What are your favorites?

A couple off the top of my head:

Tolkien and Frank Herbert (of course)
Matthew Woodring Stover -- Heroes Die and Blade of Tyshall are excellent, but I haven't read Cain Black Knife yet

The Women of the Otherworld series by Kelly Armstrong is excellent if you like occult fiction (which I do)

Patricia Briggs -- I've only read her Mercy Thompson series so far, and it's very entertaining

Anne Bishop -- Kushiel's Dart and Sebastian are what I've read so far

Douglas Adams, of course

I can't remember the name of the author, but the Wayfarer's Redemption series is pretty good, if a little complicated

Umm...who else?

Jane Yolen wrote a wonderful YA series called the Pit Dragon Trilogy that I wore out when I was young.

Umm... That's what's popping into my head at the moment. What about you guys?

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hmmm...

Isaac Asimov

Juliet Marillier

Philip Pullman

And it's Sara Douglass who did the Wayfarer Redemption. I've read some of her other books.
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Any of them, though the 1st two (The Light Fantastic and The Colour of Magic) are lightweights; he hadn't quite discovered his style yet. My top favorite is Soul Music, but there's so many great ones. Any of them with Death, or Death's granddaughter Susan.
I have to say that my favorite of the Discworld is the Watch series and the Rincewind series - though I do love Death and Susan! Sometimes, I find it hard to settle on any one book.. but I think Thud! ranks up there, and I've been enjoying his standalones, (that are turning into series of their own) like Going Postal and Monstrous Regiment. His series for younger readers, though, the Tiffany Aching series, is damn fine reading.
Oh, absolutely everything Discworld! I've never attended a con before (not even Star Trek), but I am going to Arizona this year for The Turtle Moves.
Eeek!!! Discworld fans, I'm SO at home here XD

Definitely the Watch Series is the best and the Going Postal, Making Money continuity has got off to a flying start.

Death of course, what a character, anything with loads of Death in; as for stand alone stories I think Thief of Time is the best I've read, it really tugged at the heart strings at the end.

I really need to read the Rincewind arc in chronological order to get a proper feel for him, but he's such a lovable character its impossible not to like him. First got to know him and the whole series through the point-and-click adventure games on the PC.

I love everything about it, there should be an Ankh-Morpork theme park! I'm not much for fan conventions or stuff like that, but I would seriously consider attending a discworld convention.
Piers Anthony has always been one of my old favorites - specifically the Xanth series.

Janny Wurts Cycle Of Fire trilogy is my all time favorite SF/F crossover series (it's mostly fantasy, unless you look deeper and pay attention to some of the things that become obvious in the third book.)

Terry Pratchett, of course.

I recently aquired my Grandparents collection of Deathstalker books, by Simon R. Green - they're proving rather fun reading.

Trudi Canavan is relatively recent (I think!) her Black Magician trilogy is fantastic.

Neil Gaiman - if you've not read any of his, you seriously should.

Seconded on the Kelly Armstrong - love her Women Of The Otherworld series.

Terry Brooks - I grew up on the Shannara series. His Knight of the Word is brilliant as well (and I think his latest books are actually tying the two series together!)

Robert Holdstock - for some rather mind-f***ery fantasy.

And.. other than seconding Philip Pullman as well.. that's it off the top of my head XD
Hannah's mention of Piers Anthony reminded me of how much I liked his earlier stuff, like Chthon and Macroscope. The latter in particular utterly blew me away in college. The Battle Circle trilogy was very impressive, too. I enjoyed the first 3 books in the Xanth series, especially A Spell for Chameleon, but after that they left me a little cold.

I just checked his bibliography on Wikipedia; boy he's written a lot of books!
Ever read Macroscope by Anthony? Awesome.
For a while now, I've been reading much more short fiction than novels. I want to throw my support behind some of the few remaining SFF magazines. However, one novel that was serialized in Analog recently that impressed me greatly was Wake, by Robert J. Sawyer. It it now available in book form, and is the first part of a trilogy. There are more ideas per chapter than many writers throw into an entire book. I can't wait to read the remaining parts.

I'm a bit more knowledgeable about somewhat older fiction. So, skipping around through the decades, I loved Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis. It is still in print and is a rich, complex time travel saga. It won the Hugo and Nebula for its year.

Another, older novel with a time travel theme is Timescape, by Gregory Benford. The intersecting story arcs that Benford pieces together at the end left me almost dizzy with admiration. It's one of those books that helps you get back the Sense of Wonder you may have lost. It won the Nebula in 1980 and should have won the Hugo. Fortunately it is also still in print.

James Tiptree, Jr. (nee Alice Sheldon) returned to the SF consciousness a few years ago when a highly-praised biographer of her was published. If you belong to the Science Fiction Book Club, you may want to look into Her Smoke Rose Up Forever, which is a collection of her best work. She's an extremely challenging writer but so worth the effort. Since her style is like no one's before or since, she still seems fresh.
The mention of Tiptree gives me an excuse for some shameless bragging. As an editor, I published her Nebula-winning short story "Love Is The Plan The Plan Is Death" in my anthology The Alien Condition. It was the first story I accepted for the book, and I knew it would win an award the instant I read it. Okay, end of boast.

(Maybe I should start a separate discussion in this group: Steve's Boring Reminiscences.)
Don't you dare stop your reminiscences, Steve. They add a flavor to this group that I, for one, relish. Boasting is fine, too, especially when you have such good reason to.
I do believe that Cowpunk was asking for sleep aids over in the "Are You Experienced?" community.

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