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Old 06-20-2008, 10:24 AM   #61
Xenophon
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I recommend P. C. Hodgell's Kencyrath books. First is "God Stalk." There are 3 more novels, plus one anthology. All available in bits at Webscriptions.

I'll leave it up to some other fan to describe the series...

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Old 06-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #62
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The *shortest* epic fantasy I know of is M. John Harrison's "The Pastel City", which manages to hit all the themes of epic fantasy (major war, small band of heroes, echoes of past grandeur, long treks through evocative landscapes, sinister bad guys, bittersweet triumph) in about 140 pages! It's available as an ebook in the volume called "Viriconium", which includes two more novels and a bunch of short stories set in versions of the same world. Strangely, richly written, in a Mervyn Peake sort of way.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:16 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by carandol View Post
The *shortest* epic fantasy I know of is M. John Harrison's "The Pastel City", which manages to hit all the themes of epic fantasy (major war, small band of heroes, echoes of past grandeur, long treks through evocative landscapes, sinister bad guys, bittersweet triumph) in about 140 pages! It's available as an ebook in the volume called "Viriconium", which includes two more novels and a bunch of short stories set in versions of the same world. Strangely, richly written, in a Mervyn Peake sort of way.
_The Pastel City_ is a minor classic, and the Viriconium stories are wonderful.

Avram Davidson reviewed _The Pastel City_ for F&SF years back, and essentially said "Jeez, this #$%&@ can write! Why is he doing this fantasy crap?" I had a higher opinion of the work than that, but I understood Avram's feelings. Harrison can write, and Davidson thought he should be doing more ambitious work than Yet Another Fantasy Novel in a genre grown popular in the wake of Tolkien.

Well, we all have to start somewhere. Harrison has gone on to more ambitious things, witness his recent _Light_.
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Old 06-20-2008, 04:39 PM   #64
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Favorite epics. Hm. LOTR, obviously, yes. Dune, yes (but not the sequels). C.J. Cherry's Cyteen, I think, should count as an epic. Michner's Space.

I liked Hodgell's Kencyrath books, but I'm not sure I'd describe them as "epic." Well, maybe.... There's a multi-generation problem that takes several volumes to tackle... but the author hasn't gotten around to "solving" it yet, and I'm not sure she ever will. That doesn't seem to be the point of the stories.

But I'm not sure I'm using the term "epic" the same way as it's being used in this thread. Wiktionary defines "epic" as "An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero." or "A series of events considered appropriate to an epic." There is also a Wikipedia entry for Epic Fantasy/High Fantasy which specifically mentions Jame (the main character from Hodgell's stories.)
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Old 06-20-2008, 05:05 PM   #65
Patricia
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I'm very fond of the Genji Monogatori and think it could count as eipic.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:04 AM   #66
HarryT
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Originally Posted by nekokami View Post
But I'm not sure I'm using the term "epic" the same way as it's being used in this thread. Wiktionary defines "epic" as "An extended narrative poem in elevated or dignified language, celebrating the feats of a legendary or traditional hero." or "A series of events considered appropriate to an epic." There is also a Wikipedia entry for Epic Fantasy/High Fantasy which specifically mentions Jame (the main character from Hodgell's stories.)
If we're going back to the original meaning of the word "Epic" in Greek poetry, the word referred to any long poem whatsoever written in dactylic hexameter metre. It was due to the use of this metre by the Homeric poems (the Iliad and Odyssey) that the word subsequently became associated with the subject matter being of a "heroic" nature rather than referring to the metre in which it was written.
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