Fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
3,716 563
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,589 983
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,911 1,575
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,170 654
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,275 1,465
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,116 565
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,233 425
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
969 452
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
900 459
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,096 443
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

11
1,186 459
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

12
786 390
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

13
1,095 580
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

14
735 345
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

15
723 314
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
541 221
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
592 224
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
429 215
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
503 257
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
404 190
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

21
370 322
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
280 215
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
612 259
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
544 198
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
391 222
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
451 262
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
302 227
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

28
348 210
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
397 203
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
351 135
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
297 128
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

32
197 144
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

33
279 185
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
324 209
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
267 150
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
396 173
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

37
289 205
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

38
286 140
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

39
210 186
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

40
241 159
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
205 131
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
419 280
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
241 162
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
167 164
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
197 115
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
140 157
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
108 144
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
175 103
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
123 134
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
107 149
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83