Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Writer Will Take Your Questions Now (#187) -- Fave Sci-Fi Writers

Who are your favorite sci-fi writers?

You're going to think me an old fuddy-duddy when I tell you my list of sci-fi faves, because there's not a contemporary author on it. That's not to say I don't like modern sci-fi writers, just that a lot of it has become either "epic" sci-fi or "fantasy" sci-fi or some other kind of hybrid that smacks to me of generic-ness.

That said, Ray Bradbury remains my favorite sci-fi writer. He may not have been big on the science in his tales, but he will remain forever, in my opinion, the heart of science fiction.

Then comes Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and yes, I can hear the accusations already: "He's not a real sci-fi author. He's a literary writer in sci-fi clothes." Well, hush, because this my list, and the books of his that I really love (Sirens of Titan and Player Piano) are pure sci-fi fun.

Next we have Robert Heinlein. Honestly, it doesn't get much better than I Will Fear No Evil, Job, or Stranger in a Strange Land.

Then there's a lesser known writer named Gary Kilworth. His "Let's Go To Golgotha" (and other short stories) are so evocative of Ray Bradbury that I couldn't help but love his work.

And finally, the master himself, H. G. Wells. Nuff said.

I've shown you mine. Now show me yours. (Get your mind out of the gutter. You know what I mean.) Use the comments to list your faves.


  1. Definitely Ray Bradbury
    Harlan Ellison
    Dan Simmons

  2. Myself I go with:

    Keith Laumer
    Ray Bradbury
    John Steakley
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Harry Harrison

  3. Honestly, I don't follow many current writers of modern science fiction unless I encounter the from time to time in anthologies like acquaintances met only at conventions.

    Gene Wolfe
    Lan Wright
    RA Lafferty
    Cordwainer Smith

    There are some authors I'd be inclined to include but, in fact, I was only blown away by a single story and the rest of their work is sort of meh. James Tiptree, Jr is like that.

    1. I have several like that too, James.

  4. Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, Robert Heinlein, HP Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison.

  5. OK, here's my list.

    E. E. Smith
    Ray Cummings
    Isaac Asimov
    Gordon R. Dickson
    David Weber
    Alan Dean Foster
    John Ringo
    Hal Clement
    Jim Butcher

    As you can see, it runs the gamut from old to new and Space Opera to Long running arcs.

    I'm not sure Butcher fits in as true SF as opposed to fantasy, but that's your problem, not mine. :)


  6. I like a lot of the writers already mentioned. Here are two more names:

    Old: James H. Schmitz. All his stories are great and Space Opera-y, but especially for The Witches of Karres.

    New: Jack McDevitt, especially for his Alex Benedict books.

  7. Verne, Wells, Burroughs, E.E. Smith

  8. Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Poul Anderson, Mike Resnick, and Perry Rhodan co-creator Clark Darlton/Walter Ernsting