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I prefer historical fantasy to straight-up fantasy because I feel that there is a deeper texture and complexity in most alternate realities. The worlds feel larger and more detailed.

One of my favorites is Scott Westerfield's WWI-era Europe in Leviathan because he blends the steampunk machines of the eastern bloc with the biopunk hybrids of the west, while elevating historical scientists to the status of celebrities. That's a world I would really like to hang out in and explore in more detail.

Any others?
 

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I love love love The Tales of Alvin Maker. Orson Scott Card is a great story teller to begin with, but I really like the alternate 19th Century America he envisioned as well as the use of magic in the form of 'knacks'.
 

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I love historical fantasy. I'll watch this thread avidly for some more recs. I prefer books based on Medieval, Renaissance or ancient history rather than more modern history although there's some great steampunks coming out. If you liked Leviathan, try Cherie Priests's Boneshaker. I couldn't put it down.

Guy Gavriel Kay does some great historical fantasy IMO - A Song For Arbonne and Tigana are my faves but I also really enjoyed his Sarantine Mosaic books. These ones use an historical base as a launching pad for the fantasy. Wonderful writer.
 

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I'm relatively new to the genre, and have found that many seem to be written to the 8th grade boy level. (Was not impressed with Harry Turtledove)

However I am also a fan of the SHTF genre and started the Dies the Fire series by S.M. Stirling and I think that fits the description? It's well written and is set fairly locally which is cool.

Would be interested in exploring more tho.
 

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Does the "Clan of the Cave Bear" series count? Because I loved the descriptions and details of those books. Esp the descriptions of the flora and fauna.
 

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9MMare said:
However I am also a fan of the SHTF genre and started the Dies the Fire series by S.M. Stirling and I think that fits the description? It's well written and is set fairly locally which is cool.
I think the first trilogy is more Post-Apocalyptic science fiction but the second, much longer series is definitely Fantasy and in a strange way, I could even consider it historical fantasy even though it takes place slightly in our future. But, it's kind of the stylized version of history .....
 

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Tara Maya said:
I'm looking to read more in this genre as well. I'm also a fan of straight up alternative history.
Ah, thanks. I wasnt sure if there was a distinction. I'm pretty new to alternative history...the idea is fascinating but what little I've read so far has been pretty lame, seems like it's written for 8th grade boys with grandiose dreams.

I'm open to recommendations tho!
 

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9MMare said:
Ah, thanks. I wasnt sure if there was a distinction. I'm pretty new to alternative history...the idea is fascinating but what little I've read so far has been pretty lame, seems like it's written for 8th grade boys with grandiose dreams.

I'm open to recommendations tho!
I think it's a distinction only for those of us who like to parse our genres ... I read a lot of Alternate history and some of it is quite bad and some is really very good.

You could try S. M. Stirling's The Peshawar Lancers - this is set in modern times but in a world where the British Empire is centered on India and Europe had to be abandoned in the Victorian Era. Good Stuff

Or, Harry Turtledove's Ruled Britannia - this has Williams Shakespeare as the central character and is set 10 years after the Spanish Armada conquered England.

Or, Harry Turtledoves In the Presence of Mine Enemies - This is the story of a small group of Jews living in 21st Century Nazi Berlin.

These are all three wonderful books - and I've read all of them at least three times.
 
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