Seattle Picks: Fantasy
Annotation:Marion Zimmer Bradley wrote magical fantasy with elements of mythology from a feminist perspective. Also try: C. J. Cherryh, Katharine Kerr, Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, Jennifer Roberson, Judith Tarr and Sarah Zettel.
Annotation:Patricia Briggs writes an urban fantasy series with romance elements featuring mechanic Mercedes Thompson. Set in Washington’s Tri-Cities area with werewolves and vampires, the first book is "Moon Called." Also try: Kelley Armstrong, L. A. Banks, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Richelle Mead, J. A. Pitts, Cherie Priest and Kat Richardson.
Annotation:Terry Brooks writes epic fantasy with wizards, elves and other magical creatures in his long-running Shannara series. Start with the prequel, "The First King of Shannara." Also try: Alex Bledsoe, David Eddings, David Gemmell, J. Gregory Keyes, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Margaret Weis and Janny Wurts.
Annotation:Jim Butcher is best known for his Dresden Files series, which is urban fantasy featuring an enigmatic P.I. Start with "Storm Front." Also try: Mike Carey, Simon R. Green, Kevin Hearne, Tanya Huff, Seanan McGuire, Daniel O’Malley, Michael D. Resnick, Diana Rowland, Rob Thurman and Chuck Wendig.
Annotation:Jacqueline Carey writes fantasy featuring a strong female protagonist and elements of romance that bend toward the erotic. Also try: Ilona Andrews, Anne Bishop, P. C. Cast, Kate Elliott, Laurell K. Hamilton, Karen Moning, Anne Rice and J. R. Ward.
Annotation:Neil Gaiman is a cult figure in fantasy, with the Sandman graphic-novel series, and dark visions tinged with terror and urban cool. Also try: Piers Anthony, Peter S. Beagle, Jonathan Carroll, Charles de Lint, Joe Hill, Kelly Link, Martin Millar, Michael Moorcock and Mervyn Peake.
Annotation:Terry Goodkind is the creator of the epic-fantasy series The Sword of Truth, which features wizards and magic in tales of war and adventure. Start with "Wizard’s First Rule." Also try: Terry Brooks, Blake Charlton, Sara Douglass, David Farland, Raymond E. Feist, Robert Jordan, Margaret Weis and Tad Williams.
Annotation:Robin Hobb writes character-driven fantasy filled with intricate plots and political intrigue. Also try: Peter S. Beagle, Stephen R. Donaldson, Kate Elliott, Lynn Flewelling, Ursula K. Le Guin, Micky Zucker Reichert, Patrick Rothfuss and Tad Williams.
Annotation:Nalo Hopkinson brings Caribbean history and mythology into fantasies featuring strong women of color. Also try: L. A. Banks, Steven Barnes, Tobias Buckell, Charles de Lint, Tananarive Due, Walter Mosley, Gloria Naylor and Patrick Ness.
Annotation:Robert Jordan wrote the long-running Wheel of Time series in the epic-quest fantasy tradition, beginning with "The Eye of the World." Also try: Peter V. Brett, Steven Erikson, David Farland, Terry Goodkind, J. V. Jones, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks.
Annotation:Guy Gavriel Kay writes leisurely paced historical fantasy with complex characters and ornate world-building. Also try: Anne Bishop, Lois McMaster Bujold, Charles de Lint, J. Gregory Keyes, Robert Silverberg and Michelle West.
Annotation:Mercedes Lackey is a prolific author of character-driven fantasies with elaborate histories, readable prose and strong feminist elements. Also try: Kristen Britain, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jennifer Fallon, Diana Wynne Jones, Lynn Kurland, Jane Lindskold and Karen Miller.
Annotation:George R. R. Martin writes epic fantasy with substantial characters, political intrigue and violence, with plenty of surprises. "A Game of Thrones" is the first book in his best-known series. Also try: Joe Abercrombie, R. Scott Bakker, Jesse Bullington, Glen Cook, Steven Erikson, Robin Hobb, Richard K. Morgan, Patrick Rothfuss and Tad Williams.
Annotation:Anne McCaffrey is best known for her Dragonriders of Pern series, a character-driven fantasy filled with dragon lore and adventure. Start with "Dragonflight." Also try: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Dave Freer, E. E. Knight, Elizabeth Moon, Naomi Novik, Mickey Zucker Reichert, Jo Walton and Martha Wells.
Annotation:China Miéville writes layered, erudite, genre-bending novels in fantasy and science fiction. Also try: Paolo Bacigalupi, Iain M. Banks, John Crowley, Nick Harkaway, Robin Hobb, Ian McDonald, Haruki Murakami and Jeff VanderMeer.
Annotation:Terry Pratchett writes fantasy and science fiction infused with ideas and a heavy dose of humor. His Discworld series begins with "The Colour of Magic." Also try: Douglas Adams, Piers Anthony, Robert Asprin, Jasper Fforde, Tom Holt, A. Lee Martinez, Christopher Moore, Robert Rankin and Kurt Vonnegut.
Annotation:Patrick Rothfuss is the creator of the Kingkiller Chronicle series, which features strong world-building and a complex, mercurial magician who dares to question the edges of understanding. Begin with "The Name of the Wind." Also try: Daniel Abraham, Saladin Ahmed, Lev Grossman, Karen Miller, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Peter Orullian and Tad Williams.
Annotation:R. A. Salvatore hooked Dungeons & Dragons fans on the Forgotten Realms series, which features the heroic dark elf Drizzt Do’Urden. Begin with "Homeland." Also try: Terry Brooks, Steven Brust, Jim Butcher, David Drake, Kevin Hearne, P. C. Hodgell, Robert E. Howar and Margaret Weis.
Annotation:J. R. R. Tolkien, the grandfather of epic fantasy, set the standard with "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Also try: Poul Anderson, Terry Brooks, Dave Duncan, David Eddings, Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, George MacDonald and L. E. Modesitt Jr.
Annotation:Tad Williams writes epic sword-and-sorcery series including Otherland, which begins with "City of Golden Shadow," and Shadowmarch, which starts with "Shadowmarch." Also try: Carol Berg, C. S. Friedman, Fritz Lieber, George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Roger Zelazny.
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These are some of our favorite fantasy writers, whose works represent a variety of different styles, along with some suggestions for further reading.