Steven S. Long is a writer, game designer, and all 'round great guy. According to the secret files of the KGB, he once singlehandedly defeated the Kremlin's plot to attack America with laser-powered Godzillas.

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Steve's Fantasy Reading List

Since part of what goes on at this website is discussions of Fantasy (and my attempts to write it), I figured it wouldn’t be too presumptuous of me to present a recommended reading list covering my favorite Fantasy novels and stories. (This list originally appeared, in a slightly different form, in the Bibliography of my book Fantasy Hero, available from Hero Games.) The list itself is too long to post here, so I’ve made it a PDF you can download. Periodically I’ll update and repost the list as I discover new books that I think are worth recommending.

This list isn’t an attempt to cover the entire Fantasy genre — there are whole books devoted to that, and none of them succeed, for obvious reasons. It’s simply a list of books I recommend, to show the influences over my approach to the genre and, hopefully, to introduce other lovers of Fantasy to some works they haven’t had the pleasure of encountering yet. There are a lot of very successful Fantasy novels and series that aren’t listed here because I just plain don’t like ’em (art, subjective, etc.). As always, if you have a question or comment, this sort of discussion is great for the Message Boards here on the site!

I often describe the stories in this list here as belonging to some category (such as “Epic Fantasy” or “Swords And Sorcery”). For information on how I define these categories, please refer to my essay Defining Fantasy, available in the Articles section of this website.


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Reader Comments (4)

David Drake? S.M Stirling? Larry Correia? I propose your list needs updating! :-)

February 21, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkaze9999

It probably does. In the Urban Fantasy department, I definitely need to add Larry's novels, since after all I just got done writing an RPG about 'em.

My exposure to Stirling's work has only been DIES THE FIRE, the first of his Post-Apocalyptic novels, and I thought it was just awful. Does he have some good Fantasy you'd recommend?

David Drake I've only read in HAMMMER'S SLAMMERS form (which is kind of funny, considering he lives about an hour from me and we have many mutual friends in common). Any good recommendations for him?

I definitely need to add Joe Abercrombie's first trilogy, THE FIRST LAW, which I'm in the middle of and quite enjoying. I think it's overly lengthy (like so much modern Fantasy), but the writing is top-notch and the characters are fascinating.

April 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterSteven S. Long

And Raymond Feist! The Magician Series and the other books set in Midkemia are awesome.

June 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSmiling Bandit

I've only read one of the "Magician" books and it didn't really wow me, but perhaps I should give them another chance.

I finished reading Abercrombie's "First Law" trilogy and thoroughly enjoyed it; that's definitely getting added to the list.

January 25, 2014 | Registered CommenterSteven S. Long

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