Fantasy Recommendations for the Unenlightened 2


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
I've tried to collect all the recommendations in the previous thread here. The last one got too big, but I don't want those recs to get lost. So if you have any more, go ahead, but try not to repeat the ones here. I'll improve this over time. (Note: I don't necessarily agree with all of these, but this is just all of the recommendations in the previous thread in one place). It isn't particularly neat, and there are a couple of repetitions, but here it is:
Raymond E Feist
Riftwar Saga
A Darkness at Sethanon
Krondor's Sons
Prince of the Blood
The Kings Buccaneer
Riftwar Stories
Daughter of the Empire
Servant of the Empire
Mistress of the Empire
Serpent War
Shadow of a Dark Queen
Rise of a Merchant Prince
Rage of a Demon King
Shards of a Broken Crown
Riftwar Legacy
Honoured Enemy
Murder in LaMut
Jimmy the Hand
Legends of the Riftwar
Krondor: the Betrayal
Krondor: The Assassins
Krondor: Tear of the Gods
Conclave of the Shadows
Talon of the Silver Hawk
King of Foxes
Exile's Return
Other Titles
Faerie Tale

Mark Anthony
Last Rune Saga
Beyond the Pale
The Keep of Fire
The Dark Remains
Blood of Mystery
The Gates of Winter
The First Stone

L E Modesitt Jnr
Saga of Recluce
The Magic of Recluce
The Towers of Sunset
The Magic Engineer
The Order War
The Death of Chaos
The Fall of Angels
The Chaos Balance
The White Order
Colors of Chaos
Magi'i of Cyador
Scion of Cyador
Wellspring of Chaos

Terry Goodkind
Sword of Truth Series
Wizard's First Rule
Stone of Tears
Blood of the Fold
Temple of the Winds
Soul of the Fire
Faith of the Fallen

Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials
Northern Lights (Golden Compass)
Subtle Knife
Amber Spyglass

Christopher Paolini

1. Steven Erikson’s Malazan Empire series (best I’ve ever read!). Canadian writer, UK based. Compared to Homer by some critics for sheer scope and complexity of storyline. Great storytelling especially for his first venture into this genre!!!!
As he deals with Military fantasy on the grand scale he's fairly hard edged as well as being brilliantly conceived and written. As I've told other people Book 1 Gardens Of The Moon is the weakest of the series BUT still very good. You need to persist with this book beyond the first 200 pages, although there's plenty of grittiness up to then. The point is Erikson drops you into his world in the middle of what is obviously an
EPIC series but whilst it is not easy to follow early on he does tie most threads by books end. The last 200 pages is action packed, what one critic very aptly put as a 'machine gun finish" I've never read a book that was so packed in those last few hundred pages. WOW!!!! Book 2 Deadhouse Gates and the future books reach a high water mark in fantasy writing that never goes down. Anyone I know who has read Erikson immediately places him at the top of the list ahead of Martin as great as he is. Steven must write 1 book/year as it is part of his contract to do so, so you won't be waiting X years like some authors we could mention... He obviously thought the entire series through extremely well from the beginning. He has a background as an anthropologist and archaeologist and it sure shows in his world building. Epic, gritty, grey characters along the lines of The Black Company, amazing complexity and magic systems!! 10 Books, Book 6 due Feb 2006. He produces approx 1 book/year so very reliable. Books 1,2 already out in US.
2. George RR Martin Song Of Ice and Fire (No 2. in my hit parade of all time). Similar to Erikson in terms of plenty of grey characters and grittiness. Set in a mediaeval type setting like a lot of the so-called High Fantasy/
EPIC series seem to be. Book 4 A Feast Of Crows due later this year. US author, after a fast start slowed down a bit in terms of completing the books i.e. waited 2-3 years for Book 4 now BUT do not be put off, very good!!!
3. Greg Keyes Kingdoms Of Thorn and Bone series. Very good series, a level below Martin and Erikson but still well written and on the big scale. I think is intended as a 4 books series, book 3 due by midyear. US author.
4. Glenn Cook The Black Company. Very good, gritty realism along the lines of Erikson. Completed series. Military fantasy. US author.
5. Robert Jordan Wheel Of Time series. I’m sure you’ve heard of these, they have dragged along a bit but the early books are top class. 12 books in this series. Book 11 Knife Of Dreams is due out October 2005, so nearing the end. Vast scope and array of charters along the lines of Erikson and Martin BUT not as well maintained/balanced over the journey as those two. US again…
6. JV Jones Sword Of Shadows Trilogy, Book 3 due later this year. Very well written and quite a bit darker than her earlier stuff. The first of my female authors!!
UK Writer. On a par with Keyes.
7. Tad Williams, Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series. Good stuff, very well written in a medieval setting, more your traditional fantasy like Tolkien than Erikson, Martin, Cook etc..
UK writer.
8. R. Scott Bakker’s Prince Of Nothing trilogy. Canadian writer like Erikson. Very good, Final Book 3 The Thousandfold Thought due later this year. Plenty of philosophy and politics.
9. Kate Elliott Crown Of Stars series. Very good, well written Epic. Great Stuff set like most EPICS in a medieval setting. Book 6 is due midyear. Book 7, which is the final book is due by Feb 2006.
US writer. On a par with Keyes. Her and J.V. Jones my top two female fantasy authors aside from Janny Wurts.
10. Jude Fisher - Fools Gold Trilogy Book 3 just out in US, due midyear in
UK. Enjoyable read. Her first go as author, an enjoyable read. Not as vast in scope as Erikson, Martin etc.. but has a strong female lead. Nice for a change.
11. Paul Kearney - Monarchies Of God 5 book series. Completed series, only issue here is some of the books out of print, so may have to track down second hand or from local library. From what I’ve read of extracts, review very good, gritty realism and just receiving the series in the post now from friends. Just finished Book 1 of the Sea Bggars, a new series that is very nicely written!!! Erikson places Glen Cook and
Kearney in his top 2-3 fantasy authors. Deals with buccaneers/adventurers in wooden ships and distant lands, a bit like the Capt. Horatio Hornblower tales in a fantasy setting.
12. Stephen Donaldson’s – Thomas Covenant series. Don’t’ know if you’re familiar with these. There is two Thomas Covenant series already out. Book 1 Runes Of The Earth of the final t Covenant series out now and I’m reading it YEH!!. Great series but more on the psychological level a study into the human condition. Can be heavy going and not appealing to everyone, as the main character is a leper in real life with a house-sized chip on his shoulder who gets transported to a magical land to fight the baddies. A recognised great of the genre. US author.
13. John Marco - Tyrants and Kings trilogy very good, gritty military fantasy like Erikson. His first series as an author and very good for a first effort.
US writer.
14. Robert Silverberg - Majipoor books. Great series of seven books, not the typical fantasy read but enjoyable. One of the recognised great writers of the genre, a writer of great imagination.
15. J.R.R Tolkien Lord Of The Rings. Along with CS Lewis perhaps recognised as the father of modern fantasy. Certainly one of the major pioneers. Couldn’t leave this one out!!
16. Anne Macaffrey Dragons Of Pern series. Another recognised great of the genre. Only read some of her stuff, pretty good. US author.
17. Janny Wurts – Wars Of Light and Shadow. Very good series but can be heavy going and not easy to follow conceptually. Highly intelligent author with a very sophisticated style of writing albeit somewhat stilted in delivery, which I like. Has a personal interest in the metaphysical and books tend to focus on this in terms of concepts discussed etc.. Not your average fantasy read. US author.
18. Mickey Zucker Reichert -Renshai Series. The renshai books follow the trials of a warrior elite swordsman known as Colbey Carlistinsson who battles humans and the Norse gods with some of the action taking place at
Valhalla. Heavily immersed in the Norse mythology this series is really enjoyable. It’s a very well written series and a favourite of mine. I know I read somewhere recently that she was planning to write some more Renshai books, as the last one came out in 1998. US Author.

Arguably not in the same league as above but still not bad:

1. Weiss & Hickmann - Death Gate Cycle I’ve read all of Weiss and Hickman’s work and in my humble opinion their best work. Dragonlance series worth a look.

3. Guy Gavriel Kay - Finovar Tapestry Trilogy. Unusual series.
4. Terry Brooks – Shannara series. Read everything he's written. I think his recent series Voyage Of The Jerle Shannara is his best since Sword Of Shannara although I feel his Demon trilogy is his best work. Tolkien-like with dwarves, elves etc.. US author.
5. Tad Williams Otherland series. Unusual cyberspace come virtual reality epic.
6. Cecilia Dart-Thornton - Bitterbynde Trilogy. Female Aussie author, definitely available in US, nice writing style.
7. Ian Irvine - View From The Mirror and Well Of Echoes Quartets. View From The Mirror is really good. He’s an Aussie author from my neck of the woods. If you like engineering gadgets/concepts you’ll revel in this one. But very good storyline, as you get further into the series, not sure on availability in the
8. RA Salvatore’s Icewind Dale trilogy and Dark Elf Trilogy. Features the incomparable drow elf Drizzt Do’Urden the kick butt sword fighter extraordinaire!! Salvatore of course is well known for his fight sequences/scenes. Dark Elf is his best series in my humble opinion!! featuring our hero once again. Quite good with exciting stories and lots of action!!. In fact for any budding authors out there you could do worse than study Salvatore for his battle sequences, especially the sword sequences between Drizzt and his arch nemesis and near equal Artemis Entreri.
9. Sara Douglas - Axis Trilogy. Interesting storyline. Aussie author.

Authors I’ve known of but currently investigating

1. Roger Zelazny Amber Series. Considered as a “classic” in this genre, from the late ‘60’s through to the 90's*. Considered a great of the genre.
2. Gene Wolfe- Book Of The New Sun duology. Considered by several critics as one of the best literary writers in modern
America full stop never mind just fantasy. Definitely on my list of books to read. Also considered one of the greats of this genre. Maybe more SCI-FI than fantasy but apparently good stuff. Have also heard good things about the current duology Wizard Knight.

My Must Read List of 2005/early 2006

I include this so you can see the stuff I’m currently into/hanging out for and maybe use it as some sort of a guide for current series.

Books marked with an “*” are basically the concluding books in that specific series/story arc.

Straken*, by Terry Brooks (Aug/Sep 2005)
Knife of Dreams, by Robert Jordan (Oct 2005)
In the Ruins, by Kate Elliott. Book 6 of Crown Of Stars series. (June 2005)
Crown Of Stars*, by Kate Elliott. Book 7 of Crown Of Stars series. (Feb 2006)
The Blood Knight, by Greg Keyes (Aug 2005)
A Feast For Crows, by George RR Martin (approx Sep 2005, a guess.)
The Thousandfold Thought*, by R Scott Bakker (Sep 2005)
Sword of Angels* by John Marco (May 2005)
A Sword from Red Ice* by J.V. Jones (fingers crossed by end of 2005)
Shadow Roads* by Sean Russell (May 2005)
Rose Of The World* by Jude Fischer (out now in States, mid year in OZ).
The Bonehunters, by Steven Erikson (Feb 2006)

And hopefully sooner rather than later…

The Sea Beggars II by Paul Kearney (2006?)
Book 2 of the Last T. Covenant quartet, by Stephen Donaldson’s (2006?)
Book 2 of the Shadowmarch trilogy, by Tad Williams (along the lines of Memory, Sorrow and Thorn mentioned in above lists but not quite as good).

Larry Niven
The Magic Goes Away universe
The Magic Goes Away
More Magic (short stories)
The Magic May Return (short stories)
The Burning City
Burning Tower

China Mieville - New Crobuzon books
Perdido Street Station
The Scar

Iron Council

Not quite as good, but still excellent:

Fritz Leiber - Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser tales
Swords and Deviltry
Swords Against Death
Swords in the Mist
Swords Against Wizardry

Gene Wolfe - the Book of the New Sun
Shadow of the Torturer
Claw of the Conciliator
Sword of the Lictor

Citadel of the Autarch

1.Mervyn Peake
2. M. John Harrison
3. Gene Wolfe
4. Fritz Leiber
5. Franz Kafka
6. Italo Calvino
7. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. Michael Moorcock
9. Mikhail Bulgakov
10. Jonathan Carroll
11. Edward Whittemore
13. Tim Powers
14. Michael Swanwick
15. Mary Gentle
16. Angela Carter
17. Robert E. Howard
18. JG Ballard
19. Ursula Leguin
20 Roger Zelazny
21. Brooks Hansen
22. Jorge Luis Borges
23. A.S. Byatt
24. Jeff VanderMeer
25. Jeffrey Ford

For a good grounding in fantasy, don't stop at Tolkien - try some Arthur Machen (The Great God Pan, The Three Impostors), Lord Dunsany, ER Eddisson (The Worm Ouroboros) and Mervyn Peake, not to mention CS Lewis and Hope Mirrlees.

Ground yourself in the Weird Tales fantasists too - Robert E Howard and Clark Ashton SMith, in particular. HP Lovecraft is more horror, but worth a read anyway. Always. Then see what two of the most inventive writes in the genre did with sword and sorcery archetype - Michael Moorcock with his anti-Conan, Elric, and Fritz Leiber with Fafhrd and Grey Mouser. Follow their other works too.

Moving forward, pickings can get a bit thin as the primal wilderness of the imagination is pruned and domesticated to produce what one commentator calls 'extruded fantasy product', which owes more Tolkeinesque aspirations and an immersion in RPGs than original vision.

Mary Gentle is rated very highly although I've yet to be impressed by the few books of hers I've read. For humour in fantasy, it doesn't really get better than Terry Pratchett, although Piers Anthony's silly puns can be amusing in small doses. Ursula Le Guin's Eathsea novels are among the best things ever written for younger readers in the genre.

Tim Powers and Jonathan Carroll write fiction that is squarely fantastic, with magic and immense forces at work, and yet are grounded in the real world. Truly excellent stuff. Neil Gaiman's novels fit in with the works of these two. Michael Di Larrabeti's tales of the Borribles fit in with this style too.

The immediate present offers a variety of exciting, fresh voices in the fantasy genre. I'll repeat the names of KJ Bishop, Kelly Link, Ray Vuvkevich and others. Writers like Mathew Stover work in a more traditional vein than these writers, but are all doing new and interesting things with the genre rather than simply writing Big Fat Fantasy by-the-numbers.

To add on to this though very briefly by Knivesout, I would recommend Thorne Smith (who is widely and I irresposibliy forgotten by too many) and his Nightlife of Gods.

James Barclay
Chronicles of the Raven

Eric van Lustbader is good sf-fantasy cross-over. His Ring of Five Dragons books (or what I read of them) were entertaining and explosion-filled. Plus they had technomancers.

Argh. I forgot M John Harrison's Viriconium sequence. Rarely has a set of tales deconstructed itself - and the genre it belongs to - with so much verve and style. There's everything from Moorcockian swords and sorcery to passages whch would nto be out of place in a Borges book. And Harrison's prose is among the very finest.
Which is arguably IMHO the genre's greatest sequence bar none post-Peake.

Master and Gollum named almost all my reads, but I will have to add Marion Zimmer Bradley to the list. She wrote over 120 books, of which I won't name them all, but here's my favorite series:
Avalon Series:
The Mists of Avalon (1979)
The Forest House (1993) (with Diana L Paxson)
Lady of Avalon (1997) (with Diana L Paxson)
The Forests of Avalon (1998)
Priestess of Avalon (2000) (with Diana L Paxson)
The Ancestors of Avalon (2004) (with Diana L Paxson)

Banned and the Bannished - James Clemens

Keeper Chronicles - Tanya Huff

Orces First Blood - Stan Nicholls

Spellsinger - Alan Dean Foster

Tales of the Otori - Lian Hearn

The Black Jewels - Anne Bishop

The Darkweaver Legacy - Mark Robson

The Farseer Trilogy & Tawny Man Trilogy - Robin Hobb

Time Master Trilogy - Louise Cooper

Dresden Files - Jim Butcher

Keys to the Kingdom - Garth Nix

Merry Gentry - Laurell K Hamilton

Pellinor - Alison Croggon

The Bartimeaus Trilogy - Jonathan Stroud

The Tamir Triad - Lynn Flewelling

Women of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong



Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
Continuation of above:
Then there are the authors who have written one or two books I really love, but I haven't read much else of, for one reason or another: James Thurber's The 13 Clocks, Willam Goldman's The Princess Bride, Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October, Barbara Hambly's Stranger at the Wedding, A. S. Byatt's Possession,

Most of my favourite books have already been mentioned in previous

However I would like to add Jennifer Fallon's 'The Demon Child Trilogy'.

Anne McCaffrey is another good author, especially if you like dragons!

Maggie Furey wrote two very good series. 'The Shadow League'
and 'The Artefacts of Power'.

Kate Jacoby is another author not mentioned very often.
Her 'Elita Sagas' are very well written.

Stardust is fantastic-- especially the original version with beautiful color illustrations by Charles Vess!

Would anyone consider A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain to be classic Sci-Fi or Classic Fantasy??? In fact, has anyone ever read it, or just watched the two movies, like me???
i have missed this place and all of you greatly. I've sorta had my hands full. I highly recommend Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince trilogy. I was absolutely captivated.

If you like heroic fantasy I recommend David Gemmel as a good starter, I can never get enough of his books.

Mercedes Lacky
Maggie furey

David Eddings

Chris Bunch (although he stuff is a bit tedious and takes some slogging to get through)
Richard Knack
Edo Van Belkom

Don Perrin
Tanith Lee

some books by Guy Gavriel Kay (Gollum has mentioned only his Fionavar series, and Kay has written 6 more books, 4 of them standalones: Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, Lions of Al-Rassan and The Last Light of the Sun, and the Sarantine Mosaic duology). I'd recommend every one of them, but maybe I'm not being very objective here as Kay is one of my favourite authors (hence my username). I'll say only that these books, unlike the Fionavar Tapestry, are based on European countries' culture like ie. medieval France in Arbonne or Bysanthium in Sarantium. But then, there's a little magic in there as well, and I especially enjoyed Kay's characters.
- some science fantasy books (thanks, Kelpie, for the word ) i.e. C. S Friedman's The Coldfire Trilogy. I'd recommend as well other novels by this author (they're SF, so I'm not mentioning them here)
- CJ Cherryh novels: the Morgaine Saga (a science fantasy) and The Ynefel/Fortress novels: there are already 4 of them, with the fifth volume to come in 2006: both of these cycles are superb, though completely different;
- and now I'd have to add Steph Swainston as well: 2 novels as for now, The Year of Our War and No Present Like Time, hopefully with more to come, as the story is unfinished.

Richard Lee Byers (War of the Spider Queen)
Thomas M. Reid(War of the Spider Queen)

Ann Rice (Vampires related)
Mad Arab-Necronomicon (thats all they call him in the book and since there is no author stated...I would say this is a must read)
Peirs Anthony

I cannot believe no one has mentioned Harry Turtledove. Anything by him is worth reading from the colonization/worldwar series (more sfi) to the darkness series and the (What if) historical fantasys. David Drake has also written some good fantasy beside his military sf. Philip Jose Farmer, Rick Cook, Eric Flint, Linda Evans and Jack Vance are all well worth a look. To finish I would also recommend The War Gods Own, Oath Of Swords and Wind Rider's Oath by David Weber. To check out some writers you may not have read before go to and check out the free library lots of books by loads of Authors in every format except pdf. It dosent cost anything and you can always buy the book(s) if you like them
Clark Ashton Smith
HP Lovecraft

My favorite Lovecraft works and probably some of his most famous include:

At The Mountains Of Madness
Shadows Over Innsmouth
Rats In The Walls
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
The Color out of Space
The Call of Cthulhu
The Whisperer in Darkness
The Shadow Out of Time
The Horror at Red Hook
The Nameless City
The Dunwich Horror

Hugh Cook's 'Chronicles of an Age of Darkness' series. Best fantasy series ever.

1. The Wizards and the Warriors
2. The Wordsmiths and the Warguild
3. The Women and the Warlords
4. The Walrus and the Warwolf
5. The Wicked and the Witless
6. The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers
7. The Wazir and the Witch
8. The Werewolf and the Wormlord
9. The Worshippers and the Way
10. The Witchlord and the Weaponmaster

I recommend starting with either book 1 or book 4 (The Walrus and the Warwolf is a book everyone must read once before they die).

It doesn't matter what order the books are read in. They're not consecutive - they're concurrent.

I am a huge fan of Charles DeLint. He writes urban fantasy, and his books are excellent IMHO. I also enjoy Dennis L. McKiernan and Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar books. Also enjoyed the Books of the Fey by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
    1. The Sacrifice
    2. The Changeling
    3. The Rival
    4. The Resistance
    5. Victory
Two other books were set in this world, a duology called Black Throne

1 The Black Queen
2 The Black King

For LE Modesitt Jr you forgot to mention his Spellsong Cycle its 5 books and I thought they were pretty good. The story starts with a woman from earth who was somehow (cant remember) transported to this world where songs are magical and she being an accomplished opera singer makes her very powerful. Good story as always from Modesitt Jr.

Spellsong Cycle

The Soprano Sorceress
Spellsong War
Darksong Rising
The Shadow Sorceress
Shadow Singer

Okay, I've read through this thread again, and been doing some thinking about what I like and have come up with a few more recommendations. I've read quite a bit of fantasy over the years, so many of these may be out of print, but they were favorites nonetheless.

Lawrence Watt-Evans: the "Lords of Dus" series: The Lure of the Basilisk, The Seven Altars of Dusarra, The Sword of Bheleu, and The Book of Silence.

Elizabeth Moon: THE DEED OF PAKSENARRION: Sheepfarmer's Daughter, Divided Allegiance, Oath of Gold. THE LEGACY OF GIRD: Surrender None, Liar's Oath

Midori Snyder: the
Oran trilogy: New Moon, Sadar's Keep, and Beldan's Fire.

Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Fey: The Sacrifice, The Changeling, The Rival, The Resistance, Victory. The Black Throne: The Black Queen, The Black King

Dennis L. McKiernan
Mercedes Lackey
Charles de Lint

Emma Bull: War for the Oaks

Lynn Abbey's Rifkind books: Daughter of the Bright Mooon, The Black Flame, Rifkind's Challenge (NEW!)

Anne Logston: Shadow, Shadow Hunt, Shadow Dance, and Dagger's Edge, Dagger's Point, Greendaughter, Wild Blood

Jennifer Roberson: Shapechanger, The Song of Homana, Legacy of the Sword, Track of the White Wolf, A Pride of Princes, Daughter of the Lion, Flight of the Raven, A Tapestry of Lions, PLUS a new trilogy!!!! From Jennifer's website: I'm happy to say I will be writing three new Cheysuli novels. These will be set in the timeframe of the original eight books. The first will tell the tale of Carillon and Finn in exile from Homana, fitting between Shapechangers and The Song of Homana. The second will be a prequel to the series, the story of the romance between Hale and Lindir and how it triggered the qu'mahlin. The third and last will be set in Erinn and Atvia, relating the adventures of Keely and Corin as they settle into their new homes far away from Homana.

Holly Lisle: The Arhel Novels: Fire In the Mist, Bones of the Past, The Mind of the Magic

David Weber: War Gods Series: War God's Own, Oath of Swords, Windrider's Oath

Michael Reaves: The Shattered World, The Burning Realm

Jane Yolen: The Books of Great Alta: Sister Light, Sister Dark, White Jenna, The One-Armed Queen

Patricia C. Wrede: The Lyra series: Shadow Magic, Daughter of Witches, The Harp of Imach Thyssel, Caught In Crystal, The Raven Ring

Jennifer Fallon
Maria V. Snyder
C.E. Murphy
Christie Golden

I'll try and make it a bit easier to read soon - just a list of authors.

(PS can a mod of these forums sticky this please?)

Panamon Creel

Mar 30, 2006
This is my first post and I just wanted to say many thanks for the recommendations.
Over the years I had previously read Terry Brooks Shannara series (I think this series is running out of steam but that said, I will still buy the next one), Donaldson's Covenant series (a bit long-winded at times but worth the effort), some David Gemmell and I have a vague recollection of reading Feists Magician many years ago.
I've pretty much enjoyed these books but didn't know where to go next until I recently discovered this site. Based on the recommendations I read here I bought a copy of George RR Martins, A Game of Thrones and I'm throughly enjoying it. Although I haven't quite finished it yet, I can already see thats its in a different league from what I've previously been reading in the genre. I'm off into town at the weekend to buy the rest of the available books in the series, I hope they're as good.
I like the sound of the recommendation given to Steven Erikson’s Malazan Empire series and thought I might head in that direction next, any thoughts?
Once again, many thanks.


Mar 21, 2005
Panamon Creel said:
This is my first post and I just wanted to say many thanks for the recommendations....I like the sound of the recommendation given to Steven Erikson’s Malazan Empire series and thought I might head in that direction next, any thoughts?
Once again, many thanks.
Well first of all welcome Panamon Creel. As I'm the one recommending Erikson in that previuos thread summary courtesy of Brys I'm not going to argue with that particular choice...:D You may wish to check out the author subforum for more information.

Other than those I may have mentioned previously I could also recommend to you the excellent Fantasy Masterwork series. A number of these may have been mentioned above but here's a full list. As Brys hasn't pasted this list here yet here please enjoy courtesy of my fellow member Foxbat:

1. Shadow And Claw Gene Wolfe
2. Time And Gods Lord Dunsany
3. The Worm Ouroboros E R Eddison
4. Tales of the Dying Earth Jack Vance
5. Little Big John Crowley
6. The Chronicles Of Amber Roger Zelazney
7. Virconium M John Harrison
8. The People of the Black Circle Robert E Howard
9. The Land Of Laughs Johnathan Carroll
10. The Compleat Enchanter L Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt
11. Lud-in-the-mist Hope Mirlees
12. Sword And Citadel Gene Wolfe
13. Fevre Dream George R R Martin
14. Beauty Sheri S Tepper
15. The King of Elfland’s Daughter Lord Dunsany
16. The Hour Of The Dragon Robert E Howard
17. Elric Michael Moorcock
18. The First Book Of Lankhmar Fritz Leiber
19. Riddle-Master Patricia A McKillip
20. Time And Again Jack Finney
21. Mistress of Mistresses E R Eddison
22. Gloriana or The Unfulfilled Queen Michael Moorcock
23. The Well Of The Unicorn Fletcher Pratt
24. The Second Book Of Lankhmar Fritz Leiber
25. Voice Of Our Shadow Johnathan Carroll
26. The Emperor Of Dreams Clark Ashton Smith
27. Lyoness: Suldrun’s Garden Jack Vance
28. Peace Gene Wolfe
29. The Dragon Waiting John M Ford
30. The Chronicles Of Corum Michael Moorcock
31. Black Gods And Scarlet Dreams C L Moore
32. The Broken Sword Poul Anderson
33. The House On The Borderland & Other Novels William Hope Hodgson
34. The Drawing Of The Dark Tim Powers
35. Lyoness II: The Green Pearl and Madouc Jack Vance
36. The History of the Runestaff Michael Moorcock
37. A Voyage To Arcturus David Lindsay
38. Darker Than You Think & Other Novels Jack Williamson
39. The Mabinogion Evangeline Walton
40. Three Hearts And Three Lions Poul Anderson
41. The Call Of The Cthulhu & Other Eldritch Horrors H P Lovecraft
42. Grendel John Gardner
43. Replay Ken Grimwood
44. The Iron Dragon’s Daughter Michael Swanwick

Hope this helps....:)


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
Can you sticky this please? I'm not a mod of these forums.

Good idea Gollum to put the masterworks list in - it's the only series I know of which encompasses so many of the best in fantasy.

@Panamol Creed - Erikson's Malazan series is IMO the best epic fantasy being written at the moment - so I'd definitely suggest you read it. What I would say though is that you shouldn't expect it to be anything like Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. A lot of Martin fans have been disappointed with the Malazan series because it wasn't another ASOIAF - in setting and tone it's pretty different - both are dark, gritty, and excellent fantasy. But where ASOIAF's low magic, Malazan's high magic, where ASOIAF is personal, Malazan is epic etc.

Panamon Creel

Mar 30, 2006
Thanks for the suggestions and I've just looked up some of the books in the Fantasy Masterwork series. A lot of them sound interesting and should keep me busy for awhile. Cheers.


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
I've now got a list of all the authors mentioned above (and a couple of others) in alphabetical order, to make it slightly easier to use:
Lynn Abbey
Kelly Armstrong
Poul Anderson
Mark Anthony
Peirs Anthony
R Scott Bakker
JG Ballard
James Barclay
Edo Van Belkom
Anne Bishop
KJ Bishop
Jorge Luis Borges
Marion Zimmer Bradley
Terry Brooks
Mikhail Bulgakov
Emma Bull
Chris Bunch
Jim Butcher
A. S. Byatt
Richard Lee Byers
Italo Calvino
Jonathan Carroll
Angela Carter
C. J. Cherryh
James Clemens
Glen Cook
Hugh Cook
Louise Cooper
Susan Cooper
Alison Croggon
Cecilia Dart-Thornton
Michael de Larrabeiti
Charles De Lint
Stephen Donaldson
Sara Douglas
Lord Dunsany
David Eddings
E. R. Eddison
Kate Elliot
Steven Erikson
Jennifer Fallon
Raymond E Feist
Jude Fisher
Lynn Flewelling
Jeffrey Ford
John M Ford
Alan Dean Foster
Maggie Furey
Neil Gaiman
Christie Golden
William Goldman
Terry Goodkind
Barbara Hambly
Laurell K Hamilton
Brooks Hansen
M John Harrison
Robin Hobb
William Hope Hodgson
Robert E Howard
Tanya Huff
Ian Irvine
Kate Jacoby
J V Jones
Robert Jordan
Graham Joyce
Franz Kafka
Guy Gavriel Kay
Paul Kearney
Greg Keyes
Richard Knack
Mercedes Lackey
Tanith Lee
Ursula LeGuin
Fritz Leiber
CS Lewis
Kelly Link
Holly Lisle
Anne Logston
HP Lovecraft
Anne Macaffrey
Arthur Machen
Ian R MacLeod
John Marco
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
George RR Martin
Dennis McKiernan
Patricia McKillip
China Mieville
Hope Mirrlees
L E Modesitt Jr
Elizabeth Moon
Michael Moorcock
C. E. Murphy
Stan Nicholls
Larry Niven
Garth Nix
Christopher Paolini
Mervyn Peake
Don Perrin
Tim Powers
Terry Pratchett
Philip Pullman
Melanie Rawn
Michael Reaves
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Thomas M Reid
Anne Rice
Jennifer Roberson
Mark Robson
Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Sean Russell
R A Salvatore
Robert Silverberg
Clark Ashton Smith
Thorne Smith
Midori Snyder
Matthew Woodring Stover
Jonathan Stroud
Steph Swainston
Michael Swanwick
James Thurber
J R R Tolkien
Harry Turtledove
Eric Van Lustbader
Jeff Vandermeer
Jack Vance
Charles Vess
Ray Vuvkevich
David Weber
Edward Whittemore
Tad Williams
Gene Wolfe
Patricia Wrede
Roger Zelazny


Mar 21, 2005
A reasonable list that Brys even if it doesn't include all classics, members could do worse than use this as a guide. Well done!


Mar 21, 2005
Courtesy of one of our resident authors Gary Wassner, here's a list iof recommended fanatsy by one of the leading lights of the SFF Genre, Mr. Jeff Vandermeer. I'd estimate I've read about 70% of these although most authors are familiar to me. This looks like an interesting list to me and I for one intend to investigate some of those titles I've not yet read.

Fantasy: Essential Reading.

1. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
2. The Gormenghast Trilogy, Mervyn Peake
3. Lanark, Alasdair Gray
4. Jerusalem Poker, Edward Whittemore
5. The Chess Garden, Brooks Hansen
6. The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman, Angela Carter
7. Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
8. Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
9. Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter
10. Observatory Mansions, Edward Carey
11. Possession, A.S. Byatt
12. In Viriconium, M. John Harrison
13. Arc d'X, Steve Erickson
14. V, Thomas Pynchon
15. Sinai Tapestry, Edward Whittemore
16. Quin’s Shanghai Circus, Edward Whittemore
17. If Upon a Winter's Night a Traveler, Italo Calvino
18. Collected Stories, Franz Kafka
19. The Master & Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
20. Mother London, Michael Moorcock
21. The Collected Stories, J.G. Ballard
22. A Fine and Private Place, Peter S. Beagle
23. The New York Trilogy, Paul Auster
24. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy
25. The Birth of the People's Republic of Antarctica, John Calvin Bachelor
26. House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski
27. The Riddle Master trilogy, Patricia McKillip
28. The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino
29. The Other Side, Alfred Kubin
30. The Circus of Doctor Lao, Charles Finney
31. A Voyage to Arcturus, David Lindsay
32. The Circus of the Earth & the Air, Brooke Stevens
33. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
34. Dictionary of the Khazars, Milorad Pavic
35. At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O'Brian
36. The Troika, Stepan Chapman
37. The Fan-maker’s Inquisition, Rikki Ducornet
38. Solomon Gursky Was Here, Mordechai Richler
39. Darconville's Cat, Alexander Theroux
40. Don Quixote, Cervantes
41. Poor Things, Alasdair Gray
42. Geek Love, Katherine Dunn
43. The Land of Laughs, Jonathan Carroll
44. The Wizard of Earthsea trilogy, Ursula K. LeGuin
45. The House on the Borderland, William Hope Hodgson
46. Little Big, John Crowley
47. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
48. The General in His Labyrinth, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
49. The Seven Who Fled, Frederick Prokosch
50. Already Dead, Denis Johnson
51. The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque, Jeffrey Ford
52. Phosphor in Dreamland, Rikki Ducornet
53. The Passion of New Eve, Angela Carter
54. Views From the Oldest House, Richard Grant
55. Life During Wartime, Lucius Shepard
56. The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, Barry Hughart
57. The Famished Road, Ben Okri
58. Altmann’s Tongue, Brian Evenson
59. Girl Imagined by Chance, Lance Olsen
60. The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant & Other Stories, Jeffrey Ford


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
Good idea Gollum! I should have put that up there. There shouldn't be much overlap. The extended version is a little long though.

Void Dragon

Science fiction fantasy
Apr 23, 2006
My personal must reads (I won't elaborate on them, because it's been done in posts above)

Mind you: they're only books I've read, so, too bad if Erikson or George R. R. Martin aren't included, it's not that I don't like them, just that I haven't read them...

J.R.R. Tolkien: This was my start in the fantasy-genre, and I think it's the only author you should in fact start with...

Tad Williams' "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn": very good book, with much different people, whose storylines all come together pretty nicely.
The cultures of Osten Ard however are, in my taste, sometimes bases too much on real cultures from real history (cfr. Nabban = Rome, Hernystiri = Scottish, The Viking-like people of the nord)

Void Dragon

Science fiction fantasy
Apr 23, 2006
ok, sorry about the interruption, but I think my parents read too much on concentration camps lately and begin to treat me accordingly :D

Raymond E. Feist: I personally think this is the best after Tolkien...

Weis & Hickman: Death Gate and Rose of the prophet were good, Sovereign Stone even beter, that series about the sword really sucked, haven't read other series from them...

Terry Goodkind: third best writer I know! (in the fantasy genre)


of the Council of Truth
Jun 5, 2006
Well aside from me always recomending Mr. Goodkind to anyone... I'll post a few more...(I'll set my Mr. Goodkind geekiness aside for a few moments)

Path of Fate
Path of Honor
Path of Blood

These are the first three books of Diana Pharaoh Francis's career..and I enjoyed them. They can be a big hard to understand..and very long winded about magic..but they're fun..

Now..I have to say that one of my favorite all time authors is Jennifer Roberson..she's the woman who wrote "The Sword-Dancer Saga" as well as the "Chronicals of the Cheysuli" OUTSTANDING series.

another series I like just for by Anne Rice's Sister Alice Borchardt (sp)
She wrote the Wolf series starting off with The Silver Wolf. Fun stuff...

And for the feminest in us all Marion Zimmer Bradly.. she's living proof that I dont have to agree with everything she believes in without loving the books...

OHHH AND the Black Jewel Series... Anne Bishop.. Now this is a must read!!! Its so interestingly dark..

WEll here are the recomendations of a new comer, I really hope you enjoy.



Jun 8, 2006
By the gods, there's years and years of reading in this thread alone!

Nice work.


Well-Known Member
Jun 13, 2005
Thought it might be appropriate, just to make this as comprehensive as possible, to put in the links for some of the largest lists of best fantasy:

I haven't even tried to see how many I've read of Jeff Vandermeer's one, but of the ultimate speculative fiction reading list, I've read about 130 - out of 660+. Admittedly, not all of those are fantasy, but that's still a lot of reading to do.


The Cat
Apr 5, 2006
Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes
Hughes was the UK's poet laureate from 1984. He died in 1998. this book begins with an iron giant toppling down a cliff and smashing into bits. The various parts pick themselves up and look for each other and put themselves together again. He eats metal and he makes friends with a boy called Hogarth. The people of Hogarth's town trap the Iron Man in a huge pit since he's out eating all the metal in sight. The earth is then invaded by a huge space-bat-angel-dragon and it is the Iron Man that saves them by battling the creature.

In the end it's a book about being able to live together and finding a way to do that so everyone has what they need, as opposed to want, without harming anyone or anything else.

Here's how the book ends:
And the space-bat-angel's singing had the most unexpected effect. Suddenly the world became wonderfully peaceful. ...The strange soft eerie space-music began to alter all the people of the world...All they wanted to do was to have peace to enjoy this strange, wild, blissful music from the giant singer in space.

The Iron Woman by Ted Hughes
This one is a sequel to The Iron Man and it's my favourite of the two. It's a cry against the pollution of the earth and a wonderful modern myth. The Iron Woman is born of the marshes. She comes in answer to the cries of all that are being destroyed by pollution; the creatures on the land and in the water, even the human children yet to be born.

And she destroys by dancing. A wild, primeval dance. She turns all the men who work at the waste disposal plant into water creatures leaving the women to deal with matters, while their husbands now reside in tubs and ponds and swimming pools. And she teaches everyone to listen to the song of the earth and the cries of pain of all that live on or in it.

"I am not a robot," it said. "I am the real thing."
And now the face was looking at her. The huge eyes, huge black pupils....The whole body was like a robot, but the face was somehow different. It was like some colossal metal statue's face, made of parts that slid over each other as they moved.

Both books are beautifully written and the words flow like water from page to page to page. I guess it comes from Hughes being a poet. It's impossibly to not feel a part of the book. You can see the animals write in pain, hear them screaming. You can feel the wild dance of the Iron Woman and hear the music of the spheres. In the end they books are filled with a great deal of hope.