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  1. #1
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    25 best fantasy novels/series

    http://bestfantasybooks.com/top25-fantasy-books.php

    Good list, bad list? #discuss

    'pologies if this is an old one but it does have new entries from Cook, Sanderson & Abraham!

  2. #2
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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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. #3
    The New ... MARK LAWRENCE Mark Lawrence's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    What a complete load of bull on both sides.
    I win my bet

  4. #4
    bingley bingley beep kissmequick's Avatar
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    Oh that place.


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

  5. #5
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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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. #6
    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. #7
    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. #8
    www.voxnewman.com kongming's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loerwyn View Post
    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.
    You have my vote for the President of the People Who Decide Which Fantasy Books are Better than Others Society and Fellowship

  9. #9
    Reek rhymes with geek
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    I would even consider a different list for fantasy newcomers. A first time genre reader of most any age would enjoy some of the current/modern series, but to follow some of the evolution of the genre allows one to experience novelty and wonder with each story, and not see the worst of the tropes or start with the subversion of said tropes. But what do I know, I started with Dragonlance and Eddings...

  10. #10
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Ah, this stuff again.

    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.
    Is someone a "food snob" if they prefer food that tastes good? Is someone an "audio snob" if they prefer music to cacaphony? Where does it end?

    A tale is thoughts expressed in words. If the tale-teller's ability to express thought in words is mediocre or poor, then perforce the tale is mediocre or worse; you cannot make pleasant music by whacking rocks together. I have no idea what "expert" prose is supposed to be, but prose that is clear and expressive works well, while prose that is wooden, or contorted, or ungrammatical is painful to read. The title of one of the better-known usage manuals in English says a lot: Simple & Direct (by Jacques Barzun); so do many others (such as Plain Words or The Careful Writer). Perhaps we are so far fallen now that simple, clear, and grammatical prose is "expert".

    I also do not quite grasp what would make any writer's style "amazing". Is it one in which the characters are frequently amazed? Is it one in which the readers are frequently amazed by the plot developments? Or what?

    As some or t'other once remarked, there is nothing whatever in this world that anyone is obliged to like; and that is certainly so. But reasons for classing particular tales as "worthy" or not worthy are not completely arbitrary matters of random, idiosyncratic taste. There are qualities not primarily subjective that typify works of worth; while anyone is free to dislike worthy works, individually or as a class, and to like mediocre or even trashy works, again individually or as a class, and be free of any obligation to justify his or her tastes, what one is not morally entitled to do is to trash works of merit on the sole ground that one does not personally enjoy them.

    But we have been over this ground countless times before.

  11. #11
    The term ***-snob usually refers to someone who will trash some items because it doesn't live up to what they view as "quality". And maybe they are in their right to do so, but that doesn't take away from the enjoyment of said item. You are not a food-snob if you like good food. You are a food-snob if you tell everyone pizza is terrible quality food and you guys are silly for liking it, you should only enjoy lobster bisque or anything of that quality. Same with beer, books, cars, anything...

  12. #12
    Challenge Assumptions Pluvious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by owlcroft View Post
    Is someone a "food snob" if they prefer food that tastes good? Is someone an "audio snob" if they prefer music to cacaphony? Where does it end?

    A tale is thoughts expressed in words. If the tale-teller's ability to express thought in words is mediocre or poor, then perforce the tale is mediocre or worse; you cannot make pleasant music by whacking rocks together. I have no idea what "expert" prose is supposed to be, but prose that is clear and expressive works well, while prose that is wooden, or contorted, or ungrammatical is painful to read. The title of one of the better-known usage manuals in English says a lot: Simple & Direct (by Jacques Barzun); so do many others (such as Plain Words or The Careful Writer). Perhaps we are so far fallen now that simple, clear, and grammatical prose is "expert".

    I also do not quite grasp what would make any writer's style "amazing". Is it one in which the characters are frequently amazed? Is it one in which the readers are frequently amazed by the plot developments? Or what?

    As some or t'other once remarked, there is nothing whatever in this world that anyone is obliged to like; and that is certainly so. But reasons for classing particular tales as "worthy" or not worthy are not completely arbitrary matters of random, idiosyncratic taste. There are qualities not primarily subjective that typify works of worth; while anyone is free to dislike worthy works, individually or as a class, and to like mediocre or even trashy works, again individually or as a class, and be free of any obligation to justify his or her tastes, what one is not morally entitled to do is to trash works of merit on the sole ground that one does not personally enjoy them.

    But we have been over this ground countless times before.
    Personally I just want a story to enjoy. I don't care about any "beauty of prose". I just don't want the author to get in the way of the story and characters. I don't relate to authors/readers that seem to value the words themselves over or any comparable way to plot/character. "Snobby" may subconsciously for me originate from my perception that a reviewer, reader, or author believes in style over substance. Maybe.

  13. #13
    dw4rf thrinidir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Lawrence View Post
    http://bestfantasybooks.com/top25-fantasy-books.php

    Good list, bad list? #discuss

    'pologies if this is an old one but it does have new entries from Cook, Sanderson & Abraham!
    Not only is this list favouring fantasy "as is" in the last decade I've also learned to raise an eyebrow everytime I see a best of list...life just doesn't have the same colours for everyone

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