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Old 10-27-2009, 08:55 AM   #1
dougbiss
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Fantasy authors you (and I) should read

I'm looking for a new list of authors to get acquainted with, so I'm starting three threads for each of the genres that interest me: fantasy, sci-fi and espionage. This, as is so obvious from the title, is the fantasy thread.

Starting with the idea that certain authors will be on almost everyone's list for this genre, I'm asking that we exclude them to get to the ones that may benefit readers, such as myself, who are trying to dig a little deeper.

In fantasy, I think this list would comprise of (in no particular order):

J.R.R. Tolkien
J.K. Rowling
Roger Zelazny
Terry Pratchett
Piers Anthony
Robert Jordan
Terry Brooks


I'm sure there are others that you feel should be on that list... so who are they and why do they belong?

I would personally add Steven Brust for his Vlad Taltos series, which was really fun when I read it as a teen.
I would also add Robert Asprin as a great comedy fantasy writer. Just all around great fun!

Thanks in advance for all comments!
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:17 AM   #2
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Oh I dunno, I think that pretty much covers it for must reads for anyone. If you're thinking of epic things that advanced the art or were just extraordinarily popular. eh.. maybe add:

Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for "The Dragonlance Chronicles",
George R.R. Martin for "Song of Ice and Fire",
David Eddings for "The Belgariad"
Raymond Feist for "The Riftwar Saga"
Tad Williams for "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn"

Lots of great fantasy in this thread.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:34 AM   #3
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Although not as well-known as your listed authors, I would add

Richard Tuttle (The Demonstone Chronicles; Forgotten Legacy; Targa Trilogy; Sword of Heavens series)

Alastair Archibald (The Chronicles of Grimm Dragonblaster series)

Lawrence Watt-Evans (The Legends of Ethshar series)

Tracy Falbe (The Rhys Chronicles series)

David Weber (The Oath of Swords series [This is the first book in the series, I don't recall the series name]; Weber is very well known particularly for his Honor Harrington series, which I highly recommend although the HH series is not fantasy)
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:45 AM   #4
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Guy Gavriel Kay
Mervyn Peake
Philip Pullman
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Old 10-27-2009, 11:31 AM   #5
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayspooled View Post
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman for "The Dragonlance Chronicles",
George R.R. Martin for "Song of Ice and Fire",
David Eddings for "The Belgariad"
Raymond Feist for "The Riftwar Saga"
Tad Williams for "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn"
I was going to add Weiss and Hickman, Eddings and Feist. I enjoyed them all, but that was years ago and I didn't have a good feel as to whether they had weathered the years.

As for Martin and Williams... never heard of them.
They'll be the first on my new list!

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 10-27-2009, 01:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Although not as well-known as your listed authors, I would add

Richard Tuttle (The Demonstone Chronicles; Forgotten Legacy; Targa Trilogy; Sword of Heavens series)

Alastair Archibald (The Chronicles of Grimm Dragonblaster series)

Lawrence Watt-Evans (The Legends of Ethshar series)

Tracy Falbe (The Rhys Chronicles series)

David Weber (The Oath of Swords series [This is the first book in the series, I don't recall the series name]; Weber is very well known particularly for his Honor Harrington series, which I highly recommend although the HH series is not fantasy)
I've heard of Weber, but not the others, nor the suggestions from BenG or tompe. I'll add them to my list as well.
Thank you!
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:06 PM   #8
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Tracy Falbe is a member of MR and she had offered the first book in her series as a freebie. I read it and immediately bought the remaining books.

Watt-Evans, Tuttle, and Archibald are available at Fictionwise.

I don't know if any of them are available at Amazon.
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Old 10-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #9
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Lord Dunsany, esp. _The Charwoman's Shadow_ which in many ways foreshadows _The Lord of the Rings_ (though Dunsany was by no means the linguist which Tolkien was)

Michael Moorcock, dark fantasy, the original multi-verse, multiple incarnation hero, and the first hero to break the Conan mold

Robert E. Howard, Conan

C.J. Cherryh's Morgaine series

Jack Vance, esp. _The Dying Earth_ and his Lyonesse Trilogy

Roger Zelazny, _The Chronicles of Amber_, _Dilvish the Damned_, _The Changing Land_, &c.

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Old 10-27-2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhadin View Post
Tracy Falbe is a member of MR and she had offered the first book in her series as a freebie. I read it and immediately bought the remaining books.

Watt-Evans, Tuttle, and Archibald are available at Fictionwise.

I don't know if any of them are available at Amazon.
Tracy,(Falbe Publishing on MR) has her book on fictionwise for free and at her site, Brave Luck Books, also for free. Also, here on MR...
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:07 PM   #11
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Anne Bishop - the Black Jewels trilogy, dark fantasy, awesome series

Traci Harding - the ancient future trilogy

Jim Butcher - The Dresden Files, urban fantasy
Jim Butcher - The Codex Alera, epic millitary (based from the roman empire) fantasy

David Gemmell - Drenai series

Patricia Brigg - Mercy Thompson series, urban fantasy

are some I recommend a lot, some of my favorite authors
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dougbiss View Post
I'm looking for a new list of authors to get acquainted with, so I'm starting three threads for each of the genres that interest me: fantasy, sci-fi and espionage. This, as is so obvious from the title, is the fantasy thread.

Starting with the idea that certain authors will be on almost everyone's list for this genre, I'm asking that we exclude them to get to the ones that may benefit readers, such as myself, who are trying to dig a little deeper.
Stuff not on your list?

When I read Tolkien, one of the things that interested me was what influenced him, and the tradition in which he was working.

One series to read if you haven't is C. S. Lewis's seven book "Chronicles of Narnia" series. This is juvenile/YA work, but can be read with equal pleasure by both kids and adults. Lewis was a contemporary of Tolkien's, and both were members of a writer's group called the Inklings, passing manuscripts around for critique by their fellows. Narnia is a fantasy world visited by a group of kids from our world, who explore it's many wonders and become acquainted with Aslan, the great lion who is the ultimate ruler of Narnia. Lewis was Catholic, and there is an explicit religious underpinning to the story, but Lewis never makes it obvious or annoying. It's there is you look, but easily ignored if you don't.

A more contemporary writer working in juvenile/YA territory was the late Lloyd Alexander. Specifically, see his five book series "The Chronicles of Prydian". Alexander draws from the Welsh Mabinogion myth cycle. His protagonist is Taran, the Assistant Pig Keeper at a feudal manor. Taran is an orphan seeking to discover who his parents are, and bothering Coll, an armsman at the manner, for training in fighting. The evil Lord Arawn is using a magic cauldron to create an army of deathless soldiers to conquer all the lands, and Taran and his friends must somehow grow and change to counter Arawn.

Also in juvenile/YA, see Madeliene L'Engle's _A Wrinkle In Time_. Her protagonist, Meg, is a tween trying to navigate puberty. Her scientist father has gone missing, and her mother is doing her best to raise Meg, her two older brothers, and her odd younger brother. All things change when the vacant house next door is inhabited by Mrs. Who, Mrs. What, and Mrs. Which, who announce to Meg that "There is such a thing as a tesseract!" Tesseracts had been the subject of her father's research when he disappeared.

Mrs. Who, What, and Which soon demonstrate that whatever they are, aren't normal older women, and Meg finds herself being whisked with them across half the galaxy with her younger brother to save her father and battle an all pervading darkness.

There are several other related books, including _A Swiftly Tilting Planet_ and _A Wind Through the Door_, but they aren't up to Wrinkle. Read it at least, and decide if you liked it enough to try the rest.

On more explicitly adult fantasy, one series I recommend is Michael Scott Rohan's "Spiral" series. In _Chase the Morning_, Steven Fisher, an executive at a British import/export firm, gets bored with the sterile routine of his life, decides to visit the docks he hasn't seen since childhood, and finds himself intervening in an attempted murder and saving the life of a an odd chap who calls himself Jyp the Pilot. The beings trying to kill Jyp weren't exactly human. Jyp tells Steven they are Wolves. The Wolves wind up striking into into our world, and kidnapping Claire, Steve's secretary. Steve must join with Jyp and Jyp's friend Mall, an extraordinary swords woman, buy gold to hire a privateer, and follow the Wolves to rescue Claire.

It seems that our world is the Core, where everything is even and regular, and there are 60 minutes to an hour. But beyond the Core is the Spiral, where anything that was or could be exists somewhere, if you can find it. The mists have parted and Steven has crossed over into the wider world. Jyp is the Pilot, a navigator who can plot a course to anywhere in the shadows. Together with Jyp, Mall, and Captain Pierce and crew of the privateer brigantine Defiance, Steven will voyage out toward the Rim, battling Wolves and dealing with Voodoo Loas to rescue Claire and redeem himself.

The series continues with _The Gates of Noon_ and _Cloud Castles_, as Steven Fisher finds himself more deeply bound to the Spiral and approaching his strange destiny.

Among other things, I like the series because Rohan ventures farther afield than most fantasy. _Chase the Morning_ draws upon the mythology of the Caribbean, where the Yoruba religion of Africa met Christianity, and the result was essentially a merger, with Voodoo and Santeria being expressions in French and Spanish, respectively. (The Orishas of Santeria are exact counterparts of the voodoo Loas.) _The Gates of Noon_ explores the traditions of Asia, and Hanuman, the Monkey King. _Cloud Castles_ takes on the traditions of Eastern Europe.

There's a great deal out there that isn't elves, dwarves, dragons, and watered down Celtic mythos, and I'd love to see more done with it.
______
Dennis

Last edited by DMcCunney; 10-27-2009 at 05:49 PM. Reason: Minor update to indicate Lloyd Alexander is deceased.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:26 PM   #13
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I got into a "dark urban" kick so I'd add Kelly Armstrong, Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, and Sergey Lukyanenko (translated Watch series).
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:45 PM   #14
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As much as I love looking through recommendation topics, I can't help but feeling afterwords that there is far too much I want to read. Not that that is a bad thing, just that in order to read everything I want seems impossible and that in it's self is depressing. Oh well, thanks for the recommendations.

I'm not so well versed in Fantasy authors, but if you are into YA books then I recommend The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel Series by Michael Scott.

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Old 10-27-2009, 10:53 PM   #15
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I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson. Eight books so far, with ten planned in all, and they've all been wildly successful.
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