1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Who are the best at world building?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Steerpike, Nov 10, 2010.

    I don't want to derail the "what are you reading now?" thread, but I made a world-building comment there and thought I'd get input from the forum on authors who are particularly good at this. I like reading science fiction and fantasy where authors have put the time in to make the world come alive, so I can also use this discussion to gather recommendations.

    Some of the world-building stand-outs that come to mind:

    1. Tolkien, of course.

    2. Steven Erikson. If you set aside all the linguistics, the Malazan books rival Tolkien in terms of breadth and depth of world creation.

    3. George R. R. Martin. A rich, believable world. Hopefully he'll manage to finish his series.

    4. Frank Herbert. I only read the first DUNE book, but I thought he did a great job with building his world.

    5. Tad Williams. I haven't read all of his works either, but the ones I have read seem to be well thought out, and he seems to take time crafting the world.

    I guess I'll toss in Robert Jordan as well. Almost have to, given the scope of his Wheel of Time books.

    What about the rest of you?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. Enid Blyton (I am fairly sure she is probably the most prolific world builder could be wrong)
    2. Robert Neill (Historical author his ability to describe and warm up a story is amazing)
    3. Jonas Islander (and one day he will have a book on my shelves)
    4. Shakespeare
    5. CS Lewis (not just for Narnia - the Mars Trilogy, The Great Divorce etc)
    6. Ellis Peters (Again historical but Cadfael is amazing visually)
    7. Kate Morton (more general fiction but she can paint an amazing picture)
    8. Steve Cole (Cows in Action it is so funny)
    9. Lian Hearne (Tales of the Otori)
    10. Pamela Brown (the Finishing School was a Japanese POW very powerful YA Story)
    11. JK Rowlling
     
  3. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Lian Hearn. Although the world she created is based heavily in feudal and mythological Japan, not many could have been able to pull it off.

    Patrick Rothfuss. He debuted with the novel The Name of the Wind, and although it's still half a year until the next one is released, I can assure he deserves a place among the afore mentioned.
     
  4. Lavarian
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    Lavarian Contributing Member Contributor

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    China Mieville. Specifically The Scar and Perdido Street Station.
     
  5. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Dammit, i still have to invest my time with, China Mieville.
     
  6. cretinhop
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    cretinhop Member

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    Just, Robert Jordan. ;D that world was so awesome. Siiigh.
     
  7. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    J.K. Rowling. She created this magical world so beautiful that I was so sad I couldn't get into as a kid. Even today I wish it was real. :D
     
  8. Garfiun
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    Garfiun Member

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    I love the world J.K Rowling created and hope to read more about it. I also like Terry Pratchett's Discworld.
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Stephen R. Donaldson's world created for the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant rival JRR Tolkien's. Unique creatures, cultures, magic, history.
     
  10. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    Tolkien, Herbert, also C.S Lewis are my reference points for creating a new imaginary world.
     
  11. Ophiucha
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    Ophiucha Member

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    Austin Tappan Wright, if we're just going off of sheer mass. Easily the most developed world I've ever read, and it certainly even exceeds J.R.R. Tolkien. Best in terms of its ability to serve, interact with, but not get in the way of the story, though? China Miéville.
     
  12. Merlin
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    Although this is not specically by one author but more as whole publishing company (Black Library), I really enjoy the grim-dark worlds of the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. Some of the novels set in there are particularly good. (Gaunt's Ghosts Series, Horus Heresy Series, Night Lords Series)

    And Michael Grant's Gone Novels are particuarly good at World Building.
     
  13. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like both the Warhammer fantasy and WH40K worlds. Good stuff.
     
  14. Annûniel
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm going to recommend Fuyumi Ono for the Twelve Kingdoms series. My other favorites have already been mentioned.
     
  15. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to second Warhammer Fantasy. :)

    Also, Raymond E. Feist and Dave Gemmel. They do an excellent job of pulling in the reader and making him/her feel immersed in the world.
     
  16. Dithnir
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    Dithnir Member

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    Tolkien fills the sky. GRR Martin doesn't come close at least in part because the further back you go with Tolkien's timeline the more like myth it sounds and feels, whereas Martin's historical references just fade away into a soup of cliche.

    I enjoyed His Dark Materials too for the interesting take on an alternate reality.

    Gormenghast was delivered in riveting detail.
     
  17. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Peake definitely did a brilliant job with Gormenghast.
     

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