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Stego

Stego's Reading List of SFF

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I put out an SFF Reading List a few years ago with about 500 works on it. People threw rocks. It was kind of amusing. Here is a far more condensed list of what I believe to be the seminal works of SFF since Mary Shelly's [b]Frankenstein[/b]. Limited to a mere 100. The paring down was heartbreaking.

This is my first reading list in years and is certainly an opinionated result of my years of amateur scholarship.

The only thing I [i]do[/i] promise is that there is merit in all of these works. Chances are you would fall in love with most, if not all, if you give them a chance.

[url="http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pMJdpQQ1pOrqRPrJt4GOhVw"]The List.[/url] <---Much easier to read in spreadsheet form.



Asimov, Isaac The Best of Isaac Asimov 1974

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Asimov, Isaac The Gods Themselves 1972

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Atwood, Margaret The Handmaid's Tale 1985

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Bakker, R. Scott The Prince of Nothing 2004-2007

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Ballard, J.G. High Rise 1975

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Banks, Iain M. Use of Weapons 1990

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Beagle, Peter S. A Fine and Private Place 1960

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Bester, Alfred The Stars My Destination 1956

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Blish, James Cities in Flight 1955-1962

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Brackett, Leigh The Long Tomorrow 1955

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Bradbury, Ray The Martian Chronicles 1950

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Bradbury, Ray Fahrenheit 451 1953

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Brunner, John Stand on Zanzibar 1968

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Bulgakov, Mikhail The Master and The Margarita 1940

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Card, Orson Scott Ender's Game 1985

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Clarke, Arthur C. Rendezvous With Rama 1972

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Clarke, Arthur C. Childhood's End 1953

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Clarke, Arthur C. The Fountains of Paradise 1979

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Crowley, John Little, Big 1981

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Danielewski, Mark Z. House of Leaves 2000


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Dick, Philip K. The Man In The High Castle 1962

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Dozois, Gardner Best of The Best: 20 Years of The Years Best SF 2005

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Dozois, Gardner Best of The Best 2 2007

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Dunsany, Lord The King of Elfland's Daughter 1924

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Ellison, Harlan Dangerous Visions 1967

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Ennis, Garth Preacher 1995-2000

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Ford, John M. The Last Hot Time 2001

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Gaiman, Neil American Gods 2001

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Gaiman, Neil and Pratchett, Terry Good Omens 1990

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Gemmell, David Legend 1984

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Gibson, William Neuromancer 1984

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Grimwood, Ken Replay 1987

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Haldeman, Joe The Forever War 1975

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Heinlein, Robert A. Starship Troopers 1959

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Heinlein, Robert A. Stranger In a Strange Land 1961

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Heinlein, Robert A. Have Spacesuit -- Will Travel 1958

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Herbert, Frank Dune 1965

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Hoban, Russell Riddley Walker 1980

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Huxley, Aldous Brave New World 1931

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Jackson, Shirley The Haunting of Hill House 1959


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Joyce, Graham The Tooth Fairy 1998

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Kay, Guy Gavriel Tigana 1990

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Keyes, Daniel Flowers For Algernon 1966

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LeGuin, Ursula K. The Dispossesed 1974

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LeGuin, Ursula K. The Left Hand of Darkness 1969

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Lem, Stanislaw Solaris 1961

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Lovecraft, H.P. The Dunwich Horror and Others 1963

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Lynch, Scott The Lies of Locke Lamora 2006

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MacDonald, George The Princess and The Goblin 1872

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Martin, George R.R. A Song of Ice and Fire 1996-Present

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Matheson, Richard I Am Legend 1954

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McCarthy, Cormac The Road 2006

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McDonald, Ian River of Gods 2004

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Meynard, Yves The Book of Knights 1998

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Mieville, China Perdido Street Station 2001

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Miller Jr., Walter M. A Canticle For Leibowitz 1960

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Moore, Christopher Lamb 2002

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Morgan, Richard K. Black Man 2007

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Newman, Kim Anno Dracula 1992

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Niven, Larry Ringworld 1970


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Orwell, George 1984 1949

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Pangborn, Edgar Davy 1964

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Poe, Edgar Allan Tales of Mystery and Imagination 1837-1845

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Pohl, Frederick Gateway 1977

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Pohl, Frederick and Kornbluth, C.M The Space Merchants 1953

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Powers, Tim The Anubis Gates 1983

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Powers, Tim The Fisher King Trilogy 1992-1997

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Priest, Christopher The Glamour 1985

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Robinson, Kim Stanley The Mars Trilogy 1992-1996

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Russ, Joanna The Female Man 1975

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Shelley, Mary Frankenstein 1818

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Shephard, Lucius The Best of Lucius Shephard 2008

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Shippey, Tom The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories 1992

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Silverberg, Robert The Book of Skulls 1972

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Silverberg, Robert The Science Fiction Hall of Fame Volume One 1970

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Simak, Clifford D. City 1952

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Simmons, Dan Hyperion 1990

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Smith, Cordwainer The Rediscovery of Man 1993

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Smith, Michael Marshall Only Forward 1998

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Stapeldon, Olaf Odd John 1935


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Stephenson, Neal Snow Crash 1992

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Stevenson, Robert Louis The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde 1886

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Stewart, George R. Earth Abides 1949

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Straub, Peter Ghost Story 1979

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Sturgeon, Theodore More Than Human 1953

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Tiptree Jr., James Her Smoke Rose Up Forever 1990

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Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of The Rings 1954-1955

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Vance, Jack The Jack Vance Treasury 2007

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Verne, Jules Journey To The Centre of the Earth 1864

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Vonnegut, Kurt Cat's Cradle 1963

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Vonnegut, Kurt Slaughter-House Five 1969

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Wells, H.G. The Time Machine 1895

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Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray 1891

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Wolfe, Gene The Wizard Knight 2004

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Wolfe, Gene The Book of The New Sun 1980-1983

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Wyndham, John The Day of The Triffids 1951

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Wyndham, John The Midwich Cuckoos 1957

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Zelazny, Roger Damnation Alley 1969

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Zelazny, Roger Lord of Light 1967

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The absence of Abercrombie casts serious doubts, not only on the validity of your list, but also on your taste, sanity, personal hygiene, and levels of manliness.

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Stego, you rule. :thumbsup:

I shall now endeavour to acquire the few entries in your list that I haven't read yet.

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[quote name='Joe Abercrombie' post='1697734' date='Feb 24 2009, 05.03']The absence of Abercrombie casts serious doubts, not only on the validity of your list, but also on your taste, sanity, personal hygiene, and levels of manliness.[/quote]



First your check bounces and now you lash out at me. You knew what was going to happen, fruitcup.

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Leaving off Mervyn Peake is either a massive oversight, or else your list is a bit too limited ;)

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YAY! Discussion!

Peake is overrated. He didn't invent goth and he didn't invent castle stories.

Gormenghast is not enjoyable to read. And it certainly is not as important to the genre as pretentious wankers like Moorcock would have us believe. It you said Robert E. Howard, I'd cry and say 'Uncle!' Fritz Leiber, I'd tap. Peake?

BAH.

He was a better artist than he was an author.


*ETA: He'd make the top 200. :D

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Dylan, don't be a wuss.... choose something to replace with Gormenghast! Start a really solid discussion.

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Not now. I'm leaving for work. Maybe this evening.

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No Ted Chiang? :thumbsdown:

He could replace one of the Heinleins :P

Three Heinleins? Seriously?

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[quote name='MinDonner' post='1697775' date='Feb 24 2009, 06.56']No Ted Chiang? :thumbsdown:

He could replace one of the Heinleins :P

Three Heinleins? Seriously?[/quote]


Yeah, it's absurd that anyone would cut it down to only three Heinlein's. Ted Chiang is a brilliant short story writer, but to even put his name in the same sentence as Heinlein is rank foolishness.



The Story of Your Life by Chiang is on the list, btw. why check before spouting off? I dunno either.

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[quote name='Stego' post='1697777' date='Feb 24 2009, 12.21']Ted Chiang is a brilliant short story writer, but to even put his name in the same sentence as Heinlein is rank foolishness.[/quote]

I agree, but probably for entirely opposite reasons.

Presumably the Chiang story is in one of the Dozois anthologies? Yipes, forgive me for not checking the entire contents of every book you posted on the list before snarking...

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But surely you meant for Brian Aldiss to be on your list? Or is there a punchline coming?

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Great list. I'm amused to see [i]Rendezvous with Rama[/i] (don't get me wrong -- I thoroughly enjoy the book) on there, especially after we were going to crash that panel for "most overrated novels" and nominate that one. :lol:

I'm unaccountably happy to see that neither [i]Amber[/i] nor [i]Grass[/i] are on that list. Two thoroughly overrated pieces of fiction.

I'm curious why you left off Octavia Butler, though (not arguing it, just curious). I guess her work can be alienating. But if it is OK to put the Jack Vance Treasury and HP Lovecraft on there, I think Paolo Bacigalupi's [i]Pump Six[/i] also deserves a place (what was considered novel length during Vance's heyday has been demoted to "novella" territory, which squarely jibes with a lot of Bacigalupi's work). Stylistically and thematically he is spot-on: engaging prose, compelling narratives, incisive commentary on current issues, interesting characters. (I'm pretty sure he's in one of those Dozois anthologies, but I think his collection merits its own place because of the larger thematic arc he mines in his stories.)

Also, out on a limb here: H. Rider Haggard?

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Aldiss is on the list too!!

As for his novels, well... his shorts are better, IMO. Who Can Relace Man? is fucking seminal. That's his best story, and thankfully it made it onto the list. As for novels....I really appreciate Hothouse. It's a very important book. Non-Stop is pretty damn fine and the Helliconia Trilogy are fascinating reads all. Some of those were cut, I'm afraid. (Non-Stop and Hothouse) I had to get it down to 100.

Please don't misconstrue me, folks. There isn't going to be some magical work I've not heard of of or some world-shattering author I'm completely ignorant of. These are just my top 100 recommendations. And I'll admit there is no science behind it and there is plenty of emotion. These are works I love and appreciate. These are not all the works I love and appreciate.



MinDonner, the Heinlein loathing is so done. It belongs in the same dust-bin as the Tolkien loathing. (And can I say that Richard Morgan made a complete ass out of himself in his recent article?)

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[quote name='Xray the Enforcer' post='1697836' date='Feb 24 2009, 08.51']Great list. I'm amused to see [i]Rendezvous with Rama[/i] (don't get me wrong -- I thoroughly enjoy the book) on there, especially after we were going to crash that panel for "most overrated novels" and nominate that one. :lol:

I'm unaccountably happy to see that neither [i]Amber[/i] nor [i]Grass[/i] are on that list. Two thoroughly overrated pieces of fiction.

I'm curious why you left off Octavia Butler, though (not arguing it, just curious). I guess her work can be alienating. But if it is OK to put the Jack Vance Treasury and HP Lovecraft on there, I think Paolo Bacigalupi's [i]Pump Six[/i] also deserves a place (what was considered novel length during Vance's heyday has been demoted to "novella" territory, which squarely jibes with a lot of Bacigalupi's work). Stylistically and thematically he is spot-on: engaging prose, compelling narratives, incisive commentary on current issues, interesting characters. (I'm pretty sure he's in one of those Dozois anthologies, but I think his collection merits its own place because of the larger thematic arc he mines in his stories.)

Also, out on a limb here: H. Rider Haggard?[/quote]



-I fucking sweated over Rendezvous. It was one of my hardest choices. I just could not put The Fountains of Paradise ahead of it.

-Butler is amazing. I love her work. She was a late cut because I could not whittle her down to one.

-Paulo is good stuff. Sort of like Chiang. And Link. When they are around for 25 years like Lucius Sheperd and have a great big Sub Press edition of their best, then that best will make the list, I imagine.)

-[i][b]She[/b][/i] by Haggard was one of my very last cuts. :(

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Bah, no fair. You want discussion, but only if it doesn't involve hatin' on Heinlein?

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[quote name='MinDonner' post='1697841' date='Feb 24 2009, 09.00']Bah, no fair. You want discussion, but only if it doesn't involve hatin' on Heinlein?[/quote]


Hate him if you want. He's the most important science fiction author that ever lived. His input staggers that of Asimov, Wells, Verne, Poe, Shelley, Gernsback, and even Campbell.

And as far as short stories go, and I say this as a fan of Ted Chiang, 'All You Zombies' is a far better short than anything Chiang has ever written. (I've read everything Chiang has ever published.)

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Doc Smith? Edgar Rice Burroughs? Thomas Pynchon?

And you put Lynch on that list? I mean, I know you lust after his beautiful, beautiful hair, but come on.

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