Show your nerd! (NPR's science fiction / fantasy book poll)

Over on Facebook, Jenny posted NPR’s recent results of their Top 100 science fiction / fantasy book poll. (Printable booklist is here.) I’m including links to help combat the blowback from the “BBC thinks you’ve only read X of these books!” memes that have come around, amidst much shouting…

Here are mine, enshrined for posterity, and to remind myself that I really need to get back to reading. Bolded for finished, starred if I’ve only read part of the series, or I did not finish.

I would also like to say in advance that I hope I have read half of what Stephen’s read.

  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  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
  87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
  88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
  89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon ***
  90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
  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 
  100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

So 44 for me, but a couple were DNFs.

all tags: 

Comments

I’m surprised at how many I HAVE read - I enjoy the science fiction/fantasy I’ve read, but it isn’t my go-to genre. I’ve read 15, with half a dozen started and unfinished, and another nine that I own but have not started. I’m surprised that Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett isn’t on the list! Two that you have not read are on my list of all time favorites - The Princess Bride (the movie was good, but I read the book long before) and The Last Unicorn. I also read a lot of Ray Bradbury when I was in my late teens - couldn’t get enough of his weird but accessible stories.

Maybe 10 of those I haven’t read, including ones I didn’t finish. Loved the Mars trilogy, but Escape from Katmandu is my favorite Kim Stanely Robinson. Although “because of the Big Bang” still makes me laugh, so Mars is in my head forever.

Kind of surprised at some of what isn’t there, like Earthsea trilogy by Ursula LeGuin or the Witchworld series by Andre Norton. And why only Going Postal by Pratchett? Lists like this are always interesting.

Glad to see Jim Butcher listed, though I’d have included the awesome Desden Files series too.  Oh, my count is 4 :( (I need to read more).

For anyone who read The Pricess Bride, did you read the original or the shortened edition?

As far as I can tell, I read the original. The title page reads: “The Princess Bride - S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure - The “Good Parts” Version, abridged by William Goldman.” It also includes the first chapter of “the long-lost sequel,” Buttercup’s Baby. :-P

This book is the rare exception to the “book is always better than the movie version” rule, in my opinion. Nothing beats this movie!

The William Goldman version is the only actual version; it facetiously claims to be an abridgement, but it isn’t.  It’s well worth reading, though.  Yeah, the movie is probably better, but I have a soft spot for the book.

It’s interesting how many books we don’t share! I’ve only read a quarter of the list, but over half of what I’ve read, you haven’t!

I admit, The Time Traveler’s Wife never interested me. I love Outlander, so you’d think I’d want to read a romantic time travel novel, but there’s something about it that just doesn’t sound appealing. Maybe it was too popular, or I heard several negative reviews. *shrug*

I think it’s also interesting that both you and I have read more from the top of the list than the bottom - NPR ranked these titles, so supposedly the good ones are at the top (debatable, of course).

And you MUST read Brandon Sanderson. He is my very very very favorite, and I want to have his babies. (Don’t worry, Dave knows.)

I’ve read both The Time Traveller’s Wife and the Outlander series. I think the key difference is that time-travel is essential in the former, but for the latter it is a plot device. The Outlander series answers the question, “What happens if a 20th century woman with guts and medical training lived in the 1700s?” The Time Traveller’s Wife answers the question, “What would uncontrolled time travel do to someone’s love life?”

They definitely have different bases of appeal. Outlander is more romance-novel in feel, even if the writing is good. TTTW felt almost clinical to me; it was interesting to follow, but it seemed overwhelmed by the jagged discontinuities experienced by the couple.

August 16, 2011