fantasy 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
2,489 395
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
1,129 626
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,411 1,037
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,627 951
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,421 422
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
768 367
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
876 298
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
698 297
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
647 318
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
754 273
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
727 377
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
823 330
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
552 288
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
515 244
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
530 235
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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16
371 141
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
518 104
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
426 162
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

19
317 153
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
355 179
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
267 221
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
268 129
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

23
195 153
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

24
285 164
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
268 150
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
314 180
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
432 192
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

28
366 139
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
215 170
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

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30
226 76
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

31
206 83
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
256 141
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
128 95
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
203 98
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

35
185 125
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
233 149
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

37
246 92
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

38
165 134
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

39
159 90
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

40
204 140
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
174 110
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
186 89
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

43
178 119
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
294 208
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
131 115
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
112 110
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
76 92
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
119 70
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
121 70
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
81 110
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82