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Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

  Science-fiction & fantasy literature: a critical list with discussions.

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John Gardner

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Standard Disclaimer:

This is a brief discussion of John Gardner and, of course, of some speculative-fiction books by Gardner.

This discussion and list does not necessarily include every book by Gardner: it includes only those books that I both know and like. Just as with the author list itself, omission of a particular item may mean I didn’t think highly enough of the omitted item, or it may simply mean that I have not yet sufficient familiarity with it. (In a very few cases, I have listed some books merely on the strength of my opinion of the author: all such books are clearly marked below, as throughout these lists, with a hash mark (#) before the title so you know what’s what.)

I don’t pretend that this discussion is a deep analysis. My intent is no more than to give you a rough idea of what kinds of tales Gardner tells, how those tales are usually told, and what makes them and Gardner worthy; in sum, to help you rank John Gardner (and the works by Gardner listed here) on your personal literary “to do” list.

A Few Words About John Gardner

(A reminder: this is John C. Gardner, the American author, we’re dealing with here, not the British John E. Gardner who writes thrillers.)

Regrettably, I have not yet had an opportunity to write an essay on this author, but the “Other Resources” section below will lead you to some information about the “Notable Books” listed farther down this page.

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Other John Gardner Resources

John Gardner Resources on the Web

Fortunately, Gardner has a strong following—richly deserved—and those with an appetite for Gardner-related material will assuredly not go hungry.

The leading resource is The Arch and the Abyss; also important is The Grendex, “An Index to John Gardner’s Grendel”. Thomas Fasano’s (apparently now defunct) Gardner site, Spectres & Salvation [archived copy] is another resource. And The Arch an the Abyss has a further list, lengthy, of Online Essays & Commentary about Gardner’s Life & Work—that site is quite a Gardner one-stop shopping center.

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John Gardner Resources in Print

No use re-inventing the wheel: the heavy lifting has already been done, resulting in the list Books about John Gardner: Criticism, Scholarship & Biography at The Arch an the Abyss; it looks quite thorough. And that site also has a Checklist of Secondary Sources.

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Notable Science-Fiction and Fantasy Books by John Gardner ***

(For more possible titles by this author, see the “Unrated Books by Rated Authors” page.)
(Do not confuse this John Gardner—John Champlin Gardner—with the British chap who continued the James Bond novels; this John Gardner is one of the major figures of American literature.)

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This page was last modified on Sunday, 4 February 2024, at 5:32 pm Pacific Time.