What authors have written works of science fiction that really inspire and/or impress you? Who do you consider to be some of “The Greats”? And why?
Likewise, what individuals responsible for scientific advancement throughout history do you hold in especially high esteem? Who do you believe to be pivotal to the progress of science as a whole today, or perhaps a specific field of it? And for what reasons?
Well, here is where you can discuss things like that. Tell us who your beloved sci-fi authors are, as well as some important scientists or otherwise brilliant minds you hold in awe. After all, if we model ourselves after the best of the best and strive to be like them or even better, perhaps then we can hope to ascend to new heights in the genre.
Get discussin’! =D11/1/2008 #1
I definitely consider Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Robert Heinlein as the "classics." They often included pro-science and pro-technology viewpoints that would get readers critically thinking, rather than the modern genre of space operas that regurgitate technophobic views (including Star Wars, which is more space fantasy than science fiction).
As for real life figures, I enjoy reading about people like Freeman Dyson, Carl Gauss, Su Song, Nikola Tesla, and several other inventors. As for other inspirations, a dirt poor Indian girl turned bandit turned political reformer, Phoolan Devi, was also very awesome. As for evil, the mad scientist Shiro Ishii and the demented experiments he performed at Japan's Unit 731 during WWII were dark but interesting. The fact it was covered up in exchange for 'data' shows reality does not always have a happy ending.11/7/2008 #2
I have to agree that Heinlein was a master at the genre.
Some of my other favorites are Andre Norton, Anne McAfferey, and Joan Vinge.
Andre Norton was one of the first Science Fiction Authors I read religiously. She has a minimalist style that leaves a lot to the readers imagination, without leaving it so vague as to make her settings or characters ambiguous. Some of my favorites: "The X Factor," "The Moon of Three Rings" series, "The Beast Master" series. Yes Beastmaster as in the book they (very) loosely based the movie on. The BOOK is so much better. She dealt a lot with outcasts of society, and her influence arched from the beginning of human space travel, through an expanding universe, and then the collapse of the universe only to rediscover the long lost home planet Earth. She heavily influence both my reading preferences as well as my writing style.
Anne McAfferey's "Dragon riders" books are some of the best science fiction fantasy books out there.
Joan Vinge has to be one of the greatest modern science fiction writers, (imho). Both her "Cat" and her "Tiamat" books are intricately historied and peopled, the conflicts are believable and her charaters are grounded flawed people often fighting through unusual circumstance in an effort to survive. Joan is who I strive to write like now. I'm a long way off...but I really like her writing.
Others I like? Alan Dean Foster...damn drew a blank...LOL. Oh! Frank Herbert...there are more, I'm just having a hard time getting my brain to function!11/10/2008 #3
How about Vernor Vinge? =P11/10/2008 #4
I haven't read anything from him yet. Some friends tell me he isn't quite as good as she is. But I will certainly have to pick up one of his works and see if I like it or not!
I've actually been told I write like Norton and Vinge...LOL (did I say that already?). I've very much enjoyed their books that's for sure...Still waiting Vinge's follow up to "Dreamfall."
Did you ever read "At World's End"? It was set between "The Snow Queen" and "The Summer Queen" of Vinge's Tiamat books. "Wrapped Up in Blue" was another in that series, but I was amazed how much I didn't really like Gurney in that one...he was SO naive! HEE!
Anyway...time for work. Have a great day!11/19/2008 #5
Well, I was referring more to his scientific achievements. You know, to throw in a “mind” since so many “hearts” have been brought up.
And I’ve never read any Joan Vinge, no. But, hey! I just stumbled into some new information (for me); apparently, our two Vinges were married, so it’s not just a coincidence with the name. XD But she kept her married name? Odd. =o
Only character named “Gurney” I’m familiar with is Gurney Halleck from Dune. =D11/19/2008 . Edited 11/19/2008 #6
My 'bible' is The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's an amazing series, yet so strange. It is so good at being illogical it just hurts my mind when I try to put logic there.3/31/2010 #7
You guys covered most of them.
For me, add H.G. Wells. AND Verne.6/16/2010 . Edited 7/21/2010 #8
Besides the "big three" of Science Fiction I also read Larry Niven and a whole host of other hard sci-fi writers (mostly short stories but several novels as well).7/30/2010 #9
|Jeremy R Walker
these are some of the authors that inspire me and why
Frank Herbert for the shear scope of Dune
Marion Zimmer Bradley ( Darkover ) successfully blending SiFi and Fantasy
Asimov His outrageous sense of humor
Philip K D*** The twists and convolutions of the mental states of his characters
Larry Niven for his collaborative ability When he works with another author his work is so much richer the Exception is the Integral Trees and his short stories
Scientists I admire and why
Leonardo Da Vinci so far a head of his time its scary
Nicola Tesla any one who can get electricity to do what he could make it do you have to respect
Thomas Edison For his dogged persistence10/24/2010 #10
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