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Old 07-26-2007, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Louis MO
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Gah! The OP says he didn't like the "dense, long-winded arcana" of JRRT, and people are recommending Eddings, GRR Martin, Mieville, Gene Wolfe, and Suzanna Clarke? They're all good, but they're all chock full of dense, long-winded arcana. (part of the reason they're good)

Neil Gaiman is a good recommendation. I'd also add Roger Zelazny, who's books are very accessible and well-written.