The best fantasy/sci-fi books to make you laugh

Why am I passionate about this?

For me the best fantasy and sci-fi is made up of many themes. Take one of my favorite fantasy movies, Willow. It has heart and comedy but also drama, action, and high stakes. This is something that I want from my writing. I want the reader to laugh, and a few paragraphs later be gasping as the main character faces mortal peril. With the very best books, you get taken on a roller coaster of emotional responses. As a UK fantasy author, my goal is to make sure that you put my books down only when you absolutely have to, which includes falling asleep holding them because you’ve stayed up too late reading.


I wrote...

The Simple Delivery

By Andrew Claydon,

Book cover of The Simple Delivery

What is my book about?

This humorous epic fantasy is the story of Nicolas, a village boy who is chosen, against his better judgment, to deliver a message. Naïve to the outside world, and certainly fearful of it, he ventures out with the hope that at least his task will be straightforward. A fateful encounter on a bridge ensures that his journey goes places that even his overactive imagination couldn’t conceive…and he doesn’t even own a sword.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Thraxas Under Siege

Andrew Claydon Why did I love this book?

I picked up this book when I was much younger. Until this point all the fantasy I read had been serious and gritty. This book showed me that fantasy could be amusing too, but still have high stakes. It follows the ongoing story of Thraxas, a down-on-his-luck and disreputable private investigator with some magical skill whose city is now besieged by orcs. He has to try and survive the siege, which mainly comprises of finding some decent food and drink, whilst searching for an artifact that could change the outcome of the war.

A fun read with some quirky characters and an engaging story.

By Martin Scott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thraxas Under Siege as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the enchanted city of Turai, the overweight, beer-guzzling private eye Thraxas is probably your only hope. And this time, the entire city is in trouble, besieged by an army of rampaging Orcs. Now a ship has managed to slip past the Orcs to make port, and it was carrying a talisman which could save the city. Unfortunately, it and the ship's captain have vanished without a trace. And if Thraxas can't recover it before it falls into the wrong hands, Turai will be doomed. Which could seriously interfere with the big card game that Thraxas had been looking forward…


Book cover of The Carpet People

Andrew Claydon Why did I love this book?

Did you know that your carpet was home to various tribes of people? Terry Pratchett did. This is the story of two brothers who live in said carpet. They must leave their village before it is destroyed by the Fray. It’s Terry Pratchett, need I say more?

This was Terry Pratchett’s first novel and is a fun read with plenty of humor. Again this is a book from my youth, and whilst I don’t own a copy now, it’s one of those covers I always look fondly on whenever I see it.

By Terry Pratchett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Carpet People as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of the Discworld series delivers “fantasy with comedic flair” in his debut novel and first children’s book (VOYA).
 
In the beginning, there was nothing but endless flatness. Then came the Carpet . . . 
 
That’s the old story everyone knows and loves. But now the Carpet is home to many different tribes and peoples, and there’s a new story in the making. The story of Fray, sweeping a trail of destruction across the Carpet. The story of power-hungry mouls—and of two brothers who set out on an adventure to end all adventures when their…


Book cover of Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium

Andrew Claydon Why did I love this book?

Nothing about the Warhammer 40,000 universe says ‘funny’. The fact that it’s fans call it the ‘grimdark’ is a proud testament to this. I’ve read a lot of Warhammer books, but was surprised when I came across this series. It follows Ciaphas Cain, a Commissar who is trying to survive and find the cushiest job for himself in a universe of constant war, yet somehow, he constantly ends up being the hero.

This book really opened my eyes to the fact that you can humor even in the grittiest settings, and that just because a book is funny, it doesn’t mean it can’t be action-packed and have high stakes. Much of the humor comes from Cain’s futile attempts to avoid any sort of combat and save his own skin.

By Sandy Mitchell,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Ciaphas Cain as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first three action-packed adventures of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, and his malodorous aide Jurgen are collected together into one amazing volume. His brand of sarcasm and self-preservation are a hit with Black Library fans and provide a unique counterpoint to the usual darkness of the Warhammer 40,000 universe.


Book cover of Legends & Lattes

Andrew Claydon Why did I love this book?

This book takes a look at fantasy from a different perspective, which speaks to what I would like to do as a writer. This cozy fantasy is about an orc warrior, Viv, who is trying to find her happily ever after by putting down her axe and opening the doors to her new coffee shop. The world, the city of Thune, is beautifully crafted. It isn’t about battles and treachery and epic quests it’s about someone trying to build a better life for themselves and the friendships they make along the way.

By Travis Baldree,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked Legends & Lattes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

High fantasy, low stakes - with a double-shot of coffee.

After decades of adventuring, Viv the orc barbarian is finally hanging up her sword for good. Now she sets her sights on a new dream - for she plans to open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune. Even though no one there knows what coffee actually is.

If Viv wants to put the past behind her, she can't go it alone. And help might arrive from unexpected quarters. Yet old rivals and new stand in the way of success. And Thune's shady underbelly could make it all…


Book cover of Protection of the Pack

Andrew Claydon Why did I love this book?

This was my first foray into reading Urban Fantasy, and it made me very glad I did. This is the story of Lucy, a woman transformed into a werewolf, who must navigate the task of being Alpha of her new pack as well as adjusting to the new, often violent, world she’s a part of. I love how Heather deals with Lucy embracing a job she didn’t choose for herself. The interplay between the characters makes this a fun read with some very laugh-out-loud dialogue, especially in the interactions between Lucy and her Wolf, Esme. I think the whole ‘fish out of water’ thing speaks to all of us. Who hasn’t daydreamed, what if I could do magic, or had superpowers? The real question is, how would you cope if you suddenly could and it changed your life completely?

By Heather G. Harris,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Protection of the Pack as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

I have a wolf in my head. Her name is Esme, and she likes killing things.

I’m Lucy, a regular accountant turned alpha werewolf. A tryst with the wrong incubus ripped me from my ordinary life and sent me tumbling into a magical realm that I'd never even dreamed existed.

I was just adjusting to pack life when I was asked to mercy-kill the current alpha. I'm not a total bitch so I did what he asked, but it's left me as alpha of a pack I don't know, full of werewolves who resent that I still live and breathe…


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The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

Book cover of The Road from Belhaven

Margot Livesey Author Of The Road from Belhaven

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Reader Secret orphan Professor Scottish Novelist

Margot's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

The Road from Belhaven is set in 1880s Scotland. Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small girl that she can see the future. But she soon realises that she must keep her gift a secret. While she can sometimes glimpse the future, she can never change it.

Nor can Lizzie change the feelings that come when a young man named Louis, visiting Belhaven for the harvest, begins to court her. Why have the adults around her never told her that the touch of a hand can change everything? When she follows Louis to Glasgow, she begins to learn the limits of his devotion and the complexities of her own affections.

The Road from Belhaven

By Margot Livesey,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel about a young woman whose gift of second sight complicates her coming of age in late-nineteenth-century Scotland

Growing up in the care of her grandparents on Belhaven Farm, Lizzie Craig discovers as a small child that she can see into the future. But her gift is selective—she doesn’t, for instance, see that she has an older sister who will come to join the family. As her “pictures” foretell various incidents and accidents, she begins to realize a painful truth: she may glimpse the future, but…


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