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Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] dkwilliams

Every now and then, I have to do a meme.

Under the cut is a list of 50 books of the speculative fiction variety. The instructions are to bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished, and put a star next to the ones you love. So,

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein*
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin*
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
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
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
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling*
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams*
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
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
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien*
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Trooper, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

There's a lot of really old-school science fiction that I haven't read, apparently. Most of the oft-mentioned ones I've ended up liking quite a bit--A Canticle for Lebowitz comes to mind--so maybe I ought to give some of those un-bolded titles a go.

I am surprised that there are only two unfinished books on the list. More importantly, two unfinished books that I remember enjoying reading. One of the reasons there's only one strike-through title is that if I hate a book, I tend to just stop reading it. (My only defense for finishing The Sword of Shannara is that I was 16 and desperate for anything that resembled Tolkien. Which is what I got.) But none of the books on the list happened to be books I started and abandoned because I didn't like them. Go figure.

I'm also very interested to see Snow Crash on the list. It's one of my favorite books ever, but it seems a bit out of place compared to the others because a) it was published within the last 20 years and b) wasn't, as far as I know, as hugely, widely popular as the other more recent books on the list (Hitchhiker's Guide, Discworld, and Harry Potter, specifically). It makes me curious about where the list comes from.

Date: 2006-11-16 04:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eucritta.livejournal.com
It looks like it's the Science Fiction Book Club's list of 'the most significant' books 1953-2002 (http://www.sfbc.com/doc/content/sitelets/FSE_Sitelet_Theme_2.jhtml?SID=nmsfctop50). I've no idea who picked them, though.

so maybe I ought to give some of those un-bolded titles a go

Mission of Gravity and Cities in Flight are long-time favorites of mine, among the 'whoa, that's cool!' books that got me hooked on scifi as a kid.


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