June 23, 2017, 01:09:21 AM

Author Topic: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read  (Read 13882 times)

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #30 on: June 26, 2012, 08:53:57 PM »
Is it the same as this list? I can tolerate that they have a Harry Potter book at tops, but I would burn that book if I saw Twilight in top 8 of anything "best of fantasy" related.

http://www.fantasybooksandmovies.com/best-fantasy-books.html

Taste is objective and so on and so forth, blah-blah-blah, etcetera etcetera...

...That list is bloody awful. If you can't name at least 200 fantasy novels with better prose, character development and plotting than Left Behind, then you have no business writing a list about the best fantasy novels. In fact, if you've read a Left Behind novel and haven't spent the time since then trying actively to erase the memory of it from your brain, I'd give serious thought to having a shrink look you over in case the book has somehow brainwashed you into developing some kind of literary Stockholm Syndrome.

EDIT Nope, can't do it. Can't just leave it there. I read, and finished, Left Behind at the insistence of someone I care about very deeply and at that time didn't want to offend or upset, for reasons not relating to books. Have you ever been handed a cupcake that a friend or relative's toddler 'helped' to make and you know you're going to have to choke it down, even though you're well acquainted with the toddler in question and know with utter certainty that no force in the universe could keep the little bugger's fingers out of their nose or underpants for longer than 30 seconds? And you're now going to have to swallow stodgy cupcake laced with toddler snot and god alone knows what else? Then when you've done it and swallowed your gorge, you have to smile politely and tell the toddler what a lovely cook they are? It was like that, only worse; toddler snot is temporary, while the memory of a truly shitty novel stays with you forever.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:08:55 PM by Funky Scarecrow »
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #31 on: June 26, 2012, 10:26:26 PM »
Is it the same as this list? I can tolerate that they have a Harry Potter book at tops, but I would burn that book if I saw Twilight in top 8 of anything "best of fantasy" related.

http://www.fantasybooksandmovies.com/best-fantasy-books.html

Taste is objective and so on and so forth, blah-blah-blah, etcetera etcetera...

...That list is bloody awful. If you can't name at least 200 fantasy novels with better prose, character development and plotting than Left Behind, then you have no business writing a list about the best fantasy novels. In fact, if you've read a Left Behind novel and haven't spent the time since then trying actively to erase the memory of it from your brain, I'd give serious thought to having a shrink look you over in case the book has somehow brainwashed you into developing some kind of literary Stockholm Syndrome.

EDIT Nope, can't do it. Can't just leave it there. I read, and finished, Left Behind at the insistence of someone I care about very deeply and at that time didn't want to offend or upset, for reasons not relating to books. Have you ever been handed a cupcake that a friend or relative's toddler 'helped' to make and you know you're going to have to choke it down, even though you're well acquainted with the toddler in question and know with utter certainty that no force in the universe could keep the little bugger's fingers out of their nose or underpants for longer than 30 seconds? And you're now going to have to swallow stodgy cupcake laced with toddler snot and god alone knows what else? Then when you've done it and swallowed your gorge, you have to smile politely and tell the toddler what a lovely cook they are? It was like that, only worse; toddler snot is temporary, while the memory of a truly shitty novel stays with you forever.

I have seen this list before!  What the hell has this guy been smoking! Its completely and utterly random and mad, and basically seems he is blissfully unaware of most real fantasy classics. 
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Offline Jeni

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #32 on: June 26, 2012, 11:24:40 PM »

I have seen this list before!  What the hell has this guy been smoking! Its completely and utterly random and mad, and basically seems he is blissfully unaware of most real fantasy classics. 

Apparently this is written by a female journalist with a penchant for YA fantasy. I don't know if Terry Brooks counts as YA these days (never read any of his books) but the rest of the top 10 does.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2012, 12:09:39 AM »
OK, they list Eragon and Twilight, but not a mention of Morris, Dunsany, Cabell, Eddison, Howard, Leiber, Vance, Peake or Moorcock.  I think that says just about everything.  Whoever compiled this clearly doesn't know much about the genre.
Nearly all of those authors are in my 100 Must-Read Fantasy Novels lists, it's pretty cool because I'm reading authors I've often wanted to read, but never gotten around to before.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Langolin

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2012, 05:42:54 AM »
OK, they list Eragon and Twilight, but not a mention of Morris, Dunsany, Cabell, Eddison, Howard, Leiber, Vance, Peake or Moorcock.  I think that says just about everything.  Whoever compiled this clearly doesn't know much about the genre.

Hmmm... I suppose I just never thought of Enid Blyton as a top fantasy writer. Silly me.

Offline Elfy

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Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2012, 06:47:11 AM »
OK, they list Eragon and Twilight, but not a mention of Morris, Dunsany, Cabell, Eddison, Howard, Leiber, Vance, Peake or Moorcock.  I think that says just about everything.  Whoever compiled this clearly doesn't know much about the genre.

Hmmm... I suppose I just never thought of Enid Blyton as a top fantasy writer. Silly me.
She was my entry into the field. If you read the books (especially the Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books) again there's some pretty out there stuff. I wouldn't call her must read or put her on any best of lists, but she's definitely a fantasy writer.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Nyki Blatchley

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2012, 03:36:48 PM »
OK, they list Eragon and Twilight, but not a mention of Morris, Dunsany, Cabell, Eddison, Howard, Leiber, Vance, Peake or Moorcock.  I think that says just about everything.  Whoever compiled this clearly doesn't know much about the genre.

Hmmm... I suppose I just never thought of Enid Blyton as a top fantasy writer. Silly me.
She was my entry into the field. If you read the books (especially the Faraway Tree and Wishing Chair books) again there's some pretty out there stuff. I wouldn't call her must read or put her on any best of lists, but she's definitely a fantasy writer.

My favourite's Five Go Mad On Mescaline 8)

Offline Khaldun

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2012, 04:53:23 PM »
I agree with this list except I'd replace Theft of Swords with The Dresden Files (just because, while good, I don't think Theft is a 'MUST-READ' fantasy in the same way that the Dresden Files are for urban fantasy).



So I'm sure this sort of topic has been done before. Maybe it's been done to death. Everyone has heard of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. But as the site seems to be getting lots of new members (me included!) I thought it might be a good idea to list some of the absolute best fantasy books out there. Books you think that newbies and veterans of fantasy should read at some point in there life! It can be a little daunting to trawl through threads looking for advice on what to read, so this could be a good one-stop place for every book suggestion.

I suggest giving 5 books each. Not necessarily your top 5 fantasy novels, but rather 5 that haven't been brought up on the thread before. To keep things fresh.

Hopefully this could become a permanent fixture at the top of this part of the forum. It would be a permanently (and ever evolving) thread for everyone to dip into when looking for something new to read! I suggest for now we limit each person's choices to just 5. Barring this post it would be a nice quick way to dip in and look for something new to read. So I will start with some of the more obvious ones, though there are glaring ommissions which I'm sure someone else will fill in (and another more low key entry which I think is fantastic):

1. A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin (Ongoing series title - 'A Song of Ice and Fire')
2. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (Series - 'Kingkiller Chronicle')
3. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (Series - 'The Gentlemen Bastards')
4. The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie (Series - 'The First Law Trilogy')
5. Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan (Series - 'The Riyria Revelations')


Hope this works, and helps.  :)

Offline Fellshot

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2012, 05:56:52 PM »
I'm probably going to get myself branded a royal pain in the rear, but I have difficulty taking any list of "must read" books seriously if no one ever gives a reason for why they think they are a "must read" in the first place. :P

Offline Fallen One

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Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2012, 06:01:49 PM »
I'm probably going to get myself branded a royal pain in the rear, but I have difficulty taking any list of "must read" books seriously if no one ever gives a reason for why they think they are a "must read" in the first place. :P

 I agree 100%.

 It's also hard to take it seriously if one doesn't know the credentials of the people who make the ranking.
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Offline Idlewilder

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2012, 06:12:12 PM »
I'm probably going to get myself branded a royal pain in the rear, but I have difficulty taking any list of "must read" books seriously if no one ever gives a reason for why they think they are a "must read" in the first place. :P

 I agree 100%.

 It's also hard to take it seriously if one doesn't know the crdentials of the people who make the ranking.

The point of this thread was simply to compile some sort of list of great reads by the people of fantasy faction - who I personally think are damn well qualified. If real fantasy fans aren't then who are exactly?

The thread seems to have become a lot more polarising than i ever intended. I thought the instructions in my initial post were simple enough. But alas you can't please everyone. I think it would be worth locking this thread now - and moving it to the back of the pile as a failed experiment.
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Offline Fellshot

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #41 on: June 27, 2012, 06:35:11 PM »
I'm probably going to get myself branded a royal pain in the rear, but I have difficulty taking any list of "must read" books seriously if no one ever gives a reason for why they think they are a "must read" in the first place. :P

 I agree 100%.

 It's also hard to take it seriously if one doesn't know the credentials of the people who make the ranking.

It isn't credentials, not in something as subjective as one's essential picks of fantasy. All I want is to know the reasoning behind the picks. :)




Offline Arry

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Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2012, 08:39:23 PM »
The thread seems to have become a lot more polarising than i ever intended. I thought the instructions in my initial post were simple enough. But alas you can't please everyone. I think it would be worth locking this thread now - and moving it to the back of the pile as a failed experiment.

I like the thread ... at least the original posts that were on target. I think it mainly got off on a tangent about an external list ... and those are the polarizing comments I have noticed (if there were any for list suggestions posted by members, I missed them). I personally wouldnt want it locked incase someone has another good suggestion to add ... so .... I removed my one (slighlty snarky) off subject comment, and hope the thread sticks around :)
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Offline Nyki Blatchley

Re: Fantasy Books Everyone Should Read
« Reply #43 on: June 28, 2012, 01:36:26 PM »
I'm probably going to get myself branded a royal pain in the rear, but I have difficulty taking any list of "must read" books seriously if no one ever gives a reason for why they think they are a "must read" in the first place. :P

OK, well in the case of my list, I've given extensive reasons for three of them in my articles.  In general, I've gone for works I consider seminal, as well as excellent.

The Well at the World's End - William Morris - arguably the origin of modern adventure fantasy, and a huge influence on Tolkien - see article on http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/well-at-the-worlds-end

The King of Elfland's Daughter - Lord Dunsany - one of the few novels by an early master of fantasy, whose influence is still immense even on authors who've never read him - see article on http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/the-king-of-elfland%e2%80%99s-daughter-by-lord-dunsany

Jurgen - James Branch Cabell - a classic fantasy novel, whose protagonist is arguably the original (in modern fantasy, at any rate) of the semi-comic rogue who wins out through cunning - see article on http://fantasy-faction.com/2011/jurgen-a-comedy-of-justice-by-james-branch-cabell-2

any Conan book - Robert E Howard - Howard essentially created the sword & sorcery genre, and Conan is its most famous hero, but a lot of fantasy fans only know him from derivative versions. Any S&S fan should have read at least some of Howard's Conan stories

Gormenghast Trilogy - Mervyn Peake- Not everyone's cup of tea, but Peake is an excellent example of how fantasy can also be "literary fiction". One to throw in the faces of literary snobs

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