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
3,819 581
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,634 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 1,639
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,275 681
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,145 583
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,339 1,518
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,275 439
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
995 473
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
918 472
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,147 463
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

11
808 400
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,219 472
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

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

14
755 358
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
743 322
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
604 230
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
552 231
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

18
434 222
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
521 264
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
420 200
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
286 220
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
570 203
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
402 230
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
410 209
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
364 142
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
309 134
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
204 149
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
333 213
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
275 152
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
302 209
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
404 180
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
297 143
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

39
216 188
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

40
247 162
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
211 134
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
431 287
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
247 164
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
203 119
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

45
168 167
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
142 159
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
110 148
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
181 105
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
110 152
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83

50
124 137
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55