The answer is: “You should try Terry Pratchett”
November 26, 2019 5:51 PM   Subscribe

I know the answer to my question as you can see by the title, problem is I have tried his work, I have read all of it. I need something to read. Please Metafilter you love to suggest discworld so I trust you enough to ask. What should I read now in Fantasy and or Science Fiction. I am well read in the genre and I want to avoid dystopias and good satire is welcome. The last things would be something newish (say within the last 5 years) and Different.
posted by mrgroweler to Media & Arts (32 answers total) 79 users marked this as a favorite
How about Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence? The first book is Three Parts Dead. Published in 2012, so older than you requested, but it's a good introduction to a truly excellent series. Sort of urban fantasy, but not set on Earth. I don't want to say too much for fear of spoilers, but these books seem to me to fill a similar niche to Discworld. They're not funny, but there are social criticism motifs that are similar.
posted by Janta at 6:07 PM on November 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Jasper Fford?
posted by freethefeet at 6:32 PM on November 26, 2019 [11 favorites]

The Imaginary Corpse, Tyler Hayes
Chilling Effect, Valerie Valdes
Library of the Unwritten, AJ Hackwith
Witchmark, CL Polk
Space Opera, Catherynne Valente
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire
Jade City, Fonda Lee
All Systems Red, Martha Wells
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

You've probably already read several of these, but they're all fun and different (both from other recent books and from each other).

Disclosure: The first four are by friends of mine, but I wouldn't recommend them if they weren't good.
posted by wintersweet at 6:33 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you haven't already tried her, everything I've read by T. Kingfisher has been wonderful. And while they're generally not humorous in the same vein as Pratchett, many of them are still funny, and something thing about just about every one has given me a certain Pratchett-adjacent vibe in that they generally share the same underlying warmth and humanity. Maybe start with the Clocktaur Trilogy if you want something recent-ish, though Nine Goblins is lovely as well.

Having said that, I haven't yet read her newest book, The Twisted Ones, which is more of a horror story (though I've heard that it's quite good as well).
posted by DingoMutt at 6:38 PM on November 26, 2019 [15 favorites]

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland.
posted by pompomtom at 6:52 PM on November 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

For that Watch vibe try Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London series, and for witchy goodness, Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth
posted by rdc at 7:00 PM on November 26, 2019 [10 favorites]

Seanan McGuire's Velveteen stories are more serious than Discworld and superhero-themed rather than fantasy-themed, but they're funny, thoughtful, and warm-hearted semi-satires focused on pleasant characters, much like (mid-to-late) Discworld.
posted by Wobbuffet at 7:13 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

I think you might enjoy The Goblin Emperor - it's not funny exactly but it scratches the same itch as Pratchett for me - of good people trying to do good things (and ultimately succeeding).
posted by peacheater at 7:23 PM on November 26, 2019 [7 favorites]

The Commonweal series by Graydon Saunders is relatively new, very Different and very good imo.
posted by escapepod at 7:37 PM on November 26, 2019

These aren't new but they're funny and for the most part Different and if you've already read all of them you can be my best friend and I will personally undertake to amuse and cheer you.

Monday Begins On Saturday, by the Strugatsky Brothers - it's a satire of a Soviet research institute only...with magic. It's not new, but I loved it and it cheered me up.

Kalpa Imperial by Angelika Gorodischer. It's funny and sad.

The Thirteen Clocks by James Thurber is just satisfyingly ridiculous, although also very short. Thurber's The White Deer is short and funny as well.

Memoirs of a Spacewoman is a very odd book that is funny in a sort of feminist intellectual Joanna Russ-ian way.

Also, have you read Dianna Wynne Jones's Dark Lord of Derkholm and Deep Secrets? They're technically YA but DLoD made me actually laugh, as they say, out loud.
posted by Frowner at 7:53 PM on November 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

Silverlock is a lot of fun, more so the more familiar you are with Western Literature.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:23 PM on November 26, 2019

Ancestral Night, Elizabeth Bear
posted by Syllepsis at 8:48 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Jasper Fforde, but not necesssarily ALL Jasper Fforde. I loved all of the Thursday Next books starting with The Eyre Affair, but really enjoyed (and some of my friends even preferred) the Nurdery Crimes. But I suspect you wouldn't like Shades of Grey (a standalone) and I've not yet read Early Riser, but perhaps someone else can way in. Fforde is satirical, provides something entertaining on every single page, and won't stress you out. (He's also got a series of YA novels -- look for "Quarkbeast" -- but I'd really start with The Eyre Affair. I've never has someone not like that.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:42 PM on November 26, 2019 [3 favorites]

These are all older than the last 5 years but what about Christopher Moore or Tom Holt? They have the fantasy-humor thing and are sort of an era with Pratchett.

Possibly also the Parasol Protectorate books. They always gave me the same vibe as Pratchett although they are not really alike. I don't know why.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:57 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

Charles Stross' s Laundry Files books
posted by Heloise9 at 11:57 PM on November 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

The Municipalists by Seth Fried.
posted by overglow at 12:07 AM on November 27, 2019

Does not satisfy your "newish" criteria, but if you're willing to bend on that then allow me to put in a plug for Clifford Simak's "The Goblin Reservation." And then if you like that, try "Way Station."
posted by Nerd of the North at 1:08 AM on November 27, 2019

The Discworld & Terry Pratchett Wiki has a long list of suggestions.
posted by tomcooke at 3:53 AM on November 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

Yet another one that isn't at all new: The Witches of Karres by James Schmitz. It isn't a series, which is regrettable, since it's so much fun. It has space travel and what is essentially magic, with sympathetic characters and a bit of swashbuckling, all written with light-hearted tone.
posted by wjm at 4:15 AM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nthing Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next and Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series.
Old but you might like the Vlad Taltos series by Steven Brust if you haven’t read it yet.

If you’re open to gritty urban fantasy, Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim. It’s dark but I’ve never found it depressing, and i find the narration quite funny.

Alexis Hall’s Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator series for hilarious queer urban fantasy.

If comics are acceptable, I think you’ll LOVE Nimona.

Diana Wynne Jones, in general.
posted by brook horse at 6:30 AM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

John M. Ford is not new but his work has been all but unfindable for years, and Tor recently announced that they will be republishing a lot of work in the next year. I think his stuff would suit what you’re looking for.
posted by tchemgrrl at 6:44 AM on November 27, 2019

More fantasy and less (but not zero) comedy, but I really enjoyed Sam Sykes' Seven Blades in Black. Funny, new (2019) and definitely different.

It's the first volume of a trilogy (the rest haven't been written/released yet, although there's an accompanying novella), but the book is a reasonably self-contained story.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:46 AM on November 27, 2019

I'm going to mildly disagree with The Wrong Kind of Cheese - I'm a Discworld addict and I really liked the first Thursday Next novel, but found that they got samey and boring very quickly for me. But I'd still reccomend the first one.

I will second the Rivers of London rec very, very hard.

I do like Yahtzee Crowshaw's books that I've read - probably Mogworld is the most Discworld adjacent one.
posted by Vortisaur at 10:33 AM on November 27, 2019

You might enjoy the meta fiction of John Scalzi’s Redcoats.

It is a stand alone novel, and you don’t really have to be familiar with Star Trek to enjoy it, (Just sci-fi tropes in general), but if you are then there are lots of very sophisticated, layered and funny jokes
posted by Faintdreams at 10:45 AM on November 27, 2019

Short but nice: Silver in the Wood by Emily Tesh

If you like graphic novels, Grandville is British alternate history with plenty of humor. It has animal characters, which I usually don't like but it is a great story.

You might like The Checquy files (#1 The Rook and #2 Stiletto) by Daniel O'Malley - it takes place in modern London and does have some humor, but not that much. It does have plenty of action and some gore/body modification.

Adding my vote for Rivers of London and Thursday Next!
posted by soelo at 12:05 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

You might enjoy the meta fiction of John Scalzi’s Redcoats.

"Redshirts" I think you'll find. Good book for someone who likes meta in their fiction.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:42 PM on November 27, 2019

Came by, as a fellow Pratchett fan, to suggest the already suggested Rivers of London (Abromovitch), and Laundry (Stross) series. The first few Thursday Next (Fford) books were fun, and I agree that the rest got repetitive. Happy to learn that Fford has new work.

Silverlock, if you can find it, was a fun read. I gave up early on Myer's follow-on book.

If you missed Pratchett's lesser known Bromiliad Trilogy, they're worth a read.
posted by dws at 8:32 PM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Luis McMaster Bujold's Penric and Desdemona series. If you're willing to wait until January, "Penric's Progress" collects the first three novellas into one volume.

Katherine Addison's The Goblin Emperor.

Neither of these are satire, but they're not dystopias. What they do have is sympathetic characters trying to be kind and make things better.
posted by fings at 4:00 PM on November 28, 2019

Saga, the comics series/graphic novels, are lighthearted and kind in ways that reminds me of Terry Pratchett. They are also occasionally heartbreaking, but in a good way. I think.
posted by spindle at 7:02 AM on November 29, 2019

Sourdough & Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan are both weird enough, in a good way, to scratch that itch.
posted by shimmerbug at 10:07 PM on December 2, 2019

Some recent SF/F authors I love: Max Gladstone, Becky Chambers, Ann Leckie, Seth Dickinson (veers a little into fantasy-dsytopia but excellent if you can handle dark), Arkady Martine.
posted by serelliya at 11:36 AM on December 5, 2019

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