50 Most Significant SF&F Books


The Sci­ence Fic­tion Book Club has a list of what they con­sid­er “The Most Sig­nif­i­cant SF & Fan­ta­sy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953–2002.”

I would­n’t have cho­sen the list quite the same. For one thing, Allen Steele isn’t rep­re­sent­ed at all, and nei­ther is Vic­tor Koman. John Var­ley and Con­nie Willis aren’t rep­re­sent­ed. Where are David Brin and Charles de Lint? Sheri Tep­per? Spi­der Robin­son? David Weber? How the hell can they jus­ti­fy hav­ing Ter­ry Brooks on a list that did­n’t have room for de Lint? And C.J. Cher­ryh is miss­ing? Where’s Andre Norton?

I may use the list as a read­ing guide, as I’ve only read 21 of them—but some of them I know just don’t inter­est me. I’m fair­ly sure that I tried to read Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep at some point, and it just did­n’t do any­thing for me. The same goes for The Sil­mar­il­lion (though Katie liked it). 

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foun­da­tion Tril­o­gy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wiz­ard of Earth­sea, Ursu­la K. Le Guin
6. Neu­ro­mancer, William Gibson
7. Child­hood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Elec­tric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Aval­on, Mar­i­on Zim­mer Bradley
10. Fahren­heit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Can­ti­cle for Lei­bowitz, Wal­ter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Chil­dren of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Mag­ic, Ter­ry Pratchett
17. Dan­ger­ous Visions, edit­ed by Har­lan Ellison
18. Death­bird Sto­ries, Har­lan Ellison
19. The Demol­ished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhal­gren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Drag­on­flight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chron­i­cles of Thomas Covenant the Unbe­liev­er, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The For­ev­er War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gate­way, Fred­erik Pohl
26. Har­ry Pot­ter and the Philoso­pher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitch­hik­er’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dou­glas Adams
28. I Am Leg­end, Richard Matheson
29. Inter­view with the Vam­pire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Dark­ness, Ursu­la K. Le Guin
31. Lit­tle, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Cas­tle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mis­sion of Grav­i­ty, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Redis­cov­ery of Man, Cord­wain­er Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Ren­dezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ring­world, Lar­ry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Sil­mar­il­lion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse‑5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanz­ibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Des­ti­na­tion, Alfred Bester
46. Star­ship Troop­ers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Storm­bringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shan­nara, Ter­ry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gre­go­ry Benford
50. To Your Scat­tered Bod­ies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Cyn is Katie's mom, Esther's Mémé, and a Support Engineer. She lives in the Atlanta area with her life partner, Rick, and their critters. She knits, does counted-thread needlework, reads, makes music, plays TTRPGs, and spends too much time online.
Posts created 4253

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Begin typing your search term above and press enter to search. Press ESC to cancel.

Back To Top
%d bloggers like this: