Wondering where to start with Dungeons & Dragons novels? Read our picks for the top D&D novels of all time. Be sure to leave a comment below if you think we forgot any or we give you those old school feels. You might also be interested in our list of the best 5e modules. Thanks … Read more
The pantheon of great figures in fantasy is often filled with obscure members. Sure, there are authors like Tolkein and creators like Gygax in there, but most of the names are only known to those who are deeply engaged with the works themselves. It’s the works, though, that tend to be remembered by most. Even … Read more
There are a few characters that take such deep root in the public consciousness that they become part of the background fictional landscape. These characters are so important than those who have never read or saw their adventurers feel familiar with them as a concept. One of these characters is Robert E. Howard’s Conan, a character who has become the byword for barbarian hero throughout the English-speaking world.
Conan started as a character in pulp magazines, but he has become much more. He’s appeared in novels, comic books, and newspaper strips. There have been successful Conan films, video games, and board games. Conan is part of popular culture – and understanding his origins can help fans of fantasy understand how he transitioned from pulp hero into the icon that he is today.
The world of fantasy can easily be divided into high and low. Low fantasy has often been the stuff of popular entertainment – swords and sorcery, realistic worlds and problems therein. High fantasy, though, has always been something special. High fantasy is something higher, something a bit nobler in form.
While the stakes aren’t always higher than those in low fantasy, they are often much grander. There aren’t many books that really give readers the sense of scope that this subgenre calls for, but the few that do really stand out.
While the classic series of high fantasy will always be The Lord of the Rings, there’s one other series that has come close to capturing the same scope and depth as those books. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is perhaps the best-known work of modern high fantasy, one that has sadly lived on past the life of its author.
The Wheel of Time incorporates much of what one would expect from a high fantasy experience, but does so in a manner that creates a world that seems quite familiar at the same time. From the books to their various adaptations, the world that has been created is one that has amassed a legion of fans.
There’s a certain intersection between video games and nostalgia. Many popular games build on the past to work towards a future – maybe not one that’s brighter, but possibly one that’s better. No novel has ever captured that intersection as well as Ernest Cline’s 2011 novel READY PLAYER ONE.
From the blurb:
In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS.
Wade’s devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world’s digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator’s obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade’s going to survive, he’ll have to win—and confront the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
You can probably tell already why this novel was such a hit with geeks, especially those of a certain age. Let’s dig a little deeper into the Ready Player One phenomena.