George R.R. Martin is the creative talent who is responsible for the enormous tale, A GAME OF THRONES. He is meticulous, cunning, and eloquent in his creation of a violent power struggle among factions and forces in a fantasy setting. The television series has brought the books more popularity, but the books were enormously successful prior to the tv series.
SOME OF THE OTHERS WORTHY OF YOUR ATTENTION
Alan Dean Foster is a favorite author of mine. His Spellsinger saga is funny, fun and heroic. It is not hardcore blood and battle, but it is fantasy, and fun to read. His website
Ursula K. Le Guin is recognized for her magnificent use of language and depth of cultural investigation. Her Earthsea books are among my very favorites. Her website
The work of Karl Edward Wagner is dark, well written and mystical. Kane, his character is powerful, beyond measure, with magic, martial skills, and abilities that are nearly god-like. He is however, still appealing. While this is not uplifting, and some have called it amoral, but it remains interesting at the same time. His estate's website
Michael Moorcock is as much of a great writer and famous fantasy personage as Tolkien, Martin, Jordan, Howard or Dunsany, but he is here because I don't read him as much as I study his words. He is a great writer, but writes characters who I rarely like. So I find his writing to be great, but his style rather stunning. Who'd have thought making a character unlovable could make him interesting?
Fritz Leiber wrote many tales, in more than just Fantasy, but through out the genres of Speculative Fiction. His characters Fafhrd & Gray Mouser and tales of Lankhmar were highly respected and thought of, by critics of his day. Taken as works for the day, they entertain well. A website devoted to his works...