[thechat] fantasy authors (was RE: Cadfael)

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Tue Jan 3 12:00:02 CST 2006

Joel, Terry, and Ian kicked off an interesting thread about fantasy
authors ...

... although it's still a bit unclear whether this is a discussion of 
'great' literature versus also-rans, talented authors versus hacks, or 
a list of 'try this' reading suggestions ...

A discussion of the first two points could get a big   'lively'.   ;-)

There is also the 'enjoyment' factor to consider. I know that 
I have certainly read and enjoyed books, (the Xanth series from 
Piers Anthony for example) that I couldn't imagine anyone 
suggesting to be 'great' literature.

And what about 'edge cases'?  Lach mentioned Terry Pratchett.  While 
I enjoy his Discworld books very much and feel he is more talented 
than many writers, I'm not quite sure how far up the 'talented' list 
I would rank him.  What about Frank Herbert?  Granted ... "Dune" is 
magnificent. But have you read his other books?  Oy!  Orson Scott 
Card has quite a bit of talent. I think some of his books have been 
superb ... and yet ... I just haven't found his 'series' books to 
be anywhere near as captivating.

So I guess I'll stick to some 'epic' fantasy recommendations, 
(none of which I would consider to be GREAT literature btw):

While I enjoyed the 'Myth' and 'Phule' series, I think Robert Lynn 
Aspirin's "Thieves World" series may deserve special mention for 
creating a fantasy world backdrop and then inviting other writers 
in to play. 

And let's not forget the lady authors!

The Marion Zimmer Bradley 'Darkover' novels were great fun.  

And it would seem quite unfair to mention epic literary fantasy 
worlds and not mention Anne McCaffrey and 'Pern'.

On a newer (and edgier) note, Laurell K. Hamilton's 'Blue Moon' 
series seems to be decently written although there may not be 
enough books yet to qualify as 'epic' and I fear she may be 
advancing her character too quickly and writing herself into 
a corner.

Happy Reading!


(Currently re-reading Terry Pratchett's "Wee Free Men".)

More information about the thechat mailing list