Mary Shelley may be seen as a precursor, but the man who is usually considered as the inventor of the genre is Jules Verne.
There are many very important authors and milestone works:
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles).
Arthur Clarke (2001, A Space Odyssey).
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World).
George Orwell (1984).
Pierre Boulle (Planet of the Apes).
Philip K. Dick (Minority Report, Total Recall, The Sixth Day…).
Isaac Asimov (Robots, Foundation, Buy, Jupiter, The Bicentennial Man…). He wrote 700 books. Ghost writers. Robbie. The three laws of robotics.
- A robot cannot harm a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
- A robot must obey a human being, unless this conflicts with the first law.
- A robot must preserve its existence, unless this conflicts with the first two laws.
Silver Dagger Award. Nebula Award. Hugo Award.
A bunch of people.