You want a really weird ride? A science fiction or fantasy epic that stretches your brain like taffy and ties it into strange irregular shapes? Forget television or movies: books are where the really off-kilter stories are told in speculative fiction.
When George R.R. Martin released A Game of Thrones in 1996, he helped to change the game with his grounded approach to fantasy tropes. At the same time, people sometimes talk as though Martin was the first to bring realism to epic fantasy. So here are 10 other authors who were doing "gritty" fantasy before Martin.