A list of the top 25 S.F. of "all time" on Business Insider.
Checked -- I've read 21 of them. The other 4 I tried reading and just didn't like. I've tried Peter Hamilton a couple of times and he just bores me. -- his writing seems really pedestrian. I tried reading Douglas Adams and just didn't find it all that amusing and couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to enjoy it. (I have the same problem with Terry Pratchett, except for Good Omens; I guess I like my S.F. serious.) I didn't like Philip Jose Farmer -- I just didn't think he got historical characters right. Didn't read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep because I have a hard time reading a book after I've seen a movie -- but I've read dozens of other Philip K. Dick books.
Read all the rest and loved every one of them.
To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip Jose Farmer
Shadow of the Torturer Gene Wolfe
Anathem Neal Stephenson
Revelation Space Alistair Reynolds
Left Hand of Darkness Ursula Le Guin
I, Robot Isaac Asimov
Sirens of Titan Kurt Vonnegut
Contact Carl Sagan
Red Mars Kim Stanley Robinson
Pandora's Star Peter F. Hamilton
Mote in God's Eye Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle
Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Excession Iain M. Banks
Starship Trooper Robert Heinlein
Do Androids Dream of.... Philip K. Dick
Ringworld Larry Niven
2001 Arthur C. Clarke
Forever War Joe Haldeman
Snow Crash Neal Stephenson
Neuromancer William Gibson
Hyperion Dan Simmons
Foundation Isaac Asimov
Hitchhiker's Guide to... Douglas Adams
Dune Frank Herbert
Ender's Game Orson Scott Card
Of course, it would be extremely easy to come up with an alternative list just as long or longer with books that are just as good. For one thing, many of these authors wrote many equally good books and I'm just picking one. Often, the one book is part of a great series.
But to keep it simple...
The list above also leaves out a lot of older S.F. Golden Age Stuff. So I'm putting them on my list, instead.
Obviously, I'm trying to stay away from fantasy. That's a whole nother list.
Uplift Wars David Brin
Cordelia's Honor Lois McMasters Bujold
Stranger in a Strange Land
Tunnel in the Sky Robert Heinlein
Way Station Clifford Simak
Rendevous with Rama
Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke
I Am Legend Richard Matheson
Nine Princes of Amber
Lord of Light Roger Zelazny
Languages of Pao
The Blue World Jack Vance
Fire Upon the Deep Vernor Vinge
The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury
Beyond the Blue Event Horizon Frederick Poul
Titan John Varley
Armor John Steakley
Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
Scar China Mieville
Lensman E.E. Doc Smith
Devil in the Forest Gene Wolfe
Berserker Fred Saberhagen
Dispossessed Ursula Le Guin
Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov
Consider Phlebas Iain M. Banks
The Iron Dragon's Daughter Micheal Swanwick
Tuf Voyaging George R.R. Martin
Slan A. E. Van Vogt
Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
Deathworld Harry Harrison
Oh, Hell. I could go on and on. If I was at the store, I'd be looking at my bookshelves. I've tried to carry all the above books, at least those that are in print.
I'm probably leaving out a ton of great books. But these are off the top of my head.
20 hours ago