Fantasy Fiction At The Fringe

I’m reading Saladin Ahmed’s Throne of the Crescent Moon right now and I’m loving the unholy fuck out of it. Arabic myth with a protagonist who’s a fat, old ghul hunter? Oh. Oh. Oh yeah.

(Needless to say, you should go and read it posthaste.)

It’s kind of scratching an itch I’d forgotten I had, which is for fantasy fiction that goes well beyond that Tolkeinist purview to be brave and bold and do something unexpected with the very notion of fantasy.

So, talk to me. Make some recommendations. What would I like? What fantasy is out there — now or from the past — that operates outside the comfort zone and does something new instead of regurgitating all the same old tropes and archetypes and hero-plot piffle?

Further: what do you want to see in fantasy that’s just never represented? What niches need filling?