Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

NPR has released the list of fan voted sci-fi and fantasy books.

We have to agree on almost every one of these at least being included, although we are surprised The Stand by Stephen King came in at #25. Really? Really?

Here is the top ten:

1 The Lord Of The Rings
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien's seminal three-volume epic chronicles the War of the Ring, in which Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to destroy the evil Ring of Power and restore peace to Middle-earth. The beloved trilogy still casts a long shadow, having established some of the most familiar and enduring tropes in fantasy literature.

2 The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

In the first, hilarious volume of Adams' Hitchhiker's series, reluctant galactic traveler Arthur Dent gets swept up in some literally Earth-shattering events involving aliens, sperm whales, a depressed robot, mice who are more than they seem, and some really, really bad poetry.

3 Ender's Game
by Orson Scott Card

Young Andrew "Ender" Wiggan, bred to be a genius, is drafted to Battle School where he trains to lead the century-long fight against the alien Buggers.

4 The Dune Chronicles
by Frank Herbert

Follows the adventures of Paul Atreides, the son of a betrayed duke given up for dead on a treacherous desert planet and adopted by its fierce, nomadic people, who help him unravel his most unexpected destiny.

5 A Song Of Ice And Fire Series
by George R.R. Martin

As the Seven Kingdoms face a generation-long winter, the royal Stark family confronts the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, the arrival of barbarian hordes, and other threats.

6 1984
by George Orwell

Portrays life in a future time when a totalitarian government watches over all citizens and directs all activities.

7 Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit, in a chilling novel of a frightening near-future world.

8 The Foundation Trilogy
by Isaac Asimov

A band of psychologists, under the leadership of psychohistorian Hari Seldon, plant a colony to encourage art, science, and technology in the declining Galactic Empire and to preserve the accumulated knowledge of humankind.

9 Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley

Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.

10 American Gods
by Neil Gaiman

On the plane home to attend the funerals of his wife and best friend, Shadow, an ex-con, encounters an enigmatic stranger who seems to know a lot about him. When Shadow accepts the stranger's job offer, he finds himself plunged into a perilous game with the highest of stakes: the soul of America itself.

We have to agree almost entirely with this top ten. Although we would have put The Stand in at #10.

To view the entire list go HERE

Piers Anthony's Xanth series is seriously getting jipped off at #99. It's at least a top 50 series. Especially when a stupid Star Wars book is at #88. Come on!

We are glad to see so many Isaac Asimov, Rad Bradbury and Arthur C. Clarke titles. But putting Rendezvous With Rama by Clarke at #76 is almost like...ok it IS a mortal sin. #76? It should be top twenty at least.

Ok. Since we are critiquing here, who are they kidding that Jules Verne - anything Jules Verne - is outside the top thirty? Journey to the Center of the Earth at #76 is just plain wrong.

The two worst sins of the entire list:
Robert E. Howard's Conan coming in at #68 instead of #2 is giving us a heart attack. Yes, NUMBER TWO. Robert E. Howard was one of the most gifted Pulp Fiction writers in the history of the world. His writing style and content are unsurpassed in the fantasy field. LOTR gets #1 because of its epic scale however for pure enjoyment its REH all the way.

And, Terry Brooks's Shannara series is listed at #67 instead of the top twenty it deserves. We're biased here, having met Terry and having him sign all of OUR Shannara books way, way back in the day. What a NICE guy.

We could go on and on as these are our fiction genre of choice. Way to go NPR! All in all a very good compilation and guide for those who want to catch up on "The Classics."


Mikki said...

I've read most of the top ten. I remember reading Ender's Game the first time. It really makes you think! And I'm as appalled as you by the Xanth series coming in at 99 and The Stand not making the Top 10.

The Omni Report said...

Thanks, Mikki! Didn't know you read Xanth. I read all of them in the 80's. Been a while - LOL