Aardy R. DeVarque (aardy) wrote,
Aardy R. DeVarque

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50 SF/F books meme

Ganked from aota.

These are a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the ScienceFiction Book Club. Since this is one of those memes, the rules are:

Bold = read
Italic = started but didn't finish
Strikethrough = hated
Underline = loved

(You'll note only bold used here. To my knowledge there is one and only one book I've ever started but didn't finish, and that only because it temporarily cured my insomnia every time I picked it up rather than because I disliked it; even if I hate a book, I still try to finish it, and even then I may continue on to read any sequels, too. I generally don't hate science fiction or fantasy novels; even those that I think are deeply flawed, overly cheesy, or the like generally still have some redeeming values, and those few I didn't get much out of aren't ever going to be anywhere near a list like this. I've also found that I generally don't have a visceral "love it and gotta evangelize to my friends about how good it is" reaction to "great" books in any genre; the books that really speak to me tend not to be the award-winning, critically-lauded, earth-shattering, or paradigm-shifting classics.)

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
    (I've read other Heinlein, but not that)
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
    (Own it, but haven't read it yet)
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
    (Own the sequel--The Urth of the New Sun--but haven't read it)
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
    (I've read other Blish--non-Star Trek Blish, even--but not that)
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
    (I've read other Ellison, but not those)
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
    (I've read the Amber series, but not that)
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
    (I've read other Sturgeon, but not that)
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
    (I've read other Vonnegut, but not that)
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
    (Own other Stephenson, but haven't read it)
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
    (Own it, but haven't read it)
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
    (Again, I've read other Heinlein, but not that)
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
    (I've read other Elric stories, but not that one)
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

I guess having read 21 of them isn't too bad, all things considered. (Especially considering I've never even heard of some of these authors, let alone the titles, and I've read quite a bit of science fiction/fantasy over the years.) I don't completely agree with the selection of titles for the list (I'm especially wondering what Interview with the Vampire is doing ranked that highly on a science fiction/fantasy list), but that's normal for such lists--though I do wonder why they limited it to books written after 1953, given the "significant" science fiction/fantasy that was written before that point.

Feudalism: Serf & Turf
Tags: books, fantasy, meme, science fiction

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