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Posts Tagged ‘Best Sci-Fi Writer’


Kurt Vonnegut Jr. born November 11, 1922
Indianapolis, Indiana and died April 11, 2007 (aged 84), was one of the most brilliant Science Fiction authors in history.

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One of the most popular and successful of his works, Slaughterhouse-Five is widely considered one of the greatest American novels.

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Vonnegut’s work is so insightful, humanist, and thought-provoking that he is probably the most read Sci-Fi Author outside of the genre, in fact he blends science fiction themes into his stories so effortlessly that it disappears into the story, and it can often be easy to forget you are reading Sci-Fi.

In his book Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the central characters Billy Pilgrim has become un-stuck in time and experiences and re-experiences pivotal moments in his life and the life of others. He experiences moments in the firebombing of Dresden (a somewhat autobiographical account of Vonnegut’s own experience as a POW in the Battle of the Bulge) and finds a relatively peaceful existence as a Zoo Exhibit on the Planet Tralfamador, where he is mated with a Porn Star, an event that all the Tralfamadorians routinely tune in to watch with great scientific interest. The book has a powerful anti-war theme, as would be expected from a Freethinker and Humanist. The theme of Time Shifting here foreshadows Vonnegut’s future work, the very excellent Timequake,

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in which an unknown celestial event causes a ripple in space-time snapping everyone in the world (universe?) back in time ten years, but not their consciousness, so free will is temporarily revoked, and everyone must watch passively in horror as the universe replays itself, fully aware of the future they already knew, but trapped, unable to change the past, until they reach the moment of the original time-quake. The ten-year prison sentence affects people terribly, destroying their awareness of free-will to the point that when the universe snaps back into normal time it doesn’t make much difference, until the ever-present and un-affected character Kilgore Trout (who appears in many of Vonnegut’s novels and is an alternate persona of the author) re-awakens the world with his mantra “You were sick, but now you are well again. And there’s work to be done.”

A mantra that works well in life even if their hasn’t been a celestial event.

I don’t know a single person who regretted reading a Vonnegut novel, pick up and read either slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, or Timequake, I can promise you won’t regret it.

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Harry Norman Turtledove, born June 14, 1949, is a brilliant writer, who has done work in the genres of historical fiction, alternate histories, and Sci-Fi.

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He is a Historian, and has a PhD in Byzantine history.  He has been dubbed “The Master of Alternate History”, and has strong elements of Military Sci-Fi as well in many of his novels.

I personally found his series “WoldWar | Colonization” to be entertaining and fascinating. It takes a special kind of genius to do an alternate history universe where an Alien Invasion happens in the middle of World War II.

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I highly recommend you pick up this series and read. If you are like me and are also a history buff, you would enjoy many of his other series, which include a series in which the Byzantine Empire rose to world dominance. Fascinating reading!!

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Rudolf Von Bitter Rucker, is a Mathematician, a computer Scientist, and a Sci-Fi Visionary.

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One of my favorite works of his was his Ware Tetralogy (comprised of the very excellent Sci-Fi Books; Software, Wetware, Freeware, Realware)

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and for a while I was under the impression that those were the first books of his I had ever read, until I later realized that I had read one of his mathematical texts, the very interesting Geometry, Relativity and the Fourth Dimension from Dover

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while I was an undergrad Math Major at U.C. Berkeley.

Rudy writes about Sci-Fi in such an original and unique manner, the way that only a Mathematician and Computer Scientist could, his characters are extremely likable,  usually being very intelligent vagabonds, hipsters, hackers and surfers, sometimes even mathematicians, who often times find themselves in extra-dimensional circumstances.

Rucker is also the editor of the online Sci-Fi magazine FLURB, which I highly suggest you read.

In his book Software, he explores what happens when mankind has to share the playing field with AI’s that have free will, a race of Robots known as the “Boppers” that have colonized the Moon. In the books a virtually homeless man winds up becoming President of Earth, Florida has seceded from the union to become it’s own bad-land territory populated by the elderly, people try to steal your brain from out of your skull, and it just gets weirder and more entertaining from there on as the series goes on.

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One of my favorite books of his is Jim and the Flims, a kind of Sci-Fi re-telling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice  where the hero, Jim, must travel to alternate dimensions to regain his lost love, in the process he uncovers a huge inter-dimensional conspiracy to steal life-force and does his part to help over-throw the forces of darkness. Rucker is an excellent writer, and I would lay out good money in the bet that you can’t find quirkier or more lovable characters in any other Sci-Fi world, if I had to make a prediction, I think Rucker’s work is going to become the next big thing in Sci-Fi. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of the Ware Tetralogy, and just enjoy the ride.

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