Obscure recommendations

Kraken

Work in progress
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Sep 8, 2004
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Essex, UK
#1
Not that I have anything against the greats, ie China Mieville, Charles de Lint, etc, but a few recommendations for less well-known fantasy might be nice. I for one would apprciate some ideas for wider reading.

I'd like to kick off with "Moonwise" by Greer Ilene Gilman.

It isn't easy reading, at times it feels like the entire novel is one giant metaphor, but I found it a rewarding an unusual book. Not for everyone, I admit, but the language is gorgeous - it just fits my strange sense of humour, I guess!
 

Foxbat

None The Wiser
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#2
I've mentioned this one before but I'll mention it again: 'Winter's Tale' by Mark Helprin. This is a fantasy set in 19th century New York and is really something a little different (IMO).

Another which is not really a fantasy but has a certain fantasy flavour is 'In The Skin Of A Lion' by Michael Ondaatje.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2003
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Bangalore, India
#5
The Khazar Dictionary: Milorad Pavic

This 'anti-novel' deals with a race of people knwon as the Khazars and their attempt to choose the one true religion, the options available being Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It's presented as an actual dictionary, and one in three sections at that - from the perspectives of the three religions involved. That may sound daunting, but it is a surprisingly engaging read with more than a touch of the fantastic.

Other Cities: Benjamin Rosenbaum

Ben Rosenbaum is a relatively new sf/f writer, and this book is a chapbook collecting the stories that make up the 'Book Of All Cities' cycle, most of which are available online at the Strange Horizons site. The stories reveal an array of concerns and approaches, as well as settings, from thinly veiled allegory of contemporary situations to an sfnal city in space to the utterly weird. Short, memorable and unusual. Each story is a gem.

More later.
 

polymorphikos

Scrofulous Fig-Merchant
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Oct 3, 2003
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#7
Edwin A Arnold: Gulliver of Mars (Lt. Gulliver: His Holiday)

This book is quite stunning in its language and the warmth of the narrator. It is beautiful, loose in its structure, not quite a fantasy nor sf, and is in all ways simply gorgeous. A description of the princess dancing left my heart in my mouth, and the deadly flower in the forest. The imagery is wonderful, and the tale told in a light-hearted, jovial way, as though an extremely-eloquent grandfather had sat you down to tell you a story.

The plot (predating Burroughs) is that a sailor on shore leave has a magic carpet fall on him, complete with deceased owner, and rides it accidentally t Mars after making a harsh curse.

Considering the quality of this book, the lack of success that Arnold acheived is inexplicable. It is one of those books so well-written that you do not just feel the landscpaes and the excitement, or imagine them, but the world itself seems to change to fit the text.

Sorry, Fan-boy gushing at work.
 

LadyFel

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Jan 18, 2004
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Croatia
#8
Caiseal Mor, The Wanderers trilogy...

I have a thing for all things Irish and Celtic, so when I ran across these books about two years ago I bought them just for their covers...
It deals with the coming of Christianity to the Emerald Isle, and the conflict between the monks and bishops on one side, and the druids and chieftains on the other who are divided amonst themselves as to how to react to the 'invasion'...

Very interesting subject, at least for me, legend, fantasy and history woven together perfectly...it plods along for a while, but once I got into it i read all three books inside a week.

And not many other people I've spoken to know of it, so I figure it may have a place here...
 

Lacedaemonian

A Plume of Smoke
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#9
Nancy Springer's Book of the Isle series. I remember reading these books as a child and being fairly confused. This is a different variety of fantasy writing. Childish in one hand, but with some rather complex concepts thrown in, this series should offer something different from the norm.
 

dwndrgn

Fierce Vowelless One
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Apr 25, 2003
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#10
I'm going to throw in Jeff Noon's 'Vurt'. I don't have the words to describe it. It is cyberpunk, but ethereal, serious and funny, naive yet knowing...see what I mean? It is a very odd story centered around a kid who wants to find his sister who has been lost in a virtual world. Small warning - sex, drugs, profanity, incest...all play parts in this book so it isn't recommended for the younger set.
 

Princess Ivy

Damsel in this dress
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Aug 23, 2004
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#12
some of hers are fantastic, others are a bit strange (like the one set in the post appocalyptic planet where they were waiting for the space crew to rescue them).
 

picklematrix

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Jul 1, 2018
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#14
Age of Scorpio by Gavin Smith. Its pretty bonkers and not to everyones taste, but I found it enjoyable.

The Walrus and the Warwolf by Hugh Cook, id say the best in his 'Chronicles of an age of darkness' series, criminally underrated but a really enjoyable read.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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#17
The Lost Continent by C J Cutcliffe Hynd. written 1899 . The First Atlantis novel ever written. It also to only book he's written that even remembered.
 

Extollager

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Aug 21, 2010
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#18
Rachel Maddux's The Green Kingdom. This was recommended by the late Ned Brooks, a legendary longtime fan. It is not a fast read; it's not a pulp novel; and there's no magic. Don't bother with it if you're not willing to give it a try on its own terms. It is a rare and memorable novel.

Green Kingdom by Rachel Maddux

You can Google for a Kirkus Review that summarizes the novel, i.e. lays out spoilers.
 

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