Book Search - Nature dominates humankind.


In Flagrante Sententia
Jul 1, 2011
Twas brillig and the slithy toves . . .
Hi everyone,

First post. I am looking for literary fantasy books or scifi with fantasy themes that treat with the subject of magical forests; forests that have dominion over man, et cetera. Tolkien's description of Lothlorien comes to mind, as does Tad Williams' description of the Sithi forest in Memory, Sorrow and Thorn. There was also a very adult oriented fantasy novel from the 90's (the name of which escapes me) about an alternate Earth where nature has become dominant over or hostile to mankind.

Any help finding novels of a similar bent to those described above would be most helpful. Novels with magical themes get extra kudos. Thanks! :)

Robin Hobb's soldier son trilogy has an element of this
The enchanted forest, ranging from the idyllic supplying all need to the malevolent, destroying invaders, is a staple of folklore; but it generally constitutes only part of a world. I suppose it's fairly explicable, from the quantity of forest cover in Europe, which children needed keeping out of, but which could serve as refuge in case of invasion (or taxes).
Brocéliande, in Arthurian legends, springs to mind, as do several fairy tales.
And more recent fantasy has adopted the theme; Lackey's "Forest of Sorrows" on the frontiers of Valdemar, Turtledove's Fox leading an invading chariot force into a wood from which none of them emerge… basically, at that level of technology, Nature has a distinct advantage over small numbers of humans.

In SF, most of it comes from the Gaïa ecology set; we are all merely cells in a greater organism thinking. Still, Le Guin's "The word for world is forest" (and even, I suppose, Harry Harrison's "Deathworld") predate this, but I suppose the film "Avatar" could be considered part of the tree-hugger continuum.
I can see that you asked about fantasy, but on a harder SF note, Harry Harrison's Deathworld 1 is set on a planet where the flora (and fauna) don't just dominate, they actively fight back.

Welcome to the Chrons, BTW - I hope you'll enjoy yourself here...:)
Robert Holdstock's Ryhope Wood cycle.

Also (by the same author) Merlin's Wood, The Fetch and Ancient Echoes as well as the short story Time of the Tree.
Thank you, all, for your quick and productive suggestions! You've given a warm welcome to a new poster.

Brocéliande is the exact fantasy (or mythical) trope I was aiming for. Thank you Chrispen. In fact, Robert Holdstock's Mythago books are set in an alternate Brocéliande, are they not?

I have just placed an order for the early Mythago series (1-4) from Amazon. I'm dying to read them!:D Thank you, Eight.

And Deathworld was referred to me by an acquaintance, but I resisted the suggestion because it was too hard SF. Sound familiar? I may have to recursive it. So funny. Hmm...

I'm doing a little research for a fantasy novel project I am dusting off. Anyone else trying their hand at writing in their favorite genres?
Try Charles de Lint's books. They are urban fantasy and several have a tight nature connection. Some of his books that I'd recommend are Moonheart and its sequel Spirit Walk, Yarrow, The Wild Wood, Greenmantle and Into the Green.
Thanks for the warm welcome, pyan ! We have a 2nd hand bookstore around these parts, and I'll bet Deathworld is waiting for me there.

And thank you, WizardofOwls . Yes, de Lint is truly a visionary of urban fantasy. Thanks for the nod!

Now - I have some reading to attend to. ;)

Fantasy: The One Forest of Stephen R. Donaldson's Covenant series might count.

SF: Try "Hothouse" by Brian Aldiss, though there is no mystical/magical theme.
If you're still looking, check out some of Sheri S. Tepper's books (The Family Tree, etc)

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