This article is from the Recommended Fantasy Authors FAQ, by Amy Sheldon email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
R.A. MacAvoy (b. 1949)
Tea With the Black Dragon
"Out of print, but worth looking up. This was her
first book - its sequel ("Twisting the Rope") is
nowhere near as good.
"Damiano trilogy" - Damiano; Damiano's Lute; Raphael
"Fantasy in Renaissance Italy
"Lens of the World trilogy" - Lens of the World; King of
the Dead; Belly of the Wolf
"MacAvoy is fond of creating heroes who remain
stubbornly innocent to the point of idiocy. Some
readers find this annoying (yeah, I'm one of them),
but she is a good writer, and always tells an
*Julian May (b. 1931)
"The Saga of the Pliocene Exiles" - The Many-Colored Land;
The Golden Torc; The Nonborn King; The Adversary
"Set six million years in the past. I'm told this is
kinda like 'elves and dinosaurs.' It is related to
May's SF series, "The Galactic Milieu," so if you
like her you've got more books to look for.
**Anne McCaffrey (b. 1926)
"Dragonriders of Pern" - Dragonflight; Dragonquest; The
"Yeah, they're SF, but they're included here by
popular request. Lots more have been published since
the first trilogy, and they've gotten more and more
SFnal as they've gone along.
"Harper's Hall trilogy" - Dragonsong; Dragonsinger;
"Geared more toward the Young Adult market, your
FAQmaker considers this trilogy to be the most
fantasy-based of the Pern books.
Dennis McKiernan (b. 1932)
"The Iron Tower Trilogy" - The Dark Tide; Shadows of Doom;
The Darkest Day
"Well, McKiernan wanted to write a sequel to 'Lord
of the Rings', but the Tolkien estate refused
permission. So he recreated Middle Earth in "The
Iron Tower Trilogy" with just enough differences to
keep from violating copyright and has continued from
there. A decent writer, and his later books about
the world of Mithgar are much more original and
"Silver Call duology" - Trek to Kraggen-Cor; The Brega Path
"This was intended to be one book, so you definitely
don't want to read it unless you have both parts in
Tales of Mithgar
"11 short stories set in Mithgar.
The Eye of the Hunter
Voyage of the Fox Rider
"Hel's Crucible duology" - Into the Forge; Into the Fire
(forthcoming Sept. '98)
"These books stand alone, but take place in Mithgar,
the world of the "Iron Tower" trilogy. McKiernan's
latest book, "The Caverns of Socrates," is SF
Patricia McKillip (b. 1948)
The Forgotten Beasts of Eld
"Received the World Fantasy Award when it was
published in 1975. A marvelous novel and highly
recommended. It recently (July '96) was returned to
print in the U.S. by Harcourt Brace under their
"Magic Carpet" imprint. Hooray!
The Throme of the Erril of Sherill
"Her first published fantasy, and it's hard to find,
but well worth looking for. A revised edition came
out in the mid-80's.
"The Riddlemaster of Hed" - The Riddlemaster of Hed; Heir
of Sea and Fire; Harpist in the Wind
"Excellent trilogy. Your FAQmaker sez: Get these and
read them. Beautifully written.
The Changeling Sea
"A young-adult standalone, with a young peasant girl
saving a prince. Lyrical and moving.
Something Rich and Strange
"A standalone, part of Brian Froud's Faerielands
series of novels based on his illustrations. Very
atmospheric, quite short, involving a contemporary
couple living on the western seacoast and their
encounter with magic.
The Book of Atrix Wolfe
"Standalone about a powerful wizard whose attempt to
stop a war has unexpected (and disastrous) results.
"Cygnet" - Sorceress and Cygnet; Cygnet and Firebird
"The first book in this series is well equipped with
McKillip's usual lyric prose, but the actual plot is
a bit obscure. Enjoyable, but not her best work.
"Another small gem from McKillip. Faerie and reality
meet, with results that may be fatal for Rois
Melior's sister Laurel.
Song of the Bsilisk (forthcoming Sept. '98)
"A new standalone from McKillip.
Robin McKinley (b. 1952)
"Charming retelling of Beauty & the Beast. Her first
novel-it's out of print now, but worth looking for.
Do NOT confuse it with Sherri Tepper's "Beauty" -
they are VERY different books.
"Damar series" - The Blue Sword; The Hero and the Crown
"She only wrote two books set in Damar (and they are
standalones), and has since gone on to other
The Outlaws of Sherwood
"Guess who this one's about.
"I like McKinley, but most of her work is fairly
lightweight. This isn't. Based on the uncensored
version of Perrault's classic fairytale
'Donkeyskin', it tackles the subject of incest
A Knot in the Grain and Other Stories
"Short story collection. Two of the five stories in
the book mention Damar.
"McKinley returns once again to the story of Beauty
and the Beast. "Publishers Weekly" calls this one a
'heady mix of fairy tale, magic and romance.' This
is being peddled to the Young Adult market, so
you'll need to leave the sf section of your
bookstore to find it.
L.E. Modesitt Jr. (b. 1943)
"Recluce" - The Magic of Recluce; The Towers of the Sunset;
The Magic Engineer; The Order War; The Death of Chaos;
Fall of Angels; The Chaos Balance; The White Order
(forthcoming July '98)
"This is open-ended - books are listed above in the
order they were published, and does NOT follow the
internal chronology of the series. You should try to
read "The Magic of Recluce" first (some of the plot
twists are more effective if you aren't aware of how
magic works in Recluce), and "The Death of Chaos" is
a direct sequel to "tMoR". However the other books
all stand alone and can be read in any order.
"Dutch Republic series" - Of Tangible Ghosts; The Ghost of
the Revelator (forthcoming Sept. '98)
"Fantasy taking place in alternate universe that
features ghosts and an East India Company that
stayed the dominant economic power in the world.
"Song and Magic" - The Soprano Sorceress; The Spellsong
War; one final book
"A trilogy that will introduce a world where magic
is accessed through music.
Elizabeth Moon (b. 1945)
"The Deed of Paksenarrion" - Sheepfarmer's Daughter;
Divided Allegiance; Oath of Gold
"Rousing adventure about the soldier and hero
Paksenarrion. Moon has said that among the themes
she worked on in the books was "the cost of courage,
the cost of being a hero." She has written two
prequels to the trilogy, "Surrender None" and
"Liar's Oath", which are quite a bit darker in tone,
and several of the recommenders who prefer happy
endings have advised against reading them. Lately
Moon has been mainly producing SF.
*Michael Moorcock (b. 1939)
"Elric" - Elric of Melnibone; The Fortress of the Pearl; A
Sailor on the Seas of Fate; The Weird of the White Wolf;
The Vanishing Tower; The Revenge of the Rose; The Bane
of the Black Sword; Stormbringer
"There is also at least one book of short stories
about Elric (I'm taking the word of one
correspondent about where the two later books -
tFotP and tRotR - fit in the cycle. I've only read
the original sextet).
"Runestaff (Hawkmoon)" - The Jewel in the Skull; The Mad
God's Amulet; The Sword of the Dawn; The Runestaff
"If you don't like the way this tetralogy ends, be
sure and track down the 'Count Brass' trilogy, which
brings all the characters back for another go
"Count Brass" - Count Brass; Champion of Garathorn; The
Quest for Tanelorn
"The Runestaff/Count Brass books are my favorites in
the Eternal Champion cycle. Dorian Hawkmoon suffers
less from angst than the Moorcock's usual Tortured
"Corum" - The Knight of Swords; The Queen of Swords; The
King of Swords; The Bull and the Spear; The Oak and the
Ram; The Sword and the Stallion
"Moorcock's entire (well, just about entire - there
are a few bits & pieces that the rights weren't
available) Eternal Champion cycle is being reprinted
in 14 omnibus volumes by White Wolf Publishing
"John Daker (Erekose)" - The Eternal Champion; Phoenix in
Obsidian ('The Silver Warriors' in earlier U.S.
editions); The Dragon in the Sword
"All of these books -plus others- comprise the
'Eternal Champion' cycle. Quality varies, and hard
core fantasy fans won't like some of the liberties
Moorcock takes with the genre, but if you like 'em,
there sure are a LOT of 'em to keep you busy.
The War Hound & The World's Pain
"Takes place in the 30-Years War time frame. Jim
considers it to Moorcock's best non-Eternal Champion
book (although, if you ask Moorcock, he'll tell you
that ALL of his books are part of the Eternal