"100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime"


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No Wells? No Burroughs? No EE Doc Smith? No Verne? lame.
ETA : I missed 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea in the list. Thanks @Ratel
Edit again : missed The Time Machine. Thanks @daneel
I have noticed the list changes order each time I load the page and the layout makes it way too easy to miss something.


Well, they had to make room for “Sword of Shannara” and a fucking zombie book.


Yeah, they leave out those guys but include The Hunger Games?! Christ on a bike.

Half-assery at work. Discworld is present as it should be, but poorly represented by The Color of Magic. Even Pratchett said nobody should start reading Discworld books with that one. They got soooo much better after the first two.


To be fair, that’s a hell of a zombie book.


I started there, and gave up for 15 years.


Every sci-fi fan should get on a Lensman obsession some time in their lives.


Oh, they have 20,000 Leagues.


And the Time Machine. Our outrage was a little premature.


I started there too, and was quite glad I stuck with it. I liked the first two just fine, but didn’t LOVE them until Equal Rites.


Yes, okay that is better. I missed that one apparently.
But as much as I liked Sandman Slim I would totally put in Nightwatch instead of that for modern fantasy.


And any space opera from that era but Lensman is awesome with things like instant communication across the galaxy. Inertialess FTL travel. Ray guns that will level cities. Yet everyone still uses slide rules.


Glad to see Dhalgren in there. Did I miss William Gibson and Lucious Shepard?


Would like to have seen Riddley Walker in there.


CHina Mieville is good, but, Perdido Street Station is not that great for a list like this. The City and The City would have been a better choice
I, Robot is quite weak for Asimov. The End of Eternity or The Gods Themselves would be better
No Greg Egan? If you ask me, Permutation City is much better than Altered Carbon and quite a few others on the list


Neuromancer is in the list.


This list does have one halfway-decent advantage: a third of the authors are women. It’s still mostly white and male. I’d prefer to see Barbara Hambly on the list over Suzanne Collins, at any rate. My lifetime would have been measurably better had I not wasted a couple afternoons of it on The Hunger Games.


Well yeah, a whole lot of “and Fantasy”, which does very little for me.

I think Sci-fi has gotten tougher to write. You have to get technical, scientific, now to do it well. So writers fall back on Fantasy.

Now I’ve seen the list properly, eh, its just a bunch of books the author likes. That’s fine. My list would be quite different. A matter of taste.


Speaking of the “Blade of Bannara”

I can’t believe the only copy of this I could find online was recorded by some idiot who thought it was real and then was deeply offended.

I read the whole damned series – a bunch of us passed it about in 7th grade, I think, and none of us could believe there hadn’t been litigation involved – although maybe if there had been he could have claimed satire.


An entirely reasonable list, and the primary purpose of creating any list of “N works to be read in a lifetime” is to argue about how X was included when Y was clearly overlooked, what deserves to be on such a list, and why.

I just want to whinge about the recent(?) tendency to treat “science fiction and fantasy” as a monolithic genre and would much rather see two separate lists. Because I cannot abide in a world where ‘Guilty Pleasures’ makes the cut while Vonnegut, Banks, and Reynolds fail to claim a spot at all!

And is Solaris really Lem’s best work? Wouldn’t Fiasco or The Cyberiad have been better choices? Oh goodness me, I’ve started already. Time to get the blood pressure meds.

EDIT: As noahdjango rightly points out, I missed Slaughterhouse Five in my rush to feel indignant. I stand by my original complaint regarding Banks and Reynolds, however. :smiley:


There was gonna be hell to pay if DNA wasn’t on that list.

I’m happy to see “Stranger in a Strange Land” there as well.