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The Best Science-Fiction Authors  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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List Rules Author 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.
list ordered by
1
Isaac Asimov is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
I, Robot, Foundation
Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University. He was known for his works of science fiction and popular science. ...more
2
Philip K. Dick is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Man in the High Castle, Ubik
Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his work in science fiction. His work explored philosophical, social, and political themes, with stories ...more
3
Arthur C. Clarke is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction writer, science writer and futurist, inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host. He ...more
4
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, ...more
5
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings
Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and screenwriter. He worked in a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, and mystery ...more
6
Robert A. Heinlein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, and retired Naval officer. Sometimes called the "dean of science fiction ...more
7
Frank Herbert is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Dune, Dune Messiah, The Lazarus Effect
Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was an American science fiction author best known for the 1965 novel Dune and its five sequels. Though he became famous for his ...more
8
George Orwell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm, Down and Out in Paris and London
Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist and essayist, journalist and critic, whose work is characterised by lucid ...more
9
Jules Verne is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Mysterious Island
Jules Gabriel Verne (; French: [ʒyl vɛʁn]; 8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French novelist, poet, and playwright. Verne's collaboration with the publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel led to the ...more
10
Ursula K. Le Guin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, A Wizard of Earthsea
Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author. She is best known for her works of speculative fiction, including science fiction works set in her Hainish ...more
11
Kurt Vonnegut is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (; November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007) was an American writer. In a career spanning over 50 years, Vonnegut published fourteen novels, three short story collections, five ...more
12
Frederik Pohl is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
MatthewDuncan added The Space Merchants, Man Plus, Gateway
Frederik George Pohl Jr. (; November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American science-fiction writer, editor, and fan, with a career spanning more than 75 years—from his first published ...more
13
Larry Niven is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer, The Mote in God's Eye
Laurence van Cott Niven (; born April 30, 1938) is an American science fiction writer. His best-known works are Ringworld (1970), which received Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, Nebula awards, and The Mote ...more
14
Roger Zelazny is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
The Chronicles of Amber, Lord of Light, Isle of the Dead
Roger Joseph Zelazny (May 13, 1937 – June 14, 1995) was an American poet and writer of fantasy and science fiction short stories and novels, best known for The Chronicles of Amber. He won the ...more
15
Terry Pratchett is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
beernbugs added Good Omens, Small Gods, The Colour of Magic
Sir Terence David John Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of fantasy novels, especially comical works. He is best known for his Discworld series of 41 novels. ...more
16
Orson Scott Card is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, Ender's Shadow
Orson Scott Card (born August 24, 1951) is an American novelist, critic, public speaker, essayist, and columnist. He writes in several genres but is known best for science fiction. His novel ...more
17
Douglas Adams is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Roger Glover added The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, So Long
Hitchhikers "trilogy", Dirk Gently Douglas Noel Adams (11 March 1952 – 11 May 2001) was an English author, screenwriter, essayist, humorist, satirist and dramatist. Adams was author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which ...more
18
William Gibson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic, Mona Lisa Overdrive
William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer and essayist widely credited with pioneering the science fiction subgenre known as cyberpunk. ...more
19
Poul Anderson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Countermoon added The Broken Sword, Conflict, Conan the Rebel
Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction author who began his career in the 1940s and continued to write into the 21st century. Anderson authored ...more
20
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
PauldeBakker added Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods
Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born November 10, 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, nonfiction, audio theatre, and films. His works include the ...more
21
Harlan Ellison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Dreams with Sharp Teeth, The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the World, The Glass Teat
Harlan Jay Ellison (May 27, 1934 – June 28, 2018) was an American writer, known for his prolific and influential work in New Wave speculative fiction, and for his outspoken, combative ...more
22
David Brin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
randomjane added Startide Rising, The Transparent Society, The Uplift War
Glen David Brin (born October 6, 1950) is an American scientist and author of science fiction. He has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards. His novel The Postman was adapted as a ...more
23
Aldous Huxley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Alice in Wonderland, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice
Aldous Leonard Huxley (26 July 1894 – 22 November 1963) was an English writer and philosopher. He authored nearly fifty books—both novels and non-fiction works—as well as wide-ranging essays, ...more
24
Robert Silverberg is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Shadrach in the Furnace, Nightfall, Roma Eterna
Robert Silverberg (born January 15, 1935) is an American author and editor, best known for writing science fiction. He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the ...more
25
Michael Crichton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Science-Fiction Authors
Jurassic Park, Twister, Westworld
John Michael Crichton (; October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was an American author, screenwriter, and film director and producer best known for his work in the science fiction, thriller, and ...more