Herein lie authors and books worth your consideration.
In the interest of honesty, some of the authors listed below are people I consider friends. All series recommended have been started, if not read outright, and all books recommended have been read. Particular favorites will be in bold.
Note: Krista Ball created a wonderful database for anyone looking for heavy LGBT representation in Fantasy fiction. You can view it here.
- The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (most of the short stories were collected in Side Jobs except for the Bigfoot shorts which are collected in Working for Bigfoot)
- The Orcs Saga by Amalia Dillin
- The Outlaw King series by S.A. Hunt
- Scorched Continent by Megan O’Keefe
- Rust by Christopher Ruz
- Starship Blackbeard series by Michael Wallace
- The Merkabah Rider by Edward M. Erdelac
- The Shadow series by Lila Bowen
- Hellboy series by Mike Mignola
- Vampire Hunter D by Hideyuki Kikuchi
- The Bridge Trilogy by William Gibson
- The Earthsea Cycle by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Dark Tower series by Stephen King
- Yarnsworld by Benedict Patrick
- The Dark Abyss of Our Sins by Krista D. Ball
- Halloween Jack by M.Todd Gallowglas
- Spirit Caller by Krista D. Ball
- Tales of Tranquility Series by Krista D. Ball
- Brackett Hollister series by Quentin Wallace
- Conan the Cimmerian by Robert E. Howard (can also be found individually for free in public domain)*
- The Complete Works of HP Lovecraft (alternately, any other collection of his stories)*
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
Books & Short Stories
- “Brimstone and Marmalade” by Aaron Corwin
- Suckers by Z. Rider
- Malus Domestica by S.A. Hunt
- West of Dead: A Nathaniel Caine Adventure by Eric Bahle
- Jack Bloodfist: Fixer by James Jakins
- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
- Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
- The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
- A Colder War by Charles Stross
- The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Stardust by Neil Gaiman (the illustrated version is wonderful too)
- “You’ll Surely Drown Here If You Stay” by Alyssa Wong
- The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
- Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
- Al Barrera, Author of Darker Shadows Lie Below.
- J.S. Collyer, Author of the Orbit series.
- Luke Matthews, Author of Construct.
- Courtney Cantrell, Author of the Legends of the Light-Walkers series
- Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series, and a whole bunch of other stuff.
- KS VillosoKS Villoso, Author of
- Scott Oden, Author of Men of Bronze and A Gathering of Ravens.
- SM Reine, Author of…well, frankly, a lot. She has a full urban fantasy universe with lots of series in it.
- Minister Faust, Host of MF Galaxy Podcast and Afro-centric Author.
- Janny Wurts, Author of the Wars of Light and Shadow series, and all around amazing person.
- Erica Lindquist, Author of Whisperworld. And if it’s your sort of thing, her Lily Quinn erotica series, under the pen name Natalie Severine.
- My fellow Fools of Fantasy
*Caveat for Robert E. Howard and HP Lovecraft: While I’m recommending them, be aware of their prejudices going in. Both were living in the early 1900s. Howard had his own issues with bigotry while Lovecraft was so staggeringly bigoted due to his sheer level of fear of the world at large. They both had a huge impact on fiction, especially long after their deaths. Whatever you’ve heard about them is probably true.