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NPR released a short {cough, cough} list of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy novels asking visitors to choose just TEN out of a selection of 238 books. Fortunately(?) I had only read 93 books on the list or narrowing the selection down would have been a lot harder.

Go here to make your choice: Vote For Top-100 Science Fiction, Fantasy Titles


Indented is read
Bold is Top Ten
(Snarky comments in brackets)

1632, by Eric Flint
1984, by George Orwell
2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

The Acts Of Caine Series, by Matthew Woodring Stover
The Algebraist, by Iain M. Banks
Altered Carbon, by Richard K. Morgan
American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys, by Neil Gaiman
Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
Animal Farm, by George Orwell
The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers
Armor, by John Steakley

The Baroque Cycle, by Neal Stephenson
Battlefield Earth, by L. Ron Hubbard

     (Lots of Scientologists must have voted in the initial round)
Beggars In Spain, by Nancy Kress
The Belgariad, by David Eddings
The Black Company Series, by Glen Cook

The Black Jewels Series, by Anne Bishop
The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Bridge Of Birds, by Barry Hughart

The Callahan's Series, by Spider Robinson
A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
The Cat Who Walked Through Walls, by Robert Heinlein

Cat's Cradle , by Kurt Vonnegut
The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
The Change Series, by S.M. Stirling
Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
Children Of God, by Mary Doria Russell
The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
The City And The City, by China Mieville
City And The Stars, by Arthur C. Clarke
A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher

The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman
The Commonwealth Saga, by Peter F. Hamilton
The Company Wars, by C.J. Cherryh
The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
Contact, by Carl Sagan
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
     (well not all of them, just a couple)

The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
(The first three. The six year wait between each release between book 2 and 5 put a dampener on my enthusiasm for this series)
The Day of Triffids, by John Wyndham
     (Although to tell the truth I would prefer to have The Crysalids on the list)
Deathbird Stories, by Harlan Ellison
The Deed of Paksennarion Trilogy, by Elizabeth Moon
The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester
The Deverry Cycle, by Katharine Kerr
Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany
The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
The Difference Engine, by William Gibson & Bruce Sterling
The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
     (Why no Wizard of Earthsea?)
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

Don't Bite The Sun, by Tanith Lee
Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
     (Sorry Anne, you got that close, but come in 11)
Dreamsnake, by Vonda McIntyre
The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
    (Dune and one or two others. I was sixteen and books that were mostly politics didn't hold an attraction for me for someunknown reason)

Earth, by David Brin
Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart
The Eisenhorn Omnibus, by Dan Abnett
The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Eon, by Greg Bear

The Eyes Of The Dragon, by Stephen King
The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde

The Faded Sun Trilogy, by C.J. Cherryh
Fafhrd & The Gray Mouser Series, by Fritz Leiber
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
The Female Man, by Joanna Russ
The Fionavar Tapestry Trilogy, by Guy Gavriel Kay
A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
The First Law Trilogy, by Joe Abercrombie
Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
The Foreigner Series, by C.J. Cherryh
The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

The Gaea Trilogy, by John Varley
The Gap Series, by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Gate To Women's Country, by Sheri S. Tepper

Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
The Gone-Away World, by Nick Harkaway
The Gormenghast Triology, by Mervyn Peake

Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper
Gravity's Rainbow, by Thomas Pynchon

The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End of The World, by Haruki Murakami
The Heechee Saga, by Frederik Pohl
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
     (If the list refers to all the Hitchhiker books my selection is based on books 1-4 only)
The Hollows Series, by Kim Harrison
House Of Leaves, by Mark Danielewski
The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
The Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson
The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
The Incarnations Of Immortality Series, by Piers Anthony
The Inheritance Trilogy, by N.K. Jemisin

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

Kindred, by Octavia Butler
The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
Kraken, by China Mieville
The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey

Last Call, by Tim Powers
The Last Coin, by James P. Blaylock
The Last Herald Mage Trilogy, by Mercedes Lackey
The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
The Lathe Of Heaven, by Ursula K. LeGuin
The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
The Lensman Series, by E.E. Smith
The Liaden Universe Series, by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
The Lies Of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler
Little, Big, by John Crowley
The Liveship Traders Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
Lord Of Light, by Roger Zelazny
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Lord Valentine's Castle, by Robert Silverberg

Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Lud-in-the-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
The Man In The High Castle, by Philip K. Dick
The Manifold Trilogy, by Stephen Baxter
The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
Memory And Dream, by Charles de Lint
Memory, Sorrow, And Thorn Trilogy, by Tad Williams

Mindkiller, by Spider Robinson
The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
Mordant's Need, by Stephen Donaldson

More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon
The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

The Naked Sun, by Isaac Asimov
The Neanderthal Parallax Trilogy, by Robert J. Sawyer
Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

The Newsflesh Triology, by Mira Grant
The Night's Dawn Trilogy, by Peter F. Hamilton
Norstrilia, by Cordwainer Smith
Novels Of The Company, by Kage Baker
The Number Of The Beast, by Robert Heinlein
(The only book on this list I started and didn't finish and when you consider that that includes Battlefield Earth...)

Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
On Basilisk Station, by David Weber
The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

Oryx And Crake, by Margaret Atwood
The Otherland Tetralogy, by Tad Williams
The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

Parable Of The Sower, by Octavia Butler
The Passage, by Justin Cronin
Pattern Recognition, by William Gibson
Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
The Prestige, by Christopher Priest
The Pride Of Chanur, by C.J. Cherryh
     (A couple)
The Prince Of Nothing Trilogy, by R. Scott Bakker
The Princess Bride, by William Goldman

Rainbows End, by Vernor Vinge
Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
Replay, by Ken Grimwood
Revelation Space, by Alistair Reynolds
Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban
The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
Ringworld, by Larry Niven
The Riverworld Series, by Philip Jose Farmer
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

The Saga Of Pliocene Exile, by Julian May
The Saga Of Recluce, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.
The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
The Sarantine Mosaic Series, by Guy Gavriel Kay
A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick
The Scar, by China Mieville
The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
     (Odd how due to the alphabetical listing this is just two lines above The Silmarillion. Shannara or Middle Earth, hmm. Hey that's right I don't need to choose Shannara IS Midle Earth(just re-writen by a much worse author))
The Shattered Chain Trilogy, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Sirens Of Titan, by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
The Snow Queen, by Joan D. Vinge
Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

Song for the Basilisk, by Patricia McKillip
A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
The Stainless Steel Rat Books, by Harry Harrison
Stand On Zanzibar, by John Brunner

The Stand, by Stephen King
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester
Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
Stations Of The Tide, by Michael Swanwick
Steel Beach, by John Varley
Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
The Swordspoint Trilogy, by Ellen Kushner

The Tales of Alvin Maker, by Orson Scott Card
The Temeraire Series, by Naomi Novik
The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
Tigana, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Time Enough For Love, by Robert Heinlein
The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
To Say Nothing Of The Dog, by Connie Willis
The Troy Trilogy, by David Gemmell

Ubik, by Philip K. Dick
The Uplift Saga, by David Brin

The Valdemar Series, by Mercedes Lackey
VALIS, by Philip K. Dick
Venus On The Half-Shell, by Kilgore Trout/Philip Jose Farmer
The Vlad Taltos Series, by Steven Brust
The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Vurt Trilogy, by Jeff Noon

The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
The Watchmen, by Alan Moore
Watership Down, by Richard Adams
The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
Way Station, by Clifford D. Simak
We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin
The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
     (Read the first five in a week. Once I had regained my sanity, vowed never to pick up a Wheel of Time book again)
When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger
Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
Wild Seed, by Octavia Butler
The Windup Girl, by Paolo Bacigalupi
World War Z, by Max Brooks
The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Edison

The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon

Total Read 93/238
WITT(2): 3/10

If you want to skip the long list(and the evidence of my woeful inadequacy when it comes to being well read) follow this link to my picks and the reason why I chose as I did.

1984, by George Orwell
Four Words: "Winston loved Big Brother"

The Day of Triffids, by John Wyndham
To tell the truth this one probably lucked out by being near the top of the list. If I had gone from the bottom up War of the Worlds might have been highlighted instead. They both deserve a spot, but when you can only choose ten...

The Deverry Cycle, by Katharine Kerr
Katharine Kerr's Deverry books, have a breadth of history, a richness of character and superbly well done world building. All that and a weaving of plot(especially in the first four books) and personalities that draws you in and always has you wanting more.

The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
This one just knocked my socks off when I read it. Sure there it is "message", but the story of Shevek and his journey spoke to me more than any political left/rightism that

Earth, by David Brin
Earth or Uplift? Argh, way too hard to decide. Oh well, Earth is higher on the list [TICK]

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
The zaniness, the insanity and(most of all) the footnotes!

Lilith's Brood, by Octavia Butler
I read this in it's three book incarnation Dawn, Adulthood Rites, and Imago. In those books I was confronted with some of my pet hates and fears and yet wasn't traumatised. The story, characters and the newness of the concepts I was reading had me captivated.

The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Do I really have to explain?

Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
Well it could have been any pterry book, but the only ones on offer were this and Going Postal. Come closer and will let you in on a secret..."The turtle moves;-)"

Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Rabbits who aren't cute. Rabbits who despite the anthropomorphism that is inevitable in this story, stayed rabbits. One of my best ten and it is about RABBITS?!

(1)The 238 isn't quite correct as a number of books listed are actually series of 3+ books

(2)Women In Top Ten


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:22 am (UTC)
I read your list for the comments. I am, I think, tired of lists of books that reflect things other than those I look for in books. I did, however, enjoy the comments. For the record, I think I've read about 170 or so of them.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
Deverry plus Tolkien plus Pratchett plus Watership Down plus 1984= APPROVE
Aug. 3rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
So what would your other five be?

PS: Welcome back!
Aug. 3rd, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
See here:


I have a feeling Gaiman would be on there if I had actually read the books listed. Ditto for Pratchett.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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