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Best hidden gems.

Anomandaris

Ok, being outright greedy here, but given the level of response to the 'Best Discontinued Story' thread, I thought I'd like to see what people come up with for stories that are 'hidden gems'. So a good story that has slipped off the 'best of' pages, or maybe just never quite made it onto the top lists. I'll admit to preferring longer stuff, but any really good read is welcome.

Replies:   pigs41
aubie56

With tongue firmly set in cheek, how about all of my stories?

Sorry about that, but I couldn't resist.

demonmaster62

@aubie56

I'm a loooong time reader of Westerns. Yours rank right up there with best of them in my book, and that's no BS at all.

Replies:   aubie56
aubie56

@demonmaster62

Thank you for that. I appreciate it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
richardshagrin

Not all the good ones are westerns.

REP

My all time favorites are Lazlo Zalezac's Service Society and his Donaldsons stories.

Replies:   Jim S
Anomandaris

@aubie56

Heh. I've read a bunch of your stuff already. :) Will go through your list again though. Looks like a few that I've missed.

Crumbly Writer

@aubie56

I saw the notice of you reworking your older stories. I've been considering doing that, but for many of my stories, that's a huge undertaking.

Anomandaris

So Don Lockwood gets a lot of credit for Dance of a Lifetime. This is one of his that hits me really hard, but is shorter and a little more off the radar.

http://storiesonline.net/s/46119/heroes

Replies:   demonmaster62
G Younger

I have three for you.

Silver Wings by Joe J
http://storiesonline.net/s/58786:i

Dilemma By Joesephus
http://storiesonline.net/s/53946:i

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123
http://storiesonline.net/s/52031/a-blossom-fell

Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123

A story about Blossom and her friends tripping on acid? :-D

Replies:   samuelmichaels
pigs41
Updated:

@Anomandaris

Some of the best stories, but little known for obvious reasons amongst mainstream readers, are found in gay literature. Of course some sites are littered with stroke stories every bit as dire as some of those found on SOL, but others are much better. The site I am going to recommend awesomedude.com specialises mainly in coming of age teen romances which contain little or no sexual content, certainly nothing explicit. By way of a sampler I have selected a few stories that show the breadth of stories available and you may like to try.

The first story chosen is "One summer in Georgia" by Cole Parker a thriller which features crooked cops and the back roads of rural Georgia.

Found at http://www.awesomedude.com/cole-parker/one-summer-in-georgia/index.htm

In complete contrast my second story "Amser" by Mihangel is set in the Welsh hill country and offers a glimpse of a different but somehow similar culture and set in a brief period of time in post war Britain.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/mihangel/amser/index.htm

My third selection is "Exit stage left" by Chris James, set in a Californian preforming arts high school this tale gives a good insight to the backstage activities necessary to mount a successful production.

Go to http://www.awesomedude.com/chris_james/exit-stage-left/index.htm

Next a sc-fi thriller "The wish" by Gee Whillickers a tale about about parallel universes and illustrate what happens when you interfere with the space-time continueum.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/gee_whillickers/the_wish/index.htm

My final selection is a sporting story "Lines" by Rick Beck This is a stand alone first part of a series of baseball stories starting in high high school through to a professional career. Caution for readers! Sex is a little more detailed in this story. If you are concerned just close your eyes while reading the explicit passages.

See http://www.awesomedude.com/rickbeck/OTFL/index.htm

There you have it five different stories each well worth a look. If you are game enough to try one of these stories let us all know your reaction through this forum.

Anomandaris

@G Younger

Silver wings is great, and always worth reading. :)

I'll look at the other two. Haven't read either of them.

pigs41, I'm not usually into stuff with a gay protagonist, but I'll take a look at one or two and let you know in a day or so.

red61544

Clansman has written some gems. "Body Swap" is a great do-over if you can look beyond the uncorrected typos. "Ginny" has fewer typos and is a good coming of-age story.

Jim S
Updated:

@REP

My all time favorites are Lazlo Zalezac's Service Society.....


I'm not so sure that is a "hidden gem" which is what this thread is about. The story has over 380,000 downloads so it isn't exactly hidden. But I join you in having it as one of my all time favorites here at SOL. Another one of Lazlo's that I would add is "Fighting For Family". There are far fewer downloads (still a respectable 47,000 though) and it has a respectable 8.53 rating, so it too probably doesn't qualify as "hidden". But it is a gem.

Update: Another thread made the point that downloads aren't really a good measure of a stories popularity as the number of chapters can vary. Now the statistician in me can't let that type of knowledge pass.

"Fighting For Family" has 2750 downloads/chapter; "Service Society" has more than 5460 downloads/chapter. So it appears Fighting is somewhat more hidden than Service. In any case, both are gems.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Jim S

I am not sure how we should define hidden gem.

If we define it in terms of downloads, then I totally agree with you it isn't a hidden gem.

Anomandaris ‎defined it as: a good story that has slipped off the 'best of' pages, or maybe just never quite made it onto the top lists.

It isn't on SOL's Top 50 lists and it wasn't reviewed. I have read a large number of stories in the 10+ years I have visited the SOL website, and Service Society is easily among my top 10 stories and stands out to me as #1.

To me it meets Anomandaris ‎definition of a hidden gem.

Replies:   Jim S
Jim S

@REP

I am not sure how we should define hidden gem.


To me it meets Anomandaris ‎definition of a hidden gem.


Given Anomandaris' original definition, which admittedly I didn't consider in my response, it strongly implies a story that should be in the top 50 due to it's quality but isn't. In any case, both stories are gems, hidden or not. IMHO.

I would add that, given that criteria, there are a ton of hidden gems at SOL.

Replies:   Anomandaris
Anomandaris

@Jim S

I'm expecting there are a ton of hidden gems that I haven't read. I've found a few on my own, looking for stuff that might be a favorite or maybe not quite a favorite, but is close.

I'm a voracious, perhaps even slightly rabid reader, and have gone through all of the top lists, a lot of stuff on Lit, a lot of stuff on BTFH, some stuff on ASSTR, etc.

And hopefully others will continue to add to the list for a while.

I've read Service Society though, and enjoyed it very much.

Replies:   REP
milehigh65

I've found some good ones by looking at top lists via the wayback machine internet archive. You can't view the stories, obviously but if you look at the lists from the past, most are still available.

http://web.archive.org/web/20131017000126/http://storiesonline.net/list/2/top_50_serials_by_rating_in_the_last_30_days

MH

REP

@Anomandaris

The Clitorides Awards is another good source for hidden gems. If you review all of the stories listed as finalists in the annual history files, you will end up with many good stories that readers felt were worth consideration by other readers.

Replies:   Anomandaris
docholladay

I have found many hidden gems or whatever label you want to use. By reading the threads on this forum. When something is mentioned that I haven't read or noticed. Many times I will at least take a look at it or bookmark for later.

jimh67

Go to the profile of an author you like and see if he or she has listed any favorites. I've found several good stories this way. I've been known to go to some random author's profile. Found a couple that way too.

Anomandaris

@REP

@REP Yeah, I've read through most of the mid to longer lenght stuff from the clitorides and the archive for it. Some great stuff there to be sure, but I've read most of it. :P

richardshagrin

If you are having problems finding something new to read, read something old. I am serious, something you enjoyed several years ago may be almost as much fun re-reading it. Another approach I use is get the listing of authors by alphabet and look at all the stories written by authors who's pen names begin with the letter you chose. Sure, you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince, but there are good stories out there almost no-one has read since the year they were posted, and that might be 1999. You have over 35,000 choices, some of them will work for you.

pigs41

Just a shorty but one I go back to now and then because it is so erotic and captures the moment so perfectly is Eyeliner by Henrik Larsen
http://storiesonline.net/s/36169/eyeliner

Replies:   jimh67
jimh67

@pigs41

I fully agree on Eyeliner.

demonmaster62

@Anomandaris

Man, thank you for posting this link. I happened to click on it and from the very first word I was hooked. I hadn't looked at his other stuff because I didn't think he could top "DANCE OF A LIFETIME". Yes, stupid I know.

But, regardless this story has made my top five very quickly. Highly recommended.

Replies:   Anomandaris
samuelmichaels

@Crumbly Writer

@G Younger

A Blossom Fell... by Dag123

A story about Blossom and her friends tripping on acid? :-D

No.

BlinkReader
Updated:

Another little gem:
Peregrinf - "Cowboys and Indians"

(http://storiesonline.net/s/64967/cowboys-and-indians)

Anomandaris

@demonmaster62

Yeah, that one hits pretty hard.

Anyhow,

These two count. I had never seen these mentioned on a top list or anywhere else. Good read, if slightly OTT.

http://storiesonline.net/series/628/ike-blacktower-stories

BlinkReader

"A Blossom Fell"


I finnaly found time to read it, have only one word for it - Brilliant!!!

Thank you for another discovered gem :)

red61544

Okay - I know it's more than three months after this string started, but I just discovered this "hidden gem". If you are a romantic, the entire story is great but the ending is perfect.

You have to read "I Thought She Made You Up" by qhml1. It's really a gem from start to finish.

http://storiesonline.net/s/10499/i-thought-she-made-you-up-romantic-love-story?ind=1

Replies:   1111
doctor_wing_nut

I would humbly suggest "Path To Glory" by Brendan Buckley. It's an 8-year old story by an author that's left the site, and I for one would never have found it if it had not been mentioned in a blog post by another author. I was glad I did, however, and would like to pass on the recommendation.

fwiw

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin
Updated:

@doctor_wing_nut

It is number 72 on the Author's Favorites list.

Path To Glory

Drama

by Brendan Buckley

R.J. Hartley is a small-town boy with big-time plans -- and the skills to make his dreams come true. The road to success is filled with ups and downs (and occasional ins and outs) until his goals finally meet reality.

[More Info]

Tags: Romantic, Tear Jerker, Sports, School

Sex Contents: No Sex

Posted: ‎4‎/‎28‎/‎2008‎ ‎12‎:‎25‎:‎02‎ ‎PM Concluded: ‎9‎/‎21‎/‎2008‎ ‎10‎:‎02‎:‎43‎ ‎PM / (Review) 955 KB 146443 downloads 1406 votes Rating 8.81

1111

@red61544

"I Thought She Made You Up" by qhml1


Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I've already read 4 of his stories and I rate him very highly, every one of them either very good to excellent. Wonder why I hadn't come across him so far, ... maybe it's his unpronounceable name compared to a Don Lockwood or Jay Cantrell or an Argon. He's certainly comparable to them in terms of story telling quality or character development and style.
Chris aka 1111

Replies:   red61544
red61544

@1111

I've already read 4 of his stories

Since I came across his stories, I've lost a good bit of sleep. It's hard to stop reading some of them once you've started.

pigs41

A series that is always worth a read or reread is the "Stories of the Volentin Stellar Dynasty" by Fick Suck

http://storiesonline.net/universe/362/family-volentin

BlinkReader

Another hidden gem - at least for me (and all Sci-Fi lovers) - are stories from Green Dragon - Aggy - Books 1 and 2 and TJ & Morg

Replies:   Anomandaris
Anomandaris

@BlinkReader

Aggy is thinly veiled David Weber fanfic. I'm having a bit of fun reading it, but the 'fixes' keep breaking immersion for me. Would have been better off keeping it blatant fanfic and running with the right names. (IMO)

samuelmichaels
Updated:

@Anomandaris


Aggy is thinly veiled David Weber fanfic. I'm having a bit of fun reading it, but the 'fixes' keep breaking immersion for me. Would have been better off keeping it blatant fanfic and running with the right names. (IMO)


It is, indeed, and it could stand a lot of editing. But if you can suspend your critical judgement, it's a lot of fun.

I found a lot of fiction can be more enjoyable not only with a suspension of disbelief, but also with avoiding any careful analysis. Reading quickly helps. Or maybe with a couple of beers.

For some books that works well. For others, the problems annoy me more and more, until I give up in disgust after a couple of chapters. I am still trying to figure out why my tolerance varies so much.

Replies:   Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson

@samuelmichaels

Or maybe with a couple of beers.


Oh, God! Never do this!

Reading SciFi while drinking leads pretty directly to "Hey! I could do that!" Which leads to "Hold my beer, and watch this!"

Replies:   samuelmichaels
LonelyDad

Nurse: The first person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@LonelyDad

Nurse: The first person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"


Doctor: The second person you see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Mortician: The person you hope you don't see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Replies:   LonelyDad  docholladay
samuelmichaels

@Harold Wilson

Reading SciFi while drinking leads pretty directly to "Hey! I could do that!" Which leads to "Hold my beer, and watch this!"


Whereas doing this while reading fantasy results in a summoning ritual, which leads to a voluptuous red-skinned demoness appearing, smiling at you seductively, and then biting your head off. Not recommended.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@samuelmichaels

Whereas doing this while reading fantasy results in a summoning ritual


Fantasy has all kinds of "hold my beer and watch this" possibilities.

Replica melee weapon duels.

Attempts to shoot apples off your drunk friends head with a bow and arrow.

Of course it's not just the guys.

Drunk virginal Wiccan woman summons:

1. Male demon
2. Unicorn. Whereupon she finds out why unicorns are attracted to virgins. :)
3. Dragon. Do dragons eat virgins or do they want virgins for something else? :)
4. Tentacle monster.

LonelyDad

@Dominions Son

Mortician: The person you hope you don't see after telling your buddy "Here, hold my beer and watch this!"

Actually, to be pedantic about it, you will never see the mortician, but it does add to the joke.

docholladay

@Dominions Son

Customer's remark to a passing waitress while holding out an empty coffee cup: "Plasma Nurse"

BlinkReader

@Anomandaris

David Weber


Thank you for pointing me to another good reading :)

Replies:   graybyrd
Anomandaris

Oh, if you are just discovering David Weber, I'm jealous. I'm all caught up on his work. Just finished reading the latest HH book. Beginning and middle were a bit tedious, but necessary set up for a very kickass ending.

Replies:   gruntsgt  BlinkReader
gruntsgt

@Anomandaris

@Anomandaris

If you like David Weber, try Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosigan" series.

Replies:   docholladay
docholladay

@gruntsgt

Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosigan" series.


I remember reading where one of her methods was to ask what the worst thing she could do to the MC in those stories for each individual story, then force him to solve the problems created.

BlinkReader

@Anomandaris

Oh, if you are just discovering David Weber, I'm jealous


Ohhh...
You don't need to be jealous.

His reading is good, but just good.

I have now read all of his Honor Harrington novels (that's the reason I wasn't here last four weeks :D ).
But for me something is very wrong with his writing - he was writing this like just another soap opera - not any of his stories seems to be rounded and finished. All of them are offering this lousy soap opera feeling: "more to be seen in next episode (read novel)".
And, there is no conclusion even in last of them ("At All costs" if I'm correct).

So: don't read him if you want something very good or great :(

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@BlinkReader

At All costs


There's a few after At All Costs - however, he's been working to a multi-novel plan all along, so there was always carryover elements into the next novel or later novels. His latest Harrington books aren't as good as the first ones because he no longer has his original editor helping him to stay on track - his current editor prefers more complex novels and you spot the differences by the way there's too much happening in each book and the last ones do not stand alone the way the first half did.

Replies:   BlinkReader
StarFleet Carl

His latest Harrington books aren't as good as the first ones


I think things in that series started going downhill when the side stories started coming out. That and David himself said that his original plan was to kill off Honor, not to end up with her in the position she's in.

If you can handle a complex series by him, read the Safehold series. Just ... be ready for odd names, due to the circumstances.

And yes to the Miles books. I've noticed that it used to be Del Rey books that had the good authors. Now it's Baen.

David Drake, John Ringo, Larry Correia, Michael Z Williamson, Eric Flint ...

Oh, and a little trilogy of books that went well past the trilogy stage. Raymond Feist and his whole Riftwar epic.

BlinkReader

@Ernest Bywater

There's a few after At All Costs


I read some of these books too - only word I can say is grossssss :(

It feels like recycled plastic you are forced to eat at some (really bad) fast food places...

rkimmelerre

The Safehold series isn't bad but the idiotic naming conventions got old fast. In fact it started old and got worse and worse as more and more (and more and more) characters came into play. The worst part is there's absolutely no need for it, just Weber thinking he's cute.

The story itself is good, but I think the series went on too long and then wrapped up too quickly. That said, Weber is really good at military scenes and there are certainly a lot of those. I did feel like the good guys were too perfectly good and the bad guys were too ridiculously evil, and I say that as a man who doesn't usually mind that sort of thing.

Speaking of Baen authors, you can't wrong with Ryk Spoor if he hasn't already been mentioned. Grand Central Arena and its sequels are fantastic space opera adventures on an awe-inspiring scale.

graybyrd
Updated:

@BlinkReader

I've read the Weber HH series, and got grossed out. Armadas of ships face off at each other like 18th Century ships of the line, arrayed in huge wall formations to unleash thousands and thousands of missiles in endless barrages. Fleets maneuver like ancient sailing ships, ignoring any hint of celestial or orbital physics. Ships die by the hundreds and thousands; crews die by the thousands and millions. Space becomes nothing more than littered lanes of wreckage and corpses.

It's Space Opera at its very worst. The only real interest is between the battle scenes when the MC is engaged in interpersonal plots. Then it's off to the Grand Galactic Conclusion, which is never an actual conclusion. New threats always emerge.

For a far more skillful and physics-correct interpretation of space encounters, I cannot praise Bruce Bretthauer's "Family" series highly enough. Go to Gena Marie Wylie's site (Beyond the Far Horizon.net) to find the series. Bruce's "Families" is a true masterwork.

Replies:   Wheezer  rustyken
Wheezer

@graybyrd

For a far more skillful and physics-correct interpretation of space encounters, I cannot praise Bruce Bretthauer's "Family" series highly enough. Go to Gena Marie Wylie's site (Beyond the Far Horizon.net) to find the series. Bruce's "Families" is a true masterwork.

There are a number of stories. Is there a list or guide that tells me in what order to read them?

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@Wheezer

There is a list in the forums section of the website

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@sharkjcw

There is a list in the forums section of the website


This list?

The simplest method for the "Families" series is to read all the major stories in the order they are published. Then read the short stories as you feel like it. You will know the timeline and be able to fit them in in your own mind. Nothing that happens in the short stories affects the overall timeline, they are vignettes, that's all.

The major books are:

1. Starfire

2. Boabdil

3. Setosha - The beating heart

4. Operation Georgia

5. Slackwater and the Sickness from Without

6. Endgame

Replies:   Wheezer
Wheezer

@Wheezer

I cut & pasted the above list from BTFH, then was going nuts because I could not find the first story. That's because the correct title is Firestar, not Starfire... :D

Bretthauer's books are also still available on Amazon.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@Wheezer

the money goes to his family, if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way

Replies:   Wheezer  graybyrd
Wheezer

@sharkjcw

the money goes to his family, if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way

I bought Firestar, even though I found it on BTFH once I knew the correct title name.

graybyrd

@sharkjcw

if you are a kindle unlimited member they are also available that way


That applies to only a few; several are not.

rustyken

@graybyrd

All of the family series is now available on Amazon Kindle. Bruce B started it before he passed away, and his friends are moving many of his stories to ebooks. They are very good.

Replies:   graybyrd
graybyrd
Updated:

@rustyken

Yes, agreed: they are all very good, and the entire series does appear to be there. However, it was said that they were available through kindle unlimited; that's only partially true. Some are, but more are not. Kindle Unlimited offers 'free' downloads for $10/mo subscribers (appreciably more than $10 when taxes & fees are included.) This offer does not usually include non-Amazon published books nor does it include all of the Amazon-published titles. I was tempted to think of the "Families War" series as an Amazon bait and switch setup, where the first book of the series, and a couple of the later ones are available under the 'unlimited' plan, but the others in the series are not.

Replies:   sharkjcw
sharkjcw

@graybyrd

what is and is not available on kindle unlimited is up to the posting author.

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