Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
63.1k votes 8.4k voters 116.2k 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
3,701 561
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,582 980
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,902 1,565
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,153 648
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,265 1,457
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,112 562
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,231 422
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
968 452
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
897 456
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,181 456
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

11
1,089 439
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

12
783 387
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

13
1,091 575
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
732 344
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
718 313
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
541 220
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
588 224
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
427 215
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
500 256
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
400 190
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

21
367 321
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
280 215
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
610 258
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
390 222
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
542 198
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
449 262
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
298 227
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
347 209
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
395 203
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
348 134
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
296 128
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
196 144
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
278 185
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
323 208
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
267 150
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
395 171
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

37
289 204
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
284 140
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

39
210 186
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

40
239 159
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
204 131
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
416 279
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
240 162
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
166 164
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
195 115
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
140 157
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
108 143
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
174 103
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
105 149
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83

50
119 134
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55