This week, we continue our look at the science fiction Grand Masters—those writers noted for outstanding achievement in sci-fi/fantasy writing, and therefore a great place to start when looking for good sf/f titles.
Read last week's SF Signal on the Grand Masters of Sci Fi and Fantasy.
1986 - Arthur C. Clarke (1917-2008)
Clarke was one of science fiction's "big three" (the other two being Robert A. Heinlein and Isaac Asimov) and is noted for his believable, scientifically sound stories written in a straightforward, easy-to-understand style. Clarke is credited with predicting/inventing several technologies now in use today, the most famous being the geostationary communications satellite.
Against the Fall of Night (1948)
Childhood's End (1953)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, and sequels)
Rendezvous with Rama (1973, and sequels)
The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
1987 - Isaac Asimov (1920-1992)
One of the field's most prolific authors (in sf, mystery and nonfiction), Asimov helped define the Golden Age of science fiction. His clear, dialogue-heavy writing style helped win the hearts of readers averse to long scientific descriptions.
The Robot series (1954 - 1985, beginning with The Caves of Steel. See also 1950's I, Robot)
The Foundation series (1951 - 1993, beginning with Foundation)
The End of Eternity (1955)
The Gods Themselves (1972)
1988 - Alfred Bester (1913-1987)
Bester's fiction is a short, sharp shock of cynical brilliance, often rooted in themes of psychology. His work is simultaneously imaginative, thought-provoking and gripping.
The Demolished Man (1953)
The Stars My Destination (1957)
The Computer Connection (1975)
Star Light (1976 collection of short fiction)
1989 - Ray Bradbury (1920 - )
With work leaning toward the fantasy and horror sides of genre fiction, Bradbury's poetic fiction helped establish him as one of the world's most beloved and capable writers.
The Martian Chronicles (1950)
Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
The October Country (1955, short fiction collection)
Dandelion Wine (1957, with a 2006 sequel called Farewell Summer)
Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)
1991 - Lester del Rey (1915-1993)
Del Rey was one of science fiction's Golden Age authors who was one of the "students" (along with Asimov, Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, A.E. van Vogt and others) of influential editor John W. Campbell. As such, his stories tended to revolve around a single scientific conceit.
Preferred Risk (1955, with Frederik Pohl)
Police Your Planet (1956)
The Eleventh Commandment (1962)
The Best of Lester del Rey (1978 collection)
1993 - Frederik Pohl (1919 - )
Pohl's career is a distinguished one. He was not just a writer of science fiction, but also a noted editor, anthologist and literary agent. With many titles to his credit, it's no wonder he has received numerous awards and accolades.
The Space Merchants (plus 1984 sequel The Merchants' War)
The Mars series (1976's Man Plus and 1994's Mars Plus)
The Heechee series (1977 – 2004, beginning with Gateway)
The World at the End of Time (1990)
Platinum Pohl (2005 collection)
1995 - Damon Knight (1922-2002)
One of the sf/f field's earliest and most respected reviewers, Knight was also an accomplished writer (having written multiple short stories and novels) and anthologist. His fiction was often a dark look at society based on his own observations.
Hell's Pavement (1955)
In Search of Wonder (1956, reviews an criticisms)
A for Anything (1961)
The Observers (1988)
A Reasonable World (1991)
John DeNardo is the editor of SF Signal, a group science-fiction and fantasy blog featuring news, reviews and interviews.