Day 24 – Favorite classic genre novel

What is a classic? Published 10 years before, 25 years before, 100 years ago, and still being read? There are a lot of “required reading” lists for fantasy and SF in the net. Often, I don’t really agree with them because they tend to focus on epic fantasy, often excluding all others. I also think that having the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as the only SF book in a classics list, is missing the point. If you haven’t read the books that the Hitchhiker is making fun of, how can you enjoy it?

The Finnish Wikipedia says that a classic is a recognized and exemplary work of art. It should also have something profound to say about culture, attitudes, and ideological principles of the time, and it should also have some sort of linguistic merit. Basically, only books like Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Lord of the Rings can be classics. Of course, it doesn’t say, *who* has to recognize the book but I think the implication is that there must some sort of higher authority instead of, for example, a group of fans.

Out of the very small “recognized” SFF classics, I’d say that Dracula is my current favorite. However, when I widen the category to include works that fantasy readers tend to call classics (well I do, if nobody else :)) my favorite is Amber. Specifically the first two books, Nine Princes in Amber and the Guns of Avalon. They widened up my fantasy reading to other books than just epic (although you might argue that Amber is the ultimate epic).

Day 25 – A genre novel you plan on reading soon

The next Women of Fantasy book: War for the Oaks by Emma Bull. I have it as an ebook. I think this is one of the original urban fantasy books: fantasy set in a modern US city. With a rock band.