Home > Blog Memes and Such, Books > The “Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years” thing that’s going around

The “Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years” thing that’s going around

March 11, 2007

Once again, my sheep-like characteristics manifest themselves and I find myself dutifully following Orac, PZ, Bora, Joseph, John, Rob,
and Afarensis in listing (in bold) those of the “Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years” that I have read.

  1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
  3. Dune, Frank Herbert
  4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
  7. Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
  10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
  12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
  14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
  15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
  16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
  18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
  19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
  20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
  21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
  22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
  23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
  26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
  27. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
  29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  31. Little, Big, John Crowley
  32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny.
  33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
  35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
  36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
  37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
  38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
  39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
  40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
  41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
  45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
  47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Meh. Nineteen out of fifty. I used to read a lot more of this kind of stuff.

  1. March 11, 2007 at 5:21 pm | #1

    I’ve read all but 6 14 40 43 and 49. However, a lot of them I didn’t particularly care for. This list is pretty odd, I think.

  2. Ardneh
    March 11, 2007 at 7:37 pm | #2

    I’ve read almost all of those and liked them. In my old age, for some reason I’m liking authors that would never make anyone’s list – saberhagen and foster (an arizonian). Little to do with actual science, but more with characterization and imagination, and most importantly – good escapism.

  3. Sean
    March 12, 2007 at 4:08 am | #3

    I’ve only read 1, 4, 8, 27, 29 and 43. Dang! Even more books for me to read and I still haven’t made it through Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle yet. :) Some other SF and fantasy authors I recommend are Ken MacLeod (especially his “Fall Revolution” series) and James Morrow.

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