Science fiction has captivated audiences for decades with its imaginative worlds, thought-provoking commentary, and thrilling adventures. From exploring new technologies and envisioning the future to escaping reality and delving into the mysteries of the universe, the genre has something for everyone.
Whether it’s through books, movies, or TV shows, science fiction has become a popular and enduring genre that continues to captivate audiences around the world.
For teachers who want to introduce their students to the wonders of science fiction, ThinkFives recommends these authors and stories as a great place to start.
These writers have made lasting contributions to the field of science fiction, inspiring countless others and shaping the genre in meaningful ways. Here are ten authors who are considered some of the greatest of all time:
- Isaac Asimov: Asimov is best known for his Foundation series and for his “Three Laws of Robotics.”
- Arthur C. Clarke: Clarke is known for his novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” and for his contributions to the field of science fiction writing.
- Philip K. Dick: Dick is considered one of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century, known for works such as “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and “The Man in the High Castle.”
- H.G. Wells: Wells is considered one of the founders of science fiction and is known for works such as “The War of the Worlds” and “The Time Machine.”
- Robert A. Heinlein: Heinlein is considered one of the “Big Three” of science fiction writing and is known for works such as “Stranger in a Strange Land” and “Starship Troopers.”
- Ursula K. Le Guin: Le Guin is known for works such as “The Left Hand of Darkness” and “The Dispossessed.”
- Jules Verne: Verne is considered one of the earliest science fiction writers and is known for works such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.”
- Frank Herbert: Herbert is best known for his novel “Dune” and its sequels.
- Orson Scott Card: Card is known for his novel “Ender’s Game” and its sequels.
- Ray Bradbury: Bradbury is known for works such as “Fahrenheit 451” and “The Martian Chronicles.”
Writers of Color
There are many talented science fiction writers of color who have made significant contributions to the genre. Here are a few to consider:
- Octavia Butler: Butler was an African American author known for exploring themes of race, gender, and power in her science fiction works. Wrote “Kindred.”
- Samuel R. Delany: Delany is an African American author and literary critic, known for his complex and innovative science fiction works. Writer of “Nova.”
- Nisi Shawl: Shawl is an African American author who writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror, exploring themes of Afrofuturism and Black identity. Penned “Filter House.”
- Ted Chiang: Chiang is a Chinese American author and winner of multiple Hugo and Nebula awards, known for his thought-provoking science fiction and fantasy stories. Known for “Story of Your Life.”
- Nalo Hopkinson: Hopkinson is a Jamaican Canadian author who writes science fiction, fantasy, and horror, often incorporating Caribbean culture and folklore into her works. Author of “Brown Girl in the Ring.”
Science fiction is a diverse genre with many classic and contemporary works that are considered some of the best. Here are a few to consider:
- “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley
- “Dune” by Frank Herbert
- “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams
- “The War of the Worlds” by H.G. Wells
- “Ender’s Game” by Orson Scott Card
- “The Martian” by Andy Weir
- “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells
- “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury
- “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells
- “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins
These works have been widely praised for their imaginative storytelling, thought-provoking themes, and memorable characters, and they continue to be enjoyed by science fiction fans around the world.
Best selling Novels and Short Stories
These novels have sold millions of copies worldwide, and have been translated into many languages, enjoyed by generations of readers. Here are a few of the best-selling of all time:
- “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” – over 14 million copies sold
- “Dune” – over 10 million copies sold
- “Ender’s Game” – over 4 million copies sold
- “The Martian” – over 3 million copies sold
- “Fahrenheit 451” – over 3 million copies sold
- “The War of the Worlds” – over 1 million copies sold
- “The Time Machine” – over 1 million copies sold
- “The Hunger Games” – over 100 million copies sold
- “The Foundation Trilogy” – over 1 million copies sold
- “Brave New World” – over 5 million copies sold
- The first science fiction film, “A Trip to the Moon” (1902), was directed by Georges Méliès and was based on the works of Jules Verne.
- The word “robot” was first used in the 1920 play “R.U.R.” by Czech writer Karel Čapek.
- “Star Trek” has inspired numerous spin-off series, movies, and even a loyal fan following known as “Trekkies.”
- The top 3 box office science fiction movies of all time are “Avatar” (2009), “Stars Wars Episode VII” (2015), and “Avengers: Endgame” (2019)
What is your favorite science fiction work or writer?