Sunday, July 18, 2004

"God, I Love Science Fiction!"

Here's yet another "top 100" list I've seen floating around the internet... I'm not at all sure where this one came from, but it's somebody's list of top 100 SF novels, which naturally caught my attention. I agree with a lot of these, actually. Several more of them I regard as books which are important in the field, even if they're not really top-100 material in terms of quality writing. A few of them I think are good, but not that good, or not the very best work of their respective authors. And a very few of them left me thinking, "You have got to be kidding."

Anyway, here 'tis. I've bolded the ones I've read, italicized the ones I have but haven't gotten around to reading yet, and added a few boring parenthetical comments.

TOP 100 SF BOOKS:

1 Frank Herbert, Dune (1965)
2 Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game [S1] (1985)
3 Isaac Asimov, Foundation [S1-3] (1951)
4 William Gibson, Neuromancer (1984)
5 Ursula K Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
6 Robert A Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
7 Larry Niven, Ringworld (1970)
8 Robert A Heinlein, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
9 George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
10 Dan Simmons, Hyperion (1989)

11 Ursula K Le Guin, The Dispossessed (1974) (Can't believe I've gone this long without reading this one. I really ought to get to it soon.)
12 Frederik Pohl, Gateway (1977)
13 Joe Haldeman, The Forever War (1974)
(I read a library copy of this in my teenage years, but I really don't think I was old enough to appreciate it. There's a copy now on my To-Read Pile waiting for me to give it another go.)
14 Walter M Miller, A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959)
15 David Brin, Startide Rising [S2] (1983) (One of these days, I may get around to reading this series.)
16 Arthur C Clarke, Childhood's End (1954)
17 Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy [S1] (1979)
18 Alfred Bester, The Demolished Man (1953)

19 Ben Bova [ed], [A] The Best of the Nebulas (1989)
20 John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar (1969) (I thought for a minute I might have this on the Pile, but, no, I was getting it confused with The Sheep Look Up. Which I seem to do a lot.)
21 Ray Bradbury, [C] The Martian Chronicles (1950)
22 Gene Wolfe, The Shadow of the Torturer [S1] (1980) (I've got a Wolfe omnibus edition that I think has this in it.)
23 Arthur C Clarke, Rendezvous With Rama (1973)
24 Alfred Bester, The Stars My Destination (1956)
25 Roger Zelazny, Lord of Light (1967)
26 Theodore Sturgeon, More Than Human (1953)
27 Robert A Heinlein, Starship Troopers (1959)
28 Isaac Asimov, [C] I, Robot (1950)
29 Philip K Dick, The Man in the High Castle (1962)
30 Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (1954)
31 Harlan Ellison [ed], [A] Dangerous Visions (1967)

32 Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon (1966) (I've read the short story many, many times. The novel version is on my Pile, but I'm a little wary of cracking it open, as I don't see how it can possibly compare to the original.)
33 Orson Scott Card, Speaker for the Dead [S2] (1986)
34 H G Wells, The Time Machine (1895)
35 Niven & Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye (1975)
(Another one I read as a kid and have a copy of that I hope to get to sometime soon. At least, I think I do. I vaguely remember buying it.)
36 Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (1991)
37 Philip K Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

38 David Brin, The Uplift War [S3] (1987)
39 Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars (1992)
40 Clifford Simak, Way Station (1963)
41 H G Wells, The War of the Worlds (1898)
42 Connie Willis, Doomsday Book (1992)
43 Isaac Asimov, The Gods Themselves (1972)
44 Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (1992)
45 Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)

46 Philip Jose Farmer, To Your Scattered Bodies Go (1971)
47 Gardner Dozois [ed], [A] The Year's Best Science Fiction [S] (1984) (I've got a couple of these, but not the 1984 edition.)
48 Gregory Benford, Timescape (1980)
49 C J Cherryh, Downbelow Station (1981)
50 Arthur C Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
51 Isaac Asimov, The Caves of Steel (1954)
52 Greg Bear, Blood Music (1985)
(I hereby nominate this as my top condenter for Book That Really Doesn't Belong on This List.)
53 Robert Silverberg, Dying Inside (1972)
54 John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951)

55 Pohl & Kornbluth, The Space Merchants (1953)
56 Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age (1995)
57 James Blish, A Case of Conscience (1958)
58 Clifford Simak, [C] City (1952)
59 Hal Clement, Mission of Gravity (1953)
60 Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
61 Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
62 George R Stewart, Earth Abides (1949)

63 Edgar Rice Burroughs, A Princess of Mars [S1] (1912)
64 Philip K Dick, Ubik (1969)
65 Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar (1991)
66 Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (1962)
67 Isaac Asimov (et al) [eds], [A] Hugo Winners/New Hugo Winners [S] (1962)
68 Tim Powers, The Anubis Gates (1983)

69 Arthur C Clarke, The City and the Stars (1956) (I'd thought I had read this, but it turns out I was thinking of Against the Fall of Night. I think.)
70 Philip K Dick, The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch (1964)
71 Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five (1969)
72 Arthur C Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise (1979)
73 Poul Anderson, Tau Zero (1970)

74 James Blish, [C] Earthman, Come Home (1955) (This is one of the "Cities in Flight" series, right? I have a couple of collected volumes of that on the Pile.)
75 E E 'Doc' Smith, Grey Lensman [S4] (1951) (I've got a collection of Lensman stories on the Pile too, but I don't think this one is in there.)
76 Joanna Russ, The Female Man (1975)
77 Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864)
78 Joan D Vinge, The Snow Queen (1980)
79 Robert A Heinlein, Time Enough For Love (1973)
80 Stanislaw Lem, Solaris (1961) (Actually, I think I may have read this one ages ago, too, but I'm always getting it confused with Fiasco. In any case, I do have a copy now.)
81 C J Cherryh, Cyteen: The Betrayal [S1] (1988) (Read all of Cyteen in one collected volume.)
82 Harlan Ellison [ed], [A] Again, Dangerous Visions (1972)
83 Robert A Heinlein, The Puppet Masters (1951)
84 Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan (1959)

85 Samuel R Delany, Babel-17 (1966)
86 Brian Aldiss, Helliconia Spring [S1] (1982)
87 Harlan Ellison, [C] Deathbird Stories (1975) (I might have this on the Pile, actually. I know there's some Ellison on there somewhere, but I can't seem to find it. Which really tells you something about the state of the To-Read Pile.)
88 Samuel R Delany, Dahlgren (1975) (The only Delany I've read was Triton, and I didn't really find it to my taste.)
89 Robert A Heinlein, Have Space-Suit - Will Travel (1958) (I may have read this at some point, but I don't think I have. That's an oversight I really ought to correct.)
90 Niven & Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer (1977)
91 Frederik Pohl, Man Plus (1976)
92 Robert Silverberg [ed], [A] Science Fiction Hall of Fame 1 (1970)
(Read this ages ago and don't even remember what was in it.)
93 Olaf Stapledon, Last and First Men (1930)
94 Robert A Heinlein, The Door Into Summer (1956)

95 Thomas M Disch, Camp Concentration (1968)
96 John Varley, Titan (1979)
97 Michael Bishop, No Enemy But Time (1982)
98 Robert A Heinlein, Double Star (1956)
99 David Brin, The Postman (1985)

100 Vonda N McIntyre, Dreamsnake (1978)

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