Who’s The Current Go-To Fantasy Writer?

In reality, I just want to pick your collective brains. Do you read fantasy? Who are the authors—general market, Christian, or indie—that you have read recently? What author would you recommend?
on Apr 8, 2019 · 2 comments

Amazon sends email adverts from time to time, based on a customer’s viewing or buying history. As expected, I get pages with writing books and others with fantasy. The thing is, in the last couple “you might also like” pages that they’ve sent me regarding fantasy, I haven’t recognized a single author or title. Not one.

Use to be, when I would window-shop in a bookstore (if you can actually window-shop when you’re already inside), I would see many books with familiar names: Robert Jordan, J. K. Rowling, Orsen Scott Card, Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, Stephenie Meyer, Holly Black, Terry Prachett, Suzanne Collins. You know—the authors who hit the best-seller lists or who had their books turned into movies or TV shows.

A lot of these stories were familiar even if I hadn’t read the books myself. Others were talking about them. They were familiar. They had the attention of a lot of readers, a lot of fantasy fans.

Christian fiction has had its own list of authors: Karen Hancock, Donita Paul, Bryan Davis, Jill Williamson, Patrick Carr.

Since the explosion of indie books, I have done more reading of authors who haven’t attracted as much attention: K. M. Weiland, for instance, or D. C. Marino, or Sally Apokedak.

When I received those Amazon emails promoting fantasy they thought I might want to read, I was left scratching my head. Who were those authors? Have they gained popularity and I just didn’t notice? It’s possible. Made me feel out of touch. I mean, this is my genre. I should know who’s writing the good books, who readers are reading.

So I’m wondering: Who would you all consider the good, contemporary fantasy writers? Not those writing superhero books. Or science fiction. Or supernatural. I know that steampunk fantasy became popular in Christian fiction (and in indie publishing) for a time. Was it (is it) also popular in general market books?

I’ve heard traditional or classic fantasy has made a resurgence. Who’s writing those books?

In reality, I just want to pick your collective brains. Do you read fantasy? Who are the authors—general market, Christian, or indie—that you have read recently? What author would you recommend?

Gillian Adams got us started last month in her article “What Wonderful Worlds.” Your turn.

I want to have some working knowledge next time Amazon sends me a fantasy book recommendation. (It’s a little embarrassing for a fantasy writer not to know who is the most popular fantasy writer of the day! But please, don’t rat me out!)

Best known for her aspirations as an epic fantasy author, Becky is the sole remaining founding member of Speculative Faith. Besides contributing weekly articles here, she blogs Monday through Friday at A Christian Worldview of Fiction. She works as a freelance writer and editor and posts writing tips as well as information about her editing services at Rewrite, Reword, Rework.
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  1. Well, as far as traditional mainstream publishing goes, Tui T Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series is really good, especially Darkstalker. Also, I haven’t read much of his work yet, but listening to a lot of Brandon Sanderson’s talks, I like a lot of how he thinks about storytelling, etc.

    With indie stuff, I’ve been more into comics lately. I know I’ve mentioned Kay Fedewa’s Blackblood Alliance before, along with Alai Cinereo’s Everfallen (though the story has made a lot more progress since the last time I mentioned it.)

    Whispers of the True King by Pokcik Emiree (a comic on the Tapas comic app) looks promising so far. Rebirth by 69Michi is pretty awesome so far(which can be found on Line Webtoon) It has some sci-fi elements, but has enough magic and stuff that it can qualify for fantasy just as easily.

  2. I’ve been reading lots of urban fantasy recently, or YA fantasy, which is often urban fantasy without the sex or language.
    Let’s see in urban fantasy Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, the Invisible Library (though that’s a strange marriage of steam punk, fantasy and other bits), the Pax Arcana series, can’t remember the author name.
    In YA… the Fablehaven books have been a bit hit with my kids, Artemis Fowl… My favorite author sadly died a few years ago, Diane Wynne Jones. In a similar vein is the Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, she also wrote some Star Trek books which is how I first found her.

What do you think?