Saturday, April 14, 2007

100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels

This isn't strictly a review, since I haven't finished this book yet, but I thought that I'd mention it, since I'm sort of using this book as a guide for novels to read for the next little while.

"100 Must-Read Science Fiction Novels" by Stephen E. Andrews and Nick Rennison is a small, attractive looking book which has, what seems at first glance to be a solid list of recommended science-fiction novels.

Going through it, I see that I've read less than 20% of the novels in there. Here is my list of 19:
author, title (year), my rating 1-5 stars
Azimov, "Foundation" (1953) , ****
Banks, "The Player of Games" (1988), ***1/2
Card, "Ender's Game" (1985), *****
Egan, "Permutation City" (1994), ****
Haldeman, "The Forever War" (1974), ***
Heinlein, "Orphans of the Sky" (1941), ***
Heinlein, "Starship Troopers" (1959), ****
Herbert, "Dune" (1965), *****
Keyes, "Flowers for Algernon" (1966), *****
Le Guin, "The Left Hand of Darkness" (1969), ***
Le Guin, "The Dispossessed" (1974), ***
Lem, "Solaris" (1961), ***
Miller, "A Canticle for Leibowitz" (1959) (unfinished)
Morgan, "Altered Carbon" (2002), ***
Niven, "Ringworld" (1970), ***1/2
Orwell, "1984" (1949), *****
Stephenson, "Snow Crash" (1992), ****
Verne, "Journey To the Centre of the Earth" (1864), ****
Wolfe, "Shadow of the Torturer" (1980) - book1 of "The Book of the New Sun", **

Considering that I have 4, 5 star ratings and 5, 4 star ratings in this list, I think I agree strongly with the authors so far, so will continue to read from their list - once I finish all my borrowed books of course. :-)

Of the other books, I don't quite get the inclusion of "Altered Carbon", which I read recently, nor "Player of Games", which while fine novels are hardly "must read". Then, there are things like "Shadow of the Torturer", which I never understood being written in the first place - pretty dull stuff mostly. Maybe I'm thinking of the 2nd or 3rd or 4th books, but they all blur together actually.

Also - "A Canticle for Leibowitz", while brilliant, killed a main character part of the way through and I couldn't bring myself to finish at the time. I promised to go back and finish one day.

1 comment:

Determinist said...

Ha! I finished "A Canticle for Leibowitz" this year. So, that monkey is off my back.