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Books - John C. Kirk

Nov. 16th, 2006

09:33 pm - Books

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Following a meme (as posted by bazzalisk, gaspodog, and billyabbott), here's the Science Fiction Book Club's list of the 50 most significant SF/fantasy novels from 1953-2002. The ones I've read are in bold; the ones I've started but not finished are in italics.

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
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 (my copy has the original title "Tiger! Tiger!")
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

So, 13 out of 50; not too bad. Mind you, as with many of these lists, I do think it's cheating a bit when you have trilogies counted equally with individual novels. Of the ones I've read, I'd recommend "Fahrenheit 451" as the most significant: I wouldn't say it's my favourite, but it's the one which has the most relevance to modern life. (I discussed the immersive TV aspects last year.) I ought to try reading the "Foundation" trilogy again: I last tried when I was 11 or 12, and I've read other Asimov stories since then, so I'd probably appreciate it more now. The other one I've started and not finished is "Dragonflight", as discussed here and here a few years ago.

Comments:

[User Picture]
From:sulkyblue
Date:November 17th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)
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I recently re-read the Foundation trilogy and frankly was extremely disappointed. A nice concept but very poorly told.
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