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Best science fiction authors (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Straw poll time - who are the very best science fiction authors of all time?

Anything from hard sci-fi to science fantasy: Who are your favorites? And why...?

I know the names of all the "grandees" are going to come out - Asimov, Bear, Herbert, Crighton .... but I'm also interested in the less well known writers that you've enjoyed.

For instance, have you read any John Wyndham? Fairly light science-fiction; quite old now (wrote in the '50s and '60s), though much less dated than his contemporaries - titles like "Day of the Triffids", "Web", "The Crysalids", and others all stand up well even today. He was one of the strongest early influences on my own writing, and although my style has changed a lot, I can still see his influence in there.

Lets see who else you can think of.... :)

Kitten Courna

Senior Member
Does Walter M. Miller, Jr. count? I love Canticle for Leibowitz. And you can't forget Orson Scott Card, but his science fiction angles are definitely second to his psychological ones. This Wyndham fellow sounds interesting, I'll give him a shot when I've got an open day or two.



Robert Heinlein is exceptional. Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, etc.

This guy had such creativity.


Senior Member
Robert Heinlein and Orson Scott Card

oh, and Stanislaw Lem- I can never remember how to spell his name!


What! What? What?!?!?!?

So many posts and nobody has mentioned Philip K Dick? Many people do not take him seiously because so much of his work was short fiction. I believe his short fiction is better than many of his larger novels. Read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and you will understand his writing style. He was one of the first authors to see the future with a bleak outcome caused by our industrialisation.

As a writer he made a terrible living, and died befor he became famous. Very sad. :pale:


Senior Member
Alan Dean Foster both for Sf and SFantasy, Katherine Kurtz, Tanya Huff, David Gemmell, Jack Vance, Mercedes Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, E.E. Eddings ........
Heinlein and Card. Heinlein, especially for Stranger in a Strange Land, and Card for the Ender Series (especially speaker for the dead and Xenocide) and for Enchantment (a not so simple story about the real story of Sleeping Beauty).


Senior Member
Ah! A fellow after my own heart! I elected those two authors too. My best friend gave me Stranger in a Strange Land for Christmas . . . I was so captivated I finished the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Oh, it was the unabridged version, by the way. I've been trying to decide whether or not it's worth picking up the abridged one . . .


Michael Marshall Smith- really weird stuff.

The holy trinity, Gibson, Stephenson, Noon.

Iain M Banks

Alastair Reynolds.

Phillip K Dick.

Does HP Lovecraft count?

If so does Tolkein.

too many to mention.


I had to add one author the list :wink:

Peter F Hamilton ~ The Dark Dawn Trilogy, Nano Flower, and Fallen Dragon are the one's I have read.

He has to be my favourite sci-fi author.

I've also read Ian M Banks who is a great crossover writer and I've just been given ENDER'S GAME by Orson Scott Card. Plenty of people have said great things about Orson so it should be a good read.


Senior Member
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Larry Niven yet. His Ringworld and other Known Space books/Stories helped define a generation of sci-fi. I can't think of anything other than Star Wars or Star Trek that has as defined a timeline or universe, and those are made by giant teams of writers!


I haven't read a whole lot of books yet.. and the ones I did read were mostly Star Wars *giggle*

Besides those, I like Timothy Zahn. I haven't explored many authors yet, but give me time!

Alastair Gruell

Kage Baker. Witty, character-driven, Inventive! What more can you say about time travel, immortal cyborgs who become smashed on chocolate (but can metabolize every other substance, whether poisonous, narcotic, etc. quite easily), their rather dull masters and idiot savant enemies? A lot!


Senior Member
I know this post has nothing to do with this topic, but I just wanted to say Welcome Back godisthyname!


Senior Member
And I know this isn't entirely relevant as well but thanks. I've been busy these past two months but I'm back, new and improved actually.