Vernor Vinge is an award winning
author as well as a Computer Science
professor. His most famous book is probably Fire Upon the Deep
but he has written several novels and short stories during his career.
He is the first person to articulate the concept of the Singularity, a point in time where current trends in technological and scientific progress/change become so extreme that is impossible to extrapolate what happens past this point. Vernor Vinge generally expects this to occur no sooner than 2015 and no later than 2050. His articles on the web on the subject are quite though provoking.