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Science Fiction Book meme

November 17, 2006

Found on Walt Crawford’s blog, and continuing the meme.  I’m surprised I haven’t read many on this list, considering that I think of myself as a total science fiction nut.  Guess no list is perfect 😉

"Below is a Science Fiction Book Club list most significant SF novels between 1953-2006. The meme part of this works like so: Bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put a star next to the ones you love."

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

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

Yes, that’s right–I hated Harry Potter.  Bring on the hate mail 🙂

“Science Fiction Book meme”

  1. Abigail Says:

    I disliked Harry Potter too!! I read the first three so I understand the basics but I don’t every feel the need to read them again… and I’ve never seen the movies.

    and for that my friends think I’m nuts.

  2. Jacek Says:

    Lord of the Rings = science fiction?? I assume you mean the scene where Frodo Baggins shoots down a spaceship full of cyborg Orcs (cyborcs) with his laser pistol…

  3. Sarah Houghton (LiB) Says:

    Meh, it was on the list. I agree–it’s fantasy…just following the meme mindlessly 🙂

  4. walt crawford Says:

    Yes, it’s really an SF&F list–but so is the book club. A number of those books are in the fantasy genre. Of course, given Clarke’s Law and its addendum, the distinction between the genres is tricky: Not only is any sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from magic (the law), but any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.

    Well…I read the first HP book. We have the first five, I think. I keep meaning to read the rest, but…I think I have to be in the right mood. So no hate email from me on that count.

    OK,Sarah, four recommendations among those you haven’t read: 11, 12, 15, and 16–although 16 (which is fantasy) has one side-effect: Like it and you’re involved in Discworld, which has a LOT of books in it.

  5. Sarah Houghton (LiB) Says:

    Thanks for the recommendations Walt!

  6. Bill Drew Says:

    I continued this on my blog at http://babyboomerlibrarian.blogspot.com/2006/11/science-fiction-book-meme.html

    I didn’t finish Harry Potter. I didn’t dislike it. I just found it too easy to read and not keeping my interest. I have seen the movies though.

  7. joshua m. neff Says:

    I’ll second the Discworld recommendation. My wife is a huge Discworld fan and has gotten me hooked. (Although I don’t think The Color of Magic is the best of the series, or even the best one to start with. I’d say go for Wyrd Sisters or The Wee Free Men.)

  8. Rick Roche Says:

    There should be more Ursala K. Le Guin on the list. The Left Hand of Darkness was a great read. I’m glad to see it there. Where is The Dispossessed? Well, we all have our opinions.

    I confess I enjoy Harry Potter. I have read all the books two or three times.

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Wired News reports that the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame will open in Seattle in June. Pretty darn cool. I now have two destinations for the next time I’m in Seattle: The SF Museum & the new Library. Oooooh, innovation…

“Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame”

  1. Librarian's Rant Says:

    About SFing Time!

    Thanks to the Librarian in Black for the heads up: Wired news on the new

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Hal W. Hall, MLS-holder and Science Fiction guru, has created an online, searchable index of secondary sources in science fiction and fantasty literature. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Databaseindexes 63,160 items, and the search mechanism seems to work pretty darn well. I only wish this was around when I was writing my Asimov papers back in college…

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