KtC, I <3 you XD
I was in the middle of book four for the GoT, but WA rain struck hard and it fell as a victim to mildew. Still haven't gotten around to replacing it because I figure I'm just going to have to re-read the whole series by the time the author releases the next book x.x So I'm kind of floating right now.
I'll start with one that hadn't come up in discussion yet. Anne Bishop's Black Jewel Trilogy is pretty awesome. The names are hard to get past in the first few chapters (twists on names like Satan x.x) that would make it sound like a fan fic, but it's saved by great writing and a very intriguing plot line. It gets a bit Mary Sue in the classic way, but again, the plot and writing make that very forgiveable. Definitely worth the read.
If you're a fan of Jim Butcher (Dresden Files) but prefer something a bit more fantasy and a bit less modern, or are more comfortable with third person perspective instead of first, or just found the first few books too redundant to push through to the seventh, I highly recommend his Codex Alera series. It's more light hearted than GoT, though it still definitely has its dark and shady areas that make you wonder just how screwed up some of these characters are (in all the best ways, of course). It's not entirely unforgiving, and some of the scenes are downright heart-wrenching, but there's also a bit more balance with humor. It feels like you're truly watching these characters grow as you read about them and become pulled into their world. Butcher has said that he will never do third person perspective again, but personally I loved it.
If you appreciate the cruelty and unforgiving nature of GoT, I highly recommend the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks. He's not afraid to put the characters through all sorts of mental and physical abuse. Admittedly, the ending almost ruins it (no spoilers, promise), as if he had more chapters planned but had to cut them out so slapped the last one together as a sort of screw you to the editors. I emphasise ~almost~ though. This is one of the probably the only times I'd ever say that a series is worth the read ~despite~ the bad ending. It's gritty, it's painful, it makes you fall in love with some characters just to kill them off... or worse. If it wasn't for this series, I'd probably have given up on GoT by the first book. After the roller coaster of Night Angel though, it didn't take much to carry on to the next GoT book.
Last but far from least, my absolute favorite author (never in my life did I ever think I would be able to say that...), Patrick 'Awesome' Rothfuss. One reviewer pointed out that 'Not a single word is wasted,' and they're so beyond right. After Codex Alera, I hit a bit of a dry spell. The wonderful awesome people at Barnes and Noble recommended GoT and Patrick 'Best Damn Writer Ever' Rothfuss to us, and we gave them a shot. I can't even begin to give a breakdown of the books here, but there are plenty of reviews that you can find online. All I can say is if you're not reading it, and you enjoy fantasy in any form, you're missing out.
Also, for those who don't know, he's running a bit of a fundraiser at the moment. More information can be found on his blog (just google Patrick Rothfuss blog), but one of the things included on his fundraiser now is a signed first edition of the third book in his series, including a holographic sticker that'll either read "Patrick Rothfuss thinks I'm awesome" or "Geeks doing good". Also, if you ever get the chance to attend one of his book signings or talks, do it. Just do it. He's hilarious to listen to, and if you're lucky, he might even sing XD
I'm an amateur writer with a handful of poems published through the old poetry.com site, and now with a short cyberpunk story being published. I'm going to come right out and say, yes, I'm a fur *ducks the torches and dodges the pitchforks* No, I'm not a costumer. No, I don't attend furmeets. No, I haven't gone to a whole lot of conventions. No, there are no late night furry orgies. I enjoy the art and I enjoy writing. Saying this, I'd like to say that I'm getting my very first story published for Rainfurrest this year. The books themselves are sold as a non-for-profit to help save the snow leopards. It's a great cause and one I'm proud to stand for. My story, titled Tech Flesh, can be found in the grown-ups' book. No, my story isn't rated X. It's just that there's blood and some violence involved.
I normally just write stories that are 2500-3500 words long, and this one is 8000+. I also have never written Cyberpunk before. The closest I've come to reading/watching it was Transformers and some vague memories of Blade Runner. So this is a really big deal for me. It's also been an interesting journey into the process of writing, which I've come to conclude is very sado-masochistic x.x But I really hope it'll lead to more in the future.
I'm also going to be talking on a couple of boards, which is a huge honor for me. So if there are any furs in hiding or not so much in hiding out there (I'm looking at you Tobias xp), please feel free to come on over and visit.
Also, if you have any questions about the furry community in general (are the orgies like in that one CSI episode a common thing?), then feel free to poke at me. I love dispelling stereotypes.