Sunday, August 21, 2011

How Many Have You Read?

Thanks to Bayou Renaissance Man for a link to NPR's top 100 science fiction and fantasy books. I thought I'd play with this one, too. The idea is to copy the list and highlight the ones you've read:
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
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
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
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
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
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
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
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
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
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
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
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 and 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
I've only read 26 of them, but I'm not much of fantasy book fan so that knocks 20 or 30 off the list to start with.

Lists like this are always as much a reflection of the person who made them up as the books themselves. What would you add to that list that isn't there? If you were going to say, "Dude, if you like hard sci fi, you have to read...", what number or title goes in there?


  1. I've read 53. The comment section won't let me use bold type to indicate which ones. Pretty similar to yours SG, with additions, of course.

    Here are some I'd add, just off the top of my head.

    Farnam's Freehold, RA Heinlein
    Time Enough For Love, RA Heinlein
    Stand On Zanzibar, John Brunner
    Three Hearts, Three Lions, Poul Anderson (fantasy involving Holger Danske)
    Macroscope, Piers Anthony
    The Weapon Shops of Isher, AE Van Vogt
    The Voyage of the Space Beagle, AE Van Vogt (true origin of Star Trek)
    The Dresden Files, Jim Butcher (much better than the video series)

  2. Time Enough for Love! How could I forget that one? It should have definitely been on that list; it's one of my all time favorite books.

    I don't remember Farnam's Freehold very well, but I'm pretty sure I read it. Have you read "JOB, a Comedy of Justice"? Enjoyable. I read a few of his later books when I was between terms at school (I got my degree working full time and school at night - I'd read when I only had one full time job!).

  3. I don't think there is anything RAH wrote that I haven't read, including the posthumous collection Ginny put together. "Job" was strange enough I'm not sure I fully understood it. I'll have to sit down with it again sometime. Farnam's Freehold was the fellow who, with his family in a bomb shelter during WWIII finds his shelter has been kicked into the future by a near miss from a Russian (or was it Chinese?) nuclear missile. When contacted by the residents of America of that future time, it is a monarchy/empire of blacks, with whites as slaves this time. Quite well done, but considering that The One is our present leader, I hope it wasn't apochryphal ;-)

    The book that Spider Robinson wrote (Variable Star) that was supposed to have been based on notes that RAH made for a book he never got to write was a bust for me. The publishing company wrote it up as if Robinson had "channeled" RAH, but it was too full of pacifistic, liberal cant for it to even come close to sounding like Heinlein. I was disappointed.

    Oh! If you can find a copy at your library (or through their system of borrowing from other libraries) you should read Triumph, by Philip Wylie. It was published in '63, but well written and not a bad look at the Cold War turning hot. I think you'd really enjoy it.

    Since I couldn't highlight the books on the list, here are the numbers of the ones I've read: 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9,13,14,16,17,19,20,21,23,24,25,26,27,28,30,31,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,40,42,44,45,46,49,51,53,55,56,58,61,65,71,75,76,78,79,86,91,94,96.

  4. Have read 33 of these. Have JOB in my to read stack; just haven't gotten to it, yet.



  5. There are other Pratchett books better than those listed, but anything by him is good.

  6. I've read 51, and just picked up some of Howard's Conan stories at a Waldenbooks closeout.

    I thought JOB sucked, mostly because of the anti-Christian content.

  7. It's true that you might not like Job if the idea of a (very) sympathetic Satan character bothers you. That's not a problem for me, and I liked the book overall (though the epilogue is weak).

    I recommend Ender's Game, as I do most of Card's works that I've read. They aren't all classics, but they are entertaining, and Card is excellent at using character in drama.

  8. Another I would add to the list would be the "Incarnations of Immortality" books by Piers Anthony. Not quite as whimsical or well known as his Xanth books, but I thought they were better myself (but it was more than 20 years ago that I read them and I was much younger then).

    I haven't combed the entire list, but I'll bet my number is a bit lower than most engineer/nerd type guys. Though I have read everything Tolkien ever wrote at least twice. My reading in the last 15 years, when I have the chance to read, has steered away from fantasy and sci-fi more toward history and how-to books. And blogs... :-)

  9. I listed _Macroscope_ because it is an excellent book. I almost left it off though, because Piers Anthony is either a pedophile, or an apologist for pedophilia. He wrote a book called _Firefly_ in which an adult male has on-going sexual relations with a five year old girl, who insists upon having sex and won't let this adult male say "no". He is completely incapable of refusing her desire to be sexually penetrated by him, and he feels the need to satisfy her urges in spite of himself. Based on what I read (I didn't finish it), I don't believe it was irony or a tongue-in-cheek exposure of pedophilia. It read like an apology for pedophilia.

    Yes, it really is as bad as that. As a cop in San Diego, I dealt with a couple of teenage prostitutes, fourteen and fifteen years old, who I tried to get off the streets, returning them to their homes, arranging for counseling, etc. But this book is an order of magnitude worse than my failure to effect any change in their behavior. It truly reads as an apology for why adult males have sex with little girls.

    I took the book back to the library that I got it from, and advised the librarian that she might want to consider restricting access to the book by children or teens, but she claimed that would be censorship, and she refused to engage in any form of censorship.

    Sorry. Didn't mean to turn this into a rant against Anthony, but I felt moved to pass on this aspect of his character.

  10. Wow, I *did not* know about that. I haven't read anything by him in decades, but you can bet I won't go looking for his stuff again.

    Heh, I wonder if that librarian who was so concerned about "censorship" keeps "snuff films" in her/his movie section - to not do so would be "censorship" as well, would it not? Typical quasi-non-judgmental liberal/progressive hypocrite talk. I wonder what the librarian would have said if the book depicted a muslim man engaged in pedophilia with a young boy? (But that doesn't ever happen, right?)

  11. Wow, Reg, I had no idea. I would hate to stumble across something like that.

    Guess I'll be skipping the Piers Anthony.

  12. I read a lot of Anthony back in the day. Come to think of it, "Bio of a Space Tyrant" had a lot of weird sexual themes running through it. Very disturbing in light of Reg's information.