Locus Poll (Fantasy)

That same Locus Poll also listed the top 15 Fantasy novels from last century.

Again asterisked means I’ve read them, ** that I can’t remember and (*) only the first of the trilogy.

1(*) Tolkien, J. R. R. : The Lord of the Rings (1955)
2* Martin, George R. R. : A Game of Thrones (1996)
3 Tolkien, J. R. R. : The Hobbit (1937)
4* Le Guin, Ursula K. : A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
5* Zelazny, Roger : Nine Princes in Amber (1970) 971 70
6 Lewis, C. S. : The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
7* Miéville, China : Perdido Street Station (2000)
8 Rowling, J. K. : Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
9* Crowley, John : Little, Big (1981)
10* Adams, Richard : Watership Down (1972)
11 Goldman, William : The Princess Bride (1973)
12* Martin, George R. R. : A Storm of Swords (2000)
13 Beagle, Peter S. : The Last Unicorn (1968)
14** White, T. H. : The Once and Future King (1958)
15 Pratchett, Terry (& Gaiman, Neil) : Good Omens (1990)

I don’t have quite such a high hit rate here – unsurprisingly, as I prefer Science Fiction to Fantasy: but there is of course a lot of crossover between the two and the boundary is blurred. Even so I would have said Perdido Street Station was SF rather than Fantasy.

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  1. Denis Cullinan

    This list hit a lot of my bases. Plainly, I’m no fan of Kafka, Proust, Hardy, Flaubert and other high-hat scrawlers. It gave me a warm, contented feeling when the British “English” professors (what, do they teach every word of the language?)had six fits and a half when a huge poll showed that Brits preferred Tolkien hands down to, say, Angus Wilson.

  2. jackdeighton

    Each to his or her own, Denis.
    I gave up on Lord of the Rings after the first book (I was in my late teens or early twenties when I read it.) I haven’t read a word of Tolkien since.

  3. Denis Cullinan

    Sorry, didn’t mean to give a raspberry to other readers’ tastes. I’m afraid I have a built-in snootiness radar–it reacts to academics of the read-what’s-good-for-you persuasion. Sometimes I wonder if my sensibilities (ha ha) haven’t been too influenced by my upbringing (also ha ha) in the dread South Bronx in the forties and fifties, where bad taste ruled.

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