|Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.|
TOP TEN GREATEST FANTASY SERIES ACCORDING TO BRAINZ.ORG:
1. Song of Ice and Fire - George R.R. Martin
2. The Book of New Sun - Gene Wolfe
3. Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
4. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
5. Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn -Tad Williams
6. Earthsea - Ursula LeGuin
7. Discworld - Terry Pratchett
8. The Farseen - Robin Hobb
9. The Dark Tower - Stephen King
10. The Wheel of Time - Robert Jordan
I just found this list via Facebook and thought I would put it to the board. What do you guys think? What would your list look like?
Hmm. . . well, my list wouldn't look anything like that, because I've only read three of those series. ;)
I'd guess mine would look roughly like this:
2. Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Legacy series
3. Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion series
4. Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea novels (it's been a looooong time since I read them, or they might be higher)
5. Stephen King's Dark Tower series
6. Barbara Hambly's Sun-Wolf and Starhawk series
7. Lois McMaster Bujold's Sharin Knife tetralogy
8. Charles de Lint's Newford novels
9. Sharon Shinn's Twelve Houses series
10. C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia
But to tell the truth, I was kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for my whole second half. . . I just don't read a ton of fantasy series! I prefer stand-alones. . . ;)
Tolkien - Lord of the Rings
Wolfe - Book of the New Sun; Book of the Long Sun
Jack Vance - Tales of the Dying Earth; Lyonesse; Tschai/Planet of Adventure
Steven Erikson - Malazan Book of the Fallen
Edgar Rice Burroughs - Barsoom/John Carter of Mars cycle
Roger Zelazny - Chronicles of Amber
Michael Moorcock - Hawkmoon, Corum, Elric, et al.
Lloyd Alexander - Chronicles of Prydain
I didn't include science fantasy on my list (which is the category I put the Wolfe, Vance, and Zelazny in) -- but I never quite get it when people call the Burroughs series fantasy. Yes, I know there are no actual aliens on Mars. . . but applying strict scientific rigor to genre fiction never really made much sense to me. Is it just because everyone fights with swords? Is it the quest/rescue plotting?
1. Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time. I'm just a huge fan. In fact, my husband who is NOT a fan of fantasy/sci fi loves it too
2. Stephen Lawhead's Song of Albion trilogy. LOVE it.
3. Stephen Lawhead's Pendragon Cycle
4. Lord of the Rings (and the Hobbit)
5. Robin Hobb's Farseer Trilogy
6. Robin Hobb's Tawny Man Trilogy
well shoot. I'm stumped. My bookshelf isn't handy so I'll have to check it and then come back and finish. I've never read Wolfe's Book of the New Sun. Can you tell me a little about it?
I'm reading a new series right now...the Fires of Heaven series by Russell Kirkpatrick. I'll have to let you know how it rates...
Songs of FIre and Ice
Wrinkle in Time (really YA)
Charles DeLint (there's so much overlap....)
the Celtic/Arthurian books by the woman writer---(having a mindblank!).....
and I'll put a plug in for the new series by Jacqueline Carey---starting with "Nameh's Kiss"
I'm such a sucker for lists like this, even though they cause my TBR pile to grow at an alarming rate.
This list is in somewhat-no-particular-order. I'm short on time and don't want to stall over exact placement.
Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkein
The King Raven Trilogy - Stephen Lawhead (LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT)
Song of Albion Trilogy - Stephen Lawhead
Harry Potter - JK Rowling
The Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
The Pendragon Cycle - Stephen Lawhead
The Demon Wars Saga - RA Salvatore
The Robin Hobb series has been tempting me from my TPR pile for months now. I really need to hurry up and read it...
I'd have a really hard time listing any series as the "greatest series" that wasn't even finished yet! Yeah, I liked the Robert Jordan and George R.R. Martin series well enough, but endings matter to me, and count in the quality of the series overall.
Of one's I've read, I'd say:
1. Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
2. Alvin Maker series - Orson Scott Card
3. Incarnations of Immortality - Piers Anthony
4. Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
5. Discworld - Terry Pratchett
6. The Dark Tower - Stephen King
7. Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
8. Elric of Melnibone - Michael Moorcock
9. Vampire Chronicles - Anne Rice
And if you're counting graphic novels (with books based on the story world in-between), Neil Gaiman's Sandman series would be #10 for me.
I agree, strict scientific rigor has no place in genre fiction as far as I'm concerned. That's the trouble with a lot of these "Sword & planet" yarns of the sort Burroughs and his imitators spun. Sure, the setting planet/star system was "real" and perhaps had a protagonist from Earth, but beyond that had more in common with what we now consider fantasy: Sword-using cultures, princesses to rescue, quests, strange alien (i.e. "fantastic") landscapes, and elements like the "9th Barsoomian Ray" that for all intents and purposes is magic disguised as pseudoscience (Clarke's Third Law). Sadly, the combination of the "Tolkien effect" of the late 70s (that established the "romanticized Western European medieval/renaissance variant with [elves] and [dragons]" as the default Fantasy Setting), the relatively recent trend of microclassification of genres & subgenres, and the deepening Fantasy vs. Science Fiction divide seems to have forced fans of science-fantasy and sword & planet to make all sorts of justification posts on message boards defending our lists...
By the way, Vance's Lyonesse trilogy is straight-up high fantasy, no "science" to be found anywhere.
Last Edited on: 7/7/10 8:22 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
But I want to claim sword & planet for science fiction! I'm tired of all these scientists trying to take all the pure fun out of that genre! Fantasy's got its pure-fun subgenre, where's science fiction's? Why can't the future have sword-wielding barbarians awaiting us? ;)
I stand corrected on the Vance. . . haven't read Lyonesse yet, so I didn't know.
SF has some "fun" subgenres in space opera and planetary romance (a close relative to S&P), but I won't stop you from claiming sword & planet for science fiction. S&P rests equally uncomfortably on either side of the F/SF divide -- great for confusing and upsetting the purists!
In no particular order:
Myth Series - Robert Asprin
Shannara Series - Terry Brooks
Angus Wells - The Books of the Kingdoms
Angus Wells - The Godwars
Harry Turtledove - Videssos Cycle
Robert Silverberg - Majipoor Series
Stephen R Lawhead - Pendragon Cycle
Craig Shaw Gardner - Ebenezum Trilogy
John Morressy - Kedrigern Series
Raymond E Feist - Riftwar Saga
Bernard Cornwell - Warlord Chronicles
The Amber series by Zelazny is definitely in my top 10 list and it's fantasy...but 10 favorite series? I'm not sure I have that many in fantasy beyond LOTR and Song of Ice and Fire, The Dark is Rising, and maybe the Dark Tower depending on how it ends (I'm still reading it).
Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn -Tad Williams: these should be used as bullet catchers to thwart assassins, actually reading them could put a reader into a stupor from which they might never recover
I can't really put these in any real order -- it's like choosing your favorite kid (actually it's probably HARDER than that, let's be honest) -- so here they are alphabetically.
Codex Alera - Jim Butcher
Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
Legend of Drizzt - RA Salvatore
LOTR - JRR Tolkien
Merlin Codex - Robert Holdstock
Mythago Wood Cycle - Robert Holdstock
Thieves' World - Various
I want to get back to reading Song of Ice & Fire. I want to be up to speed when it hits HBO. I enjoyed the first book, but I don't think my mind was in the right place and I lost interest in reading a series of massive books. Hopefully I won't have the same problem when I give the books another go.
I loved series like Raymond E Feist's Riftwar, and Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality books when I was a teen, but it's been so long that I don't know if they would hold up to my current tastes.
These are some of my favorites but I admit I read some of these 20-30 years ago. And maybe some of these are more SiFi.
In no paticular order.
Shannara Series - Terry Brooks
Song of Fire and Ice series.
Saga of Pliocene Exile by Julian May
The Belgarid and Mallorean series by David Eddings
Thats what I can think of at the moment but when I check my bookself later I am sure more will make the list.
The Book of Swords and The Book of Lost Swords - Saberhagen
I'm going to cheat and put them in alphabetical order, since I can't decide.
A Song of Fire and Ice
The Warded Man series by Peter Brett
Those are the only fantasy books I've liked so far. But just started Naomi Novik's Temeraire series and have others on my "to read" list.