Edited 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: Is this the Golden Age for fantasy? (50 votes)

Yes 50%
No 50%

I've heard this mentioned multiple times now, and I'm leaning towards saying yes, with authors like Patrick Rothfuss, George RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, and many others currently writing, it really is the best time in history for the fantasy genre.

#1 Edited by Aegon (5639 posts) -

Brandon Sanderson talks about this topic at around 6:32 in this video:

#2 Edited by FLStyle (4705 posts) -

In general with video games and films or are we just talking books? What's the discussion that we're supposed to be having here?

#3 Edited by Aegon (5639 posts) -

@flstyle said:

In general with video games and films or are we just talking books? What's the discussion that we're supposed to be having here?

Books only.

#4 Edited by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

#5 Posted by FLStyle (4705 posts) -

Golden age of awareness yes, golden age of quality, no.

#6 Edited by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

Well it's certainly becoming more popular.

#7 Posted by BulimicBalzac (93 posts) -

@flstyle: What was the golden age of fantasy if I might ask? I'm always looking for good books to read, and I've been going down what some would call the golden age of Sci-fi. With Asimov and Philip K. Dick which are pretty goddamn awesome.

Online
#8 Posted by FLStyle (4705 posts) -
#9 Posted by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -

Maybe? I like GRRM, but I don't like Rothfuss, Sanderson, Abercrombie, Erikson, or a number of other authors I've tried to read. I'm super picky about the fantasy that I read.

#10 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

Maybe? I like GRRM, but I don't like Rothfuss, Sanderson, Abercrombie, Erikson, or a number of other authors I've tried to read. I'm super picky about the fantasy that I read.

May I ask what you generally disliked about them?

#11 Edited by ShadowConqueror (3052 posts) -

I don't know. Sure, there are some great writers working, but they are vastly outnumbered by terrible writers. Also, in comparison to writers of literary fiction, the actual prose of a lot of these great minds of fantasy actually isn't all that great. Just shows that in fantasy plot is king.

#12 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@barrock said:

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

I've never read a book steal so much from so many different authors as Brent Weeks. It was amazing.

#13 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

I've never read a book steal so much from so many different authors as Brent Weeks. It was amazing.

Is there anything written about that? I'm curious.

#14 Posted by Aegon (5639 posts) -

I don't know. Sure, there are some great writers working, but they are vastly outnumbered by terrible writers. Also, in comparison to writers of literary fiction, the actual prose of a lot of these great minds of fantasy actually isn't all that great. Just shows that in fantasy plot is king.

I really like Rothfuss' and Martin's prose. They're masters of both plot and prose. With regards to there being a lot of terrible authors, I know, but that doesn't matter. What matters is the amount of quality work. It's like the PS2. There were so many horrendously bad games for it, but it also had a lot more quality software than its direct competitors, leading to its success as the best selling console of all time.

#15 Edited by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@barrock said:

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

I've never read a book steal so much from so many different authors as Brent Weeks. It was amazing.

Is there anything written about that? I'm curious.

I just remember reading it and around every turn thinking "Hey, that's straight out of . . . " I just can't remember specifics because it was so damn long ago.

#16 Posted by ripelivejam (3975 posts) -

achem...

NEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

*hides fact that he has read all the ASOIAF books at least twice each* :|

#17 Posted by Barrock (3533 posts) -

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

I've never read a book steal so much from so many different authors as Brent Weeks. It was amazing.

Is there anything written about that? I'm curious.

I just remember reading it and around every turn thinking "Hey, that's straight out of . . . " I just can't remember specifics because it was so damn long ago.

Damn. That sucks. Honestly had no idea. Which series was it? Night Angel or Lightbringer?

#18 Edited by stryker1121 (1452 posts) -

I'm not sure how to answer this, but GRRM and Abercrombie are doing some great work. A little disappointed by Rothfuss's work so far - the first two Kingkiller Chronicles are Harry Potter-ish w/o the charm or any king killing, for that matter. I like the author's prose but old Kvothe is much more interesting than young Kvothe. Young Kvothe's adventures feel episodic and the kid's too much of a paragon to be really interesting. Obviously some shit goes down that makes Kvothe lose his mojo but Rothfuss is taking his sweet time getting there. Slow burns are fine (see GRRM) but there's not a lot interesting happening during the journey.

Speaking of slow burn, I'm just getting into the Wheel of Time novels. Never read 'em before, but now that the series is done I picked up Eye of the World. Old-school high fantasy w/ some really nice world building and solid prose. I'm enjoying it. Maybe Winds of Winter will be out by the the time I finish all 14 books in WoT ;)

EDIT: Would anybody recommend the Broken Empire trilogy by Lawrence? I've seen some mixed reviews but don't want to spoil too much. Seems like R-rated dark fantasy w/ GRRM court intrigue and Abercrombie ultra-dark humor.

#19 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

I dunno. I consider book eras as several decade chunks each. Say 50 years per. It's not like movie or video game where things tend to run in five to ten year cycles.

As to authors listed in initial thread post, jury is still out on Sanderson. I haven't read his own stuff but the finish up job on the Wheel of Time was at best adequate. Martin hit some trouble with Feast For Crows and continues along a similar path in Dance with Dragons. Those first three books are great but I think it is premature to put him amongst the top echelon of fantasy authors.

Joe Abercrombie. I'm reading his trilogy right now, about a third of the way into the last book. I have things to say about Abercrombie but probably best to finish the final book first before. So far this is a fun trilogy but I don't think he's an amazing author. We'll see.

Rothfuss, I haven't read yet. It's next on the queue.

#20 Posted by BulimicBalzac (93 posts) -

@herbiebug:Ambercrombie gets better with each sequential book. I would say latest book Red Country is probably my favorite of his.

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#21 Edited by Aegon (5639 posts) -

I'm not sure how to answer this, but GRRM and Abercrombie are doing some great work. A little disappointed by Rothfuss's work so far - the first two Kingkiller Chronicles are Harry Potter-ish w/o the charm or any king killing, for that matter. I like the author's prose but old Kvothe is much more interesting than young Kvothe. Young Kvothe's adventures feel episodic and the kid's too much of a paragon to be really interesting. Obviously some shit goes down that makes Kvothe lose his mojo but Rothfuss is taking his sweet time getting there. Slow burns are fine (see GRRM) but there's not a lot interesting happening during the journey.

I guess we'd have to agree to disagree on the Kingkiller Chronicles not having a lot of interesting things happen in the story.

#22 Edited by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

@stryker1121 said:

Speaking of slow burn, I'm just getting into the Wheel of Time novels. Never read 'em before, but now that the series is done I picked up Eye of the World. Old-school high fantasy w/ some really nice world building and solid prose. I'm enjoying it. Maybe Winds of Winter will be out by the the time I finish all 14 books in WoT ;)

Wheel of Time series is at its best from books three through six (The Dragon Reborn, The Shadow Rising, The Fires of Heaven and Lord of Chaos). The first book is definitely entertaining but isn't really indicative of the eventual strengths of that series. WoT at its best is mandatory reading for fantasy enthusiasts. The steep dive (cliff. of ice. slippery ice.) in quality in the back half of the series shouldn't detract from that. :p

@bulimicbalzac That's good to hear. Looking forward to the conclusion of First Law trilogy. He's obviously building up to a twist and i'm really curious to see how it turns out.

#23 Posted by McGhee (6094 posts) -

@barrock said:

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

@mcghee said:

@barrock said:

Yes. Dude's are tearing it up. You can add Mark Lawrence and Brent Weeks to that list.

I've never read a book steal so much from so many different authors as Brent Weeks. It was amazing.

Is there anything written about that? I'm curious.

I just remember reading it and around every turn thinking "Hey, that's straight out of . . . " I just can't remember specifics because it was so damn long ago.

Damn. That sucks. Honestly had no idea. Which series was it? Night Angel or Lightbringer?

It was the first trilogy. I actually thought it was entertaining enough for what it was.

#24 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11741 posts) -

I really like the first three books of A Song of Ice and Fire, but I've found the two most recent ones (A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons) to be victim to the bloat that fantasy series so often have, despite my continuing interest in seeing how the whole thing wraps up. Hopefully the Winds of Winter will

I like Brandon Sanderson and thought that he did as good a job as humanly possible in regards to finishing someone else's work (Despite some of the books straight up sucking, I think It'd be safe to say that I think The Wheel of Time is one of the better fantasy epics ever written), though I could do without as much of the intricate magic systems he loves cramming into all his books. Mistborn was alright, but I'm really interested in seeing where The Stormlight Archive will go, since the first book (The Way of Kings) is mostly setup.

I think Patrick Rothfuss' stuff is great, though I could've done without as much of the ultra corny sex stuff in The Wise Man's Fear. I am surprisingly excited about him being one of the writers on Torment: Tides of Numenera.

haven't read much of the other stuff mentioned, but yeah, I think Fantasy Authors are alright. I should probably read more... that kindle of mine is just sitting in my closet asking to be used.

#25 Edited by Jrinswand (1709 posts) -
@barrock said:

@jrinswand said:

Maybe? I like GRRM, but I don't like Rothfuss, Sanderson, Abercrombie, Erikson, or a number of other authors I've tried to read. I'm super picky about the fantasy that I read.

May I ask what you generally disliked about them?

Rothfuss, Sanderson, and Abercrombie are cheesy, and Erikson is just unnecessarily obfuscated. If I wanted to read something complicated, I'd read a real book (i.e. not fantasy). I'm a Literature major. I have plenty of other things to choose from.

#26 Edited by Marcsman (3198 posts) -

I would say most likely yes. I have not read fantasy for 25 years. Until I discovered George RR Martin. A Song of Fire and ice is just brilliant. On the other hand we have The Twilight and Hunger Games to bring it back down again.

#27 Posted by HerbieBug (4212 posts) -

To those of you who are finding yourselves a little bit burned out on fantasy, or sci fi for that matter, I recommend venturing out of the genre stuff and trying something a little more straightforward and to the point. I find courtroom drama and murder mystery from the detective's perspective to be refreshing change from the fantastical genre stuff. Couple recommends on that note:

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

Any of Michael Connelly's later books. He is very prolific author. Which at a glance might suggest that he is a trashy high production/low quality pulp novelist. And while he is never an excellent author, he's always dependably good.

Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

or.... take a trip into fiction that fits no particular category of any kind and try:

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller

Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny

or... how about a comedy about time travel:

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

#28 Edited by ninnanuam (281 posts) -

I think I would disagree that the better books are being written now. I liked the early Wheel of Time (got bored about 6 in) and the first book or two of A Song of Fire and Ice (i think they have sucked since Feast) I also really liked the Farseer Trilogy by Hobb (who's follow up series have not been for me) Really all these books came out or started in the early to mid 90s, a good 15 to 20 years ago.

Honestly I feel like its not a good time for Fantasy so much as its a good time for Martin.

Oh and To Say Nothing Of the Dog is an excellent book, did you read Doomsday Book?

I liked Bellweather too, it has nothing to do with Doomsday, or To Say Nothing, but its worth a read.

I might try and track down Blackout and All clear, they are based on the same universe as Doomsday and to Say Nothing of the Dog but I've never actually seen them in a book store.