H. G. Wells was an English writer. Although he was prolific in many genres, he is best remembered for his work on sci-fi novels, for which he is often referred to as the father of science fiction. His 1901 novel The First Men in the Moon became so influential that a lunar impact crater is named after him.
English author, screenwriter, and essayist, Douglas Adams, is most remembered for his comedy science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. As a screenwriter, he wrote two stories for the TV series Doctor Who. He advocated for environmentalism and spoke about environmental issues in his non-fiction radio series Last Chance to See.
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.
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.
William Golding was a British playwright, novelist, and poet whose novel Rites of Passage earned him the Booker Prize in 1980. In 1983, Golding was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature. In 1988, William Golding was knighted for his contributions to literature. In 2008, he was mentioned in The Times' list of 50 greatest British writers since 1945.
J. G. Ballard was an English novelist, satirist, short story writer, and essayist. Renowned for his uniqueness, Ballard's style of fiction is referred to as Ballardian in the literary world. Many of his works have inspired movies, such as Crash and High-Rise. J. G. Ballard’s work has also inspired other popular writers like John Gray, Terry Dowling, and Lee Killough.
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.
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.
10 Warren Ellis
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.
11 Will Self
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.
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.
Best known for his The First Law trilogy, English writer and film editor, Joe Abercrombie, began his career making tea at a television production company before turning into a freelance film editor. At the age of thirty-two, he had his first book, The Blade Itself, published, thereafter, continuing to write, He received Locus Award for his young-adult fantasy, Half A King.
14 Len Deighton
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.
Richard Adams was an English novelist who became part of an elite group of writers after winning the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize as well as the Carnegie Medal—two of the most acclaimed British children's book awards—for his book Watership Down. He also wrote a charity book titled Gentle Footprints in order to raise money for the Born Free Foundation.
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.
Jeanette Winterson is an English writer whose novels have explored issues pertaining to sexual identity, conventional values, gender polarities, and the relationship between technology and humans. Over the years Jeanette Winterson has received several awards including a Whitbread Prize and St. Louis Literary Award. In 2016, she was mentioned in BBC's list of 100 Women.
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.
20 John Wyndham
John Wyndham was an English writer best remembered for writing science fiction stories set in post-apocalyptic landscapes, such as The Day of the Triffids. His books have inspired other works of art like movies and radio. John Wyndham’s 1957 science fiction novel The Midwich Cuckoos was filmed twice under the title Village of the Damned.
Charles Stross is a British writer who specializes in writing space opera and hard science fiction. Between 1994 and 2004, he was also a major contributor to the magazine, Computer Shopper. Over the years, Charles Stross has won several awards, such as the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, the Hugo Award, and the Prometheus Award for Best Novel.
22 Nevil Shute
British-Australian novelist Nevil Shute was also an aeronautical engineer and had fought in World War I. Of the 25 books he had penned throughout his lifetime, On the Beach remains one of the most notable. Most of his works reflected his cynicism regarding humanity in a war-ravaged society.
23 T. H. White
T. H. White was an English author whose works have influenced other famous writers like Michael Moorcock, J. K. Rowling, Gregory Maguire, Ed McBain, Neil Gaiman, and Helen Macdonald. Rowling has stated that the Harry Potter books were strongly influenced by White's writing. Gaiman admitted that both Harry Potter and his own character Timothy Hunter were inspired by White's characters.
24 Philip Reeve
Philip Reeve is a British author and illustrator of children's books, who began his career writing for and performing in comedy sketch shows. Later he started providing illustrations for books, written by other authors, before publishing Mortal Engines, the first in a quartet of the same name. He followed it with Buster Bayliss series for children and Larklight trilogy for young adults.
Robert Conquest was a British poet and historian whose works earned him the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. In his illustrious career Conquest also won other prominent awards like Richard Weaver Award for Scholarly Letters, Michael Braude Award for Light Verse, Dan David Prize, and the Antonovych prize.
Thomas Browne was an English author and polymath who wrote several books on varied fields, such as religion, medicine, science, and the esoteric. Browne incorporated different styles of writing depending upon the genre he was working on. Over the years, his writing has influenced several other writers like Herman Melville. Browne's works have been admired by personalities like William Osler.
Brian Wilson Aldiss was an English anthology editor and writer whose short story Supertoys Last All Summer Long formed the basis for Spielberg's science-fiction movie A.I. Artificial Intelligence. In 2004, Aldiss was inducted into thee Science Fiction Hall of Fame. He is the recipient of two Hugo Awards, one John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and one Nebula Award.
Lady Margaret Lucas Cavendish was an English poet, philosopher, playwright, fiction writer, and scientist. Margaret, who had the audacity to publish her works without using a pen name at a time when female writers remained anonymous, was ahead of her time. Not surprisingly, she was considered eccentric and earned the nickname Mad Madge. Her works gained popularity in the 1980s.
Born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin, to a Chinese father and an English mother in Singapore, Leslie Charteris later changed his name and ventured into writing. He is best remembered for his iconic character Simon Templar from the Saint series that was later adapted for both the big and the small screens.
30 James Hilton
James Hilton was an English novelist and screenwriter. Many of his books such as Lost Horizon, Knight Without Armour, We Are Not Alone, The Story of Dr. Wassell, and Rage in Heaven were adapted into films. A well-known screenwriter in Hollywood, James Hilton received the prestigious Academy Award for his work in Mrs. Miniver in 1942.
British philosopher and sci-fi author Olaf Stapledon had been part of the Friends’ ambulance unit during World War I and had also won the Croix de Guerre. He was initially gearing up for an academic career but stepped into full-time writing after his novel Last and First Men became a success.
Alasdair Gray was a Scottish artist and writer whose works have inspired several other prominent writers like Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, Janice Galloway, Chris Kelso, and A. L. Kennedy. His first novel Lanark, which was published in 1981, is viewed as a watershed in the history of Scottish fiction. He also painted murals, including one at the Hillhead subway station.
33 Terry Nation
Welsh novelist and screenwriter Terry Nation was the man behind the Daleks, the monstrous villains of Doctor Who, which he claimed he had modeled on the Nazis. He also created the BBC sci-fi shows Survivors and Blake's 7. He was also Tony Hancock’s scriptwriter for the ITV series Hancock.
34 John Brunner
John Brunner was a British author whose 1968 novel Stand on Zanzibar earned him the 1969 BSFA Award as well as the prestigious Hugo Award. He won another BSFA Award in 1970 for his work The Jagged Orbit. He also contributed as a screenwriter for the 1967 science fiction movie The Terrornauts.
English ethnographer and traveler Mary Kingsley was the daughter of renowned physician and traveler George Kingsley and the niece of Charles Kingsley. Unlike girls of her era, she was well-educated and later ventured on an exploratory trip to West Africa, becoming the first European to enter remote areas such as Gabon.
Sam Youd, better known by his pseudonym, John Christopher, was a sci-fi author who gained fame for novels such as The Death of Grass and The Tripods trilogy. The Guardian Prize-winning writer wrote under other pseudonyms, too. He is remembered as the pioneer of young adult dystopian fiction genre.
Edwin Abbott Abbott was a theologian, schoolmaster, and Anglican priest. He is remembered for writing the 1884 novella Flatland. He served as the principal of the City of London School where he supervised the education of H.H. Asquith, who would go on to serve as the prime minister of the UK. Abbott is also credited with writing educational text books.
Once a researcher at the Australian Defence Department, British-born author John Birmingham later also studied law for a while, before ditching it and becoming a full-time writer. He is best known for his military sci-fi and urban fantasy novels such as the Axis of Time trilogy.
Born to a Scottish factor, mathematician Eric Temple Bell spent most of his life in the U.S. The Stanford alumnus contributed to the analytic number theory and also taught math at institutes such as Caltech. He also penned sci-fi novels such as The Time Stream as John Taine.
Eden Phillpotts was an English poet, author, and dramatist whose comic play The Farmer's Wife inspired several films, including Alfred Hitchcock's 1928 movie of the same name. His works were admired by writers like Jorge Luis Borges and Agatha Christie. Phillpotts also worked towards the conservation of Dartmoor National Park. For many years, he served as Dartmoor Preservation Association’s president.
Francis Godwin is credited with being the first science-fiction author of English literature, for his tale of space travel in The Man in the Moone. His works are said to have inspired authors such as Jonathan Swift, directly or indirectly. He was also the bishop of Llandaff and of Hereford.
42 Hugh B. Cave
Pulp fiction and horror/fantasy author Hugh B. Cave had started his career writing for magazines, where his short stories were published under multiple pseudonyms. He created the character The Eel under using the pen name Justin Case and later gained fame for works such as The Nebulon Horror.
Daniel Carney was a Rhodesian novelist. Some of his novels, namely The Whispering Death (1969), The Wild Geese (1977), and The Square Circle (1982), were adapted into successful films. Daniel Carney is also credited with co-founding a couple of estate agents in Salisbury, Rhodesia, in 1968.
Educated at Leeds and Cambridge, Robin Skelton later served as part of the Royal Air Force in India and also taught at the University of Victoria. A self-proclaimed Wiccan, he wrote on topics such as the occult. A talented poet, too, he penned his volumes as Georges Zuk.