Fantasy and science fiction are arguably the best genres for reading. A good story and a great storyteller can weave a new world for a reader to stumble upon and lose themselves in. They create wonder and excitement in a way other genres simply can’t compete with. Below is compiled a list of my top ten fantasy and science fiction authors.
I’m going to preface this by stating that this list is based upon my opinion. You may or may not see your favorite author on here, and that’s okay. Their exclusion is in no way meant as a slight on their skill or their body of work. Fantasy and science fiction authors will be included equally, and this top ten list is in no particular number order.
1) Robert Heinlein
Author of such classic science fiction novels as Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Starship Troopers, Heinlein absolutely deserves his spot on this list. A master of the genre, he had the talent to write novels of extreme variety, telling widely different yet amazing tales. There is even a crater on the moon named after him.
2) George Orwell
Ever heard the phrase “Big Brother’s watching you?” It comes from the novel 1984, written by George Orwell. Author of such impacting novels as Animal Farm, Orwell is a must to add to your collection. And if you’ve never read 1984, there’s no time like the present.
3) J.R.R. Tolkien
Tolkien should be a household name at this point, author of the truly epic Lord of the Rings series. If you’ve only ever seen the movies, the books are even better and absolutely worth reading. The Tolkien universe doesn’t end with Return of the King; there is a vast fantasy world to explore in Tolkien’s masterful works.
4) Isaac Asimov
One of the largest names in science fiction, Asimov is responsible for such amazing works as the Foundation series and Robots series. References to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics can be found in countless science fiction works and films. Isaac Asimov is most assuredly deserving of his spot in the top ten.
5) Robert Jordan
Author of the fantasy epic Wheel of Time series, Robert Jordan was one of the greatest fantasy writers to ever live. Unfortunately he passed away before completing his epic fourteen book saga, but with the help of his extensive notes and another talented author, the series was completed.
6) J.K. Rowling
One of the most recent authors to make this list, Rowling inspired a generation with her magical Harry Potter series. A fantasy masterpiece, the series is one to truly inspire a love of reading and the fantasy genre itself. I know I’m still waiting on my owl and acceptance letter.
7) Arthur C. Clarke
Best known for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the fathers of science fiction. Along with an amazing body of work, Clarke has been an inspiration to hundreds of science fiction stories.
8) Margaret Weis/ Tracy Hickman
Known for their amazing work in the Dragonlance series, the two authors needed to be included together on this list, as their best works were collaborations between the two equally talented writers. An essential add to the library of any fantasy lover.
9) Philip K. Dick
Blade Runner author Philip K. Dick was a science fiction writer of extreme talent. With other amazing titles such as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, this author definitely needs a place on any science fiction geek’s shelf.
10) Stephen King
Now, some of you may give me slack for this entry on my top ten list, but Stephen King is every bit deserving of his place here, if for no other reason than his Dark Tower series. An epic series combining the best elements of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and western, the Dark Tower novels are a shining example of spectacular work by a true master of his craft.
There you have in, the top ten fantasy and science fiction authors you should definitely read in your lifetime. Sadly, there wasn’t room to include everyone. Honorable mentions go out to amazing storytellers such as Anne McCaffrey, H.G. Wells, Frank Hebert, Margaret Atwood, Piers Anthony, Carl Sagan, and many others.
So what did you think of this list? What changes would you have made? Let us know in the comments below!