Tiny Code

Tiny Code

Thursday, May 31, 2007

50 Most Significant Fantasy/SciFi Books

Tonight I was catching up on some old posts I'd missed on the blog of an old friend, Chard Nelson, when I happened upon an interesting list of the 50 Most Significant SciFi and Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years. Following the links back from his posting, I find that everyone posting this list seems to be marking the books they've read in bold. I've also taken the liberty of marking books I really liked with italics.


The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Dune, Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
Cities in Flight, James Blish
The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
Gateway, Frederik Pohl
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
On the Beach, Nevil Shute
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld, Larry Niven
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer


I'm not sure I agree with all the books on the list. There are definitely some omissions I'd like to correct. For starters, I'd add more books by Theodore Sturgeon, Kurt Vonnegut, Robert Heinlein, and Larry Niven. If I weren't constrained by the SciFi/Fantasy category, I'd add a lot more by Nevil Shute, my favorite author of any genre. Then I'd add a few favorite books from more recent authors like Spider Robinson and Rudy Rucker. Ah well, I guess no list is perfect.

2 comments:

Laura E. Goodin said...

Aw, put Nevil Shute on the list already! Nobody can agree on what speculative fiction is or is not anyway. (Which is probably a good thing for me.)

Rod said...

He's on the list with the one book of his which fits the category well, "On the Beach". It's a great book but I don't think it's his best. My personal favorite would be "Trustee from the Toolroom" however all his books are ripping good reads.