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The Best Science-Fiction Authors

Updated September 17, 2020 128.9k votes 13.3k voters 352.3k 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
    Arthur C. Clarke
    2,673
    728

    Arthur C. Clarke

    2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010

    BirthplaceMinehead, United Kingdom

    NationalitySri Lanka, United Kingdom

    Sir Arthur Charles Clarke (16 December 1917 – 19 March 2008) was a British science fiction... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 2
    Jules Verne
    2,190
    560

    Jules Verne

    Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth

    BirthplaceNantes, France

    NationalityFrance

    Jules Gabriel Verne (; French: [ʒyl vɛʁn]; 8 February 1828 – 24 March 1905) was a French... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 3
    Robert A. Heinlein
    2,604
    712

    Robert A. Heinlein

    Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers

    BirthplaceButler, Missouri

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science-fiction author,... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 4
    Isaac Asimov
    3,623
    1,057

    Isaac Asimov

    I, Robot

    BirthplacePetrovichi, Russia

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Isaac Asimov (; c. January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American writer and professor of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 5
    Ray Bradbury
    2,445
    696

    Ray Bradbury

    Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451

    BirthplaceWaukegan, Illinois, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Ray Douglas Bradbury (; August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American author and... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 6
    H. G. Wells
    2,318
    710

    H. G. Wells

    The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man

    BirthplaceBromley, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 7
    Douglas Adams
    1,689
    530

    Douglas Adams

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

    BirthplaceCambridge, United Kingdom

    NationalityEngland

    Hitchhikers "trilogy", Dirk Gently
    Amazon buy button
  • 8
    Philip K. Dick
    2,643
    1,016

    Philip K. Dick

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Man in the High Castle

    BirthplaceChicago, Illinois

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Philip Kindred Dick (December 16, 1928 – March 2, 1982) was an American writer known for his... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 9
    Ursula K. Le Guin
    1,725
    646

    Ursula K. Le Guin

    The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed

    BirthplaceBerkeley, California

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (; October 21, 1929 – January 22, 2018) was an American author. She is... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 10
    Frank Herbert
    2,141
    850

    Frank Herbert

    Dune, Dune Messiah

    BirthplaceTacoma, Washington

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Franklin Patrick Herbert Jr. (October 8, 1920 – February 11, 1986) was an American science... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 11
    George Orwell
    2,094
    672

    George Orwell

    Nineteen Eighty-Four, Animal Farm

    BirthplaceMotihari, India

    NationalityEngland

    Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950), better known by his pen name George... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 12
    Larry Niven
    1,308
    522

    Larry Niven

    Ringworld, Lucifer's Hammer

    BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Laurence van Cott Niven (; born April 30, 1938) is an American science fiction writer. His... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 13
    Frederik Pohl
    827
    375

    Frederik Pohl

    The Space Merchants, Man Plus

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Frederik George Pohl Jr. (; November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013) was an American... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 14
    Andre Norton
    665
    290

    Andre Norton

    The Stars Are Ours!, Sea Siege

    BirthplaceCleveland, Area code 216, Ohio, United States of America, United States

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Andre Alice Norton (born Alice Mary Norton, February 17, 1912 – March 17, 2005) was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 15
    Joe Haldeman
    539
    198

    Joe Haldeman

    The Forever War, Robot Jox

    BirthplaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Joe William Haldeman (born June 9, 1943) is an American science fiction author. He is best... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 16
    William Gibson
    1,029
    491

    William Gibson

    Neuromancer, Johnny Mnemonic

    BirthplaceConway, South Carolina, United States of America

    NationalityCanada, United States of America

    William Ford Gibson (born March 17, 1948) is an American-Canadian speculative fiction writer... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 17
    Clifford D. Simak
    639
    253

    Clifford D. Simak

    Ring Around the Sun, Isaac Asimov Presents

    BirthplaceMillville, Wisconsin

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Clifford Donald Simak (; August 3, 1904 – April 25, 1988) was an American science fiction... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 18
    Philip José Farmer
    727
    293

    Philip José Farmer

    Dayworld, Gods of Riverworld

    BirthplaceTerre Haute, Indiana

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Philip José Farmer (January 26, 1918 – February 25, 2009) was an American author known for his... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 19
    Poul Anderson
    765
    363

    Poul Anderson

    The Broken Sword, Conflict

    BirthplaceBristol, Pennsylvania, United States of America

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Poul William Anderson (November 25, 1926 – July 31, 2001) was an American science fiction... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 20
    Anne McCaffrey
    853
    394

    Anne McCaffrey

    Dragonflight, Dragonsong

    BirthplaceCambridge, Massachusetts

    NationalityRepublic of Ireland, United States of America

    Anne Inez McCaffrey (1 April 1926 – 21 November 2011) was an American-born writer who... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 21
    Alan Dean Foster
    410
    157

    Alan Dean Foster

    Krull, The Mocking Program

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    NationalityUnited States of America

    Alan Dean Foster (born November 18, 1946) is an American writer of fantasy and science... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 22
    Mary Shelley
    1,104
    416

    Mary Shelley

    Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein

    BirthplaceSomers Town, London, London, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (UK: , US: ; née Godwin; 30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 23
    Terry Pratchett
    1,193
    608

    Terry Pratchett

    Good Omens, Small Gods

    BirthplaceBeaconsfield, United Kingdom

    NationalityUnited Kingdom, England

    Sir Terence David John Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015) was an English author of... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 24
    Iain Banks
    817
    409

    Iain Banks

    The Wasp Factory, The Player of Games

    BirthplaceDunfermline, United Kingdom

    NationalityScotland, United Kingdom

    Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) was a Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button
  • 25
    Stanisław Lem
    988
    417

    Stanisław Lem

    Solaris, Memoirs Found in a Bathtub

    BirthplaceLviv, Ukraine

    NationalityPoland

    Stanisław Herman Lem (Polish: [staˈɲiswaf ˈlɛm] (listen); 12 or 13 September 1921 – 27 March... more on WikipediaAmazon buy button