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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Interesting SFF Universes

After the two "most interesting fictional characters" posts, I want also to present the sf-nal and fantasy universes that impressed me the most along the years. I will consider only *series universes* that have at least two books out with one noted exception. There will be thirteen categories with a juxtaposition of sf and fantasy choices for a total of 31 series including ties as well as a "classical" category at the end.

No repetition of universes in different categories and of course only favorites of mine are included. I linked to our latest reviews of series books whenever available, next to Wikipedia articles and finally to Amazon and you can explore further the series and their universes from there. I generally used the series name since it's usually the best known one rather than the name of the world/universe.

Most Interesting Universes

F: Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky

SF: The Gaean Reach by Jack Vance

The one Universe I would like to live in

F: Legacy of Kushiel by Jacqueline Carey

SF: The Culture by Iain M. Banks

Most Detailed

F: ASOIAF by GRR Martin

SF: Honorverse by David Weber

Dark/Cynical Series:

F tie: First Law by Joe Abercrombie
Scavenger by KJ Parker

SF: Revelation Space/Inhibitors by Alastair Reynolds

Exuberant Series:

F tie: The Chathrand Voyage by Robert Redick
The Ryria Revelations by Michael Sullivan

SF: Night's Dawn by Peter Hamilton


F tie: River into Darkness/Moontide and Magic Rise by Sean Russell
Altania by Galen Beckett

SF: Safehold by David Weber


F: Cold Magic by Kate Elliott (* exception to the 2 book rule)

SF: 163* by Eric Flint and co-authors

************************************************************* Post-Apocalyptic/Decline

F: Legends of the Red Sun by Mark Newton

SF: The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

Philosophical Series:

F: The Prince of Nothing/Aspect Emperor by Scott Bakker

SF: Neverness/A Requiem for Homo Sapiens by David Zindell

Weird/Mind Boggling Series:

F: Thunderer by Felix Gilman

SF tie: Nulapeiron by John Meaney
The Golden Age by John C Wright

Long Internal Period of Time

F: The Saga of Recluce by LE Modesitt

SF: The Polity by Neal Asher


F: Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

SF: Jon & Lobo by Mark Van Name

Promised a Lot but Failed to Fully Deliver So Far

F tie: New Crobuzon by China Mieville
Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

SF: The Great Wheel of Existence by DK Moran

Most Interesting "Classical" Universes

1001 Nights (Arabian Nights)
The Greek Mythology (Gods and Heroes)


redhead said...

F tie: New Crobuzon by China Mieville
Gentleman Bastard by Scott Lynch

sign me up for a semester abroad in either of those. they did deliver for me, but then again, I'm a total Bas Lag and Gentleman Bastard fangirl.

Danielle said...

Your post has been plagiarised:

Just thought you should know!

Liviu said...

Thank you for letting me know; they give the source though so it's more like re-posting it than attributing it to whomever is there.

It would be nice to ask for permission, but as long as they credit it, it's no big deal since ultimately my goal is to attract attention to these series mentioned here.

Thank you again for letting me know

Sarah said...

What a great list. Seriously, I'm going to reference this for quite a while.

Liviu said...

Thank you for your kind words; I would like to review some of the books mentioned here that we have no reviews of and while they have their big time fans are less well known generally, most notably Sean Russell's World Without End which is just wonderful, David Zindell's Neverness or Broken God, some Jack Vance (Araminta Station, Night Lamp, Alastor) and some DKM books like Long Run or Last Dancer.

Fabio Fernandes said...

Neverness is still one of my favorite SF universes. I wonder if Zindell's latest books (which, apparently, even though they are Fantasy, take place in the same universe - is that so, Liviu?) keep the same pace and quality.

Liviu said...

I hated - and few books provoke that strong reaction - the Lord of Lies fantasy series from David Zindell; tried further books also to see if I like them better and they had the same copycat heroes from Requiem and all the worst fantasy cliches you can imagine.

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