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Paste Magazine's Top 50 Fantasy Books of 21st Century

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Yeah, crap list. Sure, I only read about a quarter of the books on the list, but even looking at where those were positioned, this is shite. Clearly the list maker(s) is/are fans of YA of the less vulgar kind, just judging by the 1-3 spots.

Also, no Bakker, so the list really has no credibility. Even Peadar deserves a spot with The Call, IMHO.

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Shit I'm not even that big a Bakker fan but a list of 50 should probably include at least one book. I mean not TUC, but jeez.

Also honestly as much as I like to shit on the night circus for its prose everyone esle and their mom and also people I generally respect the taste of loved the hell out of it, and it least it's not like racist or rape porn(cough cough Outlander cough). Hell I think there are worst books on this very list.

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On 15/04/2018 at 0:40 AM, Darth Richard II said:

I'll accept the night circus as not complete shot when someone can explain to me how the phrase "round spheres" isn't something a 6 year old would write while on cold meds.



My round spheres bring all the boys to the yard.

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50 books for less than 20 years seems also somewhat ridiculous for a best of. Next time we do the best 250 books of the 20th century, or what?

Apart from some obvious omissions already mentioned, Mark Lawrence and Max Gladstone are also missing and  are the two (unknown to me) Gaiman items in the list really better than American Gods and Anansi Boys?

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12 hours ago, Jo498 said:

50 books for less than 20 years seems also somewhat ridiculous for a best of. Next time we do the best 250 books of the 20th century, or what?

Apart from some obvious omissions already mentioned, Mark Lawrence and Max Gladstone are also missing and  are the two (unknown to me) Gaiman items in the list really better than American Gods and Anansi Boys?

Coraline is YA, weird and pretty nice, the guy probably picked it because of the movie, and the short stories are good too, and the guy probably picked them because of the movie How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I'm not sure I would be able to rank the Gaiman stuff, though, I love them all.

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1 minute ago, Darth Richard II said:

Gladstone is criminally overlooked.

Also, no Elizabeth Bear? Cmon.

No Kearney, Duncan, Vandermeer, Murakami, Elliott, Aaronovitch, Harkaway, Beaulieu, Bennett, Gilman, Ryan, Samatar, Eames, Willis, etc. Whatever. At least there's no Gabaldon and one third or fourth of the entries are solid.

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It is a weird list with some interesting entries. Flawed as any list, but some merit.

Some books seem included because they represent authors that people mostly love for books outside the timeframe. They managed to get some science fiction in. And going by the summary of Pratchett's Thief of Time some of the recommenders don't actually understand the books they read.

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It's not supposed to have any SciFi, which just goes to show the poeople who made this list DIDN'T ACTUALLY READ MOST OF THE BOOKS.

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I guess this is how I see it.  There are only fifty books on the list so it is VERY easy for each of us to add three 'no-brainers' missing from the list (my top two would be Gilman and Hobb).  That is inevitable.  And of course everyone involved with this list hasn't read every book on it because that is just the way this works; they will rely on reviews and general consensus.  At its core it is a click bait article.

But it is still far from the worst list I have seen.  Including many lists put out by fansites in which I know they read every book on the list yet are blind beyond their preferred sub-genre.

So I look at the list and ask 'what should NOT be on the list.'  And while I know Darth hates night circus and Mysh hates The Magicians (and I join him in that hatred) they were both hugely popular AND widely well reviewed.  I have read thirty books on the list and many of those I haven't I understand their importance (Cloud Atlas and All the Birds in the Sky).  Personally I would have only included one from any given series, but I guess it isn't my list.  STILL...

By my count there are only three or four that obviously don't belong on a list like out of fifty, not a bad ratio.  By which I mean almost no case can be made for them.  Weeks is the most obvious one, his generic bland fantasy surprises me.  Wise Man's Fear was a drastic drop off from the first book (which love or hate Name of the Wind it would be hard to leave it off based on it's impact) and seems to be there purely on popularity of the series.  Personally I think Throne of the Cresent Moon was a novel that was oversold and ended up being pretty generic with not much to say.  And Storm Front is in the 'popular but does it really stand up to other books like it' category.

Edited by SkynJay

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Thought it was puzzling they actually mentioned that the Gaiman collection includes an American Gods novella, but then didn't include American Gods itself on the list.

And when I saw there was no Stanek included, I immediately dismissed the entire thing.

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9 minutes ago, Winterfella said:

Thought it was puzzling they actually mentioned that the Gaiman collection includes an American Gods novella, but then didn't include American Gods itself on the list.

And when I saw there was no Stanek included, I immediately dismissed the entire thing.

Robert Newcomb is missing as well, unbelievably.

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4 hours ago, SkynJay said:

I haven't I understand their importance (Cloud Atlas and All the Birds in the Sky)

What was the importance of the latter?  It seems to have been barely read around here, to mixed reviews.

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The books they picked from Gaiman and Abercrombie are really strange.  No American Gods is just inexplicable on any best of list, and The Blade Itself is probably Abercrombie's worst book. 

In addition, excluding Abraham is just ridiculous, the Long Price Quartet sticks with you the way most fantasy does not.  I'd also say excluding Bakker, Stover and Mieville is really weird, although I guess if you're really trying you could call all of those sci-fi (but I wouldn't).

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Its not just missing 3 or 4 things, its missing a lot. Also, yeah, not sure how All The Birds in the Sky was important other than showing that people who buy books by shitty gawker writers.

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It is a list.  It is therefore meant to be debated and shat on. I personally like that it takes YA novels and women authors/women's stories seriously in the category.  I too have concerns about some of the selections (Lev Grossman is a hack and his trilogy is derivative bull$hit, and All the Birds in the Sky is way less than it pretends to be).  And I definitely don't agree with the rankings (NotW was great fun, but not the best fantasy novel of the past 17 years - not even close).  But, frankly, I've seen worse.

 

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22 hours ago, Seli said:

It is a weird list with some interesting entries. Flawed as any list, but some merit.

Some books seem included because they represent authors that people mostly love for books outside the timeframe. They managed to get some science fiction in. And going by the summary of Pratchett's Thief of Time some of the recommenders don't actually understand the books they read.

It was weird they included Thief of Time, one of the weakest Discworld novels, but it's good they also had Night Watch in there.

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5 minutes ago, Werthead said:

It was weird they included Thief of Time, one of the weakest Discworld novels, but it's good they also had Night Watch in there.

Thief of time had death by chocolate, Lu-Tze, and Susan so it has its great points. But it is indeed not one I'd choose for a list like this. When I encountered it I looked in disbelief that they'd choose it over Night Watch. Only to realize later that they'd luckily included that one as well.

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19 minutes ago, Darth Richard II said:

Eh, really? I thought it had a notable lack of women authors.

Well, out of the top 50, Rowling (x2), Jemisin (x2), Morgenstern, Bardugo (x2), Orkorafor, Pierce, Moriarty, Turner, Hale, Anders, Taylor, Skrutskie, Valente, Novik, Hartman, Rutkoski, Walton, George, Clark, McKinley, Chakraborty, Tahir, Rowell - all women. That's 26 books by my count.  Seems....way more balanced than I might expect from a list like this.

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