Ray Bradbury is a contemporary Sci-Fi Writer, I am unsure of whether he is still alive or not. I have recently been reading some of the hundreds of short stories this man has written, and MAN! are they awesome. Bradbury is best known for Farenheit 451
), and is commonly categorized as a Science Fiction writer. His stories arent about fancy far off places or gadgety spaceships they are about people, and the way they interact. Dont get me wrong I love huge alien spaceships and whatnot, but this aspect of his work really makes these stories connect with readers far better than lots of other sci-fi stuff. There is some great imagery in there as well. Anyway, it's brilliant stuff so if your bored and hanging out by a bookstore check out his stuff. some of my personal favorites
"All Summer In A Day"
"The Long Rain"