Coming up with a Top Ten list is tough, especially in fantasy fiction. I made it easier on myself by only including writers who are alive and well and currently writing (Which is why Tolkien, Saberhagen, Bradbury and many, many more aren’t on this list.). Still tough and I’m leaving out many authors I enjoy, but a top 200 list is just too big to handle.
Steven Brust — Vlad Taltos, assassin, crime boss, witch, but a pretty nice guy nonetheless.
Jim Butcher — The Dresden Files, featuring Harry Dresden, wizard of Chicago; the Codex Alera, the rise of Tavi from shepherd to First Lord.
Suzanne Collins — I’m not a big fan of dystopian fantasies or young adult novels, but sheer skill as a storyteller and a compelling heroine, Katniss Everdeen, makes her Hunger Games trilogy one of my faves.
Larry Correia — accountant turned monster hunter, Owen Z. Pitt, becomes a member of Monster Hunters, International. His cast of characters, especially the very surprising Agent Franks, is the best.
Charles DeLint — Anything he writes, but especially the tales of Newford where the spirit world and reality often clash.
Charlie Huston — Joe Pitt is the best vampire ever! Dark, volent, funny, and romantic as hell.
Charlaine Harris — Sookie Stackhouse. Even though Ms. Harris deeply disappointed me with her last Sookie story, the overall series is still one of the funniest, and sexiest takes on vampire and werewolf mythology ever.
J.F. Lewis — Who’d a thought a grouchy, murderous, self-centered vampire like Eric could be such a charming hero?
Robin McKinley — Her writing is a dream, lush and lyrical. I reread two of her novels, Deerskin and Sunshine, at least once a year just to remind me what beautiful writing is all about.
Christopher Moore — Funny. Really funny. When I pull out A Dirty Job the Old Man groans because the TV is going on permanent mute while I read aloud the funniest bits.