Famous 21st Century Science Fiction Writers

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 1 
Kurt Vonnegut
(Writer Known For His Satirical and Darkly Humorous Novels)
Kurt Vonnegut
14
Birthdate: November 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: April 11, 2007

Science-fiction author Kurt Vonnegut is best remembered for the novel Slaughterhouse-Five, which became a New York Times bestseller. The Hugo Award-winner had also fought against the Germans in World War II and expressed his anti-war and atheist views through his works, which also include short stories, plays, and autobiographical works.  

 2 
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novels: ‘Childhood's End’, ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ and ‘Rendezvous with Rama’)
Sir Arthur Charles Clarke
6
Birthdate: December 16, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Minehead, Somerset, England
Died: March 19, 2008
Sir Arthur C. Clarke is best known for his short story The Sentinel, which became the basis of the screenplay of Stanley Kubrick’s science-fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clarke spent the final years of his life in Sri Lanka and hosted shows such as Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World.
 3 
Octavia Butler
(American Author Known for Her Science Fiction Novels)
Octavia Butler
12
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pasadena, California, United States
Died: February 24, 2006

One of the finest African-American sci-fi authors, Octavia Butler was raised single-handedly by her widowed mother. Best known for the Patternist series and the short story Bloodchild, she often mingled mythology and spirituality in her work. She was the first sci-fi author to receive a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

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 4 
William Gibson
(Science-Fiction Writer Known for His Novel ‘Neuromancer’ and a Pinoeer of 'Cyberpunk' Genre)
William Gibson
10
Birthdate: March 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Conway, South Carolina, United States

William Gibson is an American-Canadian essayist and speculative fiction writer. He is widely credited with pioneering cyberpunk, a science fiction subgenre. His early works, which he produced during the late-1970s and early-1980s, helped create an iconography for the information age even before the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s. William Gibson is also credited with coining the term cyberspace.

 5 
Stanisław Lem
(Polish Novelist Best Known for His Novel 'Solaris')
Stanisław Lem
7
Birthdate: September 12, 1921
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lviv, Ukraine
Died: March 27, 2006

Stanisław Lem was a Polish writer who specialized in the science fiction genre. He was also a noted essayist who wrote on varied subjects, including philosophy, futurology, and literary criticism. His books, which have been translated into over 50 languages, have sold more than 45 million copies worldwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. 

 6 
Ursula K. Le Guin
(American Author Best Known for Her Works of Speculative Fiction)
Ursula K. Le Guin
8
Birthdate: October 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: January 22, 2018

Ursula K. Le Guin was an American author. In a career spanning almost six decades, Ursula wrote about political and social themes like race and sexuality. Throughout her career, Ursula had a major influence on speculative fiction. Her book A Wizard of Earthsea is credited with inspiring ideas like 'wizard school', which was later popularized in the Harry Potter series.

 7 
Andy Weir
(American Novelist Best Known for His Novel 'The Martian')
Andy Weir
7
Birthdate: June 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Davis, California, United States

Software engineer Andy Weir soared to fame with his debut novel The Martian, which was later made into a hit film by Ridley Scott. Born to a physicist father and an electrical engineer mother, Wier grew up interested in topics such as relativistic physics and orbital mechanics, although he didn’t graduate.

 8 
Dan Simmons
(American Science Fiction and Horror Writer Best Known for His 'Hyperion Cantos' Series)
Dan Simmons
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States

Best known for his Hyperion Cantos series, author Dan Simmons initially taught as part of an elementary school program named APEX. He has trained people in writing and has his own writing curriculum named Writing Well. He is also often found writing at his isolated cabin near Rocky Mountain.

 9 
Orson Scott Card
(American Writer Best Known for His Science Fiction Novel 'Ender’s Game')
Orson Scott Card
12
Birthdate: August 24, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Richland, Washington, United States

American author, playwright and script-writer Orson Scott Card is best-known for writing the series’ Ender's Game and The Tales of Alvin Maker. First two novels of the Ender's Game series are counted among the most influential novels of the 1980s and won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, while The Tales of Alvin Maker series won the Locus Fantasy Award.

 10 
Anne Rice
(American Author Best Known for Her Series of Novels ‘The Vampire Chronicles’)
Anne Rice
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1941
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
 11 
Larry Niven
(American Science Fiction Writer Best-Known for His Novels: 'Ringworld' and 'Lucifer's Hammer')
Larry Niven
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Best known for his iconic Ringworld series, science-fiction author Larry Niven has won multiple accolades, including the Hugo and Nebula awards. The grandson of oil magnate Edward L. Doheny, Niven had initially studied math but later devoted himself to writing. He has also penned scripts for sci-fi TV series.

 12 
Iain Banks
(Scottish Novelist and Science Fiction Writer)
Iain Banks
5
Birthdate: February 16, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dunfermline, Scotland
Died: June 9, 2013

While he began writing at age 11, Scottish author Iain Banks first gained fame with his first novel, The Wasp Factory. Known for his sci-fi tales, he has also been featured on various BBC radio and TV shows. He has also been associated with theater and is quite vocal about political issues.

 13 
Thomas Pynchon
(Writer, Novelist, Essayist, Science fiction writer)
Thomas Pynchon
6
Birthdate: May 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glen Cove

Thomas Pynchon initially joined Cornell to study engineering physics, but changed his major to English after a brief stint with the U.S. Army. A master of black humor, he soared to fame with novels such as The Crying of Lot 49 and Inherent Vice. He is media-shy and is rarely photographed.

 14 
Brandon Sanderson
(Epic Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writer Best Known for the 'Cosmere' Fictional Universe)
Brandon Sanderson
6
Birthdate: December 19, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States

Best known for works such as the Mistborn trilogy and The Emperor's Soul, sci-fi and epic fantasy author Brandon Sanderson had initially studied biochemistry and then switched to literature. He has also worked as a missionary in South Korea and now teaches creative writing at his alma, Brigham Young University.

 15 
Piers Anthony
(Author Best Known for His Long-Running Novel Series Set in the Fictional Realm of 'Xanth')
Piers Anthony
9
Birthdate: August 6, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oxford, England

Best known for his Xanth novels, such as Well-Tempered Clavicle and Esrever Doom, bestselling science fiction and fantasy author Piers Anthony was born to Quaker parents in Britain, who later settled in the U.S. He lives with his wife in a remote forest area in Central Florida.

 16 
N. K. Jemisin
(Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer Known for Her 'Inheritance' Trilogy)
N. K. Jemisin
10
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, United States

N. K. Jemisin became the first writer to win the Hugo Best Novel award thrice consecutively and is best known for her Inheritance trilogy and her Broken Earth series. The African-American author is also a trained psychologist and has worked as a counsellor in several universities.

 17 
Michael Moorcock
(English Writer Best-Known for His Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels)
Michael Moorcock
5
Birthdate: December 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Surrey, England

A reputed English author, Michael John Moorcock began his writing career as a teenager, selling fictions to various British pulp magazines. He became the editor of New World magazine by his mid-twenties. Concurrently, he continued to write, primarily science fictions and fantasies, and received multiple awards and honors for them.  

 18 
Samuel R. Delany
(Author and Literary Critic Best Known for His Novels: 'Babel-17' and 'The Einstein Intersection, Hogg')
Samuel R. Delany
5
Birthdate: April 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States

Known for his science-fiction novels such as Dhalgren, Babel-17, and the Nèverÿon series, author Samuel R. Delany often touches upon themes of sex, race, and language. A descendant of civil rights activists, he dropped out of college to write. Though gay, he was once married to lesbian poet Marilyn Hacker.

 19 
Liu Cixin
(Science fiction writer)
Liu Cixin
9
Birthdate: June 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yangquan, China

Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction writer who has won the prestigious Galaxy Award on nine occasions so far. He is best known for his novel The Three-Body Problem, which earned him the Hugo Award in 2015. In 2017, Liu Cixin won the Locus Award for his work Death's End. Many of his works have been adapted into films.

 20 
Russell T Davies
(Screenwriter, Television producer, Science fiction writer)
Russell T Davies
8
Birthdate: April 27, 1963
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Swansea

Russell T Davies is a Welsh television producer and screenwriter who contributed immensely to the success of the popular science fiction television show Doctor Who. When Davies was working for the show, Doctor Who received five successive National Television Awards starting from 2005. He has also won prestigious awards, such as the British Academy Craft Award and the Cymru Award.

 21 
Bruce Boxleitner
(Best Known for His Roles in TV Series ‘How the West Was Won’ and ‘Bring 'Em Back Alive’)
Bruce Boxleitner
16
Birthdate: May 12, 1950
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Elgin, Illinois, United States

The American actor, who shot to fame following his success in the television series How the West Was Won, Bring 'Em Back Alive and Scarecrow and Mrs King, starred in Babylon 5 films. Bruce William Boxleitner is also known for his comic roles. He appeared in video games and is credited as the author of two science fiction novels.

 22 
Jeffrey Archer
(Politician, Novelist, Writer, Playwright, Science fiction writer, Children's writer)
Jeffrey Archer
10
Birthdate: April 15, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London

Jeffrey Archer is an English author and former politician whose books have sold over 320 million copies around the world. Archer has been a controversial figure; he was convicted of perjury in 2001 after which he was sent to Belmarsh Prison from where he was later transferred to Wayland Prison. His conviction ended his political career.

 23 
Christopher Paolini
(American Author Best known for His Tetralogy 'The Inheritance Cycle')
Christopher Paolini
8
Birthdate: November 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

Best known for his mythical series The Inheritance Cycle, author Christopher Paolini had started writing his first novel, Eragon, at 15. He also stepped into the world of adult sci-fi with To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. He holds the Guinness record for being the youngest bestselling author.

 24 
Ted Chiang
(Science Fiction Writer Known for His Short Stories: ‘Division by Zero’, ‘Tower of Babylon’ and ‘Exhalation’)
Ted Chiang
7
Birthdate: April 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Port Jefferson, New York, United States

Born to Chinese immigrant parents, author Ted Chiang is a qualified computer scientist and works as a technical writer. The Hugo- and Nebula-winning writer is best known for his short stories, novelettes, and novellas such as Tower of Babylon and Seventy-Two Letters. He is also known for his signature ponytail.

 25 
Dmitry Glukhovsky
5
Birthdate: June 12, 1979
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia

Russian-Israeli author Dmitry Glukhovsky gained fame with his first novel, Metro 2033, which he published on his own site at age 18, and which later inspired an interactive experiment and a video game franchise. He has also worked for Mayak Radio Station, EuroNews TV, and Deutsche Welle.

 26 
Neal Stephenson
(Novelist)
Neal Stephenson
7
Birthdate: October 31, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Meade, Maryland, United States
 27 
Grant Morrison
(Comics writer, Writer, Science fiction writer)
Grant Morrison
5
Birthdate: January 31, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Glasgow
 28 
Jack Vance
(American Mystery, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Writer Famous for His 'Dying Earth' Series)
Jack Vance
5
Birthdate: August 28, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: May 26, 2013

Jack Vance initially dabbled in a variety of subjects, such as mining engineering, physics, and journalism. The Hugo- and Nebula-winning science-fiction and fantasy author, known for works such as The Man in the Cage, later went blind but wrote with the help of a software. He was also an amateur sailor.

 29 
J. Michael Straczynski
(Screenwriter, Film producer, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Playwright, Science fiction writer)
J. Michael Straczynski
5
Birthdate: July 17, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Paterson

The son of a manual laborer, J. Michael Straczynski grew up to graduate in psychology and sociology. Best known for writing the Marvel Comics series The Amazing Spider-Man, he has written for both TV and films, apart from authoring his own books and creating the sci-fi TV show Babylon 5.

 30 
Stephen Hawking
(Theoretical Physicist - First to Set Out a Theory of Cosmology)
Stephen Hawking
8
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.

 31 
George R. R. Martin
(Author of Epic Fantasy Novels 'A Song of Ice and Fire')
George R. R. Martin
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bayonne, New Jersey, United States
George R. R. Martin wrote the epic fantasy series of novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the iconic Emmy-winning HBO series Game of Thrones. Also known as the "American Tolkien," he was featured on TIME 100. He has earned the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, too.
 32 
Michael Chabon
(Writer, Essayist, Screenwriter, Novelist, Columnist, Science fiction writer)
Michael Chabon
9
Birthdate: May 24, 1963
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

Best known for his Pulitzer-winning novel The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon is known for dealing with themes such as nostalgia, divorce, and Jewish identity. He has also contributed to TV and film projects, such as the Star Trek series. He is married to novelist Ayelet Waldman.

 33 
Harry Turtledove
(American Author Best Known for His Works: 'Southern Victory', 'Worldwar' and 'Crosstime Traffic')
Harry Turtledove
7
Birthdate: June 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

An expert in Byzantine history, author Harry Turtledove is known for his historical fiction and science-fiction books, such as How Few Remain and the Opening of the World series. Regarded as the “Master of Alternate History,” he has also won awards such as the Hugo Award for the Best Novella.

 34 
Anne McCaffrey
(American-Irish Writer Known for the 'Dragonriders of Pern' Science Fiction Series)
Anne McCaffrey
5
Birthdate: April 1, 1926
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 21, 2011

Anne Inez McCaffrey was an American-Irish writer, whose unpretentious down-to-earth style made her popular with children and adult alike. A prolific writer, she had around 100 titles to her credit, several of which were written in collaboration with her son. Best known for her juvenile fictions, including her Dragonriders of Pern series, she had been honored with many distinguished awards.

 35 
Junot Díaz
(Best Known for His Novel 'The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao')
Junot Díaz
7
Birthdate: December 31, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Junot Díaz is a Dominican-American writer who works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a creative writing professor. He is also known for his association with the quarterly political and literary magazine Boston Review, where he works as a fiction editor. In 2017, he was made an inductee of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

 36 
Jim Butcher
(Novelist Best Known for His Series of Novels 'The Dresden Files')
Jim Butcher
7
Birthdate: October 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Independence, Missouri, United States

Hugo Award-nominated author Jim Butcher soared to fame with his bestselling urban fantasy series The Dresden Files and Codex Alera. He is an avid gamer, too, and often uses his pseudonym Longshot for a lot of his online writings. The Dresden Files was later adapted for TV audiences.

 37 
Vernor Vinge
(Computer scientist)
Vernor Vinge
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waukesha, Wisconsin, US
 38 
Marion Zimmer Bradley
5
Birthdate: June 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
Died: September 25, 1999
 39 
Will Self
(Writer, Journalist, Novelist, Science fiction writer)
Will Self
7
Birthdate: September 26, 1961
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Westminster

Will Self is an English author, political commentator, journalist, and broadcaster. Apart from writing novels and short stories, Self also contributes to major publications like The New York Times, Harper's, The Guardian, and the London Review of Books. Over the years he has also contributed as a columnist for publications like The Times, Observer, and the Evening Standard. 

 40 
Nora Roberts
(Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer)
Nora Roberts
17
Birthdate: October 10, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Silver Spring

An author who has penned over 200 romance novels, Nora Roberts is also known by her pseudonyms such as J. D. Robb and Jill March. Apart from writing New York Times bestsellers such as Hideaway and Under Currents, she has also penned the suspense series In Death.

 41 
Warren Ellis
(Comic book writer best known as the co-creator of several original comics series, including Transmetropolitan (1997–2002), Global Frequency (2002–2004) and Red (2003–2004))
Warren Ellis
3
Birthdate: February 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Essex, England, United Kingdom

Warren Ellis is a novelist, screenwriter, and comic-book writer. He is credited with co-creating many original comics series like Red, Transmetropolitan, and Global Frequency. Red was adapted into a couple of movies titled Red and Red 2. He has also written many Marvel series, including the six-issue story arc Extremis which formed the basis for the movie Iron Man 3.

 42 
Jeff Vandermeer
(American Science Fiction and Horror Novelist Known for His 'Southern Reach' Trilogy )
Jeff Vandermeer
5
Birthdate: July 7, 1968
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, United States

Jeff Vandermeer is an American author, literary critic, and editor. Dubbed the King of Weird Fiction by The New Yorker, VanderMeer's works are renowned for eluding genre classifications as he often incorporates elements of postmodernism, New Weird, eco-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction into his writing. He has won many prestigious awards like World Fantasy Awards, Locus Award, and Nebula Award.

 43 
David Brin
(Scientist)
David Brin
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glendale, California, United States
 44 
Brian K. Vaughan
(Comic Book Writer)
Brian K. Vaughan
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
 45 
Ann Druyan
(Journalist, Film producer, Writer, Science fiction writer)
Ann Druyan
5
Birthdate: June 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
 46 
John Scalzi
(Science Fiction Writers)
John Scalzi
5
Birthdate: May 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairfield, California, USA
 47 
Alan Dean Foster
(Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer)
Alan Dean Foster
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1946
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York City

Popular author of fantasy and science fiction, Alan Dean Foster has so far penned down eleven standalone novels apart from several book series. He is also known for novelizations of many film scripts, taking credits for most of them except Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, a novel that he ghostwrote, leaving the credit solely to George Lucas.

 48 
James Rollins
(Journalist)
James Rollins
5
Birthdate: August 20, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
 49 
Gene Wolfe
(Writer)
Gene Wolfe
5
Birthdate: May 7, 1931
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: April 14, 2019
 50 
Martin Amis
(Novelist, Science fiction writer, Short story writer, University teacher, Memoirist, Writer, Screenwriter)
Martin Amis
7
Birthdate: August 25, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cardiff

Martin Amis is a British novelist, memoirist, screenwriter, and essayist whose memoir, Experience, earned him the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 2000. Martin Amis' works have influenced several other British novelists like Zadie Smith and Will Self. In 2008, he was mentioned in The Times' list of 50 greatest British writers since 1945.