start with Player of Games, even though it's not the first Culture novel. Maybe also take a look at Feersum Endjinn...
As it happens he's also written some good science fiction.
It just kind of pulls you along for the ride doesn't it.
He only did a few series. His books are usually stand alones.
Go for Tigana.
Mainly the Wool books. They are very short books. I got the omnibus and couldn't set it down.
Try the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Has fantasy, sci-fi, horror, western, and even a little humor thrown in. The Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen is really good also. Series about the people who each receive 1 of 12 swords forged by the Gods. Each sword has its own unique power. Game of Thrones from George R. Martin is popular right now.
I will warn you that the first book of the Malazan series, Gardens of the Moon, does toss you in medias res, and lets you figure out for yourself what is going on. The glossary at the back of the book and the list of characters in the front of the book are very useful.
Keep track of the characters; for example, in Deadhouse Gates, (which should have the title The Chain of Dogs), there is a very minor character, Toblakai. His real name is Karsa Orlong, and he is a very important character in House of Chains and most of the succeeding novels.
The overall tone of the series is rather grim, although there are some bits which are quite funny; for example, the conversation Bugg has with his lawyer in Reaper's Gale just before he goes bankrupt is a first-rate piece of comic writing. Another bit I liked was Kallor having one of the best boasts in the history of boasts: "I walked this land when the T'lan Imass were but children. I have commanded armies a hundred thousand strong. I have spread the fire of my wrath across entire continents, and sat alone upon tall thrones. Do you grasp the meaning of this?" Caladan Brood immediately shoots back with "Yes. You never learn."
There are no guarantees that anyone survives. For example, Whiskeyjack, the main character in the first book, is (spoiler) killed in the third book. Although being killed in this series does not necessarily prevent a character from reappearing, since (spoiler) Whiskeyjack shows up again in two of the later books. And Toc the Younger (spoiler) manages to get reborn twice, and loses his left eye three times. Hood, the god of death, is killed in Toll the Dogs, but reappears in The Crippled God. When someone says to him "I thought you were dead", Hood replies that being the former god of death gives certain advantages with regard to leaving the land of the dead.
There are also some novels by Ian Esslemont set in the same world at the same time. These novels are canonical, and do give necessary information; for example, we find out what happens to Lasseen in The Return of the Red Guard. Unfortunately, Esslemont is not as good a writer as Erikson (who can write a bit clunkily at times).
There is a unique system of magic, "warrens" from which a magic user can draw power. A character can "ascend" to godhood, sometimes involuntarily. The Crippled God makes Karsa Urlong a demigod (Knight of Chains) without consulting Karsa, and both Karsa and Heboric (a former priest who has accidentally killed his god) realize that the Crippled God is going to come to regret it. Similarly, Ganoes Paran becomes Master of the Deck of Dragons (a Tarot-like card deck which can be used to divine the future and has some aspects of control over the warrens) and doesn't want the job, since he feels that it gives him more power than he can deal with.
One character I should mention is Kruppe, who wants people to underestimate him as a minor magic user and fence who is interested mainly in good food and good wine. He is, in fact, probably the most intelligent character in the novels, and is a friend of the Elder god K'rull (not a worshiper of K'rull, nor K'rull's disciple or priest, but K'rull's friend). At the end of the first book, K'rull owes Kruppe a favor, something which Kruppe is not sure is a good thing or a bad thing. Kruppe also has an annoying habit of referring to himself in the third person.
I really liked it, and am waiting for the next books to come out.
Even though I've promised myself (post Game of Thrones, post Name of the Wind) to not read a series until it's complete. Ha.
The former is set in Minneapolis, where a young female musician is dragged into a covert war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts of Faerie, with the city as the prize. The latter is set in Albequerque, the current home of King Arthur(yes, that King Arthur), who is in actuality one of a race of immortal shape-shifters who take on the same archetypes over and over as they shift identities in order to remain secret. Arthur finds this secrecy threatened as unscrupulous rivals attempt to depose him as leader, in the process arousing the unpredictable wrath of the Changer, oldest of them all.
If I'm laying the syrup on thick here it's only due to the love I have for both these books. Everyone I've recommended them to has loved them also.
Forging Hephaestus, by Drew Hayes. It's kind of an alternate universe, super human type story.
A well written, fun read.
Why not open or save to flash-drive The Trinity Code in Tarot, which is total destruction to ANY computer system? Everyone can get divination meanings, one card at time here, without fear or danger.
Instead of being a fool, let's begin with the ancient concept of zero, as "A fool for the city plays on 102.5 the Coyote on my radio, coincidentally, at12:18 AM in Mountain Time Zone!
Like positive and negative numbers, the Tarot begins an infinite cycle with zero. This card, which displays a zero, is the essential link that puts the cycle in motion. Like the number, The Fool is neither positive nor negative, while offering both possibilities. Zero starts a series in the trumps, which mimics cycles in life. His divinely blessed first step onto this perilous path appears insignificant; however, every progression in our counting system utilizes zero, as each journey starts with a single step. Natural law states, A body in motion tends to stay in motion. After starting this journey, he might become lost; but he cannot defy natural law. While the card shows beginnings, it sows seeds of transition, which flower into infinite choices, leading to different endings. The Fool often refers to reaching the crossroads of a decision in life. As imagery suggests, the card can also show you are considering a new direction or taking a dynamic step toward a fresh approach.
The Fool prances boldly along a path leading off a cliff, wearing golden boots of innocence and ignorance, as he tosses logic to the wind. Many cultures fail to perceive the divinity of innocence or any value in ignorance. An unconventional approach changes negative opinions of others from stumbling blocks into pebbles on this path. With little concern over what others believe or say, The Fool suggests happiness begins with a choice. Adopting illogical policies seems foolish; but history teaches those, who chose this route, took a fast track to wisdom. Ignorance frees us to try things experienced people would not even attempt. "Go with the flow" is the decree often followed by society. For those who exist in such mundane realms, the philosophy of The Fool is like the precipice of a cliff. Thomas Gray writes, Where ignorance is bliss, Tis folly to be wise. On his staff, he carries the collective human unconscious. Requiring no outside approval, The Fool follows a unique path, despite what others feel is best for him. He has faith in his choices. Is choosing this approach foolish?
Light and airy, imagery swirls with the energy of Air. In astrology, Air signs sparkle with intelligence. In imagery, a white sun implies the dawning of youthful innocence, before collective criticism causes emotional barriers. The artist spent childhood in Jamaica, where Santeria stories affected her outlook on life. Innocence provides an open mind, which allows you to find new approaches each day. Principally, innocence appears limited to children. Youth shines with honesty and openness. Instead of tarnishing the luster, age should mellow it into wisdom. The Fool refers to coming of age for all ages. Children receiving confirmation into Santeria wear yellow and green beads to honor Orula, a deity of creation. Santeria and Voodoo derived from West African beliefs. In Santeria, slaves worshiped ancient deities, while pretending to honor Catholic Saints. After A.E. Waite engineered embedded geometric shapes in imagery, artist Pixie Smith presented Santeria symbolism with colors.
When The Fool appears in a reading, it take strides toward becoming more independent. This is a first step toward taking charge, in life. As imagery shows, an element of risk exists in every choice. Your path may be a high road of good choices, or the low road of poor ones. Whichever path you select, there other crossroads of decision lurk along the route. Life is not only about making choices, which offer temporary pleasure: It is about taking responsibility for bad decisions and learning from mistakes. After you receive this card, do not weigh consequences, or seek opinions. After this journey begins, it is difficult to predict the specific route. Appearance of this card often indicates you allow others to make, or influence, personal decisions. Trust in your own judgment and overcome fears of change. In a graphic implication of risk, The Fool walks toward a sheer cliff. Potential failure haunts new undertakings. Possibility of failure makes you resistant to dynamic change. Do not linger too long as you teeter on the edge of a decision. Nietzsche said, If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you. The Fool feels no fear, as he stares away from a chasm of risk. We learn to walk with a single step. With each new step, we gain confidence. Imagery implies leaping forth into an abyss of unrestrained potential: With faith, you will fly!
Sort of a fantasy Renaissance, but a lot different.
Seven in the series so far, starting with The Lies of Locke Lamora.
Lots of swash and buckle, mystery, magic. One even has them being election judges...