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Best Novels No One Has Heard Of

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Philip Overby, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    We all know the heavyweights of fantasy. The best-sellers. The ones that get all the press and all the praise. The ones that have inspired you to become a writer maybe.

    But what about novels that are really great, but when you mention them in most circles people say "What?"

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Ophiucha

    Ophiucha Auror

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    Was it written before 1955 and isn't Tolkien or Howard? Because basically all of that. Peake, MacDonald, Eddison, Mirrlees, Spenser, etc. Modern examples... Thomas Covenant is one of those series that most people don't know, and half the ones who do know it seem to hate it. The Stone Dance of the Chameleon is another one few to nobody has heard of, perhaps because of its nonstandard setting.
     
  3. rolf

    rolf New Member

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    Loved The Thomas Covenant series, once started, I couldn't put them down, followed them with the Many Coloured Land series by Julian May, more correctly known as The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles, but they are reasonably well known. The follow up Galactic Milieu Trilogy was no less engrossing.
     
  4. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    I have this all the times, since I live in Australia so most of you would never have heard of Jennifer Fallon, Glenda Larke, Juliet Marrillier... I suppose some could have heard of Sara Douglass since she's getting more popular?

    So yes, those for a start. Though I don't mind. Their lack of being known/having masses of fans, means that I get to be close to them ;) I've had lunch with Jennifer Fallon and just taught her some origami on the weekend at a convention we both went to :D
     
  5. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    Agree with Ophiucha, a lot of the older stuff gets ignored these days. (Hans Bemman, anyone? Anyone? :p) Same with sci-fi - every time I finish a really good 70s sci-fi book from my dad's paperback collection, I find that no one else has heard of it >.>

    A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin is, so far, sadly underrated - possibly because it's firmly fixed in London, which makes it more difficult for readers of other nationalities to identify with. When the Lights Go Out by Tanith Lee is more magical realism than fantasy, but still excellent. Also, Ursula leGuin *did* write other books apart from Earthsea - The Dispossessed blew my mind.
     
  6. Kelise

    Kelise Maester

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    I've tried A Madness of Angels actually, and while I love things set in London, it's actually the style of writing which made me set it aside for now. I'm going to try it again sometime since a friend adores the series, but I thought I'd interject just there ^^
     
  7. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    I have to agree that the writing style is far from flawless - the 'shopping list' style descriptions got on my nerves from the beginning - but the dialogue and creative use of magic really made it worth reading^^;
     
  8. When I started reading the Earth's children series back in 1994 no one I knew had ever heard of Jean M. Auel even though the first book in the series, The Clan of the Cave Bear was written either in the late 70's or mid 80's o_O. She just released the final book in the Earth's Children series... I've been waiting nearly a decade for this book mind you, and I bought it yesterday LOL then realized I no longer had the other 5 books.. So I went to my favorite used book store.. Book Worm and now suddenly Jean M. Auel is more popular then Stephen King since the proprieter was saying that everyones been in the store buying out all the books >.< So I dunno. Most of you probably haven't read the earth's children books.. they are fiction but not fantasy.. they're very good though if you don't mind reading about the ice age and cave people LOL
     
  9. Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay. A masterpiece of a novel which, despite having been nominated for two major awards, no one I know has ever read. That's a pity, but not really surprising. The inclusion of orcs and dragons would probably have helped it shift by the ton.
     
  10. Philip Overby

    Philip Overby Staff Article Team

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    I have Lions of Al-Rassan which I heard was as good or better than Tigana but I've only read the first chapter or so. So far it's definitely different, which is a good thing.
     
  11. LadyPamela

    LadyPamela Scribe

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    Tigana and Lions of Al-Rassan are two of my favorites. In fact I am reading Lions right now, rereading actually. Keep going, Phil! It's an amazing story. So is Tigana. So well written, and interesting story concepts.

    GGK is an amazing author, and not talked about much on the fantasy boards. Shame, since a lot of writers would do well to take as much care in their own works.
     
  12. Rats and Gargoyles by Mary Gentle is another book I'd throw into the mix. Not an easy read by any means, especially to those fed on a diet of Eddings and Tolkien, but it certainly deserves its place in a list of must-reads, if only because Gentle's prepared to eschew the obvious.
     
  13. Digital_Fey

    Digital_Fey Troubadour

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    Rats and Gargoyles definitely gets credit for a lot more creativity than your average fantasy novel. If I had more stomach for necromancy, I might even have finished it...
     
  14. At least you gave it a try.:)
     
  15. ooOoo that sounds interesting I think I'm going to look for that when I go book shopping tomorrow e.e
     
  16. Joseph Turpin

    Joseph Turpin New Member

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    i really enjoyed cradle of saturn by james p hogan
     
  17. Behelit

    Behelit Troubadour

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    I think Stanislaw Lem may be a fairly well known author, but because I've never seen his books in brick n mortar stores I'll go with it. I really enjoyed The Futurological Congress, nice and trippy. The Cyberiad, on the other hand, as much as I love short stores, I had difficulty getting through(and have yet to finish.) Odd too since I'd say it should be right up my alley.

    Otherwise I read mostly dated yet popular novels that still line the shelves of stores.
     
  18. Artless

    Artless Minstrel

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    Some potentials:
    The Vampyre by Tom Holland (A tale about Lord Byron - good fun)
    Anno Domini by Barnaby Williams (A dual stroyline book about the founding of the Church, and the original Jesus and his descendants. Very good read)
    Of Merchants and Heroes by Paul Waters (Ancient Roman historical fiction)
    Imperium by Robert Harris (more ancient roman historical fiction)

    And, for classical ancient historical fiction, which may as well be fantasy, Valerio Mossimo Manfredi. Not many people I know have heard of him.
     
  19. Donny Bruso

    Donny Bruso Sage

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    I've only read one of his books, Spartan, but I found it to be worth my time and money. Haven't re-read it in a while, but I remember thinking he was in the same vein with Pressfield for Historical Fiction.
     
  20. Artless

    Artless Minstrel

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    I actually haven't read Spartan, but have read a lot of his other books. His Alexander trilogy, particularily, is epic.
    I haven't heard of Pressfield, shall do some research.
    The thing I love most about Valerio, is that he is a professor of classical ancient history at the Milan university, so he KNOWS the subject he is writing :)
     
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