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Topic: Top 5 Fantasy Authors

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Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Subject: Top 5 Fantasy Authors
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
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Someone started this topic in the SF Forum, so I thought it might be fun to do it in Fantasy too!  Who are your top 5 Fantasy authors, and why?  For the purposes of this thread, "Fantasy" can also apply to non-science fiction space fantasy stories.  Mine would have to be...

1. Terry Brooks.  I've bought everyhting the man has written, and will continue to do so.

2. Margaret Weis.  Alone, or with Tracey Hickman.  The Dragonlance books were BIG when I was in high school.  I also love her Star of the Guardians/ Mag Force 7 space fantasy series.

3. J.R.R. Tolkien.  Face it, he has to be on any top 5 list.  Personally, I have issues with elements of his storytelling style, but I still consider The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as essential reads.

4. C.S. Lewis.  The Chronicles of Narnia were the first fantasy books I ever read.

5. Lloyd Alexander.  I didn't discover his Prydain Chronicles until I was in college.  I really wish I had known of them when I was reading C.S. Lewis as a young tyke.

Honorable Mention goes to Robert Jordan (The Wheel of TIme saga).  He's a major presence on my bookshelves, but after the first 5 or 6 books the series started to drag too much to be included in my Top 5.

Last Edited on: 1/3/09 11:43 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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1. Anne McCaffrey  I've read everything she ever wrote with every co-author she's written with. Some classify her as Sci Fi but I put her in Fantasy.

2. Terry Goodkind  I spent many happy days reading his Sword of Truth series every time a new one came out I'd start with the first one.

3. Margaret Weis  Love The Death Gate Cycle. I've read a many of her other books as well.

4. Anne Bishop   My first exposure was The Black Jewels Trilogy. I will continue to read anything and everything I can find.

5. Mercedes Lackey Probably my favorite author of all time.


My first fantasy was C. S. Lewis closely followed by Terry Brooks. There are way to many authors I like in this genre to easily pick a top 5.

Date Posted: 1/3/2009 6:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
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After taking out Susan Cooper, China Mieville, and Philip Pullman, I ended up with these 5:

Neil Gaiman, Robin Hobb, George RR Martin, Terry Pratchett, and JK Rowlings.

Yeah, that's just me being sneaky and getting 8 names in :-)

Subject: My top Fantasy Authors
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 12/9/2008
Posts: 1
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I agree with several of the above, but wanted to add some authors not on the list yet...

1. Kathryn Kurtz

2. Sara Douglass

3. Kate Forsyth


Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 11:49 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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Hard to say...I'm not sure where to draw the line with Science Fiction/Fantsy/Paranormal.  But here's a try

1) Orson Scott Card - Famous for Ender's Game, but I think more of his books contain fantasy elements than SF.

2) Robert Jordan - The Wheel of Time is probably the longest series I've read.

3) C.S. Lewis - I grew up with the Narnia Chronicles.

4) J.R.R. Tolkien - Classic, with an amazingly well thought out world.

5) George R.R. Martin - The Song of Ice and Fire series got me re-interested in fantasy this year.

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 1/4/2009 6:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,098
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Anne Bishop - Her Black Jewels trilogy sucked me in and never let go. I read everything of hers.

Kate Forsythe- Her Witches of  Eileanan double trilogy was fantastic. I hope she can top her breakout series.

Elizabeth Haydon - Her Rhapsody of Ages series is amazing. My favorite writer so far.

James Clemens - I like his ideas, and his fantasy world is different enough to be intriguing, yet no so out there I'm fighting to stay focused.

J.K. Rowling - for me, she speaks for herself!  lol

edited to change James Rollins (thrillers) to his fantasy name, Clemens :)

Last Edited on: 1/20/09 10:15 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/5/2009 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2008
Posts: 10
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1. David Eddings

2. JK Rowling

3. Robert Jordan

4. Brian Jacques

5. Elizabeth Haydon

Brooks, Goodkind, and Tolkien are all somewhere after this

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
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I love Lois McMaster Bujold's fantasy series, too.

Date Posted: 1/5/2009 10:19 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2008
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1. Neil Gaiman - he is wicked smart and so sly and fun to read!

2. Robin McKinley - I've read everything of hers I can get my hands on and have loved all of it

3. Jasper Fforde - another witty, witty man playing with literature and fantasy, what's not to love?

4. Philip Pullman - I couldn't believe how complex the His Dark Materials trilogy was when I read it, and could believe it even less when we shelved it in the children's section of our bookstore! (not that it is inappropriate, just that there were some stubborn adults that refused to buy a "kids book" when recommended!)

5. Lewis Carroll - Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass were my favorite fantasy books growing up, bar none

Greg K. - ,
Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2007
Posts: 871
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not in order of popularity

1.) Terry Brooks (Sword of Shannara & Landover series)

2.) Jim Hines (goblin saga is just freakin' awesome)

3.) R.A. Salvatore (D'rizzt saga)

4.) Terry Goodkind (finished the Sword of Truth Saga. Good conclusion)

5.) this was a bit toughie. I would have to lean toward Weis/Hickman tied. due to the face Dragonlance series were awesome and I love Deathgate series too.

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Charles De Lint

Terry Woodling (unsure of that last name spelling)

Mercedes Lackey contemporary/urban fantasy

Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series; (ender's game did not work for me)

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 7:51 AM ET
Member Since: 4/17/2008
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1. J.K Rowling

2. Terry Prachett

3. J.R.R. Tolkien

4. Philip Pullman

5. C.S Lewis

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2007
Posts: 63
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I've read most of the books by all the other authors mentioned and I like a number of them, too, but these are my current top 5 favorites:

1. Mercedes Lackey

2. Anne McCaffrey

3. Andre Norton (she has alot of SciFi, too, but I mainly think of her as a fantasy author)

4. Anne Bishop

5. Naomi Novik

Date Posted: 1/7/2009 4:48 PM ET
Member Since: 11/17/2006
Posts: 182
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My current faves:

1.  Tolkien

2.  Brandon Sanderson - the Mistborn trilogy knocked my socks off!  And Elantris wasn't too shabby either.

3.  David Eddings

4.  Terry Brooks

5.  JK Rowling

And an honorable mention to Patrick Rothfuss.  Name of the Wind was the best book I've read in a while, but I can't put him in my top 5 authors until I've at least read a couple more of his books.  I wish he'd get them done already!!!



Date Posted: 1/7/2009 9:00 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
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1. Nina K Hoffman

2. Caroline Stevermer

3. Robin McKinley

4. Patricia Briggs  (yes, she wrote F books before Mercy.)

5. Ellen Kushner

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 3:03 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
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  1. George R.R. Martin
  2. Robin Hobb
  3. Lynn Flewelling
  4. Orson Scott Card--I really dislike him as a person, so I try to pretend he doesn't exist when I read his books.
  5. Katharine Kerr

Picking number 5 was hard, because I had a few others that I would have liked to list as well.  The top four were easy, though.  I think I could have much easier done a top 10 list.  :D

Last Edited on: 1/8/09 3:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
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1. Tolkien

2. Sanderson

3. Pratchett

4. Keyes

5. Eddings

Date Posted: 1/8/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
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You are right Brenda. A Top 10 would have been easier. I'd even go for a Top 25. Fantasy is my favorite genre and has been my whole life. I've read a lot of different authors and most of them I really like. Some authors are more prolific so have a tendency to become favorites easier.


I'd like to mention Tamora Pierce. And I agree with Lynn Flewelling, Mercedes Lacky, Elizabeth Hayden, Sara Douglass. And don't forget Tad Williams and Angus Wells.

Well on my way to 25.<G>

Date Posted: 1/9/2009 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2005
Posts: 1,010
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J. K. Rowling

Diana Wynne Jones (I can't understand why she isn't more popular in the U.S.)

Megan Whalen Turner (One of my absolutely favorite authors-her Thief series is fantastic)

Mercedes Lackey

Patricia Wrede

Date Posted: 1/10/2009 2:35 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2006
Posts: 12
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Lawrence Watt-Evans

Robert Asprin

Roger Zelazny

Steven Brust

Robert E. Howard  

Date Posted: 1/10/2009 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 49
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Contemporary non-traditional Terry Pratchett Steven Brust P. C. Hodgell Nina Kiriki Hoffman Tim Powers (leaving out with regret Neil Gaiman, Susan Dexter, Guy Gavriel Kay, Jane Lindskold, Garth Nix, Jasper Fforde, Patricia McKillip, Diana Wynne Jones, Patricia McKillip, Patricia Wrede, Robin McKinley, Lois McMaster Bujold, Emma Bull) Classic J.R.R. Tolkien C. S. Lewis Lloyd Alexander Barry Hughart Lewis Carrol

Last Edited on: 1/10/09 8:17 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/14/2009 9:45 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Ohhhh.  Look.  I'm not the only P C Hodgell fan.   Wheee.

Date Posted: 1/15/2009 12:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 6,386
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This is a toughie - I think I'd have to go with:

Guy Gavriel Kay

Patricia A. McKillip

Robin McKinley

Anne McCaffrey

and Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, because you sort of have to (so I guess it's a top 6 list lol).

Date Posted: 1/20/2009 7:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I hate it when I have to narrow things down to list favorites, but I will try. Mind you, there's been a few newer authors I've read in recent years that I'll definitely be keeping my eyeballs on (Scott Lynch springs to mind immediately, as does Jim C. Hines--was glad to see someone else mentioned him, too) but all-time favorites?

1. J.R.R. Tolkien

2. Robert Jordan

3. Robin Hobb

4. Terry Brooks

5. Terry Pratchett

George R.R. Martin comes in close behind too, but he's ticked me off because he takes so darned long between books in his Song of Ice and Fire series.. :-D

I've also got a whole boatload  of new-to-me authors I'll be trying out this year, and there are a lot of authors mentioned above that I've read a couple books by that I really enjoyed but would be hard-pressed to call them favorites just yet.


Date Posted: 1/21/2009 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
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I can only pick 5?  Oh boy.  Um.....  (Trying to decide if I can reclassify Anne McCaffrey as sci-fi and thereby sneak another spot on the list....;P )

1. Anne McCaffrey (and if she looses her spot, then I'll give it to Lois McMaster Bujold)

2 . Robert Jordan

3. Anne Bishop

4. J. K. Rowling (unless I can reclassify her as strictly children's books so far and not necessarily fantasy, gaining another spot on the list or not again)

5. Toss up -- Robin McKinley for my long-time love, or Naomi Novik for her fast new grip on my heart!   I'm such a cheater!  :P

Last Edited on: 1/21/09 3:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1