History of Fantasy novels (my history at least)

Here is my bookcase where I store some of the favourite Fantasy novels that I’ve read since the early 1980’s.  If you like reading Fantasy but are new to it, this blurb might help you find some of the great Fantasy classics.  If you don’t like Fantasy, then at least you can snoop on one of my library collections, if you could be bothered! You can always find my recently released Fantasy novel, TWIN (bottom right) on Amazon (sorry about the obvious plug).

Like many, I read ‘The Hobbit’ at school but my love of Fantasy – or speculative fiction as it is also known- started in about 1982 when I read Stephen Donaldson’s ‘Lord Foul’s Bane’, the first in the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever (bottom left).

Bookcase for web

From there I went through many books and series including Julian May’s ‘Saga of the Exiles’ series (top middle); Raymond E Feist’s ‘Magician’ (bottom right); Melanie Rawn’s ‘Dragon Prince’ series (centre right); David Edding’s ‘Belgariad’ series (top middle); and Terry Goodkind’s ‘Wizard’s First Rule’ (centre, middle).  Some of my favourite Australian authors include Sara Douglass, ‘Starman’ (centre, middle); Kate Elliott ‘Crown of Stars’ (bottom right); and Fiona McIntosh. I’ve lost (or lent and never-to-be-returned) Marion Zimmer Bradley’s ‘Mists of Avalon’; and Australia’s Ian Irvin’s ‘Three World Series’. There are probably many others that I have forgotten about.

I remember idly searching author’s blogs in 2011 and came across Sara Douglass who I found was in the middle of having chemotherapy for relapsed ovarian cancer in Tasmania. I read every few days and it became clear that she knew that she had only a few weeks to live. From one blog (where she was pottering around in her garden) to the next she was gone, one of her friend’s adding the final post.

I first read George Martin’s ‘Game of Throne’ (middle, right) in the mid 1990’s when I picked it up from a bargain-bin outside a book shop in North Rocks, Sydney. I immediately knew it was a great book and, after that, the series took of and – well you know the rest …

Modern-day hits include Patrick Rothfuss ‘The Name of the Wind’ and others which, alas, I now have on Kindle.

My all-time favourite is Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’ series, sadly unfinished by the great man, who died of cardiomyopathy due Amyloidosis.  I remember his blogs when he was receiving high-dose chemotherapy in New York and even contemplated contacting him since I run a trial unit testing new drugs. I thought I could help but, off course, really I couldn’t. The series was completed by Brandon Sanderson who eerily writes just like Jordan.

There was Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings’, off course, which I actually found hard-going when I first read it, not having the easy reference of the movies that readers have today.

The most under-rated author, in my opinion, is Julian May. As mentioned, she wrote the ‘Saga of Exiles’ series in the early 1980’s. In the late 1980’s she wrote ‘Intervention’ (top right) and the ‘Galactic Milieu’ series which is a meld of classic Fantasy and Science fiction, drawing together the Pliocene era with the distant future of mankind – fantastic stuff in every sense of the word.

You can go to my Goodreads list where I have rated other Fantasy novels that I have read over the years.

I also love Science Fiction but that will be another blog …

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