Discussion Forums - Science Fiction

Topic: 5 Favorite SCIFI authors

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: 5 Favorite SCIFI authors
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 5:58 AM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

For purposes of this question, pleae no fantasy or horror authors!



What are your top five favorite authors, any particular reason why?

Mine, in no particular order

Isaac Asimov -The Robot Novels are my favorite trilogy. Daneel, Elijah, and Giskard. Whealan's(sp) cover to Robots of Dawn is my all time favorite book cover.

Ray Bradbury - The Martian Chronicles and Farenheit 451. They have crosse dboundaries to be considered great outside the genre.I still get a chill at the last lines of  Martian Chronicles.

CJ Cherryh - The Chanur novels will always be on my shelf. One of my all time favorite characters is Halan Meras from Chanur's Legacy

David Brin - Startide Rising and The Uplift War put him in the top 5

David Weber - Long winded at times, but some of the best Military fiction around.

Honorable Mention -  Clifford Simak I like every book of his I have read



Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:02 AM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
Back To Top


Robert A. Heinlein - I was introduced to science fiction with his juvenile novels, and have read nearly everything he wrote.  I love his style and stories.  I think he is one of the most intelligent and truly talented writers of the 20th Century, regardless of genre.  As an English major I am comparing him to authors like Faulkner, Hemingway, and Wharton.

Joe Haldeman - I believe he revolutionized the Hard SF subgenre in the '70s and has continued to put out excellent novels and short stories.  You can always be sure of something different from Haldeman.

Frank Herbert - Heinlein is my favorite author, but Dune is probably my favorite single book.  The detail and vision that must have gone into the creation of the story boggles my mind.

Orson Scott Card - Not a pure science fiction writer, but the Ender/Shadow books are important enough in the genre to mention him, I think.  Card is an amazing storyteller, in my view, and does an amazing job with both the small foibles of characters and grand political ideas.  Having met Mr. Card in person, I may be a little prejudiced, as he's also helpful and a nice guy.

Timothy Zahn - A bit of a toss-up for #5.  I am sick unto death of Star Wars novels, and will probably never read another.  That said, several years ago I tried to read every one in existance, and Zahn is the original and best.  However, it is for his other work I really thnk Zahn is a great writer.  The Icarus Hunt and the Conqueror's trilogy are both among my favorites, and his more recent books have all been incredible.  Another thing to consider is the lack of violence and sex, which makes all his books approriate for kids who can read above their age level.

Subject: Favorite 5
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 11/7/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

Narrowing it to five is really tough.  But, with apologies to all those favorites who don't make it to the list:

Robert Heinlein - Mostly because he was my main introduction to science fiction as a boy.  Although the first scifi novel I read was Ralph 124C41 - not by Heinlein.

Iain Banks - The Culture novels just blow me away.  Great space opera.

Neal Asher - His Polity novels and the sub-set of Cormac novels are among the best hard science fiction stuff I've read in years.

Clifford Simak - While part of the Old Guard, I can't help but admire this guy's longevity.  I believe he's had more stories made into sci fi movies or television episodes than any other author in history.

Richard K. Morgan - best new writer I've come across this decade.

Honorable Mention - Jack McDevitt - writes a great yarn and is very prolific.

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
Back To Top

For me, getting it up to five is tough!  I really only think of three: Herbert, Heinlein, and Dick.  Herbert's writing is so well thought out, so complex, and touches on so many different aspects of humanity and human interaction (like philosophy, politics, religion, etc).  Heinlein's writing is more of a commentary on those subjects, but is part of the reason I like his writing.  Philip K. Dick is in a whole world of his own with the way he mixes pyschiatry and psychosis in with existentialism to acheive some of the most uniquely mind twisting stories I've ever encountered. 

Edited to Add: I've seriously got to get to reading!!! 

Last Edited on: 11/12/08 7:20 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 7:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

Delia Marshall Turner  (Wish she'd write more)

Wen Spencer

Maggy Thomas  (Only one book but wow, covered alot in one book.)

Alis Rasmussen/Kate Elliot

William Gibson

Date Posted: 11/12/2008 7:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
Back To Top

I'm going to list the 5 names I'll buy without even looking at the inside flap.

Elizabeth Moon

Larry Niven (especially if he's paired with Pournelle)

John Scalzi

Allen Steele

John Varley


Honorable mention to Bujold's SF books, Julie Czerneda, Karen Traviss and David Gerrold.

Yes, I like space opera and books that go boom :-)


Subject: Oh. And why...
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 8:10 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

Delia Marshall Turner  (Wish she'd write more)  Short, coming of age books suitable for teens as well as adults.  And really weird.

Wen Spencer   Haven't picked up a book of hers that I didn't enjoy. 

Maggy Thomas  (Only one book but wow, covered alot in one book.)

Alis Rasmussen/Kate Elliot   The classic space trip with war and discovery.  Talks big ideas while writing chase scenes and gun fights.

William Gibson  He's William Gibson.  Changed the shape of all SF while writing a solid story.

Everyone else that comes to mind has a book or two that gets them off the short list.  Or crosses the line to fantasy. 

Subject: Top 5 Sci-fi authors
Date Posted: 11/12/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 12/18/2007
Posts: 23
Back To Top

1) William Gibson - his writing is just SO different and interesting! I've read everything of his since I first read Neuromancer.

2) Robert Heinlein - imaginative, funny and brings good points to his stories too.

3) Orson Scott Card - his Ender books and A Planet Called Treason but his fantasy books loose me.

4) The B's - Bear, Bova and Benford - scientists all and always informative in explaining science while adding a good human story too.

5) Venor Vinge - Great stories, good characters.


Date Posted: 11/13/2008 12:23 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
Back To Top

Which Bear?  Elizabeth?  Greg?

Subject: my top 5 (or 6)
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 8:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
Back To Top

My favorites change from time to time.  However, long term, the authors from whom I have read the most books over the past 40 years would be...


#1 Ursula LeGuin - 29 books

#2 Ray Bradbury - 27 books

#3 Orson Scott Card - 20 books

#4 Larry Niven - 20 books

#5 Isaac Asimov - 17 books

#5 Arthur C. Clarke - 17 books

Note that while I read predominantly science fiction, some of these writers have both science fiction and fantasy, and my counts combine that.

-Tom Hl.

Last Edited on: 11/13/08 8:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/23/2005
Posts: 6,143
Back To Top

I don't read a ton of sci-fi, I'm more of a fantasy reader, but some sci-fi authors that I've really liked are:

  1. Orson Scott Card
  2. Joan Slonczewski
  3. China Mieville
  4. Louise Marley
  5. Sheri S. Tepper
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 11:55 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2008
Posts: 66
Back To Top

5 that I will buy without bothering to read the cover blurb - assuming I don't already have a copy :)

Spider Robinson - If anyone has the address of Callahan's bar, please let me know. Warm, funny, and very human stories with a scif premise.

Greg Egan - hard scifi, combines cutting edge physics with realistic characterization, explores interesting territory

John Varley - I like a series set in a "future history" style, and his Eight Worlds books are fabulous. His short story work is just as impressive. I still get creepy shivers everytime I read "Just Press Enter". His new trilogy (starting with Red Thunder) is very reminescent of early Heinlein.

Alan Dean Foster - I find his stories engaging and often with just the right touch of humor, personality and humanity.

Keith Laumer - A beliveable shared universe, memorable characters,  and Bolo tanks.

Clifford Simak - love his sense of mystery. Too many authors forget the imagination and take pages to explain every little detail, while Simak lets you wonder now and then.

Harry Harrison - not a big fan of the Eden books, but the Stainless Steel Rat series is not to be missed. His often overlooked "To the Stars" trilogy is well worth reading if you can find a copy

Heinlein - what can be said. My #1 favorite scifi author. He started my interest in scifi as a child and his death was a true loss to the world. I miss him.

Couldn't stop at 5, sorry :)




Subject: Fab Five
Date Posted: 1/2/2009 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
Back To Top

Impossible task - but...... out of seventeen I chose:

Iain Banks

Neal Asher

Charles Stross

Jack McDevitt

and a tie between Robert Sawyer, Larry Niven and John Varley

Paul H. (PaulH) - ,
Date Posted: 1/3/2009 11:13 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 146
Back To Top

Great topic... but only 5?  Let's see, just glancing through my bookshelves...

1. For me would have to be Isaac Asimov.  He is the one single author I've read the most of.  Of course, that was admittedly 20 years ago now.

2. Frank Herbert.  I've only read one book of his... Dune.  But what a book!

3. Ben Bova.  I really like his Grand Tour novels.  Also, on a personal level, back in the late 1990's I ran an amateur fan club called IFFE - The International Fraternity for the Forces of Evil.  It was for all of us who like to root for the villain rather than the hero.  We published a humerous quarterly newsletter and literary annual.  Back then I read a Bova short story called "The Cafe Coup" which I thought would be perfect for our annual that year.  I wrote the publisher for their permission to reprint the story, and to forward my request to Dr. Bova.  He was very accomodating (considering we couldn't afford to pay him) it was the highlight of IFFE's 3 year run!

4. Arthur C. Clarke.  I've read his Space Odyssey series 3 times.

5. H. G. Wells.  The Time Machine.  The War of the Worlds.  The Invisible Man.  The Island of Doctor Moreau.  All must-read classics!

My honorable mentions would go to Jules Verne (more must-read classics), Robert Heinlien (of course), John Varley (The Golden Globe) and Timothy Zahn (The Conquerors Trilogy).

Date Posted: 1/6/2009 11:15 PM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2008
Posts: 22
Back To Top

5 were requested, so 5 are listed......

1.    C. J Cherryh  - both Chanur's & Foreigner's Series

2.    David Brin  - Startide Rising & The Uplift War

3.    Robert Heinlein - just started reading his books & so far they are great

4.    James White - Alien Emergenies series

5.    Chris Claremont - HIgh Frontier - excellent


SF/Fantasty authors easier to find.  This was a good idea.  Thank you!  :)


Date Posted: 1/10/2009 2:26 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2006
Posts: 12
Back To Top

Roger Zelazny -- almost anything pre-1985 by him is gold.  Later stuff varies more.

David Brin -- I wore out my copy of The Uplift War.

Poul Anderson -- I went through a big Poul Anderson phase in high school.

Verner Vinge -- Mr. Singularity

Larry Niven/Jerry Pournelle collaborations -- better than either author on their own.

Date Posted: 1/25/2009 11:41 PM ET
Member Since: 3/19/2007
Posts: 79
Back To Top

Octavia Butler

Orson Scott Card

Lois McMaster Bujold

Vonda McIntyre

Connie Willis

Date Posted: 1/26/2009 1:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2008
Posts: 273
Back To Top

I would have to say:

Robert Heinlein

Frank Herbert

Orson Scott Card

Isaac Azimov

Arthur C Clarke

Hmmmm coincidence that these authors show up on the "reread" thread......  :-)


Date Posted: 1/28/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 1/25/2009
Posts: 6
Back To Top

In no particular order:

1.  Orson Scott Card:  What can I say?  Ender's Game was my Catcher in the Rye.  I also enjoyed some of his earlier shorts like Fat Farm.

2.  Ray Bradbury:  I've read everything that he's written several times.  His use of language still boggles my mind.  The only author I ever got into a physical altercation over when a classmate in college compared her hack writing to his due to their fixation on the month of October.

3.  Cyril Kornbluth:  Although quite a bit of his writing now reads like the dated prose of a frustrated teenager (which, in his defense, it is), The Marching Morons will always hold a special place in my heart.

4.  Ursula LeGuin:  I don't actually like any of her novels, but I love her short stories.  Especially The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas.

5.  Robert Heinlein:  Just good ol' reads.

Of course, I also like Clarke, Asimov, Ellison, Willis . . .shoot, too many to name.



Subject: Fav 5
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 20
Back To Top

Without question, number 1 hands down, Andre Norton!

2. Frank Herbert - Loved every book he ever wrote, except one - The White Plague

3. Ian Banks - Culture Series

4. C.J. Cherryh - Early Works

5. Orson Scott Card - Speaker for the Dead - GREAT BOOK

Last Edited on: 2/12/09 8:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 20
Back To Top

Sorry, had trouble with posting and created two new entries in error.....

Last Edited on: 2/12/09 8:04 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Subject: Fav 5
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 7:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 20
Back To Top

Last Edited on: 2/12/09 8:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/12/2009 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/2/2008
Posts: 174
Back To Top

Anne - that's happened to me - don't you wish they had a "Delete Post" button? :-)

Date Posted: 2/14/2009 7:02 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

ORson Scott Card - Ender's Game is my fave SF novel. Also Wyrms, Speaker for the Dead, ender's Shadow.

Dan Simmons - The Hyperion/ Endymion books are totally mindblowing. Literate, brilliant, often violent,  just towers over most sci-fi (present company excluded!)

John Scalzi - A new favorite , Old Man's War and Ghost Brigades are awesome. Do androids dream? was enjoyably bizarre and funny.

Michael Marshall Smith - Lesser known but brilliant writer, check out Only Forward, Spares, and One of us for a truly unique science fiction experience! Under rated author, check out his disturbing conspiracy thriller The Straw Men too (writing as Michael Marshall)

Robert Charles Wilson - Spin was absolutely brilliant, and very poignant, and the Harvest was awesome too. Bios not so much, but Wilson balances the science with humanity as well as anyone. I am planning to read his others.

Neal Stephenson- Snow Crash was fun, fantastic and completely unforgettable. I just started The Diamond Age, which is interesting so far.

Honorable mention - Scott Westerfeld - The Risen Empire/Killing of Worlds was just awesome. Write some more space opera Scott!

Date Posted: 2/15/2009 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2009
Posts: 624
Back To Top

These are mine....

Asimov- I just discovered him a few months ago (I'm 21), and to date I have 6 of his books (Robot/Foundation)- with 2 more coming in the mail (Yay for BPS), as well as 2 of his non-fictions.

Arthur C. Clarke- I had to read Childhood's End in my Visions of the Apocalpyse class my sophmore year of college, and I was hooked.

James Rollins- I count him as science-fiction, because his plots are all science driven. They're thrillers too, which is fun for me.

Orson Scott Card- Pretty much my inspiration for becoming a writer.

Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child- Again, science based thrillers. Their Pendergast novels go a little crazy towards the end of the series, but the beginning books are much more believeable.