Debra Doyle and James D. MacDonald
the next generation
Along withand , Doyle and MacDonald have been turning out some truly excellent space opera in the last several years. Their best known books belong to their Mageworlds series. The premise is straightforward. In a universe not our own, there are two ways to use magical power. Adepts attempt to go with the flow of the Universe; mages attempt to change the flow of the Universe, bending it to their will. Adepts tend to work alone; magework requires more power, and so mages tend to work in groups.
The two kinds of practitioners Do Not Get Along. It's rather like what happens when owners of sailboats and owners of motorboats get together.
In this universe, the galaxy is roughly divided between cultures based on magery and cultures based on adeptry. This divide has led to two galactic wars, the first and second Mage Wars, which form the primary topics of the series to date.
Elsewhere I've said that the series reads like Star Wars fan fiction, and it does seem likely to me that the authors had Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, and the Millenium Falcon in mind as they were beginning their work...but by this time, all that's left is a vague similarity of roles. See the reviews for more information about this excellent series.
Reviews (in series order)