Classic Authors and Editors of Science Fiction
Moshe Callen
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My personal library of books makes my games collection look paltry by comparison. As much as I love playing games, to me reading a book is even better. What I read is fairly diversified. Within the realm of fiction, my favorite genre is science fiction-- particularly Golden Age science fiction. Here I am listing (with nominal games as headings) authors of classic works of the genre with my comments.

My collection concentrates on Golden Age SF and so I don't know later stuff as well as I would like, something referred to with those authors below who are later than the Golden Age. Some exceptions like Frank Herbert exist.

I am allowing public additions, but I reserve the right to edit the items. Please list all non-English items in the original with the language identified as well as an English title if one exists.

Unfortunately I do not know non-English SF as well as I would like, especially Russian SF. For German SF, I'm aware of the Perry Rhodan series but little else although I know it does exist. French SF I also only know a few authors from. Please add the classic non-English authors to this list but please only the classic ones.

NB: No, L. Ron Hubbard is not classic SF. His work could make him the poster-child for bad pulp writing and lack of either research or common sense
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26. Board Game: Cherry Pie Fun Game [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Cherry Pie Fun Game
Moshe Callen
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C.J. Cherryh.

Just a couple of Cherryh's classics are Downbelow Station and The Betrayal. Cherryh definitely blurs the line between fantasy and SF.
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27. Board Game: Clara [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Clara
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Arthur C. Clarke.

For years I avoided Clarke because of Kubrick's critically acclaimed yet utterly horrible movie 2001. Then I started reading Clarke's early stuff and saw just why he acquired the powerhouse reputation he did, before his stuff became hit and miss-- presumably after he could just over-awe editors. His novels of the 1950's well deserve that reputation. The Deep Range set a standard for SF set in the sea. His novels about the exploration of space were true to the science of the day while still being excellent stories as well.
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28. Board Game: Clemsonopoly [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Clemsonopoly
Moshe Callen
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Hal Clement.

Clement made a name for himself with Mission of Gravity but that is by no means his only classic work of hard SF. He specialized in creating compelling aliens with intriguing cultures influenced by their alien environments in a hard SF setting.
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29. Board Game: Crazy Diamond & Karatino [Average Rating:5.37 Overall Rank:16808]
Board Game: Crazy Diamond & Karatino
Pablo Schulman
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Neal Stephenson

His book The Diamond Age is about a society which discovers how to manipulate and create molecular estructures, therefore creating things out of thin air. Add in it a victorian oriented society (part of its stratus) and you have a classic SF.
 
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30. Board Game: David & Goliath [Average Rating:6.44 Overall Rank:2454]
Board Game: David & Goliath
Moshe Callen
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Avram Davidson.

I have his classic collection Or All the Sea With Oysters and other stories, the title story being his most regarded work, but I have not had a chance yet to read it. He is decidedly one of the most acclaimed authors of the 1960'sand especially the 1970's.
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31. Board Game: Délire à la cantine [Average Rating:5.89 Unranked]
Board Game: Délire à la cantine
Moshe Callen
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Samuel R. Delany.

Delaney is known for his realistic depiction of female characters. His Babel-17 is also one of the first if not the first SF novel to have dealt with language and its impact on society.
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32. Board Game: Delve: The Dice Game [Average Rating:6.46 Overall Rank:4810]
Board Game: Delve: The Dice Game
Moshe Callen
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Lester del Rey.

Del Rey probably has made his biggest impact on the genre as an editor. Nevertheless, while most of his work is fun but light he has been highly influential with a few works. Most notable of these are his novella Nerves and his short story Helen O'Loy.
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33. Board Game: Derby [Average Rating:6.08 Overall Rank:13980]
Board Game: Derby
Moshe Callen
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August Derleth.

I don't know his work as well as I ought, but Derleth is highly acclaimed and influential as both author and editor. Although best known for horror, particularly in connection to the works of Lovecraft (which he first published), Derleth did also write and especially edit SF. Through his work, as well as that of others, horror influenced on the genre to make the scary stories of SF of best quality.
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34. Board Game: Dick Tracy Playing Card Game [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Dick Tracy Playing Card Game
Moshe Callen
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Gordon R. Dickson.

Dickson is probably best regarded as the father of military SF, although some would argue he shares that distinction with Heinlein. His Dorsai series attempts to deal realistically with the causes, means and humanity of future interstellar conflicts. His Soldier, Ask Not not only has an epic literary quality to it (opening with the first lines in Greek of the Iliad and carrying the allusion to the wrath of Achilles throughout) but humanizes war in a way that few works have managed in my opinion.
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35. Board Game: Dicke Kartoffeln [Average Rating:6.21 Overall Rank:8906]
Board Game: Dicke Kartoffeln
Moshe Callen
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Philip K. Dick.

Dick's influence on SF as a genre has been pretty fundamental. Some have compared him to Borges but he stands out as unique in my opinion. The change in attitude from the optimism of the Golden Age of SF to all too often regarding people as mere humans at the mercy of an uncaring universe (not a change for the better in my opinion) stems from Dick's influence. Nevertheless, the power of Dick's work is hard to deny.
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36. Board Game: Dozo [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Dozo
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Gardner Dozois.

An editor far more often than an author, Dozois has nonetheless won the Hugo an amazing 13 times. His authored work has also won the Nebula twice. Still he has left his mark on the genre primarily by guiding new authors and making classic works more widely available in his numerous anthologies.
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37. Board Game: Elliot Moose Card Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Elliot Moose Card Game
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Harlan Ellison.

His strongest impact on the genre has been as an editor, as well as crossing over to act as advisor on various TV series. Yet Ellison has a pretty impressive bibliography of works of his own as well. Frankly I don't know his work as well as I should, although I've read a number of Ellison's short stories in past.
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38. Board Game: Farmer [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Farmer
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Philip Jose Farmer.

Although more popularly known for his fantasy such as his Riverworld series, Farmer has nonetheless written such SF classics as The Green Odyssey about an Earthman crash-landed on a planet and trying to get home. Farmer hit head-on the previously largely taboo subject (at least in the context of SF) of sex.
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39. Board Game: Frank's Zoo [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1502]
Board Game: Frank's Zoo
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Pat Frank.

The novel that stands out among Frank's work is unquestionably Alas, Babylon. Set in the aftermath of a nuclear war, This novel may be the first attempt to realistically deal with the subject while not assuming that absolutely everyone would die.
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40. Board Game: Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Campaign, 1915 [Average Rating:7.45 Unranked]
Board Game: Gallipoli: The Dardanelles Campaign, 1915
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Raymond Z. Gallun.

Gallun did not write much, but his rich imagination made his work classic. I would not call his work the best of the genre, although it's not bad, but he showed many what could be done with SF. His classic novel is People Minus X.
 
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41. Board Game: Gazza! The Game [Average Rating:5.62 Overall Rank:14944]
Board Game: Gazza! The Game
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Octavia Butler.

Octavia Butler is in that class of authors who are more recent and so less familiar. Someone kindly pointed out to me the oversight in originally leaving her off this list. Her most classic work seems to be Parable of the Talents. She is also known for the Patternist series with which her career began. Butler is influential in the genre for dealing with more contemporary social issues within the context of SF.
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42. Board Game: Gibs [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Board Game: Gibs
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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William Gibson.

Gibson is said to have coined the term cyberspace even before the internet as we know it existed in his landmark novel Neuromancer. He stands as one of the current authors keeping the genre dealing with current real world issue in a way that remains recognizably SF.
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43. Board Game: Gold Connection [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:7688]
Board Game: Gold Connection
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Horace L. Gold.

While Gold authored a few notable works, he stands out as an editor. While John W. Campbell's term as editor of Astounding defines the Golden Age of SF, only Gold (as editor of Galaxy) came close to rivaling Campbell. He is perhaps best known for his story The Old Die Rich.
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44. Board Game: Goldbräu [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:2797]
Board Game: Goldbräu
Moshe Callen
Israel
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William Golding.

Best known for Lord of the Flies, Golding is one of a few authors notable for mainstreaming SF. Lord of the Flies does not look like SF but its use of theoretical psychology could arguably put it well into that category. The Inheritors unquestionably is SF.
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45. Board Game: Green Beret [Average Rating:6.77 Unranked]
Board Game: Green Beret
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Martin Greenberg.

Greenberg is SF's modern anthologist par excellence. With Isaac Asimov, he edited the landmark series The Great SF Stories which presents classic stories of the genre year by year from 1940 through the 1950's. His mark on the genre is as an anthologist who brings to light or back into the light works which should be known.
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46. Board Game: Gunfight! [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Gunfight!
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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James E. Gunn.

Gunn is not especially prolific as a writer, but his influence in style and how he treats aliens has been highly influential. He manages to address the possibility that aliens might have motivations which make no sense to humans but at the same time recognizes that this does not mean that humans and aliens cannot communicate or even work together. He is most known for The Listeners.
 
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47. Board Game: Halali [Average Rating:6.16 Overall Rank:12177]
Board Game: Halali
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Joe Haldeman.

His stand-out classic is The Forever War. One of the reasons I overlooked this author originally is that I don't know his work so well. He has however put his mark on how one depicts a war in space.
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48. Board Game: Harry Potter Gnome Toss Card Game [Average Rating:4.27 Unranked]
Board Game: Harry Potter Gnome Toss Card Game
Moshe Callen
Israel
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Harry Harrison.

Harrison's novel Deathworld is considered landmark, although I've not read it yet. I have read his earlier Eden trilogy which seems to set the stage for that novel. This alternate history considers what might have happened if the dinosaurs had evolved into sentient life and built a civilization at the same time humans were developing. His Stainless Steel Rat series is light and humorous but also notable in its way. (Incidentally, it was that series which made me aware not only that Esperanto exists but the info at the back helped me find materials in and on the language.)
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49. Board Game: Healthy Habits [Average Rating:1.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Healthy Habits
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Raymond J. Healy.

Co-editor with J. Francis McComas of the classic Golden Age anthology Adventures in Time and Space, which in paperback got split into a number of similarly named volumes, Healy did not write or edit anything else worth noting perhaps. He did not have to. That anthology is not only an anthology of classic Golden Age works, but the anthology is a classic itself.
 
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50. Board Game: Heinz Sielmanns Expeditionen ins Tierreich [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Heinz Sielmanns Expeditionen ins Tierreich
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
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Robert Heinlein.

To me, Heinlein seems the poster-child for what happens when an author gets such a strong reputation he simply overawes editors. Although much lauded, in all of these classic works, namely Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, he abandons the story he began telling halfway through in order to launch into a sociopolitical rant. He flouted Golden Age conventions prohibiting strong language and explicitly sexual situations but most of the time one cannot even argue these are needed for the betterment of the work in question.

All that being said, his early works which established that reputation are powerhouses. Even so, his later work was and is highly influential. If one can stomach the sermonizing, it's well worth the read; I just can't.
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