The 21 most significant science fiction storytellers of the 21st century (so far)

16 to 12

16. Christopher Nolan

Inception. Interstellar. Tenet. Chris Nolan likes his monolithic movie titles as much as he likes his non-linear narratives. Nolan’s movies are instantly recognisable, and now so widely imitated that they have come to seem like self-parody. But for all their high concept wonder, something about Nolan’s storytelling is as cold and under saturated as their color grading.

15. N K Jemisin

It’s unlikely any author will ever match Jemisin’s three consecutive Hugo award wins. Her Inheritance trilogy captured in fantasy the realities of cultural conflict and oppression that Jemisin herself encountered head-on when the political far-right within science fiction attempted to block her award wins. Jemisin stands as among the most important writers in the transformation of scifi into an inclusive world mythology for the 21st century

14. Charlie Jane Anders

The science fiction novel and the literary fiction novel have, as life becomes ever mofe SFnal, been progressively becoming the same thing. In the storytelling of Charlie Jane Anders they are irrevocably intertwined. Her long history as an editor and commenter on scifi and geek culture have also played a part in her success.

13. Qntm

What happens when America’s most secret agency goes to war with an idea we literally can’t think about? There Is No Antimemetics Division is a self-published novel that grew from a collaborative wiki. It’s also the most mind bending science fiction story of the century so far. It’s author Qntm remains intriguingly pseudonymous, as only befits the creator of the antimeme.

12. Hwang Dong-hyuk

South Korea is the Japan of the 2020s, a newly emergent cultural powerhouse who do streaming tv better than anyone. Hwang Dong-hyuk’s Squid Game is storytelling born of streaming, an experience that really demands the audience binge it in a few nights to get squeezed through the same emotional and psychology torment’s as the show’s competitors.

Continue with the list.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

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