Skip to comments.What's your favorite really obscure fantasy/sf novel?
Posted on 12/13/2013 8:49:04 PM PST by Kip Russell
Everybody (well, everybody who reads sf/fantasy) has their favorite novels in each genre...which are usually a bunch of other people's favorite novels as well. This only makes sense, since cream rises to the top.
But even so, there are plenty of obscure books that for whatever reason, never really caught on. They might well be great reads, but no one seems to have heard of them...so what's your favorite sf and fantasy novel that still lies in not-so-deserved obscurity?
With any luck, we'll all discover a bunch of great books that we've never heard of before!
I'll start off with mine: for sf, "The Killing Star" by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski.
In the late 21st Century, our solar system is attacked by aliens using "relativity missiles"...boulder-sized hunks of metal accelerated to 90% of the speed of light. Thousands of them. 99.9999% of humanity is wiped out in a few hours. There's no need for a spoiler warning, this happens in the first 20 pages. The rest of the novel follows the desperate struggle of the few survivors spread throughout the solar system.
For fantasy, "A Personal Demon" by Richard Brown, David Bischoff, and Linda Richardson.
When Willis Baxter, a frustrated professor at a New England university with a penchant for drink and remarkable talent for failure in romantic relationships, got too drunk at his own party, unexpected results ensued. Instead of just impressing his guests with his knowledge of obscure magic rituals, he summoned an absolutely stunning female half-demon, Anathae. The demon, who looks like a naked sixteen year-old redhead with small horns, hooves and a tasteful tail, has been unhappy in Hell, and is extremely grateful to her "liberator". Luckily, most guests attribute the summoning to a party trick, with amusement value pretty much divided by gender.
Hilarity ensues. "I Dream of Jeannie" meets Faust...
This oughta be worth a bookmark for later...........
It's not obscure, but not many people talk about it much anymore. His best novel, in my opinion. Wish he'd written a sequel like he planned to.
Lovelock, by Card and Kidd. I spoke to Scott about this novel, and even he didn’t like it. I never met anyone who read it.
Another that does not come up in conversation often is Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper.
“The Way of Kings” Brandon Sanderson (Author of Knife of Dreams, Towers of Midnight, A Memory of Light).
“Neverness” by David Zindell
On my way to Paradise, by Dave Wolverton
Read it! But then, I'm a big fan of alternate history.
THE RATS IN THE WALLS by H P Lovecraft.
and other assorted tales.
I also have the trilogy of Robert Block’s novels PSYCHO, PSYCHO II, PSYCHO HOUSE.
Fantasy novel ? Ummmm....”You can keep your doctor” by B.H. Obama, esq.
I read it! It is quite the adventure.
One of the greatest unfinished series ever written.
IMO (and to my surprise) the “Retief” series by Keith Laumer is obscure!
I had to look up the author, Frederick Brown.
But I remembered the original illustrator, Kelly Freas
Whoa ho! A favorite of mine. Loved Counselor Onsword.
“The Chrysalids” John Wyndham
Pretty good book, horrible movie.
So-so book, never made into a movie that I know of.
You can see I had a thing for catastrophism.
And you learn about history, as well.
Read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Bid Time Return”
The whole recluse series by L. E. Modesitt. Outstanding fantasy, a series that rivals Tolkien in its other worldliness (?), yet far less dark. Fun to read and reread.
Wow, what are the odds we’d pick the same author (Wyndham)
Ever read the "Casca" series by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler, author of The Ballad of the Green Berets?
I’m a fan of Wyndham, I even have “Chocky” and “Trouble With Lichen”.
Ray Bradbury’s “Graveyard for Lunatics”
Terry Brooks- sword of Shanara series.
There was a comic adaptation:
The first few issues are very good, but it goes downhill after the original creative team leaves.
Because he’s a great author! “Out of the Deeps/The Kraken Wakes” for instance.
But I also liked the "Wizard" series, weird though it was, about a living wheel-type space station near Saturn. I can't even find a cover image of the books.
A Canticle For Liebowicz
read all of louis Lamour books and got ticked off when he up and died. His writting of the old west are the best. In fact it started out in I think scotland, the ancestors of those that came to america. (just from my memory). He wrote many short stories for magazines also. Many he later turned into full novels...
Sword of Shannara - only the first one though. The rest were pale copies, imo.
Have to quibble with that one, it's not exactly obscure...the Shanara series was a bestseller.
Here’s my picks:
The Survivors aka Prison Planet, by Tom Godwin: Neat little sci-fi novel from the 1950s about human survivors stranded on an incredibly hostile world by an enemy alien race known as the Gern. The clever twist on the standard “desert isle” story is that the story plays out over centuries, and dozens of generations. Not a real deep novel, but a good, fun read.
Press Enter, by John Varley: A 1985 novella something along the lines of Skynet in the Terminator (only without the Terminator). Some of the computer concepts in the story are a little dated, but it is still a top flight, and chilling bit of cyberparanoia.
The Kedigern Chronicles, by John Morressy: Light-hearted, clever, and often hilarious take on the fantasy genre.
I’d get banned for answering ;)
[Alfred Bester, 1956]
I had the Encyclopedia Britannica short film at one time to that has (alas) been lost over the years. Wonderful, wonderful short story. Ones by Ray Bradbury aren't bad either (my very favorite SciFi author).
Excellent choice! I've read that series at least 4 times, and it's very obscure!
A post-apocalyptic Earth, set 5,000 years in the future. Civilization is just starting to reform, each in its own isolated area, but humans (and some animals, like bear, beaver, etc.) have developed psionics. Mental attacks and defenses are frequent in the book. There is Evil in the form of a branch of humanity that revels in mental techniques that are not used by Good.
Anyway, a small civilized enclave up in north central Kanda (Canada) sends an explorer-warrior/telepath-priest to the distant south (former USA) to locate a "computer," to find out if it can help them. Civilization, you see, is under siege, and might become stillborn, as there seems to be a coordinated assault on civilizational enclaves.
A rollicking good read if you like action. My wife loved it. My son loves it, so it crosses generational boundaries.
Also, most any of the short stories by Lord Dunsany.
So here is a puzzle. I don’t remember the title or author, but it had a parrot-like creature that lived on diamonds, and unitron field pistols, a planet that was city to the core (completely artificial planet) and an assassination plot. Anyone remember?
Great to see a shout out to Lovecraft. He was very popular when I was in college back in the 70s and a lot of us read (and loved) his work. Pretty obscure today, I don’t know anyone who has read his books.