What Fantasy to Recommend to Non Genre Readers?

BAYLOR

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We have a thread for Science fFction , why not fantasy ?
 
Not a big Fantasy reader, but i've always considered Clive Barker's Weaveworld to cross the line into the genre. I'd have no hesitation recommending it.
 
Can we avoid the flaw of the SF thread by recognising that:
a) Fantasy is a very diverse genre
b) Potential readers are a very diverse bunch. People who read Jane Austen or Don Delillo may have different expectations from a Lee Child addict.
 
Not to be an annoyance, but I'd ask just a quick clarification of what "fantasy" means. In Chrons usage, it seems to mean highly imaginative fiction (as opposed to realistic fiction) that is not since fiction or horror (=dark fantasy). Is this the intended notion?
 
The Fionavar Tapestry, Guy Gavriel Kay, any his books would be ideal.

My definition of fantasty? books that contain fantasical things that can't be explained by science.
Fantasy, can be set on our world other worlds/realms, can contain a lot of magic or no magic, have creatures from myth, fairy, the author's imagination or none.
Everyone has their own idea what makes it Fantasy.
Werewolves, vampire books are classed as Fantasy but for me I class them more as supernatural.
 
As with the thread on horror, triage your audience.

Unless they are looking for a complete break from their usually reading, I think readers of s.f. might find works like The Compleat Enchanter or A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court fun. John Crowley's The Deep, which presents as fantasy, might be of interest, too. For most Western readers something like Brown Girl in the Ring is a melding of s.f. and fantasy that might appeal. (There are those who will say it is strictly s.f. and make a strong case for that.)

Horror readers would probably respond to Mythago Wood or works by Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen, C. L. Moore and Karl Edward Wagner, if they haven't already read them. I haven't read much by Tanith Lee and nothing by Storm Constantine, but I suspect either would scratch some of the itches this reader would have.

Readers looking for the comic could be pointed to Terry Pratchett, Christopher Moore, and Tom Holt. Those open to much older books might enjoy Thorne Smth or Charles Finney's The Circus of Dr. Lao.

Literary readers could be directed to Saki, Mervyn Peake, Tolkein, John Crowley, Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Jonathan Carroll (I'm partial to The Land of Laughs but there are others, too), and more recently Jemison and Victor LaValle, among others. George Saunders is arguably a fantasist with lit street cred and could be pointed to for this reader and for the reader wanting comedy, as well. If I have a good sense of this kind of reader's likings, I might suggest John Collier's Fancies and Goodnights. A friend of mine who sits near this kind of reader was also amused by Fred Brown's Nightmares & Geezenstacks.

And, natch, other distinctions would lead to other writers and stories.
 
The Night Circus by Eric Morgenstern
 
Thanks! And I remember that one! One of my favorites as a teenager.

I tend to read the good old stuff:)

Okay, here some more

The Star Rover by Jack London This book is his only fantasy novel an it unlike anything else he ever wrote It about strijakced death row in mate who discovers via transcendental mediation that he astral project himself into his past lives at will . Epic is cscoep ans scale and itsterritf book.
The Ship of Ishtar by Abraham Merritt a classic from one of the early greats of science fiction and fantasy
The City of the Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith one the greatest fantasy short stories ever written he did write a sequel Beyond the Singing Flame
Islandia
by Austin Tappan Wright a novel about a land that never was but wish existed . Hard to put down once you start reading it
Bloodstone by Karl Edward Wagner first first book in the dark fantasy Kane the Mystic Swordsman series. He an immortal heroic villain/antihero
The Lost Continent by C J Cutcliffe Hynd This is the first fantasy novel About Atlantis ever written.
The Nightmare and other Tales of Dark Fantasy by Francis Stevens
The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin by Seabury Quinn
The Dark World by Henry Kuttner
The Mines of Behemoth by Michale Shea
Black Gods Kiss by C L Moore
Jurgen A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell
Tales From the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
The Forgotten Beats of Eld by Patrica McKillip
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Conan the Hour of the Dragon by Robert E Howard
John the Balladeer by Manly Wade Wellman
The Broken Sword by Pout Anderson
Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber
The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon
Lest Darkness Falls by L Sprague De Camp
The Eternal Champion by Michale Moorcock

The Good old stuff .:cool:
 
I tend to read the good old stuff:)

Okay, here some more

The Star Rover by Jack London This book is his only fantasy novel an it unlike anything else he ever wrote It about strijakced death row in mate who discovers via transcendental mediation that he astral project himself into his past lives at will . Epic is cscoep ans scale and itsterritf book.
The Ship of Ishtar by Abraham Merritt a classic from one of the early greats of science fiction and fantasy
The City of the Singing Flame by Clark Ashton Smith one the greatest fantasy short stories ever written he did write a sequel Beyond the Singing Flame
Islandia
by Austin Tappan Wright a novel about a land that never was but wish existed . Hard to put down once you start reading it
Bloodstone by Karl Edward Wagner first first book in the dark fantasy Kane the Mystic Swordsman series. He an immortal heroic villain/antihero
The Lost Continent by C J Cutcliffe Hynd This is the first fantasy novel About Atlantis ever written.
The Nightmare and other Tales of Dark Fantasy by Francis Stevens
The Complete Tales of Jules De Grandin by Seabury Quinn
The Dark World by Henry Kuttner
The Mines of Behemoth by Michale Shea
Black Gods Kiss by C L Moore
Jurgen A Comedy of Justice by James Branch Cabell
Tales From the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
The Forgotten Beats of Eld by Patrica McKillip
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Conan the Hour of the Dragon by Robert E Howard
John the Balladeer by Manly Wade Wellman
The Broken Sword by Pout Anderson
Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber
The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
The Dreaming Jewels by Theodore Sturgeon
Lest Darkness Falls by L Sprague De Camp
The Eternal Champion by Michale Moorcock

The Good old stuff .:cool:
Interesting choice of a first Moorcock to recommend. Why did you pick The Eternal Champion?
 
For Michael Shea, we can't leave out the original:

Nifft the Lean

Although it can be viewed as so morbidly weird that it might be an acquired taste for some readers.


Ive read the Nift tales, favorite one The Mines of Behemoth . He's an excellent writer .:cool:
 
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The High House by James Stoddard
The False House by James Stoddard
 
Harry Potter might appeal to a non-genre reader. Oh wait, it did, to several hundred million of them.
 
Om The Secret of Arbor Valley by Talbot Mundy
 
To Long a Sacrifice by Mildred Downey Broxton
 

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