Interview with Jim Butcher and other book geekery.

Here’s a few items of interest while I’m putting together the next ComicCon blog.

As I’ve mentioned on many occasions, I’m a big fan of Jim Butcher.

While out at ComicCon this year, I got a chance to interview him. It was a ton of fun, and I only geeked out a little bit about how good his books are.

[Edit: In case you’re wondering, the interview is spoiler-free.]

[Later Edit: It’s spoiler-free for Ghost Story. Around 10: 50 there’s a spoiler for what happens in Changes, the book right before Ghost Story.

Sorry about that.]

Seriously. If you haven’t tried the Harry Dresden books, you really need to. They’re so fucking good.

In other news, NPR has finished collating everyone’s initial nominations for the 100 best Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels of all time. They took the recommendations of about 5000 people and compiled them into a list that includes about 230 books/series. Now they’re giving people 10 days to vote go in and vote for their 10 favorite books.

When I first flipped through the list, I was a little disappointed not to see The Name of the Wind on there. But only a little disappointed. It’s a big genre, after all, and I’m very new to the scene.

Then someone pointed out that while The Name of the Wind isn’t listed, The Kingkiller Chronicle is.

Needless to say, I was giddy as a schoolgirl. A big beardy schoolgirl whose book just made it onto a very flattering list.

If you’re interested, you can head over here and vote. It’s an amazing list of books, and trying to pick just ten titles to vote for is an interesting mental exercise.

That’s all for now, next post on Friday.


This entry was posted in Me Interviewing Other Folks, recommendations, videosBy Pat86 Responses


  1. Erzberger
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

    You often seem to post just when I get out of bed and have a look on the blog before I go to work. :) (German fan here)

    Is it safe to listen to the interview if I don´t want to know anything about the story before reading the first Dresden Files book?

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

      Absolutely. I don’t believe in spoilers.

      • Nightsbridge
        Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:49 AM | Permalink

        Except when you all told everyone that thing that happens at the end of Changes in this video?

        • Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

          Shit. I didn’t remember talking about that.

          Truthfully, I seldom remember anything I say in interviews afterward, but I knew this couldn’t have any spoilers for Ghost Story in it because I hadn’t read it yet….

          • NoirRosaleen
            Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

            There’s also a book 6 spoiler about 30 seconds before the Big Spoiler, although I’m not sure people who don’t know the series would catch it.

      • Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

        About 10:51 in you the above mentioned spoiler. In most books that would be a major spoiler… for the Dresden Files…. hmm… not so much.

  2. Andrew Roberts
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    That’s some list of big hitters, good to see your name there with the pest of them… it’s a tough one but I named my 10

    The Belgariad, by David Eddings
    The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
    The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
    The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
    *The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss*
    The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
    The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
    The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

    • Andrew Roberts
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:37 AM | Permalink

      I meant with the BEST of them!

  3. itsjusthim
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    That was REALLY hard! I voted:
    American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
    Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
    Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
    A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
    The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
    Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
    The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
    Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
    The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

    • itsjusthim
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

      I’m really glad they didn’t have your books listed separately!

  4. mr.hemmo
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:20 AM | Permalink

    great interview,just read all the dresden files books (ingluding ghost story) in july and i loved them all,in fact i read them becouse you said that they are great books so thanks for that pat!

  5. ObbiQuiet
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

    Step one: vote for Kingkiller on government computer.

    Step two: vote for Kingkiller from home computer.

    Step three: pretend to like all the people I haven’t talked to in a while, and invite myself over.

    Step four: receive Christmas card from Patrick Rothfuss.

  6. CT_Spence
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:23 AM | Permalink

    I just did my top ten. Getting it to just ten was like pulling teeth

  7. Iain T
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    What a difficult list to only pick ten from!

    Nice to see all my current favourites as well as old ones on the list barring the Hugh Cook “Chronicles of an Age od Darkness” series. It’s not by chance that your books made it onto the list Pat – they really do belong there. Maybe not yet a Gaiman or Pratchett but definately in the same league in my humble opinion.

    Then again, it’s been out of print for a long while – I remeber picking it up as a teen some twenty-something years ago but sadly only have the first 7 books!

    • Iain T
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

      I need my own copy editor any chance you could nuke my failpost above..?

      What a difficult list to only pick ten from!

      It’s not by chance that your books made it onto the list Pat – they really do belong there. Maybe not yet a Gaiman or Pratchett but definately in the same league in my humble opinion.

      Nice to see all my current favourites as well as old ones on the list barring the Hugh Cook “Chronicles of an Age od Darkness” series.

      Then again, it’s been out of print for a long while – I remeber picking it up as a teen some twenty-something years ago but sadly only have the first 7 books!

      …I think that makes more sense.

  8. Posted August 3, 2011 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    You’ve probably been asked this till your sick of it, but do you have plans to publish other sci-fi/fantasy before or alongside the next installment of The Kingkiller Chronicles. Don’t get me wrong, I’d vote for Kingkiller as all time top ten material. For that matter, I can see students taking an upper division seminar on Kingkiller as an elective some-day soon. But a stand alone novel (or several) along the way would be welcome too. :P

    • ObbiQuiet
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:00 AM | Permalink

      The only two reasons I could imagine that Pat releases something else with book three are: he desperately needs a break from writing Kingkiller, or he’s fond of the release date 2020.

  9. Johnny
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Very nice interview. Both your books and The Dresden Files are among the few I prioritize higher than food and rent if the choice comes.

    Did you get the audio book version of Ghost Story also? If so, what did you think of the narrator switch?

    Personally I was a bit skeptical at first, but John Glover did a very good job. I was only taken out of the the spell a few times, when character voices were differently pitched or had different accents than in Marsters readings. At times Harry sounded more like a goblin than an obstinate wizard. But all in all enjoyable.

    I do hope that James Marsters will be back for the coming books though. He has just become the voice of Harry.

    • pjmintz
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:48 AM | Permalink

      Re: the narrator switch- I agree.

      While I thought Glover did a competent job, for me Marsters IS the voice of Harry Dresden. Much like someone other than James Earl Jones reading for Darth Vader in the original trilogy just wouldn’t be right, no matter how well done. I’m with you in hoping there are no scheduling conflicts with Marsters for the next book.

  10. Llama
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Goshdarnit, The Thief wasn’t on there. That book is freaking good. And its sequels. What is that series called? I ought to know this.

    Luckily, there were tons of other brilliant books on the list. So hard to choose…

  11. Hoseki
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    I count among my more embarrassing experiences as a fan the one time when you brought an early copy of Changes to a reading/signing and when I got to the front of the line I accidentally fangirled Butcher instead of you. It made me facepalm once I got away with my signed Name of the Wind. Good thing you are also very fannish about him, so you probably understand.

  12. Animewookie
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Currently reading Ghost Story, (and savoring it) thoroughly enjoyed all of the Dresden Files as well as the Codex Alera series. This was a fabulously entertaining interview. Thank you so much :D

  13. Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    Hah! I’m an idiot. I didn’t even realize I could vote for TEN of them. I just went and clickied on yours, repeatedly mashed the submit button, screamed in glee, and returned here to read the rest of the blog.

    Ah well, I guess that means there’s less competition for you :D.

  14. Gesepp
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    I feel guilty that I’ve only read about 30 of these, but I still had to vote for these 10:

    American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
    Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
    **The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss**
    A Song of Fire and Ice, by George R. R. Martin
    The Stainless Steel Rat Books, by Harry Harrison
    The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
    The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
    World War Z, by Max Brooks
    The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

    Also, why did they separate The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy and the Valdemar Series, but not any of the other Valdemar trilogies? As it happens, that is the only series within the series I haven’t read yet, but I can’t imagine it’s so different from the rest…

  15. matignon
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    That was a pretty hard choice. And as you mentionned, an interresting mental exercise that took me about 30 minutes.
    I read about 80% of the list, and some of the books not in my 10 choices are among my favorites. But the 10 ones are a tad more fascinating to me :
    American Gods – Neil Gaiman
    Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
    Going Postal – Terry Pratchett
    A Song of Ice and Fire series – George RR Martin
    The Lord of the Ring – JRR Tolkien
    The Chronicles of Amber – Roger Zelazny
    The Hyperion Cantos – Dan Simmons
    The Riverworld series – Philip Jose Farmer
    Replay – Ken Grimwood
    The Kingkiller Chronicles – Pat Rothfuss

    Leaving Dune, Ender, K Dick, the Dark Tower and Alan Moore out is pretty hard.

  16. cat collector
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    I suppose I’m enough of a traditionalist that I voted for many of the old classics, though I tossed in a few new ones as well. It was hard to pick only ten!

    And a very nicely done interview, Mr. Rothfuss. Perhaps because you’re a writer yourself you asked some very interesting questions about his writing process. (I kept waiting for you to ask him about the great t-shirt he was wearing–loved it!)

  17. Constance
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    Wow, picking 10 was hard. I think I went with some old choices, like Androids dream of Electric Sheep, Handmaiden’s Tale, and Eyes of the Dragon, but also picked Anansi Boys, Kingkiller, and ASoIaF.

    *Note: If you haven’t read the Handmaiden’s Tale and have strong pro-choice leanings, you really ought to. In today’s Tea Party/Jebus madness it has chilling new meaning to it.

    • Constance
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      Also picked Going Postal, although it would have been nicer if they listed the entire Discworld series as a choice. :(

    • pristina
      Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:14 PM | Permalink

      Handmaid’s Tale is a great selection, I struggled not to choose it though it seriously is one of my favorites.

  18. AngryOgre
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    Picking out just 10 was really hard. Eventually, I had to revert to a “0ne per author” rule. Otherwise, half the list would have been Neal Stephenson.

    Armor, by John Steakley
    The Black Jewels Series, by Anne Bishop
    The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
    Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
    Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
    The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
    The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey
    The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
    The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
    Watership Down, by Richard Adams

    Also, how the heck was the Dresden Files not on this list? No offense to the owner of this blog, but its the best ongoing series in fantasy right now.

  19. EatmyFace
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    me and modern day fantasy don’t really jive together…… im sure he writes great books and all but….. :P

  20. EatmyFace
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    wow…. there is no beating the crowd on this blog….. 1:27 AM?
    looks like i will never be the first post on this blog

  21. jbaisden
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    I will say I’m disappointed the Dresden Files didn’t make the list. Still, Codex Alera was an awesome series so I voted for it, of course, as well as your series.

    This might be a bitter sweet compliment, Pat (can I call you Pat?), but out of all the people I read, you definitely have the best writing style IMHO. That said, I probably haven’t read most of everyone you adore. It was actually Butcher’s Dresden series that got me reading again a few years back. Still, for what it’s worth, you’re a freaking legend in my book.

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

      Wow. I didn’t even notice that Dresden didn’t make it. That’s a huge shame in my opinion.

      Then again, he was left off in pretty good company. Earthsea didn’t make it either….

      • michael.h.tritter
        Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

        Agreed! Finding 10 wasn’t hard, there’s a lot of amazing books and series on that list (including Kingkiller, of course); but not having Earthsea on the list is a major blow. That shit ain’t right!

      • AutumnRLS
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

        I kept scanning over and over again for earthsea to no avail. Very surprising. Still, it is a great list.

        • Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

          *tentative sarcasm alert*

          Forget Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea novels, in my opinion her best work was Catwings! Now, it may be the only thing of hers I ever got into, when I was in elementary school, but it cannot be disregarded entirely! Even if it’s a children’s book!
          Cats with WINGS!! What could be better than that?

          Earthsea, just another highly recommended book series on my must read book list of books I should read but don’t have the time to read because of all the other awesome new books out that I want to read more.

          So many books, so little time…

  22. sumigo
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    I do not like the NPR list. I am having difficulty coming up with six, much less TEN.

    The fact that they actually put ‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman shows that the people who did this are simply calling out favors. Grossman is the book reviewer for Time Magazine so he makes the list, meanwhile his book is awful, sophomoric, un-original, with un-likable characters. The best thing about that book is the last page when you know the unoriginal plot finally ends.

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

      You’re honestly upset that a book you didn’t think was good is on the list?

      I mean, I didn’t think that The Man in the High Castle was very good. But the fact that it made it onto the list doesn’t suddenly mean the list is shit.

      As for Lev being one of the people who picks books for the list, it’s not the case. They actually have the panelists who compiled the list over here:

      I think The Magicians made the list because most of the people who nominated books are die-hard fantasy and sci-fi fans. The people that liked that book were folks like me who enjoyed seeing the old classic tropes toyed with and satirized, and moved in different directions….

      • sumigo
        Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:44 PM | Permalink


        Taste in something like this is such a relative thing. There are so many good books out there that continuously get over looked in these types of lists. Instead its always the same authors who get recognized. For instance I love Neil Gaiman and feel he deserves to be on the list but four or five of his works listed? I do not agree with that. Put on two or three of his best then move on and leave some room for other deserving authors, I doubt Neil would have an issue with that either. Not that I know him or have even met him as you have. At least they put your work on there, that is a start.

        So yes it irks me to see a list like this. Why not involve the readers in the selection process? Why must we choose a culled list that leaves out some great works. Furthermore why must Sci-fi and Fantasy always have to be lumped together? They are vastly different and yet the industry still forces us to consider them as almost the same genre.

        As far as Grossman goes, I apologize if I have offended you by blasting it, but I hated that book. Quentin was a character I did not like therefore could find no sympathy for (as opposed to Kvothe or Ged or Harry Potter). Furthermore I disagree with the notion that he took classic tropes and toyed with them.

        He took a concept of a young person going to a magic school (hardly original) then combined it with Narnia and added some college angst (borrowing heavily from you) instead of the typical high school drama that permeates Harry Potter, Earthsea and others out there that I have not read.

        Finally I liked Xanth when I was younger but I got over it and I feel it is not worthy to be on this list. Incarnations of immortality deserves to be but not Xanth. It is hard to take this seriously when these things occur.

        • sumigo
          Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

          P.S. I did not mean the Grossman actually wrote this list. I mean that he is on it period when I feel he should not be. Some notable stories left off:

          The Dragonlance Chronicles by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
          Bazil Broketail by Christopher Rowley
          The Sword of Shadows by JV Jones
          Anything written by Jack L Chalker
          Ringworld by Larry Niven
          Sorcerer’s Son by Phyllis Eisenstein
          And yes the Dresden Files.

          I could go on for a while on this but you get the point.

          • Gesepp
            Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

            Ringworld actually IS on the list.
            Each Xanth novel is a complete, fulfilling story, meant for all ages.

          • sumigo
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

            I missed Ringworld, thank you for pointing that out, I wish I had selected it.

            The first two Xanth novels (A Spell for Chameleon and The Source of Magic) are both good, but Castle Roogna and Centaur Aisle were not great. Then Ogre, Ogre and Night Mare got better again but after that Peirs Anthony spent too much time filling the books with puns rather than story. Plus he became a bit too obsessed with female undergarments. Each book became more and more tedious for me. I think the last one I tried to read was ‘Man From Mundania’ but gave up on it halfway through.

            Incarnations of Immortality on the other hand was inspired and clever, ‘Bearing an Hourglass’ is a great story with a complex narrative. ‘For love of Evil’ was also great.

        • Posted August 4, 2011 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

          I’d been interested in seeing what you did choose.

          I myself read The Magician and found it lacking in some way, but it did get rave reviews so I wasn’t surprised to see it on the list. To me it is written more in the vein of “literature”, which to me is a book firstly read for how it’s written and secondly for the story/characters/emotion. For example, I love reading any and all of Charles de Lint’s novels regardless of story because of his masterful writing. Same goes for authors like David Mitchell, and Chuck Palahnick. Their writing grabs me and holds my attention even if they’re writing about something grotesque or something mundane.

          Maybe The Magicians doesn’t fit well because it focuses more on the literature aspect or just reality in general. For me it was too slow and depressing, but well written. I would’ve enjoyed it a lot more if I hadn’t been living in a kind of hell that summer. In comparison, Name of the Wind completely blew that book out of the water.

          • sumigo
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

            I should have written them all down, as I am having difficulty remembering them. But here it goes, what I can recall anyway:

            The Black Company by Glen Cook
            The Kingkiller Chronicles (but of course)
            The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb
            Memory, Sorrow, Thorn by Tad Williams
            A Song of Ice and Fire by George R R Martin
            American Gods by Neil Gaiman

            So I picked seven I guess, my hissy fit seems rather petulant after this reflection. And I would have put Ring World by Larry Niven if I had not missed it which would have brought it up to eight.

            I also almost picked the Belgariad by Eddings, The Riftwar Saga by Feist, and The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the unbeliever by Donaldson. But I didn’t, when it was time to hit submit I could not pick them. I believe these are all very good but not the best in my opinion. I am still reading R.Scott Bakker so will reserve judgement until I know the whole story.

            I guess I am just being a nit picky old fart.

      • 3rdI
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

        The Magicians is fantastic book. Gotta agree with Pat really interesting too see how Grossman is playing with standard fantasy tropes.

        My top ten:
        The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
        The Prince of Nothing Trilogy, by R. Scott Baker
        Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, by Tad Williams
        The First Law Trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie
        The Book of the New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
        The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
        Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
        Kraken, by China Mieville
        The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
        Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

        Was bummed to see The Wizard-Knight, by Gene Wolfe was left off the list. Every bit as good as The Book of the New Sun in my opinion.

        • Little My
          Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

          Amen – loved the Magicians – one of the best couple of books I read last year. According to his web site, the New Yorker listed it as one of the best books of the year. That’d be a pretty big favor to call in. . .

          • 3rdI
            Posted August 4, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

            Right on. I am a bit surprised to see it missing on so many lists. While The Magicians is no where in the same multiverse as KKC, Lev is playing on some of the same concepts that Pat does. Both have a touch of satire and both have very interesting pacing and plot development. I am just a big fan of authors who are willing to try different things.

        • sumigo
          Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

          Well it may be book of the year material but no way I agree that the Magicians should be listed on the same list as Dune or Name of the Wind.

  23. He without a clever name
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    That is a crazy list. When you say you get to choose ten, I think, “Oh, well this will be simple then, I’ll even have some extra votes for series my wife loves.” And then you see that list.

    Hundreds and hundreds of books and series…

    I got Pat voted for (Name of the Wind is one of the best books, ever, period.) But other than that, there were some hard choices to be made. I didn’t get a Gaiman on my list. Or Watchmen. I left out Gaiman and Moore. I feel dirty.

    This list also had a strong lack of Peter Pan. As much as I love seeing so many others on there, this can not be forgiven.

    • Posted August 3, 2011 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

      They said that books for children and YA weren’t going to be counted on this list, so that means Narnia, Potter, Peter Pan and all the rest were left off. They’ll probably do another list for YA books in the future.

      • He without a clever name
        Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

        Woopsie. I suppose I should read all the information available about the list. My feelings about this oversight can best be described through the work of the famous philosopher Homer Simpson.

        Now I eagerly await the opportunity to hopefully vote for Peter and Wendy in another list.

        And by the by, love the talent pipes. My wife’s getting the necklace for Christmas. I might make her play a bit on her french horn for me first, though. :)

  24. Blue Iris
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    I feel deprived after seeing that list. I need to get myself to a major seller of sci-fi/fantasy books.

  25. marcie101
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Jim Butcher also interviewed Patrick Rothfuss:

  26. Kross
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    To be on that list must feel amazing to you. You truly stand amongst the giants now.

  27. Chasing30
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    The link to vote on the NPR poll was disturbing. I got Sophie’s Choiced.

  28. ladyvader401
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    I guess I’ll wait to watch this one; I started reading the Dresden Files a couple of weeks ago (mostly on your recommendation, Pat), and I’m only on #4. I like them a lot, so far! :-D

  29. pristina
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    That was pretty tough. How can I choose between Bradbury, Tolkien, Gaiman and my passion for Rothfuss? I was sad to see EarthSea didn’t make it either but I was glad to see the classics.

  30. Lexxa
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    Arrrrrrgh! Ok, I voted. But leaving out some of my favorite books HURT. Great list and I took the oportunity to copy it. Now if I can just squeeze the budget to let me buy the ones I want…

  31. neminem
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Heh. I voted, but, why was Codex Alera on it but Dresden not? That hurt my sense of voting for the actual best. Codex Alera was most excellent at first, but got increasingly less so as the plot became dominated by a single antagonist. Dresden, meanwhile, is still going just as amazingly as it started (I have Ghost Story sitting on my desk, but it’s sitting in a pile of other books I also just bought.)

    Anyway, you will be happy to hear, I did vote for you; if asked for my favorite fantasy, I would immediately name Name of the Wind and the Dresden Files, after which I would (and did) have more trouble filling in the rest. Though, while I found it amusing that the Valdemar series as a whole was listed alongside The Last Herald-Mage, I also found it oddly appropriate: that trilogy *was* by far Lackey’s best work.

    • sumigo
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

      I loved the Codex Alera but I agree that the Dresden Files should have been on this list instead. Actually I saw what was coming in the Codex Alera and how it was going to end in book two and I was about 95% correct in my predictions. However the writing was so superb and the action and characterization so good it kept me up late at nights, and tired the next day at work. I simply did not care that I knew what was coming.

      On the other hand that predictability kept me from picking it on this list.

  32. Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Love, love, love, love the Harry Dresden books. I pre-ordered GHOST STORY and sat on it after I received it while I finished another book (Richard Morgan’s BROKEN ANGELS, Book II in the Takeshi Kovacs trilogy–go, buy, now.).

    Today I had to go to the doctor so I took it with me. My doctor frequently runs late. *grr* Today, she was 90 minutes late. I was – this close to leaving because I had work waiting for me at home. Just as I was telling the clerk that I had to leave, they called my name.

    And my brain shut off. I couldn’t believe I was actually getting to go “behind the door.”

    And I left GHOST STORY somewhere in the clinic. I made my husband run out to the lobby and look for it, but it wasn’t there. “Why?” I whined. “Why would someone steal a book?” But I knew why.

    I walked around looking for the cretin who had “stolen” my book. But no one had it. Someone had taken it and left. I was devastated. It was in hardback, too. Who would do that?

    And just as I was leaving, the nurse came out from “the door” and said, “Is this your book!?”
    “Huzzah! I had left it at the weigh-in, because, as I said, my brain shut off in excitement after actually getting in to see the wizard doctor.

    Hey, if you’ve ever had a UTI, as I do, you know what this was so urgent.

    I left with prescriptions and Harry in hand. ;-P



  33. Posted August 4, 2011 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    The Anubis Gates — Tim Powers
    The City and the Stars — Arthur C Clarke
    The Lies of Locke Lamora — Scott Lynch
    Lord of Light — Roger Zelazny
    The Mote in God’s Eye — Niven & Pournelle
    On Basilisk Station — David Weber
    The Stars My Destination — Alfred Bester
    Time Enough for Love — Robert A Heinlein
    Small Gods — Terry Pratchett

    That’s nine… I’ll let you guess the last one, but I am commenting on this blog for a reason!

    “Of All Time” lists like this should really be split in two: LIVING and DEAD. Otherwise it’s apples and penguins: the shiny of contemporary novelty vs the weight canonical tradition. Either that, or discount votes by the number of years since publication.

    • Constance
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

      Argh! How did I find Going Postal but miss Small Gods? SG is superior in just about every way to GP. :(

      • Little My
        Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

        Yah, I agree but even more so agree with your previous post – too bad one couldn’t vote for the Discworld series!

      • Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

        And even Small Gods is middle-of-the-road for Pratchett, compared to Night Watch, Lords and Ladies or Reaper Man (his three best in my view, although it’s a crowded summit!)

  34. sumigo
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    Hey fellow Rothfuss fans. Have any of you read any of the Twilight Reign series by Tom Lloyd? I have read the first two, the tone is similar to the Malazan books by Erickson.

    Or how about Elfland by Freda Warrington? An interesting take on faerie mythology.

    Another that caught my attention for a time was the ‘Symphony of the Ages’ series by Elizabeth Haydon. The first three are exceptional and I highly recommend them.

    These are just some of the recent stories I have been reading while waiting for Pat, George RR Martin, etc.

  35. Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    Unlike many hard core fantasy/sci-fi fans I haven’t read many of the so called classics such as Lord of the Rings, or anything else that was popular before the mid 90s. That said, my list held no book I have not yet read. So I left off LotR, The Wheel of Time, Dune, Piers Anthony’s, and the Dark Tower. I did however include The Last Unicorn because I just finished reading it (it’s not that long of a book either). Oh and Neuromancer too.

    I have a mountain of books I’m in the middle of reading so delving into a huge dense series (such as WoTime, Song of Fire and Ice, or LotR) are not high on my priorities. But there are some I’ve made exceptions for like The Vorkosigan Saga and the Dresden Files.

    My top ten included only books I’ve read and enjoyed immensely on an emotional level. Ones that have touched my soul in some way or were a pleasure to read. I got most of my favs in. I only didn’t put down the Mistborn trilogy because I’m finding it hard to finish the last book.

    Here’s what I chose from the list:

    American Gods, Stardust & Anansi Boys by Niel Gaiman (~his books remind my of my dreams~~~)
    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (the only good thing to come out of my least favorite english class in high school)
    Going Postal by Terry Pratchett (I was hoping for Discworld but oh well)
    The Last Unicorn (a joy to read)
    The Hollow Series by Kim Harrison (my guilty pleasure series… so sue me)
    Neuromancer by William Gibson (one of the few sci-fi classics I’ve read and liked)
    The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold (Miles is f-ing awesome! Such a joy to read too)

    And of course your books Pat. Name of the Wind got me through the hell that was last year’s summer. Sadly, Lev Grossman’s book The Magicians did not help in this matter, which is why I left it off. I guess the pace of it was too slow for me or it was just the wrong time and place to try and read it. I did enjoy it at first, but it didn’t catch my soul on fire like yours or any other book on my list (though Brave New World ends in tragedy I still look back on it fondly because of how f-d up it was *sigh*).

    Anyway, awesome interview. Oh, and did you enjoy the Hot Cake candy I gave you back in March? ^.^

  36. mrs.weird
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    Have just finished that list. It was hard to decide, but I did know that Kingkiller would be deffinitely in it. Voted:
    The Belgariad by David Eddings
    The Conan The Barbarian Series by R.E. Howard
    Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
    The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
    The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
    Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
    Stardust by Neil Gaiman
    By the way, nice interview. Gonna read the Dresden Files, soon.

  37. Little My
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Permalink

    Surprised that few Rothfussians around here are listing Gone Away World. It’s kind of a knock your socks off reading experience. . .maybe people just haven’t read it. . .? I’d be curious whether there were Kingkiller fans who read Gone Away World and didn’t like it (and also curious why!).

    • 3rdI
      Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

      Another one that surprised me that isn’t on many lists is The Book of the New Sun. Like KKC it has a 1st person POV. The main difference being that Kvothe is a more reliable narrator than Severian.

      • sumigo
        Posted August 5, 2011 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

        Yes I was also surprised that The Book of the New Sun was not on the list.

      • Little My
        Posted August 5, 2011 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

        Maybe I should check it out. Haven’t read it, so didn’t pick it. There are a number of perfectly admirable authors on the list that I just haven’t enjoyed reading (Bacigalupi, Mieville and shhhhh! even GRRM being examples) but I haven’t run across New Sun yet.

  38. gabrielthebright
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    First I really enjoyed the interview. It’s really great to see that the authors I enjoy are more or less fans like me. I wonder if you had time to read Ghost Story before you did the interview. And I don’t think this is a something that could reasonably be called a spoiler, but just in case *spoiler alert* did you think even for a moment that the seven words thing was a shout out at all to you and Kvothe’s tendancy to use seven word phrases at times? Also, honestly if anyone reads this and feels it’s at all a spoiler let me know, please.

  39. Full-time Joke
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Great interview. It was cool to see what Pat finds interesting about what other authors do. I was also compelled to add the Dresden Files to my “to-read list” after seeing how much Pat loved them. The Name of the Wind was my first true fantasy novel I read on recommendation of a close friend, so I take Pat’s advice to heart. Now, I just have to finish the last half of the Wheel of Time Series along with the Mistborn Trilogy before I can get to them. I’ve got a loooong way to go to catch up on must-reads :)

  40. He without a clever name
    Posted August 5, 2011 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Woopsie. I suppose I should read all the information available about the list. My feelings about this oversight can best be described through the work of the famous philosopher Homer Simpson.

    Now I eagerly await the opportunity to hopefully vote for Peter and Wendy in another list.

    And by the by, love the talent pipes. My wife’s getting the necklace for Christmas. I might make her play a bit on her french horn for me first, though. :)

  41. Fayth
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    I watched the video before it was posted that there was a spoiler, but thankfully, I was multitasking and I can’t say for certain that I remember the character/event that was talked about. Hopefully it doesn’t become apparent when I begin to read the books. I haven’t read any of them but I plan to.

  42. Danielle White
    Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:36 PM | Permalink
  43. IanW
    Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    The Saga Of Pliocene Exile didn’t make the cut…sad face

    I trimmed my top 10 from the 240 odd posted finalists down to 27 of which 21 are in the top 100…that was about 20 minutes of effort so getting 10 is going to be HARD!

  44. sophiona
    Posted August 12, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Congrats on the NPR list. Woohoo!

  45. Headstrongbyb
    Posted August 15, 2011 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

    I always thought you would sound more grizzlier given your appearance. You have more of a teacher type of voice. This is my first time hearing you speak and i’m like wah that doesn’t sound right. I thought you would sound like a tree chopper but its more like a sage.

  46. enter name here
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Congrats # 18 on the list! Amazing books all :)

    copied from


    The Kingkiller Chronicles
    by Patrick Rothfuss
    This suspenseful coming-of-age story folllows Kvothe as he recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief and assassin in his world.

  47. Ragnarok
    Posted August 23, 2011 at 2:05 AM | Permalink

    did i miss something? what about this book?

  48. trixsterjl
    Posted August 24, 2011 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    I think these the name of the wind and a wise mans fear are two of the best books I’ve read to date. Book two was worth the wait, which is saying a lot. I would have given a leg to be at the dinner with Sanderson, Butcher, and Rothfuss. I’m not one to be star struck, but those three writers are the only ones I currently shell out the money for new shinny hard covers when there are so many good used books looking for a home. Please god of books dont let it be 4 years for book 3. LOL.

    Thanks for the great books.

  49. chat
    Posted February 25, 2012 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

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    • Posted September 6, 2013 at 3:22 PM | Permalink


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