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writers The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Best fantasy authors 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 of All Time
J. R. R. Tolkien Died at 81 (1892-1973)

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Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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

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George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

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Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
J. K. Rowling age 50

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Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robin Hobb age 63

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Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Neil Gaiman age 55

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H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

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Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

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Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Terry Brooks age 71

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Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Stephen King age 68

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Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

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Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

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L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

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Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

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Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

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Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Tad Williams age 58

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Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Diana Wynne Jones is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Diana Wynne Jones Died at 77 (1934-2011)

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Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

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Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Margaret Weis age 67

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Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

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Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

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Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Gene Wolfe age 84

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Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Garth Nix age 52

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Lois McMaster Bujold is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Laurell K. Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Michael J. Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

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Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Susan Cooper age 80

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Ruth Plumly Thompson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Ruth Plumly Thompson Died at 85 (1891-1976)

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Tamora Pierce is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Tamora Pierce age 62

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Robin Hess is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robin Hess

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David Gemmell is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
David Gemmell Died at 58 (1948-2006)

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Karl Edward Wagner is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Karl Edward Wagner Died at 49 (1945-1994)

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Janny Wurts is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Janny Wurts age 62

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T. H. White is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
T. H. White Died at 58 (1906-1964)

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Eric Shanower is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Eric Shanower age 52

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Virginia Wickwar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Virginia Wickwar

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Mervyn Peake is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Mervyn Peake Died at 57 (1911-1968)