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The Best Fantasy Authors 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated January 29, 2020 97k votes 13.8k voters 168.5k views 176 items

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.

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list ordered by
1
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion
2
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Way of Kings, Mistborn: The Final Empire, Mistborn: The Hero of Ages
3
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Wheel of Time, The Eye of the World, The Fires of Heaven
4
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Good Omens, Small Gods, The Colour of Magic
5
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, At the Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror and Others
6
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot
7
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man's Fear
8
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods
9
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Screwtape Letters
10
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, A Wizard of Earthsea
11
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Farseer, Royal Assassin, Assassin's Apprentice
12
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
13
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings
14
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, You Only Live Twice
15
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Sword of Shannara, Magic Kingdom for Sale -- Sold!, The World of Shannara
16
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
A Game of Thrones, A Feast for Crows, A Dance with Dragons
17
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Best Served Cold
18
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
The Belgariad, Polgara the Sorceress, The Tamuli
19
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
20
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Dragonflight, Dragonsong, Sassinak
21
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Conan the Barbarian, Conan, The Coming of Conan
22
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gardens of the Moon, Memories of Ice, Deadhouse Gates
23
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Magician, Shadow of a Dark Queen, Talon of the Silver Hawk
24
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added A Spell for Chameleon, Air Apparent, Golem in the Gears
25
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow