After creating 'Sandman', the groundbreaking cult comics series that redefined what comics could do, Neil Gaiman has turned his fantastic vision toward novels, picture books and novels for children, TV and movie screenplays, and back again to comics, winning awards, critical acclaim, and one of the most loyal--and largest--armies of fans anywhere. His latest book, Anansi Boys: A Novel, continues the modern mythologizing of his bestselling novel 'American Gods', and he shares with us here his recommendations for the 10 Mythic Fantasy Books to Read.
The Biography of Manuel by James Branch Cabell
The Silver Stallion, Jurgen, The High Place: Eighteen volumes of beautiful, worldly-wise writing by a forgotten American master. The books aren't all in print, and they range all over genre (including poetry and literary criticism). Of the fantasies, 'The Silver Stallion', 'Jurgen', and 'The High Place' are three of the most notable, each book different but united in their sly wisdom.
Viriconium: I could pick any Harrison book though--his is a realism in which everything transmutes into fantasy. He's a master of prose and ideas. I wrote an introduction to this book, which contains three novels and a clutch of short stories about a city named Viriconium and the people who inhabit it.
Lord of Light: It's fantasy, or it's science fiction, or it's a retelling of the tales of the Hindu gods, as they encounter Mahasamatman, who may be Buddha and may just be a guy called Sam. It's a book I reread every few decades, and love.
Archer's Goon: The best writer of magical children's fiction of our generation. I don't know if this is the best of her novels, but it's my favourite, about a family of seven strange creatures who control a small English city.
Nine Hundred Grandmothers: The funniest, oddest short stories in this, or any other, world. Lafferty was a madman who made myths, a true American treasure. Nobody could craft a sentence like Lafferty, or make you believe in the casually impossible.
The Einstein Intersection: In the far future, when we are gone, when our world is inhabited by aliens who have inherited our lives and our myths, and inhabit them uncomfortably, our hero Lo Lobey becomes Orpheus...