Saturday, May 20, 2006

Science Fiction Lovers - The Rankings

I have always been a huge fan of Sci-Fi books. The genre has been around for better than a hundred years now having been pioneered by the likes of HG Wells and Jules Verne in the late 19th century. Remarkably even today Verne's and Wells' timeless stories of alien invasion and deep sea adventure continue to captivate the insatiable ranks of fandom. The books stand head and shoulders above the movies that have been made from them. There are a few exceptions but most sci-fi fans are ultimately disappointed by the efforts of Hollywood in the sci-fi arena.

Here is a list of the top 100 Sci-Fi books of all time - I have put in bold the ones I have read and I have given them my own 5 star rating guide. There are quite a number of great books that don't appear here and a number of top-notch authors (namely Ben Bova & Anne McCaffrey) who are missing all together - so we may all take umbrage with this list but it was the best I could find. One way or another we all have a lot of good reading ahead...

1 Frank Herbert Dune ****
2 Orson Scott Card Ender's Game *****
3 Isaac Asimov Foundation
4 Douglas Adams Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
5 George Orwell 1984 ****
6 Robert A Heinlein Stranger in a Strange Land ***
7 Aldous Huxley Brave New World
8 Arthur C Clarke 2001: A Space Odyssey
9 Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451
10 Isaac Asimov I, Robot
11 Robert A Heinlein Starship Troopers
12 William Gibson Neuromancer
13 Larry Niven Ringworld ****
14 Philip K Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
15 H G Wells The Time Machine ****
16 Arthur C Clarke Childhood's End ****
17 Arthur C Clarke Rendezvous With Rama
18 Dan Simmons Hyperion *****
19 H G Wells The War of the Worlds ***
20 Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse Five
21 Orson Scott Card Speaker for the Dead
22 Joe Haldeman The Forever War
23 Robert A Heinlein The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
24 Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles
25 Neal Stephenson Snow Crash
26 Ursula K Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness
27 Niven & Pournelle The Mote in God's Eye ****
28 Madeleine L'Engle A Wrinkle In Time
29 Orson Scott Card Ender's Shadow
30 Philip K Dick The Man in the High Castle
31 Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange
32 Frederik Pohl Gateway *****
33 Daniel Keyes Flowers for Algernon
34 Neal Stephenson Cryptonomicon 1999
35 Walter M Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz
36 Roger Zelazny Lord of Light
37 Jules Verne 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ***
38 Isaac Asimov The Caves of Steel
39 Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination
40 John Wyndham The Day of the Triffids
41 Stanislaw Lem Solaris
42 Kurt Vonnegut Cat's Cradle
43 Philip K Dick UBIK
44 Isaac Asimov The Gods Themselves
45 Mary Shelley Frankenstein
46 Michael Crichton Jurassic Park
47 Robert A Heinlein Time Enough For Love
48 Isaac Asimov The End Of Eternity
49 Kurt Vonnegut The Sirens of Titan
50 Vernor Vinge A Fire Upon the Deep
51 Alfred Bester The Demolished Man
52 Kim Stanley Robinson Red Mars
53 Niven & Pournelle Lucifer's Hammer ****
54 L Ron Hubbard Battlefield Earth *****
55 Ursula K Le Guin The Dispossessed
56 Philip José Farmer To Your Scattered Bodies Go
57 Iain M Banks Player Of Games]
58 Margaret Atwood The Handmaid's Tale
59 Greg Bear Eon ***
60 Gene Wolfe The Shadow of the Torturer
61 Jules Verne Journey to the Center of the Earth
62 Iain M Banks Use of Weapons
63 David Brin Startide Rising
64 John Wyndham The Chrysalids
65 Harry Harrison The Stainless Steel Rat
66 Philip K Dick The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch
67 Robert A Heinlein The Door Into Summer
68 Connie Willis Doomsday Book
69 Michael Crichton The Andromeda Strain ***
70 H G Wells The Invisible Man
71 Peter F Hamilton The Reality Dysfunction ***
72 Neal Stephenson The Diamond Age
73 William Gibson Burning Chrome
74 Arthur C Clarke The City and the Stars
75 Carl Sagan Contact **
76 Mark Twain A Connecticut Yankee in KA's Court
77 Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde 78 Clifford Simak Way Station
79 Robert A Heinlein The Puppet Masters
80 David Brin The Uplift War
81 Audrey Niffenegger The Time Traveler's Wife
82 Edgar Rice Burroughs A Princess of Mars
83 Ursula K Le Guin The Lathe of Heaven
84 Robert A Heinlein Citizen Of the Galaxy
85 George R Stewart Earth Abides
86 Robert A Heinlein Have Space-Suit - Will Travel ***
87 John Varley Titan ***
88 David Brin The Postman
89 C S Lewis Out of the Silent Planet
90 Philip K Dick VALIS
91 Robert A Heinlein The Past Through Tomorrow
92 Greg Bear Blood Music
93 Theodore Sturgeon More Than Human
94 William Gibson Pattern Recognition
95 Clifford Simak City
96 John Brunner Stand on Zanzibar
97 E E 'Doc' Smith Grey Lensman
98 Stanislaw Lem The Cyberiad
99 Pat Frank Alas, Babylon ****
100 Roger Zelazny This Immortal


TJ Willms said...

Michael Crichton listed twice and no room for Bova or McCaffery? Sorry, this list of the "100 best" of all time lacks a great deal of credibility in my eyes. He didn't miss many of the really great writters but to pass over those two in this genre is unthinkable...

StaticNoise said...

Well here is the other list I found - not as satisfying - but at least McCaffery is there...
1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

al fin said...

The first list is pretty good. I have probably read almost 95 out of the 100.

The second list fills in some gaps, but includes a few I would have omitted. I read probably 42 or so from that list.

Some of Bova's books were pretty bad, but by and large he deserves a mention.