Peter Watts (homepage full of unpaid content here) is an a science fiction author living in Canada. Watts does his research thoroughly (he holds a PhD in Marine Biology) and usually his major plot points are firmly rooted in science-fact.
His books Blindsight (since released under creative commons here) and Echopraxia are IMHO up there with the best SciFi books in recent years. He even goes so far as to include detailed (scientific) bibliographies in the appendices of his books where he also explains his reasoning behind less obvious conjectures. As a writer, he is a rare beast. He does not appear to want to pander to the masses, instead preferring his readers to do their own thinking.
Especially Echopraxia left my small mind blown and terrified on a philosophical level. It is cutting edge SciFi, as hard as it gets without shying away from extrapolating beyond the strictly "known" facts about reality.