Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
61.3k votes 8.2k voters 113.2k views 208 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.

list ordered by

1
3,618 546
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,554 938
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,851 1,508
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,075 629
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,201 1,414
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,078 544
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,201 408
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
944 438
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
873 443
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
764 377
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

11
1,057 559
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

12
1,143 448
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
1,049 431
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

14
714 335
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
702 309
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
525 209
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
575 218
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
417 210
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
485 250
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
357 311
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
390 185
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
273 208
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
590 251
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
381 218
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
438 251
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
519 193
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
292 221
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
341 202
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
381 197
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
340 126
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
287 122
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
188 140
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
270 179
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
313 202
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
261 144
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
281 199
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
376 164
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
208 181
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
273 135
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

40
235 154
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
199 126
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
235 157
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

43
405 272
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
164 158
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
188 111
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
137 155
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
106 141
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
172 99
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
118 130
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
104 146
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83