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Famous Science Fiction/Fantasy Authors
Criteria for Fame and Accomlishment - Page 2

Additional Lists of Awards, Best-Sellers, Historically Influential SF, etc.

Kroll's Canonical Authors

Kroll put together a "Scientifictionally-Compiled, Perpetually-Preliminary List of Canonical Authors" (last updated 27 August 1998; URL: http://www.anaserve.com/~kroll/lemon/authors.htm). He used a scoring system to assign "votes" to various authors, based on his own criteria. The 53 authors with 30 or more points ("votes") are listed below. (We found Kroll's list on 20 January 2000, long after we compiled our own list of "famous authors". 26 of these -- one half -- are on our "famous list," indicating significant overlap):

93Asimov, Isaac
92Heinlein, Robert A.
86Clarke, Arthur C.
82Leiber, Fritz
76Anderson, Poul
74Wells, H.G.
72Le Guin, Ursula K.
71Zelazny, Roger
65Bradbury, Ray
63Silverberg, Robert
62Pohl, Frederik
61Sturgeon, Theodore
57Simak, Clifford D.
55Niven, Larry
54Bester, Alfred
52Ellison, Harlan
50Dick, Philip K.
49Blish, James
49de Camp, L. Sprague
49Delany, Samuel R.
48Aldiss, Brian W.
47Dickson, Gordon R.
47Varley, John
46Farmer, Philip Jose
46Vance, Jack
45Ballard, J.G.
43van Vogt, A.E.
43Wolfe, Gene
42Sheckley, Robert
42Verne, Jules
40Burroughs, Edgar Rice
39Herbert, Frank
38Brunner, John
38Williamson, Jack
37Anthony, Piers
37Kuttner, Henry
35Disch, Thomas M.
34Kornbluth, Cyril M.
34Miller, Jr., Walter M.
34Norton, Andre
34Stapledon, Olaf
33Haldeman, Joe
33Moorcock, Michael
32del Rey, Lester
32Russ, Joanna
32Tiptree, Jr., James
32Vonnegut Jr., Kurt
32Wyndham, John
31Knight, Damon
31Smith, Cordwainer
30Card, Orson Scott
30McCaffrey, Anne
30Russell, Eric Frank

Award-Winning Canadian Novelists

Authors who have won the Canadian Aurora Award for "Best English-Language Novel by a Canadian".
  • Phyllis Gotlieb
  • Eileen Kernaghan
  • Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Charles de Lint
  • William Gibson
  • Dave Duncan
  • Robert J. Sawyer
  • Sean Stewart
  • Candas Jane Dorsey
  • Robert Charles Wilson

World Fantasy Award Lifetime Achievement Awards

1975Robert Bloch
1976Fritz Leiber
1977Ray Bradbury
1978Frank Belknap Long
1979Jorge Luis Borges
1980Manly Wade Wellman
1981C. L. Moore
1982Italo Calvino
1983Ronald Dahl
1984L. Sprague de Camp
1984Richard Matheson
1984E. Hoffman Price
1984Jack Vance
1984Donald Wandrei
1985Theodore Sturgeon
1986Avram Davidson
1987Jack Finney
1988Everett F. Bleiler
1989Evangeline Walton
1990R. A. Lafferty
1991Ray Russell
1992Edd Cartier
1993Harlan Ellison
1994Jack Williamson
1996Gene Wolfe
1997Madeleine L'Engle
1998Edward L. Ferman
1998Andre Norton
1999Hugh Cave

Jade Mountain's Top 20 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels

Source: http://www.jademountain.com/AWR/Top20.html (23 March 2001).
(All of these are indexed in the Adherents.com literature database.)
  1. Dune by Frank Herbert
  2. The Stars my Destination by Alfred Bester
  3. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
  4. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  5. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  6. More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
  7. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
  9. Hyperion by Dan Simmons
  10. Slan by A.E. van Vogt
  11. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
  12. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
  13. Way Station by Clifford Simak
  14. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge
  15. Expiration Date by Tim Powers
  16. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe
  17. Little, Big by John Crowley
  18. Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  19. Gateway by Frederik Pohl
  20. Player of Games by Iain Banks

Books that have won an AML Award for Fiction

Not all of these are science fiction or fantasy.
1981Marilyn M. BrownThe Earthkeepers
1983Douglas H. ThayerSummer Fire
1984Herbert HarkerCircle of Fire
1988Linda SillitoeSideways to the Sun
1989Judith FreemanThe Chinchilla Farm
1990Franklin FisherBones
1991Orson Scott CardXenocide
1991Gerald N. LundLike a Fire is Burning
Vol 2 of The Work and the Glory
1992Martine BatesThe Dragon's Tapestry
1993Martine BatesThe Prism Moon
1993M. Shayne BellWashed by a Wave of Wind
1994Anne PerryThe Sins of the Wolf
1999Anne PerryTathea
2000Margaret Blair Young
and Darius Aidan Gray
Standing on the Promises, Book 1:
One More River to Cross

World Fantasy Award Best Novels

1975The Forgotten Beasts of Eld Patricia McKillip
1976Bid Time ReturnRichard Matheson
1977Doctor RatWilliam Kotzwinkle
1978Our Lady of DarknessFritz Leiber
1979GlorianaMichael Moorcock
1980WatchtowerElizabeth A. Lynn
1981The Shadow of The Torturer Gene Wolfe
1982Little, BigJohn Crowley
1983Nifft the LeanMichael Shea
1984The Dragon WaitingJohn M. Ford
1985The Bridge of BirdsBarry Hughart
1986Song of KaliDan Simmons
1987PerfumePatrick Suskind
1988ReplayKen Grimwood
1989KokoPeter Straub
1990MadoucJack Vance
1991Only Begotten Daughter James Morrow
1992Boy's LifeRobert R. McCammon
1993Last CallTim Powers
1994GlimpsesLewis Shiner
1995Towing JehovahJames Morrow
1996The PrestigeChristopher Priest
1997Godmother NightRachel Pollack
1998The PhysiognomyJeffrey Ford
1999The Antelope WifeLouise Erdrich

Amazon.com's Classic Science Fiction

Amazon.com has a brief Classic Science Fiction page with the following introduction:
The grand masters of science fiction defined the genre with these powerful stories full of grand ideas, stirring plots, and unforgettable characters. Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke are here, of course, as are Le Guin, Heinlein, and Herbert, making up a veritable science fiction hall of fame. No science fiction fan should miss these classics.
(These books are indexed in the Adherents.com literature database.) These are the works listed when the page was checked 17 August 2000:

The Stars My DestinationAlfred Bester
A Canticle for LeibowitzWalter M. Miller, Jr.
Stranger in a Strange LandRobert A. Heinlein
The Left Hand of DarknessUrsula K. Le Guin
Rendezvous With RamaArthur C. Clarke
The Martian ChroniclesRay Bradbury
FoundationIsaac Asimov
DuneFrank Herbert
HyperionDan Simmons
SlanA. E. Van Vogt

Top 10 Most Controversial Science Fiction/Fantasy Writers

Note that authors may be considred controversial for a variety of reasons, such as subject matter, personal history, and merit/classification as a writer. Writing about subject matter (such as sex, racism) which would have been "controversial" in the science fiction community during the 1950s does not necessarily make a writer controversial if their work is not discussed. On the other hand, an author's subject matter or views may have nothing to do with what makes them controversial. Many would argue that the subject matter in George Lucas's work (especially the "Star Wars" films) is less controversial than most episodes of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." But Lucas has had such a huge impact on the science fiction genre (or at least on mainstream perceptions of the genre), that his merits and impact as a storyteller are debated endlessly.

  1. L. Ron Hubbard - Did he actually believe in Scientology? Is Scientology a religion? Does his writing have any merit? How popular are his books, really? What impact has he had on the field? What's with the new Travolta movie "Battlefield Earth"?

  2. Robert A. Heinlein - Was he a "fascist" or a "racist"? (No, but the question gets asked a lot.) What about Stranger in a Strange Land? Was it one of his best novels, or just his most popular? Was it subversive? What's with all the polygamy in his novels?

  3. George Lucas - What impact has "Star Wars" had on the science fiction genre? Is any of it any good as art? What's with "the Force"?

  4. Orson Scott Card - Is his writing excessively violent? What's with the original "Lost Boys," in which he's a character in a story that never happened? Why is Ender's Game so popular?

  5. James Tiptree, Jr. - Is he a she? (Yes.) Did she invent feminist SF? Or set it back 20 years?

  6. Philip K. Dick - Was he completely insane? If so, when did he become that way? Is his later work some of his best, or complete garbage? Do androids dream of electric sheep?

  7. Piers Anthony - Is he a great writer, or just a much-published one? Is there any religion he hasn't written about or pun he hasn't used?

  8. Harlan Ellison -
    Harlan Ellison, the highly acclaimed and controversial science fiction writer, was once asked at a lecture he was giving (http://www.californiaaggie.com/archive/96/06/03/sacred6_3.html), "Isn't it true that you write the sort of stuff you write just to be shocking?" He paused, and then responded:

    "You are absolutely dead-on correct. I only write to shock you. What the hell do you expect me to do, lull you even further into the condition of sleepwalking you unfortunately call your life? Perpetuate all the lies and Pollyanna excuses you miserably substitute for courage and ethic and a sense of responsibility? You're right on target, kiddo, when you say I write to shock and startle and rip the curtains off the windows and let the blinding glare in. Since I can't come to your house and jab a flaming stick into your eyeball, I'll settle for getting you so pissed off you throw my book against a wall."

Books That Had Impact

English professor Dr. Linda L. Walling of the University of South Carolina a list of many particularly influential books on a curriculum page for her "Popular Materials and Programming for Adults" course (ttp://www.libsci.sc.edu/linda/755/755bookimpact2.htm). Below are the science fiction/fantasy books from this list. (These books have been indexed in the main Adherents.com literature database.)
  • Abbott, Edwin A. - Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
  • Adams, Douglas - Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
  • Asimov, Isaac - Foundation
  • Atwood, Margaret - The Handmaid's Tale
  • Bellamy, Edward - Looking Backward
  • Bradbury, Ray - The Martian Chronicles
  • Burroughs, Edgar Rice - Tarzan of the Apes
  • Callenbach, Ernest - Ectopia
  • Frank, Pat - Alas, Babylon
  • Heinlein, Robert - Stranger in a Strange Land
  • Herbert, Frank - Dune
  • Huxley, Aldous - Brave New World
  • King, Stephen - Carrie
  • Miller, Walter M., Jr. - A Canticle for Leibowitz
  • Orwell, George - Animal Farm
  • Orwell, George - 1984
  • Shelley, Mary - Frankenstein
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis - The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Verne, Jules - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • Wells, H.G. - War of the Worlds

1999 Amazon.com Best Sellers in SF/F

These were 1999's top-selling books specifically from the SF/F category.

1Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom MenaceTerry Brooks
2CryptonomiconNeal Stephenson
3The Path of DaggersRobert Jordan
4Snow CrashNeal Stephenson
5The Hobbit and the Complete Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring,
the Two Towers, the Return of the King/Boxed Set
J. R. R. Tolkien
6Ender's ShadowOrson Scott Card
7A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire, No. 2George R. R. Martin
8The Diamond AgeNeal Stephenson
9Soul of the FireTerry Goodkind
10TimelineMichael Crichton
11Ender's GameOrson Scott Card
12NeuromancerWilliam Gibson
13Red MarsKim Stanley Robinson
14Wizard and Glass: Dark Tower IVStephen King
15Dune: House AtreidesBrian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson
16A Crown of SwordsRobert Jordan
17Doomsday BookConnie Willis
18The Stars My DestinationAlfred Bester, et al
19The Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyDouglas Adams
20HyperionDan Simmons
21Children of the MindOrson Scott Card
22The Mists of AvalonMarion Zimmer Bradley
23Blue MarsKim Stanley Robinson
24Fahrenheit 451Ray Bradbury
25Green MarsKim Stanley Robinson
26Speaker for the DeadOrson Scott Card

Publishers Weekly Best Books 99 (Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Section)

Source URL: "PW's Best Books 99", Publishers Weekly, 11/1/1999
URL: http://www.publishersweekly.com/index.asp?layout=article&articleid=CA167537
  • Darwin's Radio, Greg Bear
  • Ender's Shadow, Orson Scott Card
  • Stardust, Neil Gaiman
  • The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror, Volume 10, Stephen Jones
  • The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Stephen King
  • Cryptonomicon, Neal Stephenson
  • Mr. X, Peter Straub
  • A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge

200 Major Science Fiction Authors (Reader's Guide, 1979)

The following list of 200 top recommended science fiction authors is from the "200 Authors and Their Major Works" section in the book A Reader's Guide to Science Fiction by Baird Searles, Martin Last, Beth Meacham, and Michael Franklin (with a forward by Samuel R. Delaney). Not that many of today's top-selling authors are not on this list because their success has come after 1979, when this book was published.

  • Mark Adlard
  • Alan Burt Akers
  • Brian Aldiss
  • Poul Anderson
  • Piers Anthony
  • Christopher Anvil
  • Isaac Asimov
  • J. G. Ballard
  • T. J. Bass
  • Barrington J. Bayley
  • Gregory Benford
  • Alfred Bester
  • Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
  • Eando Binder
  • Michael Bishop
  • James Blish
  • John Boyd
  • Leigh Brackett
  • Ray Bradbury
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Frederic Brown
  • John Brunner
  • Edward Bryant
  • Algis Budrys
  • Kenneth Bulmer
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • F. M. Busby
  • John W. Campbell
  • Terry Carr
  • Angela Carter
  • Lin Carter
  • Jack Chalker
  • A. Bertram Chandler
  • C. J. Cherryh
  • Robert Chilson
  • John Christopher
  • Arthur C. Clarke
  • Hal Clement
  • Stanton A. Coblentz
  • D. G. Compton
  • Michael G. Coney
  • Edmund Cooper
  • Arthur Byron Cover
  • Richard Cowper
  • John Crowley
  • Ray Cummings
  • Avram Davidson
  • L. Sprague de Camp
  • Samuel R. Delaney
  • Lester del Rey
  • Philip K. Dick
  • Gordon R. Dickson
  • Thomas M. Disch
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • George Alec Effinger
  • Gordon Eklund
  • Harlan Ellison
  • George Allan England
  • Ralphe Milne Farley
  • Philip Jose Farmer
  • Mick Farren
  • Jonathan Fast
  • Homer Eon Flint
  • Alan Dean Foster
  • Fraymond Z. Gallun
  • Randall Garrett
  • Jane Gaskell
  • Jean Mark Gawron
  • Hugo Gernsback
  • David Gerrold
  • Mark S. Geston
  • H. L. Gold
  • Felix Gotschalk
  • Ron Goulart
  • Charles L. Grant
  • Joseph Green
  • James Gunn
  • H. Rider Haggard
  • Joe Haldeman
  • Austin Hall
  • Edmond Hamilton
  • Charles Harness
  • Harry Harrison
  • M. John Harrison
  • Robert A. Heinlein
  • Zenna Henderson
  • Frank Herbert
  • William Hope Hodgson
  • Fred Hoyle
  • L. Ron Hubbard
  • Zach Hughes
  • John Jakes
  • Laurence Janifer
  • D. F. Jones
  • Neil R. Jones
  • Raymond F. Jones
  • Colin Kapp
  • Daniel Keyes
  • Otis Adelbert Kline
  • Damon Knight
  • Dean Koontz
  • C. M. Kornbluth
  • Michael Kurland
  • Henry Kuttner
  • R. A. Lafferty
  • David J. Lake
  • Simon Lang
  • Sterling Lanier
  • Keith Laumer
  • Tanith Lee
  • Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Fritz Leiber
  • Murray Leinster
  • Stanislaw Lem
  • C. S. Lewis
  • Frank Belknap Long
  • Sam. J. Lundwall
  • Richard A. Lupoff
  • Barry N. Malzberg
  • George R. R. Martin
  • Richard Matheson
  • Anne McCaffrey
  • J. T. McIntosh
  • Vonda N. McIntyre
  • Richard C. Meredith
  • Judith Merril
  • A. Merritt
  • Sam Merwin, Jr.
  • Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  • Naomi Mitchison
  • Michael Moorcock
  • C. L. Moore
  • John Morressey
  • Larry Niven
  • John Norman
  • Andre Norton
  • Alan E. Nourse
  • Philip Nowlan
  • Chad Oliver
  • Edgar Pangborn
  • Alexei Panshin
  • H. Beam Piper
  • Doris Piserchia
  • Frederik Pohl
  • Jerry Pournelle
  • Fletcher Pratt
  • Christopher Priest
  • Marta Randall
  • John Bankine
  • Mack Reynolds
  • Keith Roberts
  • Spider Robinson
  • William Rotsler
  • Joanna Russ
  • Eric Frank Russell
  • Fred Saberhagen
  • Margaret St. Clair
  • Pamela Sargeant
  • James H. Schmitz
  • Thomas Scortia
  • Richard Shaver
  • Bob Shaw
  • Robert Sheckley
  • Mary Shelley
  • Robert Silverberg
  • Clifford D. Simak
  • John Sladek
  • Cordwainer Smith
  • Clark Ashton Smith
  • E. E. "Doc" Smith
  • George O. Smith
  • Norman Spinrad
  • Brian Stableford
  • Olaf Stapledon
  • Bill Starr
  • Christopher Stasheff
  • Arkadi and Boris Strugatski
  • Theodore Sturgeon
  • John Taine
  • Stephe Tall
  • William Tenn
  • James Tiptree, Jr.
  • E. C. Tubb
  • Wilson Tucker
  • Sydney van Scyoc
  • A. E. van Vogt
  • John Varley
  • Jules Verne
  • Vernor Vinge
  • Ian Wallace
  • Stanley G. Weinbaum
  • Manly Wade Wellman
  • H. G. Wells
  • James White
  • Kate Wilhelm
  • Jack Williamson
  • Gene Wolfe
  • S. Fowler Wright
  • Philip Wylie
  • John Wyndham
  • George Zebrowski
  • Roger Zelazny

RateItAll - The Opinion Network

Source URL: http://www.rateitall.com/topic.asp?i=5B77FDD1-0779-47BE-8536-14FA81C17C83&N=0&Fa=0&Fg=B&S=0

This web site's extensive user ratings ranked science fiction/fantasy authors as follows (as of 14 May 2001):

RankNameRatingNumber of RatingsNumber of Comments
1Orson Scott Card4.2515347
2Robert Jordan4.24583209
3J.R.R. Tolkien4.0630961
4George R.R. Martin3.9611830
5Frank Herbert3.915811
6Isaac Asimov3.9112413
7Douglas Adams3.8811321
8Roger Zelazny3.88405
9Tad Williams3.87869
10Robin Hobb3.82398
11Raymond E. Feist3.8115939
12Steven Brust3.8151
13Terry Pratchett3.797722
14David Gemmell3.7892
15Guy Gavriel Kay3.77223
16J.K. Rowling3.767028
17Stephen Donaldson3.74467
18David Eddings3.7210718
19Terry Brooks3.6716942
20Ray Bradbury3.65607
21Michael Moorcock3.64364
22Robert Heinlein3.63659
23Arthur C. Clarke3.61548
24Anne McCaffrey3.598516
25Katharine Kerr3.58123
26Terry Goodkind3.589024
27R.A. Salvatore3.57548
28Carl Sagan3.564511
29William Gibson3.56273
30Timothy Zahn3.52429
31Ursula K. Le Guin3.52546
32Marion Zimmer Bradley3.51399
33Brian Jacques3.493710
34J.V. Jones3.48217
35Katherine Kurtz3.48295
36David Brin3.47171
37Philip K. Dick3.47322
38Iain M. Banks3.46133
39Harry Harrison3.4491
40Robert Silverberg3.41292
41C.J. Cherryh3.4356
42Joe Haldeman3.4154
43Piers Anthony3.375112
44Mercedes Lackey3.31326
45Margaret Weis3.2971
46Tracy Hickman3.2971
47Edgar Rice Burroughs3.28252
48Fritz Leiber3.210
49Neal Stephenson3.19162
50Melanie Rawn3.18228
51John Wyndham3.1762
52Sheri S. Tepper3.1712
53Octavia E. Butler3.138
54Mark Anthony3.1192
55Mervyn Peake3.119
56Tim Powers3.119
57Spider Robinson3.08121
58Alfred Bester310
59Robert E. Howard3111
60Lisanne Norman2.8361
61David Feintuch2.6763
62Vernor Vinge2.5102
63Ricardo Pinto2.437
64L. Ron Hubbard2.03389

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Web page created 16 April 2000. Last modified 28 September 2005.