Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

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Originally by Ranker Community
70k votes 9.6k voters 128.9k 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
4,089 621
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,743 1,123
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
2,122 1,755
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,530 732
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
1,229 634
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

6
2,489 1,633
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

7
1,365 471
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
1,065 501
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
962 503
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,325 487
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

11
875 417
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

12
1,248 492
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

13
1,195 644
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
793 374
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
785 337
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
596 243
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
648 244
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
572 277
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

19
452 235
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
413 343
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
444 210
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
307 230
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
619 209
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
674 272
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)