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What Else Are You Reading? > Looking for great imaginative fantasy

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message 1: by Mitch (new)

Mitch | 16 comments I'm looking for a great fantasy book where the author's imagination clearly went wild. Something like Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz (although it certainly doesn't have to be young reader). I want something with color rather than the typical medieval, sword and sorcery setting. Can anyone help?

message 2: by Phil (new)

Phil | 849 comments The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle and the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchet spring to mind for me.

message 3: by Paul (last edited Feb 23, 2013 02:42PM) (new)

Paul  Perry (Pezski) | 426 comments Hi Mitch

Two authors who immediately come to mind are Jonathan Carroll and Steve Aylett.

Carroll is a very well respected American author (although I believe he now lives in Vienna) whose novels are fantasies set in the real world. The fantasy elements are bizarre, dreamlike and often disturbing. His writing is simply superb.

Aylett is a British writer whose books are almost indescribably odd. Inventive and riotous are words that seem appropriate and yet insignificant. Along with bizarre. Apparently Fain the Sorcerer is considered one of his less odd, being a pastiche of standard high fantasy, but I've only read some of his other books (such as the Accomplice series) where the weirdness keeps defying expectations.


Also worth mentioning is Graham Joyce. In the similar ballpark to Carroll, as he is a writer of literary quality who tends to set his books in the real world with fantastical elements. Many of his books also have horror / supernatural overtones.

message 4: by Dharmakirti (last edited Feb 23, 2013 05:01PM) (new)

Dharmakirti | 942 comments Check out Catherynne Valente's series A Dirge for Prester John which starts with the excellent The Habitation of the Blessed.

message 5: by Tamahome (last edited Feb 23, 2013 05:14PM) (new)

Tamahome | 5074 comments If you want a graphic novel, Brian K. Vaughan's Saga is very imaginative.

message 6: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 1212 comments by far, the most imaginative fantasy I've read is Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine.

message 7: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new)

Tassie Dave | 1886 comments Mod
Tamahome wrote: "If you want a graphic novel, Brian K. Vaughan's Saga is very imaginative."

A great choice. A mix of SF and fantasy. A modern classic.

Also in graphic novels I would suggest The Sandman and Bone

Bone is a YA comic that does have appeal for all ages.
The Sandman is definitely a lot darker and not for younger readers.

message 8: by Mitch (new)

Mitch | 16 comments Excellent. I can't wait to give some of these a shot. Thanks.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe Neil Gaiman might be good, someone has already suggested The Sandman graphic novels but he also does books, maybe American Gods or Neverwhere.

message 10: by Norman (new)

Norman Miller | 5 comments like someone said Gaiman good for that his Mirror mask is good as is stardust.

message 11: by Rik (new)

Rik | 700 comments Imagica or Weaveworld by Clive Barker.

The guy gets pegged as horror and there are some horror elements in his books but he's far more fantasy than horror. These books are like someone's dream got married to an acid trip and then it had a baby who got high on mescaline. They are very good but very crazy imaginative.

message 12: by David (last edited Feb 24, 2013 03:56PM) (new)

David Scott (OghmaOsiris) | 6 comments Obviously Piers Anthony's Xanth series is a good read. Though, I would say they verge on the absurd. The land of Xanth is full of nothing but puns and one wonders how Piers Anthony came up with some of those ideas. Like the Gourd or the Demon Xanth himself.

message 13: by Joseph (new)

Joseph | 1672 comments The Incompleat Nifft by Michael Shea is filled with grotesqueries.

message 14: by kvon (new)

kvon | 555 comments The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, another one by Catherynne Valente, had a Oz/Wonderland resonance.

Also under older books, The Phantom Tollbooth and The Neverending Story.

message 15: by Joseph (last edited Feb 24, 2013 07:48PM) (new)

Joseph | 1672 comments I'd also suggest China Miéville's Bas Lag books Perdido Street Station etc.) or Stephen Hunt's Jackelian series (The Court of the Air etc.).

Or, if you can track them down, Man of Gold by M.A.R. Barker, or The Shattered World by Michael Reaves.

message 17: by Mary (new)

Mary (ValentineW) | 118 comments Michelle Sagara West. Just read her "Cast in - " series. It's a very easy read, almost YA in tone, but the world is fascinating to me. How the different races work, how magic works, the fusion of magic & technology.

message 18: by Mitch (new)

Mitch | 16 comments Thanks Mary. I think I'll definitely check those out. I haven't heard much about the series, but Khristine Hvam reads them on Audible, so I'm in.

I didn't expect so many responses. So many of these sound good and I'm having trouble deciding which to read. Champagne problems, I guess.

message 19: by Tamahome (new)

Tamahome | 5074 comments And caviar dreams?

message 20: by Frank (new)

Frank Hofer Good Omens is an amusing book.

message 21: by Warren (new)

Warren | 1545 comments You might try an anthology.
I've discovered several authors that way.
Wild card series edited by George R.R. Martin
Thieves World series edited by Robert Lynn Asprin
The Mammoth Book of Steampunk edited by Sean Wallace

message 22: by Kevin (new)

Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 1081 comments For an anthology I would suggest both Legends and Legends II.

message 23: by Aaron (last edited Mar 31, 2013 08:42AM) (new)

Aaron Padgett (apadgett127) | 5 comments Brandon Sanderson's book Warbreaker is a fun, colorful fantasy standalone. And when I say colorful, I mean his magic system in the book is literally based around color.

message 24: by Doug (new)

Doug Hoffman (dshoffman) | 62 comments Just about anything by China Miéville. While I love Terry Pratchett, I don't think he belongs on this list -- he's a fantasist in name only; he's really a satirist, IMO. Same goes for Christopher Moore. These guys are humorists/satirists first, and don't seem interested in writing way-out-there fantasy.

message 25: by David (new)

David (dbigwood) | 360 comments Don't overlook older titles. Books by Lord Dunsany and Hannes Bok, for instance. H.P. Lovecraft's Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath is a good choice. James Branch Cabell is another one to look at. I don't enjoy his writing, too ironic, but plenty of others do. Clark Ashton Smith straddles the boarder of fantasy and horror. All these authors had a wild immagination and plenty of color.

The H. Rider Haggard stories also have plenty of color, She, The World's Desire, and The People of the Mist lack the wild, psychotic, drug-like stories of the others but still have enough for a good time. Plenty of good reads.

message 26: by Callum (new)

Callum Orr | 45 comments A great fantasy world would be lies of Locke lamora. The story is very light colourful imaginative and full of humour.b

message 27: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1052 comments Zelazny's Amber series is pretty great, straddling our world and a fantasy world, kind of like Wonderland and Oz do.

message 28: by Kim (new)

Kim I would suggest Brent Weeks and his color series The Black Prism and The Blinding Knife. Plus I liked Elantris, Mistborn series and the Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. They were just flat out entertaining with the Interesting magical systems and characters they created!

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Books mentioned in this topic

Fain the Sorcerer (other topics)
The Habitation of the Blessed (other topics)
Saga, Vol. 1 (other topics)
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti (other topics)
The Sandman book 1 Preludes & Nocturnes (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Jonathan Carroll (other topics)
Steve Aylett (other topics)
Graham Joyce (other topics)
Genevieve Valentine (other topics)
Michael Shea (other topics)