Books about Fantasy Literature

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Popular Encyclopedias, Guides and Histories of fantasy. You can include something scholarly if it is readable. Handbooks on how-to-write belong on another list.


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A Readers Guide To Fantasy

by Michael Franklin

A Reader's Guide to Fantasy: A comprehensive source of writers and works from the magical to mystical to supernatural for every lover of fantasy Contents include: Foreword by Poul Anderson. Chapter 1. Robert E.Howard, Howard Philips Lovecraft, J.R. R. Tolkien & Co.: Profiles of hundreds of authors whose words both established classics & exciting new arrivals, are currently available. Chapter 2. Ayesha to Zimiamvia: Sequels, trilogies, tetralogies, and series - woven around characters, worlds, or universes. Chapter 3. Beyond the Fields We Know, There And Back Again, That Old Black Magic: The major categories of fantasy - from adventures in magical realms, to stories of magic in our everyday lives, to tales of the supernatural. Chapter 4. The 7 League Shelf: The best of the old and new from the finest writers. Chapter 5. Half My Daughter & the Hand of My Kingdom: A complete list of prize-winning fantasy fiction. Chapter 6. Who Goes to the Wood Beyond the World: An authoritative history of fantasy - the literary beginnings, today's golden age and things to come. Author's notes.

A Short History Of Fantasy

by Farah Mendlesohn

Some of the earliest books ever written, including The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Odyssey, deal with monsters, marvels, extraordinary voyages, and magic, and this genre, known as fantasy, remained an essential part of European literature through the rise of the modern realist novel. Tracing the history of fantasy from the earliest years through to the origins of modern fantasy in the 20th century, this account discusses contributions decade by decade—from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Lewis’s Narnia books in the 1950s to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. It also discusses and explains fantasy’s continuing and growing popularity.


100 Must-read Fantasy Novels

by Nick Rennison

Fantasy is one of the most visible genres in popular culture - we see the creation of magical and imagined worlds and characters in every type of media, with very strong fan bases in tow. This latest guide in the successful Bloomsbury Must-Read series covers work from a wide range of authors: Tolkien, Philip Pullman, Terry Pratchett, Michael Moorcock, Rudyard Kipling and C.S Lewis to very contemporary writers such as Garth Nix and Steven Erikson. If you want to expand your range of reading or deepen your understanding of this genre, this is the best place to start.

The Ultimate Encyclopedia Of Fantasy

by David Pringle

From Tolkien to Terry Pratchett, this lavishly illustrated reference to the fantasy field has been compiled by the award-winning editor of "Interzone". 158 color photos/illustrations. 31 b&w photos.

The Encyclopedia Of Fantasy

by John Clute And John Grant

This huge volume is the first comprehensive encyclopedia of the fantasy field, offering an exciting new analysis of this highly diverse and hugely popular sphere of literature, from precursors such as Shakespeare and Dante, through Lewis Carroll, George MacDonald and L. Frank Baum to J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and their modern successors, like Ursula K. Le Guin, Peter S. Beagle, Stephen R. Donaldson and Jostein Gaarder. With over 4,000 entries and over 1 million words, it covers every aspect of fantasy - in literature, films, television, opera, art and comics.

Imaginary Worlds

by Lin Carter

Mass-market paperback

Literary Swordsmen And Sorcerers

by L. Sprague de Camp

Biographical sketches of the leading practitioners of heroic fantasy, from William Morris and Lord Dunsany to Tolkien and T. H. White

The Tough Guide To Fantasyland

by Diana Wynne Jones

Tongue-in-cheek send up of fantasy clichees

The Language Of The Night

by Ursula K. Le Guin

A Nebula and Hugo Award-winning writer of science fiction presents a collection of essays that explores the various issues, concepts, challenges, and paradoxes that confront the science fiction writer.

Fantasists On Fantasy

by Robert H. Boyer

18 of the finest fantasy writers share their secrets of their craft in essays, excerpts, and letters. Candid, controversial, and often highly personal, here is a unique glimpse into the author's singular imagination, as the real experts in the field explore the theory, technique and aesthetics of fantasy literature. From the magical realms of Middle earth to the Eldritch darkness of the Cthulhu Mythos, the most prominent writers of fantasy invite the reader into their enchanted worlds. Writers include: J.R.R. TOLKIEN / C.S. LEWIS / H.P. LOVECRAFT / AUGUST DERLETH / GEORGE MACDONALD / JAMES THURBER / SIE HERBERT READ / PETER S. BEAGLE / FELIX MARTI'-IBANEZ and many more.

What To Read Next: Fantasy

by BookCaps

Good guide for beginners, but there is one major blooper. "Legend" by David Gemmel is not connected in any way to the film with Tom Cruise.
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