Anyone who has known me more than a few hours knows both what a bookworm and huge fan of the SFF genre I am, so it may come as a surprise to you to learn just how many well-known science fiction and fantasy authors I’ve yet to read.
At first I thought I’d already written a post about this topic, but I couldn’t find it in my archives anywhere. I think I misremembered that because I’ve spent so much time recently thinking about all of the authors I haven’t tried yet. If only we could live a few hundred extra years to get some more reading in, eh?
Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed by some of the entries on this list. I do keep meaning to give their work a try, but newer authors keep writing beautifully distracting stories that demand to be read. Before I know it, another year has passed and I still haven’t picked up the books I’ve been thinking about checking out for a long time now.
There’s also the issue of being in the right mood for certain types of writing. Just like it would be true for any other genre, older stories in this genre are products of the time they were created. This isn’t to say that I judge them by the standards of today, but sometimes I do need to be in the right frame of mind in order to read something that modern readers would find offensive for a wide variety of reasons.
I believe you can acknowledge the sexist, racist, homophobic or other prejudiced themes of an older work while also understanding how time and place in which they were written influenced what was and wasn’t acceptable to say in that era. It’s not a matter of throwing the baby out with the bathwater or ignoring the fact that a certain part of a famous book might be problematic. You can love something while also criticizing it when necessary.
Not all of the authors on this list are from eras when that was more common, of course, but it is something that crosses my mind every time someone mentions a well-known SFF author who published much of their work decades or centuries ago.
With that in mind, this is my list:
- Iain Banks
- Greg Bear
- Jim Butcher
- Orson Scott Card
- C.J. Cherryh
- David Eddings
- Diana Gabaldon
- Frank Herbert
- Robin Hodd
- Dean Kootz
- N.K. Jemisin
- Robert Jordan
- Diana Winn Jones
- Fritz Lieber
- Anne McCaffrey
- Michael Moorcock
- Larry Niven
- Andre Norton
- Frederick Pohl
- Patrick Rothfuss
- R.A. Salvatore
- Brandon Sanderson
- James Tiptree, Jr.
- Brent Weeks
I have no idea what I’d think of any of their work, but I’d like to find out someday.
hich Sci-fi and fantasy authors have you not read anything from yet?
6 Responses to Popular Sci-Fi and Fantasy Authors I’ve Never Read
I’ve yet to read most of those authors. I’m quite a narrow reader. If I find an author I like, I tend to read all of their stuff that I can find, then I’ll move on to someone else. It’s probably time for me to read some new science fiction authors.
Yeah, I have the same habit. I hope you have a good time branching out.
I’ve read some of the authors on your list. Jim Butcher is a favorite of mine (both his urban fantasy and high fantasy tales) and I like Diana Wynne Jones for her strange turn of mind. 🙂
How cool! Which books from them would you recommend checking out first?
Ohhh, that’s impossible to say. LOL It really depends on what you’re in the mood for. If you like urban fantasy (a wizard PI who lives in Chicago), then The Dresden Files is the way to go. For high fantasy, there’s the six-book series The Codex Alera, and he’s also written one volume of a new series that’s more steampunk titled The Aeornaut’s Windlass. I’ve read them all. (Full disclosure: Jim Butcher has promised to write the next Harry Dresden book before book two of The Cinder Spires but I had to read it anyway.)
Now, Diana Wynne Jones. I adore Howl’s Moving Castle. (There’s an animated film that’s “based” on the book but not to me. Stick to the book.) And Dogsbody, which I hesitate to call urban fantasy but can’t think of where else to put it. And for the truly bizarre (although I haven’t read it in years), is Archer’s Goon.
I’ll give those a try. Thanks.