Gary Paulsen is a great children's author. His writing style is exciting and characters very believable. I try to get my students to read him every year. Once they experience him, they usually return for more.
John is a relative newbie in the world of sci-fi writing, but I think he has already made his mark. His "Old man's War" was so orginal and great to read. He got me hooked and I have read all his books that have followed this ground breaking novel.
The Sookie series is a blast to read. I love all the trouble that she gets into and then how she gets out of it. She is an every day woman living in a bizarre world. She also has written a couple of mystery series that are also fun to read. If you haven't read her, she is worth the time.
This list of authors contains great storytellers. I keep coming back for more because of the wonderful characters they've created and the adventures I get to take with them.