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The most significant SF & fantasy

 

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NEW: Viking Books and Series
I have a new section on the website that is all about viking books both historical viking and norse fantasy.

NEW HBO Series: A Game of Thrones
HBO is producing a series based on the George RR Martin A Song of Ice and fire series of books. To be released early next spring and starring Lena Headey and Sean Bean.

The Massive list of Fantasy Series
Looking for a series to read? Here is the biggest list of fantasy series on the web.

Award Winning Children's fantasy books
Awards are a sure fire way to find the best books in Childrens Fantasy.

The Heroes of Fantasy
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The Top 50 Science Fiction and Fantasy books of the Century
As judged by the Science Fiction Book Club. Nice explanation and list of the books. Good Guide for the best reading in SF&F.

The Top Selling Fantasy books at Amazon.com
Take clues from what others in the fantas community are reading and buying

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years



I ran across this list of books in the science fiction book club listings and thought it was pretty interesting. I just had to take a look and see how many of them I read and how I felt about their listing. The first thing that struck me was how they call these books “The Most Significant” which is an interesting way to phrase it. It leaves a lot of latitude and leaves it open to interpretation. Does it mean sales? Impact? Theme? etc. etc.

I guess it is a pretty tough task to compile a list like this because there are always going to be criticisms. For the most part I agree with the list and there were some things I was glad to see.

The Lord of the Rings is of course Number one and rightfully so. Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer barely squeaked onto the list at 50. I could disagree with this but at least it’s on the list. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone came in at 26 and as much as I am not a big fan of Harry Potter I have to think that if the operative qualification here is “Significant” then this book should be higher on the list. It seems to have taken a whole generation by storm.

Fantasy books are reasonably well represented in the list with A Wizard of Earthsea in 5th place -and deservedly so. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant come in at 23rd which is great. It’s a maginificent series of books.

A few other notables: Dragonflight is 21 and the Sword of Shannara is 48.

There is one thing that surprised me about the fantasy books on this list. With the exception of Harry Potter not one single fantasy book is less than 20 years old! We haven’t had a significant fantasy work in 20 years? What does this say about the genre? Is it a used up genre just swallowing itself in repetitions of the same old cliches?

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002

  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

Heres the List at the Science Fiction Book Club

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