recommend me some (fairly) mindless fantasy/sf

I need something to read and relax with. Ideally it would be someone with a lot to read in the same universe. I really enjoyed Raymond Feist and George R.R. Martins Song of ice and fire. Something similar that will occupy me for a few months would be great.

Just don’t tell me wheel of time, I read the first few and that series sucked balls.

Well, especially with David Edding’s recent passing, I would suggest the Belgariad (5 books - start with Pawn of Prophecy). It’s followed up by another 5 books - the Mallorean (and then there’s more!). It’s pretty mindless, but entertaining.

If you liked Song of Ice and Fire, I would recommend Guy Gavriel Kay’s A Song for Arbonne and Tigana. They are wonderful, but definitely not mindless.

David Eddings? (He just passed away the other day.)

His stuff isn’t as dark as Martin (that is, don’t expect to be seeing the good guys dropping like flies), and it’s pretty straightforward fantasy-quest stuff, but those of us discussing him in the thread on his passing agree that his books are sort of like comfort food.

He has two major, unrelated fantasy series, either of which could take you a while to plow through:

The Belgariad and Malloreon are a pair of five-book series, all featuring the same characters (this was Eddings’ first fantasy series).

The Elenium and Tamuli are a pair of three-book series, set in a different universe from the Belgariad / Malloreon, but, again, with a set of characters that run throughout both series.

I like both series, though I like the Elenium / Tamuli a bit better (I enjoy the protagonist, Sir Sparhawk, more than I enjoy the protagonist in the first series, Garion).

Harry Turtledove’s Timeline-191 series is alt-history, but the author often writes in sci-fi and fantasy, and the series is eleven books long. It should keep you occupied for the summer if you like it.

Lois McMaster Bujold’s Five Gods series is good. There are three books: The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Hallowed Hunt. They’re all independent novels not a trilogy, but I’d read them in publication order because, in my opinion, that’s the order of their quality.

Another good light SF/Fantasy crossover (literally) is Triplet by Timothy Zahn.

Thirding Eddings. I haven’t read his later stuff (after he finished the Tamuli), but the books already recommended are great for light fantasy. Also, he has two “historical” books based on some of the characters in the Belgariad and the Malloreon (“Belgarath the Sorcerer” and “Polgara the Sorceress”), and a kind of “sourcebook” for that universe, “The Rivan Codex”.

A lot of Robert E. Howard’s stuff is back in print (including ALL the Conan storeies in a single volume). Great, mindless fantasy.

If your bent is horror fiction, H.P. Lovecraft is still in print, too. Lots of short nameless horror.
I like the classic old stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of it is out of print or hard to get.


Pratchett cures all.

Especially insomnia.

This. I loved that trilogy quite a bit.

How about David Weber’s Honor Harrington series? The first handful are really good but after a certain point I burned out on the series, so YMMV.

I would try Joe Abercrombie’s “The Blade Itself” and the other books in the trilogy. Much like Martin he perverts fantasy convictions by either having unexpected deaths or by not caring to write a good and noble character into his story. They are an easy quick read and fit in well with what you liked. I found the series imperfect, but I sure read them quckly.

I like Martha Wells a lot. The Element of Fire, The Death of the Necromancer, and the Fall of Ile-Rien series all take place in the same universe.

I’d recommend all of Timothy Zahn’s Star Wars books that I’ve read so far. Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand from the Star Wars: New Jedi Order series were also good. Basically any time the Lusankya gets a mention in those two books, awesome things happen.

The Retief stories by Keith Laumer.
The Thraxas stories by Martin Scott.
The Garrett. P.I. stories by Glen Cook.
The Compleat Enchanter stories by Pratt and de Camp.
The short fiction by Christopher Anvil.
The Sector General novels by James White.
Anything James H. Schmitz ever wrote.
The Fafhrd & Grey Mouser stories by Fritz Leiber.
The Dying Earth stories by Vance.
The Nifft stories by Michael Shea.
The Malazan series by Steven Erikson isn’t mindless, but it’ll sure keep you occupied.

I second Conan.

Another nice fantasy series is The Chronicles of the Raven by James Barclay. The first book is called Dawnthief. There are seven books in the series I think. I have only read the first two but they were quite good.

I second Joe Abercrombie’s “The Blade Itself” and related books. Also the “Furies”-Series by Jim Butcher, better known for his “Dresden Files”.

You could try Kevin J Andersons Saga of the seven suns for some neat space opera. That might keep you busy for a while.

The Rhapsody series by Elizabeth Haydon is pretty good light fantasy. I also like Robin Hobb’s Farseer trilogy (it’s pretty dark though). And Bujold’s trilogy as well, which has already been recommended. Jennifer Fallon wrote an interesting trilogy about a government where atheism has taken on an almost fanatic quality - easy read but interesting viewpoint.

Agree with all the people who’ve suggested Eddings. Terry Pratchett, who I believe was also mentioned, will be great if you don’t mind a lot of tongue-in-cheek parodies of real-world things (especially helpful if you appreciate British-style humor).

Mercedes Lackey has a sprawling series that mainly takes place in the country of Valdemar, with a few other series as well (including some urban fantasy if you like that sort of thing). Anne McCaffrey has quite a few series (Pern, Talents, Brain & Brawn ships, Freedom, etc.), some of which are SF and some of which are a fantasy/SF combo.

I wouldn’t place Lackey under “mindless fantasy”, at least in part because she sometimes* does some really nasty things to her protagonists.

  • As in, generally two or three times per trilogy. There are a few particularly harrowing scenes in the Last Herald-Mage trilogy that have kept me from rereading them for a decade or so, as the effect of those scenes on a gay teenager (me) were profound. And the prevailing underpinning of prejudice, misogyny and disparate treatment in the Black Gryphon series (though they were, as always with Lackey, presented as objectively evil) make reading that series an emotionally hard slog for me, as well.