Thursday, August 18, 2011

NPR's Top Sci-Fi/Fantasy Books: My Annotated List

Not that this hasn't popped up on others' blogs, but I'm a huge sci-fi/fantasy geek fan and feel the need to add my two cents' worth.

italics - I own it
bold - I've read it

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
I *do* own The Hobbit, but not the actual trilogy. I don't remember the majority of what happens in the series, though.
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
I'm a total, huge, nerdy Adams fan.
3. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I read this in 8th grade and didn't really like all the violence, but I think I'd enjoy it more now.
4. The Dune Chronicles by Frank Herbert
5. A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R.R. Martin
6. 1984 by George Orwell
I love Orwell but not this book. I love dystopias, but I never found 1984 to be a realistic picture of the future. It's set too close to the date it was written and doesn't explain enough. The psychological part by far is the most fascinating aspect.
7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I feel bad because I'm a dystopian fan who's not a fan of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451.
8. The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Bought an omnibus at a thrift store for 25 cents, heck yeah.
9. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I adore Huxley. I'd marry him if he was still alive. (Not really; after reading Island I don't think he'd fit my ideas of sexual morality, but I do love his writing that much)
Oh, this is also the book that formally introduced me to sci-fi, which is sort of funny because I only read it to impress the guy I had a crush on.
10. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
I just won a copy of this one in a giveaway, does that count?
12. The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Did I mention I'm a huge Orwell fan? My English teacher and English class got irritated last semester at my dissection of which characters match which Soviet leaders. :) Ah, AP European History, you ruined my brain...
14. Neuromancer by William Gibson
15. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
16. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Another one of the books that formally introduced me to sci-fi. I think I impressed my dad by reading Vonnegut, which he enjoyed back in high school, like, thirty-five years ago. Father-daughter bonding time! On post-modern, rather odd science fiction, lol.
20. Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

This is one of the few "classics" I can honestly say I did not like. The characters are stupid. I'm okay with them making dumb decisions, but then they refuse to accept responsibility and fix them. I'm talking about both the scientist AND the monster here.
21. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

I'm rather ashamed to say that I haven't read anything by this author.
22. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
I'm saving this one for some point when I have more time to read. I can't wait.
23. The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

Um, I saw the movie. It was weird.
25. The Stand by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury

LOVE Bradbury. But not Fahrenheit 451.
28. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
I'm ashamed to say I haven't read this one, either. Why are Vonnegut's books so expensive (for a high schooler's budget, anyway) in stores?!
29. The Sandman Series by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Another one I'm looking forward to.
31. Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein
32. Watership Down by Richard Adams

I absolutely adored this book in middle school. Except I read it for Battle of the Books, and we got sick of missing questions based around human-like things no one expects rabbits to do.
33. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
I think I read this one. I know I've read exactly one Dragon-something book by McCaffrey.
34. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
35. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
36. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

I love Wells.
37. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
Verne writes adventure stories, not really sci-fi. Whatever.
38. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Another one I really enjoyed.
39. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
Did I mention I love H.G. Wells? Especially the ending of this one. Woo-hoo for social satire!
40. The Amber Chronicles by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad by David Eddings
42. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

A feminist retelling of the Arthurian legend? I totally want to read this one.
43. Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
46. The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien

It's sitting on my parents' shelf but not mine. My mom, surprisingly, was a Tolkien fan.
47. The Once and Future King by T.H. White

I actually read 3/4 of this before I got bored.
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
53. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods by Terry Pratchett
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 Gods Eye by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Yet another post-apocalyptic/dystopian novel I'm just waiting for the right time to read.
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 Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks

I have ONE Shannara book.
68. The Conan the Barbarian Series by Robert E. Howard & Mark Schultz
69. The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way of the Kings by Brandon Sanderson
72. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
I enjoyed this one more than I expected. But Diana Wynne Jones' introduction to my edition made me mad. Classics aren't that boring, and the vocabulary Verne uses should be understood by the average middle schooler...
73. The Legend of Drizzt Series by R. A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War by Jon Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
76. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke

This one came from the same 25-cent thing as my Asimov omnibus.
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
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
83. The Culture Series by Iain Banks
84. The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (this trilogy rocked my world!)
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
89. The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon (read the first two and LOVED; lost interest after that)
90. The Elric Saga by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Love McKinley, totally want to read this one.
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
96. Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville
99. The Xanath Series by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis

I've only read the first one so far.

Well, as I consider myself a sci-fi/fantasy geek, I'm kind of embarrassed to see that I've read only seventeen of the books on this list. I have some catching up to do!

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