Polls and first fantasy initiation

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The last poll is over (Do you prefer reading a stand-alone or a series?) and I have to admit that it was a roughly expected landslide... I thought that most people would be answering that they like series better than a stand-alone but not at this rate. Hopefully for us all, the majority of the fantasy novels released these days are part of a series. Since it's probably even more profitable for the publisher, everybody should be happy unless a series start to lag.
Now for the next one. There's a bunch of question I would like to ask you fellow fantasy readers but one of them stand out from the lot. You probably remember the New Yorker article (Seven Essential Fantasy Reads: Going to Second Base) that stirred much discussion a couple of weeks ago. Many bloggers responded to the article by posting their own choice. Everybody agreed about the fact that it's everyone own choice. But then, the article was talking about second base. Since you are probably all fantasy readers by now, I would not ask you what would be the best first base to recommend to a non-initiated reader (but then its interesting too and we could argue a lot about that) but what was yours? Which book got you into the genre?

Some of you may want to answer YA novels but that's not what I'm really looking for, I'm more interested in your first taste of adult fantasy literature. I'll add a poll about one of the most likely possibility (I may be mistaken but we'll see) but I'd really like to know your answer if it's not Tolkien.

As for your humble host, it is The Fellowship of the ring. I already mentioned in a previous post that I was initiated to the fantasy book universe by the 'Choose your own adventure' YA gamebooks (Livre dont vous êtes le héros). But when I was in high school I stumbled on the first LOTR book sitting on the desk of my older brother. Since I'm a french Canadian, it was in french (La communauté de l'anneau). I remember finding it complicated but I was so proud to finish the book. After that, the fantasy literature reading sequence debuted and never stopped (aside some fiction books a la Dan Brown and some Sci-Fi).

So, was Tolkien your first taste of fantasy lit?


Anonymous said...

Adult fantasy, yeah Tolkien was it. From there it was Donaldson (Thomas Covenant) and then Williams (MST).

Greyweather said...

I read them back-to-back and over the years I've gotten mixed up on which one I read first, but the credit belongs to either China Miéville's King Rat or Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion.

Phil said...


I wasn't able to finish the first Thomas Covenant book, maybe I'll try it again in the future. As for Williams I only read the first one and recently and it's a good nice old fashion epic fantasy tale.


It seems to be more recent books, you got into the genre 7 or 8 years ago?

I still haven't read any of Miéville's stuff but The City and The City is on my list.

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