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
+ - 2,075 318
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
+ - 1,170 833
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

3
+ - 968 500
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

4
+ - 1,342 768
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
+ - 1,093 367
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
+ - 634 317
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
+ - 725 262
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
+ - 596 252
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
+ - 599 208
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

10
+ - 598 288
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

11
+ - 555 274
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

12
+ - 688 282
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
+ - 458 248
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
+ - 418 212
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
+ - 453 212
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
+ - 361 136
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
+ - 381 76
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
+ - 277 129
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
+ - 304 115
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
+ - 300 158
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
+ - 225 191
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
+ - 253 142
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
+ - 236 131
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
+ - 270 150
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
+ - 309 118
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
+ - 158 131
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

27
+ - 209 109
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

28
+ - 365 172
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

29
+ - 167 67
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
+ - 178 81
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

31
+ - 175 148
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

32
+ - 210 123
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
+ - 165 62
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

34
+ - 103 79
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
+ - 151 116
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

36
+ - 157 108
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
+ - 135 74
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
+ - 196 134
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
+ - 192 72
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Rick Riordan age 53

40
+ - 158 73
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Piers Anthony age 83

41
+ - 169 125
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
+ - 141 94
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
+ - 153 106
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
+ - 259 184
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
+ - 120 101
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
+ - 63 78
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
+ - 94 56
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
+ - 94 97
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
+ - 96 61
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
+ - 108 75
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)