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Ethlorien
22-12-2007, 01:28
Hey Folks,

Looking for some fantasy authors to try out. Any recommendations? What's your top five?

Mine:
Steven Erikson
David Gemmell (deceased)
Robert Jordan (deceased)
Terry Pratchett
George RR Martin

Other's I've read:
David Farland (Each book just gets worse)
Raymond E Feist
Terry Goodkind
David Eddings (Redemption of Althalas destroyed this author for me)
R Scott Baker (Dislike immensely)
Tolkien

Lot's of others, of course, but nothing as consistent as the above. Who am I missing, what great literary masterpiece of Fantasy have I not read?

Thanks for the suggestions

vforvenator
22-12-2007, 01:34
Mary Gentle? Not rated quite like the other big guns, I think her stuff is just a little too complex, gory and plain strange for the mainstream. She is a literary Goddess, though...

Icarus
22-12-2007, 01:58
I would recommend the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. Those books affected my like no other fantasy novels ever have.

Kordos
22-12-2007, 02:38
Sara Douglass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Douglass) - start with the Axis trilogy

Tad Williams (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tad_Williams)

And try Neil Gaiman (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Gaiman) foir something different, he writes scifi/fantasy but not high fantasy, he also does bit of horror and has written some awesome comic books (You must read his Sandman comics)

EVIL INC
22-12-2007, 02:56
Michael Moorecock (you will find that most of GW stuff comes directly from these pages. heck, a lot of D&D stuff does too (Raistlin anyone?)
Piers Anthony
Clifferd D. Simak
Alan Dean Foster (spellsinger books)

Finnigan2004
22-12-2007, 04:16
My list is virtually identical to yours in terms of those that I've read and preferences (I'd move Pratchett to do not like and Bakker to like, but otherwise pretty much the same). I really liked Paul Kearny's "The Monarchies Of God", and would recommend them to you. They are good fantasy with a few twists, and a slightly higher level of technology than regular fantasy (say late 1400's). I rarely read books over again, but am considering it with these.

devolutionary
22-12-2007, 04:21
KJ Parker is another one, and consider it a double vote for Robin Hobb, Tad Williams, and Sara Douglass.

pwrgmrguard
22-12-2007, 05:17
David Webber and John Ringo's March series.

March Upcountry
March to the Sea
March to the Stars
We Few

also the Bolo series by various authors. I read both authors' and series'.

Shadowheart
22-12-2007, 05:24
The Fantasy Masterworks (http://www.sfsite.com/lists/orion05.htm) series is pretty much what it claims to be.

Add in William Morris, James Branch Cabell, Mervyn Peake and Ursula K. Le Guin (maybe H. P. Lovecraft, if you count him under Fantasy) and you've pretty much got the history of modern Fantasy accounted for, up to the point where, in Moorcock's words, it turned into one big cup of cocoa.

My particular favourite is Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword, which the Fantasy Masterworks series reprints in its original form. If only that one would've had as much popular influence as that other book from 1954...

Nazguire
22-12-2007, 05:29
Read the Tamir Triad series by Llywnn Flemelling. Great books and great description of a interesting take on a tried and true story.

Wintermute
22-12-2007, 08:38
No one has yet mentioned Stephen Donaldson or Robert E Howard :eek:

BTW I notice Shadowheart has mentioned William Morris, I bet most people think of him as a designer and not as an author who influenced Tolkien.

mistformsquirrel
22-12-2007, 08:52
If no one has mentioned it:

Terry Brooks is quite good imho - Sword of Shanara and related. RA Salvatore is as well; check out his Demon Wars books. (He does write some D&D novels and the like too - but imho his GOOD work is his original stuff)

Brooks is actually responsible for getting me into Fantasy stuff in the first place. I read First King of Shanara and, at the time, was truly blown away by it.

Now that I look back, it was a good book; but not "woah"; still; he writes absolutely spectacular large battle scenes; very vivid. He's also good at giving you a story you've heard a million times in a way that's still fun. (For example, Sword of Shanara is pretty darn close to Lord of the Rings really; but different enough to make it a good read)

Salvatore's Demon Wars series is just plain neat. All sorts of crazy ideas in that series <o_@> I need to go further than the third book myself; but it was wrapped up so nicely at that point I was afraid to go further.

Both do good work though; if I had to draw a significant distinction, it'd be that Brooks is more focused on "Big" battles and wars and the like; more epic scale stuff largely. While Salvatore *mostly* seems more comfortable with a more intimate group setting.

That's not to say they don't do the other; those just seem to be their strengths.

And on a completely unrelated note, if anyone's looking for an interesting Sci-Fi author; I'm really enjoying Elizabeth Moon's Vatta Wars series. Halfway through the third book, Engaging the Enemy; and its just all kinds of fun.

devolutionary
22-12-2007, 08:56
Oh! Jim Butcher too! Great modern fantasy with Dresden Files and his Cursor series is a wicked setting.

der_lex
22-12-2007, 11:21
I have to agree on the fantasy masterworks books... especially Tim Powers and Zelazny's Amber are well worth checking out.

A glaring omission so far has been Stephen King's Dark Tower series, though. Good stuff.

Neknoh
22-12-2007, 11:25
Katherine Kerr's Deverry books are WONDERFUL, trust me, and, what is more, it is one of the more unique worlds that I have read about, you've got your elves (but trust me, no hippy-treehuggers), and you've got your seers/magicians (and again, not your standard guys), you also have rebirth, strange creatures akinn to gods, and the badguys are NOT Orcs of any kind.

There are also interesting story-twists and she has extremely loveable characters.


If you want Wizards, then either Ursula LeGuin with her Earthsea series (read only 1-3, original triology, 4-5 smells of money-making and too much RL political messages).

Otherwise, we also have an author named Niklas Krog, not sure if you can find him anywhere except for Scandinavia, but his world is insanely good, again, it is NOT your standard fantasy world and is a wonderful read, three big books, the firstone who's title I'd translate into "Heart of a warrior", the second would be "Strength of a sorcerer" and the third would be "Soul of a ruler" or similar, I can't find him on english Wiki though, so you might unfortunately be out of luck.


Failing all of the above, Neil Gaiman's American Gods is a very good read as well, not your sword-and-magic fantasy, but a very nice fantasy in a real-world setting

Shadowseer Crofty
22-12-2007, 12:06
You're all forgetting Stan Nicholls and his Orcs trilogy, one of the best Fantasy books I've ever read, and quite different from most fantasy. Also, try looking at www.solarisbooks.com theres quite a few good fantasy books there from relatively new authors (I highly recommend Gail. Z. Martin's The Summoner and James Maxey's Bitterwood).
For something completely different to that list, you may want to check out Brian Lumley's Necroscope series, a mix of contemporary fantasy and horror (including vampires, the spirits of the dead and psychic ability) and sci-fi, as what the vampires are and where they come from are explained (and the latest in the series, The Touch is more on the sci-fi side, as it involves aliens instead of vampires)

Chaos and Evil
22-12-2007, 13:56
China Miéville's Bas-Lag series* will blow your mind. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Mi%C3%A9ville#Novels)

It's more 'weird fiction' than traditional fantasy, but the writing style is amongst the most deft and competant I've ever read.

* Three books so far:
- Perdido Street Station
- The Scar
- Iron Council

Jo Bennett
22-12-2007, 14:43
Might not be considered fantasy by some, as it's quasi-historical, but Stephen Lawhead writes a lot of good stuff, both the Pendragon cycle and the Celtic Cursades are very good, and he's currently having a crack at a retelling of Robin Hood (but not as we know it ;) ) but I haven't read that yet.

El Presedente
22-12-2007, 14:52
Terry Brooks is quite good imho - Sword of Shanara and related.

Yeah got there before me, his early stuff is very good, but his latter books just tend to cover stuff he's already done, and get a bit repedative I feel.

Ethlorien
22-12-2007, 15:28
Hey, thanks so much for all the replies so far. Lot of authors to try. Heard of a fair bit of them, though some I've never actually read. Good to hear a bit about them. A few of them I've read before and just hated (but to be nice won't mention which ones). Lot's a Christmas money coming my way, so I'll be picking up a few of these names for certain.

Keep the suggestions coming,

Thanks

BrianC
22-12-2007, 16:45
Don't like Terry Brooks myself, same old story told a little worse than others have done before.

I do like Stephen Donaldson a lot, although I prefer his SF Gap series to the Covenant books, Covenant is a bit too much of a self centred drip for me.

Stephan Lawhead is another good shout. I also really like Howard's Conan books, recently collected into a single volume.

Arianwen
22-12-2007, 17:02
Garth Nix' Abhorsen trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) are very good reads. You'll probably find them shoved in the teenage fiction section of your bookshop, but they really don't read like they should be there. Her characters are loveable and the 'Charter magic' is a really, really cool idea.

marv335
22-12-2007, 17:28
L.E. Modesitt jr.
The Recluse books are excellent and well worth a read.

Stephen Lawhead.
The Song of Albion trilogy and The Pendragon Cycle are to be recommended.

Adept
22-12-2007, 17:43
R. E. Howard's Conan stories are literary magnificence. Thoroughly entertaining on every level.

Lian Hearn writes a different kind of fantasy. Rather than set in a medieval western setting, she has chosen a medival Japanese setting. Really, really good stuff. Fantasy has a tendency to be contrived, unrealistic or boring. 'Tales of the Otori' isn't.

Stephen King's Dark Tower series deserves another mention. Definately not your typical 'fantasy' series. You won't find any knights, wizards, or young men coming into their birth-rights. But it is certainly a captivating series that kept me interested for seven or so books, which is something Robert Jordan couldn't do. The ending really did my head in.

god octo
22-12-2007, 18:45
Garth Nix' Abhorsen trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) are very good reads. You'll probably find them shoved in the teenage fiction section of your bookshop, but they really don't read like they should be there. Her characters are loveable and the 'Charter magic' is a really, really cool idea.

Yeap, that would be my first suggestion. The books are very uniquely written (even down to a strange, but ever so cool font being used in the books) are so easy to read.

Light of the Emperor
22-12-2007, 21:34
There's a great series out right now called "The Snowtear Wars". The first book is called "The Chimes of Yawrana" and the second is "Ice Shadows of Arna". There are more on the way too. Basically, the snowtears are a flower with mystical healing powers. Wars have been fought for their possession. When a traitor within the kingdom poisons the king to death, the prince and a stranger/friend from a far away land go on a journey to find these flowers in order to save the sick queen.
The books are written by Scot Stone. I got to meet him in person at a book signing and he is one great guy! He knows a bit about warhammer too.

Give it a try. You won't be dissapointed!

mistformsquirrel
22-12-2007, 21:58
R. E. Howard's Conan stories are literary magnificence. Thoroughly entertaining on every level.

Lian Hearn writes a different kind of fantasy. Rather than set in a medieval western setting, she has chosen a medival Japanese setting. Really, really good stuff. Fantasy has a tendency to be contrived, unrealistic or boring. 'Tales of the Otori' isn't.

Stephen King's Dark Tower series deserves another mention. Definately not your typical 'fantasy' series. You won't find any knights, wizards, or young men coming into their birth-rights. But it is certainly a captivating series that kept me interested for seven or so books, which is something Robert Jordan couldn't do. The ending really did my head in.

I've been curious about Tales of Otori. I'm a samurai nerd to begin with; and as much as I love western themed fantasy... well, I'll put it this way; I'm the guy who plays a Samurai in D&D <,< and bugs the DM to let me use stuff out of Oriental Adventures. Needless to say... very tempting.

I think I know what I"m doing with my after Christmas book purchasing moneys. >.>

WLBjork
23-12-2007, 10:34
David Webber and John Ringo's March series.

March Upcountry
March to the Sea
March to the Stars
We Few

also the Bolo series by various authors. I read both authors' and series'.

And you can get some of these for free here (baencd.thefifthimperium.com). Personally, I also like the Bahzell Brandark series (high fantasy), the Honorverse (sci-fi/fantasy) and the Assisti Shards series (alternate history). Or how about a Death Star with AI? (Dahak series).

DeathlessDraich
23-12-2007, 11:31
Don't like Terry Brooks myself, same old story told a little worse than others have done before.

I do like Stephen Donaldson a lot, although I prefer his SF Gap series to the Covenant books, Covenant is a bit too much of a self centred drip for me.


What?!
I have read many of the suggestions here and ...
Terry Brooks is the most exciting contemporary Fantasy writer.
He gave meaning to the Force, Dark side, Sith, Jedi etc by explaining these concepts and laying the foundation for them when he wrote the Phantom Menace.

It's a question of style. One could easily say the same for Donaldson's books. I agree though that the Covenant Chronicles have a depressing air and is repetitive.

One author not mentioned is Lyndon Hardy - 'Master of the five Magics',etc, the first well thought off attempt at explaining magic itself.

Icarus
23-12-2007, 14:23
China Miéville's Bas-Lag series* will blow your mind. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Mi%C3%A9ville#Novels)

It's more 'weird fiction' than traditional fantasy, but the writing style is amongst the most deft and competant I've ever read.

* Three books so far:
- Perdido Street Station
- The Scar
- Iron Council

Got to agree with this, Miéville rocks! Probably the best author at creating his own world that I've read.

BrianC
23-12-2007, 14:49
What?!
I have read many of the suggestions here and ...
Terry Brooks is the most exciting contemporary Fantasy writer.
He gave meaning to the Force, Dark side, Sith, Jedi etc by explaining these concepts and laying the foundation for them when he wrote the Phantom Menace.

It's a question of style. One could easily say the same for Donaldson's books. I agree though that the Covenant Chronicles have a depressing air and is repetitive.

One author not mentioned is Lyndon Hardy - 'Master of the five Magics',etc, the first well thought off attempt at explaining magic itself.I've not read any of Brooks's SF work, only his Fantasy and I feel its a little spurious to say that hes automatically a great Fantasy author because hes a great SF author. (I'll take your word on his SF stuff)

As for style I found his Shannara Series like a Dan Brown copy of LotR, overly simple and a chore to read. If you think hes the best thing since sliced bread fair play to you, we are all different.

Karloth Valois
23-12-2007, 18:24
My suggestion: stop reading fantasy. Your list is big enough already, try something else. If you want to stick to fiction, maybe try some sci-fi, theres some great stuff out there. Try going for some non-fiction though is my suggestion.

I have changed my reading habits recently and am enjoying reading a bit more, try something different. I've just read a book about crowd (football) violence, psychiatry in warfare, the battle of Stalingrad, classical music, economics - its really fun to mix things up.

Try something out of your comfort zone, you may be really surprised!

Treads
23-12-2007, 22:04
Try David Eddings most of his works are readable though his early works are the best and also try Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea.

Kordos
23-12-2007, 23:39
Try David Eddings most of his works are readable though his early works are the best and also try Ursula K. Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea.

He's already said he's had enough of david eddings.
The belgariad is a good read and same with the elenium however he reuses his characters in every single book he writes (he makes mention of this in the The Rivan Codex) and his subsequent books become unreadable because you already know all the characters, they act,the same, talk the same and have the same personalities they just have a different name

f2k
24-12-2007, 06:48
I would recommend the Farseer trilogy by Robin Hobb. Those books affected my like no other fantasy novels ever have.

Huh? The only way the Farseer trilogy affected me, was to convince me to never again buy any books from that author.


R. E. Howard's Conan stories are literary magnificence. Thoroughly entertaining on every level.

Hmm… I’ve read a few of the comics build over the books and enjoyed them somewhat. I might have to check out the books now…


As for my own favorites…

The Firebringer trilogy and the Darkangel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce are very enjoyable.

The Dark Horse books by Mary H. Herbert are quite good.

The Pern series by Anne McCaffrey is good too.

If you’re looking for classical fantasy, the Dragonlance books are hard to ignore. At least, the Chronicles and Legends. I’m not a big fan of all the spin-off books that followed after that…

Right now, I’m reading The Black Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop. It was listed as recommended reading in an Amazon e-mail so I thought: why not? So far I must say that it’s a matter of acquired taste. The writing is ok, but the world is a very dark and violent place. Men are kept a pleasure slaves, young girls are raped to prevent them from ever developing magical abilities and Hell is a very real place. It’s dark and gritty and that’s, in my opinion, its strength. If you’re tired of standard happy-ever-after fantasy, these books might be for you…

For a book set in a more modern setting, The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper is a worthwhile read. Not the best books out there, but a good attempt at mixing a modern world with Arthurian fantasy.



My suggestion: stop reading fantasy. Your list is big enough already, try something else. If you want to stick to fiction, maybe try some sci-fi, theres some great stuff out there.

Indeed there is. Try Isaac Asimov. One of the best of his stories, The Last Question, can be read on-line (http://www.swiftgear.com/last_question(long).html). Give it a try, you might be surprised.

Shadowheart
24-12-2007, 13:42
My suggestion: stop reading fantasy. Your list is big enough already, try something else.

Hell, start reading Fantasy. It's all popular epic High Fantasy on that list, one particular subgenre (to use a polite term).

thearbite
24-12-2007, 13:59
Garth Marenghi - Slicer

RevEv
24-12-2007, 22:54
No one seems to have mentioned Philip Pullman - he's done far more than 'His Dark materials'.

For a more varied author try Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory is awsome. He also writes Sci-fi as Iain M. Banks.

Mr. Shine
25-12-2007, 07:39
Robin Hobb. That is all.

I've just finished reading her latest offering, Renegade's Magic and I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. All of her other works have been amazing however, and I've read the Farseer Trilogy again and again over the past 5-odd years to a total of beyond ten times. I can just keep coming back to it, it's that good.

Wintermute
25-12-2007, 08:52
No one seems to have mentioned Philip Pullman - he's done far more than 'His Dark materials'.

For a more varied author try Iain Banks - The Wasp Factory is awsome. He also writes Sci-fi as Iain M. Banks.

The Wasp Factory is not fantasy at all. Its also very disturbing.

BTW he writes Science Fiction under his full name, not sci-fi which is a misused and derogatory term :p

lapis_lazuli
25-12-2007, 12:39
S. M. Stirling and Harry Turtledove write very entertaining historical fiction, some of which reads more like fantasy to my obsessive-compulsive history nerd eyes, so they might be an idea.

I also enjoy the late Poul Anderson's writing, he wrote science fiction as well as fantasy and historical fiction.

Finally, I feel I should reiterate Robert E. Howard's name. READ!

The Grand Wazoo
26-12-2007, 12:37
I'll also throw in a vote for Robin Hobb, great stuff.

Elizabeth Moon, The Deed of Paksenarrion is superb imo. So is Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Quartet and Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn.

Terry Brooks' fantasy books are abysmal... I quite liked the Shannara books when I was 15-16 or so, but I tried reading them again a couple of years ago and they're just poorly written and a blatant ripoff from Tolkien. Seriously, naming one of the main characters Allanon? That's too close for comfort. Stay away.

RevEv
26-12-2007, 15:20
The Wasp Factory is not fantasy at all. Its also very disturbing.

BTW he writes Science Fiction under his full name, not sci-fi which is a misused and derogatory term :p

Please note - I said more varied author... also some of his work is fantastical (The Bridge being one of note)

Wintermute
26-12-2007, 16:14
Please note - I said more varied author... also some of his work is fantastical (The Bridge being one of note)

Officially he writes Literary fiction as Iain Banks and Science Fiction as Iain M Banks, but I too would agree The Brigde is has elements of fantasy in the same way that the BBC's Life on Mars did.