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"Favorite eclectic sf or fantasy author?" Topic


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750 hits since 10 Oct 2012
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Sculptor Seeker Inactive Member10 Oct 2012 7:13 p.m. PST

A good author with fun stories who was a little off the beaten path?

Mine is Clifford D. Simak. I loved "Where the Evil Dwells", which, though a rcognizable knock-off of LOTR, was different enough to make it fun.

"City" was a really great work. Mankind's civilization of the future goes to the dogs. Literally.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 7:26 p.m. PST

I like R A Lafferty's stories.

I REALLY like Avram Davidson's weird "historical" novels, cranky old fart that he was.
He had an annoying tendency to write only 2 books in a trilogy. I suppose that's better than 7 1500 page book "trilogies", naming no names…

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian10 Oct 2012 7:48 p.m. PST

Jack Vance. He pretty much defines eclectic, with strong work in both scifi and fantasy and an unmatched talent for quirky characters and odd cultures.

michaelsbagley Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 7:50 p.m. PST

Guy Gavriel Kay. Unique fantasy, that is mostly "low magic", and has some parallels with real world history.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 8:03 p.m. PST

Lafferty, yes. FOURTH MANSIONS and PAST MASTER.

Personal logo taskforce58 Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 8:04 p.m. PST

Spider Robinson, and his Mike Callahan series.

PatrickWR10 Oct 2012 8:21 p.m. PST

"Was" …. Hope it's not a requirement that the authorbe deceased. I was going to recommend China Mieville. :-)

mad monkey 1 Supporting Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 8:50 p.m. PST

Eric Frank Russel. " Diabologic."

Covert Walrus10 Oct 2012 10:48 p.m. PST

H Beam Piper. Very popular in his day, and even for a decade after, but less well-known now.

Personal logo FingerandToeGlenn Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Oct 2012 10:52 p.m. PST

Thomas Burnett Swan--delicate, quasi-historical fantasies set in ancient Crete and Etruria.

Princeps11 Oct 2012 2:10 a.m. PST

Philip Jose Farmer's non River World stuff. He is really, really, out there, especially with "Image of the Beast" and "Blown."

MajorB11 Oct 2012 2:22 a.m. PST

Off the top of my head I cannot think of any SF or fantasy authors that I would describe as eclectic. Most of them based most if not all their stories on a single SF or fantasy world or universe.

Doug em4miniatures Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 3:25 a.m. PST

Thomas Burnett Swan--delicate, quasi-historical fantasies set in ancient Crete and Etruria.,/q>

Never heard of Thomas Burnett Swan but your description sounds good so I've just ordered the Kindle versio of Green Phoenix which is quite cheap at the moment.

I think some of the above posts are describing eccentric authors as much as eclectic.

Doug

CPBelt Inactive Member11 Oct 2012 3:57 a.m. PST

James P. Blaylock

I wrote an article about his books.
link

Personal logo Black Hat Miniatures Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 3:57 a.m. PST

Robert Sheckley is always worth reading.

"Mind Swap" was always one of my favourites along with "Dimension of Miracles".

For newer authors I'd say Robert Reed who publishes a lot of short stories in Asimov's and Michael Swanwick.

Mike

Personal logo x42brown Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 4:48 a.m. PST

Roger Zelazny has a wide range of different non standard settings. Although His "Amber" multi-verse could be said to contain everything imaginable, "This Immortal" and "Mad Wand" are from widely different and (for their time) original backgrounds.

x42

Skipper11 Oct 2012 5:11 a.m. PST

I'll second H.Beam Piper, as I'm working through an anthology of his works right now.

But Mike Resnick appeals to me in many ways…..from his humorous "Lucifer Jones" and "Finding the Unicorn" to the Space opera "Santiago"

Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard are also favorites of mine.

I'm also currently a fan of Stephen Knight's "Left for Dead" series of zombie books with a military viewpoint….just how does the military respond to the zombie Apocalypse. Great reading!

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian11 Oct 2012 5:26 a.m. PST

Off the top of my head I cannot think of any SF or fantasy authors that I would describe as eclectic. Most of them based most if not all their stories on a single SF or fantasy world or universe.

You need to read more. Of the names already mentioned on this thread, Simak, Vance, Robinson, Russell, Farmer, Zelazny, Resnick, Burroughs and Howard all wrote in multiple settings and in most cases, multiple genres. Newer authors tend to be a bit less versatile due to the publishers' love of series, but even there you have people like Weber and Drake. True one-setting writers are the exception, not the rule, at least for anyone with more than a handful of books under their belt.

Philip Jose Farmer's non River World stuff. He is really, really, out there, especially with "Image of the Beast" and "Blown."

Let's not overlook "Flesh" while we're at it. Even the better-known Riverworld books are pretty high-concept, and were radically weird when they first came out.

Roger Zelazny has a wide range of different non standard settings. Although His "Amber" multi-verse could be said to contain everything imaginable, "This Immortal" and "Mad Wand" are from widely different and (for their time) original backgrounds.

Not too mention one-shot stuff like "Lord of Light" and "Damnation Alley" and "A Night In Lonesome October" and the truly odd "Roadmarks" novel. He even gets pretty close to traditional sword & sorcery tropes with the Dilvish the Damned/Changing Land stuff. An extremely versatile author with a wonderful writing style, he fights with Jack Vance for my top slot.

MajorB11 Oct 2012 5:52 a.m. PST

You need to read more.

Well I did say "off the top of my head". Not having access to my extensive library right now made it a bit difficult to be more precise.

vdal1812 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 6:49 a.m. PST

Clark Ashton Smith, very other worldy and a quirky personality.

Personal logo RavenscraftCybernetics Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 7:00 a.m. PST

James P Hogan
Tim Powers
Glen Cook
R A Lafferty

kreoseus211 Oct 2012 7:09 a.m. PST

John Withbourne. Popes & Phanthoms is one of my favourite books ever.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 7:40 a.m. PST

Huge Glen Cook fan – love his stuff and am looking forward to "A Path to Coldness of Heart"

For off-the-beaten track stuff, it is hard to beat China Melville

SCAdian11 Oct 2012 10:01 a.m. PST

John Ringo
Mercedes Lackey (first openly gay hero that I know of in a mainstream fantasy book)

jpattern2 Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 10:33 a.m. PST

Fritz Leiber wrote a lot more than just the Lankhmar books.

Personal logo doc mcb Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 10:52 a.m. PST

Yes, CONJURE WIFE pegs academia.

Personal logo Cyrus the Great Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2012 7:26 p.m. PST

Mack Reynolds, especially his "North Africa" series.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2012 7:17 a.m. PST

Thomas Burnett Swan--delicate, quasi-historical fantasies set in ancient Crete and Etruria.

I've been thinking for a while of rereading the pile of Thomas Burnett Swan's novels that I have – just hoping that 30 years on they stand up as well as they do im my memory – I loved his writing.

Alpha Geek Inactive Member13 Oct 2012 8:27 a.m. PST

quickly off the top of my head…..

C.J. Cherryh
David Brin
Alan Dean Foster
Timothy Zahn

Personal logo capncarp Supporting Member of TMP16 Oct 2012 4:54 p.m. PST

Philip K. Dick, although, "freakin' weird" and "often incomprehensible" may also apply.

cooey2ph Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2012 6:30 a.m. PST

eclectic, meaning very varied in style, approach and content? Then I should have read at least two different works/series from them, right? well, here goes -- my top-of-mind authors would be:

Terry Pratchett
Piers Anthony
Tim Powers
Peter Beagle
Neil Gaiman
China Miéville
S. M. Stirling
Phillip Pullman
alan Garner
Henry Kuttner and CL Moore

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