Iain M Banks’ first science fiction novel, Consider Phlebas, was published in 1987. Writing at a time when science fiction was experiencing a boom in the British publishing market, Banks is credited with leading the revival and regeneration of the genre
Credited as being one of the ‘Big Three’ science fiction writers during his lifetime, Arthur C Clarke is noted as being a ‘scientific’ science fiction writer, whose contributions to the genre are considered ground breaking.
This novel’s lasting impact is attributed to its blending of science fiction with a more speculative approach which introduced ideas of social commentary within sci-fi and phenomenally philosophical suggestions about the meaning of life and human beings .
The winner of multiple literary awards and accolades, most recently The Golden PEN award (2009) and an honorary Posthumous Doctorate (2009), Ballard’s work is recognised as being so distinctive within the science fiction genre that the term ‘Ballardian’ has been assigned to describe subsequent works of fiction that are thematically experimental or descriptive of dystopian modernity.
Doris Lessing’s work within the genre is noted as making prolific advances in the fields of ‘soft’ or social science fiction. The author of 55 books spanning a range of genres, Lessing is noted as a feminist icon as well as an at times controversial social commentator. Her contribution to literature was celebrated and commended in the award of the Nobel Prize in Literature (2007).
In the science fiction genre, Isaac Asimov, Russian- American writer and biochemist, is noted as a master, often called ‘the grandfather of science fiction’. He left behind a legacy which included over 400 books