September 8, 2006

Top 50 SF/F (Science Fiction/ Fantasy) Books from some random list somewhere.
Bold = read it ...
Italics = I made a comment about it

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert ... started it ... got bored
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
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
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe ... started it ... got bored
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr. ... read it ... hated it ... poor writing ... good ideas ... i'm picky
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 ... for some really unknown reason Pratchett drives me straight up the wall ... my other half loves him and we own everything he's ever written, I think ... but I can't stand him.
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 ... got bored ... also, I think these are the books that have some of the same names as Katherine Kurtz's Deryni series ... which just made reading these too freaking weird
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson ... got bored (i'm seeing a pattern here)
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
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
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
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

44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock ... got bored
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks ... got bored

49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
(list from Epic-Fantasy.com)

Eh, this list is okay. There are, in my opinion, some big deals left off of here and some crap left on.

In no particular order, I would recommend:
The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers, and for sentimental reasons both Rolling Stones and Space Cadet ... all by Robert Heinlein. Also, Citizen of the Galaxy.
Melissa Scott's Jazz, Trouble and Her Friends and also Night Sky Mine
Elizabeth Moon ... haven't come across a bad book yet ... but I hear her earliest stuff is a bit odd.
Neuromancer, Count Zero, MonaLisa Overdrive ... William Gibson
Snowcrash, Cryptonomicon ... Neal Stephenson
All of the Deryni books by Katherine Kurtz... it's fun to read them in historical order instead of i order of publication.
The Last Herald-Mage series by Mercedes Lackey ... she quickly became a formula writer, but this trilogy is excellent. (Except you can *almost* skip book two.)
Lord of the Rings, of course ... goes without saying.
Chronicles of Narnia as well.
Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper.
Clarke always seemed a bit over-rated to me. Asimov was all right ... but I think I read him too early ... I was in third grade at the time ... seemed a bit dull.
Bradbury is another one ... great ideas, crummy follow-through ... I slept through most of Dandilon wine and Farenheit 451 ... even though I liked the concepts and ideas.
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle ... actually that whole series is quite good.
Bard Morgan Llewellyn.

And, of course ... I've Heard Coyote Howl. By me. Yeah, I know. I'll sell you the PDF for $5.00 if you email me and have a PayPal account. About 300 pages of computer science fiction (not really cyberpunk, but not space sci-fi either), southwestern American Indian Coyote myths, the life and times of James Matthew Barrie, Peter Pan all rolled up into one novel. Try it, you'll like it.

And that's my Sci-Fi/Fantasy rundown.

Posted by Red Monkey at September 8, 2006 11:31 AM | Storytelling: She was, of course, supposed to be sleeping. | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |


Don Radlauer said:

It's not too bad a list, but IMHO there are a few books that really should be on it that aren't - and vice versa, of course.

23) Stephen R. Donaldson's "Covenant" series is total crap. The guy is one of the worst wordsmiths I've had the displeasure to read, and the story is derivative at best.

Here are my additions to the list - you can make room by getting rid of the ones I haven't read yet:

1) Nightwings by Robert Silverberg
2) The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
3) The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin

There may be other books that should be substituted for some that are on the list - but of course the whole thing is subjective anyway. OTOH, it's hard for me to imagine anyone who enjoyed the good stuff on the list not gnashing his/her teeth at Donaldson's garbage.

Red Monkey says: OOO, I can't believe I forgot about the Beagle book ... I haven't read it in ages ... hmmm. I don't think I've read the others, but I do enjoy LeGuin ... thanks for the suggestions!
September 9, 2006 3:28 PM


Don Radlauer said:

Sorry for the duplicate comment - I was surfing though BlogMad, and it didn't look like the comment "took" the first time.

September 9, 2006 3:34 PM


Shell said:

Interesting list. I think I might add The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. And maybe Atwood's A Handmaid's Tale?


Red Monkey says: Handmaid's Tale was okay ... but I think I like some Heinlein books better than Atwood . I haven't ever read any Mary Doria Russell, though ... I'll have to check her out. Thanks!
September 9, 2006 10:39 PM


Hendo! said:

No Iain M Banks?! Excession & Consider Phlebas would walk into that list.

Red Monkey says: I know I've heard the name, but I don't think I've read any of his books. Thanks for the tip!
September 10, 2006 3:34 AM


mike said:

I actually remember reading and liking A Wrinkle In Time when I was a kid.

Blogmad hit!

September 11, 2006 11:05 AM


Terabanitoss said:

You are The Best!!!

May 4, 2007 5:48 PM
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