Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
53.2k votes 7.1k voters 104.3k views 205 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.

1
3,016 510
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)

2
1,377 821
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,664 1,329
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,964 1,250
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 53

5
1,851 537
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
962 471
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 58

7
1,070 364
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
828 384
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
784 393
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
947 376
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
1,018 395
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

12
688 342
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

13
927 491
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 71

14
639 293
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

14 Celebrities Who Are Heirs

15
624 281
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
449 186
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
501 202
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
367 187
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
442 222
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
323 269
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
341 161
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

The Best Fantasy Worlds

22
244 183
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 61

23
519 226
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
344 196
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
390 229
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
456 172
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
309 184
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
261 200
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

The Best Fantasy & Sci-Fi Movies on Netflix Instant

29
349 174
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
301 108
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

31
169 120
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
249 110
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

33
230 159
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
280 180
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 70

35
237 126
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

36
332 130
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 54

37
251 176
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
189 158
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 87

39
240 117
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

40
207 134
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
180 111
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
211 137
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

These Are The Best YA Novels For Emerging Feminists

43
355 245
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
149 140
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
99 119
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

46
126 136
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
164 92
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

48
152 85
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
106 113
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Garth Nix age 54

50
94 130
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82