The Six Greatest Fantasy Novels of All Time

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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.

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