Return to the main BookGuide page
Connect to the main Lincoln City Libraries Web site!
The Essentials of Science Fiction

The following is a short list, featuring twenty of the most prominent and prolific authors of classic science fiction, whom you would commonly find on any list of this genre's "classics" or "essentials." A list of the "best" authors in any category has to be considered subjective under the best of circumstances. However, based on the criteria of which authors' works have continued to stand the "test of time," whose works have remained relevant to contemporary readers, and which authors contributing ground-breaking works to the science fiction field, the twenty authors listed here are a good place to start. Fans and/or students of Science Fiction are also encouraged to check in with any of our librarians for additional recommendations and thematic booklists!

classic. Among the best of a class, of the highest quality in a group...a work that endures. -- Harper Handbook to Literature

The author links in this booklist are to the complete listings of all materials in the Lincoln City Libraries' collections by these authors. The links connect directly to our library catalog, so that you may check on the current availability of titles. Covers shown below are relative samples of some of these authors' best-known works.

Poul Anderson

[1926-2001]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Fleet of Stars'  Genesis  Hokas Pokas  Starfarers  Time Wars

Isaac Asimov

[1920-1992]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Caves of Steel'  Foundation and Empire  I, Robot  Second Foundation  The Stars, Like Dust

Alfred Bester

[1913-1987]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

The Deceivers'  title  Psycho Shop  The Stars My Destination  Golem 100

Ray Bradbury

[1920-2012]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Bradbury Stories'  Fahrenheit 451  Illustrated Man  The Martian Chronicles  The Stories of Ray Bradbury

Edgar Rice Burroughs

[1875-1950]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

John Carter of Mars'  Land That Time Forgot  Tarzan  Under the Moons of Mars  A Princess of Mars

Arthur C. Clarke

[1917-2008]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

2001'  Childhood's End  Collected Stories  Snows of Olympus  Greetings Carbon Based Lifeforms!

Hal Clement (a.k.a. Harry Stubbs)

[1922-2003]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Music of Many Spheres'  Trio for Slide Rule and Typewriter  Mission of Gravity  Iceworld

Lester del Rey

[1915-1993]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Battle on Mercury'  Mysterious Planet  Step to the Stars  Outpost of Jupiter  Infinite Worlds of Maybe

Philip K. Dick

[1928-1982]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'  Counter-Clock World  The Man in the High Castle  Radio Free Albemuth  Selected Stories

Harlan Ellison

[1934-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Essentials'  Slippage  Repent Harlequin  title  title

Robert A. Heinlein

[1907-1988]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Citizen of the Galaxy'  Friday  Glory Road  The Rolling Stones  Starship Troopers

Frank Herbert

[1920-1986]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Dune'  Children of Dune  Chapterhouse Dune  God Emperor of Dune  White Plague

Andre Norton

[1912-2005]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

From the Sea to the Stars'  Lost Legends of the Witch World  Solar Queen  Storms of Victory  Time Traders

Robert Silverberg

[1935-    ]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Alien Years'  The 13th Immortal  Book of Skulls  Lord Valentine's Castle  A Time of Changes

E.E. "Doc" Smith

[1890-1965]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

The Best of E.E. Doc Smith'  First Lensman  Skylark of Space

Theodore Sturgeon

[1918-1985]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

The Dreaming Jewels'  More Than Human  Selected Stories  To Marry Medusa  Venus Plus X

A. E. Van Vogt

[1912-2000]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Slan'  The World of Null-A  The Voyage of the Space Beagle  War Against the Rull  The Changeling

Jules Verne

[1828-1905]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

20000 Leagues'  From the Earth to the Moon  Journey to the Center of the Earth  Mysterious Island  Paris in the 20th Century

H. G. (Herbert George) Wells

[1866-1946]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Best Science Fiction Stories'  The Invisible Man  Island of Dr. Moreau  title  War of the Worlds

Jack Williamson

[1908-2006]  [ Wikipedia entry for this author ]
[ Internet Speculative Fiction Database entry for this author ]

Black Sun'  Silicon Dagger  Terraforming Earth  The Humanoid Touch  title

Compiled Feb 2012 sdc
Adapted and expanded for the Web Feb 2012 sdc

Looking for additional novels on this or other subjects? Try out the NoveList database!

Connect to the main Lincoln City Libraries Web site!