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SF/Fantasy meme - King Rat
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gkr
gkr
SF/Fantasy meme

This is a list of the 50 most significant speculative fiction/fantasy works, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and underline the ones you loved.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien long, over-written and over-wrought
  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 I haven't read this, nor is it likely I ever will
  10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury one of the best books ever
  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 though I'm not as high on this book as I used to be
  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 some people will really like this if they are into humor
  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 based on my opinion of the Lord of the Rings, I will likely never read this
  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  44. Last 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 José Farmer

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Comments
laurelfan From: laurelfan Date: November 16th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Ursula Le Guin

I love Ursula Le Guin's books too. Right now I'm reading her version of the Tao Te Ching. It's very interesting both in itself and seeing the influences in her novels.
gkr From: gkr Date: November 16th, 2006 12:43 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ursula Le Guin

She has her down moments. I didn't really care for either of the short stories she had in the collection I just read. But the quality of her writing is generally very good.
From: dyann Date: November 16th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC) (Link)
I haven't read much sci-fi, but here's my list anyway (and I liked them all):

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury one of the best books ever
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
(Deleted comment)
gkr From: gkr Date: November 16th, 2006 01:48 am (UTC) (Link)
There are epic sagas I go for, Dune and the Frank Herbert written sequels for instance, though not the ones written by his son. But yeah, I generally prefer conciseness in my literature and that means I am not usually in favor of epic sagas. Also, I'm not a fan of swords and sorcery high fantasy either, so Tolkien, Bradley, and Brooks have two strikes against them as far as I am concerned. As a piece of world and language building, I think Lord of the Rings is top-notch, much better than most fantasy written. It's just not enough to get me past the negatives.
faerieburst From: faerieburst Date: November 16th, 2006 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
We have spookily similar lists, not only in what we've read, but what we've loved and what we've hated as well.

I would recomend Terry Pratchett's Discworld series (of which "Colour of Magic" is the first). While it may techincally be classified in the "high fantasy" catagory, what with its swords and sorcery, it's sarcastic as fuck and funny and hell. Don't need to start with Colour; the first Discworld I read was "Going Postal" which is...24th? 27th? in the series and had no problems with not having "backstory."

Been meaning to find "Lord of Light", as it is in the group of stories he wrote that he likes best. (He's probably best known for the "Princes of Amber" series, which he hates and it *totally* swords and sorcery, and thus, you probably wouldn't dig it.)

~Aramada
gkr From: gkr Date: November 16th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
I read More, The Light Fantastic, and Pyramids. I liked em enough at the time to buy two more after the first one, but it got old fairly fast for me and I haven't read any more since.
foote3 From: foote3 Date: November 19th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC) (Link)
I just got The Fifth Elephant in an airport bookstore. It's the first Pratchett I've read and I really liked it.

Al
foote3 From: foote3 Date: November 19th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I've read these.
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey The whole series!
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 – I saw them filming this with Will Smith, does that count? [ducking & running]
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks

I'm very surprised that neither Piers Anthony nor Fred Saberhagen are not on the list anywhere.

Al

gkr From: gkr Date: November 19th, 2006 03:30 am (UTC) (Link)
I read A Wizard of Earthsea at the same time you did.
foote3 From: foote3 Date: November 19th, 2006 04:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
I re-read it again when that abysmal SciFi Channel mini-series came out. There's nothing like a Hollywood adaptation of a good book to make me appreciate reading all over again. :)

AL
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