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writers The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time  

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Best fantasy authors 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
236 39
J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
J. R. R. Tolkien Died at 81 (1892-1973)

The Best Fantasy Authors The Best Novels Written by Famous Actors

2
128 52
Brandon Sanderson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
SimonD added Brandon Sanderson age 42

3
145 75
George R. R. Martin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

4
104 49
C. S. Lewis is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
AlfonsoVelascoSendra added C. S. Lewis Died at 65 (1898-1963)

5
104 50
Robert Jordan is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robert Jordan Died at 59 (1948-2007)

6
84 37
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

7
139 75
J. K. Rowling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
J. K. Rowling age 52

8
66 26
Robin Hobb is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robin Hobb age 65

9
71 30
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

10
69 33
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Neil Gaiman age 57

11
60 29
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Lon Harris added H. P. Lovecraft Died at 47 (1890-1937)

12
42 16
Joe Abercrombie is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
SimonD added Joe Abercrombie age 43

13
57 28
Roald Dahl is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Roald Dahl Died at 74 (1916-1990)

14
29 7
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Stephen King age 70

15
53 26
Terry Brooks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
SimonD added Terry Brooks age 73

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16
29 11
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
oldrocker added Orson Scott Card age 66

17
46 27
David Eddings is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
David Eddings Died at 78 (1931-2009)

18
37 20
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Roger Zelazny Died at 58 (1937-1995)

19
15 2
L. Frank Baum is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
RobinHess added L. Frank Baum Died at 63 (1856-1919)

20
11 1
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Pageturner added Fritz Leiber Died at 82 (1910-1992)

21
34 20
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Robert E. Howard Died at 30 (1906-1936)

22
45 30
Philip Pullman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Lon Harris added Philip Pullman age 71

23
31 18
Michael Moorcock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

24
13 2
Raymond E. Feist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
emr.kenny added Raymond E. Feist age 72

25
24 12
Mercedes Lackey is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
BrandenPynn added Mercedes Lackey age 67

26
26 14
Tad Williams is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Tad Williams age 60

27
26 15
Steven Erikson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

28
20 10
Diana Wynne Jones is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Diana Wynne Jones Died at 77 (1934-2011)

29
23 13
Jack Vance is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Jack Vance Died at 97 (1916-2013)

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30
27 17
Margaret Weis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Margaret Weis age 69

31
18 10
Beatrix Potter is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
AlfonsoVelascoSendra added Beatrix Potter Died at 77 (1866-1943)

32
26 18
Madeleine L'Engle is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Madeleine L'Engle Died at 89 (1918-2007)

33
28 20
Robert Anthony Salvatore is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

34
43 36
Terry Goodkind is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time

35
22 16
Gene Wolfe is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Gene Wolfe age 86

36
12 7
Garth Nix is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
SimonD added Garth Nix age 54

37
7 2
Lois McMaster Bujold is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
BeccaMcMaster added Lois McMaster Bujold age 68

38
6 1
Laurell K. Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Pageturner added Laurell K. Hamilton age 54

39
7 3
Michael J. Sullivan is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
BeccaMcMaster added Michael J. Sullivan age 56

40
13 10
Susan Cooper is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Milton Houten added Susan Cooper age 82

41
3 0
Tamora Pierce is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
EmilyCarlson added Tamora Pierce age 64

42
3 0
Karl Edward Wagner is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Karl Edward Wagner Died at 49 (1945-1994)

43
3 0
Ruth Plumly Thompson is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
RobinHess added Ruth Plumly Thompson Died at 85 (1891-1976)

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44
3 0
David Gemmell is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
NikkiTalbotDyer added David Gemmell Died at 58 (1948-2006)

45
3 0
Robin Hess is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
RobinHess added Robin Hess

46
10 8
Janny Wurts is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Milton Houten added Janny Wurts age 64

47
4 2
Patricia Briggs is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
Pageturner added Patricia Briggs age 52

48
3 1
T. H. White is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
T. H. White Died at 58 (1906-1964)

49
2 0
Eric Shanower is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
RobinHess added Eric Shanower age 54

50
2 0
Virginia Wickwar is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Fantasy Authors of All Time
RobinHess added Virginia Wickwar