Fantasy Recommendations

hulk thinkHaving noticed that I almost NEVER talk about any modern fantasy these days, and further noticing that I have been reading nothing but books that are at least 30 years old and outside the genre I actually write it for most of the last year, I’m opening up the floor.

Regular visitors, you probably have a sense of what I like. Fast paced, imaginative prose. No padding (knowing today’s market I guess I can suffer through some minimal padding, but not much). Strong characters. Actual heroism and not constant nihilism.

What can you suggest? Tell me about it.

6 Comments on “Fantasy Recommendations

  1. i know your familiar with most of these, but I’ve been on a big James Enge kick lately. He released several short fiction ebooks over the past year.

    I had forgotten how much I love his writing style. I read 6 or 7 of his short stories over the past two weeks and just started The Wrath Bearing tree for the first time.

    I’m sure there’s some of his work you haven’t read yet.

    Some of those short story collections have non morlock stuff. I can’t wait to get to those as well.

  2. Have you read any of the Witcher Books? I read Last WIsh and it wasn’t exceptional, but it was fun and seems to fit your criteria.

    The Powder Mage trilogy might also be your jam.

  3. As far as modern S&S, I slot you and Paul S. Kemp as the guys keeping it alive more than anyone else. I’d be surprised if you hadn’t bumped into his Egil & Nix books. If not, the first two are excellent (not a bash on the third, I just haven’t gotten to it yet).
    Based on your description, it fits. There’s nihilism, but more in the “gallow’s humor of a soldier” style than actual navel-gazing despair… and it’s mostly banter, while their actions are heroic.
    I’m currently just starting his Star Wars: Lords of the Sith. More scenes with Vader and the Emperor discussing things and Vader trying to keep his balance is fascinating.

  4. Anthony Ryan’s Blood Song. (Skip the sequels.) His new series, starting with The Waking Fire, is also rather good so far. The Goblin Emperor is very much not S&S at all, but fantastic. (All the weird name stuff is explained in the Appendix, so check that out when confused.) Um. I loved Wexler’s The Thousand Names and I think it’ll work well stand-alone as well, but the sequels swerved in a direction I wasn’t excited about. K.J. Parker is somewhat of a cynic, but rather witty. I feel his short stories are better than the novels, so I’d recommend Academic Exercises. City of Stairs was quite good, didn’t get around to the sequels. No one seems to have noticed this one, but I rather enjoyed Tchaikovski’s Spiderlight.

    I suspect you’ll probably won’t enjoy Joe Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence.

  5. Hey, thanks, all! You know, I’ve hung out with the Powder Mage author but I haven’t actually read his work yet. Paul Kemp is a good guy. I’m not familiar with these others. Will add them to the list!

  6. I know this problem. There are few things out there that seem compelling that aren’t older than I am.

    One of the big notable exceptions is The Witcher, which I also recommend. It’s in many ways a modern series, but with many of the qualities of the great classics.

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