From alternative histories to legendary countries, time travellers to haunted houses, here are the best fantasy books for people who don’t like dragons or sexy vampiresIt doesn’t seem long ago that George RR Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series was being promoted as fantasy for non-fantasy readers as a way of attracting those who imagined “fantasy” was twee escapism involving fairies. (That was before the TV version of Game of Thrones changed everything.) My own novel The Silver Bough, about the inhabitants of a remote town at risk of being overwhelmed by Scotland’s mythological past, was once criticised by a disgruntled fan as “fantasy for people who don’t read fantasy”. Whether used as inducement or warning, that sort of labelling implies there’s a strong consensus view of what fantasy literature is, both among those who read it and those who wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole.In his introduction to The Best British Fantasy 2013, editor Steve Haynes warns: “British fantasy is not what you think it is.” He argues that in the short stories he’s collected, writers were able to take more risks, be more experimental, and generally offer darker, more dangerous visions than are to be found …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books