fiction 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.

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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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George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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

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J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 50

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+ - 884 300
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 541 266
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 55

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+ - 609 223
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 497 211
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

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Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

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+ - 483 152
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 68

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+ - 569 250
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

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+ - 383 211
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 63

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+ - 400 185
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 351 180
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 71

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+ - 318 106
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

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+ - 254 91
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

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+ - 242 107
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

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+ - 261 46
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 253 128
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 221 127
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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

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David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

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Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

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Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 84

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+ - 135 105
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 58

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+ - 251 98
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

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L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

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Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

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

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

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Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

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Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 44

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Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 67

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+ - 145 110
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Rick Riordan age 51

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Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Piers Anthony age 81

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+ - 115 83
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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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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Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

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Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

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China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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David Gemmell is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Gemmell Died at 58 (1948-2006)

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C. J. Cherryh is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. J. Cherryh age 73