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Topic: Favorite Science Fiction authors?

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Subject: Favorite Science Fiction authors?
Date Posted: 8/27/2011 11:09 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2005
Posts: 5,091
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Just a general question, hoping to provoke some discussion:  Who is (or are) your favorite science fiction author/s?

Personally, I love Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series.  I can't believe that I didn't find this series until Mirror Dance came out.  I love all of them.

My second favorite would be Vinge.  I find his books amazing and wonderful.

Date Posted: 8/27/2011 11:22 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Specifically science fiction? My top five would probably be:

1. Bujold as well

2. Elizabeth Bear

3. Kurt Vonnegut

4. Connie Willis

5. Kage Baker

Matt C. (mattc) - ,
Date Posted: 8/28/2011 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 3,849
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For me there's Robert Heinlein and then everyone else.  I've read 38 of his books and enjoyed them all, and more than that have been greatly influenced by Heinlein's philosophy, as displayed in both his fiction and nonfiction.  After that it gets hard:

Alfred Bester - His first two novels are genius.  Sadly his 3rd was awful, and was also his last

Greg Bear - a real hit or miss author for me, but his hits (Blood Music, Vitals) are among my favorites

John Varley - My favorite short story writer, but I have never made it through one of his novels.

Frank Herbert and William Gibson deserve a mention for writing two of my favorite books, Dune and Neuromancer respectively, but both wrote a whole slew of other books I have no interest in.  In that vein, The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle is another favorite, but neither author is as good on their own.

I have read more books by Orson Scott Card than any other author, but outside of Ender's Game I have a hard time recommending any of his science fiction.

Poul Anderson is sometimes entertaining, but not what I'd call great.  

Ron Goulart is my favorite SF Comedy author, but you have to appreciate older space opera to understand his gentle mocking of the entire genre.

Isaac Asimov is another hit or miss guy, but he's written some good classic stuff.

I also like Kurt Vonnegut, but I don't usually think of him as a science fiction author.  Same as Card and Asimov, really.


Date Posted: 8/28/2011 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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Wen Spencer.
Subject: fav sf authors
Date Posted: 8/29/2011 8:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/26/2006
Posts: 385
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Our last discussion on this subject was Jan 2009.  I can add a couple of authors to my list:

Iain Banks, Neal Asher, Charles Stross, Alastair Reynolds, and Jack McDevitt.  Cory Doctorow is pretty good also, but hasn't made my FAV list.

Subject: On just their sci-fi, not their fantasy (if any)
Date Posted: 8/30/2011 10:38 PM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,579
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Not in any particular order...

Robert Heinlein

H. Beam Piper

Eric Frank Russell

Elizabeth Moon

Andre Norton


Last Edited on: 8/30/11 10:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Favorite authors...
Date Posted: 9/3/2011 12:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2010
Posts: 6
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Interesting, I see many of you have Heinlein on your list, but don't mention Spider Robinson.  What's the thoughts on his Callaghan series???

Myself, favorite authors depend on genre.  Sci Fi I'd add the Darkover series to Heinlein & Robinson...

Subject: Fav authors
Date Posted: 9/3/2011 7:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/8/2009
Posts: 20
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Have to say:

Andre Norton - sci-fi stuff versus Witch World, which are okay.  Prefer her space stories.

Frank Herbert - all of his books. Love the Dune series best.

Frank M. Robinson - only one book:The Dark Beyond the Stars: A Novel (Great story!)

Orson Scott Card - Only the Ender series and of those, I really loved Speaker of the Dead best of all.

C.J.Cherryh - not all of hers but I did enjoy the Chanur series and Cyteen

Date Posted: 1/22/2012 11:35 AM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
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Robert A. Heinlien is the reason I love reading.  If not for this citizen of the galaxy I may never have become a reader. 

Anne McCaffrey I've read all of hers the science fiction and her regular novels plus short stories.

James White I love his sector general novels.

Piers Anthony Some i love, some I hate, some only his personal story about writting the book is worth reading.  I loved the Eternal series and the Adept series up to a point.


Brad -
Date Posted: 1/23/2012 8:50 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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Have to say:

1a: Philip K. Dick
1b: John Varley
2: Joe Haldemann
3: Neil Gaiman


Last Edited on: 1/24/12 7:26 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/24/2012 4:21 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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Am I the only one who really, really likes Julian May? The Saga of the Pliocene Exile and Gallactic Milleau? That's one of the only series I ever re-read. Besides Stranger in a Strange land.

Julie Czerneda

Susan R. Matthews

Of course, Bujold and Heinlein and Vernor Vinge.

And Joan Vinge! I also re-read Snow Queen and Summer Queen. Love them!

I am not sure why every time I make one of these lists, it always seems to contain more female authors than male. I read just as many books by male authors. Promise.

Date Posted: 1/24/2012 4:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2012
Posts: 266
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If it is all gendre's then I'm top heavy in the female authors but this time I'm actually man heavy. 

Date Posted: 1/24/2012 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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I thought Julian May was a man until recently. Does that count? smiley

Last Edited on: 1/24/12 5:36 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: Catherine Asaro's Skolian Empire series
Date Posted: 5/14/2012 9:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/23/2004
Posts: 254
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I just got hooked on Catherine Asaro's Skolian empire series and about ready to start the 12th book (I recommend reading them in chronological order not publication order which means reading Skyfall first -- it's the least sci-fi of all and most romantic of all of them but it's one of my favorite. Then read Quantum Rose which won either the Hugo or Nebula awards, then Primary Inversion and Radiant Seas, both which focus on Soz. You can search on Catherine Asaro to find the recommended order online).

The Ruby Dynasty are the royalty so to speak of the Skolian Empire, and possess telepathic abilities which enable them to communicate  across interstellar distances. But there's an enemy race out there which psychically feeds off telepaths.

Of all the books, the Ruby Dice is absolutely brilliant. The Ascendant Sun is bad, the only clunker in the series and it is a real clunker - it has too much sadism and soft porn. There are many fascinating characters in the Ruby Dynasty - and the stories of Soz and Kelric are especially interesting. And then there's Jabriol II and Jabriol III, perhaps the most compelling characters of all. I think what I like best is the Soz/Jabriol II story and the amazing capabilities of the "ruby dice" game which both shapes and predicts the future. 

The books vary a lot. Since the author is a PHD physicist and extremely intelligent, she throws in a lot of science, but she's also an award-winning romance writer so her books are an interesting blend of hard sci fi and soft romance. I have two more to read, and am afraid I'm going to crash after I read the last one -- and will be desperate for another gripping series which has engaging characters, an intelligent plot, and exceptional world-making.


Date Posted: 5/20/2012 11:47 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 358
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  1. Lois McMaster Bujold for me also
  2. Catherine Asaro
  3. Joan D. Vinge
  4. Sharon Shinn
  5. Karen Traviss- her Wess'har Wars, I don't read Star Wars books anymore
  6. Sheri S. Tepper
  7. C. J. Cherryh
  8. Tanya Huff- I wish she wrote more SF
Subject: Dragon Fanueil
Date Posted: 6/13/2012 8:39 AM ET
Member Since: 10/3/2008
Posts: 5
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Does anyone remember a series of books featuring the small dragon Faneuil (not sure I've spelled it correctly)?  I can't remember the author.

Date Posted: 1/13/2013 12:17 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 992
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Jack Mc Devitt

John Scalzi

Katherine Asaro

Marion Zimmer Bradley and co-writers

Date Posted: 1/14/2013 12:15 AM ET
Member Since: 3/9/2009
Posts: 8,982
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Patricia, I think you might be thinking of Fanuilh by Daniel Hood.

My best writer list

Lois McMaster Bujold

Spider Robinson

Theodore Sturgeon

Harlan Ellison (As a person he is offensive, as a writer he is amazing)

Robert Heinlein

C J Cherryh

Andre Norton (she wrote the very first science fiction book I read)

Vernor Vinge

Howard Waldrop

Connie Willis

Iain Banks

I've read a number of Charles Stross in the last year and every one of them was excellent.  So he's a new addition to the list.

Most of the others mentioned would be on my very good list.  Except for Julian May.  I've only read one that I thought was any good. 


Last Edited on: 1/14/13 12:21 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Brad -
Date Posted: 3/2/2013 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2009
Posts: 200
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I listed above my favorite author is a tie between Philip K. Dick and John Varley.  In last year's challenge I realized it's not everything I like of theirs.  Philip K. Dick I don't like his Valis Trilogy and John Varley I didn't like his Gaea Triology (first book anyhow, didn't read the rest).