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Thread: List of Epics

  1. #1
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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    List of Epics

    If this has been done before... oh well.

    I'M BRINGING IT BACK, BABY!!!1!

    Let's compile a list of Epics. Epic fantasies that is.

    Let us exclude from this list

    1.) Less than 5 books in the series
    2.) Multiple authors (not counting authors dying and someone finishing it for them ala Jordan)
    3.) Short stories
    4.) Series that are broken down into series (i.e. the Riftwar Saga)

    So we are talking about the truly epic series. The doorstop books. The obvi's

    Wheel of Time
    Malazan
    Song of Ice and Fire

    So? What have you?

  2. #2
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    A rather loose specification.

    After all, "epic" could well, given the qualifications, refer to the sheer length rather than the content. Some of these are a mix of novels and related-story collections; I have marked those with a hash # mark. These are just some of the more literate fantasy series of five or more books not all short stories.
    • Oz (L. Frank Baum & others)
    • Kai Lung (Ernest Bramah) #
    • The Biography of Manuel (James Branch Cabell)
    • Alvin Maker (Orson Scott Card - still incomplete)
    • Answered Prayers (Jonathan Carroll)
    • The Dread Empire (Glen Cook)
    • The Black Company (Glen Cook)
    • Garrett (Glen Cook)
    • Chronicles of an Age of Darkness (Hugh Cook)
    • The Dark is Rising (Susan Cooper)
    • Jorkens (Lord Dunsany)
    • Drenai (David Gemmell)
    • Sipstrassi (David Gemmell)
    • Windameir (Niel [stet] Hancock)
    • Kencyrath (P. C. Hodgell)
    • J. W. Wells & Co. (Tom Holt)
    • Chrestomanci (Diana Wynne Jones)
    • Argo (R. A. Lafferty)
    • Earthsea (Ursula Le Guin)
    • Flat-Earth (Tanith Lee - still incomplete)
    • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser (Fritz Leiber)
    • Sunset Warrior (Eric Van Lustbader)
    • Mithgar (Dennis McKiernan)
    • Elric (Michael Moorcock)
    • Eternal Champion (Michael Moorcock)
    • Jerry Cornelius (Michael Moorcock) #
    • Discworld (Terry Pratchett)
    • Middle-Earth (J. R. R. Tolkien)
    • Mary Poppins (P. L. Travers)
    • Silver John (Manly Wade Wellman) #
    • The Once and Future King (T. H. White)
    • Aspects of Power (Charles Williams - only thematically related)
    • Amber (Roger Zelazny)

    Some of those have sub-series that themselves are lengthy.

  3. #3
    Sword of Truth, by Terry Goodkind

  4. #4
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    Crown of Stars - Kate Elliott

  5. #5
    The Runelord series by David Farland

  6. #6
    sapper-in-chief Whiskeyjack's Avatar
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    Winds of the Forelands and Blood of the Southlands by David Coe are two linked, epic series worth reading.

  7. #7
    the Rake
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    How do you define separate series? Many of the longer epics include distinct story arcs that could count as separate series (Bakker, Wurts, Farland, Tchaikovsky, Stover?) and others could be read as a series of nearly episodic stand-alones with the larger story arc somewhat improvised (Goodkind, Modesitt, Lynch maybe, even Erikson to some extent). Are you including these?

    Dark Tower (7 or 8) - King
    Deathgate (7) - Weis and Hickman
    Wars of Light and Shadow (projected 11) - Wurts
    Second Apocalypse (projected 9?)- Bakker
    Sword of Shadows (projected 5?)- Jones
    Codex Alera (6) - Butcher
    Stormlight Archive (projected 10)- Sanderson
    Demon (projected 5) - Brett
    Shadows of the Apt (projected 10) - Tchaikovsky
    Psalms of Isaak (projected 5) - Scholes
    The Dagger and the Coin (projected 5) - Abraham

    Those are the ones that come to mind
    Last edited by mshnd06; July 14th, 2011 at 09:50 AM.

  8. #8
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    I remembered another one:
    Sword of Shadows - J V Jones

    I'm not sure how many books will finally be in the series, the story has apparently run away from the author's control and the struggle to bring it together translates in a lot of time between books. It is still one of my top 10 epics.

  9. #9
    The Chronicles of Prydain - Lloyd Alexander. My first foray into fantasy. Still remember it fondly.

  10. #10
    Jennifer Roberson - Sword Dancer Saga (6 books)
    Robin Hobb - Farseer (2x3 books)
    Roger Zelazny - Amber (does this count? two separate five short books for a total of 10. Also may not be enough world building to be considered a true epic fantasy)

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by mshnd06 View Post
    Sword of Shadows (projected 5?)- Jones
    This is one of my all time favorite series, but holy crap does the main plot moves slow. I did not notice it at first because it was so enjoyable, but even after four books, the main conflicts barely progress at all. You'd think they would kill off and rebel against the Blackhail chief in book 1, but nope, he is still alive and kicking doing whatever tyrant does best in book 4. It took that Ashe girl a whole entire book and a half just to travel from one place to another. And the rift barrier is still holding decently strong after the first three books and is just now finally starting to break in book 4.

    The series has so much potential and I can only see it gets better and better, my only concern is that I hope she does not try to cram and end everything in the fifth book. The pace has been perfect. The efforts put into all the characters have really shone; even minor characters are given a life of their own. It would be glorious if this series would span more than 5 books

  12. #12
    the Thirsty thirstyVan's Avatar
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    nuttz96

    Jennifer Roberson - Sword Dancer Saga (6 books)
    Robin Hobb - Farseer (2x3 books)
    Roger Zelazny - Amber (does this count? two separate five short books for a total of 10. Also may not be enough world building to be considered a true epic fantasy)
    For this, I think neither the Farseer series nor the Second Apocalypse really "count". Both are series of series like the Riftwar Saga. That is, trilogies and quadriligies and duologys all set in the same world. Not too sure about the Second Apocalypse, I haven't read the two newest, but from what I understand it's a new "series". Same for Discworld. It's more a series of little series (though some of those little series are getting rather long) than it is one very long story.

    As far as the Amber series... I'm not too sure. Looks like it fits, at least, but I haven't read it so you tell me.

    And of course, Sword of Truth. Duh. Just because I can't make it though the first book doesn't mean it doesn't exist (oh how i wish it did though :P )

    Chonicles of Prydain... yeah, i guess. Much like the chronicles of Narnia, it's a little more young reader than I was thinking. Same reason I left Harry Potter off though it fits pretty well.

    I was thinking more along the lines of large series telling a single story, often about a single set of characters. Though I want to eliminate from that list series like Conan, which is more a series of short stories and novels by multiple authors, and don't tell one single story, but rather just follow one single character's life. You could argue that that IS one story, but I think we all know what I mean.

    I also left off the Dresden Files and the rest of the Urban Fantasy series for two reasons. 1) Despite interconnecting plot threads, they are individual storys and 2) alt fantasy. 2 is fuzzier, but I was thinking more along those lines when i created the thread.

    Maybe I should delete this thread and start a new, more specific one. "List of Alt-World, Single Story yet Multi Volume Epic Fantasies"... Nah. too lazy.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by thirstyVan View Post
    For this, I think neither the Farseer series nor the Second Apocalypse really "count". Both are series of series like the Riftwar Saga. That is, trilogies and quadriligies and duologys all set in the same world. Not too sure about the Second Apocalypse, I haven't read the two newest, but from what I understand it's a new "series". Same for Discworld. It's more a series of little series (though some of those little series are getting rather long) than it is one very long story.
    When I think of epic, I think of the vast scope of world building and multitude number of characters, rather than being five or more books long (although I would not considered standalones to be epic). I did consider not putting Farseer there as it is two separate trilogies, but if you read them, the two trilogies are definitely intertwined enough that it should be considered.

  14. #14
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    The Books of Swords/The Books of Lost Swords by Fred Saberhagen (11 volumes).

  15. #15
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    The Sun Sword by Michelle Sagara West (6 volumes, with a total of another 7 taking place [or planned] in the same universe.

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