13 August 2013

50 science-fiction and fantasy novels

Of the making of lists of books, there is no end.  Flavorwire has a compilation of fifty science-fiction and fantasy novels, of which I've only read about 15.  The image above is of protagonist Gully Foyle in Bester's novel about teleportation. 


  1. Without Theodore Sturgeon, there would be no LeGuin Dick, Vonnegut jr, Bradbury, etc. Truly Kurt nailed it by embodying Sturgeon as Trout -- the greatest modern American writer, relegated to anonymity due to his unwillingness to sell himself, and to the unfortunate context of allowing publishers to choose lurid titles and graphics for the bulk of his works. The Cosmic Rape being a brilliant example. So it goes, it seems.

  2. Freaky coincidence (if you believe in such things). I was thinking of this book today, one I've read only once, and not in decades. I was trying to remember the protagonist's (read "hero's") name and then I saw your post, after following a link from Bunk Strutt's page.

    "Gully Foyle is my name, and Terra is my nation, deep space is my dwelling place, the stars my destination."

    This is a must read. I put it right up there with Zelazny, Niven, and Heinlein. Do not miss this. I am going to find another copy to read and pass along, like I did the last one. Enjoy!

  3. List didn't include _Sinister Barrier_, by Eric Frank Russell. Perfect to read, by flashlight, under the covers when you're in mid-puberty.


  4. I've read 31, not counting the sequels, which would make the total quite a bit higher.

  5. what no olaf stapledon?

  6. My list would be somewhat different, but that is the thing with lists. Everyone has its own.

    My most personal deviation would be the inclusion of Pullman's Dark Materials. One of the few books in my whole life that I couldn't finish. I stopped reading at 95% of the second book and never ever had the urge to pick it up again. It didn't even engage me in a negative way. I just found it to be a waste of time.

    Having said that, one thing really stands out:
    The ommission of Orwell's 1984. That book is usually in every top 10 list of scifi. It's a classic not only of scifi but world literature as a whole. Everything else is a matter of taste (and probably reading experience, like the ommission of The Forever War). But 1984 must clearly be a mistake.


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