Here’s a very timely topic from SF Signal: various authors sharing their choices for “lighter” SFF novels, including incidentally Ursula Vernon.
Also Melinda Snodgrass, whose choices I vehemently disagree with; Mari Ness, whose reviews of classics like 101 Dalmatians can be found at tor.com; and plenty of others.
Now, me, I think of “lighter” SFF not just as stories with happy endings; not even as low-tension stories with happy endings; but as, you know, light. In tone, if not necessarily in topic.
In other words, I think of Terry Pratchett, whom incidentally not a single person mentioned in this post, an inexplicable omission. Am I off base here? Do you or do you not agree that Terry Pratchett’s books should be included in a list of “the lighter side of SFF,” even though his themes were often serious?
I also think of Edith Friesner and Gail Carriger — both appear on Kay Kenyon’s list
Mari Ness mentions Douglas Adams — of course! I should have thought of him, too — and, for something a little different, Sorcery and Cecelia. That’s an interesting choice and suggests to me that she is defining “lighter” not just as humorous, but also as . . . maybe comfort reads? I agree with the choice, and in fact another contributor, Valerie Valdes, also mentions another one by Patricia Wrede, Marelon The Magician.
Ursula Vernon goes for Robin McKinley, Juliet Marillier, and Iva Ibbotson — she’s looking mainly for happy endings, but also for comfort reads.
Anyway, this is an interesting set of suggestions that imo range overall from Definitely Light to Definitely Not Light. I mean, I mentioned above that I don’t agree with Melinda Snodgrass’s choices. She actually recommends The Thousand Names by Wexler, and while I totally agree this is a wonderful book and the start of an excellent series and should be widely recommended . . . light? Really? Enjoyable I will grant you, but definitely not light.
Participants also mention TV shows, anime, and games, none of which I know much about, so if you’re interested in any of those suggestions, click through and check out the post. I will say that the artwork of Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju looks beautiful.