Seattle Picks: Science Fiction
Annotation:Isaac Asimov is a giant of the science fiction field who presents thought-provoking ideas on science written in a straightforward style with dramatic storylines. Also try: Stephen Baxter, Ben Bova, David Brin, A. Bertram Chandler, Hal Clement, Larry Niven, Frederik Pohl, Clifford D. Simak, Jack Williamson and Daniel H. Wilson.
Annotation:Iain Banks is a British writer of wildly imaginative science fiction that features intricate plots as well as provocative ideas. Also try: Poul Anderson, Elizabeth Bear, C. J. Cherryh, Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, Charles Stross, S. L. Viehl and Vernor Vinge.
Annotation:Ray Bradbury is a beloved author whose work ran the gamut of fantastical, atmospheric and nostalgic literary science fiction, fantasy and horror. Also try: Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Henry Kuttner, Walter M. Miller, Clifford D. Simak, John Wyndham and Roger Zelazny.
Annotation:Lois McMaster Bujold is the creator of the Miles Vorkosigan saga—military science fiction that is witty, character-driven and filled with adventure. The first two books of the series are combined in "Cordelia’s Honor." Also try: Catherine Asaro, Joe W. Haldeman, Tanya Huff, Jack McDevitt, Elizabeth Moon, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Robert Silverberg, Connie Willis and husband-wife team Steve Miller and Sharon Lee.
Annotation:Octavia E. Butler wrote compelling science fiction and horror featuring strong African-American protagonists and spare, thoughtful prose. Also try: Steven Barnes, Nicola Griffith, Nalo Hopkinson, Maureen F. McHugh, Walter Mosley, Nnedi Okorafor, Judith Tarr and Sheri S. Tepper.
Annotation:C. J. Cherryh writes complex and compelling character-driven space opera with a focus on politics and truly alien cultures. Also try: Adam-Troy Castro, Peter F. Hamilton, Frank Herbert, Lisanne Norman, Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Timothy Zahn.
Annotation:Arthur C. Clarke wrote science fiction filled with adventure, titillating science and societies free of prejudice. Also try: Stephen Baxter, Ben Bova, Gordon R. Dickson, Joe W. Haldeman, James P. Hogan, Frederik Pohl, Olaf Stapledon, Vernor Vinge and Robert Charles Wilson.
Annotation:Samuel R. Delany writes cerebral, dense science fiction with philosophical explorations of sex, love, technology and society. Also try: Alfred Bester, Thomas M. Disch, Joanna Russ, Geoff Ryman, Robert Silverberg, Cordwainer Smith, James Tiptree Jr. and Gene Wolfe.
Annotation:Philip K. Dick writes intricate thought puzzles about consciousness, morality and the line between reality and the artificial. Also try: J. G. Ballard, John Brunner, Harlan Ellison, William Gibson, Ian McDonald, Simon Morden, Richard K. Morgan and Adam Roberts.
Annotation:Harlan Ellison is an influential short-story author with a dream-like writing style, whose plots often contain dark and disturbing subject matter. Also try: Poul Anderson, J. G. Ballard, John Brunner, Carol Emshwiller, Nancy Kress, Matt Ruff and Cordwainer Smith.
Annotation:William Gibson writes fast-paced cyberpunk with complex narratives that feature societal decay and near-future advanced technology integrated into everyday life. Also try: Madeline Ashby, John Brunner, Ian McDonald, Simon Morden, John Shirley, Norman Spinrad, Neal Stephenson and Bruce Sterling.
Annotation:Peter F. Hamilton writes densely plotted, action-packed space opera with well-developed characters, captivating ideas and vivid world-building. Also try: Kevin J. Anderson, Neal L. Asher, Iain Banks, C. J. Cherryh, James S. A. Corey, Michael Flynn, Jack McDevitt and Alastair Reynolds.
Annotation:Robert A. Heinlein wrote punchy, action-packed science fiction as well as large philosophical tomes that explore human nature through futuristic technology and outsized characters. Also try: Poul Anderson, Philip José Farmer, Alan Dean Foster, Joe W. Haldeman, Jean Johnson, John Scalzi, Allen M. Steele and husband-wife team Steve Miller and Sharon Lee.
Annotation:Frank Herbert wrote descriptive, elaborately detailed science fiction that focuses on multifarious world-building and bizarre situations. Also try: Dan Abnett, Kevin J. Anderson, David Brin, C. J. Cherryh, Hugh Howey, Fritz Leiber, Larry Niven, Charles Sheffield and Dan Simmons.
Annotation:Ursula K. Le Guin is the New Wave author of “soft science fiction” and fantasy, which features character-driven stories that often explore alien cultures or the effects of technology on society. Also try: James Blish, Nicola Griffith, Vonda N. McIntyre, Robert Silverberg, Sheri S. Tepper, James Tiptree Jr., Joan D. Vinge and Kate Wilhelm.
Annotation:Andre Norton was a prolific author of both science fiction and fantasy with a focus on resourceful young adults thrust into amazing circumstances. Also try: Marion Zimmer Bradley, Tobias S. Buckell, Gordon R. Dickson, Alan Dean Foster, James P. Hogan, Anne McCaffrey, Fred Saberhagen and Allen M. Steele.
Annotation:Kim Stanley Robinson writes ornate, leisurely paced science fiction that is often rich in details and complex in construction. Also try: Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Ben Bova, David Brin, Nancy Kress, Alastair Reynolds, Robert Silverberg and Vernor Vinge.
Annotation:Robert J. Sawyer is a Canadian author of accessible science fiction novels that often tackle current issues and philosophical debates. Also try: Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, Frederik Pohl, Michael D. Resnick, Spider Robinson, Sharon Shinn and Robert Charles Wilson.
Annotation:John Scalzi writes wry, witty and ultimately moving science fiction that focuses on characters and snappy dialogue. Also try: Ernst Cline, Peter Clines, James S. A. Corey, Joe W. Haldeman, Will McIntosh, Spider Robinson, Chuck Wendig and Robert Charles Wilson.
Annotation:Robert Silverberg is a legendary prolific author known for his character-driven science fiction and ornate world-building. Also try: Margaret Atwood, Ursula K. Le Guin, Frederik Pohl, Mary Doria Russell, Clifford D. Simak, Sheri S. Tepper, John Varley and Roger Zelazny.
Annotation:Jack Vance wrote imaginative, lyrical and atmospheric stories set in a far-off future. Also try: Alfred Bester, C. J. Cherryh, Frank Herbert, Matthew Hughes, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Dan Simmons, Sheri S. Tepper and Gene Wolfe.
Annotation:David Weber writes military science fiction featuring a strong female character named Honor Harrington. First in the series is "On Basilisk Station." Also try: Jack Campbell, David Drake, Eric Flint, Tanya Huff, Jean Johnson, Gini Koch, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Moon, John Ringo, Joel Shepherd and Mike Shepherd.
Annotation:Roger Zelazny wrote fast-paced science fiction and fantasy with robust characters, droll dialogue and thought-provoking concepts. Also try: Brian Wilson Aldiss, Poul Anderson, James Blish, David Gerrold, Nancy Kress, Michael D. Resnick, Robert Silverberg, Charles Stross and Kurt Vonnegut.
A Shared List by Seattle Librarians
Member of The Seattle Public LibrarySend Seattle Librarians a Message Follow Ignore Report This List
Here are some of our favorite science fiction writers and their works, representing a variety of different styles, along with some suggestions for further reading.