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
3,815 581
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,630 1,032
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,966 1,636
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,272 680
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,143 582
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,335 1,518
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,273 439
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
994 471
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
918 471
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,144 462
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

11
1,219 471
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

12
808 400
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

13
1,117 598
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
755 356
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
742 321
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
602 230
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
550 231
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

18
434 221
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
520 264
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
420 199
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

21
382 330
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
286 219
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
569 202
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
626 264
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
402 228
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
458 268
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
308 232
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
357 215
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
410 208
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
363 141
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
308 133
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
204 148
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
287 188
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
333 212
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
273 152
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
299 208
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
404 179
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
296 142
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

39
215 188
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

40
246 161
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
211 132
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
431 285
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
246 163
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
203 117
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

45
168 166
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
141 159
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
110 147
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
181 104
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
110 151
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83

50
124 136
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55