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
+ - 2,095 323
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
+ - 1,186 841
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

3
+ - 972 507
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

4
+ - 1,350 780
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
+ - 1,106 368
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
+ - 637 320
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
+ - 731 265
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
+ - 599 254
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
+ - 608 209
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

10
+ - 601 292
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

11
+ - 556 277
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

12
+ - 694 283
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
+ - 461 249
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
+ - 419 214
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
+ - 454 213
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
+ - 364 138
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
+ - 388 78
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
+ - 278 130
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
+ - 305 116
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
+ - 301 159
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
+ - 226 192
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
+ - 253 143
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
+ - 237 132
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
+ - 271 151
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
+ - 311 118
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
+ - 210 110
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

27
+ - 158 132
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

28
+ - 366 173
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

29
+ - 169 68
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 82
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

31
+ - 175 150
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

32
+ - 213 124
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
+ - 166 63
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

34
+ - 103 80
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
+ - 160 109
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
+ - 152 117
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

37
+ - 136 75
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
+ - 196 135
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
+ - 192 73
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Rick Riordan age 53

40
+ - 159 74
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Piers Anthony age 83

41
+ - 169 126
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
+ - 141 95
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
+ - 153 107
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
+ - 259 185
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
+ - 120 102
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
+ - 64 78
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
+ - 95 56
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
+ - 94 99
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
+ - 97 62
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
+ - 108 76
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)