My favorite SciFi authors

In the last year, I decided to go back to science-fiction novels and learn what is out there. Here are my favorite scifi authors.

  • Frank Herbert for his Dune saga. Some interesting trivia: Frank is a college dropout and Dune was rejected by nearly twenty publishers before being accepted by a small publisher (Chilton). Among other things, Star Wars is a Dune derivative. Among ideas explored are: AI is dangerous and should be forbidden, seeing the future can be a curse, human beings should think long term. He became a full time writer only at the age of 52. His son Brian tried to expand on Dune, but do not bother: he does not get Dune.
  • David Brin for the Uplift saga. David has a Ph.D. in space science. His work is concerned with ecology: how do species and intelligence evolve and how can we protect planets? I find it fascinating that we may, one day soon, allow monkeys to speak (why not) through genetics.
  • Dan Simmons for Hyperion. Oddly enough, Dan writes about AI and its consequences for humanity, but it is not immediately apparent when you start reading him. Very original. Are you a slave to your technological devices? How do you know you are not being fooled?
  • Georges-Jean Arnaud for his Compagnie des glaces saga. The saga is made of over 60 novels! He describes life after a catastrophe that has left Earth frozen. In order to survive, the few surviving human beings become dependent on sophisticated railroad companies. Other than the terrible climate and sex, the main theme is the importance of anarchists. Unfortunately, Arnaud is probably the greatest French scifi writer of the XXth century: his work is deep and ambitious, but incredibly messy. He has other good scifi novels.

I plan to try my luck next with Iain Banks. I am actively looking for recommendations on what to read next.

Published by

Daniel Lemire

A computer science professor at the University of Quebec (TELUQ).

4 thoughts on “My favorite SciFi authors”

  1. “Flow my tears the policeman said ” by Phil K. Dick. I re-read it often, so please try it for the first time!

    nb. how am i supposed to know number of provinces of canada?

  2. Thanks Brian.

    Yes, it is a real challenge to post here, but I suspect that smart folks who want to comment badly enough manage to do so.

    Unfortunately, I still get comment spam, so either spammer are really smart or really clever.

  3. Hi,
    Just realised that you like sagas!
    One of the numerous flaws in pkd’s work is there are no sequels / trilogies. So may I also suggest the 2 novels in Asimov’s canon that I enjoy – caves of steel and the naked sun. These are detective stories that also explore his idea of a C/Fe culture. Good reading!
    ps to avoid frustration answer the puzzle before commenting!

  4. A couple of authors I used to like when I read a lot of SF:

    – John Brunner

    – Philip K. Dick

    – Robert Silveberg (the novels he wrote before he turned to fantasy)

    – Ursula K. Leguin (Left hand of dakrness, The Dispossesse)

    – I. Asimov’s Foundation trilogy

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