Recommend some good Genre Fiction (Mystery/Fantasy)

After trying to read some of the classics (Moby Dick, Dickens, Joyce) and getting bored out of my freaken mind I decided to try reading something “fun” again. I’ve never read any mystery novels but I want to check out The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon along with some Graham Greene works. After that I want to try reading fantasy again but I’m afraid the formulaic plots and archetypal characters are gonna put me to sleep. Defeating the Dark Lord with the help of the wise old sage while winning heart of the princess can only be done so many times.

I’m stuck between wanting to read something well-written but also fun and entertaining. The “classics” are definitely well written but their plots, characters and pace are super tedious.

So can anyone recommend some well-written non-cliched mystery or fantasy?

I find that with classics, it’s only the beginning that’s slow. Once you get past the 200 pages detailing the fields in the countryside, they move along pretty well.

A Song of Ice and Fire

does dune count? cause dune rulz.

i liked dragonlance and lord of the rings and um dune and r.a. salvatores stuff and umm dunno

edit: i read ursula le guins Earthsea too

Ya, I wouldn’t consider dragonlance or salvatore good writing. I read that stuff when I was 13.

Seconded. George RR Martin adds some historical realism and real grit to his fantasy, plus he plays off of genre tropes rather than fall into them.

Song of Ice and Fire
Malazan books
Dresden Files
stuff by Charlie Huston

Ken Follett kinda started a genre called Secret History, which I supposed is different enough from alternate history in that it dosen’t detail out a completely different outcome, but rather a secret, or never revealed side-plot as a reason for history turning out the way it did. Eye of The Needle is the book and it’s a really good read, but not by far his best. My favorites of his are Night Over Water, A Place Called Freedom, and Pillars of The Earth. That last book has a sequel call A World Without End that I haven’t gotten around to reading yet although my wife has it in Spanish which does me no good whatsoever.

Song of Ice and Fire is really good fantasy. I’ve only read the first book.

The Lies of Locke Lamora is the best thief fiction I’ve ever read. Locke Lamora makes Locke Cole (from FF6), Lupin III, Robin Hood, Aladdin, The Artful Dodger, Tom Sawyer and all the rest look like fat lazy women lounging around eating ice cream all day. He’s that… damn… good… of a thief. Book is awesome and I can’t wait to read his second and see the movie that’s coming out later next year.

Dashiell Hammett is king of noir fiction, good stuff.

Fantasy as a genre is largely ass, the best stuff from there is George RR Martin’s Ice and fire series alongside Michael Moorcock’s Elric books. Those are amazing/ genre defying works.

In all honesty though, there is one genre that I feel has true relevance to today’s world. Cyberpunk. It’s the only genre with any comment on the world we actually live in, the one that’s shaped my advertising, huge corporations, memes, information control, all of these issues that were once simply science fiction got their start here. William Gibson’s book Neuromancer invented the idea of cyberspace. It’s mind bending shit. I fully endorse the following books from this area of fiction:

Mona lisa overdrive
Pattern Recognition*

  • denoting egregious amounts of quality.

I primarily read classics and nonfiction, but I gotta join the Song of Ice and Fire party. Fantasy fiction has never interested me but those books totally dominated my free time for a month.

Additionally, The Player of Games by Iain Banks is some great science fiction. The protagonist is an empathy deficient dude who is obsessed with gaming/winning, so that should obviously be required reading for the SRK crowd.

The Dark Tower series by Stephen King

Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind

I was about to suggest Legend of Drizzt but you said you didn’t like Salvatore’s stuff.

Dune - Frank Herbert (series)
A Song of Ice And Fire - George R. R. Martin (series)
Daggerspell - Katherine Kerr (series)
Heroes Die - Matthew Woodring Stover(Series)

My favorite book Dune is a must read for anyone who likes fiction it’s as complex and detailed as a story can be imo. As for mystery The Hound of The Baskervilles is good.

Song of Ice and Fire is good, but you’ll also be stuck with a series that is doomed to never be finished.

I’m SLOWLY progressing through sword of truth and I like it :slight_smile:

For mystery:

Dennis Lehane - A Drink Before The War (and the series that follows), Shutter Island, Mystic River
Robert B. Parker - The Spenser Series (particularly the early ones … and he’s often considered the successor to Chandler, if you enjoy The Big Sleep)
Jonathan Lethem - Gun, With Occasional Music, and Motherless Brooklyn
Harlan Coben - The Myron Bolitar books, Tell No One

For Fantasy:

Scott Lynch - The Lies of Locke Lamora
Neil Gaiman - American Gods, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys
Patrick Rothfuss - The Name of the Wind
Robin Hobb - The Farseer Trilogy
George R.R. Martin - A Song of Ice and Fire (not finished, and may never be, but still good)
Graham Joyce - The Facts of Life
Jonathan Carroll - The Bones of the Moon, The Wooden Sea, White Apples
Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy
Jeffrey Ford - The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque
Matthew Woodring Stover - Heroes Die, Blade of Tyshalle

For Sci-fi:

China Mieville - Perdido Street Station, The Scar
Frank Herbert - Dune
Orson Scott Card - Ender’s Game
Richard Morgan - Altered Carbon (this is sci-fi noir, so it’s a bit of both)
William Gibson - Nueromancer
Niel Stephenson - Snow Crash
Jeff Vandermeer - City of Saints and Madmen
Gene Wolfe - Book of the New Sun

+1 for a song of ice and fire, but before that i would recommend the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. i could not even believe how well-conceived and well-written that series was. it blew my mind.

but yeah, definitely read both of those.

I read Consider Phlebas last year but haven’t read anything else of his yet. I liked it but something about his writing style grates on me, like he’s too self conscoiously trying to hit all the sci-fi tropes.

Thanks for the recommendations I’ll end up reading a bunch of those. I got some gene wolfe and raymond chandler so far. Gonna re-read GRRM and then try that Patrick Rothfuss book, and so on…

how was shutter island?

yeah, posting in this thread again to say that neuromancer and snowcrash cannot be recommended highly enough. Snowcrash especially.