The Jub Jub Bird

A literary blog with fantasy tendencies

Hall of Fame

300px-Sandman_Absolute,_Volume_11) Neil Gaiman –  The Sandman series of graphic novels is my all time favourite, in any medium.  Myths, Gods, literary heroes, histories, all lovingly stitched together with wierd and wonderful contemporary characters to create a multi-coloured yarn.  Gaiman throws a million balls into the air and catches them all in nested, stories within stories, over seventy monthly issues.  On the way he explores all the big themes of time, change, responsibilities, memory and love.  The definition of Literary Fantasy.

2) Iain M Banks – The Culture novels come a close second in the Literary Fantasy stakes.  Banks creates whole worlds, rich with history, people and wildlife and then throws them away in single chapters.  The scale of these inter-galactic tales is truly epic:  ships the size of small planets, synthetic ring-worlds with their own biospheres and artificial minds capable of thought and calculation beyond human comprehension.  The Culture itself is an idealised projection of how society could be organised in a future where all basic needs are a given and individuals are free to enjoy the pleasures of life indefinitely.  Peerless space opera in a universe full of wonders.

3) Alistair Reynolds – The nearest pretender to Banks’ epic space-opera crown.

4) Haruki Murakami – Philisophical works, wrapped up in surreal adventure stories, whose characters spend a disproportionate amount of time eating, drinking and navel gazing.  unique and brilliant.

5) Douglas Adams – Hitch-hikers is a seminal piece of satire, The Book in particular is a unique and infinitely readable sci-fi voice.

Honorary Mentions

Outside the scope of this blog but still worthy of note…

Iain Banks, Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, A S Byatt, Sebastian Faulkes, John Irving, David Mitchell and of course Lewis Carroll.

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