?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

a science fiction reading list

via sistercoyote, a list of science fiction books. Don't know how the list got compiled. I haven't even heard of some of these, which I find kind of odd given how much I think I know about SF.



Bold = I've read

2. Foundation, by Isaac Asimov On first read, I was a young purist and I didn't like how the millennia-into-the-future characters who roamed an entire galaxy acted just like 1950s humans. Second read, I overlooked that and I liked it better.
3. Dune, by Frank Herbert Liked very much on first and second read. Even liked the movie and the recent TV movie. Enjoy the OH's story about a friend of his who bragged that he could describe any plot in one sentence. The OH challenged him to describe the plot of Dune. He said "Two gangs fight it out over the drug trade."
4. Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick Recent read. A bit weirder and more disjointed than I prefer, but not as much as some Dick novels. And lots of food for thought.
5. Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein
6. Valis, by Philip K. Dick
7. Frankenstein, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley I know it's a classic and all, but enh.
8. Gateway, by Frederick Pohl Recent read. Interesting, but felt kinda dated to me for some reason.
9. Space Merchants, by C.M. Kornbluth & Frederick Pohl
10. Earth Abides, by George R. Stewart
11. Cuckoo’s Egg, by C.J. Cherryh
12. Star Surgeon, by James White
13. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick
14. Radix, by A.A. Attanasio
15. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke Read when very young, trying to understand the movie. It helped explain the movie. But not at all one of my favorite Clarkes; I used to read Clarkes like candy when I was a kid.
16. Ringworld, by Larry Niven Read when young, was too neep-neep for me at the time.
17. A Case of Conscience, by James Blish
18. Last and First Man, by Olaf Stapledon
19. The Day of the Triffids, by John Wyndham
20. Way Station, by Clifford Simak
21. More Than Human, by Theodore Sturgeon
22. Gray Lensman, by E. E. “Doc” Smith
23. The Gods Themselves, by Isaac Asimov I kinda liked it.
24. The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. Le Guin I'm a big Le Guin fan.
25. Behold the Man, by Michael Moorcock
26. Star Maker, by Olaf Stapledon
27. The War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells I seem to recall trying to read it as a kid and not liking it much.
28. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne See #27.
29. Heritage of Hastur, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
30. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
31. The Stars My Destination, by Alfred Bester Bester is a recent discovery for me and I adore him.
32. Slan, by A.E. Van Vogt
33. Neuromancer, by William Gibson I love the cyberpunk style, but the plot was pretty thin.
34. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card Recent read. Despite its being politically incorrect to like Card, both for his homophobia and for his child abuse and sadism fetishes, I really liked both the short story and the novel.
35. In Conquest Born, by C.S. Friedman I read it about 10 years ago and liked it, but I can't remember anything else about it.
36. Lord of Light, by Roger Zelazny People generally seem to think that based on my interest in spiritual matters, I ought to like Zelazny. And I want to like Zelazny. But I haven't really managed yet. So far I've found his stuff kind of obscure and rambly.
37. Eon, by Greg Bear
38. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey Read most of the McCaffreys as a teenager; liked them, but have no particular interest in reading more.
39. Journey to the Center of the Earth, by Jules Verne
40. Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein I remember that my father had a copy of this, and I thought I had read it, but I can't remember anything about it. So maybe I just poked around in it.
41. Cosm, by Gregory Benford
42. The Voyage of the Space Beagle, by A.E. Van Vogt
43. Blood Music, by Greg Bear Fairly recent read. I found it fascinating, even though I wasn't quite sure what the point was.
44. Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress
45. Omnivore, by Piers Anthony
46. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
47. Mission of Gravity, by Hal Clement
48. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, by Philip Jose Farmer Tried and gave up.
49. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley Read as a teenager, thought it was kind of weird. May try again later.
50. The Man Who Folded Himself, by David Gerrold
51. 1984, by George Orwell Read as a teenager, got it, but didn't really like the book. May try again later.
52. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyl And Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
53. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson Wild romp. Liked it a lot.
54. Flesh, by Philip Jose Farmer
55. Cities in Flight, by James Blish
56. Shadow of the Torturer, by Gene Wolfe Liked the first one in the series a lot; it got too obscure for me after that.
57. Startide Rising, by David Brin Liked it a lot.
58. Triton, by Samuel R. Delany
59. Stand on Zanzibar, by John Brunner Recent read. Loved it!
60. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess I read this in grade school. I don't know how I got my hands on a copy. I loved it. That may explain a few things about me.
61. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury sistercoyote says "(anyone who hasn't read this one should.)" I didn't like it the first time around (I was young), but I recently re-read it after reading Bradbury's excellent Zen and the Art of Writing. Reading the writing book helped me understand how Bradbury goes about writing, and that helped me enjoy it more this time. It's not for everyone, though, even though the message is very important.
62. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter Miller Read as a teenager, liked it a lot. I think I started reading it again recently and got distracted. Should read again.
63. Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes In 7th grade we did a play based on this, and I read it then. Liked it as I recall.
64. No Blade of Grass, by John Christopher
65. The Postman, by David Brin
66. Dhalgren, by Samuel Delany As a teenager I started it a few times and couldn't get very far. It's on my list to try again.
67. Berserker, by Fred Saberhagen
68. Flatland, by Edwin Abbot
69. Planiverse, by A.K. Dewdney
70. Dragon’s Egg, by Robert L. Forward
71. Downbelow Station, by C.J. Cherryh
72. Dawn, by Octavia E. Butler
73. Puppet Masters, by Robert Heinlein
74. The Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis Really excellent.
75. Forever War, by Joe Haldeman Good.
76. Deathbird Stories, by Harlan Ellison
77. Roadside Picnic, by Boris Strugatsky & Arkady Strugatsky
78. The Snow Queen, by Joan Vinge It's not bad really, but I kept having problems sympathizing with the characters. They seemed too drama-queeny.
79. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury As a teenager, I read it and only liked one story, the one about the empty house. I re-read it recently and liked more of the stories, but I still liked the one about the empty house the best. It haunts me.
80. Drowned World, by J.G. Ballard
81. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut Devoured Vonneguts as a teenager.
82. Red Mars, by Kim Stanley Robinson It's really thoroughly researched and comprehensive and all, but the characters seem really thinly drawn and the writing style is to me deadly dull. I read this one but don't plan to read the sequels.
83. Upanishads, by Various
84. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll As a kid I used to pore over an annotated version my father had.
85. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams Liked it OK, but the radio play version is definitive.
86. The Lathe of Heaven, by Ursula K. Le Guin Didn't really get it on first read as a teenager, re-read it recently after watching both the movie from the 70s and the new TV movie. Liked it a lot better this time. (Didn't think the movies did it justice.)
87. The Midwich Cuckoos, by John Wyndham
88. Mutant, by Henry Kuttner
89. Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem Liked it on my first read a while back. Plan to read it again after I've watched the old movie and the new movie.
90. Ralph 124C41+, by Hugo Gernsback
91. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
92. Timescape, by Gregory Benford Plot and ideas are quite interesting, but I found the characters annoying.
93. The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester See #31.
94. War with the Newts, by Karl Kapek
95. Mars, by Ben Bova
96. Brain Wave, by Poul Anderson
97. Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
98. The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton Read as a kid after watching the movie. Loved both at the time. Don't know if they would stand the test of time.
99. Camp Concentration, by Thomas Disch
100. A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Comments

( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:17 am (UTC)
Oops, I left out
1. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke This is one of the Clarkes I devoured like candy when I was a kid. I wonder if I would still like it today.
wild_irises
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC)
I bet you would. It's sexist (of course), but it's still very, very good.
gregbo
Aug. 11th, 2004 05:55 pm (UTC)
I was wondering why Childhood's End wasn't on the list at first. I was in the used bookstore in PA near Borders the other day and sort of skimmed through it to remind myself of the plot. Sexist? Hmmm ... because there are no female characters? I didn't feel the book was anti-women.

I've never read The Postman, but saw the movie. I'll have to try the book sometime.

Regarding HHGttG, I read the whole thing and knew lots of people who were seriously into it (they patterned MIT's EECS computer facility after it back in 1981). However, I never really got into it ... the humor just sort of went over my head.
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)
The radio play of HHGttG is leaps and bounds funnier than the book, and you might like it even if you didn't like the book. The book was actually written after the radio play, or at least after it had begun.
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:06 pm (UTC)
Ah so. The blurbs are kinda cute!
marykaykare
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:41 am (UTC)
That's a really peculiar list. I've read most of it, but it's a really peculiar list. If I didn't have 60 different things I should be doing right now, I'd like to spend time trying to figure out a rationale.

I'd recommend Triton over Dhalgren if you want to do Delany. I mean, I liked Dhalgren, but I've got really weird literary tastes.

MKK
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC)
I've got Triton too, I think.
wild_irises
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:42 am (UTC)
Which ones haven't you heard of?
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:53 am (UTC)
In a number of cases I've not heard of the particular book, which doesn't surprise me, but what does surprise me is when I haven't even heard of the author (those are bold in the following list):
6. Valis, by Philip K. Dick
12. Star Surgeon, by James White
13. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, by Philip K. Dick
14. Radix, by A.A. Attanasio
25. Behold the Man, by Michael Moorcock
26. Star Maker, by Olaf Stapledon
29. Heritage of Hastur, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
37. Eon, by Greg Bear
41. Cosm, by Gregory Benford
44. Beggars in Spain, by Nancy Kress
45. Omnivore, by Piers Anthony
54. Flesh, by Philip Jose Farmer
64. No Blade of Grass, by John Christopher
69. Planiverse, by A.K. Dewdney
70. Dragon’s Egg, by Robert L. Forward
72. Dawn, by Octavia E. Butler
76. Deathbird Stories, by Harlan Ellison
77. Roadside Picnic, by Boris Strugatsky & Arkady Strugatsky
80. Drowned World, by J.G. Ballard
87. The Midwich Cuckoos, by John Wyndham
88. Mutant, by Henry Kuttner
90. Ralph 124C41+, by Hugo Gernsback
91. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
94. War with the Newts, by Karl Kapek
96. Brain Wave, by Poul Anderson
wordweaverlynn
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:12 pm (UTC)
I never heard of some of them, either.

Henry Kuttner was mid-twentieth century. -- a good skillful writer who often collaborated with his wife, C.L. Moore, usually as "Lewis Padgett." My favorites of his/theirs include "Mimsy Were the Borogoves" and "Vintage Season."

Richard Matheson writes SF, horror, and one incredibly romantic time-travel novel. He wrote the Star Trek episode in which Kirk splits, so the Good Kirk is ineffective and the Bad Kirk is dangerous. I also love his short story, "No Such Thing as a Vampire."

Karl Kapek is the Czech playwright who came up with the word "robot."
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC)
Ah, I've heard of Lewis Padgett. And the fact that Matheson wrote a Star Trek episode may explain why his name sounds vaguely familiar even though I knew I hadn't really heard of him. Thanks for the introductions!
wild_irises
Aug. 11th, 2004 04:33 pm (UTC)
Attanasio is effectively a one-book author. RADIX always looked pretentious to me, and I haven't read it. John Christopher is a British author most popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Aside from NO BLADE, which is a dystopian future novel, he's well known for charming young adult science fiction from that period. PLANIVERSE is a book I've barely heard of, and it used to be my profession. The Strugatsky brothers were the best and most famous of the translated Russian SF writers of the 1970s. ROADSIDE PICNIC is marvelous. Richard Matheson is actually a very famous horror writer, and also well known for SOMEWHERE IN TIME, which was made into a fairly major motion picture.

Lynn explicated the others.
epi_lj
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:40 pm (UTC)
I remember liking the beginning of Valis, but not finishing it due to time/life constraints/interference. I recall liking Eon, but recall nothing about it whatsoever, so I can make no statements about it at all. I haven't read Drowned World, but I enjoyed Ballards, "Unlimited Dream Company," the most of what I've read of his.

I haven't read Planiverse, but I've heard of it. It seemed to be conceptually related to Flatland, enough so that including both on the list was odd.
gregbo
Aug. 11th, 2004 06:03 pm (UTC)
Do you remember a post-apocalyptic movie from the 1970s called The Omega Man? I Am Legend was the basis for it. I'll have to check this book also.
jodawi
Aug. 11th, 2004 10:01 pm (UTC)
roadside picnic one of my favorites of all time

pir_anha
Aug. 13th, 2004 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: a science fiction reading list
i've never even heard of dewdney either. but that's actually the only one on that list of whom i've never heard. huh. i must have read more SFF than i thought.

but i've never read anything by hugo gernsback.
jinian
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:50 am (UTC)
Someone else who doesn't care about Lord of Light! Yay!

It's definitely an odd list. Of the ones you haven't read, I think you might like Beggars in Spain. It has its problems, but I found it quite good.
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:54 am (UTC)
Thanks! I trust your recommendations.
jinian
Aug. 11th, 2004 05:27 pm (UTC)
That's very good to hear. Thank you.
meirion
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:07 pm (UTC)
gosh, re: timescape. that is, by an order of magnitude, my most loved SF book ever. i buy it for people; i peddle it at people. and certainly the cambridge characters are all too true to form and acutely observed. (plus i learned one of the most subtle {modern english}/{archaic english/modern american/cambridge institutional bodies} grammar differences i know of from that book ...

-m
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:10 pm (UTC)
plus i learned one of the most subtle {modern english}/{archaic english/modern american/cambridge institutional bodies} grammar differences i know of from that book

Which is?

I think that I found some of the characters annoying precisely because they seem accurately drawn...
epi_lj
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:35 pm (UTC)
I was going to ask where #1 went until I saw your comment. :) I've tried to read Red Mars on a number of occasions, and I get about fifty pages in before I'm so bored I'd rather drill my own teeth. For many of these, I haven't read the indicated book but have read others by the same author (or I have read the indicated book but preferred others by the same author). Still, this might be a neat list to work through just to get an overview. I should do that. I've read mightily few of these.
firecat
Aug. 11th, 2004 12:48 pm (UTC)
For many of these, I haven't read the indicated book but have read others by the same author (or I have read the indicated book but preferred others by the same author

Same here.

After WorldCon in San Jose a few years ago, I decided I needed a proper overview of SF, and I began reading my way through all the books that won the Hugo and/or Nebula award. It includes many books on the above list, and some authors on the above list for different books. It also includes several authors not on this list which really should be, such as Vernor Vinge and Lois McMaster Bujold.

I think I'll make a new journal entry about that, actually.
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

March 2018
S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by chasethestars