Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sci-Fi Month: My Top Ten SF Authors

As part of the Sci-Fi Month hosted by Rinn Reads, I agreed to list my Top Ten SF authors. Even if I limit my selection to the authors I have in my personal library, it's a tough task narrowing the group to ten, let alone ranking them. Nonetheless, I managed to settle on a list.

10. Kim Stanley Robinson--I chose him for his book The Years of Rice and Salt, an alternative history in which Europeans are almost all wiped out by plague, allowing other cultures to dominate history.

9. James Tiptree, Jr. (the pseudonym of Alice Sheldon)--Brightness Falls from the Air was one of those books that kept me up all night.

8. Sheri Tepper--Beauty also kept me up all night. Tepper was Guest of Honor at the first WisCon I attended. Her books are provocative, but they can be a bit strident.

7. John Varley--Steel Beach has been out for a while, but I enjoyed the read.

6. Neil Stephenson--While I can't get into anything post Cryptonomicon, I did like Snow Crash and The Diamond Age.

5.  Lyda Morehouse--I recommend her LINK Angel series, which begins with Archangel Protocol.

4. Anne McCaffrey--I probably have more of her books than I do of all the other authors listed above. While she's most famous for the Pern books, I also like The Tower and the Hive series.

3. Octavia Butler--I read her Xenogenesis trilogy earlier this year and own Wildseed, Parable of the Sower, and Mind of My Mind.

2. Connie Willis--My favorite book of her is To Say Nothing of the Dog, but I also liked Blackout/All Clear and her collection Impossible Things.

1.  Julie E. Czerneda--She develops great aliens. My favorite series of hers is the Species Imperative one, though I also liked the Web Shifters series. Now I have to go through Goodreads and see if I missed any books of hers....

I better stop here before I get into Honorable Mentions, but please feel free to name some of your favorite authors in the comments!


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The Diamond Age was good. Think I've only read one McCaffrey book though.

Pat Dilloway said...

Hooray, I've read none of those! What do I win?

Sandra Almazan said...

Which McCaffery book was it, Alex?

Pat, you've won a chance to discover some new books/authors and decide if you like them!

Crystal Collier said...

Wow, so many new books to check out. I've read Ann McCaffery, but her work is so slow... I do love her worlds, but... I'm going to have to check out some of these others.

Andrew Leon said...

I've read 4 of those authors. Stephenson would go on my 10 worst list. But I won't get started on that.

Robinson's Mars series is great and The Doomsday Book is one of my favorites.

However, I don't think any sci-fi list is complete without Asimov, and my number one on my own list would have to be Mary Doria Russell for The Sparrow.

Sandra Almazan said...

Crystal, I hope you find something to your taste.

Andrew, I thought about including Asimov, but technically he's not in my personal book collection. (My husband has--or had--some of Asimov's books in hardcover.) If I was doing an all-time greatest list, I would definitely include Asimov. Russell's The Sparrow was also good--and I got to see her at WisCon many years ago.

Nicki Elson said...

Oh my, I'm very, very SciFi illiterate. I've never read any of these authors. It's great that you have so many favorites that you could go on and on.

Hey, I got your note at my place about winning one of your books but...I'm not sure I did. Mary didn't mention it to me. So, not that I wouldn't love one, but I'd feel bad taking it if I didn't actually win it, you know?

Rusty Webb said...

I love Neal Stephenson, don't tell Andrew though, he can be a bit of a prude when it comes to him.

Love Connie Willis too, my fav of hers is The Doomsday Book. So good.

My favorites are Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter... and Verner Vingie... although only Reynolds is consistently great IMO. The other two either give works of genius or they are total dreck.

Sandra Almazan said...

Nicki, I just sent you an e-mail about the book.

Rusty, I haven't read Reynolds. I think I've read Baxter and Vinge, though that was a long time ago.

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