Hey, this all came up on Twitter this morning. Ayende is complaining about the Wheel of Time going on until 2011, but I’ve got him beat. *I’ve* been reading on that thing since ’90.
I simply have too much invested in the Wheel of Time to drop it or knock it down. You know how so many people overlooked the fact that the last two seasons of Battlestar Galactica were utterly unwatchable (oh look, Kara is screaming and throwing a fit. Again. Oh look, Apollo is being angsty again. Oh look, Tigh is being grumpy again)? That’s how I am about the Wheel of Time. Here’s my list in no particular order.
- The Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan
- The Black Company – Glenn Cook.
- Hyperion/Endymion – Dan Simmons
- Night’s Dawn Trilogy – Peter F. Hamilton (I like the Starflyer/Pandora’s Star series too, but it doesn’t make the cut)
- The Chronicles of Amber – Roger Zelazny.
- A Song of Fire and Ice – George R R Martin. Yes, I too think it’s a stronger written version of the WoT, but is suffering from the exact same problems in the last book. There’s supposedly an HBO series in the works now. Betcha it’ll be gritty.
- Death’s Gate Cycle – Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. I think this is by far and away their strongest series
- Malazan Book of the Fallen – Steven Erickson. Much, much better when you read them back to back. Way too complex for a casual reader. Takes true dedication.
- The Baroque Cycle – Neal Stephenson. Barely qualifies, but there’s some fantastical elements with the Elihu Root character and Stephenson has to make the list
- The Dark Tower – Stephen King. 5 years later and I’ve finally come to grips with the way that the last book ended. I think the Wizards and Glass book is my favorite single book in any of this.
Just Missed the Cut:
- The Revelation Space books – Alistair Reynolds
- The Lord of the Isles – David Drake. Gets knocked for being repetitive
- The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone – Greg Keyes
- The Sword of Truth – Terry Goodkind. I loved the first one when I read it in college. I think it went downhill fast after the first one. Used to be a nice filler between new Robert Jordan orGeorge R R Martin books.
- Some of the Shannara books, but I think they’re very hit and miss. Loved the first couple when I was in grade school. Surprisingly liked the Genesis of Shannara series from the last couple years.
- The Vlad Toltos books – Steven Brust
- The Swans War – Sean Russell
- The Banned and the Banished – James Clemens
- The Prince of Nothing – R. Scott Bakker. Way too intellectual for bedtime reading, but still recommended
- The Ender novels
- The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant- The Unbeliever – Stephen Donaldson
NOT on the list, but I loved all these when I was younger:
- The Lord of the Rings. The prose and dialogue is absolutely ridiculous. The world building is amazing, but the exclamations of the characters are just too silly. I, *gasp*, like the movies better now.
- The Dragonlance Chronicles. The original trilogy only. IMHO, every other Dragonlance book that followed was just a little bit worse than the one before
- The Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen
- Anything that David Eddings wrote. C’mon, you know you liked it when you were 12.
Ok, let the total geekfest begin in the comments: