Thursday, October 11, 2012
io9 today has a list of The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels to Cheer You the Frak Up which, of course, made me want to compile my own list.
I don’t agree with everything on there–I tend to find the DEATH books in Discworld more cheerful than the Watch books, and I’ll take the Hobbit over TLOTR any day, but all in all it’s a pretty good list, that I mostly agree with.
These the books that I pick up, time and again, when I’m depressed or anxious and need to escape (in no particular order):
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agness Nutter, Witch by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett – this is possibly one of my all-time favorite books.
The Phoenix Guards & Five Hundred Years After and Jhereg by Steven Brust – Same world, same author, but completely different feels. I love them both equally, even though they are very different books.
Thieves’ World edited by Robert Asprin and Lynn Abbey – In tone, I can’t think of anything LESS cheerful than Thieves’ World, but when I read them, they take me completely away from myself.
The Belgariad by David Eddings – I think it’s because, even now, I can still lose myself completely in the story.
And then I have Sean Russell and Guy Gavriel Kay. They write books that draw me out of myself and into whatever world they have created. For Sean Russell, I’d say my favorites are The Initiate Brother & Gatherer of Clouds, but with Guy Gavriel Kay, I simply can’t pick. Anything of his I read is going to pull me deeply into the world he has crafted.
And lastly, almost anything by Charles de Lint. He has a lot of anthologies, and I’m a huge fan of short stories, but there’s something else about his writing–even though many of his stories can be dark, I still finish the stories with a tremendous sense of hope.