Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday! This is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, where a new top ten list hits the web every week!
This week our topic is …
ALL-TIME FAVORITE AUTHORS
Seasons change. People change. Reading habits change. And so to do our favorite books. Sure, we might still think back fondly on a book from our teen years, but how many of us would really want to read it again? Probably not many.
And the same sentiment goes for authors as as well. We love one, then our tastes change, and we move to the next. However, a small handful of writers take hold in our minds, causing us to return to them over and over again through the years. These are our All-Time Favorite Authors, and I decided I’d share my short list — which, I’m sure, is unique only to me. Maybe, though, we will have some in common.
10. JAMES A. MOORE
My go-to author for my 21st century sword and sorcery. James A. Moore has been thrilling me for several years with his fresh take on the old genre, adding in horror elements, and breathing some life into (what had become) a pretty stale world building cycle. I’ve loved every one of his fantasy novels and will be following him for quite some time, I can tell.
9. STEPHEN KING
Many will be surprised Mr. King isn’t further up the list. Probably those people will not know (or have forgotten) that other than The Stand my Stephen King reading is limited to his Dark Tower series. And my feelings about that epic runs the gamut from my complete love of the first three books to my loathing of the last book. I still love the way Mr. King tells a story however, which is why he is among my favorite writers.
8. MARK LAWRENCE
Prince of Thorns is my favorite grimdark. I’m sure everyone knows that by now, because I’m always saying it. Sure, I haven’t loved every other Mark Lawrence tale as much as this first one, but I’ve found that I do enjoy the way Mr. Lawrence writing style. His dialogue always feels real. The people seem alive. And the tale unfolds organically before your eyes. Nope, I don’t love every story, but I do love the way this guy writes them.
7. SEBASTIEN DE CASTELL
Yeah, yeah, I’m judging Sebastien de Castell based on only three novels. My response is, “But, damn, they are great novels!” More than merely my affinity for the story and for its lead character Falcio, I’m drawn to this author’s story telling ability and his amazing ability to take pure swashbuckling excitement and make it serious, mysterious, emotional, and hilarious in equal doses. Okay, I admit being a Greatcoat fanboy, but that is exactly why Sebastien de Castell is among my favorite writers.
6. BRIAN McCLELLAN
I came late to the flintlock fantasy party, discovering Brian McClellan’s amazing Powder Mage trilogy after so many of my reading friends already had. Honestly, I only finished that trilogy in the last few days. However, it and the numerous Powder Mage novellas have turned me into a dedicated fan of Mr. McClellan, one who can sense that this isn’t a flight of fancy but a long term commitment. So I feel no issue with going ahead and placing this fantasy author among my All Time Favorites.
5. ISAAC ASIMOV
I haven’t read all of Asimov’s books. Fifteen is all I’ve ever gotten around to. I always return to them once a decade or so for rereads though. And they have all stood up to the passage of time reasonably well. (Okay, societal issues are clearly a bit dated, but what books aren’t after several decades.) Still fun, exciting, and full of thought provoking sentiments.
4. STEPHEN R. DONALDSON
I grew up reading Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant books, so I’ve been a fan of his work for years. Mordant’s Need. Gap. Short story collections. Whatever he writes, I usually pick up when I can find the time and enjoy. Still have to finish the last Thomas Covenant series though. That is the only Donaldson work I’ve found it difficult to get swept up in. I’m still a huge fan though and always will be.
3. BARBARA HAMBLY
As the only female author on this list (I do notice these things.), Barbara Hambly has always remained firmly entrenched among my favorite authors. Darwath being probably my favorite series by her, one I rank among my very favorite fantasy series ever. Sure, I haven’t loved every book she has ever written, but the vast majority have been stories I return to over and over again during my life.
2. GLEN COOK
The Black Company. Glen Cook is synonymous with this grimdark masterpiece. And it was the book which turned me into a lifelong fan of his. Decades later, I still love everything he writes. His writing style fits my reading tastes. His characters interest me. His themes speak to me. And the best part is I still haven’t read all his books, so I .
1. J.R.R. TOLKIEN
Your first love is usually the best remembered and the one most fondly recalled. Tolkien has been my favorite fantasy author since I was a preteen. He always will be, I suppose.
Looks like you’re missing a sentence at the end of the Glen Cook entry.
Wow. Lot of recent authors on there which only surprises me because I know how well read you are in the old stuff too. Moore is the one that jumped out at me; I must be missing something as I only read his debut and wasn’t blown away so stopped.
I would have liked putting this list together. Maybe I will join it a day late.
This is one of the best Top Tens and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve read few of these authors but most have been on my reading list for months. I’ll just have to bump them higher now.
Stephen King would definitely make my list as well. Hmmm I would have to give this a lot of thought to come up with my top ten. My list would probably be mostly “older” authors.
As an old-time Tolkien fan I can only heartily approve of your nr. 1! 🙂
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Thanks! Glad to know there are still a few Tolkien lovers left out there. 🙂
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I like to think we are much more than a few… 🙂
I’ve never even heard of Barbara Hambly! Thanks for mentioning her- I love finding older female speculative fiction authors. It can be a huge treat to read about the female experience or perspective of a particular world. Authoresses such as Tamora Pierce and Megan Whalen Turner would make it pretty high on my top ten authors list 🙂
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