Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I've read in the past

Sabra did a nice post based NPR's Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels. She highlighted the ones she's actually read, and then she shared her beefs with the contents of the list.

I'm not going to get into the merits of the contents of this list (all such lists are subjective, and we're always going to disagree with what someone else has put together), but I thought I'd go back through it to see just how much of it I have read myself. I'm a big science fiction fan, and, though I don't get too many chances to read for pleasure, I'd like to think I'm fairly well read on the genre, especially the classics.

So, let's take a look at the list Sabra posted, and let's see if I know my stuff. (Bolded items are books that I've read, some with comments.)

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
I've read this many times. Hasn't gotten old yet.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Ender's Game was a very good read, but it felt like a self-contained book to me. I'd read that Orson Scott Card had turned the book into a series, but I had no interest in following up on it.

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
I love Dune. I don't care for the follow up books (I read through the next three), but I will read Dune again in a heartbeat.

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
I love this trilogy. I talk about reading these books here, here, and here.

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
This is one of my favorite sci-fi books. And the movie version just happens to be one of my favorite sci-fi flicks, though for different reasons.

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
This is a partial reading. I got through the first three of the Dark Tower books before I lost interest. But I absolutely love the Robert Browning poem that served as King's inspiration.

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
Wonderful. Simply wonderful.

25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
Another wonderful piece. This is actually a collection of short stories about Mars, and the work should never be taken as a serious piece of space travel adventure. It should always be viewed as a look at our world in the 20th Century through a Martian lens. In Bradbury's exquisite style, to boot.

28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
Very enjoyable. Weird and humorous, but also quite serious in spots, Ringworld and its sequels present a universe like nothing else.

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore (I've read a few Drizzt novels, but nowhere near all of them.)
74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven &Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
I read these books after learning of their existence from Alan, a fellow local blogger. Believe it or not, I hadn't heard about Lewis's science fiction works before that! In any case, I discuss these books here, here, and here.

So, I've read 26 out of 100 of the works on this list. I guess I'm not as well versed in the SF/fantasy genre as I thought I was, at least according to NPR listeners. But, as Sabra pointed out in her post, there are a number of authors on the list above whose works that I've read and enjoyed that don't happen to be on the list. Take Piers Anthony: I've read several of his books, just not anything from the Xanth Series as listed at 99. And I've read other things by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle that aren't on there either.

But it's an interesting list, nonetheless. And, if nothing else, it gives me some ideas for some future reads. When I have the time.

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