach a point where I do not have a library book to read and am not actively working on a series I will go to that file. And last week, when I got my new iPad, I loaded a number of books on it from that library.
Some of them are books I have read one time (or more.) For instance I had been on my way of working through the Wheel of Time yet again. I really like that series, it is still probably my favorite of all time. And yet, oddly enough, it is probably one with the least amount of reference to traditional role playing worlds. Everyone is a human, with very little deviation even for geographic location. But slipping back into the series is like a good pair of jeans, it just fits right, is comfortable, and I know what to expect. And yet it is complex enough that I can still pick up on the occasional new piece or clue when I read it again.
I also loaded some books I had not read, from a writer I knew and respected. And after finishing the Star Wars book I gave on them a try. I read the book Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher. I came away impressed. It did drag a little at pieces, maybe a little too complex for its own good. But it is a fascinating world that he created. I always like stuff with Roman influence, and this book has just enough of that to make it interesting. And there were enough surprises that it kept me on my toes. So yeah, a good read, and I do look forward to continuing the series. But not just yet. Because I decided that it was instead time to dive back into another familiar series.
That is the Book of Malazan. Perhaps one of the most complex and rich fantasy worlds I have ever encountered. Like Wheel of Time, it is not traditional RPG fantasy. There are no Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, etc. And so much of the series is about a terribly complex set of political and magical webs that it can be terribly confusing and easy to get lost. So it is not the easiest read. But man, is it good if you do get into it. The world building in this series puts pretty much everything else I have ever read to shame. There are layers, and layers and layers of stories woven together. An incredibly complex history. And a monstrously huge cast of characters, many of whom die (but not before telling a deep story first), or disappear for a book or two.
The point of all this is that I love variety in my books. Even if I am reading a lengthy series (trilogies are passe), I am willing to take a break from one and move over to another. And then of course I will gladly borrow from all of them when I need inspiration. Inspiration for a character, a story arc, or even campaign. They are all worth my time and attention. And it is a great life when I have all of these choices to work from.