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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101. Board Game: Turtle Recall [Average Rating:5.17 Unranked]
Board Game: Turtle Recall
Moshe Callen
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Harry Turtledove.

The sub-genre of alternate history would not be the same but for Harry Turtledove. From his early classic Agent of Byzantium to the classic The Guns of the South and its sequels, Turtledove has shaped alternate history into a genre in its own right. His more recent work is equally impressive.
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102. Board Game: Vancouveropoly [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Board Game: Vancouveropoly
Moshe Callen
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Jack Vance.

Vance is particularly known for his first novel The Dying Earth and his classic The Man in the Cage. Although this is a Golden Age author, he is one I never managed to get, although I've only tried his short stories. So I'm not sure I'm able to describe how he made his mark on the genre, although I know he has. Yet my guess would be that he is in some ways the forerunner of the trend in later SF away from the persistent optimism of the Golden Age. Perhaps that's precisely why I've not able able to get him.
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103. Board Game: Vantage [Average Rating:4.33 Overall Rank:18442]
Board Game: Vantage
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A. E. van Vogt.

A.E. van Vogt was one of the greatest names of the Golden Age of the genre. His classic Slan spawned the slogan, "Every fan is a slan." Although originally separate stories pieces together, The Voyage of the Space Beagle, evoking Darwin's historical voyage to the Galapagos, became a landmark, as did The World of Null-A.

Van Vogt is known for a high level of suspense, often built using complicated plots (often termed Byzantine) and a main character who has to fight to survive while unraveling a mysterious web of politics and intrigue. He wrote thrillers in many ways but did deal often with very fundamental issues which give to his work at times a literary depth.
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104. Board Game: Världs-kontroll [Average Rating:2.76 Unranked]
Board Game: Världs-kontroll
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John Varley.

Varley is an author i don't know but who does stand out. His classic works include Titan and The Persistence of Vision. Where Varley seems to have made his mark is the stark political relevance of his work.
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105. Board Game: Verne Gagne Wrestling [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
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Jules Verne (or in English).

Verne is the earlier of the two candidates for the distinction of being the father of the genre of SF. His works in the genre grew out of the travel literature genre, but the journeys were often more fantastic. The classic Vingt mille lieus sous les mers postulated a submarine that works better than previous vessels had. Likewise, the classic Voyage au centre de la terre took the hollow Earth theory taken seriously at the time by some scientists to explain the existence of tropical fossils at the poles and described a voyage to a subterranean realm. Even the classic Le tour du monde en quatre vingt jours was remarked as fantastic at the time.
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106. Board Game: Von Manstein: Battles for the Ukraine 1941-1944 [Average Rating:6.44 Unranked]
Board Game: Von Manstein: Battles for the Ukraine 1941-1944
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Kurt Vonnegut, Jr..

Vonnegut has mainstreamed the genre in many ways. Although he did not only write SF, he did write it well. His classic Slaughterhouse Give was nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula awards, which it could not have been were it not within the bounds of the genre.
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107. Board Game: Web of Power [Average Rating:7.31 Overall Rank:682]
Board Game: Web of Power
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David Weber.

Weber is best known for his military SF such as the classic Honor Harrington series. I don't know his work as well as I should.
 
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108. Board Game: Weinlese auf Hierro [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
Board Game: Weinlese auf Hierro
Moshe Callen
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Stanley G Weinbaum.

Although largely obscure nowadays, virtually everything by Weinbaum (who died tragically young) is classic. A Martian Odyssey stands out. Where Weinbaum left hismark was his tales of journeys to other planets.
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109. Board Game: Wellington: The Peninsula War 1812-1814 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:2776]
Board Game: Wellington: The Peninsula War 1812-1814
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H. G. Wells.

Two men have a realistic claim to be regarded as the father of modern science fiction as a genre. Wells is one of these two. In his time, he was more known for his books of social commentary in more conventional guise, but his foundational works of SF are very much of this genre too. The key idea he brought in his classic The Time Machine was the notion that even if one does not know how one could do something (like travel in time) if the idea is otherwise consistent with scientific theory of the day, one can postulate that a mechanism is found and build a story from there. This seminal idea is essential for the genre to exist as we know it today. Other classics are War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man and The Island of Dr. Moreau. This list is not intended to be exhaustive.
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110. Board Game: Where's Bob's Hat? [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:5510]
Board Game: Where's Bob's Hat?
Andy Leighton
United Kingdom
Peterborough
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Bob Shaw

His best novel is probably Orbitsville but has written plenty of good SF. Probably best known as a master (although not overly prolific) of short fiction and "Light of Other Days" in particular.
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111. Board Game: White Rabbit [Average Rating:5.26 Overall Rank:17176]
Board Game: White Rabbit
Moshe Callen
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James White.

White, known for his Sector General series of novels, wrote the classic The Watch Below. The Escape Orbit and Second Ending also deserve mention. White is most notable for his stories about how both humans and aliens deal with accidents, often doing so together. This type of storyline seems obvious after the fact, but few others have written anything close to this type of scenario.
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112. Board Game: Wilderness War [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:793]
Board Game: Wilderness War
Moshe Callen
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Kate Wilhelm.

Although better known as a mystery writer, Wilhelm has written such SF classics as Where Late the Sweet Bird Sang, The Infinity Box and The Clewiston Test. Cloning seems a recurrent theme in her SF work but she attempts to realistically deal with the topic.
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113. Board Game: Williamsburg 1862 [Average Rating:7.71 Unranked]
Board Game: Williamsburg 1862
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Jack Williamson.

Williamson is one of the early great of the genre. His stand-out classic works are The Humanoids, The Legion of Time and Darker Than You Think. He has been credited with coining the terms genetic engineering and terraforming, these being only some of the ideas he introduced to the genre. Personally, I think the quality of his writing style is not the best, but he is a powerhouse for well crafted ideas and these are generally thought out at least plausibly.
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114. Board Game: Wolfpack: Submarine Warfare in the North Atlantic, 1942-44 [Average Rating:6.18 Overall Rank:9215]
Board Game: Wolfpack: Submarine Warfare in the North Atlantic, 1942-44
Moshe Callen
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Gene Wolfe.

I don't know Wolfe's work as well as I'd like to. His classics are his first novel The Fifth Head of Cerberus and especially his magnum opus The Book of the New Sun. Where Wolfe seems to be making his mark on the genre is in his style in crafting the story which uses lots of allusion and complex plotting.
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115. Board Game: Wu Hsing [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:10545]
Board Game: Wu Hsing
Moshe Callen
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Stefan Wul

Please note that I cannot find a bibliography for this author in English.

His stand-out classic is Niourk. Wul was writing during the Golden Age of the genre but he was doing so in French. I'm not aware that his work has been translated. (One will for example note that the site I've used for English bibliographies of all other authors and editors does not even list Wul.) Sadly, SF has largely been despised and ignored in French, but that has been changing over the last few years. In many ways, more than Verne, more even than Boulle, Wul is seen as the seminal French author of SF by those now working in the genre in that language. Wul was a career SF author, unlike Boulle, of the modern stripe, unlike Verne. Yet his work is very much culturally French-- as opposed ot the bulk of classic SF which is American or British (ignoring the Soviet stuff I honestly don't know).
 
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116. Board Game: Wyntre Golf [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Wyntre Golf
Moshe Callen
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John Wyndham.

Wyndham's classics are Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos. These are some of the earliest books dealing with humans interacting with aliens who appear on Earth. The treatment of the issue, especially dealing with aliens as potentially dangerous to humans, remain influential to this day.
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117. Board Game: Zahnputz-Memo [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Zahnputz-Memo
Moshe Callen
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ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
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Timothy Zahn.

Zahn's classic work is Cascade Point. The innovative thing about the story and hence its influence on the genre is that it attempts within the bounds of currently known science a plausible means of interstellar travel that is effectively faster than light in ordinary spacetime using higher dimensions.

As a scientifically educated reader of SF, I strongly dislike Zahn. In my experience, he does not even try to get the science basically correct. He aims his work at the ignorant and uses enough science-sounding babble to fool his readers. Nonetheless, while I do not by any means think this a good influence on the genre, it is decidedly an influence.
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