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Fitzandrostand
10-31-2014, 04:47 AM
Hi guys,

Does anyone have any humorous fantasy books they've read recently that they'd recommend? The book I'm writing is fantasy with quite a bit of humour in it so I'm trying to find books who have done that sort of thing to see how they handled it. I'm not having that much luck though, most of what I've read is in other fantastic genres (sci-fi with Douglas Adams, or paranormal, or urban fantasy, etc), but not in actual secondary world Fantasy. Of course there's the master, Terry Pratchett, but other than him or classics like Princess Bride I'm not having much luck in finding tongue in cheek / humorous fantasy.

If you've read anything funny recently I would love to hear. Thanks!

tiddlywinks
10-31-2014, 05:09 AM
Hmmm. I have a couple of older examples you could look at - David Eddings and Patricia C. Wrede.

Otherwise, it's MG, but the Fablehaven series has some good moments, i think. Been a little while since I read that.

I'm writing a high fantasy series with a fair bit of humor myself and am plotting a YA fantasy that is very tongue-in-cheek humor. Cheers and good luck!

Wilde_at_heart
10-31-2014, 05:48 AM
Some people swear by Christopher Moore. What I've read of his isn't really my thing, but some people love him.

I've also downloaded a book to Kindle called Graveyard Shift by Lana Harvey that's fairly humorous - at least from what I've read so far.

Also, though it might be more Sci-Fi than Fantasy, maybe Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! I'd read it right after Foucault's Pendulum, which ruined it a bit for me (the conspiracy stuff was meh in comparison to Umberto Eco) but all my friends *loved* it.

introvertedwife
10-31-2014, 05:57 AM
I've done three fantasy books that were mostly humor, but the only one I really recommend is the master. (If Pratchett is The Master does that make Adams The Doctor?)

Someone suggested that Terry Brooks was funny once. I read about half a chapter and hid the book under a pillow in terror.

ClareGreen
10-31-2014, 06:01 AM
Try Robert Aspirin's MythAdventures series.

Fitzandrostand
10-31-2014, 09:29 AM
Hmmm. I have a couple of older examples you could look at - David Eddings and Patricia C. Wrede.

Otherwise, it's MG, but the Fablehaven series has some good moments, i think. Been a little while since I read that.

I'm writing a high fantasy series with a fair bit of humor myself and am plotting a YA fantasy that is very tongue-in-cheek humor. Cheers and good luck!

David Eddings sounds great actually, thanks for that. And good luck with the fantasy series!



Also, though it might be more Sci-Fi than Fantasy, maybe Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus! I'd read it right after Foucault's Pendulum, which ruined it a bit for me (the conspiracy stuff was meh in comparison to Umberto Eco) but all my friends *loved* it.

I've heard of Illuminatus! although haven't got around to reading but it sounds pretty awesome.


(If Pratchett is The Master does that make Adams The Doctor?)

Haha, maybe there is a Whovian - Adams conspiracy in the air. Been ages since I read Adams, might be time for a revisit....


Try Robert Aspirin's MythAdventures series.

I will do, I had a look on amazon and they sound pretty funny!

Brightdreamer
10-31-2014, 09:52 AM
Terry Pratchett - Funny, but with a sharp hook behind the humor.

John Moore - The two I've read have been fun, poking fun at fantasy tropes.

Jim C. Hines - Haven't seen him mentioned yet, but he's fun, and also writes a good story. Try his Jig the Dragonslayer books (first book: Goblin Quest): a cowardly goblin is captured by a group of bickering Adventurers, and is forced to heroics to save his own hide.

Stephen Brust - His Vlad Taltos books (first published, if not chronologically first: Jhereg) are actually a hybrid of sci-fi and fantasy, leaning toward the latter. A human assassin and his dragonlike familiar struggle to survive among near-immortal inhuman Dragaerans, balancing human witchcraft with Dragaeran sorcery and backstabbing inter-house politics. Pretty fun, though I grew tired of them after a while.

Diana Wynne Jones wrote an excellent send-up of fantasy tropes - The Tough Guide to Fantasyland - and two YA books based on the idea of a magical world forced to re-enact epic fantasy "tours" for offworlders (of which the first, Dark Lord of Derkholm, is vastly superior to the second, Year of the Griffin.)

Jonathan Stroud's YA Bartimaeus books (first: Amulet of Samarkand) are both hilarious and excellent.

Also in YA, Patricia Wrede's classic Enchanted Forest quartet (first book: Dealing with Dragons) mocked fairy tale tropes long before Shrek made it popular.

And Eoin Colfer's usually a safe bet for humor, particularly the first few Artemis Fowl books (first: Artemis Fowl.) YA title, pitting a modern boy criminal mastermind against the underground Fairy nation, which has not only magic but highly advanced technology in its arsenal.

I'm sure I'm missing some...

VeryBigBeard
10-31-2014, 11:11 AM
I've done three fantasy books that were mostly humor, but the only one I really recommend is the master. (If Pratchett is The Master does that make Adams The Doctor?)

Yes it does. :)

If only he could regenerate....

blacbird
10-31-2014, 11:27 AM
Someone suggested that Terry Brooks was funny once. I read about half a chapter and hid the book under a pillow in terror.

AGREED. Everything I've tried to read from Brooks (three or four stabs at it) is about as funny as Thomas Hardy's stuff.

caw

Forbidden Snowflake
10-31-2014, 01:05 PM
Neil Gaiman's Stardust is full of humour.

Once!
11-02-2014, 04:22 PM
Author coughs politely.

You might want to check out the chap on the left. Drop me a pm and I'll send you a review .mobi file.

Bolero
11-02-2014, 07:31 PM
Tom Holt

and Grunts by Mary Gentle (very dark)

There is a difference between comic fantasy and fantasy with funny moments in it. My general understanding (as in stuff heard on line and around down the years) is that for some reason most comic fantasy doesn't fly well - so Terry Pratchett very popular, Tom Holt sells but never did as well as TP (have seen very annoyed conversations on line by people saying Tom Holt much funnier than Pratchett and vice versa) so there seems to be a limited market that is satisfied by a very few authors and little room for new ones. No idea why (would love to be enlightened :) )

There is also Jasper Fforde and his Thursday Next - BUT - his publishers say he is not writing fantasy.

Lois McMaster Bujold - her fantasy definitely has an edge to it in places, humour, comment on the society. Low key but there. Some is in the phrasing, some is of the think of the worst thing you can do to your character and do it.

In terms of getting published (further down the line) the usual advice is to look for authors who have been published for the first time in the last couple of years as that is what is selling at the moment. I can't think of any authors in that time frame.

Now there is always the chance that you will be the first author picked up for whatever it is that you are doing and others follow but...... :)

DJE81
11-02-2014, 10:01 PM
Robert Rankin, Tom Holt, Christopher Moore, Jasper Fforde. There's also Rob Grant, who co-wrote Red Dwarf. I've really enjoyed his three non-Red-Dwarf novels ...

DJE81
11-02-2014, 10:04 PM
By the way, does anybody know if Fantasy Humour is making a bit of a comeback, as far as publishers are concerned? They seem to be slightly more open to the idea than a few years ago. (Or maybe that's just wishful thinking ...)

StarWombat
11-03-2014, 12:59 AM
If you can find a copy, I'd recommend the Mammoth Books of Comic Fantasy.

Taejang
11-03-2014, 01:04 AM
The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan is YA fantasy with humor, though humor wasn't the main point of the series. Likewise, the Advent Mage cycle (Jaunten, by Honor Raconteur) is also YA fantasy with humor, but again doesn't qualify as focusing on the humor. Both may be a different type of humor than what you're going for anyway.

I can't remember the last time I read a fantasy book that made me laugh out loud that wasn't YA... Though Brent Weeks' Black Prism might have gotten a few chuckles out of me.

Atomic Aardvark, by Ryan Guy, isn't a perfect book and probably qualifies more as YA sci-fi than fantasy, but it offers a fresh view of humor that could be useful for study. It's also a quick read.

Fitzandrostand
11-03-2014, 03:34 PM
Neil Gaiman's Stardust is full of humour.

Good point. I read that and absolutely loved it - completely forgot about it, might re read it.


AGREED. Everything I've tried to read from Brooks (three or four stabs at it) is about as funny as Thomas Hardy's stuff.


Ok between you and Introverted, that's got me decided, I'm going to give Brooks a miss.




There is a difference between comic fantasy and fantasy with funny moments in it. My general understanding (as in stuff heard on line and around down the years) is that for some reason most comic fantasy doesn't fly well - so Terry Pratchett very popular, Tom Holt sells but never did as well as TP (have seen very annoyed conversations on line by people saying Tom Holt much funnier than Pratchett and vice versa) so there seems to be a limited market that is satisfied by a very few authors and little room for new ones. No idea why (would love to be enlightened :) )


I know I don't really get why Fantasy seems overall to be such a serious genre. Especially since it's Fantasy, literally ANYTHING can happen, so there should be plenty of space for humour!
Humour's tricky though I guess since it's quite a personal thing. Might be that what some writer's think is funny others don't and so those that try don't do well, or that people don't want to take the risk, and therefore stick to the more established serious fantasy model.


By the way, does anybody know if Fantasy Humour is making a bit of a comeback, as far as publishers are concerned? They seem to be slightly more open to the idea than a few years ago. (Or maybe that's just wishful thinking ...)

No idea, I'm going to go indie :-)

Everyone else, thanks so much for all the suggestions!

SampleGuy
11-03-2014, 11:25 PM
Talking to Dragons by Patricia Wrede is a humor fantasy novel. I read it during middle school.

hefronica
11-04-2014, 04:31 AM
I know I don't really get why Fantasy seems overall to be such a serious genre. Especially since it's Fantasy, literally ANYTHING can happen, so there should be plenty of space for humour!

Humour's tricky though I guess since it's quite a personal thing. Might be that what some writer's think is funny others don't and so those that try don't do well, or that people don't want to take the risk, and therefore stick to the more established serious fantasy model.


Normally, serious fantasy bores the pants off me (well, not literally). I too have been looking for some funny fantasy to help my own stories so Thank You everyone for this thread!

I've read 2.5 Discworld novels so far and yeah, they're funny, but the only one with a plot started to bore me (and you'd think it would be opposite). Maybe I'm reading the wrong ones.

I read somewhere that Piers Anthony was funny. I read his first Xanth book. Parts of it were. It wasn't crazy enough for my tastes.

I also read Christopher Moore's Practical Demonkeeping. I guess that's more like urban fantasy (?) but I didn't find it very funny.

(off to google a bunch of these suggestions...)

Bluefish
11-04-2014, 04:37 AM
Well, as everyone has already said, Discworld is one of the best examples you're likely to find. I also second the Bartimaeus trilogy.

Another I recommend (although I haven't actually finished it yet) is The One and Future King, by TH White. It may be Arthurian legend, but it's told with a surprisingly whimsical, humorous tone. It's actually made me laugh out loud a few times.

hefronica
11-04-2014, 04:41 AM
Another I recommend (although I haven't actually finished it yet) is The One and Future King, by TH White. It may be Arthurian legend, but it's told with a surprisingly whimsical, humorous tone. It's actually made me laugh out loud a few times.

The Once and Future King. ;)

Crap, how did I forget that one?!

I only remember there being much humor in the first part (The Sword in the Stone) but that is exactly the type of humor that I love.

Brightdreamer
11-04-2014, 04:48 AM
Oh, yeah... almost forgot:

Scott Meyer, author of the Basic Instructions comics, has a fantasy series out. The first one, Off to Be the Wizard, is pretty fun, sort of like Douglas Adams for fantasy. A programmer stumbles across the data file controlling reality... and, long story short, winds up in medieval England playing wizard. The second one's out, and the third's on pre-order, but I haven't managed to squeeze them into the reading pile yet. Definitely worth a look, though.

Tyler Silvaris
11-04-2014, 10:24 PM
I read somewhere that Piers Anthony was funny.

This is immediately what I thought of! Piers Anthony is definitely humorous. I will note, however, that his humor is based almost entirely on wordplay and puns. None-the-less, reading some of his work may help you grasp that style of blending serious fantasy work and concepts with humorous story-telling.

I have read only a few of his works, but I heavily recommend "Demons Don't Dream" and "Ogre, Ogre".

ClareGreen
11-04-2014, 10:29 PM
This is immediately what I thought of! Piers Anthony is definitely humorous. I will note, however, that his humor is based almost entirely on wordplay and puns. None-the-less, reading some of his work may help you grasp that style of blending serious fantasy work and concepts with humorous story-telling.

I have read only a few of his works, but I heavily recommend "Demons Don't Dream" and "Ogre, Ogre".

Caution: Not all of Piers Anthony is funny. The Xanth series is fairly lighthearted, but a lot of his stuff is rather creepy and not in a good way.

Taejang
11-04-2014, 10:46 PM
Caution: Not all of Piers Anthony is funny. The Xanth series is fairly lighthearted, but a lot of his stuff is rather creepy and not in a good way.
Agreed.

Bluefish
11-05-2014, 04:21 AM
The Once and Future King. ;)

Oops. I blame the keyboard. :)

You might also check out some of A. Lee Martinez's books, particularly In the Company of Ogres. It's been a while since I read it, but I remember being reminded of Terry Pratchett.

Tyler Silvaris
11-05-2014, 09:09 AM
Caution: Not all of Piers Anthony is funny. The Xanth series is fairly lighthearted, but a lot of his stuff is rather creepy and not in a good way.

I have actually not read anything of his beyond a few Xanth books. Good thing to keep in mind. Every author has their blunders.

Super_Duper
11-12-2014, 01:55 AM
Joe Ambercrombie

StarWombat
11-13-2014, 01:28 AM
Caution: Not all of Piers Anthony is funny. The Xanth series is fairly lighthearted, but a lot of his stuff is rather creepy and not in a good way.

Yeah. There was a point when I was reading Color of Her Panties for the second time at 18, and I was like 'What am I reading?' And that is Xanth.

I'd like to second Off to Be the Wizard.

Fitzandrostand
11-14-2014, 08:52 AM
Another I recommend (although I haven't actually finished it yet) is The One and Future King, by TH White. It may be Arthurian legend, but it's told with a surprisingly whimsical, humorous tone. It's actually made me laugh out loud a few times.

Oh that sounds like great fun!

Dave Williams
11-14-2014, 06:37 PM
Gee, nobody remembers L. Sprague de Camp any more? He could probably have claimed to be the originator of comic fantasy.

"The Incompleat Enchanter" came out in 1941, anyway.

Nightibis
11-18-2014, 08:44 PM
The Spellsinger series, by Alan Dean Foster. If you like socialist Dragons, wizardly turtles, over-sexed otters, and rock and roll you will like this one.

Taejang
11-18-2014, 08:49 PM
Welcome, Nightibis. :hi:

TessB
11-18-2014, 08:59 PM
Ooh.... about twenty years ago, I think, Greg Costikyan had a series that was excellent fun - "Cups and Sorcery." I think he only ever put out two books in it, which is a shame. They were... "One Quest, Hold the Dragons," and "Another Day, Another Dungeon." I read them more than a dozen times over when I was a teen. They were gamer-centric to a certain extent; a lot of humour that goes over well with the D&D crowd.

(Kraki Elmslayer, Slayer of Elms!)

And the dwarf who carries an 11-foot pole, because there are things even he wouldn't touch with a ten-foot one...

There was also the Wizardry series, by Rick Cook (Wizardry Cursed, Wizardry Compiled, etc)- same time frame (late 1980s, early 90s) -- five books, all devilishly funny. It's not quite fantasy, in that the main premise is computer programmers from our world being pulled into a fantasy world where magic works like a computer program. The series was definitely aimed at those who would get the computer and fantasy jokes. Also excellent fun when I was 14, but I haven't read them again since.

Craig McNeil
11-18-2014, 11:37 PM
Christopher Brookmyre has written a couple of fantasy/ scifi themed novels. I highly recommend Bedlam which I found laugh out loud funny!

ULTRAGOTHA
11-19-2014, 12:18 AM
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart. All his books, actually.

I second, third, fourth and fifth Diana Wynne Jones’s Dark Lord of Derkholm. Make sure the floor is padded. Deep Secrets is also very funny. Most of the rest of her books have nice dollops of humor.

Also Jasper Fforde. His books are in a weird (and I use that word advisedly!) slot between SF and Fantasy. But both the Thursday Next books and his Nursery Crime mysteries are funny.

Pratchett is a given in humorous fantasy.

I would not recommend Lois McMaster Bujold’s fantasy foremost for it’s humor. All her books have funny bits. (A Civil Campaign and Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance moreso than the rest, though they are SF.) But neither her Five Gods Universe books nor the Sharing Knife books, nor The Spirit Ring are meant to be humorous fantasy, as opposed to darned good fantasy with some humor. I recommend Bujold at the drop of a hat, as she’s one of the best writers out there. But her books aren’t funny-first like Pratchett or Hughart.

PandaMan
11-19-2014, 01:00 AM
The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It's probably my favorite fantasy novel. I could read it 100 times and not get tired of it.

RedWombat
11-21-2014, 09:34 AM
Seconding Bridge of Birds!

C. Dale Brittain's A Bad Spell In Yurt worked for me, though it had some serious bits to it.

Roxxsmom
11-21-2014, 10:04 AM
Finn Fancy Necromancy (http://www.amazon.com/Finn-Fancy-Necromancy-Randy-Henderson/dp/0765378086/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1416549578&sr=8-1&keywords=Randy+Henderson) isn't out until February, but it looks promising. I met the author (Randy Henderson) at a writer's workshop, and he's a nice guy with a good sense of humor. It's his debut novel, I believe, and it looks like it'll be filled with darkish humor.

Oh, and Villains by Necessity by Eve Forward. Sadly, she only ever wrote one other fantasy novel (under that name, at least) and just fell off the radar. May be out of print, though, so you'd have to find it used.

Ted Mendelssohn's The Wrong Sword.

Tanya Huff's Summoning series also has a fair amount of wry humor.

jchines
11-21-2014, 05:55 PM
Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
Esther Friesner's Chicks in Chainmail anthologies.
There are three "Unidentified Funny Object" anthologies that have some good humorous short fiction. (Full disclosure -- I have stories in #2 and #3.)

WhitePawn
11-25-2014, 01:21 AM
Pratchett to me is his own genre, but stands as the funniest fantasy. Hitchhiker's is good for scifi, but again, in a genre by itself.

Abercrombie does humor.

Jordan has light humor that is character based.

Characters by themselves introduce it just by being witty. See: Tyrion Lannister. Example: "Look at me, Pod. It unnerves me when you talk to my codpiece, especially when I'm not wearing one."

Smiling Ted
11-25-2014, 04:58 AM
Umm...
And let me just say, Roxxsmom is spot on. Go, you!

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