Being an avid reader of all things fantasy, I get exposed to some PRETTY CREATIVE ideas. Fantasy is one of those genres that really pushes the bounds of the possible. And if you’re a skilled enough writer, you can put pen to paper and make brand new ideas come to life. Here are some of the most interesting and unique ideas I’ve encountered to-date.
Illuminae — This one wins the prize for most unique format, if nothing else. Told through a series of dossier artifacts, a story unfolds involving biological warfare, crazy AI units, and a lone kick-ass girl turned computer hacker. Read my review here.
Resenting the Hero — What do you get when you try to use magic to control the whether? A bunch of hot-head know-it-alls who are likely to get themselves killed. Moore’s Hero series circles around a unique world composed of Sources (who control the weather) and Shields (who protect the Sources), and follows a specific pair who start bending the rules of the possible.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone — While the overall premise (angels vs. demons & forbidden love) involves some rather cliche, if not overused ideas, the details Taylor uses in creating the Chimera race are awesome. This is a completely original idea for a race, world, and culture.
The Others — The idea of shapeshifters and vampires may not be anything new, but the specifics Bishop employs to create the terra indigene is awesome. And this is a great series 🙂 Read my review here.
The Drafter — There are dozens of books dealing with time travel, but none so unique as this. As a drafter, Peri can “draft” back a few seconds, a few minutes, or even longer. But she forgets everything that has happened in the time that she misses. Which means HUGE potential for crazy mind games and manipulations. Not to mention some serious trust issues. Read my review here.
Myth Adventures — Never has there been a more unique and crazy cast as that envisioned by Robert Asprin. The “demons” are dimensional travelers — beings who can walk between the dimensions. And every dimension has its own challenges and craziness to overcome.
Discworld — Nothing says unique like Terry Pratchett. His imagination knew no bounds, and we are worse off with his passing. With over 40 books in the series, the world is unique and imaginative in a way that can never be recreated. (Now I just need to read them all!)
Ink & Bone — What if the Library of Alexandria hadn’t burned down? And instead The Great Library took over the world? Well, Ink & Bone happens. While the ideas of knowledge-hoarding and dystopian societies aren’t exactly uncommon, the fact that I actually was routing against the library in a book is astounding and worth a mention. Read my review here.
First Truth — The Truth series by Dawn Cook (aka Kim Harrison) follows a not uncommon plot. It’s pretty standard epic fantasy garb. And yet … The actual magic behind the Masters is pretty darned special, and I really enjoyed it!