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The Best Science-Fiction Authors

Updated September 17, 2020 124.2k votes 13.8k voters 365.4k views208 items

List RulesAuthor of science fiction or any sub-genre

The best science-fiction writers are among some of the most creative writers ever. Instead of only making up a story, they make up entire universes, time dimensions, alien technologies - it's really incredible. Truth be told, some are more successful than others - it is really easy to write bad scifi. But those who can actually pull the genre off are right here on this list of the top science-fiction authors. These are the best science-fiction authors of all time, ranked by readers and fans.

This list include some highly recognizable and classic names, like Isaac Asimov and George Orwell, along with some contemporary science-fiction writers who are just beginning to make their mark on the genre. This list of the best sci-fi authors includes some of the best horror writers and the best fantasy authors, but since the genres elements all go together nicely, it's to be expected. Fans of science-fiction know that there is always some overlap. All of the famous sci fi authors on this list have one thing in common: they've written fantastic, horrifying, mystical works of science-fiction for fans to enjoy for years to come. Vote for your favorite sci-fi authors here and add your own personal faves if you don't see them listed!

Listed among the best science-fiction authors are some of the most well-known, popular sci-di authors ever, including a few that may not always show up on a 'best of' list. Disagree with a choice? Vote it down. The aforementioned (brilliant) writers are responsible for some of the best science-fiction novels and series of all time - but other sci-fi writers like Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), Robert Louis Stevenson (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), and Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) are excellent sci-fi writers as well. All of these authors, in my opinion, deserve a place of honor on this list.

Hopefully, this list will grow and become totally comprehensive. Readers who are new to sci-fi can use it as a great guide to find new science fiction authors and books.
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  • 1
    3,504
    997

    Isaac Asimov

    I, Robot
    Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of...  more
  • 2
    2,488
    700

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers
    Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction author,...  more
  • 3
    2,105
    584

    Jules Verne

    Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth
    Jules Gabriel Verne (; French: [ʒyl vɛʁn]; 8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French...  more
  • 4
    2,359
    666

    Ray Bradbury

    Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451
    Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and...  more
  • 5
    2,570
    731

    Arthur C. Clarke

    2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010
    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction...  more
  • 6
    2,234
    673

    H. G. Wells

    The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man
    Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was...  more
  • 7
    2,543
    943

    Philip K. Dick

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Man in the High Castle
    Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his...  more
  • 8
    2,075
    815

    Frank Herbert

    Dune, Dune Messiah
    Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was an American science...  more
  • 9
    1,641
    556

    Douglas Adams

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    Hitchhikers "trilogy", Dirk Gently
    Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, screenwriter,...  more
  • 10
    1,656
    637

    Ursula K. Le Guin

    The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed
    Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author. She is...  more
  • 11
    2,018
    653

    George Orwell

    Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm
    Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George...  more
  • 12
    1,242
    504

    Larry Niven

    Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer
    Laurence van Cott Niven (; born April 30, 1938) is an American science fiction writer. His...  more
  • 13
    794
    372

    Frederik Pohl

    The Space Merchants, Man Plus
    Frederik George Pohl Jr. (; November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American...  more
  • 14
    985
    475

    William Gibson

    Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic
    William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer...  more
  • 15
    740
    351

    Poul Anderson

    The Broken Sword, Conflict
    Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction...  more
  • 16
    702
    295

    Philip José Farmer

    Dayworld, Gods of Riverworld
    Philip José Farmer (January 26, 1918 – February 25, 2009) was an American author known for his...  more
  • 17
    820
    392

    Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonflight, Dragonsong
    Anne Inez McCaffrey (1 April 1926 – 21 November 2011) was an American-born writer who...  more
  • 18
    524
    206

    Joe Haldeman

    The Forever War, Robot Jox
    Joe William Haldeman (born June 9, 1943) is an American science fiction author. He is best...  more
  • 19
    1,075
    407

    Mary Shelley

    Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein
    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (UK: , US: ; née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an...  more
  • 20
    1,149
    579

    Terry Pratchett

    Good Omens, Small Gods
    Sir Terence David John Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of...  more
  • 21
    633
    292

    Andre Norton

    The Stars Are Ours!, Sea Siege
    Andre Alice Norton (born Alice Mary Norton, February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005) was an...  more
  • 22
    414
    169

    Alan Dean Foster

    Krull, The Mocking Program
    Alan Dean Foster (born November 18, 1946) is an American writer of fantasy and science...  more
  • 23
    755
    324

    Robert Silverberg

    Shadrach in the Furnace, Nightfall
    Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935) is an American author and editor, best known for...  more
  • 24
    1,004
    469

    Roger Zelazny

    The Chronicles of Amber, Lord of Light
    Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy...  more
  • 25
    1,389
    705

    Kurt Vonnegut

    Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle
    Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career...  more