authors The Best Fantasy Authors  

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List Rules Authors who have published works in the fantasy genre

The best fantasy authors of all time, ranked by readers and fans. This list include some highly recognizable names, like J.R.R. Tolkein and George R.R. Martin, along with some contemporary fantasy writers who are just beginning to make their mark on the genre. This list of the best fantasy authors includes some science fiction writers, horror writers and young adult fiction authors. Fans of fantasy know that there is always some overlap. All of the authors on this list have one thing in common: They've written fantastic, magical, mystical works of fantasy for fans to enjoy for years to come. Vote for your favorite fantasy authors here and add your own personal faves if you don't see them listed!

I've listed what I believe are some of the most well-known, popular fantasy authors ever, and I've added a few that may not always show up on a 'best of' list. Disagree with a choice? Vote it down. I'll be interested to see who wins the Tolkein vs. Martin battle for votes, too! The aforementioned (brilliant) writers are responsible for some of the best fantasy novel series' of all time - but I'd be remiss if I didn't also include authors like Robert Jordan ('The Wheel of Time' series), Ursula K. Le Guin ('Earthsea'), Tad Williams ('Memory, Sorrow and Thorn') and yes, J.K. Rowling ('Harry Potter') as well. All of these authors, in my opinion, deserve a place of honor on this list.

Hopefully, this list will grow and become totally comprehensive. Readers who are new to fantasy can use it as a great guide to find new favorite fantasy authors and books.

list ordered by

1
+ - 2,026 314
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. R. R. Tolkien Died at 81 (1892-1973)

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2
+ - 1,140 812
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

3
+ - 951 488
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

4
+ - 1,312 755
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
+ - 1,067 357
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
+ - 622 308
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
+ - 710 258
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
+ - 584 245
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
+ - 588 200
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

10
+ - 549 269
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

11
+ - 581 280
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
+ - 680 279
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
+ - 447 247
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
+ - 409 210
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
+ - 445 207
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
+ - 355 133
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
+ - 371 71
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
+ - 273 126
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
+ - 299 112
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
+ - 292 154
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
+ - 223 187
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
+ - 249 139
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
+ - 231 128
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
+ - 265 148
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
+ - 305 115
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
+ - 156 128
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

27
+ - 204 107
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

28
+ - 357 171
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

29
+ - 164 65
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

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30
+ - 174 79
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

31
+ - 174 146
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

32
+ - 162 60
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

33
+ - 207 121
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
+ - 100 77
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
+ - 148 114
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

36
+ - 154 107
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
+ - 133 73
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
+ - 194 133
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
+ - 187 71
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Rick Riordan age 53

40
+ - 156 72
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Piers Anthony age 83

41
+ - 166 124
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
+ - 139 93
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
+ - 151 105
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

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44
+ - 253 180
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
+ - 118 100
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
+ - 61 76
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
+ - 90 54
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
+ - 93 96
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
+ - 107 74
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)

50
+ - 68 93
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82