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General SF&F Chat > Any good epistolary fantasy novels?

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message 1: by John (last edited May 29, 2017 12:53PM) (new)

John Meszaros | 14 comments I've recently been getting into reading epistolary novels- i.e. books that are written as a collection of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc.

Think Dracula or House of Leaves, or the Ambergris series by Jeff Vandermeer (CIty of Saints and Madmen; City of Saints and Madmen (Ambergris, #1) by Jeff VanderMeer Shriek: an Afterword Shriek An Afterword (Ambergris, #2) by Jeff VanderMeer ; Finch Finch (Ambergris, #3) by Jeff VanderMeer ) or The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero .

I really love the idea of constructing a narrative through found documents.

Can anyone recommend other good epistolary fantasy or sci-fi books?


message 2: by Faith (new)

Faith | 117 comments John wrote: "I've recently been getting into reading epistolary novels- i.e. books that are written as a collection of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc.

Think Dracula or House of Leaves, or the..."


Try Sleeping Giants bySylvain Neuvel.


message 3: by Brendan (new)

Brendan (mistershine) | 743 comments I love this style when its well-done too, and City of Saints and Madmen is one of my absolute favourite books. I've given it a few re-reads.

Some other stories I liked in this vein: The Rise of Ransom City, Tainaron: Mail from Another City, Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius, The Screwfly Solution. Also we've just spent a month discussing Book of the New Sun which maybe counts.


message 4: by John (new)

John Meszaros | 14 comments Brendan wrote: "I love this style when its well-done too, and City of Saints and Madmen is one of my absolute favourite books. I've given it a few re-reads.

Some other stories I liked in this vein: ..."


Oh yes- I loved Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Terius- and most of Borges other works, in fact.

I think the Book of the New Sun would definitely count.

I'll have to check those other stories out.


message 5: by Brenda (new)

Brenda Clough (brendaclough) | 337 comments surely one of the very best ones is Sorcery and Cecelia, by Patricia Wrede and Carole Stevermer. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6...
There are three in the series!


message 6: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 2159 comments Flowers for Algernon is diary entries. Just read it with a group. Still excellent.


message 7: by Alan (new)

Alan Denham (alandenham) | 146 comments The classic of this form is The Screwtape Letters . . . but I am not recommending it!


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Humphrey (one_mrshum) | 39 comments While not a diary/letter format, House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski has a unique format that is part of the reading experience. His second book, Whalestoe Letters IS an epistolary novella following correspondence between the characters in House of Leaves. If you can find the second (or later) edition of House of Leaves, it should have the Whalestoe Letters in the appendix.


message 9: by Silvana (last edited May 30, 2017 08:19AM) (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) Homecoming by Robin Hobb, a novella set in the world of the Realms of the Elderlings. Written in the form of a diary. It was excellent.

Also available in the story collection: The Inheritance

For SF, I enjoyed World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks and Liking What You See: A Documentary by Ted Chiang. Both read/look like documentaries.


message 10: by Kivrin (last edited May 30, 2017 08:32AM) (new)

Kivrin | 451 comments John wrote: "I've recently been getting into reading epistolary novels- i.e. books that are written as a collection of letters, diary entries, newspaper clippings, etc.

Think Dracula or House of Leaves, or the..."


Hmmm, I wonder if World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War qualifies? It's a series of interviews with survivors. (Forget the movie! The book is excellent!) (Oops, looks like Silvana and I had the same thought!)


message 11: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 520 comments Bats of the Republic:an illuminated novel might fight the bill as well - even the pages of the different 'sources' look very different. It was a fun thing to read.


message 12: by Mary (new)

Mary Catelli | 686 comments I second Sorcery & Cecelia: or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot.

Also, Except the Queen by Jane Yolen and Midori Snyder, though it's not all fictional documents.


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