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  1. #1
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Top 10 Favorite Authors!

    Wow, this forum is really dead lately...time for a random list/poll thread!!!

    Top 10 (or fewer) favorite sci-fi authors!

    Here's mine, in no particular order:

    Jack Vance
    David Brin
    Vernor Vinge
    Lois McMaster Bujold
    William Gibson
    Ursula K. LeGuin
    Neal Stephenson
    Dan Simmons
    Tony Daniel
    Paolo Bacigalupi

  2. #2
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    For me as sf goes it's:

    1. David Weber
    2. IM Banks
    3. PF Hamilton
    4. A. Reynolds
    5. N. Asher
    (more or less in order from 2-5 since D. Weber is the unquestionably #1 author of mine of today)

    Then from 6-8 in no particular order:

    JC Grimwood
    Gary Gibson
    Jack McDevitt

    Then at 9-10, maybe DK Moran and David Zindell, but also Ken McLeod and Liz Williams could be there; if I include the fantasy works of authors with a body of sf, Lois Bujold would be there in the top 6 now

  3. #3
    Vanaeph Westsiyeed's Avatar
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    In no particular order:

    Dan Simmons
    Robert Charles Wilson
    Arthur C Clarke
    Isaac Asimov
    Robert Heinlein
    Frank Herbert

    There are also a few that are highly rated that I'm yet to read (but are on my list) - Stephenson, Gibson, Philip K Dick, Vinge.

  4. #4
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    Dan Simmons, Iain M Banks, Orson Scott Card (though sadly a lot of junk amidst his good stuff), Vernor Vinge, Herbert (almost purely for Dune itself), D Adams.

    Honorable mention
    Stephenson- Snow Crash was great, Cryptomicion was only alright to me (have not read anything else yet)
    Asimov- enjoyed foundation stuff, but not at the level of these guys

    Haven't read Hamilton, Haldeman, Reynolds, McDevitt yet...list could expand.

  5. #5
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    William Gibson
    David Weber
    C J Cherryh
    Alistair Reynolds
    Isaac Asimov
    Allen Steele
    Vernor Vinge
    Algis Budrys
    David Brin
    Elizabeth Moon

    Cheers
    Lee

  6. #6
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    quick list, prone to some changes in the next day or week:

    1. Frank Herbert
    2. Brian Aldiss
    3. Ursula K Le Guin
    4. Lois McMaster Bujold
    5. Iain M Banks
    6. Isaac Asimov
    7. Robert Heinlein
    8. Greg Bear
    9. Daniel Keyes
    10 Stanislav Lem / Arkady & Boris Strugatsky.

    most of my SF reading was done in the 80's and early 90's so I don't have a clear image of the current SF landscape.

  7. #7
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    We've done this before, but . . . .

    The first few are easy:

    M. John Harrison
    Cordwainer Smith
    Jack Vance
    Gene Wolfe

    After those, it is pick and choose. I'd say these:

    Douglas Adams
    Paul Auster
    Iain M. Banks
    Doris Piserchia
    Christopher Priest
    Brian Stableford

    One that I'd include in the first run save that he has only one sf book (the remarkable Einstein's Dreams), is Alan Lightman. There is also the question of whether what the amazing R. A. Lafferty wrote is "science fiction"--if so, he, too, is in the first rank.

  8. #8
    Dan Simmons
    Richard Morgan
    Peter Hamilton
    Neal Stephenson
    Stephen Donaldson
    Frank Herbert
    some other bums

  9. #9
    In no particular order:

    Robert Heinlein
    Dan Simmons
    Jack Vance
    Ray Bradbury
    Cordwainer Smith
    Alfred Bester

    This could be added to in the coming months.

  10. #10
    trolling > dissertation nquixote's Avatar
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    Eventually I'll collate the results by hand and see who the overall favorite authors are!

    Because I have nothing important to do in my life, like, say, dissertation-writing. Nooooo, not at all...

  11. #11
    On time and sober! BreakLater's Avatar
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    Hey Guys, I know this thread was solely for listing your top tens but I have a request if you're game.

    I'm primarily a reader of fantasy I've been trying to get more into sci-fi. I ploughed through the SF classics when I was in my early 20s. I did Asimov, Heinlein, C. Clark, Herbert & Niven. Loved all that stuff.

    But I'm seeing a lot of names on your top ten lists I don't recognize. So I'm wondering if you guys might pick a name or two that's lesser known or more contemporary out of your list and just tell me what's so great about that author.

    Understand I'm not asking for book recs, I know there's a thread for that. I'm just curious about some of these authors I've never heard of. Their style. What makes them unique and worthy of your top ten?

    Offhand I can tell you I've never heard of (or have heard very little of):

    Cordwainer Smith
    Alfred Bester
    Daniel Keyes
    Algis Budris
    Doris Piserchia
    Brian Stableford
    JC Grimwood
    Jack McDevitt

    And there are more there I have no knowledge of...

    So while I'm busy googling names maybe you could tell me your personal view of what makes them a top ten author?

    I hope this isn't thread-jacking and I'm happy to move this to another thread if the OP or anyone else thinks that'd be more appropriate.

  12. #12
    It never entered my mind algernoninc's Avatar
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    since I put up Daniel Keyes I guess I should give more info.
    He is the author of a classic short story turned into a novel : Flowers for Algernon - that's where my nickname originates. It won the Hugo [1960 for the short story] and the nebula [1967 for the novel] . I have also seen the movie based on this novel, more than once : Charly [link] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062794/combined [/link] . I haven't tried his other books, but this one and Sandkings by George R R Martin were part of my SF emancipation from a thrill seeking teen to a digger after higher truths / meaning in this liberating literary form.

    Flowers for Algernon is mostly about scientist responsibility and the fact that kindness is more important than brains, most of the time.
    Last edited by algernoninc; November 9th, 2010 at 02:30 PM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BreakLater View Post
    JC Grimwood
    Jack McDevitt
    For Jack McDevitt a great discussion is HERE, but in short he is an excellent storyteller; his settings are very far from the cutting edge, more or less extrapolation of middle class America in the future with some sf-nal goodies (ftl, AG, AI), sparse universe habitation (eg no space opera many races or governments), but he just hooks you with great characters and simple stories of discovery, survival or detection/mysteries with an archaeological bent; no "save the universe fight the EGO - evil galactic overlord - " here

    JC Grimwood is just a great writer, period. Has four loosely linked cyberpunk novels - #1 Neoaddix is free on his site - still readable today when most cyberpunk reads dated badly, essentially because of his alt-hist setting pulled in the future (complicated to explain, but essentially no WW1 or 2 as we know them, empires still around - French under the Bonapartists, Russian...)

    Then he has his Arabesk trilogy another alt-hist pulled to the future where WW1 ended differently and early and again a very different world today

    Lastly he has a trilogy of loosely linked literary sf which are awesome and as good as that subgenre gets (Stamping Butterflies, 9tailfox, End of the World Blues)

    After a 4 year hiatus, he is moving into fantasy with Fallen Blade (jan 2011, have an arc) that i intend to savor at length soon

  14. #14
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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    1. Douglas Adams
    2. Philip K. Dick
    3. Yevgeny Zamyatin
    4. Drew Karpyshyn
    5. Uh...

    Yeah, OK, you got me, I'm not versed in sci-fi at all

  15. #15
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    My list is of living and still active authors (although Brin hasn't published anything for a decade, so he's borderline).

    1) Christopher Priest
    2) Gene Wolfe
    3) Brian Aldiss
    4) Alastair Reynolds
    5) Peter F. Hamilton
    6) David Brin
    7) Iain M. Banks
    8) Kim Stanley Robinson
    9) Dan Abnett
    10) Ian McDonald

    Bubbling under: Adam Roberts, Paul J. McAuley, Stephen Baxter, Timothy Zahn, Robert Silverberg, Allen Steele and Walter Jon Williams.

    Amongst deceased authors, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert and Isaac Asimov would all be strong contenders, as would JG Ballard, HG Wells and Charles Sheffield.

    I've only read one Jack McDevitt, Moonfall and it is awesome, just for the cover blurb:

    "A comet is coming. It's going to hit the Moon. And the Moon is going to fall. ON US."
    Apparently the rest of his stuff is less crazily cheesy. I need to check some of it out.

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