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.

1
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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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2
+ - 924 467
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
+ - 1,105 776
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
+ - 1,268 726
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
+ - 613 293
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

6
+ - 1,015 348
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

7
+ - 688 250
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
+ - 565 240
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
+ - 558 191
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

10
+ - 537 261
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

11
+ - 562 271
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
+ - 644 278
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
+ - 425 243
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
+ - 399 205
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
+ - 432 204
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
+ - 348 130
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
+ - 352 66
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
+ - 268 123
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
+ - 287 106
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
+ - 284 149
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
+ - 212 183
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
+ - 243 138
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
+ - 226 126
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
+ - 153 126
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

25
+ - 254 148
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
+ - 288 113
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
+ - 197 107
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

28
+ - 173 77
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

29
+ - 341 171
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

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+ - 159 65
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

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+ - 170 145
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

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+ - 202 120
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 99 76
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
+ - 154 60
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

35
+ - 145 113
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

36
+ - 150 107
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
+ - 130 73
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
+ - 190 132
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
+ - 180 71
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Rick Riordan age 53

40
+ - 150 72
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Piers Anthony age 83

41
+ - 163 124
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
+ - 134 93
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
+ - 149 103
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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+ - 116 99
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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+ - 244 178
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

46
+ - 61 75
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
+ - 85 53
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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+ - 93 95
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
+ - 106 73
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)

50
+ - 91 59
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)