Fantasy from the 1980s

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Sam Allardyce, Oct 1, 2010.

  1. Sam Allardyce

    Sam Allardyce Registered User

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    I'm new to the fantasy genre am am looking for recommendations for books published in the 1980s. I am reading Raymond Feist's Riftwar series and enjoying it. I'm open-minded about anything from that era; i.e. it doesn't have to be a literary masterpiece. If a lot of people were reading something back then that is no longer appreciated, that's ok with me. I want to read what people were reading at that time.
     
  2. PeteMC

    PeteMC @PeteMC666

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    Really? Okay, well Wheel of Time started in the eighties if that counts...

    The Sword of Shannara series was popular at the time, and still is to a certain extent.

    Tanith Lee's Birthgrave and Flat Earth series were (very) 80s

    Still, even the Gor series was popular in the eighties (don't go there...) !
     
  3. Eliot Wild

    Eliot Wild Registered User

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    Didn't the DragonLance stories first come out in the eighties? A quick check with Wiki confirms that the first book came out in 1984. And I actually like those books. They certainly aren't 'masterpieces' by any degree, but I thought they were entertaining. Tasslehoff Burrfoot is still one of my all-time favorite fantasy characters.

    I only read the very first trilogy though, so I have no idea about the other series the first one spawned. Oh, wait, I take that back. I read one or two novels from a secondary series, something about Raistlin and Caramon, the twin brothers who were so distinctly different from each other. Ehhh, I don't remember that I liked it as much as the first books though.
     
  4. mshnd06

    mshnd06 the Rake

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    Anyone else a soccer/football fan and have a chuckle over the poster's name? Probably entirely coincidental and definitely very tangential but Sam Allardyce is the most unintentionally hilarious and deluded managers in pro sports?

    I think 80s fantasy and I think Feist, Eddings, Anthony, Brooks, Tad Williams. All kind of conventional. Williams is at least well-written and Feist is fun.
     
  5. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    I recommend these:

    The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay.

    Lyonesse Trilogy and Cugel's Saga by Jack Vance.

    The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant and Mordant's Need by Stephen Donaldson.

    Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete by Gene Wolfe.

    The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers.

    Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart.

    The City in the Autumn Stars by Michael Moorcock.

    The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams.

    Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett.

    Mythago Wood and Lavondyss by Robert Holdstock.

    Harpy's Flight by Megan Lindholm.

    The Eyes of the Dragon and The Talisman (with Peter Straub) by Stephen King.

    Legend and The King Beyond the Gate by David Gemmell.

    Gilgamesh the King by Robert Silverberg.

    The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (young adult).
     
  6. Shayna

    Shayna Greyscale

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    Jussi

    Great list for the 80s! I second this! Tad Williams, Stephen r donaldson, robert holdstock....Great authors!!
     
  7. algernoninc

    algernoninc Now I'm an axolotl

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    Richard Adams was one author I discovered in the 80's . Maia appeared in 1984, with a stand-alone prequel Shardik [1974] , both set in the imaginary Beklan Empire.
     
  8. Sam Allardyce

    Sam Allardyce Registered User

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    Thanks for all the great feedback. I am indeed a Rovers fan. I have ordered the following books as a start for my survey of 80s fantasy:

    Dragonlance The Chronicles Trilogy- Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, and Dragons of Spring Dawning

    The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time, Book 1)

    The Sword of Shannara

    The Dragonbone Chair

    The Summer Tree

    The Wounded Land

    Soldier of the Mist
     
  9. Randy M.

    Randy M. Registered User

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    Several novels by Jonathan Carroll appeared in the 1980s: The Land of Laughs, Voice of Our Shadow, Bones of the Moon, Sleeping in Flame, and A Child Across the Sky.

    These are not epic/heroic/medieval/Tolkein fantasy, but contemporary urban fantasy minus werewolves and vampires and their various and sundry hunters, stalkers, slayers, destroyers, and stompers-on.


    Randy M.
     
  10. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    Glen Cook's "The Black Company" novels were first published in the '80's and still stand up well. The first three novels were reprinted in an Omnibus a few years back called "Chronicles of The Black Company".

    As for books that I haven't read in a long time and may not stand up as well:

    Fred Saberhagen's three "Books of Swords", as well as the first five of his "Books of Lost Swords" were ubiquitous at every chain Bookstore that I visited.

    Lyndon Hardy had a trilogy, all of which was published in the 80's, consisting of "Master of the Five Magics", "Secret of the Sixth Magic" and "Riddle of the Seven Realms". I recall finding at least one among that series at most bookstores back then as well.
     
  11. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    The series with Caramon & Raistlin that you are thinking of was the first sequel (in order of publication) to the original Chronicles Trilogy. It consisted of "Time of the Twins", "War of the Twins" and "Test of the Twins".
     
  12. ChrisW

    ChrisW Banned

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    Just so you know, The Eye of the World was published in 1990, not the eighties.
     
  13. Jeroen

    Jeroen Registered User

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    Gene Wolfe - The Book of the New Sun trilogy
    John Crowley - Little, Big
    Tim Powers - The Anubis Gates
    Jack Vance - The Lyonesse trilogy
    David Gemmell - Legend
    Robert Holdstock - Mythago Wood

    ...and the first few Terry Pratchett books
     
  14. Mithfânion

    Mithfânion Lord of the Wild Hunt

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    I would add The Book of New Sun by Gene Wolfe. Tolkien's Unfinished Tales had also just been published at the start of the 80's. I'll second Fionavar and Lyonesse.
     
  15. Bond

    Bond Registered User

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    Eddings and Salvatore probably made their biggest mark in the 1980s, so the Belgariad, the Mallorean, and the Drizzt books. Weis and Hickman's best in my opinion would be from the 1980s too and it is not their Dragonlance books but rather the Rose of the Prophet trilogy.

    Haven't read it but The War of Powers would seem to qualify as would the Dragon Prince trilogy by Rawn.
     
  16. Aktunka

    Aktunka Registered User

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    The Rose of the Prophet trilogy IS a good one by Weis and Hickman, but it is out of print and has been for several years, at least the last time I checked. I had to find them on ebay when I read it.

    I second the recommendation for The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I always champion that trilogy, not because it is the most complex storytelling (it isn't) but because all of the pieces of the story come together so well. This is the trilogy that really seems to have kickstarted the deluge of books that came out of TSR / Wizards of the Coast. The second trilogy was also very good, but it was definitely slow going up until the journey to Istar before the Cataclysm.

    Anyhow, if you like them, there are many others that came later set in the same world but mostly by different authors. Some of my favs being those that focus on the Minotaur within the world of Krynn ( very ancient Rome, militaristic type society) and those focusing on Kang's Regiment, draconian troops that decided they didn't want to be evil soldiers anymore and go off to try to find their way in the world.
     
  17. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    I believe that there are approximately 200 Dragonlance books in total. While many of them had no involvement by Weis & Hickman, they were involved in several more of the Dragonlance books that have since been released.

    Following the 2 Trilogies already mentioned, Weis & Hickman then co-wrote "The Second Generation" and "Dragons of Summer Flame".

    Weis then wrote "The Doom Brigade" & "Draconian Measures" and "Soulforge" & "Brothers in Arms" with a different co-writer.

    They then paired again to co-write "Dragons of a Fallen Sun", "Dragons of a Lost Star" and "Dragons of a Vanished Moon".

    Weis then wrote solo "Amber & Ashes", "Amber & Iron" and "Amber & Blood".

    Most recently they co-wrote "Dragons of the Dwarven Depths", "Dragons of the Highlord Skies" and "Dragons of the Hourglass Mage" which fill in parts of the original Chronicles that were not described, skipped over, or only briefly touched on.

    So, as a writing duo, I believe that they co-wrote 14 Dragonlance novels in total. And Weis wrote, or co-wrote with someone else, another 7 books.
     
  18. AmethystOrator

    AmethystOrator Registered User

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    As for "Rose of the Prophet", I am always hesitant to recommend that one because I really didn't care for the ending. Others may like it, and I agree that there were some good concepts and characters (especially for books from the '80's). I had the same problem with "The Darksword" Trilogy, which was also co-written by Weis & Hickman during the '80's.
     
  19. Pvt

    Pvt Registered User

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    Joel Rosenberg's Guardians of the Flame books are from the 80s. Not sure if he ever completed them. Eighties fantasy books are a mystery to me. Aside from a handful of authors I really don't know much of what came out of that decade or the ones before.
     
  20. Sam Allardyce

    Sam Allardyce Registered User

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    Thanks for the additional suggestions. I am fascinated by the 80s fantasy scene. Does anyone have any other general impressions or recollections about what it was like back then in the pre-internets age? How did you find out about new books? How were you introduced to the genre? What kind of stories were popular back then?