fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by
40.8k votes 5.4k voters 85.1k views 203 items Embed

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
2,416 381
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)

The Best Fantasy Movies The Best Novels Ever Written

2
1,104 603
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,375 1,001
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,580 923
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,358 416
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
741 359
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
850 294
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
678 288
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
624 309
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
726 262
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
703 361
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
790 323
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
534 282
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
491 238
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
510 230
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

The Best Fantasy TV Shows The Most Overrated Books of All Time

16
361 134
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
413 155
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
486 97
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

19
308 150
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
340 177
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
257 217
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
258 124
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

23
278 162
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

24
261 148
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
183 149
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

26
420 187
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

27
304 176
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
356 136
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
203 166
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

The Best Fantasy Book Series Things You Should Know How to Do Before You Turn 30

30
201 81
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

31
209 75
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

32
249 138
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
197 96
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

34
121 94
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
177 122
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
225 146
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

37
162 131
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

38
157 87
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

39
235 89
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
197 136
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
181 84
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
165 107
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
171 117
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

44
283 203
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
128 113
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
106 108
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
70 92
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
113 69
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
113 69
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
80 108
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82