Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
56.7k votes 7.6k voters 110k views 204 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
3,236 535
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,455 876
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,775 1,418
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,997 576
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,085 1,325
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,020 504
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,139 375
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
880 410
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
823 413
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,090 415
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

11
1,011 404
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

12
716 352
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

13
684 304
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

14
989 522
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

15
658 287
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
476 193
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
535 206
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
387 193
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
467 229
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
337 279
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
364 166
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
259 190
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
364 202
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

24
557 233
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
415 236
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
490 179
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
326 188
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
274 205
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

29
362 181
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
322 113
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
177 125
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
268 112
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

33
251 163
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
298 185
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
248 131
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
270 180
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
349 141
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
198 165
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
223 139
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
258 121
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

41
187 115
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
383 253
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
218 142
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
156 144
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
179 98
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
129 142
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
101 125
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
163 87
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
113 118
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
99 134
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83