Sunday, November 19, 2006

Sci-Fi Book Meme

I saw this on Mostly Cajun, All American and Opinionated who found it at Physics Geek and figured I'd steal, plagiarize borrow it myself.

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.

Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
*The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Dune, Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
*The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
Cities in Flight, James Blish
The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison

Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
*Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
*The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
*Gateway, Frederik Pohl
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice

The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
On the Beach, Nevil Shute
*Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
*Ringworld, Larry Niven
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
*Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

I haven’t read too many books that I would say I hated. I really didn’t hate A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. But I had to read this book for a class in college. Le Guin was the Professor’s favorite author so a full one third of the reading list was her work. This was a Studies in Science Fiction English class. Yet the reading list contained nothing by Asimov, Clark , Bradbury or Heinlein. By the time the class was over I hated everything Ursula K. Le Guin had ever written. It's been 25 years maybe I should give her another chance. I still have the books.

It may be harsh saying I hated Harry Potter. I just found Rowling's story line and writing style to be childish. I've never cared much for stories with children protagonists. I really dislike stories that require a soliloquy by a main character at the end to explain what happened. The Philosopher's Stone had both of those things. I did keep reading her other Potter books just so I could talk to the rest of the family about them. I have to admit that it took a while but in her last book I finally started feeling some empathy for the characters. Either she's getting better as an author or I'm weakening as a reader.

Finally a complaint about this list as a whole, how can a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels not include E.E Doc Smith’s Lensman books?

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