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Right now I’m at GenCon, hunting the wily catgirl in her natural habitat.
While I’m busy, here’s something interesting from the New Yorker.
Have fun at GenCon Pat! I wish I could be there this year. Cool article too :)
Congratulations, once again Pat! I have always liked a school setting as well. Maybe it is because my entire life up to this point has been entirely dedicated to school. I haven’t read too many of those others, and will give them a try. I did like The Assassin’s Apprentice, though. One thing I did not like that much about the list was the introduction. I loved the His Dark Materials series for a long time. Who cares if I read them in fourth grade!? I have never seen them as a fourth grade level trilogy.
As a side note, I have finally decided what I am sending in with my book to you!
As Always, Respectfully YoursAn Albino DruidLeveling up Hand-to-hand since 1992
Wow that article left me grimacing. You definitely deserve to be on this list, but some of the other series most certainly don’t. GRRM only getting an honorable mention? J Carey not even mentioned? I mean some of the books listed were decent, good, even great, but definitely not essential. If I were stuck on an island and could only bring a few books with me to keep me company, most of that list wouldn’t have even crossed my mind (you are one of the exceptions of course since I now own your book in hardcover, paperback, and pdf, as well as gifting it numerous times since reading it). That being said, have a great time at GenCon! I wish I could be there this year. If you have time, chill out in the halls where the “Are you a werewolf?” people hang out. It is a lot of fun if you have never played before (or even if you have).
Way to go Pat! Your up there with some big names!
I think you should be Number one!
Wow, an article from the New Yorker that is dismissive and ignorant of its subject matter simultaneously. What a shock. Nothing like employing a pompous tone to cover up the fact that you’re too lazy to actually research the topic of your article.
It is nice to see NOTW on the list and I loved Tad Williams Memory Sorrow and Thorn series, but the rest is kind of meh, if you ask me. It’s tough to disagree with the criticisms in the comments after that article, though I’ve never been in a hurry to recommend Earthsea to anyone unlike many I know.
And regardless of how impatient I am for his next book, any such list that doesn’t include Martin’s series is criminally deficient.
Anyone who dictates books quality by reading level doesn’t understand fantasy. But he said he wasn’t a fan so i don’t get why all the commenters were so irate. I’ve seen lists 20 series deep with people complaining about leaving off the right books, and he wasn’t even claiming they were the best books.
But at least no one said anything bad about your book.
Apart from Steve Erickson, I’ve read them all.
(And quite a few of the honourable mentions)
Not hugely sure if this is a good thing or not.
I would suggest that there are very few people doing new interesting things with fantasy (epic or not)
Robin Hobb, Joe Abercrombie, and China Melville.
I get the feeling that Pat will join this list once he can prove that book 2 and 3 are as good as 1. :) (yes I am gently teasing)
The Neil Gaiman’s of this world (people who write stuff that sort of are fantasy but only cause we really haven’t got a clue where else to put it, and it’s not magical realism!!!???) are on the list as well but sort of to the left.
Based on what the article intended, that is to give fantasy-newbies a list of books to introduce themselves to the genre, I think the article was right on target. Fantasy readers of a more serious bent might have more serious suggestions, but I wouldn’t give those books to someone just getting into the genre.
Congratulations on the publicity though, Pat. Well deserved!
It was great seeing you in Indianapolis yesterday. I have some pics of your first kindle signing I’d like to send you ha. Just let me know.
I have mixed feelings on that article. Not just the book selection. I had a tough time making it through the opening.
I guess I had no idea that Twilight was on the same literary level as The Lord of the Rings and both were a 4th grade reading level… Maybe Twilight is? I donno. I haven’t ready the book.
I just felt like the author of that article was saying, “I hate sushi. I had a California roll once–it’s for kids. My editor said I had to write an article on other sushi I won’t bother to eat. So here is an e-mail list of a friend’s favorite kind of sushi.”
Still… It’s pretty cool that the article writer’s friend gave you nods among many of the well established, long writing fantasy authors.
“yet the reader never feels betrayed when a favorite character drops out of the story (unlike in some other series I’ve read” – I think this comment was aimed at GRRM, and probably had something to do with him being left off the list lol.
It was great seeing you at GenCon, Pat. I enjoyed listening to your insight on the two panels I was able to sit in on. And sorry to bother you when you were looking to get a mid-afternoon snack, but I just had to say hello. Thank you for writing an awesome book. And congratulations on being a soon-to-be dad.
DAMN, and I’m not there ^.^figures *chuckles*
enjoy your time at GenCon, Pat. And have loads of fun ;)
Ahhhhhhh!!!!! That list made me want to throw things at people. You know. Specific people like Terry Goodkind. Not just random people on the street. That would be weird.
I agree that you sure deserve to be there Pat but some of the others may have been a tad strange to include… Although I guess having said that if you’re new to fantasy degenerative pulp fic may seem to be original at first…
The thing is I like NOTW because it takes -given- some similar themes but promises something more… Is something more. So I would have liked to see some books like the holy Pat’s and maybe even some which are a bit more blaringly off center like Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrel.
For those of you who haven’t read Steve Erickson, I highly, highly recommend them. How many fantasy writers graduated from Iowa Writers Workshop? If you don’t know what that is — look it up. it is the finest school in the world to learn how to write in the english language!
Pat — have you read Erickson? Care to comment on them?
The New Yorker is a hotbed of snobby literary pomposity and wouldn’t recognize good storytelling even if it bit them…well you get the idea. I’ve been choosing my reading from fantasy, sci-fi, and young adult authors for years and I figured out why after reading the book (The Reader’s Manifesto) based on this essay: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200107/myers
I sent a copy of The Name of the Wind to my NYC friends for their subway reading, which they propmptly devoured and are now awaiting book #2 along with the rest of us. New York has sensible readers, lots of ’em!
By the way, you can’t buy a copy of The Reader’s Manifesto in your basic chain bookstores…you have to order it online, or you can wiki it to get the idea of what kind of scam is being pulled on us readers by the literary elite. It’s a telling situation when the New York Times bestseller list has to make a separate section for YA fiction so they don’t have to put them on the same list where they knock off all the “serious literature” for months and years at a time.
Damn right he loves a school setting.
Pat, all continues to remain awesome.
I’ve read 3 1/2 of those 7. I’ve read the Goodkind Series, Yours of Course, and Hobb. I’ve also tried to read Guy Gavriel Kay stuff, but totally did not like The Summer Tree. Didn’t finsh the series. And it was an honest chore to finsh the first book, but I did because I hate to leave a book halve read.
15-20 years ago we dreamed of GOING to gen-con… You have that beat now, by a fairly wide margin. You only have to do two more things to achieve minor diety status. Sorry, a nod from the New Yorker and best selling Sci-Fi rockstar aren’t on the list. Next step to minor diety-hood, put your eclectic martial arts training to the test in a ring of some sort. Sorry once again you must win or tie the fight. Finally, screw Waldo, if you can find Henry Hall… We’ll worry about the perks of deity status if you rock that one out!
I very much agree with Wysen.
Comparing LOTR to Twilight and at a 4th grade reading level?
What’s next, grouping War & Peace in with The Babysitter’s Club?
Pat, I just read your blog about the second book concerns. I don’t generally blog, but felt compelled to give you a warm hug. The Name of the Wind is a book that I have found rich and enveloping; it sucked me in and kept me awake far too long sometimes.It’s easy for me to say crap like who gives a turd what other people think – I am as eager as the next person for the book to be released, but I want it to be right, so hey, whenever you are, it will be.
Congrats on being only 3 spots below Terry Goodkind Pat! :)
That evil professor laugh makes me worry about what you’re going to do to that catgirl once you’ve caught her…
So yeah, that list was… alright… I would like to know your thoughts on it, Pat.
The thing about the fantasy genre is that it’s almost as varied as fiction itself. Many books get grouped into fantasy simply because they don’t fit anywhere else. We could all make top ten lists and they would all vary greatly. Arguments could be made for every list. When suggesting books to someone new to the genre I typically try to suggest something the compliments their already established tastes. So depending on who’s asking my list will change. There are a few books though that will make every list.
You placed above George R. R. Martin on the list!
Just wanted to say congratulations. ^_^
“For those of you who haven’t read Steve Erickson, I highly, highly recommend them.”
I wasn’t blown away by Erikson. I read Gardens of the Moon, and then stopped the 2nd book after a few chapters. His is the only series I have ever stopped before completing..and that includes abercrombie, sanderson, tolkien, feist, salvatore, martin, jordan… Actually I take it back, I did stop the “Left Behind” series, since I didn’t know what type of “fantasy” it was until it was too late.
I just found it not to be super original at all. The comparisons to GRRM are undue, and the fresh voice that someone like Abercrombie gives to the darker side of fantasy isn’t found in the novel I read. I am not saying Erikson was the worst of the list I provided earlier, and I may get back to him at some point, but I thought his books are far down the list of “must reads” and certainly behind GRRM, Jordan, Sanderson, and Abercrombie…and of course behind book 1 of rothfuss’ series.
To each their own as they say. Each person likes there own books and look forward to them for their own reason. I really enjoy Erikson’s work, but then again I also really enjoy the Dresden files series and look forward to those as well. The Dresden files are almost never mentioned by anyone though it seems, but that doesn’t make them a bad book, just something different (It also uses the first person narration)
On the flip side, the last GRRM book that came out is one of the few books that I have stopped reading half way through due to it feeling so boring to me.
Congrats Pat! I just favorited that page so that I can go back to it and find those books later! I was surprised by how few of them I have read. I loved the explanation for Wizard’s First Rule. It is entirely true; I found that as I got farther into the series it took longer and longer for each book to grab me. Have fun at GenCon!
Also, i am going to assume that you have already seen this, but, either just in case you haven’t, or just in case you need a confidence boost:
what?? no cover art for NOTW in the article. It would deffinetly have been well deserved. Would have been awsome to see a foreign one!! well atleast it was a decent reveiw :)
I’m glad you made the list, Pat. I have to say though that as a hardcore fantasy fan, I was left wanting with that “list.” Robin Hobb’s trilogies about FitzChivalry are indeed very well done. I agree completely with him that Wizard’s First Rule is an amazing novel that unfortunately begins to roll downhill at an ever increasing rate with the succeeding series.
What struck me as ridiculous was his barest of mentions of GRRM and no mention of Robert Jordan!!
The best part of a fantasy series, IMO is immersing myself in a world that feels completely realistic. I want to believe that world could exist and once I’ve found such a wonderful place I don’t want to leave for a VERY long time.
IMO Tolkien started this off, Robert Jordan and GRRM have completely branched off into rich worlds filled with endless/beautiful possibilites and I am happy to say that you, Pat, are branching off further and giving us potential years of entertainment.
So, yeah I’m putting you there with Jordan and GRRM (my two favorite fantasy authors) even though you’ve only put out one book. Don’t let me down with numero dos ;-)
As awesome as it is for you to be mentioned there, he includes Terry Brooks over George R. R. Martin. I don’t know how to feel about that.
That being said, well done sir, and I hope you’re having an awesome time at GenCon!
Lovely for you, Pat! I would only disagree that LOTR was written at a fourth grade level. Tolkien must be rolling in his grave.
All press is good press. Congrads. NOtW is already on my top ten of books, as my battered paperback and weary spouse will attest. Glad to see other people have similar views. I wish I could have made it out to Gencon. I have asked a few of my friends to keep an eye out and convey my squee, although they probably won’t bounce and hit high A’s with their joy. Which is all to the best really. :-)
Any chance you can tell me where someone can find you at Gen Con, my brother is there and supposed to be getting a book signed for me, and my brand new son!
Caden Matthew Vasko was born 6weeks early on the 12th, please just any kind of updae would be great.
Pictures on myspace if you wanna comment Pat!
Since when was Lord of the Rings considered ‘forth grade reading level’?
DUDE!!!!! Hugh Lippincott! How the heck does he get HIS list published in the New Yorker?
OUR dark matter lab has WAY better taste. And is way better at not finding dark matter, too. pbbthhhhhh
-the Shutt lab representative
hmm my top ten essential fantasy books/authors would be (not in any order):The name of the windDragonlance (cmon this has to be in it, if not for the quality and least the quantity)dresden serieswatcher of the dead series(starting to grow on me this, strangely enough)george r r martin(really hate some of the characters though)sergei lukyanenko books(is this how you spell it?)Trudi Canavan ( only female author i like, except for Robin Hobb)Robin Hobband lets see…damnit i’m struggling to think of anymore but i betcha when i come off this computer tons will come pouring into my head
Being new into the world of fantasy, and having read your wonderful book… my opinon won’t matter much… Pertaining to the article…. I have to agree that any publicity is good publicity and you are getting way too famous for your own good! Thanks for keeping in touch with your fans!!!!
Now Showing in the New Yorker, Pat Rothfuss in The Magnificent Seven!
I thought the list was fine. To me everyone’s got their own list. Some get on there because of what was written and some because of the imagination they inspired at the time.
This is my first note posted here, thank you for your novel. It’s been a long time since I’ve read a book multiple times because I enjoyed it so much.
I’m amazed at how well you captured the whole thing in an autobiographical manner that felt so real. It reminds me a great deal of reading Benjamin Franklins Autobiography.
Cool, the New Yorker. That’s pretty swell, Pat. Pretty swell, indeed.
I hope you enjoy it! I miss going to GenCon, but it’s not as fun when it’s too far to drive (plus the puzzle event has been declining in recent years). :^(
I thought it was good that NOTW was on there but there was a lot of ridiculousness on that list.
Now, I’m not saying “oh I like these books and that guy likes these, therefore he is wrong and I am right.” Take Kay. I do not like GGK. But I understand why he should be on a list like that. It makes sense. But Terry Goodkind? Terry Brooks? On a list of “essential” books? Wizard of Earthsea definitely should have been on it, and probably GRRM or Mieville. And give David Eddings a spot on honourable mentions, the Belgariad is an excellent beginners fantasy series that has some pretty cool deconstruction of some stuff in the genre.
I never really thought of Lord of the Rings as 4th-grade-reading. After this article, I still don’t. It’s great that you get another mention, but listing a bunch of books doesn’t really mask the pompous angle the reviewer so blatenly takes. It’s just plain sloppy writing to start an article with basically, “I’m much too good for this sort of shit. . .”
Oh, by the way, I’m 100 pages into my first reading of your book, and I’m having a ball! Thank you so much for making such incredible use of your talent!
i’m a spanish fan, i really love your book!! i can’t wait for the next one, here in spain your book is so new… I read one interview about how you’d see the characters in a movie (that would be incredible! I agree with johny deep and the director) and I’d want to suggest 2 actors for the leading role kvothe: Damien Lewis and Eric Stolz, a mix of both is how i imagine kvothe ;-) but maybe is only my point of view.. haha Thanks for such a great reading. Best wishes! and please… come to barcelona!
Anyway Pat, congratulations for making it to the list, it is true that TNOTW is a great book to recommend to people who are just beginners to fantasy. What better novel for them to fall in love with than yours ;)
George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones will soon be filming it’s pilot for HBO so I don’t think his exclusion on that list will hurt the author any.
I for one am glad that they put Steven Erikson’s Garden of the Moon there, he deserves it. GOTM might not be easy to get into and certainly not the best book Erikson has written but it is in my opinion the gateway to one of the best epic fantasy series written out there and certainly the most ambitious.
The only problem I had with the list is that Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series was left out but Goodkind’s and Brooks’ were not. :(
Damn your fortune cookies Rothfuss! I’ve had to watch out for furries all of GenCon!
OMG! Congratulations! A short list in the New Yorker! How cool is that! You go girl! Um… that was wrong… Boy! Um Big Guy? Living Legend?
Insert what ever manly compliment you want here to make up for me calling you a girl. I also let out a super excited squeal and texted my friend Liz to buy your book!
It seems that I have quite abit of reading to do still. I have only read NOTW and I am finishing up Goodkind’s series now(about halfway through Confessor). I haven’t read any of the honorable mentions either… I do think that those two belong on the list for those readers who are dipping their feet in the fantasy water though. I would also throw in either of Jim Butcher’s series, the Earthsea novels, Juliet Marillier’s Wolfskin, and even T.A. Barron’s The Lost Years of Merlin series(although this particular series is in the YA section).
Now that my two cents has been added, Pat I wanted to inform you that NOTW topped LOTR on my list and is now my favorite book of all time. I am waiting for the next one with a zenlike patience. But until then I must lock myself up and read some more of the fantasy authors on that list.
Nice job Pat! Way to nudge GRRM and a few other authors down into the honorable mentions!
Congrats on the nod in the article.
But Erickson being on there makes me angry. He is absolutely awful, yet people love for some unknown reason. Unbelievable.
It was great to see you at GenCon! :) Thank you so much for your hilarious fortune cookies.
I only have 2 problems with the list. Obviously, George R. R. Martin is a master. Now thats out of the way lets talk Pat vs. Goodkind. Pat, I found your book amazing and for the most part superior to Goodkind. However, in the Yorker post the guys said that the series got progressively worse after book 1. This is simply not true. The series did constantly get worse except for one huge exception. I don’t see how anyone could read “Faith of the Fallen” and not thoroughly enjoy it. The book could have been a stand alone. It is pretty amazing. I have no idea how Goodkind came up with that masterpiece after 4 straight bad books, but he did. Then he followed it up with 5 more bad books then a terrible one lol.
Go say Hi to my friends at GOLD the series. They have a showing at GenCon.
i read the article, hum. i guess anybody could make their own list – i would not let Terry Pratchett out for no reason, for example.
it is no doubt extra-super-cool to have The Name Of The Wind in a list published on the New Yorker ^_^ and i mean also for us readers, just mentioning we’ve read it over and over again, we kind of “blog with” the author, we would be able to write a cooler review than that and so on…
oh, by the way: i’m back from my holidays, just thought to let you know :P
If anyone is looking for an amazing series, completely different to yours Pat, they should definitely look at Tad Williams Otherland series.
Hope you’re enjoying yourself!
hey congrats pat!!! The New Yorker – if I may – KICK ASS!!! so proud of you Pat, keep up the great work. I’d have to say, though, that yours and Erikson’s are best on the list. I am a bit disappointed to see that Abercrombie is not mentioned, and what’s with GRRM getting only honorable mention?? well, sorry to bitch to you, it’s not like you have control over what the New Yorker publishes… or do you…?
What they should have said and what I have told all my friends in reference too this book is “It has ruined all other books for me like my vibrator ruined my sex life” Once you find something that does it for you who needs anything else?
Congratulations! I’ve always wondered why Patricia Mckillip isn’t more well known. I think her Riddle-Master trilogy would be a great intro to fantasy.
Interesting list. Some excellent books, and some really awful ones.
I’m a big Guy Kay fan and think the world most of his stuff, but his first series (Fionavar) was really awful.
Wizards first rule is the epitome of EFP as far as I’m concerned.
good list, i´ve read almost all of them (some are not available here in spain :S)
and I should add a good saga: Geralt of Rivia, of The Witcher series by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. This saga was really a bestseller in almost all europe last year;this year, the revelation has been The name of the wind.
cant wait for more of Kvothe!
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