Highly recommended fantasy and science fiction

A Listmania! list by Matthew T. Carpenter (Peoria, IL, USA)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "These are all books that have given me a great deal of pleasure over the years, often for multiple re-reads. When I was a young teen, a Conan knock off was the pinnacle of the fantasy genre for me. As I have changed so have my tastes, hopefully for the better. These are the books that stuck with me. I'll cheat in these comments and add an honorable mention to JV Jones most current series as a pretty darn good read. Look in my other lists for my suggestions about Lovecraftian fiction."
'IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING'
1.  'IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING' by MICHAEL SHEA
The list author says:
  "Micheal Shea's picaresque novel of a jaded youth searching for immortality owes as much to Lovecraft as to Vance.  Mr. Shea won a World Fantasy Award for his S&S book about the famous thief, Nifft the Lean."
Used & New from: $2.63

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The Deep
2.  The Deep by John Crowley
The list author says:
  "I cannot express the wonder I felt when I first read this book.  I thought it was startlingly original and it remains just as fresh today."
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4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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God Stalk
3.  God Stalk by P. C. Hodgell
The list author says:
  "This was my favorite novel of 1982.  The arcane nature of the Kencyrath, the unfathomable god they worship and the gothic delights of the city of Tai Tastigon hooked me on Ms. Hodgell's fiction for life."
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4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Dark Of The Moon
4.  Dark Of The Moon by P. C. Hodgell
The list author says:
  "The second book in the Kencyrath series.  Alas for you if you fall in love with this author, because the 3rd and 4th novels each took about a decade to see print."
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5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Seeker's Mask
5.  Seeker's Mask by P. C. Hodgell
The list author says:
  "Jamethiel and Torisen's stories continue.  This was written around the same time as Dark of the Moon but never saw print until 1994."
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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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To Ride A Rathorn
6.  To Ride A Rathorn by P. C. Hodgell
The list author says:
  "The 2006 novel of the Kencyrath.  I marvel at the consistency of Ms. Hodgell's prose over many long years of nothing in press, and how wonderful her characters are."
Used & New from: $0.16
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Bound in Blood (Seeker)
7.  Bound in Blood (Seeker) by P. C. Hodgell
The list author says:
  "From 1982 to 2010 the saga of the Kencyrath continues froom the wonderful writer.  Here's hoping it won't be 5 years until book 6."
Used & New from: $0.94
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
8.  A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R. R. Martin
The list author says:
  "Many other readers have written lengthy commentaries about Martin's work.  All I know is, whenever I get a book in this series I have to pull an all-nighter because I cannot put it down."
$9.87   Used & New from: $1.10
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,875 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2)
9.  A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 2) by George R. R. Martin
The list author says:
  "Powerful, dark, absorbing, wonderful."
$13.34   Used & New from: $1.43
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,666 customer reviews) | 10 customer discussions

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
10.  A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3) by George R. R. Martin
The list author says:
  "Tyrion Lannister is one of my favorite characters in all of fantasy."
$5.99   Used & New from: $0.40
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,068 customer reviews) | 14 customer discussions

A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones)
11.  A Feast for Crows: A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin
The list author says:
  "Martin moves from strength to strength with this series.  I await A Dance with Dragons with growing impatience."
$6.00   Used & New from: $1.00
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,350 customer reviews) | 62 customer discussions

The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle)
12.  The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle) by Patrick Rothfuss
The list author says:
  "Although many books I am recommending have been around for decades, this is relatively new.  It just goes to show you that the genre is alive and well.  This is an absolutely wonderful book."
$6.15   Used & New from: $0.62
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,873 customer reviews) | 27 customer discussions

The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One)
13.  The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) by Joe Abercrombie
The list author says:
  "Another new series I am enjoying immensely.  It is very dark but also completely entertaining with much gallows humor.  The scenes with The Bloody Nine are my favorites.  I also really liked Before They are Hanged, the sequel.  I have not yet read The Last Argument of Kings."
$9.60   Used & New from: $2.90
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (654 customer reviews) | 6 customer discussions

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Book 1)
14.  The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards Book 1) by Scott Lynch
The list author says:
  "Ausipcious start to a new series, with an absolute rogue for a protagonist.  Red Seas Under Red Skies, the sequel was a good read but not as compelling as the first.  I await The Republic of Thieves with interest."
$4.59
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (727 customer reviews) | 8 customer discussions

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Neverwhere: A Novel
15.  Neverwhere: A Novel by Neil Gaiman
The list author says:
  "As a TV miniseries this story is decidedly dated and filmed on a shoestring budget.  As a novel it is a great way to be introduced to the fiction of Neil Gaiman."
$8.98   Used & New from: $2.77
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,170 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

Stardust
16.  Stardust by Neil Gaiman
The list author says:
  "In this case, Mr. Gaiman's magical prose was given magical life when it was made into a movie.  It is a wonderful book."
$11.39   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (930 customer reviews) | 5 customer discussions

Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos)
17.  Hyperion (Hyperion Cantos) by Dan Simmons
The list author says:
  "Whatever else you say about this series, I was absolutely blown away by this book by Dan Simmons.  It remains one of the best sprawling space operas I have ever read, and I loved the horrific aspects of the Shrike.  Treat it as a stand alone; nothing says you have to read any of the sequels.  OK, read Fall of Hyperion but skip Endymion!  I mean it!"
$4.83   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,160 customer reviews) | 4 customer discussions

Starfish
18.  Starfish by Peter Watts
The list author says:
  "Many scifi writers excel at their ability to grasp and convey physics.  Here is an author who absolutely knows his biology.  This is cutting edge science fiction and I found it gripping.  Alas, I think the final book in this particular series bogged down.  Blindsight is also worth a look."
$14.55   Used & New from: $2.72
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

The Chronoliths
19.  The Chronoliths by Robert Charles Wilson
The list author says:
  "Most of Mr. Wilson's books are worth a look, particularly Spin.  The Chronoliths is my favorite.  I find it vivid, compelling and original."
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3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden
20.  Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden by Jack Vance
The list author says:
  "How can you not just love Jack Vance?  I am puttting Suldrun's Garden here as a recommendation for the entire Lyonesse trilogy, which is vintage Vance.  The Dying Earth is even better."
Used & New from: $47.14
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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Tales of the Dying Earth
21.  Tales of the Dying Earth by Jack Vance
The list author says:
  "Buy any of the omnibus editions of these stories by Jack Vance.  They are unique, inspiring, absorbing with matchless use of language."
$17.82   Used & New from: $4.19
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

A Rendezvous in Averoigne: The Best Fantastic Tales of Clark Ashton Smith
22.  A Rendezvous in Averoigne: The Best Fantastic Tales of Clark Ashton Smith by Clark Ashton Smith
The list author says:
  "I first encountered the stories of CAS when a young teen.  He was the perfect anodyne to S&S junk.  I have been spellbound ever since.  CAS is a true American master, a matchless prose poet."
Used & New from: $27.40
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane
23.  Gods in Darkness: The Complete Novels of Kane by Karl Edward Wagner
The list author says:
  "I still love a good S&S yarn, and no one does it better than Wagner.  Kane is the ultimate antihero.  If you can get them, the omnibus editions of short stories (The Midnight Sun) and novels (this book) from Nightshade Books are the best.  His horror collections are well worth a look, too (In a Lonely Place, and Why Not You and I)."
Used & New from: $69.99
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Tigana
24.  Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
The list author says:
  "Mr. Kay's books are character driven.  This is his best, most magical novel.  The Fionavar Tapestry also really jazzed me back in the day."
$17.63   Used & New from: $1.71
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)

Bride of the Rat God
25.  Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly
The list author says:
  "I got fatigued by some of Ms. Hambly's works due to a sameness of characters, plots and politics, but this wild mixture of 1920s Hollywood and ancient Chinese magic is a real treat!"
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4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

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The Darwath Trilogy (Vol 1)
26.  The Darwath Trilogy (Vol 1) by Barbara Hambly
The list author says:
  "You can buy used copies of the individual books in this trilogy for pennies, and this is Barbara Hambly's best fantasy."
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4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Those Who Hunt the Night
27.  Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly
The list author says:
  "I do love a good vampire novel (not the gothic sex romantic tripe filling the coffins these days) and Ms. Hambly's novel is one of the best.  The sequel, Traveling with the Dead, is also very good."
Used & New from: $2.65
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

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I Am Legend
28.  I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
The list author says:
  "Speaking of vampire books, forget the movie.  This is *the* defining modern vampire story."
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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,076 customer reviews) | 8 customer discussions

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A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1)
29.  A Wizard of Earthsea (The Earthsea Cycle, Book 1) by Ursula K. Le Guin
The list author says:
  "I still think the original Earthsea trilogy is as good as any fantasy story ever written, although I was not particularly enamored of Tehanu.  What the heck, no one says you *have* to read the fourth book."
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4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (587 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Wizards & the Warriors (Chronicles of Age of Darkness) (Chronicles of An Age of Darkness 1)
30.  Wizards & the Warriors (Chronicles of Age of Darkness) (Chronicles of An Age of Darkness 1) by Hugh Cook
The list author says:
  "This is the edition from the UK of Cook's wonderful book, and it is a whale of a read.  Just when you think it's conventional it goes off in wild directions.  In the US it was published as Wizard War.  Of a planned 20 book series, 10 were published."
$32.34   Used & New from: $9.94
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

This Immortal
31.  This Immortal by Roger Zelazny
The list author says:
  "In my youth I was (and remain) a huge fan of the first 5  Amber novels.  Nowadays this is my favorite Zelazny; it is just a fresh as when I read it 3 decades ago.  I am also very fond of A Night in the Lonesome October."
Used & New from: $11.00
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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Cryptonomicon
32.  Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
The list author says:
  "Is this fantasy?  Is this science fiction?  Who cares!  It's great: hysterically funny with thrilling action, interesting history and very moving parts also."
$5.44   Used & New from: $0.01
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,138 customer reviews)

Mindbridge
33.  Mindbridge by Joe Haldeman
The list author says:
  "Think of this as a first contact novel.  I think it is Joe Haldeman's best book."
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4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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I, Robot
34.  I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
The list author says:
  "In my formative years I read all of Mr. Asimov's books.  Although I got fed up with his refusing to stop tinkering with his Foundation series, I think his original robot short stories remain on my short list of best science fiction.  I also recommend the orginal Foundation trilogy, but stop after that!"
$9.98   Used & New from: $3.85
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (376 customer reviews) | 3 customer discussions

Lankhmar Volume 1: Swords and Deviltry
35.  Lankhmar Volume 1: Swords and Deviltry by Fritz Leiber
The list author says:
  "This serves as my warm recommendation for the S&S classic Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser stories by Leiber.  I have loved these characters for a long time, although I wish Mr. Leiber had stopped *before* Swords and Ice Magic.  The later books are decidely weak and could be skipped without regret."
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4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)

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The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (Magic Carpet Books)
36.  The Forgotten Beasts of Eld (Magic Carpet Books) by Patricia A. McKillip
The list author says:
  "Over the years I have become less than thrilled with some of Ms. McKillip's later books.  It doesn't matter.  I will forever be in her debt for this masterpiece.  It is an absolutely wonderful read.  I very much liked the Riddle of Stars books when I read them in the late 1970s, and The Book of Atrix Wolfe."
$6.23   Used & New from: $0.01
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)

Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2)
37.  Deadhouse Gates (The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 2) by Steven Erikson
The list author says:
  "Unlike Williams' The Dragonbone Chair or Bakker's The Prince of Nothing, which both fizzled after a great start, the Malazan series has maintained a consistently high quality.  Some might not like such ponderous books but I find them fascinating.  This one is my favorite."
$14.34   Used & New from: $0.44
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

The Throne of Bones
38.  The Throne of Bones by Brian McNaughton
The list author says:
  "This is the best collection of stories about ghouls you will find anywhere.  It is Mr. McNaughton's masterpiece.  Very graphic and gory, but heck, it's about ghouls..."
$16.43   Used & New from: $4.44
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Retief's War (Jaime Retief Series #3)
39.  Retief's War (Jaime Retief Series #3) by Keith Laumer
The list author says:
  "I put this book on my list in homage to golden memories from my youth.  I loved these books when they first came out for their deft plotting, wonderful characters and hilarious dialogue.  Laumer used his own diplomatic experience when crafting the Retief books."
Used & New from: $2.50
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Westermead: A Collection of Tales
40.  Westermead: A Collection of Tales by Scott Thomas
The list author says:
  "I really enjoyed this collection of stories by Scott Thomas.  Westermead has a very Celtic feel and the mood is mostly autumnal.  I hope Mr. Thomas will continue to explore this world."
$15.26   Used & New from: $11.27
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Customer Discussions about products in this list
Discussion Replies Latest Post
Whispersync for Voice / Immersion Reading 4 7 days ago
Kindle Page Numbers 1 26 days ago
Something like this but less torture 4 Jun 18, 2014
Book three of this series.... Predictions. 19 Jun 11, 2014
Is the cover shown, the cover shipped? 0 Jun 4, 2014
So, what did Brienne say? (spoilers) 49 May 28, 2014
"The selected item could not be opened" 24 May 3, 2014
Who DID Kill Joffrey? 25 Apr 27, 2014
Audiobook version of A Feast for Crows 94 Apr 27, 2014
Can someone explain the pricing of the hardcover edition? 1 Mar 13, 2014
"Dune" & "Thomas Covenant" fan seeking more great reads 9 Mar 3, 2014
Looking For Books Similar To The Lies Of locke Lamora/The Name Of The Wind 22 Feb 26, 2014
 
   

About this Listmania!

 

Author

Matthew T. Carpenter (Peoria, IL, USA)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: I get pickier as I get older
Last updated: 3/5/10
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