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Recommended Fantasy Authors List - Part 1/5

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Archive-name: fantasy/recommended-authors/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 1998/03/01
URL: http://www.sff.net/people/Amy.Sheldon/listcont.htm
Version: 3.0

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        THE RECOMMENDED FANTASY AUTHORS LIST - ver. 3.0
                          Part 1 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.

CONTENTS:
     Introduction                       Part 1
     THE LIST (A-C)                     Part 1
     THE LIST (D-K)                     Part 2
     THE LIST (L-Q)                     Part 3
     THE LIST (R-Z)                     Part 4
     Total Recommendation Counts        Part 5
     Finding These Books                Part 5
     About the List                     Part 5
     Downloading the List               Part 5
     Credits                            Part 5
     
INTRODUCTION
The Recommended Fantasy Author List originated in April 1994 in
the alt.fan.eddings newsgroup. It was intended to be a quick
compilation of a few favorite fantasy authors of some a.f.e.
regulars. After more than 150 recommendation lists, it ended up
being a bit more than that. The List has maintained ONE of its
original attributes - all of the participants share a fondness
for the fantasy of David Eddings. Other than that, recommended
authors run the gamut from Stephen Donaldson to Terry Pratchett,
Mervyn Peake to Lloyd Alexander, and Peter Beagle to Piers
Anthony (the last pair is my "sublime to the ridiculous"
combination).

The list is alphabetic by author. In the case of authors with
multiple series, I've attempted to list their works in order of
publication. Note that the operative word in the preceding
sentence is "attempted." Series are listed with a series title
followed by the individual books in the series. The listing will
indicate if the titles are part of an on-going series or a
limited series (trilogies, tetralogies, and the like), and if
the books within the series stand alone. If the series has gone
beyond 10 books, the first several books will be listed, and
maybe a few others of particular interest.

THIS LISTING DOES NOT PRETEND TO LIST EVERY WORK BY EVERY AUTHOR
LISTED, nor is it intended to do so. In several cases, only
specific books by an author are recommended (although that is
generally noted in the comments). Authors who write both science
fiction AND fantasy (or books in other genres) only have their
fantasy titles listed.

You can find many _complete_ author lists, created by the
indomitable John Wenn, at the following ftp site:
     sflovers.rutgers.edu
in the directory:  /pub/sf-lovers/bibliographies/authorlists

The value-enhanced html version of this list resides at:
     http://www.sff.net/people/Amy.Sheldon/listcont.htm
It includes everything found in the posted version plus all of
the authors with less than seven recommendations, links to
individual author sites and more detailed comments on the
individual authors and titles.

Series titles are enclosed within quotation marks, and book
titles within series are separated a semicolon. Comments, if
any, follow the listing. Authors/series listed by 10% of the
recommenders are marked with an "*". Two "**" means that 20% or
more have endorsed the author. The total number of
recommendations per author follows the List.

Lloyd Alexander (b. 1924)
     "Prydain Chronicles" - The Book of Three; The Black
        Cauldron; The Castle of Llyr; Taran Wanderer; The High
        King
            _Who cares if you have to get them from the
            children's section of your library - these are
            great. A young boy of unknown heritage becomes
            involved in a clash between the forces of good and
            evil. Loosely based on the Welsh Mabinogin. There
            are also two or three short story collections out
            featuring tales about the characters from the
            Chronicles. Classic series, the concluding volume
            won the Newbery medal._
     "Westmark Trilogy" - Westmark; The Kestrel; The Beggar
        Queen
            _Less fantasy than the Prydain Chronicles. _The
            Kestrel_ in particular brings up the issue of
            personal morality in war situations, and it doesn't
            give any easy answers._
     "Vesper Holly series" - The Illyrian Adventure; The El
        Dorado Adventure; The Drackenberg Adventure; The Jedera
        Adventure; The Philadelphia Adventure
            _Young adult adventure series set in an alternate
            world during Victorian times. The hero is a teen-
            aged female version of Indiana Jones, and the series
            is great fun._

*Piers Anthony (b. 1934)
     "Kelvin of Rud" - Dragon's Gold; Serpent's Silver;
        Chimaera's Copper; Orc's Opal; Mouvar's Magic
            _Straight adventure-fantasy._
     "Xanth" - A Spell for Chameleon; The Source of Magic;
        Castle Roogna; etc. etc. etc.
            _Humorous. First couple of books are recommended,
            but it has descended into terminal cuteness and
            virtual unreadability. Denis managed to enjoy the
            first 15, but even he admits that it's getting
            pretty bad now. Series is nearing the 20-book mark._
     "Apprentice Adept" - Split Infinity; The Blue Adept;
        Juxtaposition
            _Takes place in two different universes, one magic
            and one not. Anthony returned to this world with a
            second trilogy that is NOT recommended._
     "Incarnations of Immortality" - On a Pale Horse; Bearing an
        Hourglass; With a Tangled Skein; Wielding a Red Sword;
        Being a Green Mother; For Love of Evil; And Eternity
            _There is a general, overall theme, but each book
            does stand on its own. NOT humorous. Recommenders
            agree that the first book, _On a Pale Horse,_ is the
            best (the usual state of affairs in a series written
            by Piers Anthony)._

*Robert Asprin (b. 1946)
     "Myth series" - Another Fine Myth; Myth Conceptions; Myth
        Directions; Hit or Myth; Myth-ing Persons; Little Myth
        Marker; M.Y.T.H. Inc. Link; Myth-nomers and
        Impervections; M.Y.T.H. Inc. in Action; Sweet Myth-tery
        of Life; Something M.Y.T.H. Inc. (forthcoming someday,
        but don't expect it any time soon)
            _Humorous. Lotsa puns, lotsa slapstick. Like most
            long-running series, the recent offerings have been
            pretty weak. He also has an SF series, "Phule's
            Company," which also runs along the punny/humor
            line._
     "Thieves World" - Thieves World; Tales From the Vulgar
        Unicorn; Shadows of Sanctuary; Storm Season; The Face 
        of Chaos; Wings of Omen; many others
            _Shared World series with various authors, Asprin is
            originator. Notable as the first series created
            specifically to be a Shared World. Most of the
            stories aim for a feeling of gritty realism
            (translation: dark and depressing). The series seems
            to have topped out at 12 books._

Peter S. Beagle (b. 1939)
        A Fine and Private Place
            _An early work. It's a love story with (and between)
            ghosts. Jim says "it is well worth reading" and your
            FAQmaker agrees._
        The Last Unicorn
            _One of the top ten fantasies of all time. Read
            this. Bittersweet story of the last unicorn's quest
            to find out what happened to her fellow unicorns._
        The Folk of the Air
            _Published in the mid 80s, contemporary fantasy set
            in a city resembling Berkeley, California and
            featuring a group very like the Society for Creative
            Anachronism. One of his weaker works. Still, even
            weak Beagle is worth reading._
        The Innkeeper's Song
            _Beagle returns to fantasy after far too long an
            absence. Story told through multiple viewpoints,
            grittier and a bit darker than his early work._
        The Unicorn Sonata
            _25 years after _The Last Unicorn_, Beagle returns
            with a new fantasy that is initially set in
            contemporary Los Angeles before moving on to a
            faerie land of Shei'rah. This is really only a
            novelette, but the pictures are pretty..._

Ray Bradbury (b. 1920)
        Something Wicked This Way Comes
            _Everything Bradbury writes is Wonderful (do we
            detect a teeny bit of bias on the part of our
            FAQmaker here?) Most of his fantasy is in short
            story form, but this novel features an unusual (and
            nasty) carnival that comes to town._

*Marion Zimmer Bradley (b. 1930)
     "Avalon books" - The Mists of Avalon; The Forest House; The
        Lady of Avalon (co-author Diana Paxson)
            _Each of these stands alone. _Mists_ was one of the
            first books to tell the Arthur story from the female
            characters' points of view, and, boy, was it
            successful. _Forest House_ is a prequel to _Mists_,
            taking place during the Roman invasion of Britain,
            and _Lady_ takes place between the two._
        The Firebrand
            _Cassandra of Troy gets her turn in the spotlight._
     "Witchlight series" - Ghostlight; Witchlight; Gravelight;
        Heartlight (forthcoming Sept. '98)
            _New series featuring psychic heroine Truth
            Jourdemayne. eluki bes shahar will be co-authoring
            the forthcoming books._
     "Darkover series" - Stormqueen; Hawkmistress; The Forbidden
        Tower; The Heirs of Hammerfell; many many others
            _THIS IS SF, NOT FANTASY. But, hey, McCaffrey's Pern
            books made it onto the list, so why not MZB's
            Darkover? Generally, the books that take place after
            the lost colony of Darkover has been rediscovered by
            Earth are more SF in tone, the ones that take place
            during Darkover's long isolation have a more
            'fantasy' feel. I've listed a few of the titles I'm
            personally familiar with, and consider fantasy-ish
            in tone. The books are generally supposed to be
            standalones, but familiarity with Darkover is needed
            to make lesser offerings more enjoyable._

**Terry Brooks (b. 1944)
     "Shannara" - Sword of Shannara; Elfstones of Shannara;
        Wishsong of Shannara
            _The fantasy genre owes Brooks a lot - whether that
            debt is good or bad depends upon how you feel about
            the current state of the market. These books were
            bestsellers when they came out in the early 80's,
            and they finally proved that Tolkien's popularity
            wasn't just an aberration, and that fantasy could be
            much more than a niche market. This is an enjoyable
            group of books, although the Tolkienesque borrowings
            of the first book of the first trilogy are even more
            blatant than most._
     "Heritage of Shannara" - Scions of Shannara; Druid of
        Shannara; Elf Queen of Shannara; Talismans of Shannara
            _Onward ever onward with the world of Shannara. This
            group of books is straightforward fantasy
            quest/adventure._
     "Yet Another Shannara Book" - First King of Shannara
            _Prequel set 500 years before the events of _Sword
            of Shannara_._
     "Kingdom of Landover" - Magic Kingdom For Sale-Sold; The
        Black Unicorn; Wizard At Large; The Tangle Box; Witches
        Brew
            _Open-ended adventure/humor series. Not connected to
            the Shannara books._
     "Trolltown series" - Running With the Demon; A Knight of
        the Word (forthcoming Aug. '98)
            _Brooks' first fantasies set in the contemporary
            world.  Good and evil vie for the soul of a young
            Illinois girl. The first book does include an elf,
            a demon and a Knight of the Word as characters, so
            it shouldn't be too much of a shock to his fans._

*Steven Brust (b. 1955)
     "Vlad Taltos series" - Jhereg; Yendi; Teckla; Taltos;
        Phoenix; Athyra; Orca; Dragon (forthcoming Nov. '98)
            _Featuring the assassin Vlad Taltos. Open-ended
            action/adventure series taking place in a well-
            defined, interesting world. Each book is a stand-
            alone, and the published order (listed above) does
            NOT follow the internal chronology (despite that,
            you should try to read them in the published order.
            Vlad's growth as a character is best traced by
            reading the books in the order Brust has written
            them)._
     "Khaavren Romances" - The Phoenix Guards; Five Hundred
        Years After; The Paths of the Dead (coming sometime in
        1999 maybe); The Enchantress of Dzur Mountain
        (forthcoming); The Lord of Castle Black (forthcoming)
            _Set in the same world as the Vlad Taltos books,
            just earlier in its history. These are written in
            the style of Dumas (remember _The Three
            Musketeers_?) and are quite enjoyable._
        Brokedown Palace
            _A standalone that takes place in the eastern
            (human) region of Vlad Taltos' world. It was
            reprinted by Ace in August, 1996._
        Agyar
            _Dark fantasy told from the title character's point
            of view. Kate sez, 'Part of the fun is figuring out
            who and what he is.'_
        The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars
            _Part of the Ace 'Fairy Tale' series (now being
            published by Tor), which invited various authors to
            retell a fairy tale for a contemporary adult
            audience. Very well-regarded, books from the series
            by Wrede, de Lint & Dean are also on this list. It
            came back into print in May '96 from Tor._
        Freedom and Necessity (co-author Emma Bull)
            _This is an epistolary fantasy (i.e., the story is
            told in the form of letters) that is unrelated to
            any series by either of the co-authors. It is set in
            1849 and has garnered some very nice reviews._

Orson Scott Card (b. 1951)
        Hart's Hope
            _Early stand-alone fantasy_
     "Alvin Maker" - Seventh Son; Red Prophet; Prentice Alvin;
        Alvin Journeyman; The Crystal City (forthcoming 1998);
        Master Alvin (forthcoming)
            _I'm told that _Master Alvin_ will complete this
            series. The majority of Card's writing falls firmly
            into SF, but this is an interesting alternate-
            history fantasy, taking place in 19th century U.S._

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)
     "The Alice Duology" - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland;
        Through the Looking Glass
            _Human from the "real world" crosses over into a
            fantasy land...Sound familiar? The first and still
            the best, you should read the Alice books as a fine
            source of sig quotes if nothing else._

C.J. Cherryh (b. 1942)
     "Morgaine" - Gate of Ivrel; Well of Shiun; Fires of
        Azeroth; Exile's Gate
            _Early work from Cherryh (except for _Exile's Gate_,
            which was published a decade after the others).
            Dark, moody science fantasy. Open-ended_
     "Arafel's Saga" - The Dreamstone; The Tree of Swords and
        Jewels
            _Out of print (although they still turn up in
            bookstores occasionally). Fantasy in the
            Celtic/Welsh vein. Cherryh has revised these two
            books, and they are scheduled to be reprinted in an
            omnibus edition from DAW, titled 'The Dreaming
            Tree.'_
     "Russian series" - Rusalka; Chernevog; Yvgenie
            _Dark fairy tale using Russian traditions. Cherryh
            is a very highly regarded SF author, and if you like
            her fantasy, you should check out her other works._
        The Paladin
            _Good stand-alone story with a samurai flavor_
        The Goblin Mirror
            _Stand-alone fantasy with an Eastern European
            background._
        Faery in Shadow
            _Stand-alone celtic fantasy about a young man who
            makes a bargain with the Sidhe._
     "Tristan series" - Fortress in the Eye of Time; Fortress of
        Eagles; Fortress of Owls (forthcoming); Fortress of
        Dragons (forthcoming)
            _This starts out slowly. Tristen's quest goes on far
            too long, and the maneuverings that lead to the
            final battle are pretty routine. Still, even
            substandard Cherryh is worthwhile, just don't let
            this be the first of her books that you try._

Glen Cook (b. 1944)
     "The Chronicles of the Black Company" - The Black Company;
        Shadows Linger; The White Rose
            _Fantasy from the foot soldier's point of view.
            Gritty and hard-edged, these are not Fantasy Lite_
        The Silver Spike
            _Takes place in the world of the Black Company. It's
            not about them, but some familiar characters
            appear._
     "Book of the South" - Shadow Games; Dreams of Steel
            _More of the chronicles of the Black Company_
     "The Glittering Stone Tetralogy" - Bleak Seasons; She Is
        The Darkness; 2 more books forthcoming
            _The long-awaited continuation of the adventures of
            the Black Company. The final book of what was
            originally announced as a trilogy ended up being
            split in two._
     "Garrett, P.I. series" - Sweet Silver Blues; Bitter Gold
        Hearts; Cold Copper Tears; Old Tin Sorrows; Dread Brass
        Shadows; Red Iron Nights; Deadly Quicksilver Lies; Petty
        Pewter Gods
            _The hard-boiled detective in a world full of elves,
            trolls, and magic. Raymond Chandler fans take note.
            Open-ended series. There is some slight reference to
            events that take place in previous books, but all
            books are basically stand-alone. Roc publishing
            recently bought 2 more in this series from Cook.
            This is beginning to suffer from Continuing Series
            Syndrome, but the books haven't fallen off badly
            enough to make me stop buying._
     "The Dread Empire series" - A Shadow of All Night Falling;
        October's Baby; All Darkness Met; The Fire in His Hands;
        With Mercy Toward None; Reap the East Wind; An Ill Fate
        Marshalling
            _Listed for completists - none of the recommenders
            mentioned this series. The darkest (and least
            commercially popular) of Cook's three continuing
            series._

Hugh Cook (b. 1956)
     "Chronicles of an Age of Darkness" - The Wizards and the
        Warriors; The Wordsmiths and Warguild; The Woman and the
        Warlords; The Walrus and the Warwolf; The Wicked and the
        Witless; The Wishstone and the Wonderworkers; The Wazir
        and the Witch; The Werewolf and the Wormlord; The
        Worshippers and Way; The Witchlord and the Weaponmaster
            _These are the titles from the English editions.
            Only the first couple have been published in the
            U.S., and they were released under different titles.
            Excellent series! Books vary radically in tone,
            ranging from your standard heroes on a fantasy quest
            to humor/adventure to great events seen through
            ordinary (or seemingly ordinary) eyes._

Louise Cooper (b. 1952)
     "Time Master Trilogy" - Initiate; Outcast; Master
            _The forces of Order and Chaos face off again.
            However, in Cooper's universe, neither side is
            unrelievedly good or evil - Chaos and Order are "two
            sides of the same coin," in the words of the
            author._
     "Chaos Gate Trilogy" - The Pretender; The Deceiver; The
        Avenger
            _Set in the same world as the "Time Master" trilogy.
            It takes place about 60-80 years after the events of
            the first trilogy._
     "Indigo series" - Nemesis; Inferno; Infanta; Nocturne;
        Troika; Avatar; Revenant; Aisling
            _The recommender of the "Indigo" series would like
            to point out that the quality of the books in the
            series is uneven - some are much better than others_
     "Star Shadow trilogy" - Star Ascendant; Eclipse; Moonset
        (forthcoming)
            __Moonset_ is already out in the U.K. This is a
            prequel to the Time Master Trilogy._

*Susan Cooper (b. 1935)
     "The Dark is Rising" - Over Sea and Under Stone; The Dark
        is Rising; Greenwitch; The Grey King; Silver on the Tree
            _Another one that you'll find in the children's
            section. Arthurian elements, and very good. _Grey
            King_ took the Newbery Award._


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