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What do you think Are the Best Classic Fantasy And Science Fiction Books and Stories of All Time?

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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The Harold Shea series was
The Incomplete Enchanter (1941),
The Castle of Iron (1950)
Wall of Serpents (1960)

Castle of Iron and Wall of Serpents don't have quite the same magic as Incomplete Enchanter.

I do know of Cabell's work just never got around to reading it.
Jurgen was written 1919 and was banned in both Boston and New York and I suspect this help seal the the book. . Cabell was a pessimist , but a very funny one. His particular humor is Irony and he's very good at that. he wrote 50 fantsy novels in all 17 of which are set in the local of Jurgen which the imaginary mediaeval French province of Poicesteme of which im not sure of either the pronunciation or the spelling of that pace . Cabell's popularity faded in the 1930's and he'd died in 1958.

His most famous quote " The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist fears that this is true "
 

chrispenycate

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The High Crusade is a unique novel, I don't really know of anything like it. There is a 1995 movie version, I have never seen it, from the reviews it was not a very good adaptation.
You know with everybody from HBO to Netflix looking for source material that is good but off center High Crusade sure would be that, if done right.
This is the most similar story I have ever read but it is not a tongue in cheek comedy.

The Excalibur Alternative - Wikipedia
Actually, when I read THC (a good long time ago) I didn't see it as a comedy - but I suppose there was a element of exaggeration throughout. While Drake's 'Ranks of Bronze' (in whose universe 'The Excalibur Alternative' was created) was a deliberate reuse of the original idea, using Roman infantry. It could be written again for Genghis Khan's Mongols or the Caliphate (or anyone else who overran a largish area).
 

Al Jackson

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Have not keep close attention F&SF since about 1980, I wonder if are others? High Crusade is 58 years old …. I think sometimes stories that old float in the Shadow Gestalt of the genre showing up in later works. (Well of course that applies to literature in general.)
I mean when I first read Hitchhikers Guide I noticed echoes of Robert Sheckley and Fredric Brown.
I recently became aware of Mortal Engines would like to ask Philip Reeve if he read Blish's Cities in Flight?
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
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Actually, when I read THC (a good long time ago) I didn't see it as a comedy - but I suppose there was a element of exaggeration throughout.
Maybe it is just my sense of humor but I laughed all of the way through it.
 

Robert Zwilling

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Found Jurgen, A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell in amazon kindle. It's free so have to see how well it transcribed.
 

Randy M.

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I have a much later published edition of that, Al. I remember being home sick and pulling it out because I wanted something to read. I read a couple of other stories, then read my my first Eric Frank Russell story, after which I put it aside and dug out The Best of Eric Frank Russell. Ah, those were the days.

Randy M.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
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I have a much later published edition of that, Al. I remember being home sick and pulling it out because I wanted something to read. I read a couple of other stories, then read my my first Eric Frank Russell story, after which I put it aside and dug out The Best of Eric Frank Russell. Ah, those were the days.

Randy M.
I read one book by him, The Great Explosion . It was a pretty good book. :)
 

psikeyhackr

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I must point out that I am not a fantasy fan, just to be clear.

I just recently started watching the Game of Thrones videos on YouTube. I had not watched any episodes before that, just heard talk. I am prejudiced against fantasy.

But these are videos that follow a character through the 7 completed seasons. It is very good but I do not know if I would have the patience to watch the episodes at the normal rate. It is better than Lord of the Rings, but so much of it would have been socially unacceptable before 1960.

I read LotR and asked myself why I read it once I finished. The Song of Ice and Fire looks even longer so I am not going to even think about reading it.

A Song of Ice and Fire - Wikipedia

# Title___Pages_____Chapters______Words_______Audio US release
Total____4,228_________344______1,736,054___198h 53m
 
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Narkalui

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You're not going to read the books just because they're a bit long? Seriously? Wow, I read the whole lot the first time in a little over a week while holding down a full time job. It's not exactly a huge commitment...

Sorry but I don't see the length of a series as a reason to not read it. I stopped reading the Shannara series because I didn't like it, the size of it, if anything, encouraged me. That's just strange...
 

Vince W

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I must point out that I am not a fantasy fan, just to be clear.

I just recently started watching the Game of Thrones videos on YouTube. I had not watched any episodes before that, just heard talk. I am prejudiced against fantasy.

But these are videos that follow a character through the 7 completed seasons. It is very good but I do not know if I would have the patience to watch the episodes at the normal rate. It is better than Lord of the Rings, but so much of it would have been socially unacceptable before 1960.

I read LotR and asked myself why I read it once I finished. The Song of Ice and Fire looks even longer so I am not going to even think about reading it.

A Song of Ice and Fire - Wikipedia

# Title Pages Chapters Words Audio US release
Total 4,228 344 1,736,054 198h 53m
Sorry, but I have to disagree. Song of Ice and Fire is certainly popular, but not what I would call classic. I've read 4.5 of the books and the first one is great. The second was good. Then it started meandering all over the place. It's a grind and a chore to read.
 

psikeyhackr

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You're not going to read the books just because they're a bit long? Seriously? Wow, I read the whole lot the first time in a little over a week while holding down a full time job. It's not exactly a huge commitment...
I also said I am not a fantasy fan. I have read the entire Vorkosigan series but only 2 of Bujold's fantasy books and am not going to read any more. Reading a lot of what I do not like much qualifies as masochism. There is too much good science fiction to read though it takes effort to sort out.

I expect climate change to be part of the REAL future. I am a bit more skeptical about dragons.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
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Sorry, but I have to disagree. Song of Ice and Fire is certainly popular, but not what I would call classic. I've read 4.5 of the books and the first one is great. The second was good. Then it started meandering all over the place. It's a grind and a chore to read.
Be sure to tell Narkalui.
 

psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
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The Game of Thrones may become classic while The Song of Ice and Fire is mostly ignored.

It did just get an Emmy.
 
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psikeyhackr

Physics is Phutile, Fiziks is Fundamental
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You're not going to read the books just because they're a bit long? Seriously? Wow, I read the whole lot the first time in a little over a week while holding down a full time job. It's not exactly a huge commitment...
A bit long?

A bit long?

1 A Game of Thrones 694 pages
2 A Clash of Kings 768 pages
3 A Storm of Swords 973 pages
4 A Feast for Crows 753 pages
5 A Dance with Dragons 1040 pages

This was the first science fiction novel I ever read:

Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse 156 pages
Star Surgeon by Alan Nourse

Of course at the time electric typewriters were probably the best writing tool and I was in grade school. I was reading what I liked and wasn't trying to impress anyone with quantity. 150 pages was typical and 300 pages was long. Alan E. Nourse was a doctor and wrote about heart transplants in that novel almost 10 years before a successful one was ever done. What futuristic projections has George R.R. Martin made in 27 times as many pages. I can relax and enjoy the videos but reading that much nonsense just for the story would only be so much tedious aggravation to me.

I could be reading The Mote in God's Eye again. We are wrecking a planet with over-population after all.
 

Randy M.

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You're not going to read the books just because they're a bit long? Seriously? Wow, I read the whole lot the first time in a little over a week while holding down a full time job. It's not exactly a huge commitment...

Sorry but I don't see the length of a series as a reason to not read it. I stopped reading the Shannara series because I didn't like it, the size of it, if anything, encouraged me. That's just strange...
Nope. Not strange at all. Like Psikey I tend to look at long works and weigh whether or not they're worth my effort. With my reading speed and the time I can set aside to read, any of Martin's books could take me 3 weeks to a full month to finish. My experience with Martin's other works -- a few short stories and Fevre Dream -- indicates he's expert at deploying characters and events but his prose is at best workmanlike and sometimes clunky.

To date, I haven't felt strongly motivated to read a series that isn't finished that could take me up to five months to finish.

I envy you your reading speed, though.


Randy M.
 
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