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Best science fiction author

Who do you guys think is the best science fiction author and which book is their best work?
Terry Brooks Shannara Series is so in depth, it spans over about 7 generations in about 16 books. Brooks started with the bestselling Sword of Shannara, and thats when i fell in love. Most of the books have avg. everyday heroes who r forced to greatness, and then there are those wars b/t elves, dwarves and men, i think it is the greatest series of science fiction books ever written, second to none
If by science-fiction you mean fantasy too, i must go with R.E.Feist Smile If you mean pure sci-fi i am not so sure since i prefer fantasy but maybe J.Kulhanek comes to my mind.
That's as hard as picking a favorite movie. Confused

I think the one book that struck a cord with me was "Dhalgren" by S. Delaney. Recently, I've been workng my way through the Otherland series by Tad Williams and definately up there on my list.

But a single best author as a whole....nah, I can't do it. Confused

Ellison and Bradbury both great short fiction.
Niven, Adams for novels
Tolkien and Karl Edward Wagner for fantasy

And I'll change my mind later.
For some different Sci-Fi you might want to check out the work of CS Lewis. Yes, that's the same guy who wrote the Narnia books.

A lot of modern sci-fi tends to be very similar and more than often is just a twist on the star wars universe (not that SW was ever close to being completely orginal).

It's intersting to read some Sci-Fi which predates Star Wars, most of Star Trek and all the other cliches we've gotten used to.
One of the best is still Stanislav Lem, a polish author. He is higly intelligent IQ 170 and can also write books Very Happy ! Although they seem more like fairy tales with a moral in evey single story, there are fascinating thoughts and characters in most of his short stories.
It is hard to just pick one, but when forced to, I have to go with my standard: Isaac Asimov, though I can't choose between his 'Foundation' books and his 'Robot' books, as his best. He has MANY books to choose from that are excellent.

Other SCI-FI writers that are pretty good, and should be mentioned would include: Robert Heinlen, Orson Scott Card, Frank Herbert, Alan Dean Foster, Arthur C. Clarke, among others.
I don't really read all that much science fiction. I like Orson Scott Card, but I can see where he'd be considered almost a joke by other sci-fi writers' standards. I mean, Asimov and Hubbard and Clarke I guess are the kings, right? (Forgive me if I'm making all of this up >.>) Tolkien... to me, is just way too in-depth and involved in his own stories. I can't get into 'em.
Slight detour here, but I'm curious how many of the younger folk here have the authors like Asmov, Clarke, Heinlein, Silverberg, etc. Just wondering if the old guys are still being read as much as they used to. No specific ages, just if you are more or less younger than, say, 25.
as a matter of fact i am under 25 and I've mainly read those older authors especially Heinlein, and Clarke. I read the entire Space Oddessy series a couple of years ago. I think the first one I read however was Ender's game.
I've not read many sci-fic books, but my favourite author is Ray Bradbury. I think most of you guys know the book Fahrenheit 451 written by him. Right now I'm reading his two short stories collections, The Golden Apple of the Sun and R is for Rocket for my English project. Very interesting indeed.
English teachers don't seem to throw in too many science fiction books. I usually just spark note english books beacause i find no real value in them...except when we had to read Clarke and Heinlein, then of course I actually read the book, as well as 1984 by Orwell.
No one mentioned Philip K. Dick? The author of Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep? The book from which Blade Runner developed? His work called We will remember for you wholesale was the basis for Total Recall.

No one mentioned Frank Herbert's Dune series? I loved reading the entire Dune series of books. No book has moved or captivated me so much as Dune. It was just so evocative at the time I read it.

I loved all his book, because they analyzed the question of humanity and waht it means to be human...

Starship Troopers by RH was also a favourite as well as almost everything by Arthur C. Clarke.
While I am a large movie/TV sci-fi fan I havn't started reading very much of it until recently. So at the moment I will have to go with Jasper Fforde. A witty writing style and always messes with the way you percieve words or situations.
Anne McCaffery is a great authour, she has made so much amazing. Like her Pern series. Most of those books are simply fantastc, in every use of the term Very Happy
I am not that much into sci-fi, but those books are some of my favourites!
Philip K. Dick is the greatest by far. He rules, everyone else drools. I dare you to read Ubik and not be blown away. If you are too lazy to read novel length stuff, try his short story Roog. Good stuff, Maynard.
I will go for Philip K. Dick- The author of Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep
Will never forget such a great author
H.G. Wells....

H. G. Wells
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
H. G. Wells
Born: September 21, 1866
Died: August 13, 1946
Occupation(s): Novelist
Genre(s): Science Fiction

Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 – August 13, 1946) was a British writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Time Machine. He was a prolific writer in the history of literature, and wrote works in nearly every genre, including short stories and nonfiction. He was an outspoken socialist, and most of his works contain some notable political or social commentary.
Read them....

The Time Machine
The Invisible Man
The War of the Worlds
Wells: For many books exp: war of the worlds
Verne: Again for many books exp: 20000 leagues...
Adams: For the hitchiker's guide series
Benchley: For the dune series (not sure about the name there, but I think it's correct)
my faves: Herbert, Asimov, Clarke, Niven, Dick

I still think the original Dune is the most amazing sci-fi world ever. I reread this every couple of years and am still blown away. But I did start to get bored after the first few books.

I recently read Ender's Game after reading practically no sci-fi for 10 years, and thought it was good. I'll probaby pick up some more Card in the future.

also sorta touching on sci-fi is HP Lovecraft. some of the stories are a bit laughable, but others are quite well put together.
My favorite science fiction author is Philip K Dick. I first got into his work when I read "Time Out Of Joint" several years ago. If you don't know the book, I would recommend that you read it. I think everyone knows that the film "Bladerunner" was based on his book "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?" and since then a few of his books have been turned into movies: Screamers (starring Peter Weller) based on "Second Variety" is another of my favorite books to film.

Phil Dick also wrote many interesting essays. There's a web site online where you can find out more about this author:

Official Philip K Dick Site
nobody mentioned William Gibson? Smile
for me he is one of the most interesting s-f authors. He was one of the first to think up the idea of 'cyberspace', so strongly developed by other creators further on. The comic and then the movie 'Matrix' were based on that idea as well.

Oh, but.. Well, Polish author Stanislaw Lem wrote short novels about such parallel worlds already in the 60's ;PPP
Reading his novels is amazing though, because you would look at them like at fairytales, but then you just plunge into the book. And you see ideas and questions similar to this what may be called 'now-a-days s-f'. And you realize that Lem arrived at all that stuff 40 years ago. Awesome.

For example, one of the novels tells the story of a scientist who arranged virtual creatures to live in a 2-D world. He set the time to flow faster, so that evolution would happen in the blink of an eye. And he observed. And he found out that among the creatures there evolved philosophers, priests, followers, messiahs, all of which (whom?) had their own views on the world and the meaning of 'entity', 'universe' and so on. Awesome:) Pity I don't remember the name of the book already:/

Stanislaw Lem has passed away in March this year, may his soul rest in peace.
Orson Scott Card's Ender series is fantastic. Some of the best Science Fiction writing I have ever read. Also Frank Herbert's Dune is a great book.
one of the best is probably Robert Silverberg, but if you want to laught i advise you Terry Pratchett, the discworld (but it's more heroic fantasy than science fiction)
Vonnegut! I'm not sure if he's been mentioned yet but he's wonderful.
Isaac Asimov with Foundation, as someone remembered.
Seeing as there are a few authors here i've never heard of, i think i'll have to look into obtaining their books sometime soon
I think Douglas Adams. Humor is tremendously important to me and he slays me!
INeedHelp wrote:
Orson Scott Card's Ender series is fantastic. Some of the best Science Fiction writing I have ever read. Also Frank Herbert's Dune is a great book.

I agree completly. The way he writes the book leaves the reader interested throughout.
Isac Azimov - Fundation
Stanislav Lem - Solaris
Game Fortress
I dont read scifi so my opinion will probably look unfounded and rediculous. Bear in mind that this is exactly true. Anyway, I really like the books I have read by Orson Scott Card. (Ender's Game being the most notable)
If you are looking at both Sci-Fi and Fantasy, R.A. Salvatore is a very good author (fantasy). Piers Anthony (Sci-Fi), R.L. Aprin (mix). Stephenson (Near Future/Cyberpunk and Historical Fantasy), Roger Zelazny (Amber Series).

These are the authors I read the most and the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
Douglas Adams all the way! Thank you.
(Because nothing beats a pot-induced adventure!)
Philip K. Dick, hands down. Ubik, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? are both greats.
Philip José Farmer is my favorite right now. Then there are Asimov, Clark, Anthony, Anderson, Gibson, Adams and many more. Mostly from the 70's and 80's.
douglas adams and his hitchhiker series is the best sci-fi writer and best sci-fi book Laughing
satyajit ray
his are the best fiction works
he also won oscar for lihetime achievement Idea
Studio Madcrow
I'm partial to the work of Jack Vance myself. His books combine the sense of adventure and complete lack or regard for the true laws of physical reality that characterize the Space Opera (see Star Wars, Star Trek and most other TV/Film science fiction) genre with a wonderful wit and the ability to write absolutely amazingly well. He also wrote Fantasy and Mystery novel (but not any more, he's old and doesn't write NEARLY as much as he used to). He actually won AWARDS for all the different types of novels he's ever written.
not to keep on playing the same old record - but philip k. dick is for my money the single most important writer in ANY genre to emerge from america since the 50's.

there has to be a caveat here - yes he churned the stuff out and not everything is great (like most SF writers) but his finest works transcend the SF tag. My own favourite would be UBIK, but A MAZE OF DEATH, A SCANNER DARKLY, THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE.... the list goes on, are all superb.

Another one of my all time fave SF books is ROADSIDE PICNIC by the Strugatsky brothers from Russia. it was the inspiration for the movie STALKER - any fans of Lem should check it out - a brilliant novel.
I like Adam Roberts. He has unique style/plotlines, different from most other contemporary SF writers.
Iain M Banks (Culture series) and Stephen Baxter (Manifold and Xeelee sequences) are also very good and I have just started on a Charles Stoss novel which seems promising.
my two favorite sci/fi authors are orson scott card and robert a. heinlen, because of their personal voice and powerful characters, along with the philosophies they present in their works. books by these authors really make the reader think.
As great as Heinlein, Asimov, Bova, Herbert, et al were, Philip José Farmer, and his Riverworld series always captivated me, as did his A Barnstormer in Oz. While other authors can turn the stuff of scientific theories into credible works of fiction, Farmer can generate amazingly believable worlds from the least likely combinations of people and scenarios.

Fred Saberhagen is another writer who is particular good at this, with books such as The Frankenstein Papers - telling the well-known story, but from the monster's point of view, and The Dracula Tape - similarly told from Dracula's point of view.

Finally, I must also include the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books by Spider Robinson, with whom I share the same sense of humour.
No to be overly redundant, but I must cast my vote for the more classical, i.e. the old guard, of science fiction writers, rather than the younger and less experienced. The main reason that I love these writers is that the things they wrote about (a few decades ago) are currently happening, both technologically and sociologically. Among my favorites; Heinlein, Huxley and Vonnegut for their novels, Asimov and Clarke for both novel length and short story pieces, and Vance, Anderson, Ellison and Silverberg for short stories.
Odd, that a science fiction discussion would leave out Huxley and the classic (in both science fiction and non-science fiction worlds) novel Brave New World...
oh and I enjoyed Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game but found it a little to easy to read, a little too simple in structure. It was almost as if the ease of reading it caused me to sail through the book far too speedily to study the concepts that he presents in the depth they deserve.

Perhaps I'm just stuck in the 60's and 70's I was never alive in.
Maybe I'm being a bit mainstream here, but in my mind Isaac Asimov is possibly one of the greatest sci-fi writers; his Foundation and Robot series are quite amazing.

However, my true favourite must be Douglas Adams. his views on the rest of the universe are just so hillarious, that it doesn't matter what mood you're in when you read one of his books; you're guaranteed to end up laughing. Possibly whilst rolling on the floor.
I've pretty much read most of the above (mainstream authors - old and new) and confess to enjoying most of them.
My favourite of the lot is Frank Herbert, and not just for the Dune Series.
He wrote many other books, many of which are initially hard to get into, but with persistance are very satisfying.
My favourites amongst these being the series
- Destination Void
- The Jesus Incident
- The Lazarus Effect
- The Ascention Factor
Tad Williams and it's Otherland series is very high on my list, I like Clive Baker too (it's not really sci fi but since many mentioned fantasy authors..)
LOVE Terry Pratchett, it's a must read !
Never could get into Donalson...
Daisie wrote:
Tad Williams and it's Otherland series is very high on my list, I like Clive Baker too (it's not really sci fi but since many mentioned fantasy authors..)
LOVE Terry Pratchett, it's a must read !
Never could get into Donalson...

In love with Otherland myself! It never ceases to blow my mind...phwoar.
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