It recently occurred to me that, if I met a "fantasy fan" on the street, I might not have anything to talk to them about. Wheel of Time, Sword of Shannara, Sword of Truth, the Belgariad, the Black Company, Thomas Covenant, Dragonlance - I know little to nothing of them, and what little I know I've long since forgotten through apathy and disinterest. I've only read the first Song of Ice & Fire and Dark Tower novels respectively, and neither made much of an impression.
So when I see lists like this, I sometimes feel woefully out of touch. Of the eighteen, I would only pick about six that might be deserving of any such list. How can I be a fantasy fan if I don't like 90% of the SF & F shelf at my local Waterstones?
Still, I'm happy enough just being a fan of good fiction. I'd hate to be the sort of guy who would read or not read a book based purely on genre.
Anyway, as these lists go, it's what's to be expected. It's hilarious that the author includes Eddings even though he admits that he has a problem calling him "the best of anything," making me wonder just why he was included in the first place. I also find it depressing that Conan languishes in 16th place, below Harry Freakin' Potter. Most astonishing of all is placing A Song of Ice & Fire above The Lord of the Rings. Really? I mean, really? Even after this paragraph which, while really overstating the case for Tolkien's impact (he popularized them, but he hardly invented the idea of the "party," "dark lord," "quest" and whatnot), he puts ASoI&F above it?
Still, that's lists for ya.