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1001 Fantasy Challenge!

The Green Dragon

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Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 3:22pm Top

Who wants to do a 1001 Fantasy books Before You Are Turned into a Newt challenge?

I'm working my way through by number of votes.

We have all the books in a library and we have a couple of different lists.

I can also provide an Excel spreadsheet for any who want it.

For encouragement, I'll sweeten the pot. I'll randomly pick a name in six months (July 23rd) from everyone who posts to the thread with a book they've read from the list between today, January 23rd and July 23rd to win a $25 gift cert from Amazon. (That is you've read the book AND posted during that time period.)

Oooooh! Aaaaah!

AND! If you post a SHORT description (no more than 250 words) for the book you read that I can add to the 1001 Fantasy library Comment field, you'll get an additional chance to win. See the library for what I'm looking for.

Xicanti did an awesome job with summaries. Check the ones out for Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians or The Amulet of Samarkand.

Edited: Jan 26, 2009, 3:53pm Top


What is the 1001 Fantasy Books to Read Before You Are Turned into a Newt list?

Okay, about a year ago, I victimized the denizens of the Green Dragon with my idea of creating a list of the "best" fantasy books.

We started off with nominations. People nominated fantasy books within a loose definition of what was considered fantasy. Then once nominations were over, I did several surveys and people voted for books they thought should be on the list. Just about every book that had at least three votes was put on the list.

To get to the 1001 number, I included each book in a series (the number at that time and with some tweaking.) For instance, if a trilogy, it counted as three books. That's why there are 463 actual titles. I only listed the first book in a series.

If you read at least one book from the list and post to this thread, you will get a chance to win the cert. For every book you write a short description for that I can use for the Comment field, you get another chance.

Example: You read and post about The Odyssey by Homer and A Wizard of Earthsea by Le Guin and post summaries for both, you'd get three chances.

I thought about and discarded giving a chance for each book read from the list because it skews it too much for those of us that are quick readers.

Do I need to write a summary to enter the contest?

NO! All you need to do is post when you've read a book from the list. Only the first one will "count" toward the contest, but please tell us what else you have read from the list as the challenge goes on!

If I'm in the middle of reading one of those books right now, will it count?


A number of these books I have read, but don't plan on rereading anytime soon. Can I still post a summary and get credit for it?

I'd prefer to keep it to those books read during the challenge period. I'll revisit the idea in three months (April 23rd.) I may do a separate contest during the second half of the year for summaries only.

How do you handle the summaries for books that come later in a series?

I only need summaries for the series as a whole, preferably, or for the first book in the series.

What do you want in a summary?

A description of the book/series only. I'm not looking for a review. The books are on the list because they are already favorites. Look at some of the summaries in the Comment field of the 1001Fantasy library to see what I'm looking for.

Can I read and summarize a book someone else has already done?

You can certainly read a book someone else has, but if there is already a summary in the comment field, I won't need another.

Jan 23, 2009, 11:31am Top

I'll give it a shot... you didn't even have to sweeten the pot.

Jan 23, 2009, 11:36am Top

I know, but I've been wanting to do some type of contest for awhile now. This fits the best!

Jan 23, 2009, 11:42am Top

So wait...what's the purpose of this whole thing, and how does it work? From the beginning, if you don't mind. (I'm new here.)

Jan 23, 2009, 11:45am Top

Yeah, I'm not sure what you're asking. Do we have to read all 1001 books, or just one and write a review or what?

Jan 23, 2009, 11:47am Top

Also, why does the library only include 463 books?

Jan 23, 2009, 11:57am Top

Alright, alright, Morphy, you've pulled my arm enough! I'll push this list to the top of my list of lists (oh, you know what I'm talking about)! As I said in another thread, I'm gonna read them in chronological order (my neuroses won't let me do it any other way).

Jan 23, 2009, 12:00pm Top

Okay, about a year ago, I victimized the denizens of the Green Dragon with my idea of creating a list of the "best" fantasy books.

We started off with nominations. People nominated fantasy books within a loose definition of what was considered fantasy. Then once nominations were over, I did several surveys and people voted for books they thought should be on the list. Just about every book that had at least three votes was put on the list.

To get to the 1001 number, I included each book in a series (the number at that time and with some tweaking.) For instance, if a trilogy, it counted as three books. That's why there are 463 actual titles. I only listed the first book in a series.

If you read at least one book from the list and post to this thread, you will get a chance to win the cert. For every book you write a short description/review for that I can use for the Comment field, you get another chance.

Example: You read and post about The Odyssey by Homer and A Wizard of Earthsea by Le Guin and post descriptions for both, you'd get three chances.

I thought about and discarded giving a chance for each book read from the list because it skews it too much for those of us that are quick readers.

Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 12:07pm Top

Thanks! A couple of questions, then:

- If I'm in the middle of reading one of those books right now, will it count?
- A number of these books I have read, but don't plan on rereading anytime soon. Can I still post a summary and get credit for it?
- How do you handle the summaries for books that come later in a series?

I'll definitely try to knock off at least a couple of books off this list.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:09pm Top

#1 Certainly.

#2 I'd prefer to keep it to those books read during the challenge period. I'll revisit the idea in three months (April 23rd.)

#3 I only need summaries for the series as a whole, preferably, or for the first book in the series.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:16pm Top

Count me in! I was already planning on tracking how many of these I read this year. I just finished Titus Groan the other day, and I've got a few more on tap for the next little while.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:34pm Top

Well seeing as how I'm still trying to fill in some gaps with recommendations for my 999 challenge this will be an awesome place to draw titles from. :)

Also, I've seen a lot of commercially produced "Best Fantasy/Sci-Fi" lists and scanning through them I more often than not see titles that gained critics' praise but left me saying "that was a load of rubbish". I can honestly say that the titles on this list that I have read are some of my all time favorites and it makes me much more eager to read the others that are listed!!

Edited: Jan 23, 2009, 12:36pm Top

I'm all giddy with excitement! I love starting a new book list! I've already taken my Apuleius off the shelf and stuck it in my 'currently reading' pile (I've already read The Iliad and The Odyssey, although I will be reading selections from both of them again this semester for the mythology course I'm teaching). I've read bits and pieces of The Golden Ass before, but never the entire thing. Yay!

*Starts jumping up and down gleefully*

NB: Although I'm excited about reading through the list with the group, I think I'll excuse myself from the contest. I'm not very good at writing summaries, and so I may just list my reads without them, or when I do include a summary, it probably won't be good enough to add to the book's page.

ET close my runaway parenthesis.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:45pm Top

Hey hey! No need to excuse yourself from the contest. Just post when you have read a book from the list! The summaries are just for EXTRA chances.

Jan 23, 2009, 12:57pm Top

Oh, OK. Sweet!

Jan 23, 2009, 1:27pm Top

have just borrowed The Illiad so now I have begun too

Jan 23, 2009, 1:39pm Top

Ok, Morphy, I'm in. It'll be a little while before I settle down to actually reading a Fantasy from your list. But I promise it will happen. You are on my mind.

and in my ToBeRead files

Jan 23, 2009, 2:24pm Top

Morphy, I don't want to read through a list, but is it O.K. if I participate if one of the books I want to read happens to be on the list? For instance, The Hobbit is next on my fantasy pile to reread, unless I receive Hero of Ages before that. Also, I've a huge stack of fantasies to read through in my TBR, so if any of them are on the list, 's O.K. for me to list it here?

Jan 23, 2009, 3:26pm Top

Anyway you want to participate is okey dokey, MrsLee!

Jan 23, 2009, 3:29pm Top

*wondering how Morphy would know if someone just reviewed a book they've already read....*

Jan 23, 2009, 3:29pm Top

I'm going to have to do this on a trust basis.

Jan 23, 2009, 3:30pm Top

You're a good person, Morphy.

Jan 23, 2009, 3:37pm Top

If some stranger to LT and GD came in and did 50 or more summaries, I'd get suspicious, you know? But I honestly don't think that will happen.

Partially because if someone wants to put THAT much work into getting $25, well...

Jan 23, 2009, 4:38pm Top

Thank you! This is the first time I felt the need to track an interesting library, what a fabulous list of books!

I'll be trolling the list for ideas.

Jan 24, 2009, 4:16am Top

Morphy's other name is the Shadow, and the Shadow Knows!

Jan 24, 2009, 8:54pm Top

Well, I just finished Legend. Great book. Do I post my summary here?

Jan 25, 2009, 10:33am Top

I am in the middle of Imajica by Clive Barker at the moment. It has been slow going because it takes a certain amount of concentration, but it is a library book and I've already renewed it once, so I'll have to finish it pretty soon. I'll try to post a summary when I do, but I'm not sure how good it'll be! :P

Jan 25, 2009, 8:39pm Top

Thanks for hosting this challenge, Morphidae. I'm planning on reading at least 6 more of these books this year (already finished Watchmen, darn!), and I'll do that in the first half.

Great list - nice work on compiling it. I know lots of these, but there are many here still to discover.

Edited: Jan 26, 2009, 11:32am Top

How's this?
Lord Ulric Wolfshead has united the Nadir tribes, and now casts his expansionary gaze on the lands of the Drenai people. All that stands between the Drenai and Ulric's invading armies is the six-walled fortress of Dros Delnoch, held by a mere ten thousand men. But Druss the Legend, the ax-wielding Drenai hero, has come out of retirement for one last battle. He has fought in, and survived, a thousand lost causes; but he is no longer the young warrior he once was. Will he be able to live up to his own legend? And will it even matter? Either way, a new legend will be written at the siege of Dros Delnoch.

Legend is a standlone story, and the first book in the Drenai Saga. Written by David Gemmell while facing (misdiagnosed) terminal cancer, it is a simple yet powerful tale of honor and courage, and what men will do to stand up for what they believe in. ~saltmanz
I'm currently reading Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight, will probably go on to read The Unlikely Ones and The Great Book of Amber, and possibly a reread of my all-time favorite book, Shardik.

Jan 26, 2009, 11:33am Top

Perfect! Just what I'm looking for.

Jan 26, 2009, 3:33pm Top

Can I read and summarize a book someone else has already done?

Jan 26, 2009, 3:53pm Top

You can certainly read a book someone else has, but if there is already a summary in the comment field, I won't need another.

Jan 26, 2009, 3:55pm Top


Jan 26, 2009, 4:07pm Top

I started reading the Mistborn last night. When I finish I'll post the summary you need.

I have read a great many of the books and the series you already have and could write summaries for them, but at this point probably wouldn't reread something that I have read once already. My own challenge I have set myself is to read 120 books this year (10 a month) and try to eat into my TBR/backlog pile.

Jan 26, 2009, 4:13pm Top

I've written a summary for Titus Groan. It's not admissable for the contest, seeing as how I finished the book before the 23rd, but I do miss writing the things!

Gormenghast, hereditary seat of the Earls of Groan, has remained unchanged for centuries. The inhabitants live out their lives in a hermetically sealed bubble, taking their cues from a series of rules and rituals set down seventy-seven generations ago. Into this stagnant pond comes Steerpike, the ambitious kitchen boy with a finger in every pie. Steerpike is determined to reorganize Gormenghast's rigid social structure in his own favour. A chance encounter following the birth of a new heir sets him on the path towards his ultimate goal - covert control of Gormenghast.

Titus Groan is the first volume in Mervyn Peake's influential Gormenghast series. Peake originally planned the series as an epic undertaking that would trace Titus's path from birth to death, but he was only able to complete the first three books and a portion of a fourth volume before his own death. He is credited with the creation of fantasy of manners, a subgenre in which plot typically takes a backseat to the characters' interactions and motivations. Titus Groan and its sequels have also influenced the New Weird and other modern forms of weird fiction. The books are recommended to those with an interest in any of these subgenres. Those with a strong attachment to traditional epic fantasy may find them less appealing.

Jan 27, 2009, 12:48pm Top

Anyone counted up how many of the 1001 they've read? I've done 122. (I've tagged them all here. There are 5 duplicates in there that make up for the 5 that get lost in omnibus editions.)

Jan 30, 2009, 1:17pm Top

I wonder if I should add this thread to our group info... so it doesn't get lost in the bowels of the LT...

Jan 30, 2009, 4:24pm Top

That would be pretty cool, if there is the room.

Jan 30, 2009, 4:58pm Top

I've read 79, 1 this year, but my review was pretty lame. I read The Green Man. Here's the review, but it's not great:

I just found this collection of short stories and poems at the library and it looked like fun. Like most collections, I really liked some of the stories, some were fun, but nothing special, and some were not my style at all. I did find some new authors to read - Tanith Lee and M. Shayne Bell both had stories I really enjoyed.

If you decide that's not detailed enough, that's OK with me, Morphy.

Jan 30, 2009, 4:58pm Top

And is it too late to suggest more books for the list?

Jan 30, 2009, 5:01pm Top

Clam > recently cD added the ability to have an actual Group related wiki, if you wanted to use that to keep track of special threads, links and what not. I'm not sure yet how to GET the page started but if you want I can look into it, or just expand GreenDragons wiki (if you want).

Jan 30, 2009, 5:11pm Top

Ahh, I hadn't though of that. We'd still have to post a link to the wiki though... Let's think about it.

Does the main page look too bulky again?

Jan 30, 2009, 5:19pm Top

Yes, if you're only posting one or two links over there it isn't worth it, if you'll want to keep track of more stuff it is a good way to organize.

Jan 31, 2009, 3:20am Top

The main page looks fine to me clam, but I have a huge screen, that might make a difference?

Jan 31, 2009, 8:55am Top


For books on the 1001Fantasy list, I need summaries rather than reviews. If you like, you can go look at some of the summaries, they are in the Comments column, and then write something up for The Green Man.

And yeah, the list is set as is. At least for now. It was a LOT of work. Maybe in a year or two, we'll do a "What books should be added" list.

Jan 31, 2009, 6:35pm Top

Just to get in the drawing I reread a Spell for Chameleon. Wanted to see if it would work for my daughter and it had been quite some time. Still enjoyable. I will try and motivate myself to write up a summary for the comments.

Jan 31, 2009, 7:19pm Top

Thanks Morphy! I will take another look at the book and then come up with a summary.

Edited: Feb 3, 2009, 8:12pm Top

Just finished Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. Here is the summary for the 1001 Library and later tonight I will type up my review for all of LT, and Amazon and Visual Bookshelf at Facebook.

Sanderson goes beyond a standard fantasy with his Mistborn world. Here magic is based on the consumption of metals and not all can do it, so we have a class system when it comes to the use of this highly unique sorcery.

The magic is central to the success of the story so that it is well thought out, balanced and powerful in the hands of those who use it, makes the story elevate from a light to read to one where complexity and nuance comes forth.

For a 1000 years power in the Final Empire has been in the hands of the Lord Ruler, a seemingly eternal man. He rules the Skaa through his nobles, obligators and very scary Inquisitors. Those of a certain blood can use the metal magic, Allomancy. Any child between the nobility and Skaa must be killed to keep the bloodlines pure.

But our Hero and Heroine and their friends, from the serf class of Skaa have managed to have some of that special blood and are Allomancers. And despite all previous attempts to end the reign of the evil lord and his friends, desire to try again to overthrow the Final Empire.

Edited: Feb 19, 2009, 12:43pm Top

Finished Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight last night, so here's my summary. I hope it's not too meta?
Dear Ben, this is the story about how I wandered away from our cabin and found myself in the magical world of Mythgarthr, the centermost of seven worlds where I fell in love with the mossmaiden Disiri and became the powerful knight known as Sir Able of the High Heart. I'll try to tell you all I can, but don't be alarmed if my narrative skips around, or if I accidently overlook some detail every now and then. Mythgarthr really is an interesting place, with how it seems to blend Norse mythology, Arthurian legend, Christianity, and old English Faerie all together. Anyway, I have a lot to tell, about giants and ogres, aelf and dragons, kings and queens and knights. And a talking animal or two. It's a good story, Ben, and I think you'll enjoy it. ~saltmanz

Feb 17, 2009, 1:51pm Top

Morphidae was last here at the end of January

I hope this is still active. i should be able to read a couple more by the end of the year to contribute.

Feb 17, 2009, 2:15pm Top

Oh, I'm here!

Feb 17, 2009, 9:03pm Top

I read Watchmen for a book group, finished it last week. It was ok, I didn't think it was the best thing ever and I wasn't thrilled with the end. I'll be interested to see how they made it into a movie.

Feb 18, 2009, 11:08am Top

I forgot to mention I read Lies of Locke Lamora, I already checked and you have a good description for the book.

Feb 18, 2009, 12:23pm Top

How are we doing on updating the list? I looked a couple days ago. In order to be sure that the next book I read from the list, and announce here, someone else hasn't, do i reread all the posts in the thread to see what has been done?

Feb 18, 2009, 12:27pm Top

I don't think any of the summaries posted here have been added to the list yet.

Feb 18, 2009, 2:04pm Top

DWWilkin - you can just search the posts for whatever you're thinking of reading. Ctrl+F in most windows browsers I think, or just / and start typing in Firefox (unless you're in a text box), because it is magical.

Feb 18, 2009, 2:56pm Top

A couple of the books are also on my challenge list(s) so I'll definitely partake at least once before July. Looking forward to it!

Feb 18, 2009, 2:57pm Top

Morphy, a question? I looked in the library and couldn't find Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke, but I see it's on a list, so is it eligible? If it is, I just read it. :)

Feb 18, 2009, 3:13pm Top

59 > I don't know why you wouldn't see it in the library; it's there.

Edited: Feb 18, 2009, 6:20pm Top

Hmm, maybe I typed it wrong, I'll go look again. Try the author this time.

ETA: yep, I found it. Don't know if I'm up to a summary at this time though. I'm just happy I read it.

Feb 18, 2009, 8:49pm Top

I'll update comments this weekend with the ones done so far.

Feb 18, 2009, 10:47pm Top

I am reading the eyre affair right now.

Edited: Feb 23, 2009, 2:14pm Top

All summaries have been placed in comments. Keep them coming! ~ Morphidae

Mar 2, 2009, 3:10pm Top

I finished The Golden Ass today, and here's my attempt at a summary, although I warn you that I'm terrible at this sort of thing:

Lucius, a traveler, through his own naughtiness and stupid decisions, gets himself accidentally transformed into an ass (to match the metaphorical ass that he already is). He then continues his travels as an ass and endures a series of adventures (and misadventures), all the while looking for some roses to nibble on, which is the cure for his unfortunate shape. Finally, through the help of the goddess Isis, he mends his asinine ways, both mentally and physically, and becomes an initiate in her mystery cult. The narration of his adventures includes many mini-stories as well, reminiscent of the later Boccaccio or Chaucer, including the beautiful tale of Cupid and Psyche.

Mar 2, 2009, 10:25pm Top

I finished Nine Princes in Amber last night, but I'll probably need to finish out the 5-book series before I can formulate a good summary.

Mar 2, 2009, 10:47pm Top

There aren't any Hambly books on the list?

Mar 3, 2009, 8:26am Top

She may have gotten nominations, but didn't get enough votes.

Mar 3, 2009, 10:22am Top

Great loss, no Barbara Hambly books...sigh. This is very sad.

I am not big on Vampire books, but - her title, Those Who Hunt the Night is just staggeringly good, and written before the current (stampede) (ahem) fad. She did some remarkable things: the heroine is a doctor in the nineteenth century, when such things were NOT done, as a female. It makes for some incredible, believable tension. Her husband is set under threat UNLESS she solves the Vamp community's problem - and this was written before the wave...the story's got gorgeous pacing, outstanding characters, and prose that is to die for...I'd think that anyone who likes Guy Kay might enjoy Hambly's work a lot.

In fantasy, her Suncross duology and her Time of the Dark trilogy are also excellent, and for the same reasons. She did another series with dragons with protagonists who are in love, but it's a rocky relationship, done with considerable verve and wisdom.

I wonder if the lack of votes was simply that her books are of more interest to a slightly more mature readership? The relationships of the characters definitely have levels and layers, it's not the simple, youthful hero with the sword getting the girl. The relationships are deeper and more powerfully depicted.

She's done historical mysteries set in New Orleans, rather darkly grim and gritty in tone, but beautifully researched, having a black free man as a character, in a difficult time period for a free person of color.

Hambly also did one Roman historical, Search the Seven Hills that was just wonderful, about an aristocrat senator's daughter who gets kidnapped, and the student philosopher bohemian type who seeks her rescue. It was published in a very early hardback version, titled as The Quirinal Hill Affair.

Ummm - sorry for the rather long post...but this is a superb writer, (one whose titles I make time to read twice or more, they are that loved) and one of my favorites for a long time. This is certainly not a critique of Morphidae's splended list, or the vote - but a sadness, that work of this quality and merit might so easily be overlooked.

Mar 3, 2009, 10:41am Top

No apology needed, I'll bet. Most of us *wink* like books and enjoy hearing about a new good author. Plus, hyjacking threads is a grand tradition in the Dragon.

Mar 3, 2009, 10:44am Top

Wow, I just went back and checked the original nominations. She didn't even get nominated.

Perhaps next year I'll do an update.

Mar 3, 2009, 12:22pm Top

I've read Watchmen and reread Swordspoint over the past month. I'll try for summaries soon, if no one beats me to it.

Mar 3, 2009, 2:00pm Top

Even if Janny doesn't read any of the Daughter of Empire books, within the six month time frame, can you think of anyone better to write a synopsis for the list?

And failing that, it has been a few years since my last read of Mara and the Tsurani. Perhaps I need to revisit it.

Mar 3, 2009, 4:42pm Top

Heh, think she can do it in 250 words or less? Really?

Mar 3, 2009, 6:05pm Top

#69 & #71
Thank you both. I treasure Hambly's work. She has a rare talent.

Mar 16, 2009, 10:29pm Top

I finished Beowulf. I can't believe I'd never read this before. Now on to The Divine Comedy!

Mar 17, 2009, 8:12am Top

I finished the First Chronicles of Amber last night. Now to come up with a summary...

Mar 17, 2009, 8:31am Top

Yay! More summaries...

Edited: Apr 10, 2009, 2:41pm Top

Here it is. For Nine Princes in Amber:


When Carl Corey wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who he is or how he got there, his search to recover his memory will draw him into a world of intrigue, betrayal, and war. A world called Amber. Amber: the one true world, of which all other possible worlds -- including our own Earth -- are but mere shadows. A world of magic whose king has gone missing, where princes and princesses vie for the throne, each imbued with supernatural powers and the ability to travel between shadows. And beyond lies a showdown with the forces of Chaos itself, and nothing less than all of existence hangs in the balance!

Written in the 70s, the five books of the First Chronicles of Amber still hold up today as a classic fantasy adventure. Zelazny proves that you don't need massive 1,000-page tomes to make a gripping fantasy epic. ~saltmanz

Edited: Mar 25, 2009, 5:12pm Top

I looked at the list and where we have crossover and unless I do a few rereads, I may be hard pressed to read something I haven't already that I own. Not sure I want to spend much money at the moment.

Revising this to say that I found one... Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I am into it for a 100 pages so far.

Mar 29, 2009, 10:56pm Top

Name of the wind
We meet our hero as an adult, so we have a foretelling that whatever tribulations he shall endure, he shall survive. Kvothe has an adventurous past and it is a dark past. A victim of circumstance that puts him on the road to being that hero. He must confront an evil that is threatening the world and him.

This first book in a trilogy, the others not having been released yet, brings us to understand the story of our hero and his development and training. We do this through the heroes own telling to The Chronicler. This glimpse gives us some parallel to Harry Potter as we see growth at a University to the study of magic amongst other young people, though here our hero has a much more difficult and dark time than Harry possibly ever had.

We look forward to the next books as there are very many unanswered questions that we need to know the answers too.

Mar 29, 2009, 11:33pm Top

Ohhhhh, fun challenge!!! *jumps up and down*

Just yesterday I re-read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland without knowing about this contest thingie. :D

And I *know* I re-read American Gods sometime after January 23rd. Also re-read Watchmen recently, just before going to see the film.

Might pick up Little, Big just as soon as I finish reading my current one (Geek Love.) And then I might pick up Good Omens and The Eyes of the Dragon, which for some reason has been sitting on my shelves for a long time and I haven't read it yet. AND The Colour of Magic too.

I think that's it for the titles I currently own and which I haven't read yet. I have a total of 18 in common. See what you made me do, Morphy? Now I have got to buy allll the remaining 445 I don't currently own! ;P

Great picks! This list is very comprehensive, there's something for everyone! I love the fact that you included some Spanish-language titles, too. :)

Mar 30, 2009, 8:10am Top

I've added The Princess Bride to my list and also re-read His Dark Materials by Pullman.

Mar 30, 2009, 12:15pm Top

I'm nearing the end of the 3rd book in the Dying Earth series. Once again, I'll probably hold off on the summary until I finish book four.

A question, though: The list shows the Dying Earth series as being 5 books. My omnibus has only four. Am I to assume that the authorized sequel, A Quest for Simbilis by Michael Shea, is the fifth?

Mar 30, 2009, 2:07pm Top

Yes, more than likely. I didn't look at authors, just the numbers.

Mar 30, 2009, 3:30pm Top

Funny that the Princess Bride came up. My wife just last week asked if I had the book so she could read it also. (I have had the book since about 1980)

Mar 30, 2009, 6:03pm Top

I finished The Year's Best Fantasy the other day.

Apr 7, 2009, 10:16pm Top

I'm still stuck on the fourth book of The Dying Earth, and thus, still holding off on my summary.

I've also read a good chunk of The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian which I think, once done, should give me enough Conan exposure to be able to write the Conan summary.

Apr 9, 2009, 8:12pm Top

I finished The Colour of Magic in February (as part of Rincewind the Wizzard), and just now finding time to post a summary. Hope this is OK...

The Colour of Magic is the tale of Rincewind, a wizard-wanna-be who flunked out of wizardry school, and Twoflower, Discworld’s first and only tourist. Twoflower arrives in Ankh-Morpork unable to speak the language and trailed by the Luggage, a big wooden chest moving on hundreds of tiny legs. Luckily (or not), Rincewind is able to communicate with Twoflower, and eyeing all the gold in Twoflower’s possession, agrees to be his guide. What happens next is a roller-coaster of a ride as the eternally-optimistic Twoflower gets into all kinds of trouble, with the cowardly Rincewind eventually coming to his rescue.

Edited: Apr 10, 2009, 2:41pm Top

As mentioned above, I feel I've read enough Conan now to comfortably throw this together:


"Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand...to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet." These are the tales of the original sword-and-sorcery hero, Conan: a barbarian from the northern country of Cimmeria who cuts a swath of adventure and excitement across the Hyborian Age, first as a young warrior, then later as a thief, a pirate, a mercenary, a commander of armies, and finally a king. Powerful and insightful, Conan is nevertheless uncomfortable with civilization, preferring the simplicity of battle. Lucky him: his adventures will pit him against assassins, wizards, monsters, entire armies, and even the occasional god!

Created over 75 years ago, Conan remains Robert E. Howard's most famous and beloved creation, immortalized since in magazines, comics, and films. But the most interesting version of the popular barbarian remains the one presented in Howard's original stories. Stories of adventure, suspense, and horror. Stories that themselves remain surprisingly fresh three-quarters of a century later. ~saltmanz

Apr 10, 2009, 3:13pm Top

I'll be finishing up my four-volume omnibus of The Dying Earth later tonight, so here's this:


It is the twenty-first Aeon. The sun has dwindled to a dull red sphere, and threatens to go out at any time. The Earth has been weathered, its once-mighty cities crumbled to ruin and forgotten, buried beneath the wastelands and replaced with a scatter of villages. Strange creatures roam the planet: aliens and monsters and bizarre offshoots of humanity. Technology has become indistinguishable from magic, and it is magic that now rules the dying Earth. This is the backdrop for the fantastical tales of such colorful characters as Turjan of Miir, Mazirian the Magician, Ulan Dhor, Cugel the Clever, and Rhialto the Marvellous.

With the first volume published in 1950, Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" series is responsible for influencing some of SF/F's greatest writers, being the basis of the magic system in the Dungeons & Dragons game, and kickstarting a whole new subgenre. A fantasy classic by any definition.

Apr 25, 2009, 11:17am Top

Wow, it's been a long time since I updated. A thousand lashes with a wet noodle!

Anyway, all caught up now. Some great summaries! Good job.

Another 3 months to go, so keep on reading! For your first post on this thread, you get a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate. In addition, for every summary you write* for a book in the 1001Fantasy library that doesn't already have one, you get an additional chance to WIN WIN WIN!

*under 250 words, summary not review, accepted with minimal editing, that you've read between January 23rd and July 23rd

May 5, 2009, 10:37pm Top

Okay, I should finally be wrapping up the 2nd Chronicles of Amber tonight, and then I'm back into the Challenge with a 10th read of my all-time favorite, Shardik.

May 6, 2009, 8:07pm Top

I just finished reading Alcatraz verses the Evil Librarians, but I see it has a description already.

May 17, 2009, 8:58pm Top

I read Thomas the Rhymer. Here's a summary:

Gavin and Meg live a simple life as shepherds when, in the middle of a storm, a sick harper appears at their door. After they nurse Thomas back to health, he sticks around to wander the hills, help with the sheep, and fall in love with their neighbor, Elspeth. Thomas is a restless soul, however, and eventually he returns to his court life and travels, visiting the farm off and on until eventually, he and Elspeth seem destined to marry. But one day Thomas meets the Queen of Elfland and becomes bound to her for seven years' service in the land of the elves. During the seven years, he speaks to no one but the queen. He manages to solve a riddle through singing, but he is lonely with only his changeable lover to speak to. When his time is up, the queen sends him back to the real world, where he has difficulty adjusting. Not only has Thomas been away from mundane things like cold and dirt for seven years, but the queen has also given him a tongue that cannot lie. With this dubious gift he sets out to rebuild a life with Elspeth, both of them making accommodations for his uncomfortable truths.

May 24, 2009, 12:46am Top

I have read Nine Princes in Amber, but we've already got a summary.

Jun 1, 2009, 1:45pm Top

Gah. It's been a week and a half since I finished Shardik, it's my favorite book, that I've now read ten times, and I'm still having problems writing a summary...

Jun 29, 2009, 3:39pm Top

Not entirely happy with this, but here it:
When the hunter Kelderek encounters an enormous bear in the Ortelgan jungle, he knows that it can mean only thing: Shardik, the incarnate Power of God, has returned to the world at long last. His steadfast devotion to the bear will lead him on a journey across the length and breadth of the Beklan Empire, from dizzying heights of power and prestige to the darkest depths of despair, all the while seeking to discern the great Truth that Shardik must surely intend to reveal.

Richard Adams puts his considerable skill toward creating an entire civilization, and he does so vividly and stylishly. More importantly, this is a powerful story of the human condition, about faith, and about the consequences of the abuse of power. Perhaps most impressively, Adams lets the reader draw his own conclusions: is Shardik truly divine? Should Kelderk be loathed or pitied? What, if anything, was Shardik sent to reveal? Read and decide for yourself.

Edited: Jun 30, 2009, 4:26pm Top

*as requested, I'll try to make this more of a summary and less of a review!

Watership Down. Here's my summary:

After Hazel's brother Fiver has a vision of impending doom headed for their rabbit warren, they both, along with some friends, set off to find a new place to live. Along the way, they encounter challenges they never expected and prove to be resourceful and brave.

They first a seemingly perfect place to stay, and are even welcomed in by the rabbits, but Fiver remains convinced that they are in great danger. With the help of others, including Bigwig the fighter, Dandelion the inventor, and their new friend Kehaar the bird, they are able to find a new place to call home. But if they want to find some females, they will have to face the totalitarian regime of General Woundwort.

This is still one of my favorite stories. I love Hazel, the leader in spite of himself, who inspires his group by his compassion and common sense. I love Bigwig, tough and brave, but willing to learn something new. I love Dandelion and Blackberry, and they way the help their friends and never give up.

*there! I hope that's more what you wanted.

Dec 28, 2011, 1:06am Top

Are you still looking for summaries for the books?

Dec 28, 2011, 6:24am Top

Not actively. But I can enter any that are submitted.

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