writers The Best Fantasy Authors  

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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
2,194 348
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. R. R. Tolkien Died at 81 (1892-1973)

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2
1,242 900
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

3
1,014 538
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

4
1,416 832
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,183 386
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
671 335
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
768 277
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
626 263
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
645 226
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

10
632 312
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

11
574 289
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

12
721 300
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
486 264
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
440 226
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
472 219
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
383 142
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
418 86
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
289 136
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
321 122
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

20
312 166
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
234 200
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
258 150
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
242 139
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
282 160
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
322 125
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
384 177
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

27
220 116
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

28
164 140
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

29
183 72
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

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30
184 155
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

31
183 88
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

32
225 127
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
110 83
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
176 69
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

35
167 114
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
145 77
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

37
155 122
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

38
201 139
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
202 79
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
177 130
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
166 79
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
145 102
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
158 112
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

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44
266 193
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
123 106
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
66 84
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
100 60
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

48
99 103
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

49
101 65
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
112 80
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)