Ursula K. Le Guin - The Lathe of Heaven
George Orr is a mild and unremarkable man who finds the world a less than pleasant place to live: seven billion people jostle for living space and food. But George dreams dreams which do in fact change reality - and he has no means of controlling this extraordinary power. Psychiatrist Dr William Haber offers to help. At first sceptical of George's powers, he comes to astonished belief. When he allows ambition to get the better of ethics, George finds himself caught up in a situation of alarming peril.
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Dispossessed
The Principle of Simultaneity is a scientific breakthrough which will revolutionize interstellar civilization by making possible instantaneous communication. It is the life work of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the arid anarchist world of Anarres. But Shevek's work is being stifled by jealous colleagues, so he travels to Anarres's sister-planet Urras, hoping to find more liberty and tolerance there. But he soon finds himself being used as a pawn in a deadly political game.
Ursula K. Le Guin - Lavinia
In the Aeneid, the only notable lines Virgil devotes to Aeneas' second wife, Lavinia, concern an omen: the day before Aeneus lands in Latinum, Lavinia's hair is veiled by a ghost fire, presaging war. Le Guin's masterful novel gives a voice to Lavinia, the daughter of King Latinus and Queen Amata, who rule Latinum in the era before the founding of Rome. Amata lost her sons to a childhood sickness and has since become slightly mad. She is fixated on marrying Lavinia to Amata's nephew, Turnus, the king of neighboring Rutuli. It's a good match, and Turnus is handsome, but Lavinia is reluctant. Following the words of an oracle, King Latinus announces that Lavinia will marry Aeneas, a newly landed stranger from Troy; the news provokes Amata, the farmers of Latinum, and Turnus, who starts a civil war. Le Guin is famous for creating alternative worlds (as in Left Hand of Darkness), and she approaches Lavinia's world, from which Western civilization took its course, as unique and strange as any fantasy. It's a novel that deserves to be ranked with Robert Graves's I, Claudius.
Ursula K. Le Guin - Changing Planes
It was Sita Dulip who discovered, whilst stuck in an airport, unable to get anywhere, how to change planes - literally. By a mere kind of a twist and a slipping bend, easier to do than describe, she could go anywhere - be anywhere - because she was already between planes ... and on the way back from her sister's wedding, she missed her plane in Chicago and found herself in Choom. The author, now armed with this knowledge and Rornan's invaluable Handy Planetary Guide - although not the Encyclopedia Planeria, as that runs to forty-four volumes - has spent many happy years exploring places as diverse as Islac and the Veksian plane. Changing Planes is an intriguing, enticing mixture of Gulliver's Travels and The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a mix of satire, cynicism and humour by one of the world's best writers.
Ursula K. Le Guin - Voices
Memer is a child of rape; when the Alds took the beautiful city of Ansul, they descecrated or destroyed everything of beauty. The Waylord they imprisoned and tortured for years until finally he is freed to return to his home. Though crippled, he is not destroyed. His life still has purpose. Memer is the daughter of his House, the daughter of his heart. The Alds, a people who love war, cannot and will not read: they believe that in words lie demons that will destroy the world. All the city's libraries, the great treasure trove of knowledge of ages past, are burned, except for those few volumes secreted inthe Waylord's hidden room. But times are changing. Gry Barre of Roddmant and Orrec Caspro of Caspromant have arrived in the city. Orrec is a story-teller, the most famous of all: he has the gift of making. His wife Gry's gift is that of calling; she walks with a halflion who both frightens and fascinates the Alds. This is Memer's story, and Gry's and Orrec's, and it is the story of a conquered people craving freedom.
Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind
Told in Kvothe's own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen.The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. A high-action story written with a poet's hand, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that will transport readers into the body and mind of a wizard.
Terry Pratchett - Reaper Man
Death is missing - persumed... er... gone. Which leads to the kind of chaos you always get when an important public service is withdrawn. Meanwhile, on a little farm far, far away, a tall dark stranger is turning out to be really good with a scythe. There's a harvest to be gathered on...
J. R. R. Tolkien - The Silmarillion
Tolkiens's epic legendary precursor to The Lord of The Rings The Silmarilli were three perfect jewels, fashioned by Fëanor, most gifted of the Elves. When the first Dark Lord, Morgoth, stole the jewels for his own ends; Fëanor and his kindred took up arms and waged a long and terrible war to recover them. This is the story of their rebellion against the gods and the history of the heroic First Age of Middle-earth.
Scott Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora
In this stunning debut, author Scott Lynch delivers the wonderfully thrilling tale of an audacious criminal and his band of confidence tricksters. Set in a fantastic city pulsing with the lives of decadent nobles and daring thieves, here is a story of adventure, loyalty, and survival that is one part “Robin Hood,” one part Ocean's Eleven, and entirely enthralling.… An orphan's life is harsh - and often short - in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains - a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected “family” of orphans - a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards. Under his tutelage, Locke grows to lead the Bastards, delightedly pulling off one outrageous confidence game after another. Soon he is infamous as the Thorn of Camorr, and no wealthy noble is safe from his sting. Passing themselves off as petty thieves, the brilliant Locke and his tightly knit band of light-fingered brothers have fooled even the criminal underworld's most feared ruler, Capa Barsavi. But there is someone in the shadows more powerful - and more ambitious - than Locke has yet imagined. Known as the Gray King, he is slowly killing Capa Barsavi's most trusted men - and using Locke as a pawn in his plot to take control of Camorr's underworld. With a bloody coup under way threatening to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the Gray King at his own brutal game - or die trying.…
China Miéville - Iron Council
It is a time of revolts and revolutions, conflict and intrigue. New Crobuzon is being ripped apart from without and within. War with the shadowy city-state of Tesh and rioting on the streets at home are pushing the teeming metropolis to the brink. In the midst of this turmoil, a mysterious masked figure spurs strange rebellion, while treachery and violence incubate in unexpected places. In desperation, a small group of renegades escapes from the city and crosses strange and alien continents in the search for a lost hope, an undying legend. In the blood and violence of New Crobuzon's most dangerous hour, there are whispers. It is the time of the Iron Council.
Diana Wynne Jones - Howl's Moving Castle
In the land of Ingary, where seven-league boots and cloaks of invisibility really exist, Sophie Hatter attracts the the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best of things, Sophie travels to the one place where she might get help - the moving castle which hovers on the nearby hills. But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the hearts of young girls...
Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites
The first two Discworld books satirized the classic quest novel. In the third humorous installment of the series, Terry Pratchett takes on traditional gender roles in fantasy. A dying wizard leaves his magical staff to a newborn baby--a baby who, as the eighth son of an eighth son, is fated to be a wizard. But the baby, Eskarina Smith, turns out to be a daughter instead, with a very unique magical destiny indeed. EQUAL RITES introduces a fan favorite character who appears in many of the later books, the iron-willed, irascible, (but secretly good-hearted) witch Granny Weatherwax.
Patrick Rothfuss - The Wise Man's Fear
Sequel to the extraordinary Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear is the second installment of this superb fantasy trilogy from Patrick Rothfuss. Picking up the tale of Kvothe Kingkiller once again, we follow him into exile, into policital intrigue, courtship, adventure, love and magic ...and further along the path that has turned Kvothe, the mightiest magician of his age, a legend in his own time, into Kote, the unassuming pub landlord. Packed with as much magic, adventure and home-grown drama as The Name of the Wind, this is a sequel in every way the equal to it's predecessor and a must-read for all fantasy fans. Readable, engaging and gripping The Wise Man's Fear is the biggest and the best new fantasy novel out there.
Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass
The third book in the HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy Will is the bearer of the knife. Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel - by the command of his dying father. But how can he go looking for Lord Asriel, when Lyra is gone? Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and intrigues that beset him. The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for the war, and Will must find Lyra, for together they are on their way to battle, and inevitable journey that will even take them to the world of the dead...
Ursula K. Le Guin - The Left Hand of Darkness
Genly Ai is an emissary from the human galaxy to Winter, a lost, stray world. His mission is to bring the planet back into the fold of an evolving galactic civilization, but to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own culture and prejudices and those that he encounters. On a planet where people are of no gender--or both--this is a broad gulf indeed. The inventiveness and delicacy with which Le Guin portrays her alien world are not only unusual and inspiring, they are fundamental to almost all decent science fiction that has been written since. In fact, reading Le Guin again may cause the eye to narrow somewhat disapprovingly at the younger generation: what new ground are they breaking that is not already explored here with greater skill and acumen? It cannot be said, however, that this is a rollicking good story. Le Guin takes a lot of time to explore her characters, the world of her creation, and the philosophical themes that arise.
Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
Under the streets of London there's a place most people could never even dream of. A city of monsters and saints, murderers and angels, knights in armour and pale girls in black velvet. This is the city of the people who have fallen between the cracks. Richard Mayhew, a young businessman, is going to find out more than enough about this other London. A single act of kindness catapults him out of his workday existence and into a world that is at once eerily familiar and utterly bizarre. And a strange destiny awaits him down here, beneath his native city: neverwhere.
Diana Wynne Jones - Castle in the Air
Abdullah the rug merchant leaves his humdrum life far behind when he purchases a threadbare magic carpet from a mysterious stranger. Almost immediately, Abdullah is whisked off on a series of adventures that bear an uncanny resemblance to his own daydreams. He meets the love of his life only to have her kidnapped by a fierce djinn. With the help of the magic carpet--and an ornery genie--Abdullah sets out to rescue his bride-to-be. His travels take him to the fairy tale land of Ingary, the setting of this novel's predecessor, Howl's Moving Castle. As usual, Jones has constructed a wonderfully complicated plot, chock-full of magical mayhem. However, while her other interconnected novels ( Charmed Life , The Magicians of Caprona and The Lives of Christopher Chant ) can be read on their own, the final third of Abdullah's story is likely to confuse readers not already acquainted with the characters introduced in the first book. Those familiar with Ingary will welcome the chance to return and catch up on the doings of its exuberant inhabitants.
C. S. Lewis - The Horse and His Boy
On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the center of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.
Karen Chance - Claimed by Shadow
"A recent legacy made Cassandra Palmer heir to the title of Pythia, the world's chief clairvoyant. It's a position that usually comes with years of training, but Cassie's circumstances are a little...unusual. Now she's stuck with a whopping amount of power that every vamp, fey, and mage in town wants to either monopolize or eradicate-and that she herself doesn't dare use. What's more, she's just discovered that a certain arrogant master vampire has a geis on her-a magical claim that warns off any would-be suitors, and might also explain the rather ... intense attraction between them. But Cassie's had it with being jerked around, and anyone who tries it from now on is going to find out that she makes a very bad enemy..."
Gene Wolfe - The Sword of the Lictor
Severian, the disgraced apprentice torturer, has reached his place of exile - Thrax, the city of Windowless Rooms, where he must take up his post as Lictor, executioner and torturer. However, he flees the city and heads into the mountains, to meet the mysterious Dr Talos.