The 100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time
October 15, 2020 7:54 AM EDT

For the most part, the fantasy genre has been defined by solo creators itching to plant their personal flags in the literary landscape—a divergence from that is what makes Good Omens so special. This novel, which tells the story of a bungled Biblical apocalypse and the hijinks that follow, was co-written by two titans of British genre fiction: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Good Omens follows an angel and a demon, both of whom have spent a long time on earth and have grown accustomed to what the material world can offer. When Hell sets the Antichrist baby upon the world, marking the beginning of the end of days, the angel and demon strike up an unlikely bargain to keep Revelations from revealing itself. Little do they know that an accidental switcheroo left the infant Antichrist in the care of strangers. Good Omens as a story is a solid idea on its own, but it is thoroughly elevated through the collaboration of these two authors. When it was published in 1990, Pratchett had already established himself as the king of comedic fantasy, and Gaiman had begun his ascension into the nerdom pantheon following the 1989 launch of his Sandman comic series. Good Omens brings out the best of the two authors, while dulling some of their less-desirable individual quirks. The collaboration kept Gaiman from getting too far up his own scholarship, and focused Pratchett’s usual firehose of jokes. What sprang from this once-in-a-genre alliance is an extremely good, and wildly entertaining, fantasy. —Peter Allen Clark

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