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book list meme!

via james_nicoll, Paul McAuley's personal list of essential science fiction. (I don't actually know who he is.)

The ones I have read are bolded. The ones I am intending to read or re-read are italicized.

Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus MARY SHELLEY 1818

Journey to the Centre of the Earth JULES VERNE 1863 (I might have read it but I don't remember it.)
After London RICHARD JEFFRIES 1885 (Never heard of it, or the author.)
The Time Machine HG WELLS 1895 (I read it once but I don't remember it very well at all.)
The House on the Borderland WILLIAM HOPE HODGSON 1912 (Never heard of it or the author.)
We YEVGENY ZAMIATIN 1924 (Never heard of it, might have heard of the author once.)
Brave New World ALDOUS HUXLEY 1932
Star Maker OLAF STAPLEDON 1937
I, Robot, ISAAC ASIMOV 1950
The Martian Chronicles RAY BRADBURY 1950
The Dying Earth JACK VANCE 1950
Childhood’s End ARTHUR C CLARKE 1953 (I just re-read this.)
The Space Merchants CM KORNBLUTH & FREDERIK POHL 1953
Tiger! Tiger! ALFRED BESTER 1956 (I thought I hadn't read this, but supergee said it's better known in the U.S. as The Stars My Destination.)
The Death of Grass JOHN CHRISTOPHER 1956 (Never heard of it or the author.)
The Seedling Stars JAMES BLISH 1957
The Midwich Cuckoos JOHN WYNDHAM 1957
Starship Troopers ROBERT A HEINLEIN 1959
A Canticle for Liebowitz WALTER M MILLER JR 1959
Solaris STANSLAW LEM 1961
Hothouse BRIAN ALDISS 1962
A Clockwork Orange ANTONY BURGESS 1962
Cat’s Cradle KURT VONNEGUT JR 1963
Martian Time-Slip PHILIP K DICK 1964 (I really wonder why this one and not other P.K. Dick, which I think is much better.)
The Crystal World JG BALLARD 1966
Flowers For Algernon DANIEL KEYES 1966
Lord of Light ROGER ZELAZNY 1967
Pavane KEITH ROBERTS 1968 (Never heard of it or the author.)
The Left Hand of Darkness URSULA K LE GUIN 1969
Roadside Picnic ARKADY AND BORIS STRUGATSKI 1969 (Never heard of it or the authors.)
Dying Inside ROBERT SILVERBERG 1972 (I read Time of Changes and hated it.)
The Fifth Head of Cerberus GENE WOLFE 1972 (I read The Book of the New Sun but not this.)
Ten Thousand Light Years From Home JAMES TIPTREE JR 1973 (I read many of the short stories but not this.)
The Forever War JOE HALDEMAN 1974 (Meh.)
Inverted World CHRISTOPHER PRIEST 1974
The Female Man JOANNA RUSS 1975
Arslan MJ ENGH 1976 (Never heard of it or the author.)
The Ophiuchi Hotline JOHN VARLEY 1977 (I've read several other Varleys but not this.)
The Final Programme MICHAEL MOORCOCK 1968
Kindred OCTAVIA BUTLER 1979 (Just finished it.)
Engine Summer JOHN CROWLEY 1979 (I've read Little, Big and The Solitudes but not this.)
Timescape GREGORY BENFORD 1980 (Meh.)
Neuromancer WILLIAM GIBSON 1984 (Meh+)
Divine Endurance GWYNETH JONES 1984

Based on my feelings about some of the ones I've read, I don't think I will be using this list to further populate my own book list. But if there are any you especially like I want to hear about it.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
paul mcauley
i love his writing. he writes mostly hard SF.

paulmcauley is his blog feed


i've read everything but 3 books on this list, though i don't remember many of them well enough since this is a list of oldies.

the strugatski brothers wrote some of the best (translated) soviet russian SF.

john christopher is a pseudonym for british SF writer samuel youd, who also writes under several other pseudos. he mostly writes YA, but death of grass isn't a YA. much of his work seems to me post-apocalyptic; it's about people dealing with disaster.

MJ engh is mary jane engh. i liked arslan; i've read nothing else by her.

is meh+ worse than meh or better? :)

Edited at 2009-04-06 08:40 am (UTC)
Apr. 6th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Re: paul mcauley

meh+ is better than meh. I did like the writing style of Neuromancer but I thought the plot was a bit thin. With Timescape I thought the idea was good but I disliked the writing style and didn't care about the characters and there were annoying gender politics.
Apr. 19th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
Re: paul mcauley
I just read John Christopher's *Empty World* (I've previously read the Tripods series), but I didn't know that was a psuedonym, thanks.

Empty World: good post-apocalapytic for the first half. I liked the Tripods better.
Apr. 6th, 2009 10:47 am (UTC)
I know I've read Ophiuchi Hotline but don't remember much of it since it was so long ago. I've actually been meaning to re-read. My hubby recommends it. :)
Apr. 6th, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I've liked other Varley so I plan to read it. (My to-read list is probably longer than my available lifespan, though.)
Apr. 6th, 2009 01:06 pm (UTC)
I've read all but maybe five of these (and have heard of all but one of the authors I haven't read). That's my wasted youth for you.

What did you think of Kindred? That's the book on this list I've read most recently, about three years ago, and some images from it are still burned into my brain. Her "Talents" books are also well worth reading.
Apr. 6th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
Not wasted!

I read Parable of the Talents and although I thought it was an important work, I didn't like it; it was a slog for me.

On the other hand, I zoomed through Kindred, horrified and fascinated. I think the fact that it was based on historical truth (not the specific characters, but the general shape of the times) made a difference to me. Also the relationship between Dana and Rufus is twisted and complex in a way that really affects me. I'm working on a longer review.
Apr. 8th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
I like sci fi, but am not enough of a fan to make lists. There's an interesting test on OKCupid about women in sci fi. I certainly learned a lot. Yup, sexism is a thing of the past.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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