fantasy The Best Fantasy Authors  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
49.8k votes 6.7k voters 99.2k views 209 items

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
2,862 475
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
1,305 768
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

3
1,595 1,242
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

4
1,871 1,166
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
J. K. Rowling age 53

5
1,717 505
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

6
898 441
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Neil Gaiman age 58

7
1,000 347
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

8
780 362
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

9
747 371
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

10
876 444
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Stephen King age 71

11
875 344
Patrick Rothfuss is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
schuechen added Patrick Rothfuss age 44

12
646 324
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robin Hobb age 65

13
947 372
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

14
593 276
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Terry Brooks age 73

The Best Fantasy Movies

15
587 265
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

16
426 166
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
476 186
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Ray Bradbury Died at 92 (1920-2012)

18
349 176
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

19
408 207
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

20
310 255
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

21
313 150
Anne McCaffrey is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Anne McCaffrey Died at 85 (1926-2011)

The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

22
224 172
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Tad Williams age 61

23
483 214
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

24
429 161
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

25
315 186
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

26
363 214
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

27
292 173
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

28
250 193
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

The Best Fantasy TV Shows

29
281 99
Jim Butcher is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jim Butcher age 46

30
310 162
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

31
155 111
Guy Gavriel Kay is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

32
234 102
Edgar Rice Burroughs is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Edgar Rice Burroughs Died at 75 (1875-1950)

33
228 115
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Arthur Williams added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

34
267 170
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Margaret Weis age 70

35
214 152
Stephen R. Donaldson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

The Most Overrated Books of All Time

36
307 123
Rick Riordan is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
JocastaTheWeird added Rick Riordan age 54

37
184 153
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Gene Wolfe age 87

38
234 166
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

39
170 105
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

40
194 129
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

41
222 111
Piers Anthony is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
AndrewGreen added Piers Anthony age 83

42
201 132
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

The Best Fantasy Book Series

43
339 236
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors

44
143 133
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

45
123 129
G. K. Chesterton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
G. K. Chesterton Died at 62 (1874-1936)

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

47
144 87
Andrzej Sapkowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
DaedelothThomas added Andrzej Sapkowski age 69

48
142 80
Andre Norton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Andre Norton Died at 93 (1912-2005)

49
90 125
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Susan Cooper age 82

50
141 97
Lloyd Alexander is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors
Lloyd Alexander Died at 83 (1924-2007)