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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books

NPR recently published a list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy books, compiled from a survey of 60,000 listener-readers. The full list is here.

I don't really read work in this genre very often, but I did read some sci-fi in my teens and have occasionally grabbed something unread if it is already on my shelf.

These are the ones I've read from the list. You'll note that I've read half of the top 20, but apparently none of the bottom 35.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
6. 1984, by George Orwell
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

And this is the much longer list of books I have not read -- including a few that are important in popular nerd culture. Some are marked (maybe) because I read some Asimov, Bradbury, Clarke, Heinlein and Wells when I was a teenager (decades ago, ugh), but cannot recall the specific titles. My friends then were also reading and discussing these books, so the titles are kind of one big blur. I probably read at least 3 or 4 of the works marked (maybe), meaning I've read about 20% of the NPR list.

My memory is especially hazy when I know that I've seen a film based on the book (noted by ** below). My household includes copies of the books in bold, so it is plausible that I'll read them eventually:

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams **
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (maybe) **
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov (maybe)
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman **
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore **
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov **
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
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 **
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury (maybe)
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess **
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein (maybe) **
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein (maybe)
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells (maybe) **
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne **
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells (maybe) **
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
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 **
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman **
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
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
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
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson **
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
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 (maybe)
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 (maybe)
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 (maybe)
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov (maybe)
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
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

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