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Best SFX and Fantasy Authors Ever? - Walking on the Edge
I don't really have a plan...
Best SFX and Fantasy Authors Ever?
I went and added my vote to this poll. The goal was to nominate the five "best SFX and fantasy authors of all time." This was SO HARD to decide. And I'm still waffling. But I thought I'd go ahead and repost what I wrote here, in case anyone's interested or looking for a new SFX/fantasy author to check out.

I am sure all day I will be remembering other authors and going, "Darn it! I totally forgot him/her! Fantastic author! I'm so silly!" Heh.


1. Terry Pratchett: He saved my sanity during law school, and also writes some of the most "real" fantasy characters I've ever met. A+ for creating characters that are both heroes and flawed in realistic ways. I can read his books a million times and never get tired of them, *and* find jokes I missed the first few times around. Hooray for any author who can make me laugh and stop and think at the same time. P.S. Love to Vimes, Granny Weatherwax, Vetinari, and Death!

2. Ray Bradbury: For The Martian Chronicles, which is like one golden moment of amazement stretched over an entire series of stories; I Sing the Body Electric, (short story) which is a gem; The Illustrated Man, a collection with not a single weak story; Farenheit 451, which makes very good points; Something Wicked This Way Comes, which is spooooky and awesome; Dandelion Wine, which gives us the perfect summer of youth; and for everything else he ever wrote.

3. C.S. Lewis: I'm surprised he hasn't gotten more than one mention thus far in the poll. Long before I was old enough to get that The Chronicles of Narnia was an allegory for anything, I read it over and over again, not even realizing I was getting hooked on fantasy - what a magical world he created, and how vibrantly he wrote his scenes and characters! I don't know that I can pick a favorite, but The Magician's Nephew may be close.

4. Orson Scott Card: Even if he had never written another book, Ender's Game is amazing and perfectly developed. I never get tired of it. But then, of course, he went on and wrote other good books, including Ender's Shadow.

5. Alan Moore: for V for Vendetta. Watchmen is also quite good, but I have to admit I go against the majority and like V better. It's so cohesive and well-written, with such a strong main character and purpose. (Also the drawings are fantastic, even though that's not Alan Moore as much as Dave Gibbons).

Honorable Mentions: Because I can't help myself. 

Neil Gaiman, for Neverwhere, Stardust, Mirrormask, American Gods, Dream, and all the rest - I think Neil lives on a different plane than the rest of us, where everything is more spooky (Note: Neil and Alan Moore and Orson Scott Card were kind of in a three-way tie, here...and now I'm kind of wishing I'd put Neil as 4 or 5. Damn my crush on V);
George R.R. Martin for A Song of Ice and Fire - he is the master of complexity;
Anne McCaffrey for all of the Pern books - kudos for making an unbelievable world so believable, and so long-running a series of stories;
Stan Lee, and anyone who ever worked on the X-Men, for creating such a lovable bunch of misfits with a great message;
Madeline L'Engle, for A Wrinkle in Time and that whole wonderful series;
Roald Dahl, for The Witches, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, George's Marvelous Medicine, and everything else - he's a master of children's fantasy;
Mark Twain, (yes, I know, an outlier) for A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, which got me hooked on Arthurian tales at the tender age of 10;
Mary Stewart, for making the legend of King Arthur so real;
Marion Zimmer Bradley, for The Mists of Avalon and The Forest House, which are both brilliant;
J.K. Rowling, for making the world of children's fantasy be both fun and scary at the same time;
J.R.R. Tolkien for sheer world development, as well as idealism and nobleness of purpose in stories;
Kurt Vonnegut, for many things, but particularly for Harrison Bergeron;
Isaac Asimov, for I, Robot and more;
Stephen R. Lawhead, for a fantastic portrayal of Celtic Merlin;
Elizabeth Moon, for The Deed of Paksenarrion, particularly Book 1, which made reading about military strategies and life so much fun; and
Douglas Adams, for sheer ridiculous hilarity.

...And I'm done. Although I'm sure I've forgotten some. Darn it.

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Trixie feels: crazy crazy

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zortrana From: zortrana Date: April 13th, 2008 07:37 pm (UTC) (current file)
Frank Herbert
Robert Heinlein
Issac Asimov
Anne McCaffrey
J.R.R. Tolkien

One of these days I need to try a Terry Pratchett book.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 14th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC) (current file)
It is SO HARD to choose who goes where, isn't it? GAH.

YOu definitely do!
ecban From: ecban Date: April 13th, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC) (current file)
Polls like this make me crazy, since I'm all about the outliers, meself.

No Stanislaw Lem, no M. John Harrison, no William Gibson? What about Jonathan Carroll? No Michael Moorcock, no Steven Brust, no James Branch Cabell, no Jonathan Lethem? No Haruki Murakami, no Mikhail Bulgakov? Ursula LeGuin? Lord Dunsany? Many others?

kahlan_amnell From: kahlan_amnell Date: April 14th, 2008 06:48 am (UTC) (current file)
Yay for William Gibson!
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 14th, 2008 07:26 am (UTC) (current file)
I did see Ursula LeGuin and Haruki Murakami mentioned. I guess it just depends who you read, you know? A couple of the ones you listed I haven't heard of (though if you like them perhaps I should check them out!)
ecban From: ecban Date: April 14th, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC) (current file)
I guess most of them shade off into the postmodern or Magic Realist ends of the F/SF spectrum, heading into Jorge Luis Borges territory. All worth reading if you have a chance.
kahlan_amnell From: kahlan_amnell Date: April 14th, 2008 06:35 am (UTC) (current file)
I'm surprised Neil Gaiman is only a runner up on your list, but I haven't read Ray Bradbury or Alan Moore yet. I should make a post with my list...

Edited at 2008-04-14 06:47 am (UTC)
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 14th, 2008 07:27 am (UTC) (current file)
HEE! Well, see, I DO love Neil's work. But the thing is, it was REALLY hard to choose, and even though I've read Neverwhere many times, I think maybe I've read Ender's Game even more, and...in the end, it was really a bit of a crapshoot. I ♥ Neil as a person, too, from his blog...but I've been a Bradbury fan since before I even really heard of Gaiman. And...well, I'm currently a little obsessed with V. So that may have swayed things. Who knows, next week, maybe I'd have different answers (except for Terry).
kahlan_amnell From: kahlan_amnell Date: April 14th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC) (current file)
I know what you mean about it being hard to choose. I started making my own list and it was difficult to choose between the authors who got me interested in fantasy when I was a kid, and the authors who's books I read and reread now. Madeline L'Engle, for example, is very difficult for me to decide about. I haven't read her books in years, but I loved them when I was younger and read them many times. Does the author where I got my LJ name of Caroljoy get in the top five? So difficult to choose.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 16th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) (current file)
I KNOW. Like, you'd think Marion Zimmer Bradley would have to be in my top 5, considering my username and all, but then again, I chose my username back in college before I'd even read much Terry Pratchett! And Roald Dahl was fantastic growing up, but does he beat out C.S. Lewis? SO HARD.
chrryblssmninja From: chrryblssmninja Date: April 14th, 2008 07:00 am (UTC) (current file)
fantastic choices.
foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 14th, 2008 07:28 am (UTC) (current file)
virginia_belle From: virginia_belle Date: April 14th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) (current file)
Great choices! This would be so hard to pick. The first one for me would be easy - Ray Bradbury(fell in love with his short stories at age 11 and I keep reading and re-reading) - but narrowing down the other 4 would do me in.


foresthouse From: foresthouse Date: April 16th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) (current file)
I love Ray Bradbury. I remember the first time I read I Sing The Body Electric...ah, that story still makes me a bit teary.
From: virginia_belle Date: April 16th, 2008 02:36 pm (UTC) (current file)
Oh yes. I love that one! Ray Bradbury came to speak at my college when I was a first-year, and I got to be one of his tour guides. My geeky 17 year old self was thrilled beyond belief.

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