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David Brider [userpic]

SF and fantasy books

November 11th, 2013 (03:11 pm)

So this, from last year, is a list by Locus of the results of their online poll of the best SF and fantasy novels of the 20th and 21st centuries. The ones I've read in bold. Other comments occasionally.

20th Century SF Novel:
1 Herbert, Frank: Dune (1965)
2 Card, Orson Scott: Ender's Game (1985) - should I? I believe he's rather controversial for being outspokenly anti-gay. But that doesn't stop me being curious.
3 Asimov, Isaac: The Foundation Trilogy (1953) - these were in the school library, with delightfully eyecatching covers by Chris Foss (coming soon to a Worldcon near you; if you live in London, anyway - if you don't, it might not be near you). Sadly I never got very far into them, but they're something I want to read properly at some point. They are, after all, classics.
4 Simmons, Dan: Hyperion (1989)
5 Le Guin, Ursula K.: The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
6 Adams, Douglas: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
7 Orwell, George: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
8 Gibson, William: Neuromancer (1984)
9 Bester, Alfred: The Stars My Destination (1957)
10 Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
11 Heinlein, Robert A.: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
12 Heinlein, Robert A.: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
13 Haldeman, Joe: The Forever War (1974)
14 Clarke, Arthur C.: Childhood's End (1953)
15 Niven, Larry: Ringworld (1970)
16 Le Guin, Ursula K.: The Dispossessed (1974)
17 Bradbury, Ray: The Martian Chronicles (1950) - I saw the TV adaptation back in the early '80s, does that count?
18 Stephenson, Neal: Snow Crash (1992)
19 Miller, Walter M. , Jr.: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
20 Pohl, Frederik: Gateway (1977)
21 Heinlein, Robert A.: Starship Troopers (1959)
22 Dick, Philip K.: The Man in the High Castle (1962)
23 Zelazny, Roger: Lord of Light (1967)
24 Wolfe, Gene: The Book of the New Sun (1983)
25 Lem, Stanislaw: Solaris (1970)
26 Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) - I still haven't even seen Blade Runner yet. It's on my bucket list, though...
27 Vinge, Vernor: A Fire Upon The Deep (1992)
28 Clarke, Arthur C.: Rendezvous with Rama (1973)
29 Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World (1932) - I recall finding it a long slog, but I did read it.
30 Clarke, Arthur C.: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - I have a thing with 2001; every time I read the book, I think, "right, I understand what's going on now!" And then I read the film and think, "nope, still hopelessly confused..."
31 Vonnegut, Kurt: Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
32 Strugatsky, Arkady & Boris: Roadside Picnic (1972)
33 Card, Orson Scott: Speaker for the Dead (1986)
34 Brunner, John: Stand on Zanzibar (1968)
35 Robinson, Kim Stanley: Red Mars (1992)
36 Niven, Larry (& Pournelle, Jerry): The Mote in God's Eye (1974)
37 Willis, Connie: Doomsday Book (1992)
38 Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid's Tale (1985)
39 Sturgeon, Theodore: More Than Human (1953)
40 Simak, Clifford D.: City (1952)
41 Brin, David: Startide Rising (1983)
42 Asimov, Isaac: Foundation (1950) - see earlier comment on the Foundation trilogy...
43 Farmer, Philip Jose: To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971)
44 Dick, Philip K.: Ubik (1969)
45 Vonnegut, Kurt: Cat's Cradle (1963)
46 Vinge, Vernor: A Deepness in the Sky (1999)
47 Simak, Clifford D.: Way Station (1963)
48 Wyndham, John: The Day of the Triffids (1951)
49* Keyes, Daniel: Flowers for Algernon (1966)
49* Delany, Samuel R.: Dhalgren (1975)

20th Century Fantasy Novel:
1 Tolkien, J. R. R.: The Lord of the Rings (1955)
2 Martin, George R. R.: A Game of Thrones (1996)
3 Tolkien, J. R. R.: The Hobbit (1937)
4 Le Guin, Ursula K.: A Wizard of Earthsea (1968)
5 Zelazny, Roger: Nine Princes in Amber (1970)
6 Lewis, C. S.: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
7 Mieville, China: Perdido Street Station (2000)
8 Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)
9 Crowley, John: Little, Big (1981)
10 Adams, Richard: Watership Down (1972) - never finished it. Would like to, one day.
11 Goldman, William: The Princess Bride (1973)
12 Martin, George R. R.: A Storm of Swords (2000)
13 Beagle, Peter S.: The Last Unicorn (1968)
14 White, T. H.: The Once and Future King (1958) - another one to file under "a long slog"
15 Pratchett, Terry (& Gaiman, Neil): Good Omens (1990)
16 Kay, Guy Gavriel: Tigana (1990)
17 Gaiman, Neil: Neverwhere (1996)
18 Wolfe, Gene: The Book of the New Sun (1983)
19 Vance, Jack: The Dying Earth (1950)
20 Bulgakov, Mikhail: The Master and Margarita (1967)
21 Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2000)
22 Tolkien, J. R. R.: The Silmarillion (1977)
23 Leiber, Fritz: The Swords of Lankhmar (1968)
24 Jordan, Robert: The Eye of the World (1990)
25 Donaldson, Stephen R.: Lord Foul's Bane (1977) - another I never finished but would love to read properly one day.
26 Bradbury, Ray: Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962)
27 Peake, Mervyn: Gormenghast (1950)
28 Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (1999)
29 Powers, Tim: The Anubis Gates (1983) - fantasy? Really? I always thought of it as more sci-fi...
30 Martin, George R. R.: A Clash of Kings (1998)
31 Bradley, Marion Zimmer: The Mists of Avalon (1983)
32 Hobb, Robin: Assassin's Apprentice (1995)
33 Pratchett, Terry: The Colour of Magic (1983)
34 Holdstock, Robert: Mythago Wood (1984)
35 King, Stephen: The Stand (1978)
36* L'Engle, Madeleine: A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
36* Pratchett, Terry: Small Gods (1992)
38 Ende, Michael: The Neverending Story (1983)
39 Peake, Mervyn: Titus Groan (1946)
40 Howard, Robert E.: Conan the Barbarian (1950)
41 McCaffrey, Anne: Dragonflight (1968)
42 Orwell: George: Animal Farm (1945)
43 Feist, Raymond E.: Magician (1982)
44 Silverberg, Robert: Lord Valentine's Castle (1980)
45 Lovecraft, H. P.: At the Mountains of Madness (1936)
46 Swanwick, Michael: The Iron Dragon's Daughter (1993)
47 King, Stephen: The Shining (1977)
48 Garcia Marquez, Gabriel: One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970)
49 Saint-Exupery, Antoine de: The Little Prince (1943)
50 Hughart, Barry: Bridge of Birds (1984)

21st Century SF Novel:
1 Scalzi, John: Old Man's War (2005)
2 Stephenson, Neal: Anathem (2008)
3 Bacigalupi, Paolo: The Windup Girl (2009)
4 Wilson, Robert Charles: Spin (2005)
5 Watts, Peter: Blindsight (2006)
6 Morgan, Richard: Altered Carbon (2002)
7 Collins, Suzanne: The Hunger Games (2008)
8 Gibson, William: Pattern Recognition (2003)
9 Mieville, China: The City & the City (2009)
10 Stross, Charles: Accelerando (2005)
11 Mitchell, David: Cloud Atlas (2004)
12 McDonald, Ian: River of Gods (2004)
13 McCarthy, Cormac: The Road (2006)
14 Harrison, M. John: Light (2002)
15* Willis, Connie: Black Out/All Clear (2010)
15* Chabon, Michael: The Yiddish Policemen's Union (2007)

21st Century Fantasy Novel:
1 Gaiman, Neil: American Gods (2001)
2 Clarke, Susanna: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (2004)
3 Rothfuss, Patrick: The Name of the Wind (2007)
4 Mieville, China: The Scar (2002)
5 Martin, George R. R.: A Feast for Crows (2005)
6 Rowling, J. K.: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007)
7 Bujold, Lois McMaster: The Curse of Chalion (2001)
8 Mieville, China: The City & the City (2009)
9 Fforde, Jasper: The Eyre Affair (2001) - at some point I want to read some of Jasper Fforde's work.
10* Bujold, Lois McMaster: Paladin of Souls (2003)
10* Pratchett, Terry: Night Watch (2002)
12 Gaiman, Neil: Coraline (2002)
13 Wolfe, Gene: The Wizard Knight (2004)
14 Pratchett, Terry: Going Postal (2004)
15* Gaiman, Neil: The Graveyard Book (2008) - haven't read it, but it's sitting in my To Be Read pile.
15* Lynch, Scott: The Lies of Locke Lamora (2006)

I think the one thing that this has proven is that, despite saying "I prefer sci-fi to fantasy," when it comes to the sort of stuff that gets voted for in surveys like this, my reading matter tends to be skewed in favour of the latter. What this says about me, apart from that I'm a contrary old bugger, I'm not sure. Also, I probably need to read more. <stares at "To Be Read" pile. And second "To Be Read" pile. And third "To Be Read" pile. And "To Be Read" bookshelf upstairs. *ahem* > Also, that list needs to have more Douglas Adams - there is more to his writing than just the first in the H2G2 series...

Comments

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Heidi (welshgirl15)
Posted at: November 11th, 2013 08:01 pm (UTC)
GoT: Daenerys Targaryen

I've not read many of these at all, but I'm bookmarking this page to look through at some point to add more to my ever growing to-read list.

Posted by: Karen (kazzy_cee)
Posted at: November 11th, 2013 08:12 pm (UTC)

I have pinched this as it is interesting. :D

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