the top 5 writers currently

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by AwsomeSpace, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. AwsomeSpace

    AwsomeSpace Member

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    in your opinion, who are the top 5 sci-fi writers currently?
     
  2. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    A. Reynolds, PF Hamilton, IM Banks, Adam Roberts and then a tie between Greg Egan and Paul McAuley
     
  3. B5B7

    B5B7 Earthman1

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    That looks pretty spot on. Incidentally they are all (except for Greg Egan - Australian) British.
     
  4. Werthead

    Werthead Registered User

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    Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds and Kim Stanley Robinson for sure.

    Richard Morgan's out of SF for the next couple of years, so not him at the moment. Not Neal Asher or David Weber (appreciably medicore, sometimes entertaining, at best). Hannu Rajaniemi needs a few more books under his belt before he can join such a list with confidence. Iain Banks had a few lean years of releasing sub-par books but is showing signs of a return to form, so he could gain a place if his next book continues that trend. If Existence is as good as his old stuff, then David Brin may also start circling around the top tier again. Dan Abnett is more science fantasy than SF, which rules him off such a list (although Embedded hints at good things if he writes more traditional SF) despite his strong writing skills. Chris Priest's new book is fantasy and hasn't written anything else for a decade, so I can't include him (yet). I haven't read Lois McMaster Bujold, Jaine Fenn or Liz Williams yet.

    So the fourth and fifth positions I would, with some reluctance as both have ongoing issues in their writing which needed to be addressed, give to Adam Roberts and Neal Stephenson.
     
  5. kennychaffin

    kennychaffin Man of Ways and Means

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  6. kennychaffin

    kennychaffin Man of Ways and Means

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  7. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Does Ian McDonald belong in the conversation?
     
  8. Nicolas

    Nicolas Intrigued diletante

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    He does if you say he does. It's your top 5.

    Stretching a bit the meaning of "currently" (his last few books are and aren't really science-fiction at the same time), I find Stephen Baxter to be consistent in the quality of his output.

    And McAuley definitely!
     
  9. EllenS

    EllenS Registered User

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    I buy more anthologies than I do novels, so I'd have to say that the best authors for me are the ones where I buy their books when I see a new one. It's quite a short list so I didn't have to think a long time for it.

    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Robert J. Sawyer
    Orson Scott Card
    Connie Willis
    Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle writing together.

    I'd have a longer list of others who write novels I like, but those 5 I'd buy anything I come across that I haven't read yet, and the top three I'd even be looking for publication dates.
     
  10. k1w1taxi

    k1w1taxi Registered User

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    As one who does not understand all the love for PFH I could not include him in a Top 20 let alone Top 5.

    For Me
    Alistair Reynolds
    China Mieville
    Vernor Vinge
    Ian McDonald
    Ken McLeod

    Cheers
    Lee
     
  11. psikeyhackr

    psikeyhackr Live Long & Suffer

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    Lois McMaster Bujold
    Robert J. Sawyer
    Kim Stanley Robinson
    John Scalzi
    Larry Niven

    I really don't believe in that list but it's as good as any other I could make with only 5 entries. I haven't read anything by Larry Niven in some time though. But stuff I have tried by Alistair Reynolds, Neil Stephenson, Ian Banks and others I didn't like as well as Niven.

    psik
     
  12. owlcroft

    owlcroft Webmaster, Great SF&F

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    What?

    How can anyone even consider such a list and not have M. John Harrison high on it?

    Making the cuts is difficult, bit I would suppose one has to have:

    M. John Harrison
    Gene Wolfe
    Brian Stableford
    Iain M. Banks
    Neal Stephenson

    Excellent, but of low output and more or less on the margin of the field are Alan Lightman and Michael Chabon. Indeed, one might also count Salman Rushdie. And though Tanith Lee does mostly fantasy, her few sf books are eminent. Also hard to cut is Ursula K. Le Guin.

    And if one wants to include James Blaylock as an sf writer (does steampunk count? or is that fantasy?) . . . How do we characterize Matt Ruff? Well, this could go on for a while.
     
  13. phil_geo

    phil_geo Rat Thing

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    Wow I have never read so many of the people on this list.

    M. John Harrison - never heard of
    Gene Wolfe - not my style
    Brian Stableford - never heard of
    Iain M. Banks - never read
    Neal Stephenson - agree

    Alistair Reynolds - not my style
    China Mieville - didn't like very much
    Vernor Vinge - never read
    Ian McDonald - never read
    Ken McLeod - never read

    Lois McMaster Bujold - thought was dead
    Robert J. Sawyer - thought was dead
    Kim Stanley Robinson - thought was dead
    John Scalzi - agree
    Larry Niven - thought was dead

    Orson Scott Card - don't like anymore
    Connie Willis - agree

    A. Reynolds - never read
    PF Hamilton - never read
    IM Banks - never read
    Adam Roberts - never heard of
    Greg Egan - never read
    Paul McAuley - never heard of

    Mine:
    Connie Willis
    Neal Stephenson
    John Scalzi
    Dan Morgan
     
  14. Lazerus

    Lazerus Way Too Human

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    (In no particular order)

    Peter Hamilton
    Alastair Reynolds
    Neal Asher
    Jack Mcdevitt


    I can only think of four, because none of the others I've read recently belong on the list.

    I sincerely don't get the love for Iain M. Banks. Based on threads here, I read Consider Phlebas. Although it did have some interesting ideas, after the books conclusion, I found the story pointless. I have no desire to repeat that experience.
     
  15. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    I'm a Banks pompom waver, so I am forced to recommend you read Player of Games too. It's the second in the series and much more indicative of the series as a whole.

    I've never read McDevitt. Might give him a go soon.
     
  16. MMerle

    MMerle Registered User

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    Agreed!


    For me:

    M. John Harrison
    Geoff Ryman
    William Gibson (still writing SF?... s'pose that's debatable)
    China Mieville
    Ursula K. Le Guin

    Honorable mentions: Justina Robson, Ted Chiang, Ken MacLeod, Vernor Vinge, Alastair Reynolds, Nalo Hopkinson.
     
  17. Smitty

    Smitty Registered User

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    I like posts like this as it gives me new authors to check out. I am sure to draw wrath but John Scalzi is no where near the top 5 in my list. I enjoyed Old Man's War and the first sequel greatly but I really do not see him as writing anything original (science fiction wise) in quite some time. Redshirts just came out and from what I can tell it is a comedy set in a faux Star Trek universe. I might be a fun read but hardly original (other than the comedy stab at Star Trek) and not top drawer sci-fi in my book.

    As for my list,
    Alastair Reynolds
    Peter Hamilton
    Robert Sawyer
    Iain Banks
    Neal Asher
     
  18. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    Where would one start with Jack McDevitt? Never read him, but on the look out for new books and authors.
     
  19. Hobbit

    Hobbit Now.. A Seriously Likeable Administrator Staff Member

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    Bibliography here: LINK.

    Engines of God makes sense. Or Polaris.

    Mark
     
  20. Colonel Worf

    Colonel Worf Registered User

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    My favorites right now that I go to time and time again:

    Stephen Baxter
    Jack McDevitt
    John Scalzi