The Best Fantasy Novels You (Probably) Haven’t Read

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The Dying Earth by Jack Vance

Similarly, Jack Vance’s work is hugely influential but curiously overlooked in the 21st century. The books are an early example of fantasy set on a largely unrecognizabale Earth (an idea that’d later be picked up by all sorts of fantasy authors, from Terry Brooks to Piers Anthony), and their narratives were interesting, often employing antiheroes as protagonists and generally playing with the tropes that were already becoming established in the fantasy genre when the first Dying Earth stories were published in the 1950s. The books also laid at least part of the foundation for Dungeons and Dragons, as the game’s inventor Gary Gygax relates here.