Thursday, August 18, 2011

Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy Novels

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Stolen from Annette, who stole it from Measi. =)

I'm not sure I entirely trust a list of sci-fi and fantasy novels compiled by listeners of NPR (I listen, but don't consider myself a "listener")...nothing's wrong with NPR listeners, but I would expect the list to be more heavily skewed towards books with a political/liberal bent (yawn!). Nevertheless, (ooo, I just lost my non-NPR-listener status by using that word, didn't I?) I'll probably try to read most of these!

Bold = ones I’ve completed
Italics = ones I won't read in the future (switching things up...I generally finish books I start, so I'm leaving out the "attempted/started" category.)
Plain = let's assume I'll read them someday. ;)

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Can I double-bold? LOL!)

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (Or triple-bold??)

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin

6. 1984, by George Orwell (Listen, I went to a really...umm...non-literature-intensive high school, so there are a lot of "classics" I never read.)

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (Saw the play, though.)

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore (Although I love graphic novels, I probably won't get through this one. I think we own it, though, so maybe....)

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov (Saw the movie, though =P)

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (Movie definitely doesn't count, I think.)

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King (I know...but I don't think I can handle Stephen King, really.)

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke (I HAY.TED. the movie, so I have no desire to read the book. Anyone want to tell me the book's better?)

25. The Stand, by Stephen King (See 23.)

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut (Plot summary doesn't sound remotely interesting to me.)

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman (Omigosh, this sounds hilarious.)

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess (No. Nononono.)

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams (Gee whiz! Finally another one that I've actually read!)

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey (Loved the book until the first mating flight. Really?)

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne (Hmm, not sure if I ever read this!)

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys (I keep thinking I've read this because I've read "Harrison Bergeron," which for some INEXPLICABLE REASON I keep mis-remembering as "Algernon Bergeron".)

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells (Seen the movie.)

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven (Duh, Halo, of course I wanna read it! =)

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin (I gotta admit that the brief summary on goodreads makes it sound like I'll hate it, but I'll give it a try.)

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien (Oooo, now here's one I DID give up on. But now that I'm older--out of middle school and not so loathe to read anything reeking remotely of history--I want to give it a try again.)

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan (Ugh.)

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman (Had to read it after I saw the movie...I had questions about whether some things REALLY happened in the book. Unsurprisingly, they did NOT.)

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks (I add this to my list...hesitantly. I like zombie books in theory, but not in practice...they're gross. Also, I was recently scarred by watching a couple episodes of Walking Dead...UGH.)

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle (*gasp!* How could I have not read this already?? IS ABOUT UNICORNS!!)

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman (War. Hunh. What is it good for?)

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett (Gotta read The Color of Magic first!!)

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson (I will try the first one, but I am skeptical that I will enjoy it.)

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold** (Have the first couple..)

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett

61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind (Read the first one...not sure I can stand the sadistic sections for a second, third, fourth....)

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy (Ugh, I'll probably hate this one, too, but I'll give it a try.)

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (Holy crap, I'll probably hate this, too!)

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard (I don't even want to read the summary. I'm supremely uninterested.)

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb (Another triple bold!)

70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger (Note: not for pre-teens!)

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore (Holy shamoley, how many books are in this series??? I'll at least try the first one! Homeland, right??)

74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey (Ew, no.)

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin (The summary's not really doing it for me, but I'll give it a go.)

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury (Sounds like no likey.)

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire (LOVE the musical. HATE the book. As I tell every parent that takes their children to see the musical, NOT APPROPRIATE for kids.)

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson (Hmmm, the summary's not grabbing me here, either, but I'd give it a try.)

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde (LOVE. Love love love! Triple bold! Exclamation Marks!!! Scared to read the latest because then there will be no more to read!)

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart (?? I feel like I read this book in high school; I remember reading some book of Arthurian fiction and being wholly shocked by the amorality contained in it...pretty sure it was this one.)

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson (Eh, sure, I'll try it. Anyone else starting to feel this list is very weighted to books in the last 10 years?)

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher (Already on my list!)

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe (OK, I'm not thrilled about reading a book about torturers. But it's been called the second-best fantasy series behind Lord of the Rings? I suppose I'll try it...maybe...someday....)

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn (A THOUSAND TIMES YES. Timothy Zahn, you have spoiled me for any other Star Wars author. Thank you for gracing the Halo-verse with your presence.)

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan (Also already on the list!)

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock (This poor guy must have gotten teased unmercifully when he was a kid....)

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury (Oh, heavens. I remember reading "The Veldt" and that it was creeeeepyyyyy. This book will probably scare the heck out of me!)

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley (Just not interested. I read Twilight under heavy protest, and I'm embarrassed enough that I liked that.)

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle (Ah. Finally a synopsis that doesn't include the words "epic battle". =)

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville (Wow. I'm not sure what to think after reading that synopsis!)

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony (So, I've read Ogre, Ogre, and A Spell for Chameleon...twice, because I forgot I read it the first time. I really, really want to like these books, because I LOVE puns, but.... Well, first, I don't like toilet humor. And A Spell for Chameleon really annoyed me with its female character that it either pretty and dumb or ugly and smart. Ugh.)

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis (I've read the first one and it was great. I'll definitely read the rest. But DUDES, where is The Chronicles of Narnia on this list??!? I just can't read those too many times!)

Yikes, only 16?? I may have to give up my geek card!

My "to read" list on goodreads is now 392 books!


Calophi said...

Have you read Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde yet? Saw you liked Eyre Affair and thought I'd let you know of another great book of his. :)

Also, did not read Last Unicorn, but totes saw the movie. :)

Also also, A Song of Ice and Fire <3 <3 <3

Daffycat said...

I certainly recommend #5 Song of Ice and Fire series and # 71 Way of Kings. Both are excellent reads!

ROFLMAO I LOVED the Xanth series as a very young adult so my bookshelves are still populated with nearly all of them. Anthony once wrote a scifi/horror story (short? don't remember) that was incredibly graphic. Talk 'bout shocking? That one was nearly porn. I think I read the story with my mouth open and a hand covering one eye!

Southpaw Stitcher said...

If you ever decide to try Stephen King, "The Stand" is his best book, IMO, and I highly recommend it. He is a great storyteller, and you should be hooked after the first couple of pages.

pinkundine said...

Interesting list. I would highly recommend 1984, love that book. A Brave New World... well the concept is amazing but the writing is a bit meh. And Fahrenheit 451, don't rush to read it (pretty much any other Ray Bradbury would be a better choice!)

But, that is just me and I have no idea if you'd feel the same about them!

Nic said...

Odd list. There are several on there that make me think "what! Why?", and others I think are missing. But there are definitely some good ones there.

Joyus said...

I adore the Thursday Next series too.

If you haven't read and Terry Pratchett don't start with the Colour of Magic as it's nowhere near the best. Start with Mort or Wyrd Sisters and then go back to Colour of Magic if you enjoyed them. The books don't all need to be read in chronological order (although there are mini series that work best if you do)

Tony Vila said...


Annette said...

You must must read The Princess Bride! Triple must!

And I think you'll like The Kingkiller Chronicles (The Name of The Wind is first) :)

Annette said...

Forgot to mention - Sunshine is *nothing* like Twilight. It is well worth a read....

Jean in Georgia said...

Oh. My. Cow. I cannot believe you haven't read "Stranger in a Strange Land". That's one of my triple bold books. And Asimov's "Foundation Trilogy" was the text for my intro to Political Science class at Emory.

Jeanne said...

I have only read about 6 of these...but I do remember The Crystal Cave - it was part of a series with a couple other ones she wrote. Someday I may read the LOTR me a lot of those middleworld series all seem similar....but this was the original I guess. Fun post!

RugbyMad said...

OH I love this list. I have read less than you though.

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Katri said...

Haven't read many of the books on the list, *some*, but not many. Could pick some names for my to-read-list though...

But to answer your question about 2001: A Space Odyssey :-) I read it in my late teens, I think, and found it to be really boooring... And to add insult to injury, the libray kept on sending me notes requiring me to return it (which I had done on time, but they must have misplaced it)...

Old Geek-outs