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
3,634 549
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,558 949
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,861 1,519
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,086 633
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,088 546
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,210 1,422
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,207 411
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
949 441
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
878 447
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
766 380
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

11
1,152 449
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

12
1,063 559
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

13
1,055 435
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

14
715 336
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
704 310
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
527 211
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
577 218
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
419 210
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
489 251
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
361 313
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
391 186
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
275 210
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
592 252
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
442 251
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
382 218
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
523 194
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
293 222
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
342 203
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
383 198
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
341 127
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
288 122
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
188 141
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
271 180
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
313 203
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
262 145
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
380 165
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

37
282 200
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
208 182
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
275 135
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

40
235 155
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
199 127
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
236 158
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

43
405 273
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
164 159
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
189 111
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
137 155
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
106 141
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
172 100
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
118 130
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
104 146
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83