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
2,854 475
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
1,302 764
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,588 1,238
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,866 1,161
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 53

5
1,712 503
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
896 439
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 58

7
998 345
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
776 360
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
746 369
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
868 441
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 71

11
871 340
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

12
944 369
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
642 322
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
593 275
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

The Best Fantasy Movies

15
587 264
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
426 165
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
475 185
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
346 176
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
408 206
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
310 254
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
311 149
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

22
224 171
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 61

23
481 213
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
427 160
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
314 185
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
363 213
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
292 172
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
250 192
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 TV Shows

29
280 98
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

30
309 161
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

31
155 110
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
232 102
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
227 115
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
266 168
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 70

35
213 149
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

The Most Overrated Books of All Time

36
306 122
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 54

37
184 152
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 87

38
232 165
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

39
170 104
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

40
193 128
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
219 110
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
201 131
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

The Best Fantasy Book Series

43
337 235
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
143 132
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
123 128
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

46
93 111
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
144 86
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

48
142 79
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
141 97
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)

50
97 108
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Garth Nix age 54