12 Greatest Living Science Fiction Writers

Suzie Eisfelder

You’ve probably clicked in hoping for some fabulous list, you might be disappointed. I’m conducting an audit of my blog. It’s going to take some time as I’ve been writing for thirteen years. In the beginning I wrote every two or three days, then I increased it to every day but eventually settled down to five days a week. I only started to reduce that when I started studying and as the years went on disappeared to one day a week. While I finished studying three years ago I haven’t yet managed to increase writing for my blog. I have found that I’m more wordy, so articles I would have only used a couple of hundred words for I’m now using closer to one thousand words.

One of the articles I was looking at is this one. You can have a look if you want. I was talking about this article. I can tell I’ve learned so much over the last few years because I take exception at my own words. There’s a meme doing the rounds created from a reply to a tweet. The original tweet was by the New York Times Books who said ‘ With Jules Vern and the publisher Hugo Gernsback, H.G. Wells invented the genre of science fiction’ They were corrected by Mame-Fatou Niang who replied ‘When Mary Shelley wrote #Frankenstein in 1818 (aged 19), neither Jules Verne, nor Welles were born yet (Allan Poe was 9). A teenage girl wrote what is still considered today the 1st science fiction novel. This article continues the long tradition of erasing her.’

Thank you to Niang for reminding the world to google their facts before writing articles. Before writing these words I did actually google all five names mentioned in the meme to check my facts. Something I didn’t do back in 2010 when I wrote my previous article. I am also guilty of erasing Mary Shelley. I know many people feel that Shelley wrote horror rather than science fiction, but back in 1818 people really thought you’d be able to sew spare parts to people and they’d work. And some of that has come true, two of the most amazing people I know of donated their daughter’s organs after she died. There are seven people who have improved lives, or are alive, due to these donations. What was science fiction in 1818 is partially true now, as we see in this mouse with an ear growing on its back.

I think Terry Pratchett was nodding quite violently in Shelley’s direction when he created his family of Igors. You can them quite nicely depicted in Going Postal. Igor knew when his master had gone a bit too far and knew when to depart quietly. You can read more about Igor in some of Pratchett’s other books as well. His better characters spanned several books.

So this is the paragraph from my previous article. ‘Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, how can you argue with either of those two, they are the fathers of science fiction.’ And here is where I take exception to my own writing. Yes, they are certainly father of science fiction, but Shelley is the mother. She birthed the genre long before these men started writing, in fact, before some of them were even born, and we must not ever forget her.

I’m going to finish with a few words about genres. It’s entirely possible for a book to span several genres. Have a browse through some of your favourite books. Look closely at the publishing details. Some of them have some details of the genres that they fit into. Some of them have a number of different genres. I’ll use Going Postal as an example, because I can. If I look at Amazon I see the book has been put into three different genres: Humorous Fantasy; Humorous Fiction and; Fantasy Action & Adventure. I’ll swear black and blue this book is pure fantasy, but other people have made the case that it’s also science fiction. One book spanning four genres. Frankenstein by Shelley is science fiction and horror. Let me know in the comments if you feel Frankenstein also fits in another genre.

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