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Author Topic: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy  (Read 3550 times)

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Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« on: November 11, 2010, 08:15:23 PM »
So, I've read lots of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and vampire lit in recent times. Now, I'm craving some good old fantasy set long ago and far away, east of the sun and west of the moon.

Who's got some works to recommend and discuss? World with different beings, different societies, and different laws of reality. Something more engaging than Yee Medieval Magic Setting. Books with world-building that strains imagineering. :)

I've found the Keys to the Kingdom series, and really most Garth Nix works, to be satisfying. Abarat and Un Lun Dun meet my bill. The Last Rune series is on the low side of adequate. What else is there?
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Offline Thrashalla

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2010, 10:10:42 PM »
The Acts of Caine series by Matthew Woodring Stover (Heroes Die, Blade of Tyshalle, Caine Black Knife, and one more on the way)
The Prince of Nothing Series by R. Scott Bakker (The Darkness That Comes Before, Warrior Prophet, and The Thousandfold Thought)
The Malazan Book of the Fallen by Steven Erikson (way too many in the series to list - start with Gardens of the Moon and be prepared to be dumped in with very little exposition or preparation for the world)
The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham (A Shadow In Summer, A Betrayal In Winter, An Autumn Way, The Price of Spring)


Abraham, Stover and Erikson probably meet your criteria the best. Stover is the better of the three with Abraham coming in second, though many will disagree...many more haven't even heard of him. Bakker has everything except for the different beings...well, that's not true, they just don't play as widely a role as in the others.

Also, don't discount 'ye medieval magic' when it's done by someone who has no reverence for genre tropes - George RR Martin, Joe Abercrombie (more Renaissance but you get the idea), etc shatter the reasoning most people lay out for not liking fantasy.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2010, 10:17:13 PM by Thrashalla »
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Offline Fuzzy Necromancer

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2010, 08:43:46 AM »
Thank you for the recommendations. :)

Further question: Do you know any works that would be readily available in audiobook form?
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Offline Thrashalla

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2010, 09:26:23 AM »
George RR Martin - A Game of Thrones

Joe Abercrombie - The Blade Itself

Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind

Robert Jordan and Terry Goodkind are WIDELY available, hugely popular and will inevitably come up in fantasy discussions, but I would advise against them. Especially Goodkind. Jordan is just a bit cliche and tame while "Tairy" is an abomination that should be cleansed from the literary memory of humanity. If you do give in, try them out, and have a bad experience you are hereby warned not to judge the entire genre on that experience as so many have done. (Edit: posts like these are why I have that disclaimer for my sig. :P )
« Last Edit: November 12, 2010, 09:29:48 AM by Thrashalla »
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Offline Thrashalla

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2010, 09:37:40 AM »
Zelazny's Amber books.

Good call!

(Though not on audible. :( )
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Offline SJP

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2010, 07:00:51 PM »
The only thing I've read recently that would fit in that category would be the Alexey Pehov book Shadow Prowler.  If legend is true, it was originally going to be a story set in the Thief game universe (and believe me, it shows, especially considering the protagonist's name in the original Russian is Garrett).  Only one book in the series has been translated into English so far, and while it may not necessarily be the most original idea in the world, it throws some genre conventions on their heads (such as the fact that elves are not particularly attractive and nearly feral, and dwarves and gnomes are the ones that hate each other).

Even so, it's entertaining enough, even though it ends abruptly (awating parts 2 and 3, natch).  And it gets a plus for having a demon that constantly talks about how awesome he is.  Though I think the audiobook adds some to it; "Vukhdjaaz is CLEVER!" is a lot funnier when the reader puts on a super-thick Russian accent and covers his mouth with his hand.
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2010, 09:18:44 PM »
I also really like the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Seconded, I'm not all that into pure Fantasy novels but I love those.


Offline ScottotD

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2010, 10:07:34 PM »
Discworld?
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Offline Tripe

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Re: Innovative Otherworldly Fantasy
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2010, 05:55:07 AM »
A little too comic/satirical/stealth philosophical I'm thinking.