Best Science Fiction Authors of All Time: 8 Writers To Read

Are you looking for the best science fiction authors? Here are some of the top sci-fi writers of all time, and pick up amazing science fiction novels today!

There is nothing quite like the world of science fiction. It has the ability to instantly transport you to another world, leaving Earth behind. You also get to explore the capabilities of time travel, interact with androids, and consider artificial intelligence all while imagining what the future might be like. In many ways, the worlds discussed in sci-fi novels encourage people to shoot for the stars, dream big, and model their futures after what we learn about in these sci-fi novels.

Who are some of the top science fiction writers of all time, and what are some of the best books to explore? Take a look at some of the best sci-fi books and fantasy novels below.

Best science fiction authors

1. Isaac Asimov, 1920 – 1992

Isaac Asimov - Wikipedia
Image from Phillip Leonian from New York World-Telegram & Sun. – United States Library of Congress. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, via Wikipedia, Public Domain.

Isaac Asimov is considered to be one of the best authors of all time, let alone one of the best science fiction writers ever. He was an American writer and professor, teaching biochemistry at Boston University. He wrote or edited more than 500 books during the course of his storied career. Even though he explored multiple elements of Science Fiction, he is best known for his works on androids, robots, and other sentient life.

In many ways, he is considered to be the father of the modern science fiction genre. A lot of his books remain best-sellers, and he is particularly well known for several series, notably Foundation, which was recently adapted to a TV series. He is also the author of I, Robot, which was turned into a movie.

Before you check out his works on the big screen, you may want to pick up a copy of the Foundation series for yourself.

2. Arthur C. Clarke, 1917 – 2008

Arthur C. Clarke - Wikipedia
Image from ITU pictures, via Wikipedia, CC BY 2.0. British science-fiction author Arthur C. Clarke in 1965

Arthur C Clarke is an English science fiction writer. In addition to his work as an author, he also hosted a television series, explored the depths of the ocean, and made a career as an inventor. In addition to his novels, he published a variety of essays focusing on space travel, encouraging man to shoot for the stars. He even had the ability to predict the future, predicting that man would eventually be able to instantly contact people anywhere on Earth, long before the invention of the internet. 

Even though a lot of his works are listed among the greatest science fiction stories of all time, he is best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, a work that would later become a critically-acclaimed movie as well. 

Before you check out the famous movie, you may want to pick up a copy of his book for yourself. You can find 2001: A Space Odyssey on Amazon.

3. Frank Herbert, 1920 – 1986

Frank Herbert - Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia, in the public domain. Originally uploaded by Robert E. Nylund (Sallyrob) at English Wikipedia.

Frank Herbert is a storied American science fiction author. He was always fascinated by writing, starting to read the newspaper from cover to cover from an early age. Eventually, he developed a passion for science fiction, thinking about what the future might look like. In particular, he is known for the novel Dune, which he published in 1965. It became a massive hit, inspiring five sequels to be published after it. In addition, the popular series has been adapted to the big screen multiple times. In addition to his work as an author, he also worked as a newspaper journalist, ecological consultant, photographer, and lecturer.

The Dune series is set in the distant future, taking place over thousands of years. It explores the variety of themes that the human species will have to tackle to expand to other worlds. Before you check out the recent big-screen release, you may want to pick up a copy of the Dune novel for yourself.

4. Ursula K. Le Guin, 1929 – 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin - Wikipedia
Image from Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.0. Ursula Le Guin. Photo by Marian Wood Kolisch

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of the most popular American science fiction authors of all time. Most of her works were set in the unique Hainish universe, and she is best known for her Earthsea fantasy novels. Her career lasted more than 60 years and included dozens of novels and countless short stories. She earned her master’s degree in French, and she started writing full-time in the late 1950s. Some of her most popular books include A Wizard of Earthsea and The Left Hand of Darkness. 

The Left Hand of Darkness won her the Hugo award and the Nebula award, both for the best novel. She was the first woman to win either award. You might want to check out The Left Hand of Darkness for yourself on Amazon.

5. H. G. Wells, 1866 – 1946

H. G. Wells - Wikipedia
Portrait of Herbert George Wells by George Charles Beresford. Via Wikipedia, public domain.

H. G. Wells is an English writer who published during the last half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. Even though he published works in a variety of areas, including biographies, satires, historical fiction, and social commentary works, he is also one of the pioneers of science fiction, entering into the area as one of its early writers.

In many ways, he had a progressive vision for the future. A popular futurist, he wrote about nuclear weapons, space travel, planes, satellite TV, and the internet long before any of these became reality. He envisioned something of a utopia in the future, explored the possibility of time travel, and discussed the possibility of invisibility. Some of his most popular works include The War of the Worlds, The War in the Air, The Time Machine, and The Invisible Man. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times. 

You may want to read The War of the Worlds for yourself, and you can pick up a copy off of Amazon.

6. Neal Stephenson, Born 1959

Neal Stephenson - Wikipedia
Neal Stephenson in 2019 speaking at the Interval of the Long Now Foundation by Christopher Michel. Photographer; Cmichel67. Via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Neal Stephenson is one of the most popular contemporary American science fiction writers. Even though he has been interested in the applications of future technology for nearly his entire life, his work in the science fiction area has explored a lot of new areas. His work has been described as cyberpunk, with a marriage of historical fiction, science fiction, and cryptography. In addition to his work as a novelist, he also publishes regularly and certain technology Publications, including Wired. 

His unique cyberpunk work creates a dystopian world where low-lives are married with high-tech, creating an interesting dynamic. Some of his most popular works include The System of the World, The Confusion, and Cryptonomicon. You might want to check out The System of the World for yourself, which is available on Amazon.

7. Dan Simmons, Born 1948

Dan Simmons is a popular American science fiction writer. He was born in Peoria, Illinois, and earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Wabash College. He went on to earn his Master’s in education from Washington University in St Louis. He started writing short stories at an early age, but his career did not flourish until 1982. At that time, he published a short story, called The River Styx Runs Upstream, and it was published in the Twilight Zone Magazine, earning him a lot of recognition for his work.

Today, Simmons is best known as the author of the Hyperion Cantos series of science fiction novels as well as the Ilium and Olympos science fiction novels. He has the ability to bring multiple genres together, frequently blending horror, Science Fiction, and Fantasy. He also won a World Fantasy Award for his work Song of Kali in 1985.

You can check out some of his work for yourself by picking up a copy of the Hyperion Cantos series from Amazon.

8. Philip K. Dick, 1928 – 1982

Philip K. Dick - Wikipedia
Philip K. Dick in 1962 or earlier. Photo by Arthur Knight. Via Wikipedia. Public Domain.

Philip K Dick is one of the most prolific science fiction writers of all time. During his career, he wrote more than 44 novels and 121 short stories. Most of his short stories appeared in science fiction magazines. His work explored a variety of areas including the nature of reality, human nature, perception, and the idea of identity. He also told stories that took place in alternate realities, none of them involving altered states of consciousness. 

Even though he was born in Chicago, he spent most of his time growing up in the San Francisco Bay area. He published his first stories in 1952 when he was only 23 years old. His career started off slowly, but he garnered critical acclaim for his work, The Man in the High Castle, an alternate history novel in 1962. It earned him the Hugo Award for Best Novel. The book was also adapted into a popular TV series. Some of his other popular works include Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik, and Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said.

You may want to check out his book, The Man in the High Castle, for yourself. It is available on Amazon.

Final Word on the Best Science Fiction Authors

These are just a few of the most popular science fiction writers of all time. This is a massive genre with a lot of complicated ideas to explore. In many ways, the world of science fiction gives us a goal to shoot for, pushing us to move forward as a race. Even though many science fiction books can show what our future might look like at its worst, these books can also inspire us to be our best. As a result, many science fiction books have led to amazing TV shows, movies, and technological leaps, showing the power these books have.

If you want an introduction to this genre, you may want to take a look at some of the works by the writers above. You will quickly find that the science fiction area has a lot of sub-genres as well. You might even find that many of the books have inspired some of your favorite characters from movies and TV shows. 

FAQs About the Best Science Fiction Authors

Who is the best science fiction writer of all time?

This is a difficult question to answer, and it is always one that will be subjective. Everyone has their preferences, and it is impossible to say who is the best. You may want to decide who your favorite science-fiction writer is by exploring some of the books written above.

Are there any other science fiction authors I may want to check out?

Yes, there are lots of amazing science fiction writers, and each of them has his or her own individual style. You may also want to check out some books by John Scalzi, Ray Bradbury, William Gibson, Ann Leckie, Jules Verne, Robert A. Heinlein, Octavia E. Butler and Andy Weir. Many of their books are available on Amazon, and you can learn more about this amazing field of writing. 

What are some other science fiction works I may want to check out?

There are a lot of amazing works in this field. You may want to check out Frankenstein, Cixin, Niven, Starship Troopers, Snow Crash, and even a space opera novella or two. Many of these works take place in a strange land, and you can experience what life might be like in another universe.

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