Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
3,562 539
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,531 923
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,830 1,485
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,037 618
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,167 1,385
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,062 533
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,189 399
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
931 433
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
863 436
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,040 545
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

11
753 374
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,123 440
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
1,030 427
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

14
709 329
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
692 304
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
513 207
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
566 217
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
409 208
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
479 247
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
354 306
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
385 182
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
268 206
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
577 248
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
375 216
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
432 248
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
508 191
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
289 219
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
340 201
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
335 124
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

30
370 195
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

31
281 122
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
186 138
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
263 177
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
309 199
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
257 142
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
276 196
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
366 160
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
204 178
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
233 151
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
268 133
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

41
195 126
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
233 154
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

43
398 269
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
161 156
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
187 110
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
134 154
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
105 139
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
170 98
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
118 129
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
103 145
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83