[Comp.Sci.Dept, Utrecht] Note from archiver<at>cs.uu.nl: This page is part of a big collection of Usenet postings, archived here for your convenience. For matters concerning the content of this page, please contact its author(s); use the source, if all else fails. For matters concerning the archive as a whole, please refer to the archive description or contact the archiver.

Subject: Recommended Fantasy Authors List - Part 2/5

This article was archived around: 19 Dec 1998 14:02:28 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: fantasy/recommended-authors
All FAQs posted in: alt.fan.eddings, rec.arts.sf.written
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: fantasy/recommended-authors/part2 Posting-Frequency: monthly Last-modified: 1998/03/01 URL: http://www.sff.net/people/Amy.Sheldon/listcont.htm Version: 3.0
THE RECOMMENDED FANTASY AUTHORS LIST - ver. 3.0 Part 2 of 5 NOTICE OF MAJOR CHANGE TO LIST Beginning with the March, 1998 posting, only those authors with six or more recommendations will have detailed listings. THE FULL LIST, WITH TITLES AND COMMENTS ON *ALL* RECOMMENDED AUTHORS, is available at the list web site: http://www.sff.net/people/Amy.Sheldon/listcont.htm Unfortunately, the Recommended Fantasy Author List has just gotten too large to continue posting the entire thing. Pamela Dean (b. 1953) "The Secret Country" - The Secret Country; The Hidden Land; The Whim of the Dragon _Another series usually found in the children's section of your library._ The Dubious Hills _Set in the same world as _The Secret Country_, but featuring different characters. An unusual book, this one is not geared toward children._ Tam-Lin _The college setting of this one makes it quite popular with the academic crowd. Stand-alone contemporary retelling of the Tam-Lin legend. Part of the 'Fairy Tale' series._ Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary (forthcoming June '98) _This was originally scheduled for July, 1997._ L. Sprague de Camp (b. 1907) "The Reluctant King" - Goblin Tower; The Clocks of Iraz; The Unbeheaded King; The Honorable Barbarian _Classic. Fast-paced heroic adventure with an added dash of humor_ The Complete Compleat Enchanter (co-author Fletcher Pratt) _Great series of novelettes! Published in a variety of configurations, the above title is the U.S. edition that contains all the stories. In the U.K., look for _The Intrepid Enchanter_. Harold Shea travels to a variety of magical worlds, finding love, adventure, and poetry._ The Exotic Enchanter (co-author Christopher Stasheff) _de Camp continues Harold Shea's adventures with a new co-author. There has also been at least one collection of short stories in this series_ Charles de Lint (b. 1951) "Jack of Kinrowen" - Jack the Giant Killer; Drink Down the Moon (Omnibus edition with JoK title available from Tor) __Jack the Giant Killer_ was originally published as part of the 'Fairy Tale' series._ "Newford series" - Our Lady of the Harbor; Paperjack; The Wishing Well; Memory and Dream _Standalones taking place in the fictional town of Newford. Most (if not all) of the short stories in the two collections mentioned below take place in Newford also._ "Short story collections" - Dreams Underfoot; The Ivory and the Horn _de Lint's short story collections are a good introduction to the author - if you don't like these, you won't like his novels._ Greenmantle The Little Country Trader Someplace To Be Flying (forthcoming Feb. '98) _He's written many books, with a fair number only available in small press editions. Most are stand-alone (although related to each other), all are good. The best-known and most productive author in the 'urban fantasy' sub-genre. Can be difficult to find in U.S. (this is changing - Tor, his publisher, is showing their good taste and really pushing his work), readily available in Canada & U.K._ **Stephen Donaldson (b. 1947) "Thomas Covenant - First Chronicles" - Lord Foul's Bane; The Illearth War; The Power That Preserves _VERY highly recommended. This is a powerful trilogy, and you should read it._ "Thomas Covenant - Second Chronicles" - The Wounded Land; The One Tree; White Gold Wielder _The Covenant books can be *quite* grim & depressing, but they are well written and worth your time. Those who love Donaldson's work describe Covenant as a flawed but decent human struggling to come to terms with both his illness and his power. Others with less charity in their souls consider Covenant to be whiny, self-pitying, and a poor excuse for a hero. Give the Chronicles a try & see which category you fall into._ "Thomas Covenant - Final Chronicles" - ?? (forthcoming maybe someday) _Yep, you read that right. Donaldson confirmed in a recent (September 1997) interview that "I already have all the ideas for the grand scheme so the second chronicles is ready for the last chronicles." However, he didn't give any hints as to when he would actually start writing down the ideas, so don't get your hopes up yet. He just finished up a five-book SF series with characters that make the folks in the Covenant books look cheerful and well-adjusted._ "Mordant's Need" - The Mirror of Her Dreams; A Man Rides Through _Several people have remarked that, although the Covenant books weren't their cup of tea, *this* duology was very enjoyable, and nowhere near as gloomy as his usual (although the heroine has more than her share of self-image problems...)_ *Dave Duncan (b. 1933) "Seventh Sword" - The Reluctant Swordsman; The Coming of Wisdom; The Destiny of the Sword _His first work. Has some ragged edges, but moves right along._ "A Man of His Word" - The Magic Casement; Faery Lands Forlorn; Perilous Seas; Emperor and Clown _A stableboy sets forth on a quest, and ends up with a (need I say it?) great destiny._ "A Handful of Men" - The Cutting Edge; Upland Outlaws; The Stricken Field; The Living God _Follows the same characters as 'A Man of His Word' series._ "Omar the Storyteller" - The Reaver's Road; The Hunter's Haunt _Described as being 'a little lighter' than Duncan's epic fantasies, this on-going series features Omar the storyteller. The books are completely self- contained, and stand alone._ The Cursed _Stand-alone about a land afflicted by changes brought about by the baleful influence of certain stars. Duncan also has a new book out under the pseudonym Ken Hood titled _Demon Sword_._ "The Great Game" - Past Imperative; Present Tense; Future Indefinite _This looks interesting - in 1914, a young man suffering from amnesia and accused of murder ends up at Stonehenge, where he is transported to an alternate reality._ Lord Dunsany (1879-1957) The King of Elfland's Daughter _Early fantasy. Dunsany was very influential in the field. The above is probably his most accessible book for modern readers (although I like _The Charwoman's Shadow_ too, but then, I've got a definite fondness for early fantasy). It should be available at most larger libraries_ **David Eddings (b. 1931) "The Belgariad" - Pawn of Prophecy; Queen of Sorcery; Magician's Gambit; Castle of Wizardry; Enchanter's End Game _Eddings' fantasy debut, and, my, was it successful. The forces of dark and light are rushing toward a climatic confrontation, and young farm boy Garion is swept into the battle._ "The Malloreon" - Guardians of the West; King of the Murgos; The Demon Lord of Karanda; The Sorceress of Darshiva; The Seeress of Kell _Continuing the adventures of Garion and Company._ "The Prequels" - Belgarath the Sorcerer; Polgara the Sorceress _Yep, two more books about our favorite sorcerer and his daughter. These are both prequels to the events of the Belgariad, and should finally answer such burning questions as: Why did Poledra have to pretend she'd died? and How exactly DID the orb get onto the shield?_ "The Elenium" - The Diamond Throne; The Ruby Knight; The Sapphire Rose _Eddings creates a new world and characters. The hero Sparhawk sets off to save his queen and country._ "The Tamuli" - Domes of Fire; The Shining Ones; The Hidden City _More adventures of Sparhawk (Eddings does like to get a lot of use out of his characters). Eddings is by far the most highly recommended author on the List (hardly surprising, as the list originated in the alt.fan.eddings newsgroup)._ Teresa Edgerton (b. 1949) "The Green Lion Trilogy" - Child of Saturn; The Moon in Hiding; The Work of the Sun _Celtic-inspired fantasy in a complex, well-realized world._ "Kingdom of Celydonn trilogy" - The Castle of the Silver Wheel; The Grail and the Ring; The Moon and the Thorn _More about the world of the "Green Lion" trilogy. Dwayne says the two books he's read are excellent, and I agree, although ^Castle^ is a trifle slow- moving in spots. The final book was recently released, and it is a satisfying conclusion to the trilogy._ Goblin Moon; The Gnome's Engine _Jonathan says these are "just awesome - full of intrigue and suspense." Not part of the Celydonn series, the world of these books is built more along Victorian lines._ Phyllis Eisenstein (b. 1946) "Cray the Sorcerer" - Sorcerer's Son; The Crystal Palace _Stand-alones about Cray, a sorcerer._ "Tales of Alaric the Minstrel" - Born to Exile; In the Red Lord's Reach _Two books so far, the first is episodic and has the feel of a short story collection, second is a novel. Alaric is gifted with the magical ability of teleportation._ **Raymond Feist (b. 1945) "Riftwar Saga" - Magician: Apprentice; Magician: Master; Silverthorn; A Darkness at Sethanon _Fast-paced adventure, and full of action. The first two books were originally published in one volume under the title _Magician_._ "Midkemia series" - Prince of the Blood; The King's Buccaneer _Technically, these two are stand-alone books, although they feature characters and situations introduced in the Riftwar Saga, and set up situations that are due to be resolved in the Serpentwar saga._ "The Serpentwar Saga" - Shadow of a Dark Queen; Rise of a Merchant Prince; Rage of a Demon King; Shards of a Broken Crown (title originally announced as 'The Honor of a Bastard Knight', forthcoming April '98) _A new Midkemia series._ Faerie Tale _NOT a Midkemia book. A dark, modern fairy tale._ Boy's Adventure (forthcoming late '98/early '99) _Standalone dark fantasy._ "Krondor series" - Betrayal at Krondor (forthcoming); Return to Krondor (forthcoming) _Novelizations of Feist's 'Krondor' CD-ROM game. Feist is the second most highly recommended author on this list (after Eddings, of course) - his work definitely strikes a chord with most Eddings fans._ Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts "Daughter of the Empire trilogy" - Daughter of the Empire; Servant of the Empire; Mistress of the Empire _Loosely related to Riftwar saga (they take place on the other side of the Rift)._ Alan Dean Foster (b. 1946) "Spellsinger" - Spellsinger; The Hour of the Gate _These are the initial duology. A young man ends up in a world where music has magic. It has become an open-ended series. Foster is an entertaining and competent writer (I've enjoyed his SF books about Flinx and Humanx Commonwealth), however, I've received reports that the later books in this series have fallen off quite a bit in quality._ C.S. Friedman (b. 1955) "The Coldfire Trilogy" - Black Sun Rising; When True Night Falls; Crown of Shadows _Sorta SF, but it takes place on a world where magic works, and it's not a really pleasant place for humans...."Extremely well written, interesting, and a lot different than the typical "sword & sorcery" type book...I would recommend this series to anyone." Her sf novel _In Conquest Born_ has also been mentioned by several recommenders. Doug would like to add the warning that Friedman makes Stephen Donaldson look like a comedy writer, and that depressed persons should avoid these books._ *David Gemmell (b. 1948) "The Drenai" - Legend; King Beyond the Gate; Quest For Lost Heroes; Waylander; Waylander II; The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend; Second Chronicles of Druss the Legend; The Legend of Deathwalker _The Drenai books are good, solid standalone fantasy adventures that take place in the same world. Gemmell is a retailing phenomenon in England, with a publishing imprint named after his first book. Only the first four Drenai books have been published in the U.S. - the final four won't start appearing in the U.S. until late 1998._ "The Lion of Macedon" - Lion of Macedon; Dark Prince _Fantasy version of the life of Alexander the Great. History purists be warned - Gemmell plays fast and loose with Greek history and mythology. Only available in trade paperback in the U.S._ "The Stones of Power" - Ghost King; Last Sword of Power; Wolf in Shadow; The Last Guardian; Bloodstone _The second first two books take place in a vaguely Arthurian past, and the others feature Jon Shannow, and take place in the far future. The connecting feature of the two eras are the Sipstrassi, the stones of power._ Knights of Dark Renown _A stand-alone. It is out in the U.S._ Morningstar _Another stand-alone._ "The Hawk Queen" - Ironhand's Daughter; Hawk Eternal (both are only out in the U.K.) _The Gemmellites don't seem to be particularly enthusiastic about this particular duology (commentary has ranged from the lukewarm to the tepid)._ Dark Moon The Winter Warriors Echoes of the Great Song _Gemmell's work is very popular in Britain, but he's still relatively unknown in the U.S. He IS worth looking up - an entertaining author who tells a fast-paced story. Fairly traditional fantasy, with heroic heroes (who have flaws, but overcome them when the chips are down) and dastardly villains._ William Goldman (b. 1931) The Princess Bride _A fast-paced, funny romp through every fantasy cliche you can think of (watch out for the rodents of unusual size). Written by an author best known for his screenplays (think ^Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid^), which may be why the movie actually does a good job of capturing the tone of the book._ Terry Goodkind (b. 1948) "The Sword of Truth" - Wizard's First Rule; Stone of Tears; Blood of the Fold; Temple of the Winds; more forthcoming _Goodkind's debut novel made a big splash, and he quickly followed it up. Mikey REALLY likes _First Rule_ and highly recommends it. Goodkind has sold five books in the series to Tor, so there's at least one more in the pipeline. Do note that these contain a fair amount of graphic torture and s&m._ Simon Green (b. 1955) Blue Moon Rising _"My favorite new book this year....standard fantasy with enough of a twist to keep me interested," reports Nathan. Your FAQMaster agrees - it moves quickly, the characters are standard types but still manage to be interesting, and it kept me reading straight through to the end._ Down Among the Dead Men; Blood and Honor _Both set in the same world as _Blue Moon,_ but they're not really sequels. "Down" takes place years after, and features a totally different set of characters, while "Blood" is about an actor who must play the double of a prince during a crisis. Action-packed adventure._ "Hawke and Fisher series" - Guard Against Dishonor; Hawke and Fisher; The Bones of Haven; The God Killer; Winner Take All; Wolf In the Fold _Apparently the characters of Hawke and Fisher are VERY similar to the two main characters of _Blue Moon Rising_. This is early Green, and not readily available in the U.S._ Shadows Fall _Simon Green Gets Ambitious. Shadows Fall is the town where legends go to die, and where the apocalypse is about to occur. Not completely successful, but worth reading, and it is always nice to see an author trying to stretch his repertoire. Green is currently in the midst of a galaxy-sweeping space opera._ *Barbara Hambly (b. 1951) "Darwath Trilogy" - The Time of the Dark; The Walls of Air; The Armies of Daylight _Another 'folks from our world cross into fantastic realm,' but quite well done (especially considering that this was Hambly's first fantasy) with intelligent characters and some interesting twists._ "A New Darwath series" - Mother of Winter; Icefalcon's Quest (forthcoming Feb. '98) _Hambly returns to the world of Darwath, the setting of her first fantasy trilogy, after a decade away._ Dragonsbane _Standalone about a witch and hero, and a kingdom that's in a lot of trouble. A good introduction to Hambly's work._ "Windrose Chronicles" - The Silent Tower; The Silicon Mage; Dog Wizard _The first two are basically one book that got split in two due to size. _Dog Wizard_ continues the plot, and leaves a fair amount of dangling threads at the end. This may be turning into an open-ended series_ Stranger at the Wedding (U.K. title - Sorcerer's Ward) _A standalone set in same world as "Windrose Chronicles," but featuring different characters. One of Hambly's weaker offerings._ "Sun Cross duology" - Rainbow Abyss; The Magicians of Night _Wizards cross from their world into ours, and end up in Nazi Germany._ "Sun Wolf/Starhawk" - The Ladies of Madrigyn; The Witches of Wenshar; The Dark Hand of Magic _Although each of these is a separate, self- contained story, they are best enjoyed in order, and _Dark Hand of Magic_ does bring the series to a fairly definite close._ "James Asher Chronicles" - Those Who Hunt the Night; Traveling With the Dead _Hambly does the vampire routine. And she does it quite well - in fact, _TWHtN_ took the _Locus_ fantasy novel award the year it came out._ Bride of the Rat God _Lots of fun - 1920's Hollywood and Chinese magic._ Robin Hobb (b. 1952) "The Farseer Trilogy" - Assassin's Apprentice; Royal Assassin; Assassin's Quest _This is very good. A royal bastard is being trained as an assassin, and is drawn deeply into court politics and intrigue. It's being advertised as the first work of a new author, but if you really like it, you won't have to wait to try more of her work. Hobb is a pseudonym for Megan Lindholm, and she has a fair number of works out under her own name._ "The Liveships series" - Ship of Magic (forthcoming April '98) _This is set in the same world as 'Farseer', although it a a new story and doesn't feature any of the characters from the original trilogy._ P.C. Hodgell (b. 1951) "Chronicles of the Kencyrath" - God Stalk; Dark of the Moon; Seeker's Mask _First two were published in mass-market paperback. Current works are only available through Hypatia Press, a small press in Oregon which is currently having financial problems, so finding her books is problematic at best. Hodgell is a cult favorite over on r.a.sf.w., and reportedly outlined a fourth Jaime book, but has put it aside to work on other projects._ Barry Hughart (b. 1934) "Master Li and Number Ten Ox series" - The Bridge of Birds; The Story of the Stone; Eight Skilled Gentlemen _Open-ended series set in ancient China. HIGHLY recommended by your FAQ maker (especially the first one)._ Brian Jacques (b. 1939) "Redwall series" - Redwall; Mossflower; Mattimeo; Mariel of Redwall; Salamandastron; Martin the Warrior; The Bellmaker; The Outcasts of Redwall; The Pearls of Lutra; The Long Patrol (out in U.K., forthcoming in U.S. Feb. '98) _These are fun. I buy them for my niece, and always read them myself before I give them to her. Redwall is an Abbey run by a group of mice, and this series of standalone books details their adventures. They are geared toward the children's market (and are incredibly popular - ask your local children's librarian about how quickly they fly off the shelves)._ Diana Wynne Jones (b. 1934) "The Dalemark Sequence" - Drowned Ammet; Cart and Cwidder; The Spellcoats; The Crown of Dalemark _Young adult standalone novels all taking place in Dalemark. The first three books all stand alone, and can be read in any order, but the final book ties them all together, and will be best enjoyed if you've read all of the others._ "Crestomanci books" - The Lives of Christopher Chant; Charmed Life; Witch Week; The Magicians of Caprona _Stand-alones that all have the magician Crestomanci involved somehow._ "The Magician Howl series" - Howl's Moving Castle; Castle in the Air _The second book of this one is hard to find in the U.S. - Books of Wonder in New York stocks most of Jones' work, and they are good place to look if you can't find a fix anywhere else._ The Homeward Bounders _Standalone about a boy doomed to wander between worlds._ Archer's Goon A Sudden Wild Magic _This one is fairly recent and is being marketed as an adult book, making it the most widely available book of hers in the U.S. Alas, it is also one of her weakest offerings, so look up any of her other books before you decide on her abilities._ Time of the Ghost (published Sept. '96 in the U.S, but it's been out for more than a decade in Britain) _Most of Jones' work is geared toward the Young Adult market, but don't let that stop you. I particularly liked _Archer's Goon_, _The Homeward Bounders_ and _Howl's Moving Castle_, Eriond likes _Dogsbody_ the best, but he reads everything of hers he can find (so do I)._ **Robert Jordan (b. 1948) "The Wheel of Time" - The Eye of the World; The Great Hunt; The Dragon Reborn; The Shadow Rising; The Fires of Heaven; Lord of Chaos; A Crown of Swords; The Path of Daggers (forthcoming); plus at least two more _Jordan recently stated that he thinks it should take about three more books to complete the series, but he isn't making any promises. Many a.f.e. regulars are passionately devoted to this series. Huge (all the books are 500+ pages), sprawling, and madly complex._ The Conan Chronicles _For the Joradanites who need a fix while awaiting the next volume of The Wheel of Time, this omnibus edition collects Jordan's Conan novels._ **Guy Gavriel Kay (b. 1954) "The Fionavar Tapestry" - The Summer Tree; The Wandering Fire; The Darkest Road _Bad Things Can Happen To Good People in Kay's books. Be forewarned, but read them anyway. This is yet another take on Arthurian legend._ Tigana _A standalone about a land under a particularly nasty curse, and the inhabitants' fight to end it. Complex, very well written. Your FAQmaker tried it after receiving numerous glowing recommendations, and now adds her voice to the chorus_ A Song for Arbonne _Another excellent standalone from Kay. The fantasy world is loosely based on medieval France (specifically Eleanor of Aquitaine's Court of Love)._ The Lions of Al-Rassan _Kay's latest, set in a time and place reminiscent of Moorish Spain. Wow, do I like his stuff - great characters, marvelous story, vivid world. He just gets better and better. The fantasy content of Kay's work is shrinking, and it is virtually non-existent here. Kay has just started on a new book (no details on the content as yet) which should see print sometime in 1998._ *Katharine Kerr (b. 1944) "Deverry" - Daggerspell; Darkspell; The Bristling Wood ('Dawnspell' in the U.K.); The Dragon Revenant ('Dragonspell' in the U.K.) __Daggerspell_ has recently been re-released in the U.S. The new edition has been re-edited by the author, however this consisted mainly of tightening some passages and some grammatical cleanup. NO scenes were added or taken out. _Darkspell_ has also been reissued by Bantam Spectra, and it too has been re-edited by the author, and, according to Katharine Kerr, "...there are 5 or 6 changes to the action along the way..." Sarcyn's character undergoes the most significant changes. A *fine* author - her readers (and that includes the FAQmaster) recommend her highly._ "The Westland Cycle" - A Time of Exile; A Time of Omens; Days of Blood and Fire ('A Time of War' in the U.K.); Days of Air and Darkness ('A Time of Justice' in the U.K.) _More about Deverry._ "The final Deverry tetralogy" - The Red Wyvern; The Black Raven (forthcoming); 2 more _The final tetralogy that will complete the story of Deverry. She intersperses SF novels with her fantasy output, and they're worth reading, too._ Stephen King (b. 1946) The Eyes of the Dragon _Good standalone fantasy (there are so few of those out there these days...) I enjoyed it, and I am *not* a Stephen King fan._ "Dark Tower series" - The Gunslinger; The Drawing of the Three; The Waste Lands; Wizard and Glass _Eriond says this is a great series that is improving as it goes along. "It's about a gunslinger who's seeking his father's murderer, picks up an "adopted" son and three companions, and is slowly losing his mind." Eriond also says to skip _The Gunslinger_ - "it's wretched! You don't really need to read it to understand [the series]" (although another recommender strongly disagrees with him)._ *Katherine Kurtz (b. 1944) "Deryni Chronicles" - Deryni Rising; Deryni Checkmate; High Deryni _The first published Deryni books. Although these are not first in the internal chronology of the series, Kurtz herself has recommended that new readers start with these. Takes place in a Wales-like alternate world where a portion of the population (the Deryni) have magical abilities_ "Camber of Culdi" - Camber of Culdi; Saint Camber; Camber the Heretic _Jumps back in time to examine the history that lead to the world of the "Deryni Chronicles."_ "The Histories of King Kelson" - The Bishop's Heir; The King's Justice; The Quest for Saint Camber _Picks up where the "Chronicles" left off._ "Heirs of Saint Camber" - The Harrowing of Gwynedd; King Javan's Year; The Bastard Prince _Apparently, Bad Things *Regularly* Happen to Good People in the later books of Katherine Kurtz. Her fans are quite dedicated, and she has a newsgroup at alt.books.deryni._ King Kelson's Bride (forthcoming) _A standalone continuation of the Deryni saga. Kurtz is reportedly hard at work on it, but at this point speculation on the publication date stills falls into the realm of fantasy._ Two Crowns for America _A non-Deryni book. This one takes place in an alternate history colonial America._ Katherine Kurtz and Deborah Turner Harris (b. 1951) "The Adept series" - The Adept; The Lodge of the Lynx; The Templar Treasure; Dagger Magic; Death of an Adept _Set in modern day Scotland, Kheldar says "I recommend them to everybody, not just readers of Sci-Fi/Fantasy." Harris also has several books of her own out, listed under her name._