Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

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Originally by Ranker Community
69.9k votes 9.5k voters 128.6k views 202 items

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.

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list ordered by

1
4,078 620
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,734 1,118
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
2,112 1,747
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,513 731
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,223 631
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,486 1,625
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,362 468
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
1,064 499
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
961 500
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,321 486
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

11
873 415
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,241 491
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

13
1,193 642
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
791 374
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
783 337
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
595 242
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
647 243
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
452 234
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
569 277
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
410 342
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
443 210
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
305 230
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
617 209
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
670 271
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
418 238
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)