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abradshaw
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best fantasy author working

Postby abradshaw » Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:05 pm UTC

My vote would be for either Jim Butcher or Brandon Sanderson. Any other suggestions?

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:18 am UTC

LeGuin.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Omerprime » Fri Jun 18, 2010 3:04 pm UTC

Terry Pratchett.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby PAstrychef » Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:30 pm UTC

Charles DeLint
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:18 pm UTC

George R.R. Martin...or Terry Pratchett. Two kind of opposites, I suppose.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Thadlerian » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:29 am UTC

Jahoclave wrote:LeGuin.

Seconded.

I'd say Pratchett, but not any more. His latest books have not been nearly as good as those in the span from Guards! Guards! to Night Watch. Modern Pratchett tries too hard to be clever, and the good story suffers. I wouldn't be surprised if someone wrote a Discworld parody. It was unthinkable before, but now it's possible.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby El Spark » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:31 pm UTC

Omerprime wrote:Terry Pratchett.
No question about it.


By rather a lot.

Distant second, probably Jim Butcher.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby cv4 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:00 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:George R.R. Martin...or Terry Pratchett. Two kind of opposites, I suppose.


I've got to throw my hat in with Martin.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Argency » Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:34 am UTC

Depends what you count as fantasy, for me. If you want medieval quests then a lot of the stuff I'm into doesn't count, because it's set in the present.

Le Guin is very good, Graham Joyce is another excellent one. Jan Siegel has done some pretty incredible stuff, too, as has Isobelle Carmody

But if you count all those as fantasy, and I do, then really I think Gabriel García Márquez should count too. And he's just the best. The absolute, top of the heap, perfect, ultimate author. There's a reason 100 Years of Solitude won a Nobel prize.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Izawwlgood » Sun Jun 20, 2010 5:55 am UTC

JIM BUTCHER!?! Holyfuckingchrist how much more unbelievably NOT the BEST author could you have picked?
I give props to Pratchetts recent 'Nation', and Martin's insanely long Game of Thrones series.

Gaimen? Define 'recent'? American God's is my favorite fantasy novel written in the last, what, 10 years?
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Lioness » Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:26 am UTC

Robin Hobb

And I'm going to throw in a vote for Patrick Rothfuss, even though he only has one book out so far. He's pretty damn awesome.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby novax6 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:54 am UTC

I would say at this point, the top three for me are:

1) George R.R. Martin - Such a ridiculously captivating and well plotted series. The only thing that might knock it from it's throne is if he never actually finishes it, or the conclusions sputters out. So far, damn good though.

2) Joe Abercrombie - The First Law trilogy is seriously excellent, especially if you're a fan of darker stories. He gets big points by me for, one, totally avoiding almost all fantasy cliches, and two, actually finishing his story (and ending it quite well, albeit a bit grim). Seems to me that there are way more fantasy authors out there with unfinished series out there than finished ones, so I was impressed.

3) Patrick Rothfuss - Even though it's just the one book so far, it's a great start and the guy has an impressive way with words (the intro to the book is fantastic). My only concerns are his "romance subplot" being really really bad, but hopefully it won't turn out like I expect it to, and that the series is planned to be 6 books total. I'm just hoping he can actually finish it.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Lioness » Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:18 am UTC

novax6 wrote:2) Joe Abercrombie - The First Law trilogy is seriously excellent, especially if you're a fan of darker stories. He gets big points by me for, one, totally avoiding almost all fantasy cliches, and two, actually finishing his story (and ending it quite well, albeit a bit grim). Seems to me that there are way more fantasy authors out there with unfinished series out there than finished ones, so I was impressed.


Ooh, yes. Awesome stuff

3) Patrick Rothfuss -that the series is planned to be 6 books total.


What? I thought it was a trilogy. First book's out. Second is out next March. Third unknown.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:04 pm UTC

Argency wrote:Depends what you count as fantasy, for me. If you want medieval quests then a lot of the stuff I'm into doesn't count, because it's set in the present.

Fantasy -- books what have magic in them and summat.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Zohar » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:09 pm UTC

I don't get if you're trolling or trying to start a "what is fantasy" argument or what...
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby novax6 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:22 pm UTC

Lioness wrote:
What? I thought it was a trilogy. First book's out. Second is out next March. Third unknown.


I could have sworn that I read on his blog that it was going to be two trilogies, one mostly of flashbacks explaining Kvothe's past, and one dealing with the events in the current time, but I can't seem to find that anywhere now, so maybe I'm wrong and it's only 3 total.
Either way looking forward to reading the next one.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Lioness » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:37 pm UTC

novax6 wrote:
Lioness wrote:
What? I thought it was a trilogy. First book's out. Second is out next March. Third unknown.


I could have sworn that I read on his blog that it was going to be two trilogies, one mostly of flashbacks explaining Kvothe's past, and one dealing with the events in the current time, but I can't seem to find that anywhere now, so maybe I'm wrong and it's only 3 total.
Either way looking forward to reading the next one.


Well, judging from the way that the first book is, it's both - there are both present-time scenes and flashbacks. Perhaps he wrote present time and flashbacks seperately, and then put them together. I know the series was originally one big story that he split into three. This page confirms the trilogy bit.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby novax6 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:52 pm UTC

Lioness wrote:Well, judging from the way that the first book is, it's both - there are both present-time scenes and flashbacks. Perhaps he wrote present time and flashbacks seperately, and then put them together. I know the series was originally one big story that he split into three. This page confirms the trilogy bit.


Yeah, must have been thinking of something else. I guess the whole thing will be mostly flashbacks then? 80% of the first book was, and it's said that Kvothe would need three days to tell his story, the first book being the first day, and presumably so on. Maybe all the flashbacks will get finished in the next book, guess we'll have to wait and see.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Lioness » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:55 pm UTC

At the moment, I see the flashbacks as being the main story. It's the one I love the most, anyway. The current time events hold the mystery - why is he only an innkeeper? Why are the Scrael after him? And all that - but the flashbacks are providing crucial, entertaining, and awesome backstory.

I expect that the pattern of alternating times will continue for all three, though the last book may have less than the first two.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Jesse » Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:30 pm UTC

Katharine Kerr.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Converge » Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:56 am UTC

I'm also going to have to go with R.R Martin, though I really like Steven Erikson as well. And also, first post! Hello everyone.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby aleflamedyud » Thu Jul 15, 2010 6:50 pm UTC

I'm reading her latest right now, so forgive me if I seem biased but... no love for Diane Duane?
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Bamm » Mon Jul 19, 2010 5:46 am UTC

I'd have to say that for me the best fantasy writer currently working is Steven Erikson. The Malazan Book of the Fallen series is epic in scope and has some very gritty and realistic battle scenes. There aren't many books that make me weep, but this series has done so on more than one occasion.

Highly recommended.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Felstaff » Mon Jul 19, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Katharine Kerr.

For someone with limited knowledge of (both high and low) fantasy books, I guess my opinion doesn't really count for too much, but I concur with this.

When I was helping clear out an office, there was a drawer full of Katherine Kerr books (about 12 of them). I took them home, mainly because I loved the kitsch 80s cover art and populist fantasy font, and delved in for a laugh. I actually enjoyed reading her stuff. I may read more when I get home tonight.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby SpaceShipRat » Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:25 pm UTC

Diana Wynne Jones, since Terry Pratchett dropped a bit. But then I don't have much access to english authors that aren't world famous.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Plasma Man » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:33 am UTC

I think I'd have to go for Terry Pratchett, but my second choice would be Piers Anthony. Now, I know most people are going to think of the Xanth books (which, let's be honest, aren't brilliant), but his other fantasy series are very good. I'm a particular fan of the Incarnations of Immortality series and recently picked up the eighth and final (so far) in the series, which I enjoyed.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby emceng » Fri Jul 30, 2010 1:47 pm UTC

I really see three vying for the top spot, and all have been mentioned here - LeGuin, Martin, and Erickson. The last two are both writing epic fantasy series. I would like to see them finish those, if only to see if they do well with a new project. LeGuin just knows how to write.

I am...amazed and disappointed seeing Pratchett and Butcher mentioned. Butcher isn't a bad author, but he writes predictable pulp novels. Pratchett (confession, I haven't liked anything of his that I have read) I find annoying. He comes off as a second rate Piers Anthony, trying to mash bad jokes in where they don't fit. Good Omens was one of the worst books I have read in recent times.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Amarantha » Sat Jul 31, 2010 11:13 am UTC

emceng wrote:Pratchett .... comes off as a second rate Piers Anthony...
You wash your mouth out. I mean, I'm not saying Pratchett's necessarily #1, but comparing him to Anthony is just rude.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Jesse » Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:31 am UTC

Dude, emceng comes from Canada, we know they don't have a sense of humour.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Sarr » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:22 am UTC

Depends on the type of fantasy. Martin takes it for serious stuff, I enjoy Pratchett for comedy, and Butcher for sheer over the top awesome/pulp. I just have to make a comment, however, on this.

novax6 wrote:3) Patrick Rothfuss - Even though it's just the one book so far, it's a great start and the guy has an impressive way with words (the intro to the book is fantastic). My only concerns are his "romance subplot" being really really bad, but hopefully it won't turn out like I expect it to, and that the series is planned to be 6 books total. I'm just hoping he can actually finish it.

Did we read the same book? The main character is a Mary Sue, and the language made me want to try to drown a turtle at times, as it'd probably be easier than reading parts of that book. Part of that being the romance "subplot" pretty much was the plot, and it was awful as can be imagined.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby novax6 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:00 am UTC

Sarr wrote:Did we read the same book? The main character is a Mary Sue, and the language made me want to try to drown a turtle at times, as it'd probably be easier than reading parts of that book. Part of that being the romance "subplot" pretty much was the plot, and it was awful as can be imagined.


I didn't get much 'mary sue-ness' from the main character. Yeah he's ultra talented, but he's also reckless and arrogant, which I imagine will be a large problem later in the story. Granted, he's not the best main character ever or anything, but I just didn't get that vibe.
And what problems did you have with the language? I thought it was much better written then most fantasy. I agree that the romance subplot sucks, but it's not the plot, and I don't see it being as big a part of the overall story as maybe you do.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Sarr » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:42 am UTC

novax6 wrote:
Sarr wrote:Did we read the same book? The main character is a Mary Sue, and the language made me want to try to drown a turtle at times, as it'd probably be easier than reading parts of that book. Part of that being the romance "subplot" pretty much was the plot, and it was awful as can be imagined.

I didn't get much 'mary sue-ness' from the main character. Yeah he's ultra talented, but he's also reckless and arrogant, which I imagine will be a large problem later in the story. Granted, he's not the best main character ever or anything, but I just didn't get that vibe.
And what problems did you have with the language? I thought it was much better written then most fantasy. I agree that the romance subplot sucks, but it's not the plot, and I don't see it being as big a part of the overall story as maybe you do.

Really? The being ungodly talented at everything he's ever tried to do, having lots of badstuffs happen in his past, ect. adds to it, but none of his bad flaws ever really hurt him. His recklessness and arrogance have never gotten him into something that his amazing talent at music/magic/smarts can't get him out of. Oh, and did we mention that he's way younger than almost anyone ever at his university? Iunno, YMMV on this, but I got really strong vibes of it from him and even my friends who love the book agree with me.

As for the writing, there were parts (especially with the girl who lived in the underground) that just felt out there and like they didn't belong. On the other hand it's been a while since I read it, so maybe I'm misremembering things.

And with the romance subplot, I got the impression that all of his angsting/moping around in the present day and a lot of his actions in the past were motivated by this girl who he's in love with and who eventually leaves him. So yeah, I think it's gonna be pretty important.

EDIT - I remembered one of the thing that bothered me about the writing. Just a small thing, really, until it started coming up every few pages. Almost every single female character that gets described is 'beautiful'. Was that the author's favorite word, or something?
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby novax6 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:05 am UTC

Sarr wrote:
novax6 wrote:
Sarr wrote:Did we read the same book? The main character is a Mary Sue, and the language made me want to try to drown a turtle at times, as it'd probably be easier than reading parts of that book. Part of that being the romance "subplot" pretty much was the plot, and it was awful as can be imagined.

I didn't get much 'mary sue-ness' from the main character. Yeah he's ultra talented, but he's also reckless and arrogant, which I imagine will be a large problem later in the story. Granted, he's not the best main character ever or anything, but I just didn't get that vibe.
And what problems did you have with the language? I thought it was much better written then most fantasy. I agree that the romance subplot sucks, but it's not the plot, and I don't see it being as big a part of the overall story as maybe you do.

Really? The being ungodly talented at everything he's ever tried to do, having lots of badstuffs happen in his past, ect. adds to it, but none of his bad flaws ever really hurt him. His recklessness and arrogance have never gotten him into something that his amazing talent at music/magic/smarts can't get him out of. Oh, and did we mention that he's way younger than almost anyone ever at his university? Iunno, YMMV on this, but I got really strong vibes of it from him and even my friends who love the book agree with me.

As for the writing, there were parts (especially with the girl who lived in the underground) that just felt out there and like they didn't belong. On the other hand it's been a while since I read it, so maybe I'm misremembering things.

And with the romance subplot, I got the impression that all of his angsting/moping around in the present day and a lot of his actions in the past were motivated by this girl who he's in love with and who eventually leaves him. So yeah, I think it's gonna be pretty important.

EDIT - I remembered one of the thing that bothered me about the writing. Just a small thing, really, until it started coming up every few pages. Almost every single female character that gets described is 'beautiful'. Was that the author's favorite word, or something?


Well I guess the whole present day situation, with him hiding out, not being able to even do magic anymore, helped to detract from that feeling for me. He does say right at the beginning that he gets expelled from the school, which I imagine is because he does something stupid (like the underground thing).
But with the romance plot, my guess was that
Spoiler:
he will inadvertently cause her death.


I'd have to read it again, I definitely don't remember him describing female characters as beautiful, but maybe I just didn't notice.

Anyways, I still liked the book, regardless of the flaws. It was miles better then the last few fantasy books I had read before that.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Kaliayev » Thu Aug 05, 2010 6:58 am UTC

Put me down for Martin, his style and subject matter very much appeal to me, though I also rank Steven Erickson and Terry Pratchett pretty highly.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby emceng » Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:47 pm UTC

Amarantha wrote:
emceng wrote:Pratchett .... comes off as a second rate Piers Anthony...
You wash your mouth out. I mean, I'm not saying Pratchett's necessarily #1, but comparing him to Anthony is just rude.



I really don't see the problem here. Both write in the comedic fantasy genre. I just think Pratchett sucks at it.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:03 pm UTC

China Mieville. Hands down.

And I'm seconding Robin Hobb up there, as well.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby johnny_7713 » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:20 pm UTC

Pratchett and Robin Hobb for me as well. Haven't read anything by Mieville yet, but Perdido Street Station is the book I'm going to read once I've finished my current book, so who knows...

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:39 pm UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:Pratchett and Robin Hobb for me as well. Haven't read anything by Mieville yet, but Perdido Street Station is the book I'm going to read once I've finished my current book, so who knows...


Of the books of his I've read so far, Perdido Street was the first, and my favorite. It's also the one that does the most subversion of standard high-fantasy tropes (look for the satirical caricatures of D&D-style "adventurers", late in the book). Also, warning: do not read this book if you're easily depressed. Bas-Lag is not a happy world.

Though I'm reading "Kraken" right now, which seems like a book he wrote specifically to make me look like an asshole after I insisted to my girlfriend that it was weird and inaccurate to compare Mieville and Gaiman because they wrote different kinds of stories. It's like what would happen if you put "Good Omens", "American Gods" and "Neverwhere" in a blender, and then handed the result to a way more talented author to rewrite. I love this book so hard, and it may take over the "best" title from Perdido street if it keeps being as excellent as it's been so far.
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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Adacore » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:14 pm UTC

I won't deny that China Mieville is amazing, but his stuff does tend to be pretty heavy and, especially with Perdido Street Station, really really hard to read. I mean, it was completely enthralling, but understanding what a sentence meant in that book took as long as reading a paragraph does in most novels. And yeah, Bas-Lag, pretty darn dark - proper nightmare fuel stuff quite a lot of the time.

I've not read his most recent stuff (The City & the City, or Kraken) yet - I really should get onto that.

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Re: best fantasy author working

Postby Belial » Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:44 pm UTC

Adacore wrote:I won't deny that China Mieville is amazing, but his stuff does tend to be pretty heavy and, especially with Perdido Street Station, really really hard to read.


Really? I didn't have much trouble with it. As long as you accept the general sci-fi/fantasy assumption that you aren't really going to have any idea what half of anyone is talking about at first, it flowed pretty excellently for me.
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