Monday, July 10, 2017

Kindle Unlimited: Old School Fantasy Picks

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With Prime Day coming up, Amazon recently did a bit where if you were a prime member, you could subscribe to Kindle Unlimited for 2 years at 40% off. It's not cheap by any means, but I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where I could afford it.

My main purpose was to give my mom access to move reading. She has near unlimited time being a retiree and she's much less picky about starting something new than I am. She's read dozens if not hundreds of books that initially I purchased from a Daily Deal or monthly deal.

But did that mean there was nothing for someone who grew up in the eighties? Someone who grew up reading Michael Moorcock and David Smith among others?

This is kind of a trick question in many ways. For example, while The Fellowship of the Ring is part of the Kindle Unlimited bit, I read it. If you've stumbled upon my blog, you may not know, but I rarely go back and reread anything as I have dozens of books I haven't read at all. Among those 

The Silmarillion, which is also available in Kindle Unlimited.

When trying to find titles, it's a massive miss. For an electronic company, the ability to sort the options in Kindle Unlimited suffers vastly. There is no way to sort by author. What an amazing lack of forethought here. You can sort by featured, price, average review, and publication date.

But not by author.


You'll also note that you can't sort by title. One of the most basic functions of sorting and you can't do it here.

You can use the various options on the left side of the screen to cut down and chop up the options, but again, no ability to search by author.

Some might be thinking, well, how about using something like the sword & sorcery to cut down the sexy mage ladies?

That gives you options like Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Whoever is setting up the meta tags clearly has no idea of what they're doing.

Failure Amazon. 100% pure failure.

It does hit some popular titles. For example, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is in the Kindle Unlimited package. So if you, like me, have missed that particular icon of modern fantasy, well, there's a lot of hope for you.

And if you're willing to just dive into a fantasy series, man, you've got your options. Some of the covers I recognize from long deals that Amazon has had on the series. Others look like supernatural fantasy modern day 'Buffy' style books that my mom devours daily.

Most I don't recognize at all.

But a few do stand out!

The Princess Bride: Despite greatly enjoying the movie, I've never read the book.

Llarn Cycle: There are many great authors that I didn't read when I was younger because when I found out about them, the books were out of print. Nowadays that isn't such a problem IF the books are in e-format AND I remember them. Garder F. Fox is one of them. Some of his stories were even reworked into Marvel Comic's Conan. Heck, most comic books fans will be familiar with Garder from his work on the comics that did things like introducing the multi-verse to DC.

That whole bit is a win for me. I appreciate that not all of the oldies are goodies. That a lot of what has come since has been done better or is more fitting for modern politically correct times.

But I also like seeing where the genre came from and that includes things that are rarely touched on like Planetary Romance sagas.

Also included among other series by Garder, is his Kothar series. A pastiche of Conan? Perhaps but more fun stuff from back in the day.

Witch World: Here's a series I'd HAVE to reread because my reading of it was all messed up due to the publication of the original series in how I bought them. Andre Norton has a LOT of books in the Kindle Unlimited bit and that alone almost makes it worth the purchase for me.

Sword & Deviltry by Fritz Leiber:  While it's great to see some original Appendix N love here, it's almost a tease. The first book in the Kindle Unlimited, the rest? Nope.

There are other features to the Kindle Unlimited I haven't got to yet. For example, there are a ton of comics.

But again, no easy way to see the authors I like or even to list it in plain alphabetical order. Again, an immense failure by Amazon.

I'll keep digging into the Kindle Unlimited and noting some of the gems when I run across them.

Those who who already have a Kindle Unlimited subscription, are there are comics, fantasy, science fiction, historical, or business books you'd recommend? I'm going to try to get some utility out of this even if I initially bought it for the mom.