writers The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by
37.5k votes 5.0k voters 80.9k views 208 items Embed

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
2,269 361
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)

The Best Fantasy Movies The Scariest Novels of All Time

2
1,045 558
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,279 936
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,472 858
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 52

5
1,256 395
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
695 340
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 57

7
797 281
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
644 271
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
590 296
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
674 237
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

11
655 330
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 70

12
744 304
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

13
505 268
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

14
459 230
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

15
487 221
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

The Best Fantasy TV Shows The Best Movies Based on Short Stories

16
336 125
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
396 146
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
446 91
J.R.R. Tolkein is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

19
294 140
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

20
322 167
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
240 203
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

22
266 151
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

23
248 141
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

24
291 163
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
228 117
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

26
392 178
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

27
168 142
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 60

28
328 127
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

29
189 75
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)

The Best Fantasy Book Series The Biggest Turn Ons in a Person

30
189 156
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

31
234 127
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
187 89
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

33
185 69
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

34
112 84
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

35
171 114
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

36
148 77
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

37
158 122
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 86

38
207 139
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 69

39
216 81
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 53

40
181 130
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
171 80
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
148 103
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
160 112
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

7 Mythical Creatures That Were Found in Real Life The Best Reality TV Shows Since 2015

44
125 106
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
268 194
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

46
100 103
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 85
China MiƩville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
102 60
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

49
103 65
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

50
115 80
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)