Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish (we are all fond of lists, aren’t we?), where each week bloggers are given a new Top Ten theme to blog about. This is time is the case of “autobuy” authors – the ones you don’t even look at what their book is about to get a copy (this is quite an accurate image for me, with Amazon 1-click buy). And voila’ my list – unsurprisingly, SF authors are everywhere. BTW, the order they are listed is not in terms of preference – I have just opened up my kindle and look at recent titles. I have also included only authors that are still active.
1. Stephen Baxter
I couldn’t but start with the one that is possibly my favourite SF author ever after Heinlein, for many reasons, one being his amazing Xeelee sequence. It’s not a mystery I’m in love with aliens and novels about them, but I fancy authors that tackle their existence with a sound knowledge of astrophysics and consider the implications in a scientific way too. Baxter does all of this, and more.
For a couple of snippets about his (many) novels, Titan and The Raft, The Xeelee Sequence. (A note: at last year’s WorldCon in London, LonCon 3, Stephen Baxter was there, and I had finally the occasion of get my copy of Proxima signed by him and a quick chat. On top of everything, he’s such a nice guy.)
2. Alastair Reynold
Even you’re not aware that Dr. Reynolds is one that knows a great deal about what he writes (he was a practicing scientist about physics and astronomy at ESA and a university lecturer before becoming a full-time writer), you can guess it from his novels. His work is hard SF at its best, with some dark hues that made me cherish his books since the first one I read, Revelation Space (here a snippet about its sequel, Chasm City)
3. Peter F. Hamilton
With his several hundred thousand words, The Night’s Dawn Trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton is without doubt my favourite space opera ever (even discounting a few qualms about his ending *spoiler alert*. Here a snippet instead). But the trilogy was simply amazing, and put his author safely in my autobuy list.
4. Ian McDonald
A Scottish author living in Belfast, McDonald is known for some excellent books that ask difficult questions about mankind’s future in space. Less space opera and more socio-political analysis, they’re nonetheless entertaining, in a disquieting way. Here for a snippet on the amazing Brasyl. I’m now reading Luna, his latest novel – review on the way.
5. Richard Morgan
Morgan is, in short, my favourite cyberpunk author after William Gibson, and I *loved” Altered Carbon (here a snippet) to the extent to buy a copy of it for many friends. Not all his other books are at that same level (hey, that was sort of impossible), but I couldn’t simply avoid buying them. And Takeshi Kovacs, his controversial hero, is a character impossible to forget (I’m going to write about this one in a future post).
6. Neal Asher
Neal Asher is known for an approach quite dystopian to space opera, so it’s no surprise I enjoy his work. My favourite novel was The Skinner (here a snippet) but I have also enjoyed the Polity series. You can have a look at my article about him on Serious Wonder and here for a review of his latest novel, Jupiter War.
7. Dan Simmons
With an impressive series of best-sellers, and covering SF, fantasy and horror, this author needs no introduction. I have read about a dozen of his books, and it’s difficult to say which one was my favourite. Here some of the reviews /teasers I have posted about him:
8. Ken MacLeod
Another Scottish author in my list (I promise, I’m not being partial here for other reasons than pure SF love). I discovered him by reading his short story in the anthology Solaris Rising, and his latest book, The Descent, was a real treat. Can’t wait for his next. Here my review.
9. Kim Stanley Robinson
KSR is another author that lovers of hard SF appreciate a lot. No faster-than-light technology or other Star-Wars-like fancy gizmos, but a very imaginative near-future space technology, from hollowed-out asteroids and planet terraforming. His Mars Trilogy is a must read. Here a couple of snippets about other novels 2312 and The Years of Rice and Salt
10. Umberto Eco
This might come as a surprise. But I have read all his books and followed him for at least two decades, and I had the pleasure (and the honour) to have him in class long time ago, as a guest speaker, when I was studying for my bachelor degree. A day I won’t forget. Eco writes pretty much about everything, and while it’s difficult at times to follow his reasoning, it’s also incredibly rewarding. My favourite among his fiction? Foucault’s Pendulum, a masterpiece in conspiracies far before (and much better) than Dan Brown.