The field of mythic fiction consists of contemporary works that draw on the timeless themes and symbolism of world mythology, medieval romance, folklore, fairy tales, and the oral stoytelling tradition. Mythic fiction is set in the modern (or historical world), not in a far–off Nevernever land. But it portrays a world infused with mythic archetypes, mystery, and magic. Works of mythic fiction can be found on the mainstream fiction shelves in the form of magic realism and surrealism, as well as in genre fiction, Young Adult fiction, and other parts of the bookstore.
The prevalence of mythic fiction today is due, we believe, to several factors: the influence of Latin American magical realism, the renaissance of adult fairy literature fostered by feminist writers such as Angela Carter and Anne Sexton, a re–awakening of interest in world mythology due to the works of Joseph Campbell and other scholars, and a decrease of cultural prejudice against nonrealist forms of storytelling in generations weaned on C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and J.K. Rowling.
The following list contains 100 fine novels by 100 fine writers of contemporary mythic fiction. The books on our list range from charming, entertaining confections to powerful novels that rank among the best works of modern literature. The authors on our list range from promising first novelists to modern masters of mythic fiction. For more information, the title link will take you to the book's page on Amazon. (Please bear in mind that if you purchase a book through these links, a portion of the money you pay will be donated to our children's charity.)
For recommendations for younger readers, see Mythic Fiction for Young Adults by Julie Bartel.
Art: "Merlin Beguiled" by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, 1874.