Fantasy Novels for the Complete Newbie

I admit it, I've never really read any fantasy novels. I've picked up a few, even read a couple of chapters, but for whatever reason I never seem to finish them. It's not for lack of trying - in fact, I don't read nearly enough, regardless of genre - it's just that I've always followed poor recommendations or attempted to tackle extremely large works without preparation.

So who better to ask than a community of space geeks? I know, I know, there's a big difference between sci-fi and fantasy, and us scientists tend to shoot for the opposite of magic. But it's pretty hard to deny that space geeks have impeccable taste, and it just so happens that many of them are avid fantasy fans.

The responses I received to my recent polling of Twitter fans also managed to remind me that fantasy novels are not just dragons and castles and orcs, but dystopian alternate universes, or psychedelic cats in trees, or the occasional sand monster. There truly is no end to the human imagination.

So here are a few books that were suggested to me by the community. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Big thanks to @marathonjohn, @csete, @silensy, @klhiltz, @nystana, @john_carter, @savagediana, and @lunarpioneer for these suggestions! As always, a portion from the sale of these items will go to support Google Lunar X PRIZE education and outreach programs

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