Monday, May 23, 2005

Great Sci-Fi Writers

I read a lot of different kinds books and magazines, but I love science-fiction novels and short stories most of all. I figure I could make a list a mile long of my favorite writers and my favorite stories. Then again, it would be even better if I could get others to list their favorites too. I'm sure there are great writers I haven't even discovered yet. So here's the contest - the prize is self-evident:

1. Post a comment and leave the name of at least one, but no more than three, Sci-Fi writers who have written something you like. You can provide a link or even write a synopsis of what books you've read by them and why you liked them, but all you have to leave is a name.

2. You can leave as many comments as you like, but no back-to-back comments. (In other words wait until at least one other person has left a comment before adding another.) This will ensure a bit of diversity in the responses, and give everyone a chance to add something. It'll also keep the contest going only so long as there are multiple persons still interested in contributing.

3. It would be a crime not to list the obvious big-timers but please don't ignore the more obscure writers you might know of too. Don't leave anything out. Whatever you like is fair game, you don't have to list only Nebula and Hugo award winners.

4. Although I tend to be most interested in more traditional/hard-core Science-Fiction, I've decided this contest will accept a very loose definition of the term 'Sci-Fi', as to include writers of almost any medium - be they books, short stories, comic-books, movies, etc. I also recognize that there can be blurred lines between Sci-Fi and other genres (such as fantasy) which is okay too, but please don't go overboard.

5. If you are one of the silent ones who always reads this blog but never leaves any comments (and you both know who you are) you have to leave a comment or I will continue to make fun of you in increasingly irreverent ways.

These are the rules. Let the contest begin!


Blogger Dædalux said...

I suppose I should kick it off:

Clifford D. Simak - I just reread his 'Highway to Eternity' and while I think I enjoyed it more as a kid, it was still a great story. I love the way he fearlessly explores the truly weird.

Ursula K. LeGuin – I wrote about her in an earlier post. I liked ‘The Left Hand of Darkness’ (Sci-Fi) and all of her ‘Earthsea’ novels (which are more fantasy than Sci-Fi) and I should really read more by her.

George Lucas – I just saw Episode III, and while I thought it mostly sucked (but not quite as bad as I and II) you still have to give it up for the man who created the Jedi knight. Even if he can’t come up with any compelling dialogue for anyone to say, you just have think about the sound those lightsabers make – vooom-WOOM! Awesome.

5/23/2005 2:38 PM  
Blogger Special Touch said...

I should probably start with the caveat that I'm not a very big sci-fi fan. Consequently, none of my three favorite sci-fi stories are particularly obscure.

1. "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams. One of a few science fiction novels I've actually read. Haven't seen the movie yet: I'll probably catch it on DVD.

2. "Gattaca" by Andrew Niccol. A spectacular movie about genetic discrimination, hope, and human potentiality.

3. "The Lottery" by Shirley Jackson. Okay, it's maybe not exactly science fiction, but it occupies a similiar "genre space" in between pure and realistic fiction. The classic 1948 short story about the power and the perils of dogma.

5/23/2005 3:42 PM  
Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Thanks for posting this questing. I'm always looking for new sci-fi authors. I intend to write sci-fi and action novels. That is my writing goal.
He's far from obscure, but I'm a HUGE fan of Orson Scott Card, especially the Ender and Shadow series. I'd love to write like that. I never got around to reading the Lottery. I really must do that.

5/23/2005 4:45 PM  
Blogger nsilico said...

Frank Herbert - The list wouldn't be complete without Dune. Just the first book, not the entire series.

Joss Whedon - Although I wasn't a fan of Buffy or Angel, he managed to create my all-time favorite sci-fi TV series. Sadly, it has been relegated to the ever-growing FOX graveyard, but there is some good news: on 9/30/2005, the full-length feature film Serenity will be coming to a theatre near you! Check it out.

Kurt Vonnegut - I've enjoyed several books by him, but especially Slaughterhouse-Five. It's been a while since I read the book, but it left a lasting impression during my late teens.

5/23/2005 10:46 PM  
Blogger Aanen said...

1. Gene Roddenberry. Good ol' Star Trek. Not sure which one is my favorite. I stopped watching the new stuff after Voyager ended.

2. The Han Solo Adventures. Can't remember who wrote them but it makes me feel like I'm acutally there with the characters.
3. Douglas Adams. I just finished the "Hitcher's Guide to the Galaxy" and I'm going to read the rest just for kicks.

5/24/2005 8:59 AM  
Blogger Dædalux said...

Wow – great stuff everyone. Gattaca, by Andrew Niccol is of course my favorite movie of all time, Ender’s Game by OSC is one of my absolute favorite books, Firefly is my all time favorite TV show, and of course everyone likes something from Star Trek. Still I’ve never actually read anything by Kurt Vonnegut (surprising I know) so it seems this list is already paying off. But there are still plenty of glaring omissions – let’s keep it going:

Issac Asimov – Foundation series, Robot series (laws of robotics), plus countless short stories, Nightfall for example.

Rod Serling – creator of the Twilight Zone, enough said.

Robert J. Sawyer – Canadian writer who I think is still coming into his own, but I absolutely loved his first book, Terminal Experiment. His other works are good too, but I’ve got the impression Sawyer is still searching for his voice, and I can’t wait till he really finds his groove.

Now where's EST w/ N? I'd expect they'd have plenty to contribute.

5/24/2005 11:17 AM  
Blogger TwistedNoggin said...

Get off your lazy bum and post something new. :P

5/31/2005 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In no particular order:

Robert A. Hienlein
William Gibson
Philip K. Dick

P.S. It is not that I have been lurking, it is that I have not been reading at all.
I sort of fell out of the blogsphere for a little while because of school and the
new baby.

6/13/2005 3:02 PM  
Blogger Dædalux said...

Welcome back! School and your kids are definately more important. Still I'm glad you finally posted. This list was naked without Heinlein. Besides I'm still chock full of writers:

H.G. Wells - who wrote The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and War of the Worlds . . .

Steven Spielberg - who's also making the newest movie War of the Worlds and did Philip K. Dick's Minority Report, but he also wrote E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (among others)

Jules Verne - everybody's favorite frog, the grandmaster of them all. Journey to the Center of the Earth, From the Earth to the Moon, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea are deserving classics but Paris in the 20th Century is noteworthy as well.

6/13/2005 10:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No fair! I was going to use Wells and Verne! ;-) seriously. that is creepy.

OK for now how about:

C.S. Lewis (not Narnia, that is fantasy, but the space trilogy definately counts)

6/14/2005 3:19 PM  
Blogger Dædalux said...

Ian McDonald - Evolution's Shore is the only book I ever read by him, but that was years ago and it's still stuck with me. It's about an alien spore/plant that a meteor brings to earth and the worlds reaction to this alien contamination.

Daniel Keyes - the short story Flowers for Algernon was required reading in the 7th grade and it's still one of my all time favorites

Nancy Kress - she wrote the short story Beggar's in Spain about genetically altered children who don't need to sleep. I liked the short story better than the full book that followed (same story more concise) but either way - you can't deny Kress' talent.

6/14/2005 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C.S. Friedman - The Coldfire Trilogy - Black Sun Rising, When True Night Falls and Crown Of Shadows

Everything she writes is excellent I recommend checking her out

11/01/2006 12:32 PM  

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