So apparently Time have issued a list of the most significant SF/F novels from 1953 to 2006. Uh huh. Because Time are definitely who I choose to stream the cultural definers of my lifetime through….

I can’t say for sure that it’s the whole list, or what the criteria for choosing them was, because I’ve only seen this list on other people LJs. As one poster noted: a list with Brooks but no Leiber fails.

Still, to add to the fun, people have memed it: the idea is 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. I might just do the first three, methinks. Read them yourselves, and find out whether you love them. That’s much more rewarding than taking my word for it. Do this thing, and I shall link to two comics at the end of this post to reward you.

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

Now, because you’ve all been so patient, the links I promised:

The way they should have filmed The Postman

He can duplicate Dudes!

4 thoughts on “

  1. As I said when I posted the list, the Brooks (and Donalson) are ‘significant’, just not in a good way. The Sword of Shannara was the book that first showed that poorly written, unimaginitive Tolkien rip-off could sell really well. That was turned out to be significant….


  2. Point taken.I’m no big fan of definitive lists, it must be said, but realising how many of those novels I have actuially read was a minor surprise. Realising how many I read more than a decade ago, before my tastes began to become increasingly obscure, was also a minor surprise 🙂


  3. I’m surprised you haven’t finished the Foundation trilogy, and I’m not game to list the books on that list I’ve read/not read. I honestly don’t remember… I mean, I’ve got 1200+ SF books in the house and that probably includes many of those listed, but to go and check the blurbs on 50 books to see whether I read them? Nope 😉


  4. I’m probably offending some SF god or other, but the Foundation books are <>terrible<>.I have a fairly photographic memory on whether I’ve read a particular book or not, and whether I’ve owned it or not. We currently own 8 or 900 books, notwithstanding the hundreds I’ve read and then passed on over the years, and I might not be able to tell you where it is, (and sometimes, what events happen in them), but I’m usually spot on as to whether we have it and what my sense-memory of it was like.Besides, it’s not like the books on the list (except for the Crowley, which I’d never heard of, which was a surprise) are exactly obscure….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s