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
3,638 549
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,559 951
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,864 1,520
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,088 634
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,089 547
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,212 1,422
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,208 411
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
952 441
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
879 448
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,066 559
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

11
767 381
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,153 450
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
1,056 436
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

14
717 336
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
706 310
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
528 211
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
578 218
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
421 210
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
489 252
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
361 314
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
392 186
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
275 211
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
592 253
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
442 252
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
382 219
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
523 195
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
293 223
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
343 203
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
383 199
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
341 128
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
289 122
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
189 141
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
271 181
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
313 204
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
262 146
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
381 165
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

37
282 201
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
208 183
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
275 136
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

40
235 156
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
199 128
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
407 273
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
236 159
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
165 159
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
189 112
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
138 155
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
106 142
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
172 101
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
118 131
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
104 147
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83