January 30, 2007

SF Book Meme

Found at Jenna Thomas-McKie's blog.

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.

Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

I won't tag anyone, but if you play this meme, drop me a note or leave a comment (trackbacks are not currently working).

Posted by JohnL at January 30, 2007 09:22 PM | TrackBack

I'd play except that Tolkien, Adams and Bradbury are the only three authors on the list I've read and I doubt I'd generate any geek cred that way.

Of course, this may be a good thing.....

Posted by: Robert the Llama Butcher at January 31, 2007 12:38 PM

I did this some time back: Here 'tis.

Posted by: Don at January 31, 2007 08:31 PM

Oh! You’ve read a lot from that list!

Posted by: Nik at January 31, 2007 09:09 PM

You have GOT to read PJ Farmer's Riverworld series. You're in it.* S.L. Clemens and King John and I are in it. But they have speaking roles and we don't....
Gotta read "The Forever War" too.
FWIW, I grew up as RAH was churning out his juvies - I can still remember my first SF book - "Have Space Suit, Will Travel"....

* - In the Forward of TYSBG, PJF states "everyone who lived on Earth is somewhere on the River". But not all

Posted by: The Old Man at February 1, 2007 09:21 AM

I read one of the Riverworld stories when I was in 6th or 7th grade, but cannot remember much about it. I read "Dark is the Sun" by Farmer, and quite enjoyed it. Never could figure out the Santa Claus cameo in it, though.

The Forever War is also on my "to read" list. Maybe I'll get to it this year.

Thanks for the comment and the recommendations!

Posted by: JohnL at February 1, 2007 02:01 PM

I've read a fair number of those, and did the meme. "Most significant"? I guess.

Maybe more like "Books Your English Teacher Would Want You To Read, If You Have To Read Science Fiction.

I'll look for Snow Crash the next time I'm in a bookstore.

Posted by: owlish at February 1, 2007 08:38 PM

Regarding the Foundation Trilogy, I can't imagine that "breathless descriptions" of it would interest anybody, because I can't think of how to do a "breathless description" of it that's accurate. ;-) It isn't a work that appeals because of the action, or the characters, or indeed anything but the setting and the concepts. It really can't be, because it's a collection of short stories, and only a few characters appear in more than one story. It's a very cerebral sort of work, in which most of the storylines depend on science, especially psychology, to work. Asimov does a superb job of making that science sound plausible, though, even to someone like me who views psych with suspicion bordering on contempt. I recommend you try the first book and see what you think.

And I disliked the main character in the Unbeliever series too. I can't avoid the feeling that you're supposed to dislike him. I think Donaldson set out to write a "Lord of the Rings" for manic-depressives, and Covenant fits that concept to a T.

Reading through the whole list, I see I've read 18 out of the 50. Not too bad, although (as always with such lists) I wonder if it's significant that I blackly hated at least two of them: Childhood's End and The Forever War.

Posted by: wolfwalker at February 2, 2007 07:26 AM

Wolfwalker: From what I can distill from the reviews of and comments about Foundation, Asimov portrays what I would consider an utter dystopian future as utopian (in sharp contrast to Heinlein, and, to a lesser extent, Niven). Maybe I'm wrong. And the whole "psychohistory" thing just puts me off, too.

Maybe I'll get to it someday. In the meantime, I ordered Bester's "The Stars My Destination" and Dick's "The Man in the High Castle," which should arrive today. I'll provide a review of each when done. Thanks for keeping the conversation going!

Posted by: JohnL at February 2, 2007 08:55 AM

How do I do strikeout in Blogger?

Posted by: House of Payne at February 2, 2007 03:18 PM

Use the tag "strike" before and after the text you wish to strike out. Thus:

<strike>Stricken text here.</strike>

Posted by: JohnL at February 2, 2007 03:49 PM

All righty, I'll give it a go since I have a new (old but sorta working) keyboard.

Posted by: Ted at February 8, 2007 08:24 PM

I've read 27 of the 50. Got work to do! (My list is at the link.)

Posted by: Ranten N. Raven at March 11, 2007 04:59 PM

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Posted by: oievl at February 24, 2010 09:33 AM
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