Recommended Reading List
- Clive Barker - The Great and Secret Show
The first Book of the Art, starting off slowly this novel builds up to a virtual apocalypse in a small town as two opposing forces fight to gain control of the Art, a kind of mystical power source. The central flux of the novel is the relationship between the three children of these two powerful amoral men, who were born to continue their fight, though complications ensue as two of them fall in love and the third goes slightly insane. An excellent complex novel with a lot going on, but Barker manages to keep it all in play until the great finale. [in print - UK / US]
- Clive Barker - Everville
The second Book of the Art and this steps up the action from the first, as reality begins to break up and the participants find themselves drawn to Everville, a small town where powerful forces tear holes into another dimension, where a dark sadistic force gathers ready to take over the earth. This novel is filled with excellent powerful stuff, and characters from the first novel come to new prominence as the battle continues, the third book when it comes out promises to be incredible. [in print - UK / US]
- Clive Barker - Sacrament
An excellent novel which begins with an accident leaving a man in a coma where he relives an event his childhood, a meeting with two strange powerful people. When he awakes he is drawn back into contact with those people. The book acts as a kind of fantastical mystery where gradually the nature of these two strange people is revealed. The ending is colourful and quite brilliant. [in print - UK / US]
- Jonathan Carroll - From the Teeth of Angels
A book about death, both facing up to its realities and eventually pitting the characters against death itself. This is a classic piece of Carroll's unique magic, weaving a story around a group of people whose encounters with death brings them all closer together, and whose literal contact with death himself leaves marks on them all. Carroll's smooth prose carries the story along at a rapid place and considers death from many angles, from physical and emotional death to that of a career. An excellent work which builds to a more than satisfying conclusion. [out of print]
- Penelope Farmer - Eve : Her True StoryAn excellent retelling of the Adam and Eve myth with some excellent writing and really evocative images. It puts a brilliant feminist spin on the old story, with Adam coming across as a whining git; as well as giving his first wife Lilith a more sympathetic portrayal. [out of print]
- Michael Moorcock - The War Hound and the World's Pain
This is an incredible fantasy novel and generally considered one of Moorcock's best,
with a hardened cynical soldier drawn into a quest for the Holy Grail, with the
ultimate goal the reconciliation of Lucifer with Heaven and escape for the
soldier from damnation. Brilliant from start to finish.
[in print - UK / US]
- Rachel Pollack - Godmother NightA tale of two lesbian women living under the shadow of Godmother night; a pagan death goddess figure who offers them maternal protection of a sort, though it is not without it costs. An astounding poetic novel this spans several decades as it explores the relationship of the two women, the arrival of their daughter, and her gradual involvement with the cult of the Godmother. It moves from the disturbing to the beautiful with astonishing ease.
[in print - UK]
- Michael Scott - Magician's Law : Tales of the Bard The opening book in the story of Paedar the Bard, who makes a deal with Mannam, the Lord of the Dead, to keep knowledge of the old gods alive by spreading their stories. A wonderful start to a brilliant trilogy. [out of print]
- Michael Scott - Demon's Law : Tales of the Bard
- Gene Wolfe - Soldier of the MistThe first of two novels following the fate of Latro, a wounded soldier in the age of ancient Greece, whose wound leaves him unable to remember more than a day at a time. This makes for a fascinating novel, with Latro recording his memories on a scroll at the end of each day, so that on the following day he can recall who he is. The Greece painted is one still filled with gods which only Latro can see, and his confused quest through this ancient land is endlessly inventive.
[out of print]
- Gene Wolfe - Soldier of AreteThe second of the Latro novels, this isn't quite as interesting as the first and suffers from being slightly confused. It is still an excellent novel though, carried by Wolfe's superb prose, and sustains the quality of the first for most of its length. A great pair of novels.
[out of print]
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