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Great Science-Fiction
& Fantasy Works

science-fiction & fantasy literature:
a critical list with discussions

Some Kind Words About the "Great Science-Fiction & Fantasy Works" 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.

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

"A cool site that performs the invaluable service of providing concise analysis for the works it lists. Nicely organized."
   --Jeff VanderMeer (private email)

"An excellent review of the Gormenghast books."
   --Langdon Jones, Mervyn Peake's editor on Peake's third and last "Titus" novel (former site posting)

"A thoughtful essay on Lafferty . . . extended my understanding in many directions."
   --The Remarkable Science Fiction of Cordwainer Smith (by Rosana Hart, daughter of "Cordwainer Smith" [Paul Linebarger])

"A rational and balanced assessment of the Titus books . . . ."
   --Peake Studies (their web site)

But these too we deeply cherish:

"An excellent site with critical analyses of science fiction and fantasy works."
   --SF Lovers

"Dedicated to presenting standout sf and fantasy works, along with a dose of critical discussion and many valuable lists . . . ." (from links lists since taken down)

"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

"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

"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

"Great site!"
   --About: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

"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 (a 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)

"Lists of must-have books for a basic SF library, overlooked gems, etc."
   --Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America web site

"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

"[A] good bit more discriminating than most sites."
   --Ken Holt (Ken's WebSampler, Science Fiction & Fantasy)

"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)

"SF for the literati"
   --New Zealand SF Index

"The most helpful literature site I've ever bumped into..."
   --reader post, Gramophone Magazine online

"[I]t is clearly intended for elite readers of literature."
   --Fuller (N.H.) Public Library

"Very nice!"
   --Fantastic Literature Limited

"Extremely interesting and well worth the time and effort to visit. . . . Strongly recommended for all."
   --Fictional Worlds

"Worth the time both as a reader or a writer!"
   --Alan Brooker (author)

"For bookfans, worth bookmarking."
   --Anitra's Reviews

"An excellent resource site for everything science fiction and fantasy."
   --Legends of Mernac

" . . . 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)

"This is an amazingly complete site . . . ."
   --The MT Void (Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society)

"Offers literate thoughts on [Lewis] Carroll's work."
   --Literary History

"An interesting overview of [E. R.] Eddison's great works of fantasy."
   --Negative Space

"'About Jack Vance', a big and fun to read essay."
   --Vance Integral Edition

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

"O site do Eric Walker não é para os fracos do coração. Não tem imagens, não tem fotos, não tem flash. O que tem é imensas palavras, muito e muito texto escrito de forma inteligente, perspicaz e totalmente interessante. Great Science Fiction & Fantasy Works é daquelas pérolas escondidas na sedimentação da net."
   --Càmara Obscura

"Good site reviewing SF from a literary standpoint."
   --James Jones

"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 beginnt sehr höflich mit einem ausführlichen Willkommen und einer zweiseitigen Apologia, in der dargelegt wird, nach welchen Kriterien der Autor literarische Werke bewertet. Ein interessanter und hilfreicher Essai, den ich mir zum besseren Studium ausgedruckt habe und der allein schon den Besuch der Seite lohnt."
   --Golem Fantasyblog

"[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 (web site, no longer up)

"[A] very interesting page devoted to Ernest Bramah . . . ."
   --Ernest Bramah News

"Good discussion and review of Peake's work."
   --Gormenghast Castle, a Mervyn Peake web site

" . . . terrific site about L. Frank Baum."
   --Jim's Wizard of Oz Website

"A brief but interesting consideration of the philosophical and logical wordgames that underpin Carroll's texts."
   --Looking For Lewis Carroll (a web site)

"[H]as an interesting entry on Mervyn Peake."
   --The Official Website of Mervyn Peake

" . . . details the fantastical elements in Borges' writing."
   --The Garden of Forking Paths (a Borges web site)

"[A] worthwhile read."
   --The R. A. Lafferty Devotional Site

"A discussion of Cabell and his place within the science fiction and fantasy genres."
   --The James Branch Cabell Library at Virginia Commonwealth University

"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

You loaded this page on Wednesday, 5 August 2020, at 13:09 GMT
it was last modified on Thursday, 1 January 1970, at 00:00 GMT

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Site Directory:

 The site's Front Page

(essential one-time reading)
Introductory Material:
 a quick site overview and some mechanical details
 the criteria used to make these lists
      (A long page, so also available in two parts for those with slow internet connections.)
            · Apologia: Part 1
            · Apologia: Part 2
    Site Organization:
 what's where, and why


(the heart of the site)
The Authors:
    Author List
 (just a lightly annotated list of the authors here--not the best place to start)
    Master Authors/Books List
 (the centrum of this site, but a big page--there are alpha subpages available)
   A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
    Specialty Lists:
 several author "sub-lists" (such as the 5-star greats)
    Author Links:
 links to useful external pages or sites for each listed author
    More Books:
 yet-unread candidate books by authors already in these lists
    Other Candidates:
 authors, and books, that--pending actual reading--seem likely candidates for these lists


(typically gotten to
by author)
The Books:
    All Listed Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
 (a long file to download)
    Preferred Editions:
 for those books having such (a work in progress)
    The Other Books:
 all cited books not in the master fiction list, collected in one place
    Overlooked Gems of Science Fiction & Fantasy:
 wonderful works sadly under-known
    Light-Hearted Science-Fiction & Fantasy:
 there's more than you might think
    Religiously Themed Science Fiction & Fantasy:
 something the field handles wonderful well
    Science Fiction & Fantasy For Younger Readers:
 a selection from these lists of appropriate works
    100 Great Works of Science Fiction & Fantasy:
 using an expansive definition of "works"
    "Guilty Pleasures" of Science Fiction & Fantasy:
 sometimes even gourmets just want a big bag of potato chips


(new, used--find any book, anywhere in the world)
About Buying Books From Here:
    Buying Books New:
 · about buying books from Amazon
 · searching for new books at any Amazon division
 · international book-buying considerations
    Buying Books Used:
 searching for used books anywhere in the world
    Our Speculative-Fiction "General Store":
    About the Science-Fiction Book Club:
 info & online signup

(often the most interesting part of any site)
Miscellaneous Topics & Info:
 an ever-growing collection of, yes, musings
    Obiter Dicta:
 collected miscellaneous
    "That Other Genre":
 crime/mystery fiction
    Science-Fiction & Fantasy Art and Illustration:
 online galleries of diverse works
    Other Sites:
 sites that have noticed this one
    The English Language:
 a few thoughts on its modern rape
 read this if nothing else whatever
    Change Log
 what was done when
    Your Host:
 a comically little about me
 you can help support this site
 some things said about this site by others


(on- or off-topic, there's a forum here for you)
The Discussion Forums on This Site:
    The Forums:
 the forums "front page", with a menu of forums--or jump to one direct:

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