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
2,283 364
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
1,053 565
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,290 942
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,482 864
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,270 398
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
701 342
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
806 281
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
646 275
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
596 299
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
679 243
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
662 333
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
749 308
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
511 270
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
466 232
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
493 223
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
400 147
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

17
339 128
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Lewis Carroll Died at 66 (1832-1898)

18
450 93
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

19
297 143
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
325 170
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
242 206
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
267 154
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
250 143
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
294 167
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
234 120
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

26
399 180
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

27
170 144
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

28
334 129
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
192 77
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
191 159
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

31
235 131
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
191 69
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

33
187 93
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

34
114 88
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
174 117
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
150 81
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

37
211 141
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

38
158 126
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

39
218 84
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
184 132
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
174 81
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
151 105
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
163 114
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
274 195
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
126 109
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
101 106
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
66 89
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
103 63
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
106 66
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
73 103
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82