The Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels … as selected by NPR


This is (supposedly) a list of the top science fiction/fantasy books as rated by those noted sci-fi (and they would call it that) mavens, NPR. The list is by no means complete, and there are a couple of authors I would have added to the list. But what the hell.  This was originally posted on facebook, on the 20th, but seeing as a host of others have brought it to the blog side, this lemming shall follow suit.
Those I have read are highlighted in bold.

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert (Only the first book, Dune. Then the sandworms ate my brain.)
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (Saw the movie, any number of times.  Probably should read the book.)
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein (Actually have read all RAH’s books/stories )
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
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
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
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
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
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
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
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
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 (Although I did see the movie)
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore (For those who are into computer gaming, this is a spin-off of the Never Winter Nights series of games.  Great games btw.  But never have read any fiction purely based on a game, this one included.)
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 (No, but his Harry Dresden series rocks.)
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock  (Pretty dark series, but Moorcock was like that.  For an interesting read, find a copy of his “Behold the Man”…sorta like “Life of Brian” without the giggles.)
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 (Though I loved this series, and started reading it about the same time I was reading the “Myth Adventure Series” by Asprin [and why wasn’t that on this list?]. they should have included Anthony’s “Incarnations of Immortality” Series, or used it instead…better writing all the way around. Or as someone else mentioned, his “Gods of Tarot” series.)
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

Not a bad list, for a bunch of nimrods at NPR.  So many authors and titles were absent.  (And multiple listings from any single author is just wrong.  And I liked a number of the authors they did this to, but that doesn’t make it right.)  Especially since there were so many quality reads which were missing.  Spider Robinson (if only for the Callahan series); Simon R Green, (John Taylor where for art thou?). If you are going to include Howard, than where is Burroughs?   If we are going to allow for Fantasy, how about C.S.Lewis’s “Narnia” series? And what about L’Engale’s “A Wrinkle In TIme”? I am sure there are others who I should mention, but names escape me for the moment.
And a bit tip of the squid lid to Leeann who had this on her blog.

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5 Comments

Filed under Harbor Life, Scribbles

5 responses to “The Top 100 Science Fiction/Fantasy Novels … as selected by NPR

  1. I can’t believe they had Ender’s Game at #3. it was written by a right wing crazy winger, after all.

    Great book, though.

  2. What Goodreads widget are you using? I couldn’t get anything to work on my site.

  3. Jay, I got that over at Goodreads. Will have to look over there and see where I found it.

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