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Author Topic: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?  (Read 6513 times)

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« on: May 06, 2011, 10:43:44 PM »
Prompted by my realisation that I haven't read any of this years nominations for the David Gemmell Awards, I thought maybe I should give the newer epic fantasy writers a whirl, so, where do I start? Just so there's no confusion, of the previous generation of epic writers, I've tried Modesitt, Feist, Brooks and Jordan and found them to be... not to my taste and I found Robin Hobb to be hit and miss enough that I get her books from the library rather than buy them straight out. I do, however, quite enjoy Tad Williams and Guy Gavriel Kay. Who should I be looking out for, the next time I go book hunting?

PS: If Abercrombie counts as epic fantasy, and I'm not sure that he does, I'm already up to date with his books. Ditto for Rothfuss (again, not sure if he counts as epic) and I've got a copy of  Hulick's Among Thieves on my coffee table right now (Once again, not sure if it will be in the epic tradition).
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Offline Winter

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2011, 11:19:34 PM »
Epic fantasy has fallen out of favor with me, so I am not much of a help when it comes to the new and shiny on the market. It is not like I am stuck in the past or anything. I am just not up to date. I'll rattle off a few though.

- Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is a favorite of mine and, as a bonus, was recently completed. A fair warning though, the first book is sometimes met with a negative reaction when the reader realizes that Erikson has thrown him/her into the middle of a story and walked off without explaining much of anything. I still hold out that the book isn't confusing, but that might be because I was introduced to D&D by being handed a character sheet and thrown into a pre-existing campaign. It is a pretty similar experience.

- R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing was very good, but those going into it should be aware that there is a lot of graphic content, both sexual and violent--and some disturbing scenes involving both. It is a bit slow and Bakker loves his philosophy, but it is worth picking up.

- Have you read A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin? Most would have listed this first, but I do not enjoy the series as much as I used to. The series suffers from a severe case of bloat and the last novel was sort of blah, but the first three were quite good and the next one is finally set to be released. The downside is not knowing if and when the series will come to a close.

- Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains will probably be a good choice if you liked Joe Abercrombie. I am a fan of Morgan, but I thought the book was just plain mediocre. The reason for that likely revolves around the amount of hype piled on it, which did not serve it well when the book ended up being just the same old stuff I've read countless times before. Oddly, the last pages made this series a priority for me, saving it from being another abandoned series. It tends to garner more positive opinions from others, unless the reader has something against homosexual sex... then it just leads to humorous/sad reviews on Amazon.

- Daniel Abraham's The Long Price Quartet might be a good choice, but I can't say much about it as I have only read as far as the first book, A Shadow in Summer. It was a very impressive start though and my complaints were minor, mostly concerning the setting and the constant use of a form of non-verbal communication that is never described.

And I think I am going to end there, because I am pretty sure there are a ton of other people here that can give newer recommendations.
"It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way."

Offline WizardofWestmarch

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2011, 11:50:52 PM »
Only the first book is out, but I REALLY enjoyed Sanderson's Way of Kings. The world is enthralling and he's taken what he learned working on Wheel of Time and put it to good use.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2011, 03:10:38 AM »
What the wizard of westmarch said . . . Totally agreed with that. So far reading Way of Kings was the most enjoyable time I had with a book this year.and I have read Wiseman's Fears, Locke Lamora, Heroes and started Wheel of Time for the first time this year.   
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Offline ChristinaJL

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2011, 09:26:24 AM »
Lots of authors out there, you've read Mark C Newton haven't you?

I second Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, Spellwright by Blake Charlton is very good.  Steven Erikson if you like gritty epic fantasy.  Adrian Tchaikovsky's series Shadows of the Apt (6 books already written, another 4 I believe - and a Brit if you want to read more British stuff!)  Doug Hulick's book is also an enjoyable read.  Daniel Abraham's Long Price Quartet, his new The Dragon's Path, Kevin James Breaux's Soulborn, Chris Evans Iron Elves series, Peter V Brett's Demon Trilogy, Brent Weeks, Dance of Cloaks by David Dalglish, Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay is a nice standalone epic, Jim Butler's Codex Alera (although have only read one of that series so far).

Need I go on, else the list might just confuse you now, lol!!!   ;D

Offline missoularedhead

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2011, 09:29:48 AM »
The one 'epic' I can think of that's new, and quite different, is KJ Parker's Engineer's War trilogy.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2011, 09:32:41 AM »
I've only read 'Way of Kings' from the nominees: but do plan to check out Peter V Brett soon (have ordered both his novels from Jakarta) and in about 8 to 10 months will be ready for The Towers of Midnight!  

'Way of Kings' is really a great read, everyone seems to have really enjoyed it (except Pornokitsch ;)) and the general consensus is that it is his best yet.  

'Warded Man' seems ripe for Fantasy Book Club next month ....  though I am reluctant to get behind it as a choice after Carpe Jugulum lost last month :(  
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Offline pornokitsch

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2011, 09:43:04 AM »
'Way of Kings' is really a great read, everyone seems to have really enjoyed it (except Pornokitsch ;)) and the general consensus is that it is his best yet.  

:) I think my official line is "technically excellent". It just raises a lot of questions about epic fantasy as a category. Cough.

I'm not sure how far back our recommendations go, but also Eddings, Donaldson's Mordant's Need, Kay's Fionavar Tapestry, Williams' Memory/Sorrow/Thorn, Weis/Hickman's Rose of the Prophet, the first few Xanth books from Piers Anthony, Pierre Pevel (my favorite of the Gemmell finalists by a long shot), and...uh.... other stuff.

Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2011, 01:07:01 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations so far. :)

With G.R.R. Martin, I've only read the first book of ASOIF since I know how deeply I'll get into it and waiting years between volumes would drive me mental.

As for Way of Kings... Saying stuff was learned from Wheel of Time is one way of making sure it really doesn't get sold to me. This is heresy to a lot of fantasy fans, but I'm in the minority of us who think that the only thing which could be learned from Wheel of Time is "For the love all you hold dear, DON'T write like Robert Jordan." *Ducks in anticipation of recrimination*

With the slightly older stuff, I'm about 50% through Donaldson's output, but it's been on a hiatus of many years, since there's only so much reprehensible and thoroughly dislikeable protagonist I can bear in one lifetime. Eddings is... Fun the first time, but starts to feel very cookie cutter after a while. As for recommending Xanth novels, PK? I would refer the honourable gentleman to this post; for reference, that opinion was still a little ambiguous considering the depth of feeling I have towards Anthony's work.

Is Rose of the Prophet part of Weis/Hickman's Dragonlance work? I've read some of their Dragonlance stuff and it wasn't my thing, but I remember thoroughly enjoying the Deathgate Cycle.

I'm sold on pretty much everything else. In fact, I very nearly went with K.J. Parker's The Folding Knife earlier today, but plumped for buying a bunch of second hand paperbacks instead (A Solomon Kane omnibus, a copy of Fear & Loathing... that isn't falling to pieces in my hands, a Murakami since I've been meaning to try him for a while and a few other bits and bobs). If anyone spots any glaring omissions from the list please add them. Since the back of so many epic series read like versions of each others' blurb, word of mouth is what I rely on to differentiate amongst them. :)
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Offline WizardofWestmarch

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 01:16:20 AM »
FYI I loved the early WoT books but did not like the later ones, but loved WoK.

While he had many problems, Jordan's early books did a lot right in crafting the world, characters, and problems. Getting to dabble with the end results of that was what made WoK so powerful, everything feels important, hints of grandness without showing why right away, and generally solid character development.
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Offline Winter

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 01:55:19 AM »
[snip](A Solomon Kane omnibus, a copy of Fear & Loathing... that isn't falling to pieces in my hands, a Murakami since I've been meaning to try him for a while and a few other bits and bobs).[/snip]

Oooh, which Murakami did you pick up?

I read After Dark as my introduction to his work and was floored. It was very good, definitely impressive, and was another step on the path that led to my seeking out more translated fiction. I have also read the beginning of Hard-boiled Wonderland, but I was only sampling and have not made it back to it yet.

Hunter S. Thompson is yet another author that I need to read more of. A couple years ago, I picked up Kingdom of Fear, which served as my first experience with Thompson's writing beyond the occasional reference or quote. His style is the sort that clicked with me instantly. Since then, I have lazily kept my eye for more of his work, seeing it here and there, but never acting on the purchase.
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Offline Funky Scarecrow

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 02:14:20 AM »
A copy of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I was a big fan of Shusaku Endo in my teens (Foreign Studies is still one of my favourite novels) and I thought it was about time I read some contemporary Japanese fiction that didn't revolve around islands, schoolkids and weapons. ;D

EDITIFIED(it's not a real word, but by golly it should be!)TO INCLUDE MISSING WORD
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 02:51:24 AM by Funky Scarecrow »
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Offline M. R. Mathias

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 03:41:45 AM »
Have you tried any indie?

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 06:28:01 AM »
There is a lot of good stuff to be taken out of Wheel of Time too - get past the overdone character traits, and slightly odd male/ female relations - and the major Freudian issues Jordan had with women, and the early ones at least (I'm only up to Shadow Rising) - had a lot of recommend about them.  The world building, the various factions working against each other, the politics, and vast scope of the story.  This is what Brandon Sanderson took into Way of the Kings.  There ain't any braid tugging in his novel!
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Offline ChristinaJL

Re: Recommendations for New Epic Fantasy Writers?
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 09:13:47 AM »
I didn't think Way of Kings was anything like the 4 WoT books I've read so far, Sanderson is really good at imaginative world building and magic systems.   ;D

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