I’m frequently asked for a list of favorite novels and big influences on my own writing. So I drew up this list. In order to prevent my head exploding I kept it exclusively to adult fantasy. I have plenty more favorites in other genres, but this will keep anyone busy for a while — particularly considering many are the first in a series.
The Anubis Gates
by Tim Powers
Time travel, crazy 4,000 year old Egyptian sorcerers, romantic poets, and Victorian England. Oh, and it all works brilliantly.
A Game of Thrones
by George R.R. Martin
Simply the best modern fantasy work. The scope is huge, the characters intensely real, and the medieval-ness (as in “go all medieval on his ass”) is incredible.
The Name of the Wind
by Patrick Rothfuss
NOTW is a beautiful book. Of all the Fantasy I’ve read in the last 15 or so years, this is perhaps second best after The Song of Ice and Fire. But that’s not to say that they have much in common, other than both being good Fantasy. NOTW is focused and relies on more traditional Fantasy tropes. How focused can a 700 page novel be? Not very, but it is good, and it concentrates on a small number of characters and a single (albiet meandering) storyline.
Wizard and Glass
by Stephen King
Stephen King’s best. Almost pure fantasy, told with his knack for making even the weirdest situations and dialog believable.
The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10
by Roger Zelazny
Hokey at times, but I just love the concept and feel of this reality bender. The pattern has haunted me for decades.
Master of the Five Magics
by Lyndon Hardy
Pure fun fantasy, but I love solid attempts to systematize and render magic into a real and “believable” system.
by Dan Simmons
A horrific journey into the depths and nature of evil. One of the most chilling books I have ever read.
by Octavia E. Butler
History, two kinds of immortals, themes of slavery and freedom, breeding of genetic powers. How can you beat that?
The True Game
by Sheri S. Tepper
I love this world in which “powers” come in systematic flavors which combine into unique specialties of super power.
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My novels: The Darkening Dream and Untimed