Most Unique Fantasy Novels You've Read

Guttersnipe

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A thread for books you've read that don't immediately come to mind when thinking of the fantasy genre. Novels that are very different from most in the genre. For me, it's Momo by Michael Ende and The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Momo is a German novel that relates the story of the eponymous character, a precocious girl named Momo. It is set in (modern?) Italy. Beings called The Men in Grey seem to come from nowhere and convince townsfolk to give them their time, off which they feed. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a bit harder to describe, and has elements of horror and surrealism. A boy meets a supernatural family who protect the world from eldritch abominations. Neither feature dragons, wizards, etc.

What fantasy books have you read that are quite different from most fantasy stories?
 

BAYLOR

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Mythago Woods by Robert Holdstock The first of the Ryhope Woods novels . This is a book that I don't quite know how to explain , but I will try. The Story concept all myths that have ever existed since the dawn of mankind reside, in his collective unconsciousness . In places of power like Rhyhope Woods , a person or persons stepping into the wood create a Mythago , which is a worlds onto themselves populated by all theses the fantastic mythical beings and people . This newly created realm don't endure fo ever , they live and exist for maybe a season and pass, to replaces by. another. Inside a mythago years may go by while in our world , only a day may pass. Interestedly created people dwelling the Mythago can come out into our world and can in theory become real and permanent.
 
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J-Sun

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Probably either Carol Emshwiller's Carmen Dog or John Shirley's Dracula in Love. I elsewhere introduced the former with "feminist trapeze dogs only start the surrealist meltdown" and someone else elsewhere described the latter as, "the adventures of a vampire in love and his living, prehensile penis with yellow glowing eyes.”
 

Victoria Silverwolf

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Lud-in-the-Mist (1926) by Hope Mirrlees. The most unusual consideration of the tension between the mundane world and Faery known to me, while also being a murder mystery and an allegorical fable about many different things, some of which still remain mystifying to me.

The Circus of Dr. Lao (1935) by Charles G. Finney. The well-known film adaptation (7 Faces of Dr. Lao, 1964) is delightful, but the novel is much stranger and more eccentric, with quite a bit of self-referential postmodernism.
 

Guttersnipe

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Probably either Carol Emshwiller's Carmen Dog or John Shirley's Dracula in Love. I elsewhere introduced the former with "feminist trapeze dogs only start the surrealist meltdown" and someone else elsewhere described the latter as, "the adventures of a vampire in love and his living, prehensile penis with yellow glowing eyes.”
Ummm...
 

hitmouse

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Lud-in-the-Mist has been taken, so I nominate Titus Groan and sequels. Essentially: boy grows up in a massive crumbling castle with his dysfunctional family and a population of eccentric retainers. Tradition and ritual dominate. The boy and one of the servants come to rebel in different ways.
The story is strange, and the castle itself and its inhabitants are a distinctive confection.
 

hitmouse

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Probably either Carol Emshwiller's Carmen Dog or John Shirley's Dracula in Love. I elsewhere introduced the former with "feminist trapeze dogs only start the surrealist meltdown" and someone else elsewhere described the latter as, "the adventures of a vampire in love and his living, prehensile penis with yellow glowing eyes.”
Heh. Re the second suggestion: I would have mentioned Astra and Flondrix by Seamus Cullen, which might reasonably go on this list in the Completely Peculiar category, apart from the fact that odd appendages have already been listed, and also because it is not *cough* the sort of book you would want your great aunt to find in your bookcase. It was published by Penguin back in the day, surprisingly.
 

Lostinspace

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Graydon Saunders' Commonweal Series of five books is rather atypical of most fantasy. Books two and three try to imagine realistically how a tolerable society might be made to work in a world where magic works and our technology doesn't. A Succession of Bad Days may give some of the flavour.
 

Wayne Mack

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Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. This was an interesting story of a retired mercenary getting his old band back together to save his daughter. It uses an analogy of warrior bands as if they were touring rock bands.
 

Guttersnipe

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Without a doubt, Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban.

Other than that... I remember having this thought about another book I read not that long ago, and I can't remember what it was. Hopefully it'll come back to me.
Isn't it more sci-fi?
 

BAYLOR

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The Ship of Ishtar by Abraham Merritt A man get package in the mail containing the model of ancient ship with tiny lifelike human figure on the deck . It turns out there's far more to this ship than meets the eye.
 

therapist

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Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. This was an interesting story of a retired mercenary getting his old band back together to save his daughter. It uses an analogy of warrior bands as if they were touring rock bands.
I read that last month. Loved that analogy of the old band getting back together and going on tour.

A couple of unusual fantasy books i've read recently:
Legends and Lattes A barbarian orc, tired of warring, hangs up her sword and tries to open a coffee shop (a drink she found in a distant land that no-ones heard of).
Ship of Destiny Beautifully written series by Robin Hobb. About Sentient pirate ships.
 

BAYLOR

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The Star Rover by Jack London . This is his only fantasy, unlike anything else he ever wrote . It's bout straitjacketed death row inmate who discovers he can astral project himself into his past lives at will. It's an amazing book !
 

Vince W

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Lud-in-the-Mist has been taken, so I nominate Titus Groan and sequels. Essentially: boy grows up in a massive crumbling castle with his dysfunctional family and a population of eccentric retainers. Tradition and ritual dominate. The boy and one of the servants come to rebel in different ways.
The story is strange, and the castle itself and its inhabitants are a distinctive confection.
I was going to say the same thing. The problem is, what is unique today is pedestrian tomorrow. I'll add The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G. K. Chesterton.
 

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