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
3,365 536
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 81 (1892-1973)

2
1,484 893
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,792 1,443
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
2,008 591
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

5
2,113 1,348
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 53

6
1,033 512
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 58

7
1,159 383
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
896 419
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
832 423
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
1,097 426
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 59 (1948-2007)

11
1,017 413
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added age 45

12
724 359
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 66

13
690 317
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 74

14
1,004 527
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 71

15
673 293
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
486 197
Lewis Carroll is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 66 (1832-1898)

17
547 211
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
394 198
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
471 234
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
345 286
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
370 170
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 85 (1926-2011)

22
262 194
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 61

23
371 204
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 58 (1937-1995)

24
561 238
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 78 (1931-2009)

25
424 238
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

26
497 182
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
335 189
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
281 209
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 89 (1918-2007)

29
365 184
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

30
325 117
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 47

31
181 127
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
276 114
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Died at 75 (1875-1950)

33
256 166
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

34
302 190
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 70

35
253 133
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added Died at 63 (1856-1919)

36
273 185
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

37
355 146
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added age 54

38
200 168
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 87

39
226 142
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

40
262 123
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added age 84

41
193 116
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 82 (1910-1992)

42
386 257
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

43
223 145
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 77 (1866-1943)

44
160 146
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
183 100
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added age 70

46
131 145
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 62 (1874-1936)

47
105 128
China Miéville is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

48
166 89
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
116 120
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 55

50
101 136
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
age 83