Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created to share lists with other bookish folks! For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, we were asked to list our top ten favorite authors in the genre of our choice! Naturally, I went with my top ten favorite fantasy authors, as fantasy has been one of my most beloved genres since I was a youngster. Here goes!
1. Connie Willis
It wouldn’t be a TTT on bookwanderer without a mention of Connie Willis! I can’t help it–I think Willis is an excellent writer and can capture angst like no other author. Doomsday Book had me crying, as did Passage. (These could also be considered science fiction, but since the line between the two genres is blurry anyway, I’m allowing it.)
2. George R. R. Martin
A Song of Ice and Fire is a fantasy masterpiece. If you haven’t read the books, do yourself a favor and start. And then watch the HBO series.
3. J.R.R Tolkien
Any fantasy-lover worth their salt should have Tolkien on their list. He wasn’t the first writer of fantasy, but he’s arguably one of the best-known and most influential authors ever. If you haven’t tried reading The Lord of the Rings, I highly recommend trying! (Start with The Hobbit if you’re feeling nervous. And only tackle The Silmarillion with caution–I’ve still never finished it!)
4. Tamora Pierce
Though I haven’t read a book by her in years, she is a sentimental favorite. The Alanna books teach you how to be an awesome girl.
5. Brian Jacques
REDWALL! While not traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy, the Redwall books were filled with fantasy staples: courageous heroes, legends, fierce battles, evil foes, and oh yeah, the most mouthwatering depictions of feasts you could imagine. I read a good 10 or so of these books when I was younger, and there are still a handful I haven’t read it. (My absolute favorite was Salamandastron, because I loved the badgers!)
6. David Eddings
Sometimes early fantasy is the best fantasy. It may be considered cliche by today’s standards–farm boy destined to save the world, goes on quest with the help of some powerful, magical friends–but Edding’s Belgariad series is , and tons of fun.
7. Philip Pullman
His Dark Materials turns the traditional fantasy story on its head, with a mixture of science, religion, and parallel worlds that is utterly fascinating to read. The series’ heroine, Lyra, is still a strong example of a believable and strong character who goes on her own version of the hero’s journey.
8. Lev Grossman
I also got to meet him at the Brooklyn Book Festival, and he totally proved his fantasy-nerd cred by asking if my parents named me after the main character in The Chronicles of Prydain. (For the record, they didn’t, but I wish they did!) I can’t wait to read the third entry in the Magicians series.
9. Margaret Atwood
In the past, Atwood has claimed she does not write sci-fi/fantasy. I hate to quibble with such a prolific and esteemed author, but girl, A Handmaid’s Tale is straight-up (dystopian) fantasy. And I love it for that! Really a dystopian classic, right alongside 1984 and Brave New World. Her sci-fi entries are enjoyable, too, but A Handmaid’s Tale stands alone as truly, timelessly great.
10. Neil Gaiman
I haven’t read as much Gaiman as I should, but I really, really enjoyed Good Omens and Neverwhere, and I appreciated the writing and set-up of American Gods (even if the ending disappointed me). I think his fantasy has a sense of humor about itself that many traditional fantasy novels lack, and it really makes his novels pop. Next I want to read the Sandman graphic novels and Anasazi Boys.
Which of your favorite fantasy authors have I missed? And what are YOUR top ten favorite genre authors?