lowkey: (Sometimes a man wants to read.)
[personal profile] lowkey
So [personal profile] danchekker and I are at the cabin ENJOYING OURSELVES, but the keening call of the internet cannot be ignored. SO: internet book meme.

NPR created a "your picks" list of the top 100 scifi and fantasy books. Dan would be the first to point out that scifi is not fantasy, and I agree. But thems the breaks.

Anyways, lots of my DreamWidth friends -- [personal profile] owlmoose and [personal profile] aria, and [personal profile] thingswithwings even included awesome commentary -- are memeing about this list, and I thought I'd join in.

Without further ado:
-- Bold if you've read
-- Italicize ones you fully intend to read
-- Underline if it's a book/series you've read part but not all of
-- Strikethrough if you never plan to read it.
-- (And in hindsight, I really need a "I've never heard of this book" marker, too.)



1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien -- I have never read it. <cough> I can't say that I plan on reading it, but never say never.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams -- Again, I've never read it. I guess I should hand in my nerd credentials and walk away in shame. But whateves. I've read some great things on this list that other people haven't SO THERE.

3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card -- So, I've read... most/all of Ender's Game, but I'm not bolding it. Because, well, I read it out of order. I know what happens, and I know why this book is good, and I know enough to get xkcd's multiple jokes on the matter (the best being this one, but also here and here). I'll probably reread it at some point.

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert -- Okay, I started it and couldn't get more than a hundred pages in. I really liked each chapter's opening epigraphs, but alas, dan did not. But the book itself just kept going, and the movie wasn't better. AND I AM BANISHED FROM NERDOM FOR ALL TIME

5. A Song of Ice and Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin -- I own the first book, implying that at some point, I thought I'd read it. But dan didn't like the first book, and I've seen the HBO series, which I loved. So... should I?

6. 1984, by George Orwell -- Finally, a definitive! And on a related note: I think the concept of scifi/fantasy doesn't always applicable to "fiction works about worlds that don't/don't yet exist."

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury -- The book, and also the play. I shouldn't, but I liked the character of Beatty; he came off even better in the play than the book.

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov -- I was given the first book as a gift, probably when I was in the third grade. It might have been my first ever "one day" books. They are all really good! I never finished Foundation's Edge, nor Foundation and Earth, nor the prequels. But that's okay; the original trilogy had a compactness that other series have struggled to replicate.

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley -- yyyyyaaaayyyy sex and drugs yyyyyaaaayyyy

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman -- Started it, creepy sex scenes and all. I even just visited The House on the Rock. I just... couldn't get into it.

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman -- The movie is one of the greatest films ever made. My friends tell me that the book is more cynical and bittersweet than the film, and I won't let that mire my awesome experience.

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan -- A great friend of mine once told me that he wanted to recommend The Wheel of Time series, but that he had reservations. It was, he said, one of the best reading experience he had ever had, and the emotional and story-telling payoff for reading the series was great. But no one writes thousands and thousands of pages of gold, he concluded, and recommending the series might obligate me to hours of working my way through garbage. SO I JUST DON'T KNOW

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell -- Haven't we all. Shouldn't we all.

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore -- I read it all, except for the chapter about Rorschach's screwed up childhood. I admire how the medium of the graphic novel enabled Moore's "35 minute twist".

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov -- YES.

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein -- Nope.

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss -- Not read it yet, but I own the first book. Cf. A Song of Ice and Fire on how this might not ensure that I read it.

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley -- You'd be surprised -- or not at all surprised, more likely -- how many assigned books I got through high school not reading.

22. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick -- Nope.

23. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood -- Don't really want to?

24. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King -- Maybe someday?

25. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke -- Parts of it.

26. The Stand, by Stephen King -- Probably never?

27. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson -- Only the most awesomely quotable book EVAR.

28. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury -- At least two different versions, actually; one copy I checked out from my library had an additional chapter about Christian preachers trying to proselytize to the Martians; it was a really, really good chapter, and it isn't in the paperback reprint I have.

29. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

30. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

31. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

32. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein -- Also: the movie is awesome.

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey -- dan bought me a used collection of the first several books. So, yes, I will. Also: I didn't have a childhood fascination with dragons, but I'm making up for lost time.

34. The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein -- My dad made me promise I'd read this book at some point, and I don't like to let my dad down.

35. A Canticle for Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller -- I liked the first section, loved the second, and admired the bird's-eye interclary chapters. At the time, the third section was sort of a let down, but it's growing on me.

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne -- And I loved the Disney movie, too.

38. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keys -- Damn you, middle school + Death By Newbery Medal.

39. The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells -- At some point, I will write about the story of the Thunderchild and how it made my cry, and how that chapter's message on heroic sacrifice has stayed with me till this day.

40. The Chronicles of Amber, by Roger Zelazny -- And so begins a long list of books I've never really heard of.

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings

42. The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley -- Maybe some day?

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 - cf. The Princess Bride.

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks -- So good! The chapter about fighting the zombies in the northern wastes of Canada has stayed with me.

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman -- Because of [personal profile] thingswithwings's linked comments on this and Starship Troopers.

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett -- Another run of books I haven't read/heard of.

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 -- I think it's a little unfair to put the entire series up here. Especially because they're all the same story. Also: I have some issues with how Howard treats women. And by "some issues" I mean "holy fuck that's not acceptable, srsly."

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson -- I've never reading any Brandon Sanderson, but I've heard he's really good.

72. A Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne -- The Disney movie was also cool. It had a duck and everything.

73. The Legend of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore -- dan read these; she cites this entry as proof that "peoples' choice" doesn't really correspond to "best".

74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi -- I don't understand why the list features some full series, and then only the opening book from others. Regardless, this was a really strong opening for an excellent series. Better yet, it stands alone quite well.

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson -- I think this book had issues in its third act, but that's a common criticism I level at many good books.

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 -- It sounded awesome. Could fail spectacularly.

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks -- Read the first half of the first book. It's really good?

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 -- THRAWN. ALL MY LOVE.

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury -- A dark ending that was sorta kinda out of left field? Also: I really like Bradbury's non-scifi works.

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 -- Bolded, though I've still never finished the second half of the last book. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHY THIS SERIES IS AT NINETY FIVE IT IS SO GOOD

96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis -- Apparently, Willis writes one book -- "time traveler gets stuck in the past, situation is bad for everyone involved" -- and I intend to read To Say Nothing of the Dog.

98. Perdido Street Station, by China MiƩville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis


SRSLY -- MAN, I have not heard of at least half of these.
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