Skip to main content 

Owing to the screen size of your device, you may obtain a better viewing experience by rotating your device a quarter-turn (to get the so-called “panorama” screen view).

Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works

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

(click for menu)
You are here:  Home  »  Miscellaneous  »  Reviews ( = this page)
(Click on any image above to see it at full size.)
You are here:  Home  »  Miscellaneous  »  Reviews ( = this page)

You can get a site directory by clicking on the “hamburger” icon () in the upper right of this page.
Or you can search this site with Google (standard Google-search rules apply).
(Be aware that “sponsored” links to other sites will appear atop the actual results.)

Search term(s):

Welcome to the Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works web site!

You have apparently come to this page from a link on a search engine or another site. If this is your first visit here, I much recommend that you take a few minutes to look over the introductory material accessible via the red “Introductory” zone of the Site Menu available from the “hamburger” icon in the upper right of this (and every) page. An understanding of the purposes and principles of organization of this site will, I hope and believe, much augment your experience here, for this page and in general. You can simply click this link to get at the site front page, which, unsurprisingly, is the best place to start. Thank you for visiting.

Some Reviews of This Site

“A larger group, of some status, was coming into view behind them.”

– Little, Big,
John Crowley

Those of us who operate web sites do so for many diverse reasons. But each of us must necessarily be pleased when others in the field we essay to speak of have kind words for our efforts.

NOTE! As this links list was first assembled between ten and twenty years ago, a lot of the pages cited have since disappeared; I have sought archival versions via The Wayback Machine, and have found most (which are so noted in the list below). A few, however, evaded archiving, so you’ll just have to take my word that I am quoting and citing those honestly.

Here are some of which I am particularly proud because of whence they came:

“I enjoyed the essay. I wish I’d had readers as intelligent when the Viriconium sequence was being written & published…I think you’ve provided a genuine insight into the Viriconium novels.”

M. John Harrison [private email)

“A very nice overview of Jonathan’s Work….”

the official Jonathan Carroll Web Site [archived page]

“A cool site that performs the invaluable service of providing concise analysis for the works it lists. Nicely organized.”

Jeff VanderMeer [private email)

“Containing an excellent review of the Titus books.”

Langdon Jones [Mervyn Peake’s editor on Peake’s third and last “Titus” novel; his site is now dark—link is an archived page.]

“A thoughtful essay on Lafferty…extended my understanding in many directions.”

The Remarkable Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith [by Rosana Hart, daughter of Paul Linebarger aka “Cordwainer Smith”]

“A rational and balanced assessment of the Titus books….”

Peake Studies [by G. Peter Winnington, author of Mervyn Peake’s Vast Alchemies and of The Voice of the Heart, a study of the working of Peake’s imagination.]

But these too we deeply cherish:

“An excellent site with critical analyses of science fiction and fantasy works.”
   —SF Lovers [archived copy]

“Dedicated to presenting standout sf and fantasy works, along with a dose of critical discussion and many valuable lists…”
   — [archived copy]

“A magisterial literary guide to sf/f…what’s there makes for fascinating and thought-provoking reading… the site would be worthwhile for its splendid Apologia alone. Keep an eye on this one.”
   —Pegasus Nest [archived copy]

“Then there’s Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Works. And it’s immediately obvious that someone has done a hell of a lot of work. And that someone wants you to reap the benefit in the most fruitful possible way.”
   —Grumpy Old Bookman

“When I’m looking for information on the web, I’m often very pleased indeed when I find honest-to-god opinions, articulated clearly and directly. I can disagree with them, mull them over, compare them against my own and others’, and overall the general discourse moves forward. Great Science Fiction and Fantasy is chock-full of bold opinions about specfic essentials, classics, great authors, and favorites. Great introductory material to some seminal works.”
   —the “widdershins” blog [archived copy]

“This is a site dedicated to the best of science fiction and fantasy—not cowboy stories set in outer space, but books with great literary merit apart from their exotic scenarios.”
   —Mary Wisniewski, Chicago Sun-Times, October 23, 2004 [now only available behind a pay wall]

“Great site!”
   —About: Sci-Fi / Fantasy [archived copy]

“Mind you, the discussion itself is worth having. It’s invigorating. Good criticism makes you think about what you read and what you like and why; good positive criticism makes you feel what’s valuable in what you read and what you like, and therefore may be of a higher order of writing…the Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works site provides inspiration and direction.”
   —Hochelaga Depicta (blog)

“If you’re interested in obscure imaginative literature, there is a website that I recommend:   It doesn’t only have obscure stuff; however, those obscure writers who are worth reading are easily found by scanning the 100 great works list…”
   —A Mule In The Chapter House, ”Comments” (blog)

“Eric Walker’s website is called Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works and means to be very comprehensive. Of note, Walker’s comments are interesting and he writes well.”
   —The Digital Eel (blog)

“Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works has been my reference site for nearly ten years now. The content is by Eric Walker and while his taste is much more literate than mine, I’ve always found his thoughts on books to be refreshing and always helpful.”
   —Pieces on Speculative Fiction—SF for smart people (blog) [cannot recover even via The Wayback Machine]

“I had given up on the fantasy genre. I felt like everything I picked up was really childish and formulaic. One day, sixteen years ago, I stumbled on this website:    The website is a monument to eccentricity. It contains a pseudoanonymous collection of essays intended to look like an encyclopedia but really existing only to justify one man’s idiosyncratic tastes. In other words, it’s like something out of a Jack Vance novel. I was taken by the man’s air of authority and the intensity of his opinions. While browsing through his list of twelve ’Five Star Masters,‘ I noticed that his longest, most passionate essay was on the topic of Vance. I thought to myself, ’This man is odd, but brilliant. If he likes Vance, then it’s worth looking into.‘”


“First of all, THANK YOU for a link to that fascinating website. Indeed it is Vancean, in its own odd way. The way that guy writes! I love it.”


“That guy has a brilliant taste of masterful authors with unique styles like Vance, Lord Dunsany, Carroll, Borges, Calvino, Peake.
   —Goodreads: Beyond Jack Vance Discussion

“…Eric Walker’s* website ‘Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Works’ is focused explicitly on works that meet his personal criteria for being genuine literature. We don’t always agree, but he has a good eye and you’re liable to learn of many works and authors you’d never heard of before. I first heard of Kai Lung by reading Dorothy L. Sayers, but I first actually read some based on Eric’s recommendation.
*This is the same Eric Walker of niche baseball analytics fame – he’s the analyst who first turned Billy Beane on to sabermetrics, as related in Moneyball.”
   —Outside the Beltway

“Lists of must-have books for a basic SF library, overlooked gems, etc.”
   —Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America web site [archived copy]

“What makes this site outstanding is [its] careful analytical approach to reading…This site is also a great reference site. Recommended to people who really love literature and literary history.”
   —Scifan: Jim’s Logs [archived copy]

“[A] good bit more discriminating than most sites.”
   —Ken Holt (Ken’s WebSampler, Science Fiction & Fantasy) [archived copy]

“I can wholeheartedly recommend rummaging through ‘Great Science Fiction & Fantasy Works’ for a thorough review of books which are first and foremost good books and secondly SF or F.”
   —Oliver Beckstein (“Me, Not at Work”)

“…a wonderful entry in Great Works Of Science-Fiction And Fantasy by the delightful, witty, erudite and comprehensive Eric Walker of Owlcroft House.”
   —Karl Kotas

“Amazingly annotated….More than just lists with minor commentary, this site provides detailed information about the authors, analysis of the books and author style, explanations about the genre’s popularity, and more…The site is very extensive and could take hours to fully explore.
   —American Public Library Topics – An Annotated Bibliography,
     Spring 2005 Public Libraries Seminar, School of Information and Library Science,
     University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(a PDF file) [archived copy]

“SF for the literati”
   —New Zealand SF Index

“The most helpful literature site I’ve ever bumped into…”
   —reader post, Gramophone Magazine online [archived copy]

“[I]t is clearly intended for elite readers of literature.”
   —Fuller (N.H.) Public Library [archived copy]

“Very nice!”
   —Fantastic Literature Limited [archived copy]

“Extremely interesting and well worth the time and effort to visit…Strongly recommended for all.”
   —Fictional Worlds [archived copy]

“…worth the time both as a reader or a writer!”
   —Alan Brooker (author) [archived copy]

“A site I find extremely interesting and well worth the time and effort to visit. You’ll find plenty of very interesting discussions and views of F/SF along with a pretty extensive list of links…. The pages are pretty fast-loading and have plenty to read. Strongly recommended for all.”
   —Galaraf/Fictional Worlds[archived copy]

“For bookfans, worth bookmarking.”
   —Anitra’s Reviews [archived copy]

“An excellent resource site for everything science fiction and fantasy.”
   —Legends of Mernac [archived copy]

“…well worth browsing…”
   —Coalescent (“Niall’s Great Big List O’ Links”)

“The author list can be quite helpful.”
   —William C. Robinson (A Few Thoughts on the Fantasy Genre) [archived copy]

“This is an amazingly complete site….”
   —The MT Void (Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society)

“…offers literate thoughts on [Lewis] Carroll’s work.”
   —Literary History [archived copy]

“An interesting overview of [E. R.] Eddison’s great works of fantasy.”
   —Negative Space

“‘A Few Words About Jack Vance’, a big and fun to read essay.”
   —Vance Integral Edition [archived copy]

“The short version of my point? Go to the GSF&FW website for quality science fiction and fantasy book selections.”
   —Digital Bits

“Eric Walker’s website is not for the faint of heart. It has no images, no photos, no flash. What you have is lots of words, lots and lots of text written in an intelligent, insightful and totally interesting way. Great Science Fiction & Fantasy Works is one of those pearls hidden in the sediment of the net.” [As translated from Portugese by Google.]
   —Càmara Obscura [cannot recover even via The Wayback Machine]

“Good site reviewing SF from a literary standpoint.”
   —James Jones [open dropdowns on page] [archived copy]

“A really good article about R.A.Lafferty.”
   —Another Country

“Are you a fan of Fantasy & Science Fiction? Me too. You should check out the Great Science Fiction and Fantasy Works site.”
   —Funmurphys: the blog

“Great Science Fiction & Fantasy Works begins very politely with a detailed welcome and a two-page apologia, which explains the criteria used by the author to evaluate literary works. An interesting and helpful essay, which I printed out for better study and which alone is worth visiting for.” [As translated from German by Google.]
   —Golem Fantasyblog [cannot recover even via The Wayback Machine]

“[A] guide to the better sort of fantastical fiction.”
   —Emerald City

“In-depth analytical discussion on many of John Bellairs’s works.”
   —The Compleat Bellairs [archived copy]

“[A] very interesting page devoted to Ernest Bramah…”
   —Ernest Bramah News

“A small but excellent list of [Ray Bradbury] resources…”
   —Epdf: Post-war Literature, 1945-1970

“Good discussion and review of Peake’s work.”
   —Gormenghast Castle [archived copy]

“…terrific site about L. Frank Baum.”
   —Jim’s Wizard of Oz Website [archived copy]

“I direct you to Eric Walker’s fantastic website…
   —Book & Reader

“Sometimes it helps to know what Lafferty was up to as a writer. As the Pythons would say, ‘And now for something completely different…’[link follows]”    —Science Fiction and Other Suspect Ruminations

“A brief but interesting consideration of the philosophical and logical wordgames that underpin Carroll’s texts.”
   —Looking For Lewis Carroll [cannot recover even via The Wayback Machine]

“[H]as an interesting entry on Mervyn Peake.”
   —The Official Website of Mervyn Peake [archived copy]

“…details the fantastical elements in Borges’ writing.”
   —The Garden of Forking Paths [archived copy]

“[A] worthwhile read.”
   —The R. A. Lafferty Devotional Site

“The three main settings of R. A. Lafferty’s writings are the past, the present, and the future. Though that may seem simplistic, each corresponds to one of the major story clusters Lafferty developed over the course of his career: the historical Argo Mythos, the contemporary Tulsa tales focusing on the Institute for Impure Science and its associates, and the outer-space stories set in the Particular Universe and its Seventeen Inhabited Worlds. (Please see Eric Walker’s GreatSFandF for the initial breakdown of these categories.)”    —The Institute of Impure Science, Online

“A discussion of Cabell and his place within the science fiction and fantasy genres.”
   —The James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University [cannot recover even via The Wayback Machine]

“The site deals with literary criticism and discussions on literary quality and qualities of artists and writers in the genre. Is not too low or too high, that is in the middle. Nice visit, and has some good tools to criticism.” [As translated from Hebrew by Google.]
   —Raven reading – February, Israeli Society for Science Fiction & Fantasy [Google translation]

Return to the page top. ↑

Disclaimers  |  Privacy Policy

owl logo This site is one of The Owlcroft Company family of web sites. Please click on the link (or the owl) to see a menu of our other diverse user-friendly, helpful sites.
owl logo Like all our sites, this one is hosted at the highly regarded Pair Networks, whom we strongly recommend—click the link to learn more. (To get 20% off on hosting fees if you move to Pair, use code pairref-FyXypEEk)

(Note: All Owlcroft systems run on Ubuntu Linux and we heartily recommend it to everyone—click on the link for more information).

All content copyright © 2024 The Owlcroft Company
(excepting quoted material, which is believed to be Fair Use).

This web page is strictly compliant with the WHATWG (Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group) HyperText Markup Language (HTML5) Protocol versionless “Living Standard” and the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) Cascading Style Sheets (CSS3) Protocol v3  — because we care about interoperability. Click on the logos below to test us!

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