SF Recommended Authors

A continuation of the “SF is not dead”:http://blog.cfrq.net/chk/archives/000398.html meme…

I went and looked at my book list, and yes, I have been buying and reading more SF than fantasy these days, and it _is_ because there’s more of it being written these days. Like so many things in the publishing industry, it’s a computer-generated feedback loop. If publishers _print_ more fantasy, then readers will _buy_ more fantasy, at which point the pretty spreadsheets will say “fantasy sells!” and the cycle continues.

(The same phenomenon on the retail side kills mid-list authors. Book stores order books based on an author’s previous sales record, but they don’t seem to track sell-outs and special orders, so over time, an author sells fewer books not because they are less popular, but because the book stores’ automated order systems don’t order as many books. See what happens when you remove human intelligence from the loop?)

But I digress…

There is still good SF being written. Here I present, in no particular order, a list of current SF authors that I recommend reading. Some of these authors have “fantasy” novels too, but they’re usually just as good as the science fiction.

* “John Barnes”:http://isfdb.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/ea.cgi?John_Barnes
* “Lois McMaster Bujold”:http://www.dendarii.com/
* “James Alan Gardner”:http://www.thinkage.ca/~jim/
* “Steven Gould”:http://www.digitalnoir.com/s/write.htm
* “Robert J. Sawyer”:http://www.sfwriter.com/
* “Melissa Scott”:http://www.rscs.net/~ms001/mainpage.html
* “Allen Steele”:http://www.allensteele.com/
* “Peter Watts”:http://www.rifters.com/
* “Connie Willis”:http://isfdb.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/ae.cgi?Connie_Willis

And yes, Spider Robinson is absent from this list. He wrote a bunch of really good books in the 80s, and he hasn’t done anything except regurgitate Calahan’s since. Defining Calahan’s as science fiction is a stretch, IMO.

But where is Larry Niven these days? <grin>

posted at 9:23 am on Thursday, September 11, 2003 in Books | Comments (1)

1 Comment

  1. Paul says:

    Larry Niven, alas, is reissuing his old books, and last I understand, was writing another “Burning” Fantasy novel with Pournelle.

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