Ursula K. LeGuin- her Earthsea cycle is a classic of the fantasy genre
Tamora Pierce- her Tortall books are great fun. The first quartet is Song of the Lionness, the second quartet is the Immortals, the third set is Protector of the Small, the fourth set is Daughter of the Lionness, and the fifth is Provost's Dog.
Philip Pullman- His Dark Materials series was much better than the movie let on.
I know you already like Garth Nix, so try his Keys to the Kingdom series. It's for younger students but I actually quite liked it.
Terry Pratchett is good if you like fantasy series and comedy. I'd try Guards! Guards! which was the first one I tried and still is one of my favorites.
Neil Gaiman is a good bet for this. His Sandman graphic novels are really good (but don't read them before bed or you might get nightmares). American Gods is a good thriller/fantasy novel, and the sequel Anansi Boys is good but more lighthearted. His novel Neverwhere is one of the founding novels of the urban fantasy genre. And of course, The Graveyard Book just won the Newberry medal.
China Mieville wrote several good urban fantasy novels. King Rat is more strictly urban fantasy than Perdido Street Station, which mixes urban with high fantasy. Perdido is a bit harder to get through than King Rat, so try KR first.
If you want mind-bending, try a Chuck Palahniuk novel on for size. Invisible Monsters was his second book and as good an introduction as any to his work.
That's all I can come up with for right now but I'm sure I'll think of others.
· 1 decade ago