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Who's who in Fantasy fiction

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fantasy fiction
Fantasy fiction is a genre in which the events which occur therein would never occur in the real world. Plots focus on magic and supernatural elements rather than the technology readers might see in science fiction. Of course, "any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic", as they say. A common fantasy storyline is a quest to find a Magical Thingamajig.

Readers of fantasy fiction can expect to see elves, faeries, dwarves, and a dragon in a dungeon.

For the sake of my sanity, I no longer read much fantasy. I always seem to end up at "not Middle-earth" or "not Discworld" by the time the book is finished.

Below are the fantasy authors to which I tend when I need a fantasy fix.

These books can be difficult to find since many are out of print. Some great places to buy used books online include:

JRR Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (03 January 1892 to 02 September 1973) was a British writer, poet, philologist, and university professor. He is best known for his classic fantasy books: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings (trilogy), and The Similarion. The universe in which the events of these books occur is termed "Middle-earth".

Tolkien was an extraordinary writer who created a mythology extending over 3000 years in his books. He also invented a language. His works are popular to the extent that Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit were made into bestselling films.

His books have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide. He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University in 1972. He died in 1973 at the age of 81. His and his wife's tombstones are respectively marked "Beren" and "LĂșthien" in token of Tolkien's characters.

Tolkien Reading Day is 25 March

The Lord of the Rings and the universe of Middle-earth

the hobbit The Lord Of The Rings is perhaps one of the most well known fantasy epics of all time, establishing the ideas of Orcs, Elves, Wizards, Halflings (Hobbits), and all manner of other creatures as a firm mainstay of the fantasy genre.

the lord of the rings The series begins with The Hobbit. The main body of the universe is contained in the three-volume set of books entitled The Lord of the Rings. It can be a bit of an undertaking to read all of it, yet it is also very rewarding to read all the way through it. The scale of this universe is breathtaking.

Many of Tolkien's previously unpublished books concerning the events in Middle-earth such as the Histories were edited and published by his son after he died.

Terry Pratchett

Sir Terence David John Pratchett (28 April 1948 to 12 March 2015) was a British author of fantasy novels. He is best known for the Discworld series. In his works he lampshades, satirizes, and otherwise lampoons almost every established cliché and accepted fantasy or social aspect under the sun -- and rephrases the most serious and philosophical matters into obvious, even highly amusing, phrases.

His works have sold over 85 million books worldwide in 37 languages, and he was the Uk's best-selling author back in the 1990s.

He was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in December 2007. DEATH came for him at age 66.

Discworld

Pratchett is best-known for his books in the Discworld universe. Discworld is flat and goes through space on the back of four elephants which stand on the shell of a giant turtle. I would consider the Discworld universe a comic fantasy whose books loosely consist of several sub-series sets (Rincewind, The Witches, Vimes, Death, etc). The inhabitants are of all races and species such that it resembles a giant tabletop RPG (Role Playing Game) or virtual MUD (Multi-User Dungeon), if you ever played either of those.

Tip: Never start with the first Discworld book. The very first book in the series, both narratively and chronologically, is The Colour of Magic. A comic fantasy based around the cowardly Rincewind the Wizzard Wizard is very different in style to more recent books such as Night Watch or Making Money.

Instead, I would recommend starting with something featuring The Witches or Sam Vimes such as Equal Rites or Guards! Guards!. The characters are well-written, entertaining, and easy to read.

Children's books

the carpet people The Carpet People was written by Pratchett at the ripe age of seventeen. It was later redone and re-printed. The story follows a tribe called Munrungs as they travel across The Carpet.   the bromeliad series The Bromeliad series is about the little Nomes who live under the floorboards in THE Store that was clearly created for them by Arnold Bros.
strata Strata is one of the few pure sci-fi novels written by Pratchett. It is considered by some fans to be the spiritual ancestor of Discworld.   nation Nation is an alternate-universe version of Earth set after Darwin published his works.
johnny maxwell Johnny Maxwell is a three-book series about a disturbingly normal kid.   dodger Dodger is set in Victorian London, and is heavily inspired by Dickens' character The Artful Dodger.

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