Five Fantasy Books You’ve Never Heard Of

Tired of the usual stuff? Here’s five fantasy classics that you may have missed.

Jirel of Joiry, by C. L. Moore. If you love Red Sonja, Jirel is the heroine for you, worthy of company with Conan or Imaro. Indiana-born Moore was one of the first women to write in the sword and sorcery genre.

Tomoe Gozen, by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Another strong woman is embodied in Tomoe Gozen, a samurai in the first of a trilogy set in a richly-realized and fabulous 12th century Japan.

Unquenchable Fire by Rachel Pollack. Beautiful and ornate, set in an alternate America that seems sadly unlikely, this is a fabulous take on spirituality today.

Monday Begins on Saturday, by Arkadi and Boris Strugatski. A young computer programmer is recruited for a Russian Institute devoted to the paranormal in a book that’s more Office Space than X-Files. One of my top ten favorite books of all time.

Green Phoenix, by Thomas Burnett Swann. Swann is sadly neglected and all of his books are worth picking up, but this is one of the lovelier ones. He does more interesting things with classic mythology than most authors.

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About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 100+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and Tor.com. Her short story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her story collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012.
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