The Top Ten Most Influential Fantasy Authors


We will never have unanimous agreement on this matter, but here is one list of the ten most influential fantasy authors to date.


Earlier this year I wrote a post in which I compiled a list of who I felt were the ten most influential science fiction authors to date. To my surprise this post is far and away the most viewed post on this blog, responsible for about a third of all the traffic to the site. In light of that, I’ve decided it is about time I compiled a list of the most influential fantasy authors to date, in my opinion.

Now, before anyone gets their underwear in a bunch about my choices, I want to make it clear what my criteria for including these authors on this list is. My judgement is based solely on how much influence the authors have exerted on the genre in terms of inspiring readers and other authors, as well as in influencing the various directions in which fantasy literature has moved in. I have not taken into account how successful any given author has been, nor their abilities as writers and storytellers. I haven’t even been swayed by how much I like or dislike any of my choices or their body of work.

Without further ado, here in reverse order, are the ten most influential fantasy authors of all time. And please keep in mind that this is just one person’s opinion; you are free to disagree with any or all of the selections.


10: Robert Jordan

ImageHistory will forever remember Robert Jordan as the creative force behind, The Wheel Of Time series, one of the most successful and popular fantasy book series of the past quarter of a century. The epic, multi-volume series has sold literally tens of millions of copies worldwide, and has proved to be one of the most influential of recent times.

Famously, Jordan passed away before completing what was intended to be the final instalment of The Wheel Of Time. However, he had the foresight to leave extensive notes to allow another author to complete the book in the event of his passing away. Brandon Sanderson, who is a fan of the series was eventually brought in to write what became the final three volumes.

The success that The Wheel Of Time has attained has helped to revitalise the appeal and popularity of long running, epic fantasy sagas, and will ensure that Jordan’s influence will continue to be felt for many years to come.


The Eye Of The World (The Wheel Of Time, Book 1)
The Dragon Reborn (The Wheel Of Time, Book 3)
Lord Of Chaos (The Wheel Of Time, Book 6)

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