There are so many good science fiction authors, but here are four authors who inspired me the most.
In the first part of the Foundation trilogy, by Isaac Asimov, there is some diplomacy. That was on my mind when writing my novel.
I really like the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold, because Miles uses cleverness to solve problems instead of violence – mostly. Just like Jack McDevitt’s protagonists, Priscilla Hutchins and Alex Benedict – mostly. And Blaze Ward’s Science Officer – mostly.
There is a Dutch saying that roughly translates as “If you’re not strong, you have to be smart.” And I like protagonists to out-think or outwit their opponents instead of just beating them. And of course, Ulysses is the icon for this type of hero.
In my novel Can Machines Bring Peace?, Mizuki casually tricks an Imperial Councilor into helping her out. It’s also fun to have him appreciate the way Mizuki did that.