Time for another Top 100

I haven’t done one of these posts for a while, so I thought it was about time. I came across this post of the Top 100 Sci-Fi Books
. Apparently it’s “A statistical survey of the all-time Top 100 sci-fi books”. Whatever that means. There’s a link on the post where you can click to take part in the poll and it takes you to a massive list of SF titles and you’re asked to select ten of them. So by “statistical” I think they mean “voted”. Anyway, it struck me as an interesting list, so I thought I’d see how many of this alleged top 100 books I’ve read. The list is below. Sometimes you’ll see [S1], which means the first book in a series, or [C], which means it’s a single author collection. I’ve bolded all the titles I’ve read. The ones all in italics are books I have, but have yet to get around to reading.

1          Orson Scott Card        Ender’s Game [S1]      1985

2          Frank Herbert  Dune [S1]        1965

3          Isaac Asimov  Foundation [S1-3]       1951

4          Douglas Adams          Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy [S1]         1979

5          Robert A Heinlein       Stranger in a Strange Land     1961

6          George Orwell            1984    1949

7          Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451            1954

8          Arthur C Clarke          2001: A Space Odyssey          1968

9          Isaac Asimov  [C] I, Robot    1950

10        Philip K Dick  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?         1968

11        Robert A Heinlein       Starship Troopers        1959

12        William Gibson           Neuromancer   1984

13        Larry Niven     Ringworld       1970

14        Arthur C Clarke          Rendezvous With Rama         1973

15        Dan Simmons Hyperion [S1] 1989

16        H G Wells       The Time Machine      1895

17        Aldous Huxley            Brave New World       1932

18        Arthur C Clarke          Childhood’s End         1954

19        H G Wells       The War of the Worlds           1898

20        Joe Haldeman The Forever War         1974

21        Robert A Heinlein       The Moon is a Harsh Mistress 1966

22        Ray Bradbury      The Martian Chronicles    1950

23        Kurt Vonnegut            Slaughterhouse Five    1969

24        Neal Stephenson         Snow Crash     1992

25        Niven & Pournelle      The Mote in God’s Eye           1975

26        Ursula K Le Guin       The Left Hand of Darkness    1969

27        Orson Scott Card        Speaker for the Dead [S2]      1986

28        Michael Crichton        Jurassic Park    1990

29        Philip K Dick    The Man in the High Castle    1962

30        Isaac Asimov    The Caves of Steel      1954

31        Jules Verne      20,000 Leagues Under the Sea           1870

32        Alfred Bester  The Stars My Destination       1956

33        Roger Zelazny Lord of Light  1967

34        Frederik Pohl  Gateway          1977

35        Michael Crichton        The Andromeda Strain           1969

36        Madeleine L’Engle      A Wrinkle In Time      1962

37        Stanislaw Lem            Solaris 1961

38        Kurt Vonnegut            Cat’s Cradle    1963

39        Carl Sagan       Contact           1985

40        Isaac Asimov  The Gods Themselves 1972

41        Philip K Dick  Ubik    1969

42        Vernor Vinge  A Fire Upon the Deep            1991

43        Anthony Burgess        A Clockwork Orange  1962

44        John Wyndham           The Day of the Triffids           1951

45        Robert A Heinlein       Time Enough For Love           1973

46        Neal Stephenson         Cryptonomicon           1999

47        Kim Stanley Robinson            Red Mars [S1] 1992

48        Mary Shelley   Frankenstein    1818

49        Walter M Miller          A Canticle for Leibowitz        1959

50        Daniel Keyes   Flowers for Algernon  1966

51        Isaac Asimov  The End Of Eternity   1955

52        Jules Verne      Journey to the Center of the Earth     1864

53        Iain M Banks  Player Of Games [S2] 1988

54        L Ron Hubbard           Battlefield Earth         1982   < Seriously!?

55        Peter F Hamilton         The Reality Dysfunction [S1] 1996

56        Orson Scott Card        Ender’s Shadow [S1]  1999

57        Ursula K Le Guin       The Dispossessed        1974

58        Neal Stephenson         The Diamond Age      1995

59        Greg Bear        Eon      1985

60        Philip Jose Farmer       To Your Scattered Bodies Go            1971

61        Kurt Vonnegut            The Sirens of Titan      1959

62        David Brin      Startide Rising [S2]    1983

63        Philip K Dick  A Scanner Darkly       1977

64        Niven & Pournelle      Lucifer’s Hammer       1977

65        Margaret Atwood       The Handmaid’s Tale  1985

66        Arthur C Clarke          The City and the Stars            1956

67        Michael Crichton        Sphere 1987

68        Harry Harrison            The Stainless Steel Rat [S1]    1961

69        Robert A Heinlein       The Door Into Summer           1956

70        Alfred Bester  The Demolished Man  1953

71        Gene Wolfe     The Fifth Head of Cerberus    1972

72        Alastair Reynolds       Revelation Space [S1] 2000

73        H G Wells       The Invisible Man       1897

74        Robert A Heinlein       Citizen Of the Galaxy 1957

75        Edgar Rice Burroughs            A Princess of Mars [S1]          1912

76        Robert A Heinlein        The Puppet Masters    1951

77        Dan Simmons  Ilium    2003

78        Connie Willis  Doomsday Book         1992

79        C S Lewis        Out of the Silent Planet [S1]  1938

80        Robert A Heinlein       Have Space-Suit – Will Travel            1958

81        Edwin A Abbott         Flatland           1884

82        Cormac McCarthy       The Road        2006

83        Richard Morgan          Altered Carbon [S1]   2002

84        John Scalzi       Old Man’s War            2005 < I can honestly say this is one of the worst SF books I've ever read. 85        Philip K Dick  The Three Stigmata Of Palmer Eldritch         1964

86        Iain M Banks  Use of Weapons [S3]  1990

87        John Wyndham           The Chrysalids            1955

88        Ursula K Le Guin       The Lathe of Heaven  1971

89        Clifford Simak            Way Station    1963

90        Stanislaw Lem            [C] The Cyberiad        1974

91        John Brunner   Stand on Zanzibar       1969

92        Philip K Dick  VALIS            1981

93        David Brin      The Postman   1985

94        Robert Louis Stevenson          Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde          1886

95        Julian May       The Many-Colored Land [S1]            1981

96        Arkady & Boris Strugatsky    Roadside Picnic          1972

97        Greg Bear        The Forge of God       1987

98        Richard Matheson       I Am Legend  1954

99        James Blish     [C] Cities in Flight      1955

100      Arthur Conan Doyle   The Lost World           1912

There are a few on there that I can’t remember for sure if I’ve read or not. I think I might have, many years ago, but it’s equally possible I just thought I should read them but never got around it it. So I’ve left them. The bolded ones I know I’ve read – it’s not a bad showing, though how some of them have made it onto the best 100 list mystifies me. It has also, however, served to remind me of a hell of a lot of books that I haven’t read yet but really want to!

So I’ve read 41 out of that 100. How about you?

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6 thoughts on “Time for another Top 100

  1. I’ve read 80. I’ve also read a heck of a lot of equally good books that ought to be on that list and aren’t. Why isn’t Russ there? Or Lessing? I want to see a reversed list, where most of the top books are by women with just a sprinkling of equally good books by men. If you devise one, I promise to blog about it and how many books I’ve read from it.

  2. These lists are always so subjective. And fundamentally flawed. But I’m sure you’re far more qualified to devise the list you suggest than I am. Reading 80 out of 100 on this list is quite amazing!

  3. But a list made by a writer of dark action-y stuff is way more interesting to me than a list made by a writer of soft interstitial stuff who shares my views. In other words, I want to know what 90 works by women you’d put on that list, and which of the works by men would survive the culling.

    I’m a lot older than you (lots and lots and lots older – if I say it enough, you’ll believe me) and I’ve been reading SF since I was 7. It’s in lists like this that this combination of factors adds up bigtime.

  4. I hope you do it, for it will challenge a lot of the assumptions about these lists.

    How about I add a lure: I buy you a book missing from your final list (one you haven’t read and that I think belongs, obviously).

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