Thursday, November 1, 2007


To Start: Shoe-ins

(This was originally on The World in the Satin Bag, my other blog)
It occurred to me today, while I was fiddling with my template, that we might have to start up a new blog for this canon idea. Why? Well, it would make navigating the discussion of particular works easier since navigating my site for a few related posts might be a little annoying. It'd be much simpler to have everything laid out in one little space.
Is anyone against the idea of starting another blog? It would be only for the canon, and canon related things, nothing else.
Also, I thought it might be a good idea to start off the canon by going through all the books that should be shoe-ins. It would be easiest to get all those we know will automatically be included. However, if you don't agree with ones I've put up, please discuss it. These are just books I think would be considered shoe-ins. But I might be wrong.

Science Fiction:
Dune by Frank Herbert (haven't read)
War of the World by H. G. Wells (haven't read)
1984 by George Orwell
Neuromancer by William Gibson
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Odyssey by Homer
A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare

Any others you can think of? Any you don't agree with? Why or why not? Let's start this discussion!

Type rest of the post here


Anonymous said...


1984 I fully agree with. How about Farenheit 451 by the-guy-whose-name-I-forget? Perhaps not as influential, but it has more of a resonance with readers through the book-burning thing. Something to consider, anyway.

I haven't read the others, but I believe Dune may be worthy from its reputation.

LotR has to go in purely for its influence, methinks.
The Lion etc ... yes, I'd agree with that as well. It certainly was important in its day and it's something a lot of kids still read and love till they're old enough to get the religious overtones. :p
Dracula, I haven't read, but judging that it spawned the vampire genre, it probably can't be denied its place.
The Odyssey is not one I would have thought of, but it could be a good one. It certainly proves how long Fantasy has been around!

So the only thing I'd disagree with is ye Shakey play. Partially because I detest Shakespeare, but also because it sort of just sits there by itself being of no use to anyone, except for the fact that it's one of Shakey's slightly-more-interesting-and-slighty-easier-to-understand plays.

S.M.D. said...

I can see an argument against the Shakespeare play. I put it because of Shakespeare's influence, but I wonder if he had any influence on fantasy at all.

Anyone else have an opinion here?

CV Rick said...

Shakespeare created much of the story-telling forms we employ to this day. He had more influence over literature than any other person alive or dead. Midsummer Nights Dream certainly belongs on the list.

But if we're going back that far, then we must also include Dante. Inferno created the Western view of a fire and brimstone hell with eternal torment.

S.M.D. said...

Well, I think the difference here is that Midsummer is not a religious text of any sort. It's not talking about a place that is believed to be real in any form. Certainly Dante took a lot of liberties with the story from the Bible and the belief system, but at the same time it is based on something that is truly believed to exist. By definition, fantasy is simply fantasy. We don't believe today that little elves run around stealing our shoes or anything like that. For that reason I think it would be impossible to include religious texts in a fantasy canon. If in 100 years people no longer believe in the Bible, then perhaps it could be called a fantasy.