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AuntiePam

Favorite Setting or Time Period

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Me, I'll read just about anything set in the 1800's, especially if it's set in a rural area.  There's something heartening about living with pioneers and settlers.  Americans used to know how to DO stuff!

 

Of course there's the DIS-heartening aspect as well -- removal of Native Americans, the hardships faced by women, and all the mistakes made as Americans moved west.

 

Second favorite place/setting is the East, when immigrants began to arrive. 

 

What are yours?

 

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I like near-future settings. It could be settings very similar to ours with just some futuristic tweaks. It could be people like us having to deal with sudden cataclysmic changes, apocalyptic disasters, or dystopian political systems. It could be an examination of what-if scenarios that actually aren't all that different, but interesting takes flavored with allusions to the author's vision of the outcomes of current events. I like them all. 

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For historical fiction, it has to be Medieval. It's my favourite period of history to study, as well as being my favourite to read novels about.

 

There are so many vivid, real personalities to be found, and so much scope for creating new and interesting characters and stories, using real events. I've always been interested in the Crusades, the 100 Years War, the Wars of the Roses, and there are so many books written using those periods, that it's often a case of wading through middling stuff to find the real pearls. I am not a fan of the Medieval conspiracy thriller and crime thriller books that seem to have sprung up over the last few years, though.

 

When it comes to science fiction, I do like dystopian stories a lot. There's something really engaging about a world that's gone wrong, society fallen apart. Cyberpunk is a great genre for it, building on the bones laid down by the likes of Bladerunner and Snow Crash.

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I like nearly any historical period, although I'm much more partial to pre-Industrial Revolution.  There's a lot of writing out there about the Tudor court and the War of the Roses, some better than others.  I've enjoyed a lot of Sharon Kay Penman's work, particularly the series that starts with the Anarchy and the sinking of the White Ship and follows the rise of the Plantagenets beginning with Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Pillars of the Earth covers the early part of the same period.

 

There are some great series set in the 1700s.  The so far 8 books of Outlander go from the Rising in Scotland in the 1740s to the American Revolution of the 1770s.  I'm currently working my way through the 12-book Poldark saga by Winston Graham, which is England post American Revolution.  I never expected to be this interested in Cornish copper mining or French Revolution inspired unrest.

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My favorite time period to go to in books is Elizabethan era.  I have read many fiction books in that era as well as non fiction.  I am just drawn to it. 

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I like alternative history, where some event is different from our history and makes the future different.  Henry Turtledove did a nice job, I thought, with his alternate civil war series.

Dystopian future is good too, seeing all the different ways our future can be so changed due to various events (some which seem almost prescient these days).

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I am another fan of Tudor/Elizabethan England (1486-1600); and Georgian (1710-1830) and Victorian (1830-1900) periods.

Difficult to really pin-point exactly why I like these eras: perhaps there was a certainly elegance, style, charm and sophistication that it so absent in modern times. But those eras also had real abject poverty, misery, hardship and disgust - things that are very hard to imagine today perhaps.

I always like to indulge with fiction/non-fiction books of those eras; more so than anything contemporary or set in the future.

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I like near-future or futuristic.  Especially if the author has a good enough grasp of trend-lines and imagination to make future tech or societal shifts plausible.  Probably why I like the show Black Mirror so much.  Not exactly making society completely dystopic but different enough to understand that a shift has taken place.  Kinda like if you look back and see how the 50s were different from 2000s. 

If I am talking historical, I like the Gilded Age.  Especially if an author is able to draw in both the the extremes of the  lavish wealth and the societal issues: immigrants, seeds of the great migration & Harlem Renaissance, child labor, industrialization, suffrage etc.  Probably why I enjoy Ragtime by Doctorow so much.  Also enjoyed the Alienist.  And PB Ryan has a series of mysteries set during this time which are also good.

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I love a good Victorian mystery partly because I just love that era, the clothes, the buildings, everything so elaborate and elegant and technology just beginning but also because of the lack of scientific crime detection. It's very interesting to see how crimes were solved before DNA and being able to follow someone's cell signal and credit cards, before we were all so easily identified and located, when a killer could hop on a ship and never be seen again.

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I will pick up practically anything from WWI era, the 1920s, 1930 to WWII.  It doesn't have to be serious either, I've been going through the Maisie Dobbs series and it is like candy to me. There's just so much going on during those years from the end of the war (and an era) the flappers and modernization of society and then the political turmoil all erupting to a second world war.

 

I also like medieval England and Tudor England as well, but am starting to get interested in Renaissance Italy so if anyone has any suggestions.....

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I also say WWI through WWII, although the book must be set in England.  I particularly like the between wars period.

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I don't know if I can name a specific era as a favorite. For me, it all depends on if the author does it well. To name two, Diana makes the 18th century come alive for me, Agatha Christie the earlier 20th century. David Mack and Una McCormick write excellent Star Trek books that put me fully into a future time period. So does JD Robb with her In Death series, though that is a near-future time.

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On 8/24/2017 at 6:30 PM, ikmccall said:

Medieval England

Victorian England

Ancient Rome

Wild West

Alternative history

Dystopian future

Post apocalyptic

Great list. I haven't read much Wild West, and for me, I'd add World War I and spy thrillers set during the Cold War.

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It's hard for me to pick a favorite era.  If the story is written well, I'll read pretty much anything, but a time period that will get my attention:

Anything with dinosaurs

Ancient Mesopotamia

Ancient Egypt

Sub-Roman Britain

Viking Age

Renaissance

Anything steampunk or a good weird western

World War One

also Alternate history, or a well-imagined science fiction future.  And especially, any good combination of the above.

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