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  1. #1
    Urbis Morpheos Stephen Palmer's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Shrewsbury UK

    Stephen Palmer's Top 20...

    As per the SF threads, here's my Top 20 for fantasy...

    1. JRR Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit
    2. Jack Vance, Lyonesse series
    3. China Mieville, The Scar
    4. Richard Adams, Watership Down
    5. Peter Dickinson, The Weathermonger
    6. Michael De Larrabeiti, The Borribles
    7. Philip Pullman, Northern Lights series
    8. Brian Stableford, The Empire Of Fear
    9. Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast series
    10. Kenneth Graham, The Wind In The Willows
    11. Robin Hobb, Assassin series
    12. M. John Harrison, The Pastel City
    13. Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood
    14. Ian R. MacLeod, The Light Ages
    15. Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland
    16. Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard Of Earthsea
    17. Robert C. O’Brien, Mrs Frisby and the Rats Of Nimh
    18. Neil Gaiman, American Gods
    19. Steve Cockayne, Wanderers and Islanders series
    20. T.H. White, The Once And Future King

  2. #2
    I like how you started with 1.-3.

    I haven't read much fantasy so don't know about the others, except I didn't like Peake and Hobb, and particularly Pullman's last book in the series

    my list would be something like

    1. GRR Martin - A Storm of Swords
    2. J Vance - The Eyes of the Overworld or Lyonesse
    3. JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
    4. CA Smith - Tales of Zothique
    5. C Mieville - The Scar
    6. RS Bakker - The Warrior-prophet
    7. S Erikson - Memories of Ice
    8. KE Wagner - Bloodstone
    9. T Pratchett - Small Gods
    10. RE Howard - The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
    11. RE Feist - Magician, Master
    12. A Sapkowski - The Last Wish
    13. J Abercrombie - Best Served Cold
    14. M Moorcock - Stormbringer
    15. L Dunsany - Time and the Gods
    16. P Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind
    17. R Zelazny - Corwin
    18. GG Kay - The Lions of Al-Rassan
    19. S Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora
    20. J Butcher - Turn Coat
    Last edited by mars; March 19th, 2010 at 11:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Read interesting books
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    Dec 2005
    Ada, MI, USA
    I loved the Wanderers and Islanders series - such a pity it did not take off since at least the first two books are awesome - the third is a bit too apt and it seems as the author gave up a bit, but still overall a great unusual series though not quite a top 20.

    Other than that it depends what you mean by fantasy since with the definition implied in the list which mixes genre fantasy with mainstream fantastic, I would head it with

    1. Arabian Nights (translation R. Burton)
    2. Master and Margarita by M. Bulgakov
    3. The Odyssey
    4. The Legends of Olympus (whatever compilation you care about)
    5. JL Borges - various fiction

    and except for the Scar I would not have anything else on my top 100 list

  4. #4
    I'll offer up today's list of 20, if for no other reason than to trumpet titles I truly admire:

    JRR Tolkien, The Lord Of The Rings/The Hobbit
    Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
    Richard Adams, Watership Down
    Clark Ashton Smith, Zothique
    Jonathan Carroll, The Land of Laughs
    M. John Harrison, The Course of the Heart
    Charles Finney, The Circus of Dr. Lao
    Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
    William Gay, Twilight
    Ray Bradbury, The October Country
    Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes
    Peter Beagle, The Last Unicorn
    Peter Beagle, The Rhinocerous Who Quoted Nietzsche
    Fred Chappell, More Shapes than One
    Arthur Machen, The Three Imposters
    Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood
    Jorge Luis Borges, Ficciones
    Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard Of Earthsea
    John Collier, Fancies and Goodnights
    Lord Dunsany, Beyond the Hills and Far Away

    Including William Gay's novel is cheating a little: It's not overtly fantasy, but its structure and symbolism draw from fairytale and folklore.

    The Lord Dunsany is a representative title. Dunsany's stories have been republished in so many mixes and matches, that most any collection will likely have some of his better works. Look for "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth" and "The Bureau d’Echange de Maux," in particular.

    Of course, if I did this list tomorrow, I might add Jonathan Carroll's Bones of the Moon and Voices of Our Shadow, William Kotzwinkle's Fata Morgana, Fritz Leiber's Swords and Deviltry and Night's Black Agents and Our Lady of Darkness and You're All Alone, H. P. Lovecraft's The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, ...

    Randy M.

  5. #5
    Registered User Jeroen's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    The Netherlands
    Jeroen's Top 20 Fantasy

    caveat: I have a lot of books to read, including lots of well-known classics, so if you think there are essential books missing from this list, consider it more an indication of my taste.

    1. JRR Tolkien - The Lord of the Rings
    2. Mervyn Peake - The Gormenghast Novels
    3. Gene Wolfe - The Book of the New Sun
    4. JRR Tolkien - The Silmarillion
    5. John Gardner - Grendel
    6. E.R. Eddison - The Worm Ouroboros
    7. Jack Vance - The Lyonesse Trilogy
    8. Lord Dunsany - The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories
    9. David Lindsay - A Voyage to Arcturus
    10. Lord Dunsany - The King of Elfland's Daughter
    11. Richard Adams - Watership Down
    12. Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
    13. George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire
    14. Peter S. Beagle - The Last Unicorn
    15. T.H. White - The Once and Future King
    16. JRR Tolkien - The Hobbit
    17. G.K. Chesterton - The Man Who Was Thursday
    18. Jack Vance - Tales of the Dying Earth
    19. J.K. Rowling - The Harry Potter series
    20. Oscar Wilde - Short Stories

  6. #6
    Here are my favorites:

    Terry Goodkind The Sword of Truth series. Excellent characters and this will drive the haters mad.
    Jennifer Fallon Second Sons trilogy. I love how the main character uses brains instead of magic.
    George R.R.Martin Song of Ice and Fire series. Dark, gritty, and smart. Love his use of grey characters.
    David Coe Winds of the Forelands series. Twists and turns galore.
    Joe Abercrombie First law series. See Martin above.
    Fiona McIntosh The Quickening series. Loved the plot twists.
    Brent Weeks Night Angel trilogy. Can't wait to see his new book.
    Scott Lynch Gentleman Bastard series. See Brent Weeks above.
    Robert Redick Voyage of the Chartrand. Golden Compass for adults.
    David Durham War With the Mein. Very complex and addictive.
    Michael J.Sullivan Riyria series. Reminds me of Lynch's books.
    Patrick Rothfuss Kingkiller series. Only one book so far but what a book.
    Carol Berg anything. I think she is very under rated. Rai-Kirah is very dark.
    Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahnestock Heartstone trilogy. Another dark gem.
    John Marco Tyrants and Kings series.
    J.V.Jones Sword of Shadows. It took some time but I am hooked now.
    Greg Keyes Thorn and Bone series. Loved everything except the final book.
    Terry Brooks Shanarra series. Very LOTR influenced but great reads.
    Robin Hobb everything except Soldier Son trilogy will never let you down.
    Fiona McIntosh Valisar trilogy will take you on turns that you never see coming. Her Percheron series is a keeper too.

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