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
3,802 578
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,626 1,024
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,960 1,630
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,259 676
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,137 581
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,326 1,514
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,269 436
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
993 468
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
916 469
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,141 457
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

11
808 397
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,217 469
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
1,115 595
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
753 351
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
738 321
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
601 228
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
549 230
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

18
434 219
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
519 262
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
417 197
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

21
381 329
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
286 218
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
569 201
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
625 263
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
401 227
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
458 267
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
307 231
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
355 214
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
409 207
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
362 140
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
308 132
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
202 147
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
286 188
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
332 212
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
271 152
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
404 178
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
295 142
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

39
214 188
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

40
245 161
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
210 132
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
430 283
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
245 163
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
202 117
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

45
167 166
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
109 147
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
179 104
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