Quote Originally Posted by AW Admin View Post
I'm old. I remember when Sword Of Shannara was first released (1977). It did start the Del Rey Fantasy line proper. It did sell a startlingly large number of copies in the first month it was published but no, it really wasn't single-handedly responsible for the post-Tolkien surge of interest in High fantasy. It did demonstrate, in part of its pastiche like qualities, that there was demand, but not so much a demand for more Brooks as a demand for non-derivative Fantasy in a Tolkienesque pseudo medieval culture.

For one thing, a lot of people hated Shannara as a poorly handled Tolkien pastiche; it was (and is) strikingly derivative.

There were other books and writers that, honestly, I think were more influential.

Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles books were published from 1964 to 68; Alexander is the person who came up with the phrase "high Fantasy."

Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea was published in 1968. Nine Princes of Amber, the first of Roger Zelazny's multi-volume Chronicles of Amber was published in 1970. McKillip's Riddlemaster of Hed was 1976. Stephen Donaldson's Lord Fouls Bane, the first Chronicles of Thomas Covenant was 1977.

Now, what I'm curious about but do not know, is how much influence the 1977 first publication of Tolkien's Silmarilion might have had. It's not a narrative sort of book, but man, it sure did get read and bought.
It surely sold well-I got my copy for Christmas that year. It's funny-I know that Tolkein consciously set out to manufacture an epic tradition for the English (as if the Arthurian cycle weren't enough) but I wonder if he did not grow his entire high fantasy cosmos out of a single arresting image. I'm certain anyone who has ever read the Silmarilion remembers it: It's the brief passage where Beren stands before the elf-king and quietly announces "Even now I hold a silmaril in my hand."