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.

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Tanith Lee is listed (or ranked) 51 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tanith Lee age 70

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Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)

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Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 53 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

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T. H. White is listed (or ranked) 54 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
T. H. White Died at 58 (1906-1964)

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Diana Wynne Jones is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Diana Wynne Jones Died at 77 (1934-2011)

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Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Garth Nix age 54

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Stephen R. Lawhead is listed (or ranked) 57 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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J. M. Barrie is listed (or ranked) 58 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. M. Barrie Died at 77 (1860-1937)

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Lois McMaster Bujold is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron of... is listed (or ranked) 60 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Richard Adams is listed (or ranked) 61 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Richard Adams age 97

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Mervyn Peake is listed (or ranked) 62 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Mervyn Peake Died at 57 (1911-1968)

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Poul Anderson is listed (or ranked) 63 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Poul Anderson Died at 75 (1926-2001)

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William Morris is listed (or ranked) 64 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
William Morris Died at 62 (1834-1896)

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Harlan Ellison is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Tamora Pierce is listed (or ranked) 66 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tamora Pierce age 64

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Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Ten... is listed (or ranked) 67 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson Died at 83 (1809-1892)

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Gary Gygax is listed (or ranked) 68 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gary Gygax Died at 70 (1938-2008)

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Janet Morris is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Janet Morris age 71

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Kenneth Grahame is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Kenneth Grahame Died at 73 (1859-1932)

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George MacDonald is listed (or ranked) 71 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
George MacDonald Died at 81 (1824-1905)

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Charles de Lint is listed (or ranked) 72 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Robert Asprin is listed (or ranked) 73 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Asprin Died at 62 (1946-2008)

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Janny Wurts is listed (or ranked) 74 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Janny Wurts age 64

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Robert Silverberg is listed (or ranked) 75 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Peter S. Beagle is listed (or ranked) 76 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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David Gemmell is listed (or ranked) 77 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Gemmell Died at 58 (1948-2006)

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Melanie Rawn is listed (or ranked) 78 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Melanie Rawn age 63

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Tim Powers is listed (or ranked) 79 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tim Powers age 65

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Christopher Paolini is listed (or ranked) 80 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Bernard Cornwell is listed (or ranked) 81 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Hilaire Belloc is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Hilaire Belloc Died at 83 (1870-1953)

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Brothers Grimm is listed (or ranked) 83 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Chris Morris is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Chris Morris age 71

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E. Nesbit is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
E. Nesbit Died at 66 (1858-1924)

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Katharine Kerr is listed (or ranked) 86 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Gregory Keyes is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gregory Keyes age 54

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Karl Edward Wagner is listed (or ranked) 88 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Karl Edward Wagner Died at 49 (1945-1994)

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Michael J. Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 89 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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S. E. Hinton is listed (or ranked) 90 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
S. E. Hinton age 69

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Jorge Luis Borges is listed (or ranked) 91 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jorge Luis Borges Died at 87 (1899-1986)

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C. L. Moore is listed (or ranked) 92 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. L. Moore Died at 76 (1911-1987)

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Kate Elliott is listed (or ranked) 93 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Kate Elliott age 59

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Homer is listed (or ranked) 94 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Robert Holdstock is listed (or ranked) 95 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Holdstock Died at 61 (1948-2009)

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Anthony Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 96 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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Judith Tarr is listed (or ranked) 97 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Judith Tarr age 62

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Alan Garner is listed (or ranked) 98 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Alan Garner age 83

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Tracy Hickman is listed (or ranked) 99 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tracy Hickman age 62

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Philip José Farmer is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Philip José Farmer Died at 91 (1918-2009)