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Thread: 51 of the Best Science Fiction Books and Novels of All Time

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    51 of the Best Science Fiction Books and Novels of All Time

    This article was recommended by NDT's Startalk, so I thought I'd share it here.

    https://www.bookbub.com/blog/best-sc...oks-and-novels
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    A good list, but I don't think 1984 should be there. Starship Troopers not making the cut is a surprise, but what's the point in having a list if you can't argue about it?

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    The Time Machine
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
    Dune
    Ready Player One
    The Martian
    1984
    Frankenstein
    Brave New World
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Parable of the Sower
    A Time of Changes
    Doomsday Book
    Stories of Your Life and Others
    Anathem
    The Man Who Fell to Earth
    Neuromancer
    Ringworld
    Oryx and Crake
    The Three-Body Problem
    Station Eleven
    The Stand
    Jurassic Park
    20,000 Leagues under the Sea
    Slaughterhouse-Five
    I, Robot
    A Fire Upon the Deep
    The Man in the High Castle
    The Complete Book of the New Sun
    The Giver
    A Wrinkle in Time
    Flowers for Algernon
    Fahrenheit 451
    Stranger in a Strange Land
    Red Rising
    Ender’s Game
    The Left Hand of Darkness
    Foundation
    Dhalgren
    Uglies
    Red Mars
    Hyperion
    Binti
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Children of Time
    A Clockwork Orange
    Cyteen
    Ingathering: The Complete People Stories
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
    The Forever War
    Ancillary Justice
    The City & The City

    I would also give honourable mentions to A Boy and his Dog by Harlan Ellison and The Stars, my Destination by Alfred Bester because of the cultural impact both of these books have.

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    Veteran Member KeepTalking's Avatar
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    There are a few on the list I am not familiar with, though I have read probably 3/4 of the list. There is no way Ready Player One should be there, if they were looking to add books from the last decade to the list, Redshirts or Old Man's War by John Scalzi both rate higher (as well as a ton of other books). It is a complete travesty that A Canticle for Leibowitz is not included.

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    I've only read seventeen of them. Now I feel illiterate.

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    Loony Running The Asylum ZiprHead's Avatar
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    War Of The Worlds by H.G.Wells should be on that list. Amazing the concepts he came up with in the 1800s.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    This article was recommended by NDT's Startalk, so I thought I'd share it here.

    https://www.bookbub.com/blog/best-sc...oks-and-novels
    Yo, I'm really happy for all of those authors, but Beyonce is the best science fiction writer of all time. OF ALL TIME!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    I've only read seventeen of them. Now I feel illiterate.
    I've read fewer than that, seven. (SF is not really my bag)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZiprHead View Post
    War Of The Worlds by H.G.Wells should be on that list. Amazing the concepts he came up with in the 1800s.
    But I did read this and I agree, it should be on the list.

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    WEBSITES TOP 51 SF BOOKS
    (MAINLY NOVELS)--------------------------AUTHOR--------------YES-------REASON
    -------------------------------------------------------------OR NO

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy--------ADAMS, Douglas-------NO--------(M/CLASSIC)----**
    I, Robot-----------------------------------ASIMOV, Isaac--------NO--------CLASSIC--------**
    Foundation--------------------------------ASIMOV, Isaac--------YES-------CLASSIC--------**
    Oryx and Crake----------------------------ATWOOD, M-----------NO--------NC-------------**----U
    Fahrenheit 451----------------------------BRADBURY, Ray---------N/Y (L3)--CLASSIC
    Red Rising---------------------------------BROWN, Pierce---------NO--------NC-------------**
    A Clockwork Orange------------------------BURGESS, A------------N/Y (L4)---CLASSIC
    Parable of the Sower-----------------------BUTLER, Octavia-------NO--------NC-------------**----U
    Ender’s Game------------------------------CARD, Orson Scott-----YES-------CLASSIC-------**
    Cyteen------------------------------------CHERRYH, C.J.---------NO--------NC--------------------U
    Stories of Your Life and Others
    (reissued as Arrival)------------------------CHIANG, Ted----------NO--------NOT A NOVEL
    The Three-Body Problem-------------------CIXIN, Liu--------------NO-------NC--------------**
    2001: A Space Odyssey--------------------CLARKE, Arthur C.------N/Y (L2)—CLASSIC--------**
    Ready Player One--------------------------CLINE, Ernest----------NO-------NC---------------------U
    Jurassic Park------------------------------CRICHTON, M----------NO--------NR--------------**
    Dhalgren----------------------------------DELANY, S R.----------N/Y (L4)---NR(CLASSIC)
    The Man in the High Castle-----------------DICK, P.K.-------------YES-------CLASSIC
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?-------DICK, P.K.-------------N/Y (L2)---CLASSIC
    Neuromancer------------------------------GIBSON, William--------YES--------M/CLASSIC-----**
    The Forever War---------------------------HALDEMAN, Joe--------YES-------CLASSIC--------**
    Stranger in a Strange Land-----------------HEINLEIN, Robert-------N/Y (L4)---CLASSIC
    Ingathering: The Complete People Stories---HENDERSON, Z---------NO--------NR(CLASSIC)---(**)
    Dune--------------------------------------HERBERT, Frank--------YES-------CLASSIC--------**
    Brave New World---------------------------HUXLEY, Aldous--------YES-------CLASSIC
    Flowers for Algernon------------------------KEYES, Daniel---------YES-------CLASSIC
    The Stand---------------------------------KING, Stephen---------NO--------NOT SF----------------U
    A Wrinkle in Time---------------------------L’ENGLE, M------------NO--------NC--------------**----U
    Ancillary Justice----------------------------LECKIE, Ann-----------NO--------NR(M/CLASSIC)--**
    The Left Hand of Darkness------------------LeGUIN, L.K.-----------N/Y (L4)--CLASSIC
    The Giver----------------------------------LOWRY, Lois-----------NO--------NC---------------------U
    Station Eleven-----------------------------MANDEL, E. St. J.-------NO-------NC^^------------------U
    The City & The City------------------------MIEVILLE, China--------N/Y (L2)---M/CLASSIC
    Ringworld----------------------------------NIVEN, Larry-----------YES-------CLASSIC---------**
    Binti---------------------------------------OKORAFOR, N----------NO--------NC--------------**----U
    1984--------------------------------------ORWELL, George--------YES------CLASSIC
    Red Mars----------------------------------ROBINSON, K S---------NO--------NC(M/CLASSIC)--**----U
    Frankenstein-------------------------------SHELLEY, Mary---------YES-------CLASSIC
    A Time of Changes-------------------------SILVERBERG, R----------NO--------NC
    Hyperion-----------------------------------SIMMONS, Dan---------NO--------NC (M/CLASSIC)-**
    Anathem-----------------------------------STEPHENSON, N--------NO--------NC-%%---------------U
    Children of Time----------------------------TCHAIKOSKY, A---------NO-------NC--------------**----U
    The Man Who Fell to Earth------------------TEVIS, Walter----------NO--------NC--------------------U
    20,000 Leagues under the Sea--------------VERNE, Jules------------NO-------NR(CLASSIC)
    A Fire Upon the Deep-----------------------VINGE, Vernor----------NO-------(M/CLASSIC)-----**
    Slaughterhouse-Five------------------------VONNEGUT, Kurt--------N/Y (L2)--CLASSIC
    The Martian--------------------------------WEIR, Andy------------YES-------M/CLASSIC------**
    The Time Machine--------------------------WELLS. H.G.-----------YES--------CLASSIC
    Uglies--------------------------------------WESTERFELD, S--------NO--------NC--------------**---U
    Doomsday Book-----------------------------WILLIS, Connie---------NO--------NC-------------**
    The Complete Book of the New Sun----------WOLFE, Gene----------NO---------NC(M/CLASSIC)-**
    How to Live Safely in a
    Science Fictional Universe-------------------YU, Charles------------NO---------NR

    KEY
    CLASSIC classic SF novel
    M/CLASSIC modern classic SF novel
    N/Y NO/YES not on my primary list but on a lower graded list
    NR not rated – good book but considered to be lesser than chosen novels
    NC not considered either because haven’t read and/or do not consider good enough and/or because part of a series
    NOT A NOVEL self-explanatory – is a collection
    NOT SF The Stand is a horror/fantasy novel, not SF (of course, a novel can be both)
    ^^ its author says it is not SF
    ** part of a series
    U unread by me
    %% ranked as Neal Stephenson’s fourth best novel by goodreads

    THIRTEEN OF THESE NOVELS MADE IT ONTO MY OWN TOP FIFTY PICK.

    COMMENTS
    Some of these books I haven’t read and others I haven’t read and haven’t heard of (and similarly sometimes with the author).

    If exclude the bizarre inclusion of a collection, then this is a list of fifty novels.
    This is a fairly good list, better than others that I have seen, with many good novels on it.
    However, it includes many that have to be there because of being list creator’s personal favourites, not due to being objectively the most important and best.
    In middle of last year I created a similar list that I posted in a thread on SFFW (Science Fiction and Fantasy website), which also had several novels included mainly because they were favourites of mine. In response to above list I have created a new list of my top most important SF novels that is more objective, dropping those that are simply personal favourites.

    This list is below.

    FIRST FIFTY NOVELS SELECTED

    ANDERSON, Poul------------Tau Zero
    ANTHONY, Piers------------Macroscope
    ASIMOV, Isaac-------------The Gods Themselves
    ASIMOV, Isaac-------------Foundation-----(**)
    BESTER, Alfred-------------The Demolished Man
    BESTER, Alfred-------------The Stars My Destination (aka Tiger! Tiger!)
    BRUNNER, John-------------Stand on Zanzibar
    CARD, Orson Scott---------Ender’s Game----(**)
    CLARKE, Arthur C.----------Childhood’s End
    CLARKE, Arthur C.----------The City and the Stars
    DICK, Philip K.--------------The Man in the High Castle
    FARMER, Philip Jose---------The Unreasoning Mask
    GERROLD, David------------The Man Who Folded Himself
    GIBSON, William-------------Neuromancer----(**)
    GUNN, James E.------------The Listeners
    HALDEMAN, Joe------------The Forever War----(**)
    HEINLEIN, ROBERT A.-------Starship Troopers
    HEINLEIN, ROBERT A.-------The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    HEINLEIN, ROBERT A.-------Tunnel in the Sky
    HERBERT, Frank------------Dune----(**)
    HOYLE, Fred---------------The Black Cloud
    HUXLEY, Aldous------------Brave New World
    KEYES, Daniel--------------Flowers for Algernon
    LEGUIN, Ursula K.----------The Dispossessed
    LINDSAY, David------------A Voyage to Arcturus
    MILLER, Walter M.----------A Canticle for Leibowitz
    NIVEN, Larry---------------Ringworld----(**)
    ORWELL, George-----------1984
    PANSHIN, Alexei------------Rite of Passage
    REYNOLDS, Alastair--------House of Suns
    REYNOLDS, Alastair--------Pushing Ice
    ROBERTS, Adam-----------Stone
    SHELLEY, Mary W.---------Frankenstein
    SILVERBERG, Robert--------Dying Inside
    STAPLEDON, Olaf----------Sirius
    STAPLEDON, Olaf----------Star Maker
    STAPLEDON, Olaf----------Last and First Men (with Last Men in London)
    STEAKLEY, John-----------Armor
    VANCE, Jack--------------To Live Forever
    VAN VOGT, A.E.----------The Voyage of the Space Beagle
    WEIR, Andy---------------The Martian----(**)
    WELLS, H.G.--------------The Island of Doctor Moreau
    WELLS, H.G.--------------The Time Machine
    WELLS, H.G.--------------The War of the Worlds
    WILHELM, Kate-----------The Killer Thing (aka The Killing Thing)
    WYNDHAM, John----------The Day of the Triffids
    WYNDHAM, John----------The Kraken Wakes
    WYNDHAM, John----------The Midwich Cuckoos
    ZAMYATIN, Yvgeny-------We
    ZELAZNY, Roger-----------Lord of Light

    (**) ENTRIES-----THESE ALL ARE FIRST NOVELS OF A DUOLOGY, TRILOGY OR SERIES

    ASIMOV, Isaac-----------Foundation
    CARD, Orson Scott-------Ender’s Game
    GIBSON, William----------Neuromancer
    HALDEMAN, Joe----------The Forever War
    HERBERT, Frank----------Dune
    MILLER, Walter M.--------A Canticle for Leibowitz (sequel is Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (with Terry Bisson)
    NIVEN, Larry-------------Ringworld
    WEIR, Andy--------------The Martian (its sequel is Artemis)

    NOTE THAT COULD HAVE EASILY ADDED THE FOLLOWING FIRST NOVELS OF SERIES TO ABOVE LIST IF THERE WASN’T ALREADY TOO MANY QUALIFYING STANDALONE NOVELS:

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, A Case of Conscience, Downbelow Station,
    2001: a Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama, Mission of Gravity,
    To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Deathworld, The Stainless Steel Rat, Colossus,
    Out of the Silent Planet, Altered Carbon, Dream Park, The Mote in God’s Eye,
    The Legacy of Heorot, Logan’s Run, Gateway, Berserker, Hyperion, The Star King,
    A Fire Upon the Deep, Hell’s Gate.

    SIMILARLY WITH THESE FIRST NOVELS OF DUOLOGIES:

    Fantastic Voyage, Needle, Pandora’s Star, A for Andromeda, The Second Experiment, Hiero’s Journey, The Big Time, Ilium, The Weapon Shops of Isher, The Risen Empire.

    THE EIGHT ACTUALLY INCLUDED ARE PARTICULARLY FAMOUS AND IMPORTANT.

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