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Subject: Recommended Fantasy Authors List - Part 3/5

This article was archived around: 19 Dec 1998 14:02:52 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/part3 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 3 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. *Mercedes Lackey (b. 1950) "The Valdemar Books" - titles follow _Each of the following is a separate series, but they all take place at various points in the history of the world of Velgarth (which contains the country of Valdemar). There is also at least one stand-alone (_By the Sword_) about Valdemar. Her fans are as dedicated as the Jordanites and they have their own newsgroup at alt.books.m-lackey_ "The Last Herald-Mage" - Magic's Pawn; Magic's Promise; Magic's Price _Introduces the Herald-Mages and their equine Companions._ "Vows and Honor" - The Oathbound; Oathbreakers _A sorceress and a swordswoman are bound together with a blood oath that may be impossible to fulfill._ "Queen's Own" - Arrows of the Queen; Arrow's Flight; Arrow's Fall _The story of Talia, the herald to the Queen._ "Mage Winds Trilogy" - Winds of Fate; Winds of Change; Winds of Fury _Princess Elspeth of Valdemar becomes caught up in the Tayledras' war against an evil mage._ "Mage Wars Trilogy (co-authored by Larry Dixon)" - The Black Gryphon; The White Gryphon; The Silver Gryphon _The early history of the land of Valdemar._ "Mage Storm Trilogy" - Storm Warning; Storm Rising; Storm Breaking _The most recent series. Valdemar and Karse are old enemies, but they are forced into an alliance when they are both threatened by a greater foe._ Owlflight _A Valdemar standalone that takes place after the Mage Storms. This one is described as a young adult book._ "Diana Tregard Investigations" - Burning Water; Children of the Night; Jinx High _Supernatural mysteries, featuring Diana Tregard._ "Bardic Voices" - The Lark and the Wren; The Robin and the Kestrel; The Eagle and the Nightingale _The books in this series do stand alone. NOT part of the Valdemar series._ "Bardic Choices" - A Cast of Corbies (co-author Josepha Sherman) _A new series in the Bardic Voices world._ The Fire Rose _A standalone. A 'Beauty and the Beast' style tale set in pre-earthquake San Francisco._ Firebird _A standalone, based on Russian folktales. As you can see, Lackey is a wildly prolific author, co- authoring books with everyone under the sun._ Stephen Lawhead (b. 1950) "The Pendragon Cycle" - Taliesin; Merlin; Arthur; Pendragon; Grail; Avalon (forthcoming) _Once again, we return to Camelot..."The quality disintegrated after the first two books - _Arthur_ was disappointing..." according to one recommender._ "The Dragon King Trilogy" - In the Hall of the Dragon King; The Warlords of Nin; The Sword and the Flame _A separate trilogy._ "The Paradise War" - The Song of Albion; The Silver Hand; The Endless Knot _Doug noted that even though he isn't particularly a fan of celtic fantasy, these books really appealed to him._ Byzantium _'Joining a select band of monks to present a book to the Holy Roman Emperor himself, Aidan jouneys to the farthest reaches of the known world,' sez the advertising released by HarperPrism publishing._ *Ursula K. Le Guin (b. 1929) "Earthsea" - A Wizard of Earthsea; The Tombs of Atuan; The Farthest Shore; Tehanu _Your FAQmaker says: Read these. _Tehanu_ was written 15 years after _The Farthest Shore_ - it's very different in tone from the first three, and several recommenders specifically DIDN'T recommend it (But I do. I'll tell you what to do - wait until you are at least 25 before reading _Tehanu_. Age seems to be the real separating factor between those who like it and those who don't). These books are true classics of the genre, beautifully written, tightly plotted, and engrossing._ Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) "Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser" - Swords and Deviltry; Swords Against Death; Swords in the Mist; Swords Against Wizardry; Swords Against Lankhmar; Swords and Ice Magic; Knight and Knave of Swords _Ya wanna know who invented the term 'Sword & Sorcery'? This is the guy. The series is made up of short stories, novellas, novelettes, and one novel (the final book). The above-listed 7 books contain all the stories, arranged in chronological order, with _Swords and Deviltry_ featuring the Hugo-award winning "Ill Met in Lankhmar." Note that the final two books (_Swords & Ice Magic_ & _Knight & Knave of Swords_) show, IMHO of course, a real drop in quality._ *C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) "Chronicles of Narnia" - The Magician's Nephew; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Prince Caspian; The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; The Horse and His Boy; The Silver Chair; The Last Battle _Classic! Look for them in the children's sections. Most bookstores will have boxed sets available. Note that _The Magician's Nephew_ was actually the 6th book written, and for many years in the U.S. the series was printed with it as book six. However, Lewis preferred that the books be read in the above order, and recent reprints have respected his wishes._ "The Space Trilogy" - Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength _Lewis' adult version of a Christian-allegory fantasy._ Megan Lindholm (b. 1952) "A Saga of the Reindeer People" - The Reindeer People; Wolf's Brother _Prehistoric fantasy with a minimum of magic._ "Ki and Vandien series" - Harpy's Flight; The Windsingers; The Limbreth Gate; Luck of the Wheels _Straightforward fantasy series about a pair of wanderers in a well-constructed world where humans are only one of a number of intelligent races. The fans who have discovered Lindholm via her works under the pen name 'Robin Hobb' will find these books the closest in tone and subject to what they're used to._ Cloven Hooves _Standalone dark fantasy set in present day Alaska and Washington state._ Wizard of the Pigeons _Urban fantasy that has a strong cult following. Many people consider this to be her best work, and, of course, it is out of print and difficult to find._ R.A. MacAvoy (b. 1949) Tea With the Black Dragon _Out of print, but worth looking up. This was her first book - its sequel (_Twisting the Rope_) is nowhere near as good._ "Damiano trilogy" - Damiano; Damiano's Lute; Raphael _Fantasy in Renaissance Italy_ "Lens of the World trilogy" - Lens of the World; King of the Dead; Belly of the Wolf _MacAvoy is fond of creating heroes who remain stubbornly innocent to the point of idiocy. Some readers find this annoying (yeah, I'm one of them), but she is a good writer, and always tells an interesting story._ *Julian May (b. 1931) "The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles" - The Many-Colored Land; The Golden Torc; The Nonborn King; The Adversary _Set six million years in the past. I'm told this is kinda like 'elves and dinosaurs.' It is related to May's SF series, "The Galactic Milieu," so if you like her you've got more books to look for._ **Anne McCaffrey (b. 1926) "Dragonriders of Pern" - Dragonflight; Dragonquest; The White Dragon _Yeah, they're SF, but they're included here by popular request. Lots more have been published since the first trilogy, and they've gotten more and more SFnal as they've gone along._ "Harper's Hall trilogy" - Dragonsong; Dragonsinger; Dragondrums _Geared more toward the Young Adult market, your FAQmaker considers this trilogy to be the most fantasy-based of the Pern books._ Dennis McKiernan (b. 1932) "The Iron Tower Trilogy" - The Dark Tide; Shadows of Doom; The Darkest Day _Well, McKiernan wanted to write a sequel to 'Lord of the Rings', but the Tolkien estate refused permission. So he recreated Middle Earth in "The Iron Tower Trilogy" with just enough differences to keep from violating copyright and has continued from there. A decent writer, and his later books about the world of Mithgar are much more original and quite enjoyable_ "Silver Call duology" - Trek to Kraggen-Cor; The Brega Path _This was intended to be one book, so you definitely don't want to read it unless you have both parts in hand._ Tales of Mithgar _11 short stories set in Mithgar._ Dragondoom The Eye of the Hunter Voyage of the Fox Rider The Dragonstone "Hel's Crucible duology" - Into the Forge; Into the Fire (forthcoming Sept. '98) _These books stand alone, but take place in Mithgar, the world of the "Iron Tower" trilogy. McKiernan's latest book, _The Caverns of Socrates,_ is SF_ Patricia McKillip (b. 1948) The Forgotten Beasts of Eld _Received the World Fantasy Award when it was published in 1975. A marvelous novel and highly recommended. It recently (July '96) was returned to print in the U.S. by Harcourt Brace under their "Magic Carpet" imprint. Hooray!_ The Throme of the Erril of Sherill _Her first published fantasy, and it's hard to find, but well worth looking for. A revised edition came out in the mid-80's._ "The Riddlemaster of Hed" - The Riddlemaster of Hed; Heir of Sea and Fire; Harpist in the Wind _Excellent trilogy. Your FAQmaker sez: Get these and read them. Beautifully written._ The Changeling Sea _A young-adult standalone, with a young peasant girl saving a prince. Lyrical and moving._ Something Rich and Strange _A standalone, part of Brian Froud's Faerielands series of novels based on his illustrations. Very atmospheric, quite short, involving a contemporary couple living on the western seacoast and their encounter with magic._ The Book of Atrix Wolfe _Standalone about a powerful wizard whose attempt to stop a war has unexpected (and disastrous) results._ "Cygnet" - Sorceress and Cygnet; Cygnet and Firebird _The first book in this series is well equipped with McKillip's usual lyric prose, but the actual plot is a bit obscure. Enjoyable, but not her best work._ Winter Rose _Another small gem from McKillip. Faerie and reality meet, with results that may be fatal for Rois Melior's sister Laurel._ Song of the Bsilisk (forthcoming Sept. '98) _A new standalone from McKillip._ Robin McKinley (b. 1952) Beauty _Charming retelling of Beauty & the Beast. Her first novel-it's out of print now, but worth looking for. Do NOT confuse it with Sherri Tepper's _Beauty_ - they are VERY different books._ "Damar series" - The Blue Sword; The Hero and the Crown _She only wrote two books set in Damar (and they are standalones), and has since gone on to other subjects._ The Outlaws of Sherwood _Guess who this one's about._ Deerskin _I like McKinley, but most of her work is fairly lightweight. This isn't. Based on the uncensored version of Perrault's classic fairytale 'Donkeyskin', it tackles the subject of incest_ A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories _Short story collection. Two of the five stories in the book mention Damar._ Rose Daughter _McKinley returns once again to the story of Beauty and the Beast. _Publishers Weekly_ calls this one a 'heady mix of fairy tale, magic and romance.' This is being peddled to the Young Adult market, so you'll need to leave the sf section of your bookstore to find it._ L.E. Modesitt Jr. (b. 1943) "Recluce" - The Magic of Recluce; The Towers of the Sunset; The Magic Engineer; The Order War; The Death of Chaos; Fall of Angels; The Chaos Balance; The White Order (forthcoming July '98) _This is open-ended - books are listed above in the order they were published, and does NOT follow the internal chronology of the series. You should try to read _The Magic of Recluce_ first (some of the plot twists are more effective if you aren't aware of how magic works in Recluce), and _The Death of Chaos_ is a direct sequel to _tMoR_. However the other books all stand alone and can be read in any order._ "Dutch Republic series" - Of Tangible Ghosts; The Ghost of the Revelator (forthcoming Sept. '98) _Fantasy taking place in alternate universe that features ghosts and an East India Company that stayed the dominant economic power in the world._ "Song and Magic" - The Soprano Sorceress; The Spellsong War; one final book _A trilogy that will introduce a world where magic is accessed through music._ Elizabeth Moon (b. 1945) "The Deed of Paksenarrion" - Sheepfarmer's Daughter; Divided Allegiance; Oath of Gold _Rousing adventure about the soldier and hero Paksenarrion. Moon has said that among the themes she worked on in the books was "the cost of courage, the cost of being a hero." She has written two prequels to the trilogy, _Surrender None_ and _Liar's Oath_, which are quite a bit darker in tone, and several of the recommenders who prefer happy endings have advised against reading them. Lately Moon has been mainly producing SF._ *Michael Moorcock (b. 1939) "Elric" - Elric of Melnibone; The Fortress of the Pearl; A Sailor on the Seas of Fate; The Weird of the White Wolf; The Vanishing Tower; The Revenge of the Rose; The Bane of the Black Sword; Stormbringer _There is also at least one book of short stories about Elric (I'm taking the word of one correspondent about where the two later books - tFotP and tRotR - fit in the cycle. I've only read the original sextet)._ "Runestaff (Hawkmoon)" - The Jewel in the Skull; The Mad God's Amulet; The Sword of the Dawn; The Runestaff _If you don't like the way this tetralogy ends, be sure and track down the 'Count Brass' trilogy, which brings all the characters back for another go 'round._ "Count Brass" - Count Brass; Champion of Garathorn; The Quest for Tanelorn _The Runestaff/Count Brass books are my favorites in the Eternal Champion cycle. Dorian Hawkmoon suffers less from angst than the Moorcock's usual Tortured Hero._ "Corum" - The Knight of Swords; The Queen of Swords; The King of Swords; The Bull and the Spear; The Oak and the Ram; The Sword and the Stallion _Moorcock's entire (well, just about entire - there are a few bits & pieces that the rights weren't available) Eternal Champion cycle is being reprinted in 14 omnibus volumes by White Wolf Publishing_ "John Daker (Erekose)" - The Eternal Champion; Phoenix in Obsidian ('The Silver Warriors' in earlier U.S. editions); The Dragon in the Sword _All of these books -plus others- comprise the 'Eternal Champion' cycle. Quality varies, and hard core fantasy fans won't like some of the liberties Moorcock takes with the genre, but if you like 'em, there sure are a LOT of 'em to keep you busy._ The War Hound & The World's Pain _Takes place in the 30-Years War time frame. Jim considers it to Moorcock's best non-Eternal Champion book (although, if you ask Moorcock, he'll tell you that ALL of his books are part of the Eternal Champion cycle)._ Andre Norton (b. 1912) "Simon Tregarth" - Witch World; Web of the Witch World _The duology that started the Witch World. Readers who were introduced to Witch World through the later books are often surprised by the SF trappings of these books. The villains use high-tech weapons, the witches' powers are treated as psi rather than magic, and Simon arrives via a machine that opens doors to parallel worlds._ "The Children of Simon Tregarth" - Three Against the Witch World; Warlock of the Witch World; Sorceress of the Witch World _Simon Tregarth's kids get a trilogy of their own, and the Witch World is thoroughly launched. It was also with these books that Norton made the choice to move the Witch World strictly into the fantasy genre._ "Witch World series" - Year of the Unicorn; The Crystal Gryphon; Gryphon in Glory; The Jargoon Pard; Zarsthor's Bane; The Warding of Witch World; many more _It went from an Open-Ended Series to a Shared World, but the first 20 or so books are all Andre Norton's. And they're good, too. Most are stand- alones. Particular favorites that were specifically mentioned are _Year of the Unicorn_ and _The Crystal Gryphon_, and Stephen casts his vote for _The Jargoon Pard_._ "The Halfblood Chronicles (with Mercedes Lackey)" - Elvenbane; Elvenblood _Unrelated to the Witch World books, these involve a world where humans are enslaved by elves, and a prophecy about a half-breed who will lead the humans to freedom. At least two more books are due in this series._ Mirror of Destiny _A non-Witch World standalone about a wise woman's apprentice seeking to avert a war between humans and the inhabitants of a mystical forest._ Tim Powers (b. 1952) The Drawing of the Dark _Powers' earliest fantasy, and I'm told that it is back in print. A different look at the Arthur legend (in 16th century Vienna, of all places)._ The Anubis Gate _All of Powers' books are great, but this is my favorite. The book that made his reputation. A wild romp through time with gypsies, Dog Faced Joe, a hideously evil clown, Egyptian gods, dopplegangers, a disguised heroine, Samuel Coleridge and oh so much more. Try it._ On Stranger Tides _Blackbeard and voodoo - oh my!_ The Stress of Her Regard _Those muses certainly are jealous mistresses..._ Last Call _The Fisher King in Las Vegas._ Expiration Date _Yet Another Neat Book. This takes place in a modern Los Angeles much like our own, except that ghosts exist there._ Earthquake Weather (originally listed as 'Extreme Unction') _Characters from both _Last Call_ and _Expiration Date_ appear in this novel. According to his editor, Powers "begs to inform the world [that this] is the only time anyone will ever see anything remotely resembling a series from him."_ **Terry Pratchett (b. 1948) "Discworld" - titles follow _Your FAQmaker loves these books, and so do enough other a.f.e. readers to make him an official Highly Recommended Author. Humorous series, over 15 books now, and recent books are as good as the first. The books divide up based on their main characters, but can all standalone (except the original Rincewind duology)._ "Rincewind" - The Color of Magic; The Light Fantastic; Sourcery; Eric; Interesting Times; The Last Continent (forthcoming May '98 in the U.K.) _The first two are the duology that introduced Discworld. Rincewind is an incredibly incompetent wizard who gets mixed up with Discworld's first tourist._ "Granny Weatherwax" - Equal Rites; Wyrd Sisters; Witches Abroad; Lords and Ladies; Maskerade _Granny and her fellow witches are the favorites of many Pratchett fans. Unlike Rincewind, Granny is FRIGHTENINGLY competent._ "Death" - Mort; Reaper Man; Soul Music; Hogfather (out in the U.K., out who-knows-when in the U.S.) _Yes, Death is a regularly appearing character, with a horse named Binky and taste for curry._ "Carrot" - Guards, Guards; Men At Arms; Feet of Clay; Jingo (out in the U.K., forthcoming May '98 in U.S.) _And then there's Carrot, the six-foot-tall dwarf (he's adopted), who has come to Ankh-Morpork to make his fortune... The latest book has Ankh-Morpork and Klatch preparing to go to war._ Moving Pictures; Pyramids; Small Gods _These are all standalones about Discworld, and all good._ Good Omens (with Neil Gaiman) _NOT a Discworld book, this one is about the End Of The World. It is due to be reprinted in the U.S. in 1996._