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Via The News Blog:

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002

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

Bold = we've read 'em
Italic = we read the first three chapters and now they're in a box somewhere
Times font = author is douchebag

Comments

( 35 cousins babbled — babble away! )
majkia
Mar. 10th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
ah relieved to see my all time fav most significant book is there, Lord of Light. Also, Cities in Flight which made me dream away many a night wishing I was on one.
tikistitch
Mar. 11th, 2007 01:11 am (UTC)
Two I've missed! Should I add them to the pile? I've read other stuffs by those authors.
majkia
Mar. 11th, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
oh yes, I'd say so. particularly Lord of Light
(Anonymous)
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:06 am (UTC)
"Times font = author is douchebag"

I agree with you that OSC is a douchebag, but he's still a darn good storyteller.
celesse
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
What! No Sword of Truth!?
tikistitch
Mar. 11th, 2007 04:09 am (UTC)
Oooo, who wrote that?
celesse
Mar. 11th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
Terry Goodkind <3 Sword of Truth is the name of the series, and Wizard's First Rule is the name of the first book. It is very well written and one of my favorite books of all time. I highly recommend it, you won't be disappointed!
(Anonymous)
Mar. 11th, 2007 03:42 am (UTC)
Others
No CJ Cherryh? No Varley? No Brust? No Lem?
tikistitch
Mar. 11th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC)
Re: Others
Totally agree with ya on Lem--maybe the Cyberiad, or Solaris.
farmercuerden
Mar. 11th, 2007 12:56 pm (UTC)
Re: Others
Aye, Lem is godly, he is. So's Brust. It's a very American-centric list.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:08 am (UTC)
OS Card
I don't know much about OS Card. Why do you dislike?
(Anonymous)
Mar. 11th, 2007 06:05 am (UTC)
Re: OS Card
Here's an example of Orson Scott Card's flagrant douchebaggery:

In his essay "The Hypocrites of Homosexuality" he advocates keeping laws against homosexual sex, "not to put homosexuals in jail," but to encourage gay men and women to have sex only in secret "so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity's ability to provide rules." In the same essay, he claims to have a number of homosexuals as "dear friends" and speaks out against the use of "ugly words like faggot."

(from wikipedia)
tikistitch
Mar. 11th, 2007 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: OS Card
Mostly, that's it, plus he's a living author and still rattling on about his weird attitudes (I assume I love at least a few books by dead authors who, in their day, were assholes). I'm also a person who's just not blown away by his books. I wasn't terribly impressed with Ender's Game, and felt like tossing Wyrms across the room out of sheer annoyance. These were all read years before I became aware of some of his political ravings. I realize he's got tons of fans, and don't consider wankery a reason for anybody to remove his works from a list of significant books, I just feel if he's gonna keep being a douchebag, I'm gonna keep reminding everybody of that fact.
(Anonymous)
Mar. 12th, 2007 01:12 am (UTC)
Re: OS Card
I really hate judging the value of an author according to his political opinions.
tikistitch
Mar. 12th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
Re: OS Card
Actually, as I said, I thought he was a bad writer before I knew he was an idiot.
farmercuerden
Mar. 12th, 2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Re: OS Card
I neary threw Ender's game against the wall repeatedly when trying to read it. Got through it, but suspect it's one of those books you have to read at a particular age to see the merit of.


And it doesn't help that he's completely unaware of the British meaning of "bugger" ("to have anal sex") leading to lots of really unfortunate double entendres.
jabberwockypie
Mar. 12th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
And it doesn't help that he's completely unaware of the British meaning of "bugger" ("to have anal sex") leading to lots of really unfortunate double entendres.
That really made reading Ender's Game far more entertaining that it would have been otherwise.

I read it, then I thought to myself "Why the hell did I bother finishing that?"
tikistitch
Mar. 12th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
Oh, you did read Ender! Didn't care for it?
jabberwockypie
Mar. 12th, 2007 07:31 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
There were parts I was okay with for a while, but then I realized "Wait a minute, he's only supposed to be 5 at this part?! Has this man ever met a real child?"

The whole thing didn't sit quite right, so I read one of the sequels. This pretty sums THOSE up went far better and more accurately than I could: http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/b/card.xenochild.shtml

I even read "Ender's Shadow" and skimmed one of the sequels to that. At this point the reason I can think of that I would do that is mind control.
tikistitch
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:33 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
http://www.rinkworks.com/bookaminute/b/card.xenochild.shtml

Ha! That's awesome.

I'm heartened to find out I'm not the only peron annoyed by Ender.
farmercuerden
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:19 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
I had to stop reading it repeatedly to rant. Ye gods, what the hell was he thinking? Those political blogs as a campaign for power! His brother! All the deathsa that were supposedly fully justifid in a Neocon sort of way. Bloody buggering hell.
farmercuerden
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:21 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
I also swallowed back my snarky thought on my first comment. "...have to read at a certain age to appreciate. Preferably before you develop too many critical skills." It seems that was unnecessary.
tikistitch
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:27 pm (UTC)
Re: OS Card
Have you ever read Wyrms? The plot revolves around a 13-year-old girl who's destined to have sex with a giant bug. No, I'm not kidding.

annlarimer
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:35 pm (UTC)
"It's dreadful, but it's short."
Ender's Game blows big stinky chunks. The douchebaggery is just the cherry on top.
tikistitch
Mar. 13th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: "It's dreadful, but it's short."
Oh, Ann, always seeing the bright side!
farmercuerden
Mar. 11th, 2007 12:54 pm (UTC)
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
- Just couldn't get into it.
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
- Very new-agey dreck that everyone now uses as the Arthurian myth. Ugh!
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
- Should read this one.
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
- Came across this a little too late in my Asimov phase. Why is it I've only read all the really obscure Asimov like "Nemesis" or "The End of Eternity"?
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
- Really, really good.
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
- Nearly threw it across the wall repeatedly.
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
- Ugh.
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
- Didn't care for it.
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
- The playing with gender pronouns put me off.
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
- Blech. His knowledge of physics may be good, but his sociology sucks, and I'm not at all convinced about his biology, either. They cured all disease?
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
:Yeah, I was a Tolkien Geek. Don't remember much of it now.
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
- Another Tolkien ripoff. Ho-hum.
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
- I'm permanently off Farmer since I tried to read the Lavalite world, and realised he hated the only bearable character in it. Also that he wrote a book based on "What if we lived in a Lava lamp?"
tikistitch
Mar. 11th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Ah, another person who hasn't made it through Foundation. Allow me to shake your hand! I always feel terribly guilty about this, since I'm such an Asimov fan.

You made it through Silmarillion? My congratulations.

I actually started and stopped The Mysts of Avalon maybe 3 separate times. I just couldn't get into it! And then one day I started it again and simply couldn't put it down. I'm not much for new age either, I just found it utterly entrancing. Still a favorite.
farmercuerden
Mar. 11th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Heh. Aye. But, let's face it, it's not actually as engaging as I, Robot, say, it's just the one that Sci-Fi hacks decided to steal from a lot. It's influential, not necessarily Asimov's best.

I think Mists of Avalon probably wouldn't annoy me so much if it wasn't repeatedly taken as the real mythology. Particularly when fangirls start gushing.

From what I recall, Silmarillion is kind of a summary of books Tolkien never got to write. It would, bizarrely, work better as, say, eight volumes, to allow more characterisation and drama to the incidents.

Arr, weel.

farmercuerden
Mar. 11th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
Anyway, can we really trust a list whose only Pratchett is by far the weakest of the Discworld series?
jabberwockypie
Mar. 12th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
Good Omens should be on there!

Can't Interview with the Vampire be bolded AND in Times font?

Did you here how Anne Rice blew up on Amazon.com a few years back because people left bad reviews for her last Vampire Chronicles book? She also said they could mail it to her and get a refund, but all the books were returned to sender.
tikistitch
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:08 am (UTC)
I still want the hours of my life back I spent reading Queen of the Damned.
nitasee
Mar. 12th, 2007 09:02 pm (UTC)
Times font = author is douchebag

I didn't even have to scan the list to know that could only be Orson Scott Card. And I totally agree with you on that.
tikistitch
Mar. 13th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
He is renowned for his douchebaggery!
(Anonymous)
Mar. 19th, 2007 07:06 pm (UTC)
list
well, I could digest Anne Rice or J.K. Rowling (wll, to be honest - that is hard to swallow), but to see there is no Dan Simmons (Hyperion...) on that pitiful list of yours...
(Anonymous)
Mar. 28th, 2007 08:45 pm (UTC)
Re: list
I have a question, a friend(long since lost contact) once recommended a set of books to me, a trilogy/quadrilogy that were about a virus/zombies set in space. I can't remember name or author all I remember was they looked very big and they were black. If this rings any bells to anyone please let me know! The prize is a cookie :)
( 35 cousins babbled — babble away! )

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