lolaraincoat: (leap!)
[personal profile] lolaraincoat
Following up on the NPR meme, a couple of you asked what my top 100 SF books would be, and since I can't ever answer a simple question straightforwardly, here's a list of SF-ish stories, books and series of books which I love, alphabetically by author because ranking seemed ridiculous.

I can't promise that I would come up with same list on any other day, mind you. Also my view of what counts as SF(f) is pretty expansive, though I left off fanfic because otherwise this list would be in the thousands. But there are a couple of books on here that are meta-SFF, more than SFF: The Short Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Among Others are about being a fan of SF, while The Blind Assassin and Funny Papers are about being a pulp fiction writer, as is The Escapists, which is also specifically a commentary on The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. If I could have figured out how to list them by author I might have included two text-intensive games, Fallen London and Myst. And so on.

Anyway, here you go:

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide series

Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

Lloyd Alexander, The Chronicles of Prydain

Paolo Baciagalupi, The Windup Girl

Iain M. Banks, The Culture series (although new research reveals I have not read them all.)

Donald Barthelme, "The Emerald"
Donald Barthelme, "See the Moon?"

John Brunner, The Sheep Look Up
John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar

Octavia Butler, Kindred

Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman's Union

Tom de Haven, Funny Papers

Samuel Delaney, Nova
Samuel Delaney, Triton
Samuel Delaney, Stars in my Pocket Like Grains of Sand
Samuel Delaney, The Fall of the Towers
Samuel Delaney, Dhalgren

Junot Diaz, The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle

Laura Esquivil, Como agua para chocolate

Neil Gaiman, the Sandman series

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

Robert Heinlein, Have Spacesuit, Will Travel
Robert Heinlein, Glory Road (I know, I know. Shut up.)

William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive
William Gibson, Count Zero Interrupt
William Gibson, Neuromancer

Lev Grossman, The Magicians
Lev Grossman, The Magician King

Zenna Henderson, The People stories (haven't read them in thirty years, don't intend to - I'm sure they're no good, but I loved them so much as a kid, so here they are.)

Henry James, "The Turn of the Screw"

N.K. Jemisin, The Inheritance trilogy

Diana Wynne Jones, the Chrestomanci novels
Diana Wynne Jones, The Tough Guide to Fantasyland

Stephen King, The Stand
Stephen King, The Shining

Rosemary Kirstein, The Steerswoman series (I'm not calling it a trilogy because I refuse to believe it's finished. Please please please let there be more of these someday.)

Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed
Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Ursula LeGuin, the Earthsea series

C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

Ken MacLeod, The Fall Revolution quartet
Ken MacLeod, Learning the World

George R.R. Martin, the first three books in the Song of Ice and Fire series (I've read the other two, I just didn't love them so well.)

Maureen McHugh, Mission Kid
Maureen McHugh, China Mountain Zhang

Carla Speed McNeil, the Finder series (haven't read all of these either.)

China Mieville, The City & the City
China Mieville, Embassytown
China Mieville, Perdido Street Station
China Mieville, The Scar
China Mieville, Un Lun Dun

Naomi Novick, the Temeraire series

Terry Pratchett, the Discworld series

Thomas Pynchon, V (the original steampunk novel if you ask me)

Phillip Pullman, His Dark Materials trilogy

Kim Stanley Robinson, Three Californias trilogy
Kim Stanley Robinson, the Mars trilogy
Kim Stanley Robinson, The Years of Rice and Salt (nobody else I know liked this book, but that just made me love it more, so there.)

J.R. Rowling, the Harry Potter series

Joanna Russ, The Female Man
Joanna Russ, Picnic on Paradise and the other Alyx stories

Melissa Scott, Shadow Man

Neal Stephenson, Anathem
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Bram Stoker, Dracula

James Tiptree Jr., "Houston Houston Do You Read"
James Tiptree Jr., "Her Smoke Rose Up Forever"
James Tiptree Jr., "The Girl Who Was Plugged In"

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Joan Francis Turner, Dust

Brian K. Vaughan et al., The Escapists
Brian K. Vaughan et al., Runaways
Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra, Y: The Last Man (There's so much wrong with this comic, but I'm a sucker for all-the-men-died stories. Don't judge!)

Vernor Vinge, A Deepness in the Sky
Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep (And I'm so excited that the next one in this universe is coming out soon!)

David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest

Jo Walton, The Farthing series
Jo Walton, Tooth and Claw
Jo Walton, Among Others

T.H. White, The Once and Future King

Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist


So what do we learn from this? I have a soft spot for novels by leftist Brits and I'm far more tolerant of series than I might have guessed. Compared to the NPR list, I'm slightly less biased in favor of male authors and significantly less biased in favor of white authors, but it's not like that was a high bar to clear.

And now, your turn: what SFF do you love, and why?


Date: 2011-08-16 01:26 am (UTC)
schemingreader: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schemingreader
Have you already read The Magician King? I want to read it, but haven't acquired a copy yet.

Date: 2011-08-16 01:41 am (UTC)
schemingreader: (Default)
From: [personal profile] schemingreader
What I meant to say was, if the publisher allows it, and if you haven't already "loaned" the book to someone else, I would love to "borrow" your Kindle copy. And if not then not.

Date: 2011-08-17 06:57 am (UTC)
thefourthvine: A book.  (Book)
From: [personal profile] thefourthvine
HI. Could we discuss the Culture series? I have for so long felt like I should read and love that series, and I keep starting Consider Phlebas and bouncing right off it. The problem is that there are no characters. I mean, there are names on the page, but no actual people, it feels like, in the beginning of that book, and that makes it hard for me to deal with the very questionable decisions the narrator makes, and eventually I am filled with loathing and stop reading.

BUT. If it gets better, I am capable of powering through it. Or if the problem is the first book, I am capable of reading spoilers and skipping to the second. Or if I am just reading it wrong, that would also be valuable to know. And I really do want to read and love these books. PLEASE TELL ME WHY YOU LOVE THE CULTURE BOOKS, is basically what I am saying. Feel free to spoil me as needed; I am not spoiler averse, and would much prefer to have them for things like, you know, my squicks. (Animal harm or death! Child harm or death! Embarrassment!)


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