Those escaped me -- primarily because they really started publishing just after the era of sci-fi/fantasy that my dad could fill me in on :) What am I looking at with regards to them, i.e. what sort of stories/mythos do they write?
I have a love/hate relationship with Donaldson, teetering toward the love. The excessive angst does tend to wear down, and the, um, "florid thesaurus" approach of the 2nd Chronicles of Thomas Covenant was a bit much, but he's a magnificent world-builder and knows how to tell a really good story with fascinating characters.
I see Donaldson's main characters as kind of the grumpy museum guide who shows you around. Just try to ignore him, enjoy the exhibition and sekkritly resolve to leave him no tip. And yeah, the second chronicles were hard to tackle and standing on their own I would have dropped them. Even though he has new places to show and new stories to tell, and it's not just the land revisited. I liked his two Mordant books better than the second chronicle (but less than the first chronicles, of course). I love the lords so, so much, especially in book two and three.
It's all classy high fantasy.
For McKillip: Her later books are a little to airy in my taste, but the Riddlemaster trilogy gives you characters and a land to fall in love with, just like Donaldson, but without the drawbacks. Many fantasy books explain why things are as they are and work as they do as they go along, while Riddlemaster works almost like a crime story in so far as you strongly feel that probably all makes sense and there is a reason for everything, and it does, but if you can figure it out before the end then you're pretty good. 'The forgotten beasts of Eld' is more fairy tale like and less epic and world-shaking, but a nice cure when you feel homesick after Riddlemaster. :D
Btw, 'The Lone Tree' is dedicated to McKillip, and 'Riddlemaster' is dedicated to Donaldson. *gossips*
Hans Benmann is a german writer. 'Stone and Fue' is very fairy tale-like and deep and meaningful and symbol-ridden, but in a good way (I think. I'm no expert at figuring these things out). And it has sort of a 'cherchez la femme' theme going that I love very dearly.
"Red Moon and Black Mountain" is Tolkien-styled and epic with regard to world- and history-building. It's a rather innocent high fantasy book for young people. You know, like the fantasy world the author spent her youth dreaming of and then goes to write her first book about it, with lots of dedication. That normally doesn't work, for lack of writing skills or Mary-Sueism. But it's more than decent here. "The Grey Mane of Morning" is a prequel to that, darker and more adult-themed compared, and focused on one of the races featured in RM&BM, almost native american nomad tribes style.
I hope that was helpful. I'm no good at book talk.
Interestingly, a friend of mine has informed me she actually owns several McKillip novels, so I can check those out as soon as she can get them to me. Hooray for serendipity, eh?
High fantasy works just fine for me if the writer has skill, so I can definitely run with Ms. Chant's stuff. Indeed, it's sorta what I'm looking for. And if cherchez la femme ever gets old, I've yet to see such. It may be a stupid question, but is his work translated into English? German is a lot of fun to read, but since I don't understand many words that aren't actually titles of Wagner operas, I'd be pretty lost.
Donaldson has a marvelous imagination and even though his characters are terribly overdramatic sometimes, he definitely knows how to develop powerful personalities. And disturbing ones, especially in the case of the Mordant duology...there were times when you'd get almost queasy at the sheer tension and insanity. His Gap novels also left you feeling unsettled, especially when Angus or Nick started revealing their, um, feelings on things. Personally, I think he succeeds by sheer force of writing -- even when he's going a little overboard on the emo, he's developing a compelling narrative that just pulls you along with it.
Yes, 'Stein und Flöte' was translated by one Anthea Bell, but it would be impossible for you to locate it because I got both the name of the author and the title of the book wrong. Go me.
Correct is: Hans Bemmann "The stone and the flute". And this time I c&P'ed it to make sure the Ashenmote Creative Spelling Factor doesn't enter into it. I see both hardcover and softcover editions at Amazon.
Everything else, after breakfast.