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The Essentials of Modern Science Fiction

EssentialsSFModern

The following is a short list, featuring twenty of the most prominent and prolific authors of modern science fiction (from the mid-1970s through the early 2000s), whom you would commonly find on any list of this genre’s “classics” or “essentials.” A list of the “best” authors in any category has to be considered subjective under the best of circumstances — particularly when many of these authors are competing against newer and more cutting-edge authors in today’s market. However, based on the criteria of which authors’ works have continued to stand the “test of time,” whose works have remained relevant to contemporary readers, and which authors have contributed ground-breaking works to the science fiction field, the twenty authors listed here are a good place to start. Fans and/or students of Science Fiction are also encouraged to check in with any of our librarians for additional recommendations and thematic booklists!

classic. Among the best of a class, of the highest quality in a group…a work that endures.Harper Handbook to Literature

The author links in this booklist are to the complete listings of all materials in the Lincoln City Libraries’ collections by these authors. The links connect directly to our library catalog, so that you may check on the current availability of titles. Covers shown below are relative samples of some of these authors’ best-known works.

Douglas Adams

[1952-2001] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

 DouglasAdams

Brian W. Aldiss

[1925- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

BrianAldiss

Iain M. Banks

[1954-2013] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

IainBanks

Greg Bear

[1951- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

GregBear

Gregory Benford

[1941- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

GregoryBenford

David Brin

[1950- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

DavidBrin

Lois McMaster Bujold

[1949- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

LoisMcMasterBujold

Octavia Butler

[1947-2006] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

OctaviaButler

Orson Scott Card

[1951- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

OrsonScottCard

C.J. Cherryh

[1942- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

CJCherryh

William Gibson

[1948- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

WilliamGibson

Joe Haldeman

[1943- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

JoeHaldeman

Ursula K. Leguin

[1929- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

UrsulaLeguin

Anne McCaffrey

[1926-2011] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

AnneMcCaffrey

Larry Niven

[1938- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

LarryNiven

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle

[ See Wikipedia and Internet Speculative Fiction Database entries for each individual author ]

NivenandPournelle

Jerry Pournelle

[1933- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

JerryPournelle

Neal Stephenson

[1959- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

NealStephenson

Vernor Vinge

[1944- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

VernorVinge

Connie Willis

[1945- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

ConnieWillis

Roger Zelazny

[1937-1995] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

RogerZelazny

And here’s one more — Lincoln, Nebraska’s own Hugo-Award-winning science fiction author

Robert Reed

[1956- ] [ Wikipedia entry for this author ] [ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ] [ Robert Reed page on BookGuide ]

Compiled, adapted and expanded for the Web February 2012 sdc | last updated August 2016 sdc