sf book meme

Moggy‘s got a meme up that I can spend the couple minutes on to answer as well. Have a look below the jump if interested, and the theme of the meme is which of the books on the Science Fiction Book Club’s 50 most significant SF/Fantasy books list have you read or tried to read, and did you like, love, or hate them. There’s a few books I’ve never heard of, and more than a few that I think are missing from the list, but that’s just me.

Surprisingly, I have (tried to) read all of the top 10. That may have had something to do with my favourite course of all-time – “Anthropology Through Science Fiction” – a third-year credit whose reading list was awesome. The prof was great, and it’s amazing how much information about the writer’s environment/time that you can glean from what they write (which was something I had never considered looking for in SF before). Good times. Anywho, the list is after the jump.

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 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 *
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
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
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 * (Halo!)
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
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

4 thoughts on “sf book meme

  1. 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 /hated it/
    6. Neuromancer, William Gibson /meh/
    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
    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
    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 * (Halo!)
    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
    48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
    49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
    50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

  2. i’m surprised huxley’s “brave new world” isnt on the list.

    and i would definitely love to see Sea of glass onthe list as well!

  3. Although I could understand having a hate on for Miller’s Canticle (which I enjoyed), I was shocked—shocked!—to see a stroke through Slaughterhouse 5.

    Then I remembered it’s not really a sci-fi novel, so that’s okay.

    I myself would consider drawing a line through Stand on Zanzibar, if I ever finish it. I think maybe I just hate it staring up at me on my bookshelf.

  4. Unfortunately for me, Slaughterhouse 5 was a forced read in High School, and those tended to end up on the “hate” list. Whenever I gave interpretations in papers that differed with the “accepted” ones, I failed. It’s probably fairer to say I hated English, and since this book was part of English, well, into the pile it went.

    I really should give it another read, because it’s been a looooong time. I will give it another go, because I have enjoyed some other works by Vonnegut. Canticle was one of the reads in my anthropology class, and I just found it dragged on far longer than necessary – kinda like Stephenson, of late.

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