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
2,156 339
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
1,224 877
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

3
999 525
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

4
1,388 811
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,157 376
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
655 330
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
752 273
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
611 259
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
629 220
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

10
620 304
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

11
565 282
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

12
710 295
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
476 258
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
432 221
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
464 215
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
377 139
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
403 81
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
285 132
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
313 120
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
307 161
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
230 196
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
256 146
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
238 135
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
278 155
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
316 121
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
216 112
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

27
375 175
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

28
161 135
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

29
176 69
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

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30
181 151
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

31
179 84
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

32
219 126
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
106 81
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
170 67
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

35
164 111
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
154 119
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

37
138 75
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
198 138
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
195 76
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
164 76
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

41
175 127
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
144 97
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
156 109
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
263 189
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
122 103
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
66 80
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
97 58
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

48
96 101
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
100 63
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
110 77
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)