Of course this list is bias, and completely of my own design for personal and selfish reasoning. I know there are many other greats out there, some I may have not had the opportunity to read yet. So this list is my list, and if others do agree, that is great, if not, well make your own list and post it so we can read why, maybe I'll find some new authors!
First off, this list is not in any particular order that I am aware of. I explain at the end of this article why, but for now, just except the fact that it is random.
Born in 1920, Isaac Asimov wrote "hard" science fiction, which I love. He is considered one of the "big three" in the science fiction author club, along with Arthur C. Clark and Robert A. Heinlein (the author of Starship Troopers who did not make my list so I could make room for Piers Anthony.)
I love Asimov because he wrote the Robot Series, I, Robot, and wrote The Three Laws of Robotics.
Asimov won more than a dozen annual awards for particular works of science fiction and a half-dozen lifetime awards.
Some of his books include The Robot Series, Galactic Empire Novels, Fantastic Voyage, I, Robot, The Bicentennial Man and Other Stories, The Edge of Tomorrow, also writing many non-fiction and science essays and science books. Though Asimov was an atheist, he also wrote Asimov's Guide to the Bible, history books, comedies, and five autobiographies.
Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke was born in 1917 and considered a science fiction futurist. Not only did he write, but he was an inventor, undersea explorer, and television series host.
He co-wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick.
Clarke had a few stories published in Astounding Science Fiction magazine in 1946. He was also the assistant editor of Science Abstracts magazine in 1949 until he devoted himself to writing full time in 1951.
Clarke wrote, "The Sentinel" in 1946, which was the basis for 2001: A Space Odyssey.
He won more than a dozen annual literary awards for particular works of science fiction.
Clarke wrote great books, like, The Sands of Mars, Islands in the Sky, Childhood's End, 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three, 3001: The Final Odyssey, The Sentinel, as well as many non-fiction books.
H. G. Wells
Born in 1866, H. G. Wells made it to the top five of my ten favorite science fiction authors for a few reasons. Firstly, he wrote one of my all-time favorite novels, "The Time Machine." Secondly, he was a futurist but noted in several books with mention of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television, something resembling the world wide web, imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and bio-engineering!
Plus, he was masterful at satire! I am currently reading a 1937 first edition work of his, The Croquet Player. Anyone who has read this knows what I am speaking of with the first chapter!
One of my favorite books, The Time Machine, and The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The First Men in the Moon, The Croquet Player, wrote by Wells.
He also wrote many short stories, perhaps hundreds!
Wells also wrote many sociology books, books on politics, Science books, History books, essays, and articles.
Born in 1920 (I see a theme with great authors and when they were born!), Ray Bradbury wrote another book that makes my top five list of all-time favorite books, Fahrenheit 451!
Bradbury's more notable books are Something Wicked this Way Comes, The Martian Chronicles, I Sing the Body Electric, Brave New World, The Illustrated Man, and Death is a Lonely Business.
Douglas Adams was born in 1952. Adams is most known for his book, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which I first read in 1986 after playing the video game version of the book on my Commodore 64. Infocom made the game in 1984, and it was a text adventure.
Although Adams never won an award, he was nominated in 1979 for The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
His works include The Pirate Planet (Doctor Who Episode in 1979), City of Death, Shada (both Who episodes), The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Life, the Universe and Everything, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency.
He also worked with another favorite group of morons of mine, Monty Python!
Adams also wrote sketches and screenplays for Monty Python's Flying Circus, Doctor Who, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy TV show, and the Doctor Who: The Lost Episode, Shada.
Jules Verne was born in 1828. A novelist, poet, and playwright.
Verne wrote many of the great classics that you may have watched and didn't realize they were adapted from his books. Disney made a few of them.
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Disney is how I was first introduced to Verne, and later, reading his books in high school, I appreciated him even more!
It is incredible how, in 1869, Verne wrote about many of the features that modern-day submarines have, accurately describing them!
By the way, the title should read "the seas," not the sea, because of a translational error.
The original movie by Disney had a great cast too! Kirk Douglas as Ned, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Peter Lorre as Conseil, the creepy guy in tons of horror flicks in the 40s-60s.
I guess there was a remake, but if you know me, you know how I loath 98% of remakes and rewrites.
Born in 1903, Eric Arthur Blair, known by his pen name, George Orwell, was known for his biting social criticisms and opposition to totalitarianism.
I love his works, including Animal Farm, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which brought about many phrases we know and use today!
"Orwellian," "Big Brother," "Thought Police," "Memory Hole," "Newspeak," "doublethink," "thought crime."
Though not as prolific a writer as others on my list, Orwell significantly impacted the world of literature and society with his novels.
The oldest on my list, Mary Shelley, was born in 1797. Most known for her 1818 novel "The Modern Prometheus," or as most of us know it, "Frankenstein.
Like Orwell, Shelley does not have a massive list of works; however, I believe she has influenced many authors and significantly impacted science fiction.
Though generally considered "Gothic," or even horror, I feel the science fiction element is vital in her works.
The steam-punkish setting with dials and machines spinning and cranking as lightning blasts the rods, creating life.
Who would have ever dreamed that a few hundred years later, we would use electricity to spark life back into people who had died by using defibrillators? I guess Mary Shelley did in 1818!
J. R. R. Tolkien
Born in 1892, Tolkien is one of the most loved authors in modern times. Tolkien was a Lieutenant in the British Army during World War I. He fought in the Battle of Somme and the capture of Schwaben Redoubt, Leipzig Salient, and Regina Trench.
Tolkien rarely signed any of his works, so his autograph is highly valued.
Known for The Hobbit (or There and Back Again), The Fellowship of the Ring (the first part of The Lord of the Rings), The Two Towers (the second part), The Return of the King (the third and final part), The War of the Ring, and many others.
I don't know many who have not heard of these. My first experience with Tolkien was the 1977 cartoon, The Hobbit. The film was nominated for the Hugo Award but lost that year to Star Wars.
I first read the novels in the late '80s and loved them.
Piers Anthony is Known for the books series Xanth (with 41 novels and growing!), Apprentice Adept Series (seven books), Incarnations of Immortality Series (eight books), as well as many single books such as Firefly, Total Recall, Jack and the Giants, as well as some non-fiction.
The Apprentice Adept and Incarnations of Immortality were two of my all-time favorite series!
So there you have it, my top ten favorite science fiction authors of all time, and some of my favorite books mentioned as well!
I may put them in order one day, but the list seems to change with my mood. Sometimes I feel like Piers Anthony is number one, then other times, I think Wells. I can never really make up my mind.
But that's OK, they are all here in my top 10!