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Which recent fantasy novels will be remembered as classics?

Discussion in 'Novels & Stories' started by Black Dragon, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Helbrecht

    Helbrecht Minstrel

    Not the Inheritance Cycle. Hopefully. xD I'm not fond of Potter, but so many people are, so I can see that series surviving the test of time as beloved childrens' books.

    As for what I personally hope will be remembered as classics, I can only recommend much of the back catalogues of writers like Neil Gaiman and China Miéville. I think the key to producing a classic is getting the right mix of originality and storytelling. Both those fine gentlemen have proved consistently capable (in my eyes, at least) of getting this mix right.
  2. Aravelle

    Aravelle Sage

    I believe Harry Potter will be. Most likely Stephen King will be remembered in one form or another, and it's almost guaranteed A Song of Ice and Fire and Name of the Wind will make the cut as well.

    I just hope Gaiman and The Last Unicorn do too... whether it be Stardust or American Gods, he is a literary titan.
  3. CTStanley

    CTStanley Scribe

    Not particularly recent but I think Wilbur Smiths Egypt series SHOULD be a classic. His books were the reason I got into epic fantasy adventures.
    The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb is another I would love to see with more credit :)
  4. mpkirby

    mpkirby Scribe

    So I'll ask a different question. What makes a "classic"?

    LoTR -- It was one of the first epic fantasy books -- incredibly detailed.
    RR Martin's -- Song of fire and Ice -- I think this will be a classic because of how he deals with power and the relationship between women and men. Specifically powerful women in a world that is unbelievably cruel to women. It's quite unique among most fantasy. Usually you have the powerful woman that everyone accepts, or the meek women in a feudalistic servant role.

    What else? I can see Neil Gaiman's work possibly -- It offers a unique perspective on mythic storytelling (but is it just unique? Or does it establish a new Genre?)

    For example, (it's not fantasy...but), William Gibson's work largely popularized cyberpunk, and I think ranks as classic SF in that you can examine an entire genre looking at his initial work.

    If popularity is the definition of a classic, then certainly harry potter.

    But I think being "just good" is insufficient. There is a lot of very good (even great) fiction that fall short of the classic definition.

    Don't just answer "what" is a classic. But "Why?"

  5. I really think The Inheritance Cycle will become a classic. Maybe not so much The Percy Jackson Series, but DEFINITELY Paolini's series.
  6. FireBird

    FireBird Troubadour

    If Paolini is ever considered classic in the future something is seriously wrong. He is a fun read for some people but nothing makes them classic. The four Inheritance books are as derivative as you can get. I forced myself to read the last book because I read the first three and all I could think of was "Where did the editor go?" I haven't read Percy Jackson so I can't speak for it.

    Even though Martin didn't, I think he is known as the one who really started the dark/gritty epic fantasy trend. That is why his works will be considered classics.

    The only two authors that come to mind when I think of instant classics are Mieville and Guy Gavriel Kay. I really need to read Gaiman.
  7. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

    Yes you do. XD I recommend starting with Stardust.
  8. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

    Another Gaiman fan here.

    His short stories would be enough for me, but whatever you want to say about books like Neverwhere, Stardust or The Graveyard Book, they are simply appealing. But some of his short stories are really sharp and original, which is not a combo you often find anywhere.

  9. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    LeGuin's 'EarthSea' trilogy counts as a classic (written back in the 1960's).
  10. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

    Maybe I'm in the total minority, but although I love the concept, and I really enjoy (is this not politically correct) some of the movies, I just could not get into the books. For example, for the same readership I'd go with Jonathan Stroud's work, as his writing is quite tight.

    Actually, I'm curious about this--how do you guys rate Stroud anyway?
  11. Predicting the future's a sucker's game ;)

    That said, the only series from the past decade (well, mostly from the past decade) that I feel reasonably certain will end up a classic is Harry Potter. As much as I love A Song of Ice and Fire, I think it's too rooted in the cultural "gritty reboot" (and also GRRM is dragging it out too long) for it to end up as a permanent classic. But it will be beloved for a long time, I just don't think the popularity will persist.
  12. Konrad

    Konrad Scribe

    Gritty reboot...

    I think you hit the nail on the head there--I do like his writing though. Very tight. Descriptive, but fast-paced. Hard to knock him only that sometimes it's so polished that it doesn't seem "classic" if that makes any sense.

  13. Sheriff Woody

    Sheriff Woody Troubadour

    I think you're correct in saying its popularity has much to do with the fact that it was among the first of its gritty/brutal style - something that wasn't popular or seen often in years prior. I'm not sure if that is enough to maintain through the years to come, but even taking that trailblazing status away and judging the series in and of itself, I still think it's a solid story that is very well-written.

    If anything, I hope it draws more people to the genre for them to discover some other great fantasy novels. It has certainly renewed my interest.
  14. Oh, I agree that it's a solid story and well-written, and that the characters are phenomenal; just that it doesn't quite have that near-universal magic something that (e.g.) Harry Potter had. Eventually we may swing away from liking the extremely grim and ASOIAF may reduce in popularity.

    I mean, don't get me wrong, I don't mind characters going through adversity; it makes for interesting stories. But unrelenting grimness and death and unpleasantness eventually gets tiresome. You can count on one hand the number of times something good happens to a POV character in ASOIAF.

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