SF Book club top 50 meme

There is a meme going round the science fiction and fantasy bloggers, and after realising how many of the books I have actually read, I thought I would pick it up, even though I haven’t read that much in the past 15 years.

Via Jonathan, even though he has not done it yet. The list is the top 50 science fiction and fantasy books from 1953 to 2002 according to the SF Book Club. Bold the books you have read, strike through the books you hated, and as this is a blog, what would be a list without editorial comments.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien – The classic fantasy trilogy, then half way through the thrid volume, good defeats evil and they all go home. I never finished reading it.
  2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov – I know I read them, well at least the first volume, because there was a time I was attempting to read all the classic SF books. Did it make an impression, afraid not.
  3. Dune, Frank Herbert – I read this in a half day between university exams. I waited till after the exams to read Dune Messiah, that took two months to read two chapters. That put me off rereading Dune for a few years, but in the end I did and enjoyed it again.
  4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein – When I first read this novel, it was missing 50 pages. So I reread a few months later and it made less sense then. This missing pages wheret the hero sleeping with his mother. My favourite Heinlein by far, great story telling, interesting storyline.
  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin – My less favourite Le Guin, it lacked the depth of her other novels.
  6. Neuromancer, William Gibson – Yes I know I am a pagan, the book I should of read years ago
  7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick – It was Dick and Bradbury short stories that got me into reading SF in high school. It was not until I read this book a second time a few years later that I really understood it.
  9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley – I know I have read this book, I vividly remember the cover and that is it.
  10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury – Another from high school, it did make an impression on me, but then I went and read 1984 which blew me away.
  11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
  12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
  14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
  15. Cities in Flight, James Blish – A book I can vaguely remember, which is more than I can say for a few books on this list.
  16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
  18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
  19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
  20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
  21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey – I read a number of the Pern books, but I never got into, unlike my friends at the time.
  22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson – On par with Dune Messiah, boring never got further that the second chapter on a couple of attempts.
  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman – Owned three copies, read three times, lent to friends three times, never returned three times. I should of learnt, one of my favourite novels of all time.
  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl – I read a number of Pohl novels, just do not know which ones.
  26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
  27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams– One of my favourite summertime reading books. I would read it every summer once University finished.
  28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
  29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin – Now this is good Le Guinn
  31. Little, Big, John Crowley
  32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
  33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick – I read almost everything Dick wrote, and I do not remember this one
  34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
  35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
  36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
  37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute – Seen the movie a couple of times does that count ;-)
  38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke – Another book I barely remember.
  39. Ringworld, Larry Niven – I read everything the Niven produced in the seventies and early eighties. I consumed them rapidly and without much thought. Ringworld was probably the best, a fun read but not thought provoking.
  40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
  41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien – The only book I rated worse than Dune Messiah.
  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut – Up there with Dune Messiah, I tried reading this in high school, it just did not make sense so I didn’t finish it.
  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner – Another one that I came remember the cover and that is it.
  45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester – I read, enjoyed and recommended to friends, but 25 years later, I do not remember the details.
  46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein – Heinlein on a recruiting drive for the US Marines. I read this after The Forever War and it just seemed so old fashion and jingoistic.
  47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock – Friends raved about this series, so I read and enjoyed, but not enough to rave about.
  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks – Again people I knew rave about this book. I read and asked why there was far better fantasy novel around at the time.
  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer – I am a Farmer fan, enough said.

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