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Meme-ing a list again

11 Comments

Jack Deighton posted this on his blog here a few days ago. It makes for cheap and easy content, so I’m doing similar. The list below is from the SFX Book Club list of classics. As usual, bold those you’ve read, italicise those you own but haven’t read…

1. The War Of The Worlds by HG Wells
2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
3. Ringworld by Larry Niven
4. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
5. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
6. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
7. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
8. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
9. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
10. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
11. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
12. Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
13. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
14. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
15. The Player of Games by Iain Banks
16. Pavane by Keith Roberts
17. Neuromancer by William Gibson
18. Collected Ghost Stories of MR James
19. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
20. A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
21. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
22. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
23. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
24. Blood Music by Greg Bear
25. Non Stop by Brian Aldiss
26. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
27. Dune by Frank Herbert
28. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
29. A Case of Conscience by James Blish
30. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
31. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
32. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
33. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R Delany
34. The Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham
35. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
36. Vurt by Jeff Noon
37. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
38. The City And The Stars by Arthur C Clarke
39. Strata by Terry Pratchett
40. The Centauri Device by M John Harrison
41. Earth Abides by George R Stewart
42. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
43. The Death of Grass by John Christopher
44. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
45. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
46. From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne
47. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
48. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard
49. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
50. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
51. Cities In Flight by James Blish

So, I’ve read thirty-six, and there’s a further five I own but have yet to read. It’s an odd list – mostly science fiction classics, with an occasional nod to popular fantasy. Some recent authors, but most from the first half of last century. It looks a bit like they started with a core of fifteen or so “classics”, and then got people to vote on the rest. I mean, why Delany’s The Einstein Intersection instead of Dahlgren, or Nova, or Babel-17? Strata and not a Discworld novel? It all seems a bit random. Two by Blish, but none by Silverberg? And, of course, remarkably few women. Three, in fact. Rubbish.

I think the list is ongoing, so perhaps it will improve as it progresses. I’ve not read the actual pieces about each Book Club novel. I’m not actually sure I want to…

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11 thoughts on “Meme-ing a list again

  1. Ok, here’s my take. Just excluding ones I neither own and haven’t read:
    Not sure I can do the bold and italics from my Blackberry so just see [B] as bold (read) and [I] as owned but not read
    1. The War Of The Worlds by HG Wells
    2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    3. Ringworld by Larry Niven
    4. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

    6. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
    8. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke

    10. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman

    12. Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison

    14. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
    15. The Player of Games by Iain Banks
    21. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner

    24. Blood Music by Greg Bear
    28. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
    29. A Case of Conscience by James Blish
    32. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    34. The Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham

    37. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
    38. The City And The Stars by Arthur C Clarke

    46. From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne

    51. Cities In Flight by James Blish

    • I’ve cleaned up your tags for you.

      I’m surprised you’ve not read The Left Hand of Darkness. You should definitely give that one a go.

      • I agree totally re the Left Hand of Darkness.

      • Normally i would agree with you, but I tried to re-read Left hand of Darkness just a few weeks ago and through it away in a few chapters with disgust. I was very sad because I loved that book and The Dispossessed years ago.

        I’ve read 121 of the 51 books.

        2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
        3. Ringworld by Larry Niven
        5. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
        7. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
        8. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
        10. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
        13. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
        14. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
        17. Neuromancer by William Gibson
        19. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
        23. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
        24. Blood Music by Greg Bear
        26. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
        27. Dune by Frank Herbert
        28. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
        37. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
        42. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
        46. From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne
        47. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
        49. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
        50. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

  2. Well I tried reading two earlier Le Guin books and hated them! Kinda put me off. My partner tried reading Left Hand but threw it down in digust with the strange unpronounceable names and odd writing style. I like SF that knows what it is, not stuffed that’s fantasy dressed as SF!

  3. Indeed, this is a strange list:

    1. The War Of The Worlds by HG Wells
    2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
    3. Ringworld by Larry Niven
    4. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
    5. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
    6. The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
    7. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
    8. Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
    9. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
    10. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
    11. The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
    12. Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison
    13. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K Le Guin
    14. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
    15. The Player of Games by Iain Banks
    16. Pavane by Keith Roberts
    17. Neuromancer by William Gibson
    18. Collected Ghost Stories of MR James
    19. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
    20. A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin
    21. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
    22. Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle
    23. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
    24. Blood Music by Greg Bear
    25. Non Stop by Brian Aldiss
    26. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
    27. Dune by Frank Herbert
    28. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
    29. A Case of Conscience by James Blish
    30. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
    31. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
    32. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    33. The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R Delany
    34. The Day Of The Triffids by John Wyndham
    35. Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
    36. Vurt by Jeff Noon
    37. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
    38. The City And The Stars by Arthur C Clarke
    39. Strata by Terry Pratchett
    40. The Centauri Device by M John Harrison
    41. Earth Abides by George R Stewart
    42. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
    43. The Death of Grass by John Christopher
    44. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
    45. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    46. From The Earth To The Moon by Jules Verne
    47. Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
    48. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard
    49. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
    50. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
    51. Cities In Flight by James Blish

  4. I just didn’t like Le Guin’s writing in those earlier books-they don’t compare to the Martian Chronicles or Princess of Mars at all! Not so keen on Princess of Mars to be honest-rather long winded. And I wouldn’t call Martian Chronicles fantasy! Been that long since I read it I can’t remember if I enoyed it!
    I sort of enjoyed Aldiss’s Hothouse which IS like fantasy but only because its so removed from the present day-plus Aldiss isn’t a hard SF writer but more a purveyor of social fiction.

  5. Did up a post on my blog about this, Ian. Thanks!

    • I just checked the SFX link and it seems that, with a great deal of intelligence, the book club report is posted new each month – with a different URL – and the old one converted to PDF. Gah.

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