General Question

Cartman's avatar

Can you recommend a good fantasy book/author?

Asked by Cartman (3039 points ) February 4th, 2010

I have read my way through a lot of fantasy books, but have now reached a dead end and need recommendations for new reads.

Authors that I have read and especially liked include:
Robin Hobb, Tolkien, Pratchett, Feist. Robert Jordan

For some reason I do not like George R.R. Martin which seemed like such a good next step.

Any suggestions?

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29 Answers

p8prclip's avatar

Stephen R. Donaldson The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever

ETpro's avatar

If you haven’t read it, Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is worth reading, and is now available free, as it’s out of copyright. If you can find a copy with the forward by Isaac Asimov, do.

faye's avatar

I was going to suggest George, I love his books. How about Anne McCaffery?

DrMC's avatar

Terry Pratchett is a very popular British fantasy writer, with a catch. His novels are uniformly very funny, have a disturbing, sometimes dark, if not silly parallel in modern society, but they don’t take themselves too seriously.

His Discworld series (>30 novels strong) started with my favorite, The Color of Magic

Some of my other favorites are
Reaper Man
Interesting Times
The Last Continent;
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents

Enjoy

The wee free men was a kick too, as was mort, and many others. Hogfather is deep.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Try some Neil Gaiman. He’s great.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@DrMC : I second that recommendation of Terry Pratchett. He’s nothing short of brilliant.

DrMC's avatar

@hawaii_jake To improve that many lives with writing. Many times he’s brightened up my dark world.

BhacSsylan's avatar

So, I do agree that pratchett is excellent, but guys, you should really read the details: “Robin Hobb, Tolkien, Pratchett, Feist. Robert Jordan”

Anyhoo, I’ll throw my lot in for “Burning City”, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle. They usually do sci-fi, but this is a fantasy, set in the American continent several centuries before the people who would be known as “Native Americans” appeared. Very cool story, one of my favorite books.

And since I always must, I suggest Ursula K. LeGuin if you want to branch out into SF/Fantasy. Light Sci-fi, doesn’t care about technology as much as the story, which may make her more appealing. I specifically suggest “Changing Planes”, which is a short story collection. One of them you can read here: The Seasons of the Ansarac.

Corey_D's avatar

Ursula K LeGuin’s Earthsea series and the Dragonlance Chronicles are a couple of my favorites.

Jeruba's avatar

Some good suggestions in this previous thread.

phoenyx's avatar

Brandon Sanderson

(The writer Tor hired to finish the Wheel of Time series)

ucme's avatar

I love the taste of bush : A guide to oral sex. by George W.

talljasperman's avatar

dragonlance by margret weis and tracy hickerman
and forgotten realms “dark elf trillogy“by R.A. Salvatore

TheJoker's avatar

Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials
This is the trilogy of books that the Golden Compass movie was based on…. incidently the books are far, far better.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Frank Herbert’s “Dune” Chronicles and the prequels by his son Brian. Also the Gaiea trilogy by John Varley.

cbloom8's avatar

Piers Anthony has several great series. I recommend Incarnations of Immortality, The Adept Series and some of the earlier Xanth Series.

sdeutsch's avatar

Another vote for Philip Pullman, and for Neil Gaiman – they’re two of my favorite fantasy authors.

I’d also recommend anything by Robin McKinley – she’s written a nice variety of fantasy novels, so you’ve got your choice of fairy-tales, vampire stories, dragon stories, etc., and every one of them is wonderful.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

Agree with Pratchett, although, sadly, he’s been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

I’m particularly enjoying Mercedes Lackey’s books about the Heralds of Valdemar. She’s written many by this point, and it’s a nicely developed universe.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I agree strongly with the Gaiman and McKinley recommendations. As well as Pullman.

If you like urban fantasy, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson books), and Charlaine Harris (Southern Vampire novels) do nice jobs with it. Also, Sunshine by Robin McKinley is fantastic. Amazing. Lovely.

Still in urban fantasy, I’d also recommend American Gods and Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. At the risk of getting too far into vampire fiction, there is also The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (you should probably not hate history for this one—much of it reads like an incredibly enjoyable history book. Granted before reading it, I would not have said those really exist, but that is how it reads).

For some Victorian fantasy fiction, you can pick up Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell.

For some great short stories, there are several collections by Neil Gaiman in a variety of settings (Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, M is for Magic) or the Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories by Susanna Clarkson (author of Jonathon Strange and Mr Norrell). I would also highly, highly recommend Ray Bradbury. He’s sometimes sci-fi, sometimes fantasy but also well written. I’d start with the Illustrated Man.

If you want more fantasy world fantasy, Robin McKinley still does great stuff. She has a mini series—which is really to say that she often writes in the same fantasy world, so you will find small pleasures in later books if you start with The Blue Sword and the Hero and the Crown. They are directly related, but later books only very lightly reference them.

I’ve always felt that Hitchhiker’s Guide is a good bridge between fantasy and sci-fi. If you enjoy that, there is also Starship Titanic. I do not recommend his other series the Dirk Gently books. Not at all.

If you don’t mind YA, Tamora Pierce is a fantastic author. You should start with the Lioness Quartet—they were her first books and in that world, all of her books build the world up chronologically. So you can start with just about any quartet, but you’ll get the most enjoyment from starting at the beginning. For the Circle world (her other series), you need to start at the beginning, but just power through the first book. They get better. (I actually quite like the first one now, but at the time, not so much.)

Lastly, Patricia C Wrede is a great author. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles are fun, quick reads. She’s also coming out with a new series that starts with the Thirteenth Child that is just great. I think it is YA, but all of my friends read it in Chicago when our librarian friend got an early copy. There was actually an in-house waitlist.

mrentropy's avatar

I say give James P. Blaylock a try.

aprilsimnel's avatar

James Morris. Almost forgot him! Morrow is a fabulist, but his books have been recognized by the fantasy community. His works touch on a lot of the Big Questions as faced by ordinary people. I started with Towing Jehovah and went from there.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

I really enjoyed “This is the Way the World Ends,” by James Morrow. It’s post-apocalyptic, but includes many fantasy elements. (I’m not being specific because I don’t want to ruin the plot…)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Whoops! Meant Morrow in the first bit. Sorry! :D

Cartman's avatar

Thank you all! I’m sure I’ll find plenty to occupy me from this thread!

Have a great week-end everyone!!!

P.S. How could you not like Pratchett?!?

TehRoflMobile's avatar

@talljasperman Dragonlance books are a some of my favorite.

Any of the Redwall books are pretty good as well.

Sonnerr's avatar

Dennis W. Hauck

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

I definitely second anyone who suggested the Dragonlance series. I do believe Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are the best authors for the series, and I would start with the The Chronicles Trilogy , The Legends Trilogy , and The War of Souls Trilogy ; I believe those are Weis and Hickman’s best. Although, I thought The legend of Huma by Richard A Knaak was an outstanding book as well.

mrentropy's avatar

Oh, and Michael Moorcock. I would recommend him, also.

sdeutsch's avatar

@EmpressPixie Your answers always make my “to read” list twice as long as it was before… :)

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