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December 16th, 2008

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12:55 pm - 50 most significant SF & Fantasy Books quiz
Snagged from waterfire741: According to the Science Fiction Book Club, these are the 50 most significant SF & Fantasy Books of the last 50 Years, 1953-2002. Bold the ones you've read, strike the ones you hated, italicize the ones you couldn't get through, asterisks for the ones you loved (more asterisks, more love), for the ones you own.

1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
3. Dune by Frank Herbert (pompous and misogynistic)
4. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Leguin *
6. Neuromancer by William Gibson
7. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke ***

8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
9. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

12. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom by Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight by James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

22. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (I read the short story and was never remotely inclined to read more)
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever by Stephen R. Donaldson (to dumb to hate, to dull to like)
24. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman *
25. Gateway by Frederik Pohl

26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice (I've read the next two books, but not that one)
30. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (good, but impressively dated)
31. Little, Big by John Crowley (too slow and too puzzling)
32. Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny ***
33. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement *
35. More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon ***
36. The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith *

37. On the Beach by Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld by Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys

41. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (too dull to hate or to finish)
42. Slaughterhouse-5 by Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester *
46. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein (OTOH, I loved the movie)
47. Stormbringer by Michael Moorcock

48. The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks
49. Timescape by Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer
Current Mood: busybusy

(12 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 09:21 pm (UTC)
Oh great, they deliberately picked a cut-off date six months before my first novel came out :)
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[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
I liked The Hobbit when I was a kid. LOTR was long and about equal parts fun and dull (at least when I was a teen, I doubt that I'd bother reading it now), and I couldn't get through the Silmarillion.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
I didn't make it through LOTR the first time at age 11... on a second try the next summer I plowed through it in a week. I think digesting the world and the huge cast of characters is part of what makes it tough. A favorite, but in twenty years I have not gotten around to re-reading more than portions of it.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
I'm not impressed by any list that includes Terry Brooks but missed Bruce Sterling. For that matter, they missed A Fire Upon The Deep (Verner Vinge), which was certainly more important that Interview With The Vampire. Please. I though this was significant Science Fiction. What's with the pop fantasy? I loved Stormbringer, but dark fantasy is not sci-fi. Grump.

Though I am curious how you found Dune misogynistic. I mean, for a story where the most effective and powerful characters are all female, I don't see it. Even Paul is kind of a chump in the larger arc. Given, by the 6th book it does sort of turn into Kung Fu Bitches From Outer Space. I'd fault it more for making The Female a Secret Mystical Powerhouse party to an ancient conspiracy to manipulate the destiny of men in a way that suggests Herbert never really understood women and thus mysticised them into fantastical creatures. That I found a bit tiring.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC)
I never made it past the 2nd Dune book. The first book is all about a group of women spending generations attempting to breed their perfect individual - a man with the power they all have. Then again misogyny is a feature of pretty much every novel Frank Herbert wrote.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
5 female authors vs. 40 male authors, with Asimov, Bester, Dick, Heinlein, and LeGuin each on twice.

Lists like this make me retch.

Did you see that Melissa Scott made the top 10 on a web poll run by Bywater Books in Ann Arbor, MI, asking readers to nominate and then vote for the Best Lesbian Novels of the 20th Century? The book on the list was Trouble and Her Friends.
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
I completely agree. The Female Man and something by Tiptree should definitely be on the list. I also think that some of Leigh Brackett, Diane Duane, CJ Cherryh's work counts as significant, and I'm both shocked and annoyed that there's no Andre Norton on that list - Between them, Norton and Bradley essentially created a large subsection of modern fantasy.

Did you see that Melissa Scott made the top 10 on a web poll run by Bywater Books in Ann Arbor, MI, asking readers to nominate and then vote for the Best Lesbian Novels of the 20th Century? The book on the list was Trouble and Her Friends.

That's very cool, although that particular choice baffles me. I found both Trouble and Her Friends & The Jazz to be somewhat dull and formulaic, in vivid contrast to her interstellar SF, most of which I found to be exceptionally good. Dreamships and Dreaming Metal are in my opinion two of the best books on politics, race, and intelligence that I've ever read.

Edited at 2008-12-16 10:15 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:December 16th, 2008 10:00 pm (UTC)
cusm makes a good point and there seemes to be a lack of ringworld or worlds of valdemar here....

all teh same i transfered it to my blog to see wha the geek pagans of TX have to say.....
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:December 17th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
Indeed it was. Also, Paul Verhoven is the absolute master of a certain type of B movie.

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