Sadly, this isn’t more stories I’ve written. There are a few, and I intend to write more, but this is a collection of stories other people have created that I cannot recommend enough. If you enjoyed The Wandering Inn, it’s my hope you’ll fall in love with these stories.
Any one of the stories on this list is what I consider to be one of the best in the world. I wouldn’t recommend it if it was even a ‘good’ story. If it is here, I love it, and it captures something no other story has in some way.
For now this is simply a bunch of links, but I intend to flesh this out with categories, each to a different genre. Books, webcomics…audiobooks, and so on. But this is a work in progress, and I hope to fill it with countless more stories I discover over the course of my life. With that said…
Pirate’s Blog — https://pirateaba.wordpress.com/
Okay, this is mine. And it’s just in case you didn’t know that before I was a writer, I was a drawer. Not an artist; I had no idea how to draw, so for 1000 days I drew a picture a day. I taught myself by drawing, and the focus of the story was a character, my first true character in a way. Pirate, a girl from the sea.
The first pictures are rough, and the final ones aren’t great, but I hope there’s something there that would speak to you. Some day I’ll tell Pirate’s story. But not just yet…
The Property of Hate — http://thepropertyofhate.com/TPoH/The%20Hook/1
This web comic is to me, a kind of Wizard of Oz tale written for the modern day. But that’s unfair to compare stories to older stories; The Property of Hate stands on its own. Still, the comparison helps because you might think that the comic’s some dark descent into cynical…hatred. And while it has serious moments, and the plot hints at a terrible destiny for our hero, the heart of the story is far from evil.
Frankly, this is the kind of story that makes me think, and love to think. It plays with the meaning of meaning, and yet, I can read it and simply enjoy it as a story as well. It’s so rare to find that kind of flawless mix between storytelling and thought. The Property of Hate isn’t as long as some of the other stories on this list, but it feels timeless.
I support the author on Patreon and hope they can make this web comic a full-time job. And I also hope that this story can go on for decades. But like the journey our small hero is on with her mysterious companion, I fear it must end. But the journey is the thing.
Girl Genius — http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20021104
Another timeless story. Except this one is set in a very distinct time period that never was. Girl Genius is a steampunk story about ‘Sparks’, people who are born with the mad genius syndrome to create. They can create clockwork soldiers, fight, and lead with the best villains. And yet, the world is far from cartoony.
Okay, it’s sometimes cartoony, but the politics, drama, and characters are real. I enjoy the grand story of this comic too much because I can’t handle reading one page at a time. he artwork started good and now it’s fantastic. I’d say Girl Genius and the other webcomics tend to have a slow start, but that was the same of The Wandering Inn, wasn’t it?
By the time I followed Agatha for a hundred pages, it was two hundred. And then I was hooked. If ever there were a funner idea than the concept of Sparks, I can’t think of it. Mad geniuses. Another comic I support on Patreon. Simply fun.
Erfworld — https://archives.erfworld.com/Book%201/1
When I think of a world that properly represents what it would be like to live in a video game, Erfworld and Order of the Stick are good ones. They both create these wonderful worlds with arbitrary rules based on tabletop games, and then write real people in the setting. If you want to learn how to write Game Literature fiction, this would be a good place to start.
Because, the thing is, Erfworld would be a fantastically fun game to play. It probably won’t ever be a tabletop game because the rules are so complex, and the comic shows the combat and way the game becomes reality so well. We follow our main protagonist who is from Earth learning the difference between a tabletop game and a reality that uses game mechanics. And he’s stuck because he’s fighting on the ‘evil’ side, against overwhelming odds.
But as any gamer knows, the best way to win would be to cheat. And the way he thinks around problems defines my love of the series. Heck, I even wrote a fanfiction for it…
Order of the Stick — http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0001.html
If Erfworld is in some ways a prime example of game meeting stories–at least tabletop games, then Order of the Stick is the golden standard to which most stories are held. It’s rightly famous online, or so I feel. From simpler comics and a cliche story about some heroes fighting through a dungeon to kill some evil baddie, it’s turned into a years-long story with an epic plot.
And the main characters are stick figures. The art is simple, but not poor. And the story is told so well that you’ll fall in love with the medium as quickly as I did. For anyone who loves Dungeons and Dragons…you probably already know about the webcomic. But even if you don’t play the game–I don’t–you’ll like this story. And it might make you want to play the tabletop game yourself! Now that’s a good story. I can’t wait to see how it ends.
Jaiden Animations — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGwu0nbY2wSkW8N-cghnLpA/videos
Not all stories are long, and videos are a type of storytelling, albeit very easy to just watch while doing something else. And animation videos? They occupy a distinct niche on Youtube as people tell stories using animation to do what reality can’t. It’s entertaining, everyone has their favorite channel, and this is mine.
Really, what I like is just that these stories are slice-of-life, relatable, and the animation makes me laugh. It’s fun just to watch, but some of the more serious videos that focus on positive relationships, overwork, and so on are what got me into the channel. Given that I watch the new videos on this channel the day or hour they come out, this surely merits.
Plus, everyone needs something to laugh along with. This is one of my outlets.
The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan —
First of the fantasy books I should mention. One of my favorites all time. And, to me, a story that I can never separate from the story of the author himself, who died before it was finished.
And yet, the story was completed. Another author took up the notes Robert Jordan had left and finished the series. And I have read that series at least half a dozen times. The Wheel of Time is long. And epic. It creates a world as true as Lord of the Rings, but darker, and to me, even more compelling.
It has flaws. It has slow points. And I would be lying if I said I enjoyed every minute. However, I still regard this series as one of the great ones any fan of fantasy should try. To me, it is an inspiration and one of the first series I ever fell in love with. If I had to sit alone and read the same books forever, this would be one of the first series I pick. It would probably take me that long to pick up on all the little details.
For the magic (which ain’t magic here), for the most spine-chilling of lines and for the wheel that turns forever, I give this my highest recommendation. Just pace yourself. It’s fairly long!