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top 50 SF books

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasynovels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

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
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson (Can I pre-hate this one? No? Fine.)
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 (I swear, I have tried many times. I don't know what's wrong with me.)
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (I read this when I was like 12 and have no memory of it whatsoever.)
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
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
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett*
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
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 (I intend to read this.)
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson (Have a copy, intend to read it.)
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice* (Loved it at the time of reading.)
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley****
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
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
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson (Intend to read if for no other reason than to understand all the fuss.)
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks (Seriously? Isn't this considered a sad Tolkein ripoff?)
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Sad for my performance on this list, I just don't like science fiction that much. I like science, and I like ficiton, but I don't like science fiction.



Nov. 15th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)
Heretical thought of the day: it took me literally four tries to get through Diamond Age, but now I kind of love it. The slow START was actually the hardest part for me to get through. Stephenson's books always go one for too many pages, and that gets worse with each one. I just find the actual world of Diamond Age more interesting than any of his other books. Guess I'm a sucker for nanotech?

I agree with Judy that The Big U was unreadable. I lost interest and gave up about 2/3 of the way through, about the same progress I made with The Confusion.
Nov. 15th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Diamond Age made me SO ANGRY the first time I read it. I reread (audiobooked, really) it recently, and I actually really liked it.

I think Mr. Stephenson needs a better editor. He tries to do too much and it ends up being messy (and often unsatisfying), instead of the "sprawling" I assume he's going for.

That said, Snow Crash is worth the read. Very dry humor.