Male & Female Authors
I like the middle ground. ASoIaF is, for me, part of the middle ground, though it seems clear that certain aspects of it are the reason for the male writers going towards one end of the spectrum. The reason for the female writers moving towards the other end seems like it is often publisher-driven; they are being told its the only thing that sells.
I used to read a pretty equal amount of male and female authors. I didn't care (and I still don't) about the gender of the author. But what has happened over the last years is that I've pretty much stopped picking up new male authors. Not because they're male but because they don't write anything I am interested in.
Elio and I used to read a lot of the same things. Now it pretty much only happens with authors we were already reading, not with new authors. And it seems to be harder and harder to find the sort of middle ground fantasy that I like.
As a bit of an offshoot of this train of thought, I ended up considering the authors that get discussed (and that post) on the Westeros forums. I rather wish we had some female authors show up as well. There are plenty that ought to appeal to readers of ASoIaF, unless they are of the variety that never reads any other fantasy.