I asked a friend if she’d seen the post I made asking for fantasy recommendations, and she said she’d seen it, but not read all the comments because there were rather a lot of them. I was sorting the suggestions at the time, and I thought maybe there were other people who might like it as a list.
This list is split into three parts: books I’ve read already, my new library list, and things for which I’d be a very hard sell. The last section has some comments as to why. I’m including it because I do know that not everybody shares my prejudices.
If your suggestions are on my “already read” list, don’t be sad, that just means you correctly identified things I like. Also, it means I rate any other things you suggested more highly, as we clearly have congruent tastes. Though those people who suggested things I’ve already reviewed here did make me blink a little. Oh, and just because I’ve read it doesn’t mean I necessarily recommend it. I read a lot.
The interesting thing about the “library list” is how often my reaction was “Really? But it looks so generic!” This is proof that this works. It’s all very well that people recommended things that were already on my radar, like Megan Whalen Turner and K.J. Parker. It’s much more significant that they found authors I’d never heard of and books I’d picked up and put down again.
Suggestions that I‘ve already read
Clive Barker, Imajica
K. J. Bishop, The Etched City
Chaz Brenchley, Bridge of Dreams
Steven Brust & Emma Bull, Freedom and Necessity
Steven Brust, Vlad Taltos series
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
C.J. Cherryh, The Paladin
Susannah Clarke, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell
Storm Constantine, Wraeththu series
Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising series
Kate Elliott, Crown of Stars
C. S. Friedman, Coldfire trilogy
Mary Gentle, Grunts
Barbara Hambly, The Silent Tower
Robin Hobb, Assassin series
Nina Kiriki Hoffman, The Thread that Binds the Bones
Robert Holdstock, Mythago Wood
Barry Hughart, Bridge of Birds
Diana Wynne Jones, Tough Guide to Fantasyland
Katherine Kerr, Deverry
Rosemary Kirstein—but they’re SF. Look for a post on these soon.
Jane Lindskold, Brother to Dragons, Companion to Owls
Elizabeth A. Lynn, WatchTower, Northern Girl, Dancers of Arun
Patricia McKillip, The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Riddlemaster of Hed
Garth Nix, Sabriel
Phillip Pullman, His Dark Materials
Johanna Sinisalo, Not Before Sundown
Sherwood Smith, Inda, The Fox, The King’s Shield.
Charles Stross, Merchant Princes
Michael Swanwick, The Iron Dragon‘s Daughter
Judith Tarr, A Wind in Kairo
Sherri S. Tepper, A Plague of Angels
J.R.R. Tolkien, Children of Hurin
Michelle West, Hunter series
Walter Jon Williams, Metropolitan
Patricia C. Wrede, Mairelon The Magician
Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple, Pay the Piper
Joe Abercrombie, First Law
Daniel Abraham, Long Price Quartet
Kage Baker, Anvil of the World
R. Scott Bakker, Prince of Nothing trilogy, comprising: The Darkness That Comes Before, The Warrior-Prophet and The Thousandfold Thought
Carol Berg, Flesh and Spirit, Breath & Bone
Marie Brennan, Midnight Never Come
M.A. Brenner, Catastrophe‘s Spell
Trudi Canavan, The Black Magician
Janet Lee Carey, Dragon‘s Keep
Rick Cook, Wizardry series
Dan Crawford, Cat & Mouse
Kathleen Duey, Skin Hunger
Dave Duncan, The Great Game
Teresa Edgerton, Goblin Moon
Ru Emerson, The Princess of Flames
Steven Erikson, Malazan series
Nancy Farmer, Sea of Trolls
David Freer and Eric Flint, Pyramid Scheme
Shannon Hale, Princess Academy
Francis Hardinge, Fly by Night
Lian Hearn, Tales of the Otori
Jim C Hines, Goblin series
Robert Holdstock, Merlin Codex series
Simon Ings, City of the Iron Fish
Greg Keyes, Saga of The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone
Jay Lake, Trial Of Flowers
A. Lee Martinez, The Automatic Detective
J. M. McDermott, Last Dragon
Sean McMullen, Voyage of the Shadowmoon
China Mieville, Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council
John Moore, Heroics For Beginners
Jeffrey Overstreet, Auralia‘s Colors
Paul Park, A Princess of Roumania
K.J. Parker, Engineer trilogy
Ricardo Pinto, Stone Dance of the Chameleon
Melanie Rawn, Ruins of Ambrai
John Ringo, There Will Be Dragons
Lane Robins, Maledicte
Sean Russell, Initiate Brother, Moontide and Magic
Charles. R. Saunders, Imaro
Bruno Schulz, The Street of Crocodiles
Darrell Schweitzer, Mask of the Sorcerer
Ekaterina Sedia, Alchemy of Stone
Jan Siegal, Prospero‘s Children
Vladimir Sorokin, Ice
Wen Spencer, Tinker
Steph Swainson, The Year of Our War
Laini Taylor, Faeries of Dreamdark: BLACKBRINGER
Catherynne M. Valente, The Orphan‘s Tales
Michelle West, Sun Sword
Megan Whelan Turner, Attolia
Liz Williams, Detective Inspector Chen
Sean Williams, The Books Of the Cataclysm
Jonathan Wylie, Dream-Weaver
Sarah Zettel, Isavalta
Very Reluctant to Try.
Emma Bull, E. Bear and others, Shadowunit—TV. I hate TV. This is a pretend TV program, and as such designed to appeal to people who watch TV and like it. Despite the fact Bull and Monette are involved and I’d normally be fascinated, this strikes me as something not at all aimed at me.
Jim Butcher, Dresden Files—Vampires. I hate vampires. I don’t hate them as much as TV, but that’s only because they’re not real.
Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel‘s Dart—BDSM doesn’t repel me as much as TV or vampires, but it still isn’t my thing.
Mary Gentle, Ash: A Secret History, Ilario: The Lion‘s Eye, 1610: A Sundial in a Grave—I hated Grunts. I hated it more than vampires and only slightly less than TV. It seemed to be a direct attack on Tolkien and everything I love about fantasy. Previous to this, I had enjoyed Gentle’s work a lot, so you’d think I could get over it, but every time I pick up one of her books I remember how much I hated Grunts and put it down again.
Nalo Hopkinson, Brown Girl in the Ring—despite having enjoyed other Hopkinson and having every reason to believe this is a good book, I’m reluctant to read something that earworms me with Boney M. I admit that this is a terribly shallow reason for not reading something.
Scott Lynch, The Lies of Locke Lamora—Pirates. Pirates are right up there with BDSM.
Martin Millar, Lonely Werewolf Girl—I strongly suspect it of having werewolves.
Kim Newman, Anno-Dracula—Definitely vampires.
Naomi Novik—Alternate history with dragons but the dragons didn’t change anything so you still have Napoleonic wars. Everybody else on the planet loves these to bits, but watch me gnaw off my own leg to escape.
Georges Perec, Life, a User‘s Manual—This looks like being the kind of magic realism that irritates me profoundly.