The OF Blog: Ballantine Adult Fantasy series

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ballantine Adult Fantasy series

Now that I've completed reading all 50 books on the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks series (although I do plan on re-reading some in order to have reviews of all 50 by mid-2011), I went looking for a similar publisher's list to see if there was anything similar in scope.  Sure enough, I found the 1960s-1970s Ballantine Adult Fantasy series of releases and re-releases, most of them edited by Lin Carter.  I noticed that while there was some overlap, it was not too large, plus it contained several books that I thought were high quality stories.  So now I have a new reading challenge that combined with the Gollancz SF Masterworks and the re-reads/reviews of the Gollancz Fantasy Masterworks, should keep me occupied through at least the end of 2011, if not 2012 and the coming of the Mayas or Nostradamus' worldwide-killing trumpet blast or something.

Below are actually two lists:  one done just before Carter's arrival and some lacking the unicorn symbol that was associated with the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, and one containing books selected by him.  As usual, bold for own/read, italics for own/not read, and plain for those I don't own/haven't read.

Series Preface (pre-Carter)

THE HOBBIT, J.R.R. Tolkien. August, 1965.
THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, J.R.R. Tolkien. October, 1965.
THE TWO TOWERS, J.R.R. Tolkien. October, 1965.
THE RETURN OF THE KING, J.R.R. Tolkien. December, 1965.
THE TOLKIEN READER, J.R.R. Tolkien. September, 1966.
THE WORM OUROBOROS, E.R. Eddison. April, 1967.
MISTRESS OF MISTRESSES, E.R. Eddison. August, 1967.

A FISH DINNER IN MEMISON, E.R. Eddison. February, 1968.
THE ROAD GOES EVER ON, J.R.R. Tolkien & Donald Swann. October, 1968.
TITUS GROAN, Mervyn Peake. October, 1968.
GORMENGHAST, Mervyn Peake. October, 1968.
TITUS ALONE, Mervyn Peake. October, 1968.
A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS, David Lindsay. November, 1968.
THE LAST UNICORN, Peter S. Beagle. February, 1969.

THE MEZENTIAN GATE, E.R. Eddison. April, 1969.

Series Proper


1. THE BLUE STAR, Fletcher Pratt. May.
3. THE WOOD BEYOND THE WORLD, William Morris. July.
4. THE SILVER STALLION, James Branch Cabell. August.
5. LILITH, George Macdonald. September.
6. DRAGONS, ELVES, AND HEROES, Lin Carter, ed. October.
7. THE YOUNG MAGICIANS, Lin Carter, ed. October.
8. FIGURES OF EARTH, James Branch Cabell. November.
9. THE SORCERER'S SHIP, Hannes Bok. December.


10. LAND OF UNREASON, Fletcher Pratt & L. Sprague de Camp. January.
11. THE HIGH PLACE, James Branch Cabell. February.
12. LUD-IN-THE-MIST, Hope Mirrlees. March.
13. AT THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, Lord Dunsany. March.
14. PHANTASTES, George Macdonald. April.
16. ZOTHIQUE, Clark Ashton Smith. June.

17. THE SHAVING OF SHAGPAT, George Meredith. July.
18. THE ISLAND OF THE MIGHTY, Evangeline Walton. July.
19. DERYNI RISING, Katherine Kurtz. August.
20. THE WELL AT THE WORLD'S END, Vol. 1, William Morris. August.
21. THE WELL AT THE WORLD'S END, Vol. 2, William Morris. September.

22. GOLDEN CITIES, FAR, Lin Carter, ed. October.
23. BEYOND THE GOLDEN STAIR, Hannes Bok. November.


24. THE BROKEN SWORD, Poul Anderson. January.
25. THE BOATS OF THE `GLEN CARRIG', William Hope Hodgson. February.

26. THE DOOM THAT CAME TO SARNATH, H.P. Lovecraft. February.
27. SOMETHING ABOUT EVE, James Branch Cabell. March.
29. HYPERBOREA, Clark Ashton Smith. April.
31. VATHEK, William Beckford. June.
32. THE MAN WHO WAS THURSDAY, G.K. Chesterton. July.
33. THE CHILDREN OF LLYR, Evangeline Walton. August.

34. THE CREAM OF THE JEST, James Branch Cabell. September.
35. NEW WORLDS FOR OLD, Lin Carter, ed. September.
36. THE SPAWN OF CTHULHU, Lin Carter, ed. October.
37. DOUBLE PHOENIX, Edmund Cooper & Lancelyn Green. November.
38. THE WATER OF THE WONDEROUS ISLES, William Morris. November.
39. KHALED, F. Marion Crawford. December.


40. THE WORLD'S DESIRE, H. Rider Haggard & Andrew Lang. January.
41. XICCARPH, Clark Ashton Smith. February.
42. THE LOST CONTINENT, C.J. Cutcliffe-Hyne. February.
43. DISCOVERIES IN FANTASY, Lin Carter, ed. March.
44. DOMNEI, James Branch Cabell. March.
45. KAI LUNG'S GOLDEN HOURS, Ernest Bramah. April.
46. DERYNI CHECKMATE, Katherine Kurtz. May.
47. BEYOND THE FIELDS WE KNOW, Lord Dunsany. May.
48. THE THREE IMPOSTERS, Arthur Machen. June.
49. THE NIGHT LAND, Vol. 1, William Hope Hodgson. July.
50. THE NIGHT LAND, Vol. 2, William Hope Hodgson. July.

51. THE SONG OF RHIANNON, Evangeline Walton. August.
52. GREAT SHORT NOVELS OF ADULT FANTASY #1, Lin Carter, ed. September.
53. EVENOR, George Macdonald. November.


54. ORLANDO FURIOSO: The Ring of Angelica, Volume 1, Translation by Richard Hodgens. January.
55. THE CHARWOMAN'S SHADOW, Lord Dunsany. February.
56. GREAT SHORT NOVELS OF ADULT FANTASY #2, Lin Carter, ed. March.
57. THE SUNDERING FLOOD, William Morris. May.
NOTE: Lin Carter's list stops here.
58. IMAGINARY WORLDS, Lin Carter. June.
59. POSEIDONIS, Clark Ashton Smith. July.
60. EXCALIBUR, Sanders Anne Laubenthal. August.
61. HIGH DERYNI, Katherine Kurtz. September.
62. HROLF KRAKI'S SAGA, Poul Anderson. October.
63. THE PEOPLE OF THE MIST, H. Rider Haggard. December.


64. KAI LUNG UNROLLS HIS MAT, Ernest Bramah. February.
65. OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY, Lord Dunsany. April.

Only around a third of these do I own and/or read.  Looks like I may have some promising reads ahead of me, considering how many other stories by several of the authors above that I enjoyed.  Which books on these lists have you read or want to read?


Hélène said...

Aie ! Most of it is terra incognita. I have read Tolkien, Peake, Kurtz, THE KING OF ELFLAND'S DAUGHTER by Dunsany, Orlando furioso and Vathek.
I just started reading fantasy in the 70s. It seems I missed a few of them !

Lagomorph Rex said...

I've read about 31 of the books on that list, and about 29 of the ones on the Fantasy Masterworks list.. The most interesting bit about the Ballantine series in my opinion are Lin Carters Essays that precede a lot of the books.. some of the fiction anthologies in that series are also the only print versions of some short stories..

some of them are really pricey though..

GOD said...

Why do you organise your reading in such a way?

GOD said...

Why do you read series as opposed to authors or any other method of organisation?

PeterWilliam said...

I'll be very interested in your take on the Kai Lung stories, by Bramah. There was a forum thread somewhere that got into a slew of Kai Lung stories being re-released that caught my eye. Just curious.

Oliver said...

I've read 26 books of those lists and own some more; of those you haven't and I have read, I really like James Branch Cabell's books (read them all); though THE SILVER STALLION isn't the best start - FIGURES OF EARTH works much better. William Beckford's VATHEK and Arthur Machen's THE THREE IMPOSTERS are also quite enjoyable.
Of those books I just plan to read Ernest Bramah's Kai Lung-stuff.


brekinapez said...

It took me many years of hunting through used book shops in 7 states, but I finally completed the entire run of the BAFS.

There are certainly dozens of great books in that set, but my favorites are all those connected to the Cthulhu Mythos and Lovecraft in general, such as Clark Ashton Smith's books. Mostly for sentimental reasons as Lovecraft was the catalyst that started me amassing all this nonsense.

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