Top 100 Science Fiction Books

Over at Greg’s blog, he did a pretty cool thing:  he makes comments on the top 100 science fiction books and at the end he mentions how he has read 39 of them.  That is a bit more than myself.  Although, I am a bit annoyed that this list lumps books by series at times.  I will mention what I mean when it comes up.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Read it and would probably agree that it should be number one.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
I read this when I was young and enjoyed it, but definitely need to read it again because I do not remember most of it, nor did I fully grasp all of it.

3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
Should I read this series?  I keep thinking this would be a good one to listen to while I drive.

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
Is Sting in the book?

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
How can this series be ranked at number five when so many people hate the fourth book?  Also, if a series has not concluded, can you really rank it this high?  What if the series concludes with:  And then Samwell Tarly took the Iron Throne and ruled Westeros after eating the dragons.

6. 1984, by George Orwell
I read this book in high school.  Loved it.  Actually read it in one night when we were only supposed to read one chapter.  Ended up reading it again a few days later.  I reread it a few years ago for fun.

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
I read this one in school as well.

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
Never read it.

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Do not think I read this.

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
Loved it.

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
Never read this…INCONCEIVABLE!

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
I could see the argument as to why this series needs to be up here.  I am not finished with it yet.  Some of the books are terribly boring.  I am slogging my way through book ten right now, I feel like it will never end…

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
My brother had to read this in school, and it was sitting on the table and I picked it up and read it one night.  I was a weird child that way.

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Never read it.

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
One of the greatest comics of all time.  And yes, I have obviously read this one.

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
Nope, never read it.  Saw the movie though.

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
Nope.  This one sounds interesting though.

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
I currently listening to this one.  I am confused as to why this one is so high up on the list.  It is good, but not so great to be ahead of some of the others.

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
I read this one and thought it was pretty awesome.

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
I saw Young Frankenstein, does that count?

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
I would rank this one much higher, it has everything.

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

25. The Stand, by Stephen King
I think this was the first Stephen King book I ever read.  I could not put it down once I started it.

Okay, this is starting to get a bit long.  If I do not comment on it, that means I have not read it.
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
This is probably my favorite comic series of all time.  Although Transmetropolitan is up there too.  Such a tough decision.

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
I read all of these in school.  I liked all of them.

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
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
This was the book that got me hooked into space and also helped truly shape my atheism.  After this book, I read a bunch of Sagan’s nonfiction stuff and was just amazed by them.

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Read it and loved it.

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
I loved this book.  So upsetting that the movie is going to be terrible.

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
I have read the majority of these.  Love them all, they are simple and fun.

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
Interesting, I liked this book, much more than the first Kingkiller Chronicle.

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
Another book I read when I was very young.

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
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
I loved this series.
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
This was the first Star Wars series if I remember correctly.  Until then there was only the movie novelizations and Splinter in the Mind’s Eye (or whatever it was called).  Then Zahn wrote this series and gave us a new villain in Grand Admiral Thrawn.

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

So I am at 26 read so far and now have a few more to add to my reading list.  I am shocked that none of Joe Abercrombie’s books made this list as well as the Night’s Dawn Trilogy.  I guess everyone complains about something on a list like this.  Oh well.

4 thoughts on “Top 100 Science Fiction Books

  1. 4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
    Despite the somewhat cheezy eighties movie, the book was VERY good. I recommend it.

    5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
    I agree – shouldn’t be this high.

    6. 1984, by George Orwell
    If you liked this, read Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

    12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
    Book ten? You’re at the height of the bad part. It gets better soon.

    54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
    “So upsetting that the movie is going to be terrible” – Ha! You’re right. 🙂

  2. The Silmarillion, I did not think should be on this list. I think that because it was written by Tolkein and-at the time-was a brilliant prelude to the hobbit and lord of the rings to kind of explain how middle earth was formed, where the elves, dwarves, orcs, etc., all came from; however, it kind of read like the bible (which is what it is for the world of middle earth) mixed with an encyclopedia of information-you would probably like it.

    I still can’t get into the Dark Tower series. I was so put off by the second book that the 3rd and 4th are still collecting dust on my book shelf 2 years after finishing it, with no desire to actually continue.

    I agree with the Codex Alera series; I believe that it should be ranked higher, and they should add Butcher’s other money maker Dresden series on this list. Harry Dresden is my 2nd favorite fantasy character of all time.

    R.A. Salvatore’s Drizz’t series should be ranked higher in my opinion. It is a nice series to always fall back on if you are in a rut and tired of a certain genre. Drizz’t is probably one of the most in depth and conflicted characters ever created. I think it is his inner dialogue that does it for me, which is a big part of the series. He is my favorite fantasy character so far, though another character is climbing the charts.

    Joe Abercrombie should have his first law trilogy on this list. Logan Ninefingers is a very close 3rd favorite character for me.

    I am in the middle of 20,000 leagues under the sea. So far what I’ve come to realize, is that Jules Verne is a genius when it comes to using written language. Nobody writes like that anymore. I think the closest author to come close to Verne would be Stephen Lawhead, but lacking the same creativity. Everything now is written too simply and watered down. Jules Verne does not seem to hide away proper description to dumb it down for his audience. It is almost as if he wrote for people to follow his intellect and use their words. Which is probably why I am having trouble keeping up and rereading certain parts over and over again, haha.

    Oh, and Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” was a great book, but I don’t think it was top 10; and I recently bought the book of “The Princess Bride” and hope to get to it soon-After I finish reading the 4th book of Game of Thrones, which everybody has panned, but I have actually come to enjoy a little (200 pages in).

  3. I have read chunks of the Silmarillion, it is fine if you want a little backstory on stuff, but I did not enjoy it all that much.

    Jules Verne should be much higher. He pretty much invented the sci-fi genre (yes, I am sure you could argue for others). His books are fantastic, but he is also extremely interesting. I saw a documentary about him before and was blown away. He would read newspaper articles from all over the world and any kind of scientific journals. He would then catalog the new discoveries.

    He used this information for his books, that is why From the Earth to the Moon was so spot on. He found so many different theories about flying to the moon from scientists and just meshed them together.

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