Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Picking A Fight - Picking the Best Fantasy Author

By Greg Hardin

Let’s start a rumble!

This month’s post is going to be a little different.  I am hoping it will be more interactive.  That means it will need your participation.  Yes, you.  If you continue reading you will be expected to respond thoughtfully and as colorfully as possible.  It will also be extremely subjective and probably not very helpful to you as a writer.  (Wanna make something of it?)  But it should be fun.

Who is currently writing the best fantasy?  This is the simple question with interwoven sub-questions to follow. I recently had a long conversation about the quality of current fantasy writing and there was quite the argument about who the current standard-bearer is. 

I will tell you the two modern writers most discussed were George R.R. Martin and Robert Jordan.  While authors, Lev Grossman, Susanna Clarke, and Patrick Rothfuss were all mentioned as possible wildcards.  (Can’t tell just yet with them.)  Would anyone agree with the idea that either George R.R. Martin or Robert Jordan has published the best fantasy writing in the past, say 20 years?  Who would you add to that list? Does it need to be broken into further categories such as high fantasy and urban fantasy?  Give us your musings!  Be opinionated.  Pick a fight.

Sub-question: What role does Tolkien play in fantasy literature?  Is he now relegated to his role as Father of modern fantasy writing, (we will define Modern Fantasy as anything in the Fantasy Genre written in the 20th or 21st century,) or does he still hold the title for best fantasy author ever?  Or is his fantasy so different from current works it must be held in it’s own category?

This is probably the geekiest post I’ve written so far and I promise to not be so controversial next time.  I would love to hear your thoughts, though.  If only to find out what I should be reading next.  

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