Larry Niven is my all-time favorite.
Ringworld, and The Ringworld Engineers.
His short story anthologies rock, too, but later works fail somewhat, since they are always dual-written by him and some nondescript mudwasp or other.
I guess what he does really well is pit a very unusual human, and well-cast alien colleagues, against a pitiless cosmos, which manages to faze them not at all. Dire danger made commonplace, and a fact of life.
Which is the actual state of all of us, although we rarely recognize it.