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Top 50 sci fi books (take note, Steph)

Discussion in 'The Iron Maidens' started by Melisan, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Melisan

    Melisan Member

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    The list is in descending order. Stupid HTML monkeys screwed up the numbers.

    How embarrassing, I've only read 6 of them. But I'm glad to see Terry Brooks make it, despite decades of slagging that he ripped off Tolkein. Tolkein wasn't exactly dealing with original material, ya know.

    http://www.sfbc.com/doc/content/sitelets/FSE_Sitelet_Theme_2.jhtml?SID=nmsfctop50&_requestid=15730

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

    Mr Toast Threadslayer

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    Well...

    I've only read 7 on that list (Tolkein, Asimov, Heinlein, McCaffrey), but I have read some of the works of two other authors on the list (Clarke, Blish)...

    And on a related note, Michael A. Stackpole has written some great books as well and I highly recommend checking his stuff out!

    Mike's homepage:
    www.stormwolf.com
    ;)
     
  3. alanbirdsell

    alanbirdsell That's gonna leave a mark

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    I got about a dozen under my belt. Some don't strike me as Sci-Fi, but oh well. I loved The Moorcock books about Elric. The BOC songs Black Blade and Veteran of the Psychic Wars are about Elric and Stormbringer. Hawkwind's The Chronicles of the Black Sword are also about Elric and Stormbringer. Stephen R. Donaldson used to live here in Spokane and worked at the Albertsons a couple miles from here. :Spin:

    Well, the one's I've read are as follows:

    # The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
    # Dune, Frank Herbert
    # Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
    # Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
    # The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
    # Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
    # Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
    # The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
    # The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    # Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
    # The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
    # Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
     
  4. Melisan

    Melisan Member

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    Heh here's my list:

    # Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
    # Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
    # The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    # The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
    # Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
    # The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks

    I agree, the Stormbringer series is fantastic. Just nothing you have read before, a totally different and screwed up concept. It was my favorite of the Eternal Champions series.

    I tried to read LotR, really, but found it intolerable. Its pacing was so slow it was ridiculous. When I read three consecutive paragraphs involving Frodo debating whether to go left or right at a crossroads, that was it for me.

    I am surprised that they left Valis by PKD off the list. And quite frankly, of all the HP books, Prisoner of Azkaban was her best, not Sorcerer's Stone.
     
  5. alanbirdsell

    alanbirdsell That's gonna leave a mark

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    You could always go for Harvard Lampoon's Bored of the Rings with the ever loveable Dildo Baggins... :saint:
     
  6. Yetti

    Yetti Active Member

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  7. Mr Toast

    Mr Toast Threadslayer

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    Is that book STILL available!?! Ahh, the adventures of Goodgulf, Giblet, LegOLamb and the gang... I've heard rumors but never read it!
    :D


    The Silmarillion is the real sleeper. I managed to read it completely through the first time (sheer force of will) but only made it 1/4 of the way on the second read before I gave up...
    :zzz:
     
  8. 97reb

    97reb doom classic

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    I don't see David Eddings' Belgariad books there. IMO, that was a hellova 5 book series.
    As I remember, I've read 12 of those books on the list. Need more time to read and play guitar, and drink and sleep and eat and try to have sex. Work is just no fun.
     
  9. alanbirdsell

    alanbirdsell That's gonna leave a mark

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    I have a copy from 20 years ago but I do see that it is available from Amazon as is a Harry Potter parody.
     
  10. Bruce Chickinson

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    Only read 7.5.

    I couldn't get through DUNE. I'm suprised Asimov is only on the list once and Anne Rice is fantasy. I'm suprised to see her on the sci fi list for the first Vampire story.
     
  11. feralkid

    feralkid Member

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    This is a SF list? What are Tolkien, Brooks, Rice, Moorcock, McCaffrey, Bradley, Pratchett, and Rowling doing on there?? Just because Tolkien wrote Lord Of The Rings doesn't mean it has to appear on every friggin' list. Anne Rice is the most overrated writer since Stephen King. Rowling...ugh. I can't stand that Hairy Pooter shit. It's kids' stuff. Richard Matheson is awesome, but he wasn't a SF author, either. Only two titles by Harlan Ellison, and he's an editor, not a writer, on one of those. And yeah, the obvious one by Philip K. Dick. Who compiled this list, Rolling Stone? [​IMG]:yuk:

    WHOA...try reading LONELY ACHE and JEFTY IS FIVE and I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM (the short story not the compilation book) and tell me Harlan Ellison is not a writer....heheheh. I think you have your wires crossed. He's edited a bunch of shit because he's like published over a thousand short stories and articles about sci fi and social commentary.

    But Yeah...if ROLLING STONE...compiled this...whatever!!! PHILIP K DICK is a fucking genius. I totally agree about RICE being over rated....I'll probably get shit from this...but whatever. My fave sci fi writers are so obscure they'd never get on the list except for Harlan Ellison...i love him because he's so fucking dark...i Love KEITH LAUMER too...he's unsung and no one has heard of him ..it seams...but his shit rules. Especially DINOSAUR BEACH.
     
  12. CT

    CT Member

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    Speculative Fiction would certainly be a more fitting interpretation of the genre of the list. It can get pretty difficult to sub-define categories, as many crossover multiple categories. I read Hitchhiker's Guide right after Dune. Hard to believe that these two would be in the same "best of" list together. I agree with your point about King and Rice, but their success lies in their ability to appeal to the masses. Not unlike what you see everyday in music. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy most of their books (King's The Shining will always rank high on my "best of" list), but one could certainly not exist solely on their efforts. I think it is arguable that Phil Dick could be at the top of the list (or very close) of the greatest fantasists of the 20th century, but does the average person on the street even know that the movie they just got from the video store (Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Impostor..etc) was based on the stories of someone named "Philip K. Dick?" Doubt it. And that's jumping right past the chance of most people actually reading the stories. Guess there could be two lists "Popular SF" (based on sales) and "Recommended SF" (based on interpretation by the readers).
     
  13. Bruce Chickinson

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    Hey FERALKID....I don't think we've met yet...glad you posted....I haven't had a good sci fi discussion since I was 19 and let's just say....**cough***I'm a little older now...***just a little ***ahem...

    Take a gander at LONELY ACHE and JEFTY IS FIVE and I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM (the short story not the compilation book) and tell me Harlan Ellison is not a writer....heheheh. I think you have your wires crossed. He's edited a bunch of shit because he's like writtend AND published over a thousand short stories and articles about sci fi and social commentary.

    But Yeah...if ROLLING STONE...compiled this...whatever!!! PHILIP K DICK is a fucking genius. I totally agree about RICE being over rated....I'll probably get shit from this...but whatever. My fave sci fi writers are so obscure they'd never get on the list except for Harlan Ellison...i love him because he's so fucking dark...i Love KEITH LAUMER too...he's unsung and no one has heard of him ..it seams...but his shit rules. Especially DINOSAUR BEACH.
     
  14. feralkid

    feralkid Member

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    [​IMG] Um, Chickinson...it's your own wires which are crossed. What was it Dan Aykroyd said in Ghostbusters? "Don't cross the streams!"


    I don't see how you interpreted my comment re: Harlan Ellison (known affectionately by his followers as HE) as a complaint. Well, yes it was a complaint...that only two of his books were on this list!

    You see...Harlan Ellison is my favorite writer.

    Any questions? :headbang:
     
  15. Bruce Chickinson

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    OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH ....anybody who knows me well knows...meee humble dip shit...

    he he.... I thought you were saying that he was not a WRITER but merely an EDITOR....

    In that case...................ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    He's my favorite writer too...and when I tell peeps that they say..."oh that's too bad...he's soooo dark." But I just love his stuff...I got to meet him a few years ago while he was recovering from his heart attack and it was inspirational. He's inspired my writing (short stories) but my shit is like toilet paper compared to is AWESOME work...
     
  16. CT

    CT Member

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    .... and screenplays, "The City on the Edge of Forever" Star Trek episode, "A Boy and His Dog" screenplay, episodes of the new and old Outer Limits "Demon with a Glass Hand" and new Twilight Zone ...etc...etc...etc. He's brilliant, no doubt. Met him a few times at autograph parties, he's quite a character in person, a bit on the volatile side, you just never know quite how he's going to answer questions posed to him. Plus, he wrote a couple novels pseudononymously (is that right?) early in his career that he absolutely hated. I've seen people hand him a copy of one of these books to sign and he literally rips them up in front of them. Yikes!

    I've got the ominous (1000+ page) NEMO Press "The Essential Ellison" hardcover sitting on my shelf that I do hope to get to someday. Read a lot of what is in there already other places, but it's on the (increasing) list of books to read. Who exactly was it that decided 24 hours was enough time in a day?
     
  17. feralkid

    feralkid Member

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    I idolize the man (who is also an influence) and have yet to meet him. I missed the talk he gave in Claremont a couple of years back by days. I hadn't checked the HE web site (which isn't updated as often as it should be) in a bit, and when I finally did, I kicked myself. :cry:

    I don't meet many people who figure HE as their fave writer. Usually Philip K. Dick, William Gibson, etc. Dick is awesome, but HE is the man!

    Don't say that. :err:
     
  18. feralkid

    feralkid Member

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    Doomsman (an Ace double) is one of them; he'd literally rip the paperback in half, sign the other author's cover, and hand that half to the fan.
     
  19. Steph Harris

    Steph Harris Maidens' Bass

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    Surprised to see Ann Rice on there. Lots of good stuff not on there. Anne McCaffrey is a name that takes me back- almost forgot about her. I think I'm going to tell the other girls about her "dragon" books: the protagonist (Menolly-did I spell it right?) was a talented female musician who, in the beginning, was never allowed to play because she was female. Almost everyone gave her a hard time. Anyway, things ended up working out for her - she even got 9 or 12 little dragons (something like that). I think the girls may identify with her. Thanks for the list Melison...maybe I'll get a book on that list that I haven't read yet (there were a lot of them) to read on our next tour.:)
     
  20. alanbirdsell

    alanbirdsell That's gonna leave a mark

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    The Michael Moorcock books are very interesting. There are 6-8 of them just in the Elric series, but they go quickly. Moorcock has and interesting concept. Also if you haven't read it Enders Game is excellent. :headbang:
     

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