Marc Andreessen has posted a list of, in his opinion, the Top Ten science fiction writers of the 00s, and, with names like Charles Stross, Richard Morgan, John Scalzi and Ken MacLeod, there's not much to argue with. What I find most interesting is his opening statement, in which he says, "Writing in a variety of styles, this crew is arguably more insightful, more interesting, higher intensity, and bolder than many (but not all!) of their predecessors -- and in my view revitalizing the genre at a time when more new technologies that will radically reshape all our lives are incubating and percolating than ever before." Not only then does he imply by extension that science fiction is the best it has ever been, but moreover, that - and this is the part that pushes my buttons - its social relevance is at an all time high. Let's look at that last line again: "...at a time when more new technologies that will radically reshape all our lives are incubating and percolating than ever before." Amen.
Now, where was Ian McDonald in that list?