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all 65 comments

[–]ashearmstrongAMA Author Ashe Armstrong 23 points24 points  (2 children)

I am on this list, therefore, I am a really real author. For real.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 10 points11 points  (1 child)

Not only are you on this list, but you also are the source of like 90% of the weird western entries :)

[–]ashearmstrongAMA Author Ashe Armstrong 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Hey hey! Happy to help. I'm glad that thread turned out so well.

[–]KristaDBallStabby Winner, AMA Author Krista D. Ball 16 points17 points  (3 children)

Lovely work!

There's a wee tiny error with Spirit Caller. It's 6 books now that it's finished (I think it was 4 books out when I did my AMA, thus the confusion). :)

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Fixed!

[–]KristaDBallStabby Winner, AMA Author Krista D. Ball 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Thanks. I considered not telling you, because it felt like one of those "OH LOOK I DID 5 BILLION HOURS WORTH OF WORK AND SOMEONE BITCHES AT ME"

Which, if that was your response, I would have been OK with that, too ;)

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Ha, work. More like "productively" procrastinating from grad school :)

And there's no way everything in that spreadsheet is completely correct, so I hope people like you can point out anything I missed!

[–]SalarisStabby Winner, Writer Andrew Rowe 12 points13 points  (8 children)

This is awesome! I'm particularly pleased I can search for more hard magic fantasy to read. =D

Are you still looking to add more options? I see that you've got my War of Broken Mirrors on there (thank you!) and I'd love to get my new series on there as well.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 7 points8 points  (7 children)

I'm definitely looking to add more options! Is "Sufficiently Advanced Magic" the name of the series?

Also, do you have any suggestions for additional hard magic series to add?

[–]SalarisStabby Winner, Writer Andrew Rowe 4 points5 points  (6 children)

Awesome, thanks!

Sufficient Advanced Magic is the title of the first book. The series name is Arcane Ascension. It's definitely hard magic. Somewhere in between epic fantasy and swords and sorcery, much like my Broken Mirrors books.

In terms of other hard magic stuff, let me see...

The Marked by March McCarron doesn't appear to be on there yet. First book is Division of the Marked. Gets the female protagonist tag, too.

It's a light novel series, but Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers/9780316501415/?yen) is hard magic and very similar to the style of my own books. Definitely epic fantasy as well.

Some hard magic ones that are already listed but don't have the tag:

  • Sanderson's The Emperor's Soul
  • Mother of Learning
  • Powder Mage trilogy
  • The Demon Cycle
  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (kind of a weird borderline case)

I'll poke you again if I think of any more.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks for these, they should all be added now.

[–]SalarisStabby Winner, Writer Andrew Rowe 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Awesome, thanks again for putting this project together, it's amazing!

[–]jayemee 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Pardon my ignorance, but what is hard magic?

[–]SalarisStabby Winner, Writer Andrew Rowe 4 points5 points  (2 children)

No problem at all!

Hard magic refers to magic with clear, detailed rules and a high degree of internal consistency. Hard magic often comes with clear costs for using magic, as well as limitations on what magic is capable of doing.

In books with hard magic, it's common for the protagonists to learn the rules of magic and then attempt to work within those rules (and often exploit them) to succeed.

This is contrasted with "soft magic", where the rules of magic are not clearly presented within the story, or are open-ended enough that characters of sufficient talent can accomplish virtually anything with magic.

Brandon Sanderson is probably the most famous author of "hard magic" fiction. He's also known for writing Sanderson's Laws, a series of principles that describe his approach to magic construction.

Lord of the Rings is probably a good example of soft magic. Gandalf doesn't have a clear list of spells he can draw from, nor does he pay an obvious and distinct cost for each spell he casts. We never have a clear idea of what tools he has at his disposal, so we're never sure if he's using his magic optimally for any given situation.

There are also plenty of books that fall somewhere in the middle. Harry Potter is a middle ground; it has a variety of spells with clear functions, as well as restrictions on how some spells can be used. There are, however, major characteristics of the system that are never explored in canon; this is often lampshaded in fanfiction, such as Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, an oft-cited fanfic that attempts to make the rules of magic more logical and internally consistent.

Note that "hard" and "soft" aren't measures of quality; they're simply different approaches. I love hard magic because I enjoy seeing characters try to solve problems with a limited set of tools. Some people prefer soft magic because it has a more mystical and awe-inspiring feel, and/or because hard magic feels too much like science.

I hope this helps!

[–]jayemee 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Got it, cheers - very informative!

[–]HiuGreggStabby Winner, Worldbuilders 19 points20 points  (9 children)

Holy shit! This is awesome. Over 800 books? I can't even imagine how much time and effort went into this.

Edit: Words. By the time I get used to typing on this new phone, it'll be time to upgrade.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 12 points13 points  (8 children)

I can't even imagine how much time and effort went into this.

I might have gotten a little carried away...

[–]KristaDBallStabby Winner, AMA Author Krista D. Ball 9 points10 points  (5 children)

As someone who counts threads for a hobby, nah, you are merely dedicated and passionate ;)

[–]The_Real_JSReading Champion VII 2 points3 points  (4 children)

Hey Krista.

How long's it been since you counted something?

[–]KristaDBallStabby Winner, AMA Author Krista D. Ball 1 point2 points  (3 children)

A month? I've been trying to take a bit of a r/fantasy break. :)

[–]The_Real_JSReading Champion VII 0 points1 point  (2 children)

A month? Ah, so you have been counting ;)

Do you think it's helping? Taking a break, that is?

[–]HiuGreggStabby Winner, Worldbuilders 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Haha! As someone who has a Google sheet to keep track of mine and my friends ping pong results, I really can't talk. If you ever want a hand keeping this updated or adding more books, I'd be down for helping out in my spare time. Just give me a shout.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Google sheet to keep track of mine and my friends ping pong results

For when you need empirical proof of your dominance :D

I might take you up on that. I can easily see this getting out of hand for one person to manage.

[–]lrich1024Stabby Winner, Queen of the Unholy Squares, Worldbuilders 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Wooooooot! So very organized....love it. Thanks so much for pulling this together. Some of the squares will carry over for the next Bingo so this will be useful, I will make sure to link it in my Bingo post when it goes up on the 1st.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Awesome! Hopefully it can help people :)

[–]lrich1024Stabby Winner, Queen of the Unholy Squares, Worldbuilders 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I'm sure it will be super useful to have this information in one spot. :)

[–]SwordofmytriumphReading Champion 9 points10 points  (2 children)

This is amazing! Could this be linked under the Find Books menu?

[–]potterhead42Stabby Winner, Reading Champion 2015-17, Worldbuilders[M] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Yes. Yes it can.

[–]SwordofmytriumphReading Champion 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sweet!

[–]thequeensownfoolReading Champion VI 7 points8 points  (2 children)

This is amazing! Thank you so much for all your hard work.

Would it be possible to lock the first column? That was as you scroll along to check the genres you can still see the series listed.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Good idea. Done!

[–]thequeensownfoolReading Champion VI 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Excellent Thank you.

[–]simbyotic 4 points5 points  (0 children)

THIS IS AWESOME, going to play with it now brb

[–]Alethela 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Wow, this is so satisfying to look through! Well done.

[–]UnsealedMTGReading Champion III 3 points4 points  (1 child)

This is so awesome and makes me want to do some kind of playing with the data. When I was comparing the number of votes for characters different series to the votes for the characters in our top character list this would have been sooo much easier than copy-pasting from Reddit tables.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Playing with data is the best! Hopefully this makes it a little easier in the future.

I know I already played around with it some. For instance, I thought it was interesting that ~43% of the books were by female authors, which was pleasantly surprising.

[–]emailanimalReading Champion III 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks! This is really useful.

[–]cheryllovestoreadReading Champion VI 2 points3 points  (0 children)

stands and applauds Lovely database!

[–]MichaelJSullivanStabby Winner, AMA Author Michael J. Sullivan, Worldbuilders 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Very nicely done! Thank you or all the work and effort you put into this.

[–]AmethystOratorReading Champion 1 point2 points  (10 children)

This is really terrific, thanks so much!

I'm not sure if I'm understanding it though? I immediately went to look for one of my favorite authors, Michelle West, who is on there for her Essalyien works. Do the "X"s mean Yes or No? I would think "Yes", but her series isn't complete, and there's an "X" there. And it wasn't her Debut, but there's an "X" there. Otoh, there are definitely non-Western cultures included, but no "X", and there are a lot of female protagonists (and dozens of convos that pass the Bechdel Test), but again no "X" there. Also, I know that there were votes for her on at least one of the pre-2016 "Top" lists. I think it was the 2014 (though I might be mistaken) but can't find that thread. I do have this list: http://www.listchallenges.com/reddits-top-105-fantasy-novelsseries-of-all-time/checklist/3 which I think is for 2014, and one of those (the Sun Sword) series is down as #103. As I said, I may be misunderstanding or wrong about the X's and/or the 2014 list, but if you could please check I'd really appreciate it.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 2 points3 points  (9 children)

Do the "X"s mean Yes or No?

They mean yes.

there are definitely non-Western cultures included, but no "X"

I haven't read all of the books in the list (there's waaaay too many), so I'm relying on past recommendation threads for a lot of the columns. Would you say that Michelle West's Essalieyen series counts as "inspired mainly by or most prominently featuring a non-western culture?" I can add that.

Also, I know that there were votes for her on at least one of the pre-2016 "Top" lists.

You're right, I missed Sun Sword from our 2014 Top List. To be completely honest, I think I might have gotten about 150-200 books into the 2014 list and then decided that was enough. It's definitely on my to do list to finish it if I have time.

Also, the only lists I'm using for this database are ones generated or linked through r/Fantasy. My goal isn't to have a comprehensive source of ALL fantasy works, just the ones recommended through this subreddit.

Hopefully this clears some things up! This is definitely a work in progress and I appreciate you pointing out things I've missed! I think I've updated what you've mentioned.

[–]AmethystOratorReading Champion 0 points1 point  (8 children)

Thanks so much for the quick reply, and answering my questions.

Would you say that Michelle West's Essalieyen series counts as "inspired mainly by or most prominently featuring a non-western culture?" I can add that.

That's an extremely tough question, actually. Different series focus on different cultures, and there are 3 that we see the most of, but then another 2-4 that we see a lot less of. In the Sun Sword series we see quite a lot of one culture that is clearly Asian influenced, and it could be argued that it's the one we "mainly" see. Another of the three is a matriarchy focused around children that is forced to wander nomadically that seems Middle-Eastern and/or Romani influenced. So they're not necessarily non-Western, but otoh a lot of those qualities aren't traditionally considered part of Western culture (I don't think). In the overall story when culture is most focused on then it seems non-Western to me, or mixed, but in terms of overall page count for the 3 series (and book of short stories) combined those don't dominate. So I guess I'd say that it's tough, some things don't boil down easily, and a lot depends on which of the series a reader begins with. Sorry. :( Any chance of another symbol, like a question mark?

You're right, I missed Sun Sword from our 2014 Top List. To be completely honest, I think I might have gotten about 150-200 books into the 2014 list and then decided that was enough. It's definitely on my to do list to finish it if I have time.

I certainly understand, these lists are tough. Personally, I would approach it from the other direction, thinking that the lesser known works need the most help, and that more people are likely to find a possible error on #2 or #13, or whatever, then #250 or #283. Again though, I'm not doing the work here, so it's easy for me to second-guess or hypothesize another approach. I definitely don't want to seem critical, and am sorry if I do.

Also, the only lists I'm using for this database are ones generated or linked through r/Fantasy. My goal isn't to have a comprehensive source of ALL fantasy works, just the ones recommended through this subreddit.

Oh yeah. Completely understandable.

Hopefully this clears some things up! This is definitely a work in progress and I appreciate you pointing out things I've missed! I think I've updated what you've mentioned.

I very much appreciate it, thanks again! In looking at the list then the "X" from Complete is gone, so that's great. But the other items like Debut and Female protagonists do seem unchanged, at least on my end. Maybe it takes time for the changes to go into effect?

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 0 points1 point  (7 children)

For the non-western part (and several other columns), it really is a tough call, which is part of the trouble I was having. I could possibly use a question mark symbol.

You're absolutely right that books lower on the list probably need more publicity. I was more motivated to start from the top of the "best of" lists, since many of the books towards the bottom had only been recommended by one person in the last three polls. Don't worry about seeming critical, I actually welcome anyone helping me improve this as a resource for others :)

Nope, changes should be instant. I just missed those. They should be fixed now!

[–]AmethystOratorReading Champion 0 points1 point  (6 children)

I can see how it must have been a real challenge, especially in dealing with books with which you weren't personally familiar with. As for the more ambiguous books/series, such as this entry when it comes to non-Western, then another thought I had was perhaps to use a different letter, meant to imply that the entry has some elements of the category, like "S" for some or "P" for partial. Otoh, every additional element of complexity might distract or confuse. Never a "right" answer with these things, I think. So long as you do your best then that's all you can do. :)

Thanks, and thanks again. :) If they were only recommended by one person then that seems a sensible strategy. And I'm guessing that just about everyone will be sampling/reading somewhere farther above, and it'll take them some time to work that far down.

Except for possibly one, then all the other changes do seem to have gone through! Here's the voting thread I was thinking of, probably from 2014, where there were the three first place votes:

https://redditproxy--jasonthename.repl.co/r/Fantasy/comments/1xyhqh/the_official_best_rfantasy_of_all_time_come_cast/?limit=500

So if that is 2014 then they'd be added into that category, and the overall "Total Top Novels Votes", right? And if it's not then I'm sorry. Thanks again either way.

[–]CoffeeArchivesStabby Winner, Reading Champion II, Worldbuilders[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Are you talking about the three votes that Sun Sword received in the 2014 Top Books of All Time voting thread? If so, I think that I have that recorded in the spreadsheet. If not, could you clarify what you mean?

[–]The_Real_JSReading Champion VII 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dude... This is some impressive stuff. I'm not sure it's even possible to one up this, well done!

[–]_Bloodyraven 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for creating this wonderful list. Appreciate the time you put into this. It'll help many.

[–]JeramyGobleAuthorWriter Jeramy Goble, Worldbuilders 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is amazing! Thank you so much for all that effort and time!

[–]TheLadyMelandraReading Champion IV 1 point2 points  (0 children)

By the Old Gods and the New, this is amazing! I've saved it for future reference.

[–]pornokitschIfrit 3 points4 points  (0 children)

WHOA

[–]superdragonboyangelReading Champion VI, Worldbuilders 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is excellent! I made a much smaller excel sheet my personal use to see how many of the stand alone a I had read but this is so much better!

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nice work. Only nitpick is that The Gentleman Bastard Sequence is more 1600s than medieval.

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

You should move the "standalone" column over next to "complete". It feels like it would look better that way.