4. Diana Gabaldon
Speaking of historical-fantasy, let’s give a shout out to the other author with a hit-TV series based on their work and a fanbase that worships them with cultic devotion. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series is overlooked by many as being nothing more than any other kilt-chasing romance story you can find on a discount rack, but there is real substance to her story of a time-traveler lost in 18th century Scotland. The biggest strength in her work is that, like GRRM’s, while her story involves fantastic elements, it’s very much grounded in reality. Her attention to detail regarding Scottish culture could make you believe you are reading an exciting autobiography of a real person, the scenes of fighting and violence pull no punches, and even the sex scenes are portrayed with a sense of genuine sensuality as opposed to overblown pornography. Plus on top of all that, the story is riddled with political intrigue as well as moral dilemmas between a large cast of strong characters – something any ASOIAF fan can enjoy.