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
2,501 398
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
1,135 627
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,420 1,040
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,636 958
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,433 425
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
769 370
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
880 299
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
700 298
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
653 321
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
755 276
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
734 379
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
825 333
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
555 290
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
521 244
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

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15
531 236
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
374 142
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
520 104
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

18
429 164
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

19
318 154
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
359 181
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
268 222
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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22
198 154
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

23
269 130
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

24
286 165
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

25
269 151
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
315 181
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
434 192
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

28
367 140
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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29
217 171
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

30
227 77
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

31
206 84
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
131 96
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
256 142
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
205 100
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
188 126
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

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36
234 150
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

37
165 135
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

38
248 94
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

39
206 141
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
159 91
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

41
174 111
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

42
189 90
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

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43
180 120
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
295 209
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

45
131 116
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

46
113 111
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 93
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
120 71
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
121 71
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
81 111
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82