Famous 21st Century Science Fiction Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Kurt Vonnegut

Kurt Vonnegut
4
Famous As: Writer
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 William Gibson

William Gibson
8
Famous As: Fiction Writer
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.

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 3 Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood
6
Famous As: Writer, Environmental Activist
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 4 Liu Cixin

Liu Cixin
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Famous As: Science fiction writer
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.

 5 Andy Weir

Andy Weir
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 16, 1972
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Davis, California, USA

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.

 6 Michael Moorcock

Michael Moorcock
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mitcham, Surrey, England, UK

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.  

 7 Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card
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Famous As: Novelist
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.

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 8 Bruce Boxleitner

Bruce Boxleitner
4
Famous As: Actor
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.

 9 Dan Simmons

Dan Simmons
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Famous As: Fiction writer
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.

 10 Larry Niven

Larry Niven
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Famous As: Writer
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.

 11 Thomas Pynchon

Thomas Pynchon
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Essayist, Science fiction writer
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.

 12 Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer
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Famous As: Politician, Novelist, Writer, Playwright, Science fiction writer, Children's writer
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.

 13 N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: September 19, 1972
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.

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.

 14 Piers Anthony

Piers Anthony
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Famous As: Novelist
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.

 15 Samuel R. Delany

Samuel R. Delany
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: April 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City New York, New York, US

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.

 16 Christopher Paolini

Christopher Paolini
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Science fiction writer, Children's writer
Birthdate: November 17, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: New York

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.

 17 Ted Chiang

Ted Chiang
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 20, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port Jefferson, New York

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.

 18 Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts
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Famous As: Writer, Novelist, Screenwriter, Science fiction writer
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.

 19 Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison
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Famous As: Comics writer, Writer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: January 31, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Glasgow

 20 Anne Inez McCaffrey

Anne Inez McCaffrey
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Famous As: Writer
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.

 21 Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 31, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Fort Meade, Maryland, United States

 22 Michael Chabon

Michael Chabon
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Famous As: Writer, Essayist, Screenwriter, Novelist, Columnist, Science fiction writer
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.

 23 Russell T Davies

Russell T Davies
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Famous As: Screenwriter, Television producer, Science fiction writer
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.

 24 Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson
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Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: December 19, 1975
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.

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.

 25 Jim Butcher

Jim Butcher
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: October 26, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Independence, Missouri, USA

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.

 26 Dmitry Glukhovsky

Dmitry Glukhovsky
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Famous As: Author
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.

 27 George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin
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Famous As: Novelist
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.

 28 Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz
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Famous As: Novelist
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.

 29 Jack Vance

Jack Vance
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Famous As: Writer
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.

 30 Stephenie Meyer

Stephenie Meyer
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Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: December 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hartford, Connecticut, United States

Best known for writing the Twilight series, a New York Times bestseller which has also been made into a hit film franchise, Stephenie Meyer made it to Time 100 in 2008. Initially a receptionist, she had planned to attend law school. She and her husband, Christiaan, were childhood friends

 31 Martin Amis

Martin Amis
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Famous As: Novelist, Science fiction writer, Short story writer, University teacher, Memoirist, Writer, Screenwriter
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.

 32 Madeleine L'Engle

Madeleine L'Engle
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Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 29, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York,United States
Died: September 6, 2007

Madeleine L'Engle soared to fame with her Newbery Medal-winning bestselling young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time, which was made into a Disney film later. Born to a writer father and a pianist mother, L’Engle had penned her first story at age 5 and had also tried her luck in theater.

 33 Vernor Vinge

Vernor Vinge
2
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: October 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Waukesha, Wisconsin, US

 34 Will Self

Will Self
3
Famous As: Writer, Journalist, Novelist, Science fiction writer
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. 

 35 Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking
0
Famous As: Theoretical Physicist - First to set out a theory of cosmology
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Oxford
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.

 36 J. Michael Straczynski

J. Michael Straczynski
3
Famous As: Screenwriter, Film producer, Novelist, Journalist, Writer, Playwright, Science fiction writer
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.

 37 Harry Turtledove

Harry Turtledove
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: June 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, USA

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.

 38 Marion Zimmer Bradley

Marion Zimmer Bradley
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: June 3, 1930
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States
Died: September 25, 1999

 39 James Rollins

James Rollins
3
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: August 20, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA

 40 Jeff Vandermeer

Jeff Vandermeer
3
Famous As: Writer
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.

 41 Ann Druyan

Ann Druyan
3
Famous As: Journalist, Film producer, Writer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: June 13, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

 42 Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis
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Famous As: Journalist, Writer, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: February 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Essex, England

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.

 43 Peter F. Hamilton

Peter F. Hamilton
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: March 2, 1960
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rutland, England

Peter F. Hamilton is a British author best known for writing space opera novels, such as The Chronicle of the Fallers, the Void Trilogy, and the Night's Dawn Trilogy. Having sold over two million copies worldwide, Peter F. Hamilton has been one of the most popular science fiction authors from England over the last two decades.

 44 Diana Wynne Jones

Diana Wynne Jones
3
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: August 16, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England, UK
Died: March 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones was an English writer who is known for  fantasy and speculative fiction novels for children and young adults.. She began writing stories for her siblings at the age of thirteen. However, she was actually introduced to children's literature while reading out to her sons, starting to write on her own once her children started going to school, authoring more than forty books in her lifetime.

 45 John Scalzi

John Scalzi
3
Famous As: Science Fiction Writers
Birthdate: May 10, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fairfield, California, USA

 46 David Brin

David Brin
2
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: October 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Glendale, California, United States

 47 Brian K. Vaughan

Brian K. Vaughan
3
Famous As: Comic Book Writer
Birthdate: July 17, 1976
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, USA

 48 Chris Metzen

Chris Metzen
3
Famous As: Artist, Comics artist, Novelist, Writer, Screenwriter, Voice actor, Visual artist, Author, Computer scientist, Science fiction writer
Birthdate: November 22, 1973
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: United States of America

 49 Len Deighton

Len Deighton
3
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 18, 1929
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England

Len Deighton is an author whose works have inspired several movies and TV shows. Many of his novels, such as Funeral in Berlin, The Ipcress File, Spy Story, and Billion Dollar Brain, have been adapted into films. His works have influenced other popular personalities like Aung San Suu Kyi. Anthony Burgess mentioned Deighton's novel Bomber in his work Ninety-nine Novels.

 50 Greg Bear

Greg Bear
2
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: August 20, 1951
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Diego, California, United States