Friday, November 8, 2013

Best S.F. Novels I've read, off the top of my head.

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.

The Postman
Startide Rising
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
This Immortal
Lord of Light                                Roger Zelazny
Languages of Pao
The Blue World                            Jack Vance
Fire Upon the Deep                      Vernor Vinge
Demolished Man
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.


Jim Johnson said...

I'm still holding on to those baseball cards. Thanks for the post.

Duncan McGeary said...

I'm sure they'll be worth something in another ...oh... 50 years or so, Jim. :)