Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
55.1k votes 7.4k voters 107.4k views 203 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.

1
3,121 524
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)

2
1,420 850
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,727 1,376
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,922 553
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,031 1,282
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 53

6
995 491
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 58

7
1,109 369
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
859 401
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
806 406
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
985 387
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 45

11
1,060 406
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

12
966 506
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 71

13
701 349
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 66

14
666 299
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 74

15
640 285
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
466 189
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
517 206
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
378 190
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
457 225
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
328 273
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
356 163
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
248 186
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 61

23
543 229
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
356 201
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
476 175
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
402 233
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
269 201
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
318 186
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
355 176
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
308 111
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 47

31
171 122
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
256 112
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

33
292 181
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 70

34
239 161
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
241 130
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
340 133
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 54

37
258 177
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
193 162
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 87

39
217 136
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
252 120
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 84

41
181 113
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
216 139
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

43
369 247
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
153 141
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
171 93
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 70

46
101 121
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

47
127 138
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

48
158 86
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
110 115
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Garth Nix age 55

50
95 132
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 83