HISTORICAL FANTASY ¶ Links for readers of historical fiction and fantasy

This site provides a highly selective list of online resources and novel recommendations for the genres of historical fiction, fantasy, and historical fantasy. Its purpose is to introduce historical fiction fans to the world of fantasy literature, to introduce fantasy fans to the world of historical novels and short fiction, and to offer readers of both genres information on the overlapping genre of historical fantasy.

This directory is maintained by Dusk Peterson, who writes fantasy and historical fantasy.

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Sections below:

* Fantasy and Historical Fiction Resources
* Historical Fantasy Definitions and Recommendation Lists
* Recommended Novels
* Related Sites at This Domain
* Contact Information


A few of the sites below also offer resources related to historical fantasy.

AlternateHistory.com and Uchronia. Two major sites devoted to alternate history, a genre in which "one or more past events are changed and the subsequent effects on history somehow described," in the words of Uchronia. Alternate history can take the form of historical fantasy or historical science fiction.

A Few Thoughts on Historical Fiction. Annotated links to the major historical fiction sites.

Guide to Fantasy Authors and Tales and 232.8°C. Two histories of the fantasy genre. For those of you who worry that your literature of choice doesn't have a distinguished enough lineage.

Historical Fiction Magazines: Of Ages Past; Bygone Days; The Copperfield Review; Paradox (historical fiction and speculative fiction); Would That It Were (science fiction set in historical periods).

Locus Online: Links Portal. A large collection of links related to fantasy and science fiction.

Popular Texts. Links to sites on popular fiction, including science fiction and fantasy. At the top of the page there is a link to a bibliography on popular texts, which helps to put genre fiction in its historical context.

ReadAssist. A site put together by science fiction and fantasy fans. "Here can be found links to sources of e-books, audio books, and paper books, to SF fannish activity, and (especially for those whose hands or eyes no longer do their bidding) to sources of gadgets and software (assistive technology) that will enable them to continue to enjoy fiction and fanac." If you are not familiar with the fandom of speculative fiction (science fiction and fantasy), this site can provide an introduction.

SciFan. An enormous Web directory that centers upon science fiction and fantasy books (as opposed to other media). The site lists books by author, series, and theme, and it also links to sites about the authors. One nice feature of SciFan is that it links to cached copies of sites, in case the original site is taken offline.

Slash Cotillion. An online archive of historical fiction and historical fantasy featuring same-sex-attracted characters. Original fiction can be found in the "Original" and "Real People" sections, while some legendary and mythological stories are located within the "Books" section. You can easily locate the historical fantasy stories by telling the site's search engine to look for "fantasy" or "secondary world settings." The site also has extensive links and recommendations. Oddly enough, this appears to be the only archive devoted to online writings in historical fiction.


One thing you will quickly notice is that every site linked in this section uses its own definition of historical fantasy. My own attempt at an all-encompassing definition can be found at What is Historical Fantasy?

Amazon.com Listmania: Enter the Realm of Historical Fantasy Fiction.

Glimpses of the Extraordinary: Historical Fantasy.

Ladies of Lallybroch: Historical Fantasy Reading Recommendations.

Other Worlds Writers' Workshop: Historical Fantasy.

Reader's Advice: Historical Fantasy and Otherworld Historical Fantasy.

Skotos: Exploring Genres Fantasy.

Suite101.com: Historical Fantasy.

Trivium Publishing: The Best List of Historical Fiction and Fantasy. Historical fantasy titles are labelled as such.


This is not a "best of" list but is merely a list of historical fantasy and historical fiction that I have especially enjoyed. The linked names of the authors lead to further information off-site about their writings. The linked numbers in the summaries lead to definitions of the novels' particular type of historical fantasy.

Catherine Christian. The Sword and the Flame (reprinted as The Pendragon). Historical fiction.

John Christopher. The Prince in Waiting, Beyond the Burning Lands, and The Sword of the Spirits (a trilogy known by various names). Science fiction, with a medieval-like setting.

Sylvia Louise Engdahl. Children of the Star trilogy (This Star Shall Abide, Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains, and The Doors of the Universe). Science fiction, with a setting based on history.

Diana Gabaldon. Outlander series (Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and a side story, Lord John and the Private Matter). Historical fantasy #4.

Robin Hobb. Farseer trilogy (Assassin's Apprentice, Royal Assassin, and Assassin's Quest). Historical fantasy #2.

Guy Gavriel Kay. Tigana, A Song for Arbonne, The Lions of Al-Rassan . . . Heck, read all of his books. Historical fantasy #3.

Ursula K. Le Guin. Earthsea series (A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, The Farthest Shore, Tehanu, Tales from Earthsea, and The Other Wind). Historical fantasy #1.

George R. R. Martin. A Song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings, and A Storm of Swords). Historical fantasy #2.

Patricia A. McKillip. Riddle-Master trilogy (The Riddle-Master of Hed, Heir of Sea and Fire, and Harpist in the Wind). Historical fantasy #1.

Mary Renault. Ancient Greece series (especially The Last of the Wine, The Mask of Apollo, and The Persian Boy), as well as The Charioteer (set during World War II). Historical fiction, unless you count occasional interactions with unseen Greek gods as fantasy; if so, then historical fantasy #4.

Mary Stewart. Merlin trilogy (The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment). Historical fantasy #4. Her romantic suspense novels are contemporary but usually have history in them somewhere; see especially My Brother Michael (with echoes of Ancient Greece) and Touch Not the Cat (with flashbacks to 1835).

Rosemary Sutcliff. All of her books, but especially her novels set in Roman Britain and the Dark Ages. The Shining Company is my favorite, her Arthurian novels The Lantern Bearers and Sword at Sunset are beloved by many, while Flowers for Adonis (set in Classical Greece) has to be the most underrated novel I've read. Historical fiction.


Aslan's Kin: Interfaith Fantasy and Science Fiction.

GLBT Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: A Web Directory.

Homoerotic Historical Fiction Links.

Online Resources for Blind and Partially Sighted Readers of Science Fiction and Fantasy. Includes links to e-texts and online audio.


E-mail may be sent to Dusk Peterson.

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