writers 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
2,272 361
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
1,047 559
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,282 937
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,475 859
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,260 395
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
695 342
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
799 281
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
644 272
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
591 296
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
677 239
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
657 330
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
745 305
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
508 268
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
461 230
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
488 222
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
337 126
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
398 146
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
447 91
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

19
295 141
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
323 168
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
240 204
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
266 152
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
248 142
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
292 164
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
230 117
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

26
394 178
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

27
169 142
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

28
329 128
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
191 75
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
190 156
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

31
234 128
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
187 90
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

33
186 69
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

34
113 85
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
171 115
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
158 123
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

37
149 79
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

38
208 139
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
217 81
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
183 130
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
172 80
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
149 103
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
162 112
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
270 194
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
125 107
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
100 104
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
66 86
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
102 61
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
104 65
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
116 81
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)