Tower of the Hand

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External Link ASOIAF, the greatest franchise ever? Writing for ...ology, Winter Is Coming argues that A Song of Ice and Fire is the greatest franchise ever, even better than the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter.

External Link ASOIAF ranks #5 in NPR's top 100. The ballots have been cast, and the votes tallied. Now NPR reveals the top 100 science fiction and fantasy titles. A Song of Ice and Fire ranks fifth, second among all fantasy behind only The Lord of the Rings. Hard to argue with the top 10:

  1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
  3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
  5. A Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
  6. 1984, by George Orwell
  7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
  8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
  9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

External Link Vote for ASOIAF in NPR's top 100. NPR is asking readers to submit their top 10 science fiction and fantasy titles. A Song of Ice and Fire is one of the hundreds of nominees, so vote for that and nine of your other favorites. Let us know what books made your list, too. (Thanks for the tip, Snoop!)

External Link NYPL's guide to down and dirty fantasy. Sure, HBO's Game of Thrones can be described as a "gritty, realistic fantasy featuring flawed characters," but George R. R. Martin's series isn't alone in exploring those dark depths. The New York Public Library recommends other fantasy books that may appeal to existing GRRM fans and/or HBO's new audience.

External Link Epic fantasy is war. Daniel Abraham, author of The Long Price quartet, argues that George R. R. Martin (like J.R.R. Tolkien before him) uses epic fantasy as a metaphor for war and that the genre is at its best when it's more about restoration than escapism.

External Link ASOS ranks #6 in decade's best SFF. polled its readers on the best science fiction and fantasy novels of the decade. A Storm of Swords ranked #6 (John Scalzi's Old Man's War topped the list). Read an appreciation of ASOS by's Elio and Linda.

External Link Brian Jacques: 1939-2011. Brian Jacques, best known for his Redwall series, died over the weekend at the age of 71. The popular British author wrote over thirty novels and short-story collections, aimed primarily at children and young adults. The Rogue Crew, his final novel and the twenty-second book in the Redwall series, will be released this spring. Our thoughts are with his family, and our condolences go to his friends and many fans.

Best Fantasy Books of '00s

With the calendar turning once again, I thought it a good time to reflect on the best fantasy books of the past ten years. I enlisted the help of my favorite book bloggers; a few of them answered the call: Adam of The Wertzone, Aidan of A Dribble of Ink, Eva of evagation, and James of Speculative Horizons. Below is a cumulative list of our favorite reads from the 2000s, alphabetized by author.


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Tower of the Hand is an unofficial companion to George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series and HBO's Game of Thrones, featuring chapter and episode guides, character profiles, family trees, and much more.

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