Note the number 328305. Asteroids are named by their order of discovery. The first one found was 1 Ceres (back in 1801) and now we are up to more than 328,305 of them that have been discovered. That's a lot of asteroids!
The naming of this asteroid for Jack McDevitt got me to wondering what other science fiction authors have asteroids named for them. I decided to find out which authors from my science collection have asteroids. So this isn't a comprehensive list, but rather one that reflects my reading preferences:
Yes, I included a few fantasy writers (Terry Pratchett and J.R.R. Tolkien) too. The list is much smaller than I thought it would be and I was surprised to find that other giants of the field, such as Gregory Benford, Philip K. Dick, Larry Niven or H.G. Wells*, do not have asteroids named for them. I left 21811 Burroughs off of the list because I don't think that I've ever actually read anything by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
There are of course other names from science fiction that could have been added such as 4659 Roddenberry and 9777 Enterprise, but I decided for now to focus on science fiction writers (Maybe asteroids of Star Trek will be a future post here).
A view from the side shows this more clearly:
There are a few astronomers who have written science fiction that have asteroids named for them, but the main reason for their having been honored with an asteroid was due to their work in astronomy rather than for their work in literature. Those include:
2709 Sagan which was named for the late, great astronomer Carl Sagan author of the wonderful science fiction novel Contact; 3341 Hartmann for planetary scientist and artist William K. Hartmann who wrote the under appreciated Mars Underground; and 8077 Hoyle for astronomer Fred Hoyle who wrote or co-wrote more than a dozen (mostly not-so-great) science fiction novels.
I assembled these images from the plots available at the JPL Small-Body Database Browser and I used various sources (including the books on my bookshelves and the Minor Planet Center's Minor Planet Names: Alphabetical List ) to compile the list of science fiction authors who have had asteroids named for them.
*Note: 17458 Dick is named for an astronomer, 12513 Niven was named for a mathematician and 1721 Wells was named for a university administrator.