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
3,560 539
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,531 922
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,830 1,484
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,037 617
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,062 532
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,165 1,385
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,188 399
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
930 433
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
863 435
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,039 544
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

11
751 373
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,121 440
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
1,030 426
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

14
707 329
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
692 303
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
513 206
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
565 217
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
409 207
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
479 246
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
354 305
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
383 182
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
267 205
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
375 215
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

24
575 248
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
431 248
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
507 190
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
289 218
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
340 200
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
334 123
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

30
370 194
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

31
281 121
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
186 137
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
263 176
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
308 199
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
257 141
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
276 195
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
366 159
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
204 177
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
231 151
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
267 133
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

41
195 125
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
233 153
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

43
396 269
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
161 155
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
187 109
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
134 153
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
105 138
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
170 97
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
118 128
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
103 144
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83