Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Most Significant SF Books of the Last 50 Years

I am not all that surprised by how many of these I've read, just as I'm not surprised by the ones I have not. Sword of Shanana is one of the worst books ever typed. Thomas Covenant is a leper of the soul as well as the body and as such was totally unreadible for me.

(ones in red not read)

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002

from SFBC

  1. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  2. 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. 1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Stephen Donaldson
  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
  26. Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
  27. 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. Ringword, 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
  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer


arse poetica said...

handdrummer, I am woefully unread in this genre. =(

I do have _Snow Crash_, though -- highly recommend to me by a number of folks. Should I dig it out of my pile? And I did read the story "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas" by LeGuin. Does that count?


handdrummer said...

Snow Crash is a hoot. If I were recomending some books to introduce a new reader I'd recommend LeGuin's Left Hand of Darkness, Miller's Canticle for Leibowitz, and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

My favorite book on the list is Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar. I wouldn't necessarily recommend starting with that one. Dip into a few others first to pick-up some of the prevailing genre tropes. Smow Crash might be a bit daunting as well. It's a long postmodern SF in-joke in a lot of ways.

Freudian Slip said...

Sword of Shannara is a great book (and series), though there are a lot, and I mean a lot of similarities with LOTR.