So, this recent discussion of lists of all-time-best fantasy books turns out to be, in a word, timely.
Thanks to Andrew H. for letting me know about TIME magazine's new special issue celebrating the books that get their nod as the 100 best fantasy. I haven't let seen the actual physical issue (assuming there is a paper copy), but the online list can be found here:
For their methodology of deciding which books to include, see
Rather than rating the books, they simply had their panel of experts put them in chronological order.
Said experts include prominant figures such as Neil Gaiman and R. R. Martin, along with a few whose names I know but have read little of their work (e.g. Jemisin) and some I've never even heard of.
As for the books, I've read most of the earlier ones, but past the mid-point of the list it's like I fell off a cliff. Or to put it another way: I've read most of these books up to the mid 1990s, after which my reading becomes more sporadic. Clearly it's classic fantasy, not the contemporary works, that most appeal to me.
But while there's a lot they list that I haven't read, I'm more concerned about a great deal of what I've read that they fail to list, including books and authors I consider the best of the best, like Dunsany. It's that lack that diminishes this list in my eyes.
--reading: THE LAST TSAR (resumed)
I think the panel was skewing to recent publications; fully 20% of the list is three years old or younger.
For me the most startling omission was Frankenstein although I stan Homer, Gilgamesh, and Beowulf for inclusion also.
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