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Good fantasy not set in a medieval setting

Discussion in 'books, films, TV, radio & writing' started by Santino, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Is there any good fantasy literature that's set in something other than a Dark Age or pseudo-medieval (usually European, but sometimes Chinese or something) setting? Like, with gunpowder and early modern capitalism?
     
  2. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson?
     
  3. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    That's science fiction. History of science fiction.
     
  4. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist virtue without terror is impotent.

    Perdido Street Station and the other two Bas Lag novels. Industrial revolution sort of.

    19th century, alternate england victorian sort of- Jonathon Strange and Mr Norell. Susan Clarke (iirc)

    Hugo Cook- unclassifiable. Just weird, and funny.Best: Walrus and the Warwolf (yes I know it sounds stupidly cliche but thats half the point. It's like a pastiche of pulp. )
     
  5. Lord Camomile

    Lord Camomile Unknown Member

    Gaiman...? :hmm:

    (e2a: more a "would that count?" than a suggestion)
     
  6. QueenOfGoths

    QueenOfGoths Black puddings very black today, Mother!

  7. Reno

    Reno The In Kraut

    Jonathan Carroll's novels take place in the present and often deal with protagonists who experience a blurring between the real world and a fictional or fantastical universe. I especially liked Bones of the Moon which is about a dream world which starts to seep into the heroines real life.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Carroll
     
  8. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Turned out nice again

    you've obviously missed eric flint's books. not to mention the compleat enchanter by fletcher pratt and l. sprague de camp. in addition, the conan stories of robert e. howard are set in 12,000 years ago, so not in the dark ages or a 'pseudo-medieval' period. neither is tolkein's hobbit or lord of the rings set in a dark age or pseudo-medieval setting. you might in addition enjoy howard's soloman kane stories or fritz leiber's swords series.
     
  9. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist virtue without terror is impotent.

    Ian Watson 'The Coming of Vertumnus'

    modern day setting, short story collection. Theres one short piece set in Daventry but don't let that put you off
     
  10. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Alisdair Gray i suppose.
     
  11. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist virtue without terror is impotent.

    Also wrt the Gaiman recc, I'd go for American Gods first, its his best work imo, cept for the sandman graphic novels.

    There is also Kushiels Dart which is set in alternate 18th century france. Bit heavy on the soft porn but still worth it
     
  12. Idaho

    Idaho blah blah blah

    I'd disagree. But that's another thread.
     
  13. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Clearly it is.
     
  14. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    It seems that once authors get out the traditional fantasy setting, they often rely on alternate versions of reality instead of completely made-up worlds.
     
  15. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Turned out nice again

    describe this pseudo-medieval society, then, a society with no obvious religion (unlike europe and environs in the dark and middle ages), with no feudal means of production (unlike europe and environs in the dark and middle ages); in fact, there's very little of the famous triparite structure of medieval society in the books. like the conan stories i referred to, both the lord of the rings and the hobbit are set in the dim and distant past of our world, well before, er, the middle and dark ages. see, for example, the opening section of the hobbit where tolkein says you don't see hobbits about so much anymore.
     
    Spanky Longhorn likes this.
  16. Dandred

    Dandred Mmmmm Beer!

    Harry potter?










    :p
     
  17. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist virtue without terror is impotent.




    misread- yes often the case but it's a fucking relief from fuedalism lite. David Eddings and Ann Mcaffrey ffs
     
    Random likes this.
  18. Santino

    Santino lovelier than lovely

    Middle Earth has kings and swords. It's technology is almost exclusively that of the late Dark Ages or early Middle Ages. The Rohirrim are clearly based on Anglo-Saxons or Danes or something, but with added horses. They have writing but no printing. It's pseudo-medieval in atmosphere, not a fucking Marxist allegory.

    The Shire exists in some sort of socio-economic micro-climate where they have a postal service and fish 'n' chip shops.
     
    Random likes this.
  19. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    How about the Dresden series - magician gumshoe in the modern world?
     
  20. Greebo

    Greebo Does my bum look big in this paradigm shift?

    Karen Armstrong - werewolves, witches etc, set in contemporary Canada and the USA.
     
  21. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    Harry Turtledove's Videssos Cycle for Graeco-Roman-ish.
     
  22. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    Tim Powers' "The Anubis Gate" is quite good. A smidgeon of Victorian steam-punkery to leaven the fantasy/magickal elements.
     
    Bernie Gunther and QueenOfGoths like this.
  23. Quartz

    Quartz Eclectic contrarian plebeian

    Harry Turtledove's Agent of Byzantium is set in a world where there were no Dark Ages.
     
  24. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Turned out nice again

    his 'declare' is quite good too, and i very much enjoyed his 'fevre dream'
     
  25. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    Hah, haven't read "Declare" (puts it on list)! I read "On Stranger Tides" about 25 years ago (way before it was butchered to become a "Pirates of the Caribbean" story! :mad: ), and have read others since then (particularly liked "The Stress of Her Regard") .
     
  26. Stigmata

    Stigmata sexual tyrannosaurus

    George RR Martin of Game of Thrones fame wrote Fevre Dream. Unless there's another book of the same name.
     
  27. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Turned out nice again

    you're right. my mistake.
     
  28. JimW

    JimW 支那暗杀团

    There was all that 'Clan of the Cave Bear' stuff. Never read it and impression was it's pretty dire, but pre-Middle Ages AFAIK.
     
  29. DotCommunist

    DotCommunist virtue without terror is impotent.

    I'll give a tentative shout for Robert Silverburgs 'Roma Aeturnum' which is a series of short stories set in a world where Rome snuffed Christianity and Islam in their infancy. And won in africa. I suppose it would fall into alt. history and is from a skiffy author but it is worth your time
     
  30. ViolentPanda

    ViolentPanda Untermensch, and proud!

    The smallpox epidemic scenes in that brought a lump to my throat the first time I read it.
     

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