Andy Gavin's List of the Very, Very Best Fantasy

 

The True Game

by Sheri S. Tepper

I love this world in which "powers" come in systematic flavors which combine into unique specialties of super power.

 

Wild Seed

by Octavia E. Butler

History, two kinds of immortals, themes of slavery and freedom, breeding of genetic powers. How can you beat that?

 

Carrion Comfort

by Dan Simmons

A horrific journey into the depths and nature of evil. One of the most chilling books I have ever read.

 

Master of the Five Magics

by Lyndon Hardy

Pure fun fantasy, but I love solid attempts to systematize and render magic into a real and "believable" system.

 

The Great Book of Amber: The Complete Amber Chronicles, 1-10

by Roger Zelazny

Hokey at times, but I just love the concept and feel of this reality bender. The pattern has haunted me for decades.

 

Wizard and Glass

by Stephen King

Stephen King's best. Almost pure fantasy, told with his knack for making even the weirdest situations and dialog believable.

 

The Name of the Wind

by Patrick Rothfuss

Really great first novel. Fantasy told with a startling immediacy.

 

A Game of Thrones

by George R.R. Martin

Simply the best modern fantasy work. The scope is huge, the characters intensely real, and the medieval-ness (as in "go all medieval on his ass") is incredible.

 

The Anubis Gates

by Tim Powers

Time travel, crazy 4,000 year old Egyptian sorcerers, romantic poets, and Victorian England. Oh, and it all works brilliantly.

This book also appears on 12 Classic Steampunk Books