25 best fantasy novels/series

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Mark Lawrence, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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  2. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    What a complete load of bull on both sides.

    It's a mixture of series and books and it's focused largely on Things Wot People Read Recently. That's always the problem with lists like these. It's all comparing books that aren't alike - e.g. Feist's Daughter of the Empire with Gaiman's American Gods - so it's not like these books are being judged by the same criteria.

    And everyone knows The Hobbit is better than The Lord of the Rings.
     
  3. Mark Lawrence

    Mark Lawrence The New ... MARK LAWRENCE

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    I win my bet :)
     
  4. kissmequick

    kissmequick bingley bingley beep

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    Oh that place.


    If you look hard you can find a comment from me some years ago. ><
     
  5. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Yup. That's not based off your own book appearing, I hasten to add.

    I'd base a "Best Fantasy Books" list on how influential or popular a series has been, and what impact it's had. So I'd have The Hobbit, Fafhrd & the Grey Mouser and so on because those books have inspired countless writers and readers alike.

    I wouldn't put Rothfuss on there (ohmahglobshe'satitagain) for instance, because it's too early to tell what impact he's had and whether the success of Kvothe is going to stick or not, and on top of that there've been two books in his series (out of three?) so it might be similar to Canavan's Black Magician trilogy in which the third book is a steaming pile relative to the first two. Martin, however, has released 5 in his (which expands to 7 in the UK, possibly more overseas) and it's been a success since the start, as far as I'm aware.
     
  6. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    My problem is that it seems to concentrate on one kind of fantasy, heroic/epic/Tolkeinian/whatever-we're-calling-it-this-week. No Bradbury? No Leiber? No Le Guin? No Lord Dunsany? Those are gaping omissions. Also, extract Tolkien, Peake and Donaldson and apparently there was no fantasy written before about 1990.


    Randy M.
     
  7. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    Screw you guys, I like it. =)

    No offense, but Loerwyn, your statements contradict each other. In one sentence you speak to which Series/Book has the greatest impact should be higher ranked, and in another you say The Hobbit over LOTR? While some may agree The Hobbit is a better read, you cannot deny LOTR has had the greatest impact in the history of impacts, as far as fantasy literature is concerned. Also in these rankings I consider the book to be the series. For example "The Blade Itself" is #2, so I would consider "First Law" to be #2, and they are just mentioning the first book of that series. I'd hope so anyways...

    I can't agree with the whole list. But if you were recommending books to newcomers, I would strongly urge to follow this list. (Not the public version) I believe the Top5 there represents what many nowadays consider to be the top5...or at least very close.

    I think some people around here, no names, are just simply book snobs. And think if it doesn't have an expert prose or amazing style it's not worthy. I can't argue much as I am very much a Beer Snob(Budweister vs A Belgium Creme Ale? Comon now.) But people like what they like. This isn't a rank of the best writers....
     
  8. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Would we have The Lord of the Rings without The Hobbit? Would the story of The Lord of the Rings have happened without The Hobbit, both in terms of the internal world and also Tolkien's life? Do most people read The Hobbit first or The Lord of the Rings?

    I think it's quite easy to construct an argument for The Hobbit being the more important - not necessarily the more popular - book.

    As for the Book/Series thing - the list contained books that are parts of series (e.g. A Game of Thrones) and some series (e.g. a mislabelled Farseer Trilogy). You have either one or the other. Mixing both makes it much more complex, because you'll be comparing 200-300 page novels at times with series that are thousands of pages long (e.g. A Song of Ice & Fire and Wheel of Time), and rarely is a series consistent from book one to the final one. Just look how many people love the early WoT books but fell off or dislike the 7-9th (roughly) volumes for proof of what I mean.
     
  9. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    Yes that could be a lively debate. =)

    For the series you do have a point. I was speaking more to the 'pre-made' list not the public one. They combined some series and some left with just the first book. In my opinion they did this so it would be more recognizable. Game of Thrones vs A Song of Ice and Fire...or Gardens of the Moon vs Malazan Book of the Fallen....etc. I doubt if you went further than 25 you would run into Game of Thrones as #2 and Storm of Swords as #27...if that was the case then I would hasten to dismiss this whole list as ridiculous. =)
     
  10. Riothamus

    Riothamus Registered User

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    Eh.I think it needs some major re-working.I mean where's the Elric Saga, The Dark Tower, The original Conan stories, The Fafrd and the Grey Mouser series, The Earth Sea saga (I take issue with some of the world building, but it is influential), and Kushiel's Legacy? Some of this is based on influence, others are based on personal opinion that I have listed here.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  11. chokipokilo

    chokipokilo Unreasonable reasoner

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    To be fair, there's more to the site than that particular list. Many of the works or authors proclaimed to be missing in this thread are actually further down the list or on a separate category.

    I mean hell, at a glance there's even a list of most influecial fantasy...for those who think that should be the "best" list.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  12. Ochos

    Ochos Hell!

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    what would happen if it were based purely on sales????
     
  13. chris777

    chris777 Registered User

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    You'd have silly books like Harry Potter or Twilight on there.
     
  14. Haliax

    Haliax Registered User

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    7-10 :)

    Because Crossroads of Twilight is most definitely the worst in the series. I still enjoyed it the first time, though.

    I don't really like the list. I would have expected to see books by Guy Gavriel Kay, Le Guin, Leiber, Zelazny, etc. over books such as Way of Kings, Dresden Files, or Prince of Thorns (no offense, Mark). I understand that the list is trying to include both classics and newer series, but it seems to lean too heavily in favour of the new. To each their own, I guess.
     
  15. mshnd06

    mshnd06 the Rake

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    Too recent, too much of one type of fantasy, and probably too male. The tone of the commentary is obnoxious and the entire site is riddled with significant errors.
     
  16. Spears&Buckler

    Spears&Buckler MJ Dusseault

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    I still love how on the left side list they say Heroes Die was written by Michael Stoover. I had a good laugh at that one yesterday.
     
  17. Riothamus

    Riothamus Registered User

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    I just saw the most influential section which would make a much better best of list, but I'm still disappointed that the Elric Saga is nowhere to be found.
     
  18. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    Harry Potter? Silly? Perhaps, but it's impact in terms of popularity and culture is still felt even now the films are over. It got thousands, if not millions, of people reading and interested in fiction, so I think on some levels Harry Potter can easily be argued for.

    Twilight? Its sole merit is it got people reading. The rest of it can go burn in a fire for all I care.
     
  19. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Fair 'nuff.

    Depends on the newcomer. Some would be far more impressed by LOTR or Bradbury or Leiber or Beagle or Le Guin or ...

    Possibly. I do know what I like and have occasionally spoken up to defend it or at least suggest it is worthy of attention ... Oh, wait! That's what you're doing, too!

    You book snob, you!! :eek:

    If you say you've created a list of the 25 best you need to state your criteria: and when you introduce the list by saying, "The goal of this list is to present a broad selection of the best fantasy literature from different fantasy subgenres -- cult hits, best sellers, critically acclaimed, and classics," you should provide a list that has a broad scope. The items on this list seem very narrow in scope, very little outside epic/heroic fantasy and its nearest cousins. Urban fantasy, mythic fantasy aren't very well represented. Frankly, the "Best Literary Fantasy" and "Great Fantasy Books" strike me as far more representative of fantasy as a whole, and of the better works written within the genre.

    By the way, I prefer porters, stouts and ales, though I don't think I'm all that picky. My recent favorite is a Polish porter, Zywiec. Smooth as caramel or silk or caramel silk and for those of us who don't really drink a lot, it has a kick like a goat.


    Randy M.
     
  20. mshnd06

    mshnd06 the Rake

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    Imho the list should probably look something like this:

    1) Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
    2) Book of the New Sun by Wolfe
    3) Gormenghast by Peake
    4) Elric of Melnibone by Moorcock
    5) Ficciones by Borges
    6) Dying Earth by Vance
    7) Conan the Barbarian by Howard
    8) Earthsea by Le Guin
    9) Little, Big by Crowley
    10) Chronicles of Amber by Zelazny
    11) Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Donaldson
    12) Perdido Street Station by Mieville
    13) Song of Ice and Fire by Martin
    14) Discworld by Pratchett
    15) At the Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft
    16) Worm Ouruboros by Eddison
    17) Harry Potter by Rowling
    18) Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Leiber
    19) Mists of Avalon by Bradley
    20) Chronicles of Narnia by Lewis
    21) Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Williams
    22) Well at World's End by Morris
    23) Black Company by Cook
    24) King of Elfland's Daughter by Dunsany
    25) American Gods by Gaiman