View Full Version : Best "high brow" Fantasy Series?
phedra n delaun
February 13th, 2003, 07:59 PM
I realize off the bat that many people will be offended by the subject title, but be that as it may, it is only intended to serve the purpose of bringing like minded readers together in hopes of refering quality works. I realize that the word "quality" is relative and dependant upon personal tastes which again are dependant upon other things as well etc. etc..
I,ve read Jordan, Fiest, Goodkind, Eddings etc. in the past and found their works, particularly their initial ones, quite enjoyable. However, as Iv'e gotten older, and continued to delve ever deeper into fantasy I feel my tastes to have become admittadly ,and for lack of better words, more "high brow" I hold in better esteem now the works of people such as
stephen r. donaldson(my favorite)
jaqueline carey(big suprise)
guy gavriel kay
george r.r. martin
c j cherryh
I'm sure many others have had similar such experiences in regards to thier evolving taste for fantasy. I am constantly on the look out for such "high brow" material as it seems so difficult to find now amongst an ocean of just average to plain pulp fantasy.
Show me authors whose works enjoin more originality, as well as a dedication to well wrought language and narration that seems so much rarer today.
Again, I do not mean to offend anyone that simply does not aggree with my opinions or preferences in books, but rather the aim is simply to have similar like minded people who feel they've evolved similar tastes to share their thoughts, and hopefully their recommendations as well.
With that said I'll give my opinion of the best "high brow" fantasy series, and while not seemingly very original, I'm still sticking to it.
First and Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.
February 13th, 2003, 08:11 PM
Now i'm confused:(
How do Erikson, Martin and Carey qualify as high brow?
My understanding of high brow are books like Perido St Station and Il-Made Mute kinda books. You know with all the fancy big words.
The above three just write normal fantasy but with a bit more grit or in Carey's case sex;).
phedra n delaun
February 13th, 2003, 08:40 PM
I believe there are degrees of quality when it comes to fantasy, and in short I've simply stated my brief OPINION, with the above examples, of what I believe to be a better standard of quality (i.e. Donaldson etc.) relative to the typical and all to often seemingly favorites (Fiest, Goodkind, Eddings etc.) This is simply my OPINION and myself, along with many other similar minded people, could find this topic useful in that by sharing thier opinions we could discover or be refered to other quality works of fantasy.
February 14th, 2003, 05:05 AM
Yeah but quality isn't the same thing as "High Brow".:D
February 14th, 2003, 05:50 AM
I'm sorry if it is just YOUR opinion but you have put it out into a public forum where others might disagree with you and post THEIR opinion.
Oh, by the way, I do agree with you that Martin is better quality than Jordan and Feist etc. Martin & co are also slightly more complex, but not so much as to be high brow(except Donaldson). By 'high brow' I believe you mean literary and thats also the way Caldazar took it.
My reccemondation is Perdido Street Station. Not exactly my favourite book but its packed with ideas and vivid scenes. The writing isn't too complex and works well even if it is a little rough around the edges.
February 14th, 2003, 06:53 AM
I see what you're getting at phedra n delaun and tend to agree with you, I'm not going to bag anybody else's opinion - we all like what we like and that's cool - but as a teenager i must have read Eddings about a hundred times and loved every single reading, however I recently bought a copy of 'The Redemption Of Althalus' and only managed to read about 50 pages before i gave it up as something I would have enjoy at the age of 13. I've always thought I'd go back and read the Belgariad, but now I'm too scared that I'll ruin all those fond memories i have of it as a teenager.
As for High Brow, i can only tell you the sort of things I've enjoyed reading now that my tastes have changed a bit, (and it might not be of any use to you at all) I found all of Robin Hobb's books excellent, the end of 'Assassin's Quest' was a bit disappointing but over all I really enjoyed them, I also enjoyed J.V.Jones 'Book of Words' and 'The Barbed Coil', Ian Irvine's 'The View From The Mirror quartet' was enjoyable. I enjoyed Tad Williams 'Otherland' I know that's Sci-fi but he does write fantasy as well and have read some excellent reviews on his work. And that's about it, I don't get to read as much as I would like too.:)
February 14th, 2003, 11:50 AM
I took your meaning 'high brow' to mean intelligent, deeper delving, more complex fantasy with perhaps great build up of characters and locations. Fantasy in perhaps the same realms that you already know and love. If that's the case, I would have mentioned all those authors that you did (Martin, Kay etc) oh! and Robin Hobb.
Perdido and others are again intelligent deep delving complex fantasy, but with a twist to the genre. I love dthis book too.
Also, I am finding Heroes Die by Mathew Woodring Stover (this months bookclub read) highly enjoyable, much action, and it also reads very well. It continues with Blade of Tyshallee which is on my read list for sure!
Personally I do like deep, twisting fantasy. I also love great story telling ala Jordan and David Gemmell. Hmm I like everything hehe. No matter what I read though, I always go back to my fix of David Gemmell - strange that!
February 14th, 2003, 03:24 PM
Isn't this nearly the same thing you posted back in September? (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3461)
Anyway, good topic, hopefully it will get more attention this time.
Again, check out The Recommendation Thread (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3179) particularly the following linked topics I provided therein:
Something off the beaten path of the standard WOT/SOT/aSoIF/Brooks/Eddings....
Blends of Sci-fi and Fantasy (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2541)
Are there any good fantasy books.... (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2620)
I think I'm tired of Fantasy/Sci-Fi (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2948)
Forgotten Classic Fantasy (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=243) for some older books.
Looking for a new twist (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3104)
Alternative Fantasy (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2866)
You may also want to check out ALL the works of Jeffrey Ford. A topic was just started yesterday regarding his work: The Physiognomy (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4760)
I would also be remiss if I didn't mention Michael Moorcock (http://www.multiverse.org) and Greg Keyes whose new book The Briar King is also currently being discussed at our illustrious forums. (http://www.sffworld.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=4592) Of course Dystran beat me to the punch with Matthew Woodring Stover and I'd also recommend Steven Brust, Sean Russell and second the recommendation of Robin Hobb.
February 14th, 2003, 05:37 PM
There is no such thing as high brow in fantasy. If you want High brow bboks, then I would suggest to get out of the genre, however if you want a fantsy book with a little grit then...
February 14th, 2003, 08:52 PM
Kegasaurus always says that, but, as undeniable evidence to the contrary, I submit the following authors:
James Branch Cabell
Not all of them are still in print. But I'd like to see Kegasaurus argue that those authors are not "high-brow." And none of them is "gritty."
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