A while back I mentioned that — for an unnamed publication, and for an unnamed sum — I’d agreed to name the six greatest fantasy novels of all time. The post got some great comments, a lot actually, and I think I promised I’d say when the piece actually came out.
Now it can be told. The unnamed publication was The Week. The unnamed sum was zero dollars. The piece is here.
I waited a while to link to it, because while I knew it was basically impossible to make a list like that, I didn’t realize it would be that impossible. In the end all I could do was make sure that there was a mix of newer and older books, and male and female authors, and that every book on there was not only an absolute indisputable classic, that I personally loved, but one that completely changed the game when it was published.
The list, minus annotations, looks like this (it’s non-ordered):
– The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
– The Once and Future King by T.H. White
– Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories
– The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
– Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
– Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
It’s hard to look at it now and not think about the near-infinite list of great books that was left off it. Also that they edited out my joke about my celeb-u-crush on Tilda Swinton. But you know, a promise is a promise.
And traffic is traffic.
More on Time.com: