Sunday, August 14, 2011

New Book Meme! NPR Top 100 SF Books

I'm joining the NPR Top SF Book Meme [actually SF/F], which Dana at En Tequila Es Verdad recently created. The basic rules, get the list here or from Dana or at NPR, bold the books you've read. I've added a few things: I've colored blue the books I've seen as movies (sometimes bold blue if I've also read the book), and I've added a few notes, including notes about books I may have read or about series I've read parts of, in orange.

Note: This list was created by voting, so is unlikely, IMO, to be entirely representative of "best." I'm not sure why a few books are even included as being SF/Fantasy (Animal Farm, for example). Also, I haven't read much Stephen King, but normally I don't think of his books as SF/Fantasy as they seem to lean more towards weird horror. But, because I don't read him often, I could be wrong!

Note the Second: There are several series on this list. I have found it hard to stick with series that go much beyond 4 to 6 books, like The Wheel of Time, even if the series is a good one. After a while, I'd like an ending. I've read The Wheel of Time through about 10; there are only four more to go, so maybe I'll finish it someday, maybe not. Some longer collections of stories set in a particular "universe" are easier to stick with, as they routinely have endings (at the end of each book, or at every three or four books).

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien [book and movie]
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan - many but not all
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov [book and movie]
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess [movie only]
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein - not sure about this one
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne [movie only]
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells [book and movie]
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan [probably the movie only]
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman -- maybe
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman -- possibly
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson -- maybe 1, maybe 2
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson [movie only]
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard -- might have seen the movie
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony -- about half of these so far
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis -- the first one only so far

I've read 43, if my memory serves me right, so have quite a ways to go. A few of my favorites from the finalist list that didn't make the top 100:

The Faded Sun Trilogy, by C.J. Cherryh
The Foreigner Series, by C.J. Cherryh
The Tales of Alvin Maker, by Orson Scott Card
Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein


Anonymous said...

I don't count myself as a big SF/F fan, but I was surprised that some of the few that I have read--and thought must be classics--are conspicuously absent: Nothing by John Wyndham (The Chrysalids, Midwich Cuckoos, Day of the Triffids), though I see Triffids made the finalists list, if not the top 100. A couple others are A Maggot by John Fowles and Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut, though I suppose these only marginally qualify as SF.


D said...

YES! I am so glad that there is now a list I can refer to when I walk to the bookstore! I have a lot of reading to do!

Silver Fox said...

Howard, I haven't read those particular books, so it's good to hear about them. Have read many by Vonnegut, but not Galapagos.

Silver Fox said...

D, I think it's a great starting point, although it seems to run quite heavily into Fantasy, which I like somewhat, but it really depends.

BJN said...

#1, "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy is fantasy. Seems like some basic ground rules were missing for the list...

Silver Fox said...

Sorry it wasn't clear from my 1st paragraph, without following the NPR link or the link to Dana's blog, that NPR's list was for the top 100 SF/Fantasy as voted for by their listeners/readers. Not sure why they lumped them, but there are a huge number of Fantasy books and comics in the list -- not just the first one!