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  1. #1
    Here with muffins!!! The Master™'s Avatar
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    Top 50 Sci-Fi Books

    I was reading the Forbidden Planet website today, and came across this curiosity... The Top 50 Sci-Fi books, you should read, according to them...

    Some interesting choices and some obvious ones...

    Personally, I have only read the ones in red:

    50. Embassytown
    49. Zoo City
    48. The Windup Girl
    47. Uplift: Book 1: Sundiver
    46. The Reality Dysfunction
    45. Cat's Cradle
    44. SF Masterworks: The Difference Engine
    43. SF Masterworks: Centauri Device
    42. The Drowned World
    41. SF Masterworks: Pavane
    40. Make Room! Make Room!
    39. The Player Of Games
    38. Altered Carbon (GOT THE BOOK IN MY PILE STILL TO READ)
    37. SF Masterworks: Dying Inside
    36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy Of Four
    35. SF Masterworks: Blood Music
    34. S.F. Masterworks: Lord Of Light
    33. SF Masterworks: Rendezvous With Rama
    32. Zones Of Thought: A Fire Upon The Deep & A Deepness In The Sky
    31. Mars: Book 1: Red Mars
    30. SF Masterworks: Ubik
    29. Fahrenheit 451
    28. The Death Of Grass
    27. SF Masterworks: Inverted World
    26. SF Masterworks: The Female Man
    25. SF Masterworks: Helliconia: Hellonica Spring, Helliconia Summer, & Helliconia Winter
    24. S.F. Masterworks: I Am Legend
    23. Day Of The Triffids
    22. War Of The Worlds
    21. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
    20. A Canticle For Leibowitz
    19. Ender's Game
    18. Snow Crash
    17. Foundation
    16. S.F. Masterworks: The Stars My Destination
    15. SF Masterworks: Flowers For Algernon
    14. SF Masterworks: Stand On Zanzibar
    13. Left Hand Of Darkness
    12. S.F. Masterworks: Babel 17
    11. Ringworld
    10. SF Masterworks: Timescape
    9. Childhood's End
    8. The Man In The High Castle
    7. S.F. Masterworks: Gateway
    6. SF Masterworks: Dispossed
    5. SF Masterworks: The Demolished Man
    4. Neuromancer
    3. Fantasy Masterworks: Book Of The New Sun Book 1 & Shadow & Claw Book 1
    2. S.F. Masterworks: The Forever War
    1. Dune


    Shame that BrAVE NEW WORLD is missing from the list...

  2. #2
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Top 50 makes way more sense than top 10.

    psik

  3. #3
    Damn fool idealist DailyRich's Avatar
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    Really? I'd have a hard time arguing against that top ten. Maybe not all books I would have personally included, but there's nothing glaringly out of place to me.

  4. #4
    Couch Commander Danogzilla's Avatar
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    How on earth can Dune be number one? I don't get it.

  5. #5
    As meaningless as these lists are, this one has a high rate of hits. I reckon I have read at least 2/3 of these. Plenty of others I would add.

  6. #6
    Top 50 how? In importance or readability, etc? Because I loooved Altered Carbon, but I wouldn't expect it to be on a list of the most important scifi works. But if it is a list of readable, popular books, I would not expect to see A Canticle For Leibowitz
    or War of the Worlds. I know, I know, some people here love those but that's not the point. If you look at sales, they are not exactly what people will be voting for these days.

    The point is the list seems to be kind of all over the place.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Danogzilla View Post
    How on earth can Dune be number one? I don't get it.
    Mostly because of readability, politics and worms...It's not my no.1, but it's close. Obviously, the story was far better than the science of it, but ultimately, it's the story that counts. Though, I can see why a lot of people put it down with all the exposition and backstory it opens with.

  8. #8
    Administrator Administrator Hobbit's Avatar
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    I would tend to think of it as a list rather than a ranked list.

    Why Dune at the top? Iconic. Recognisable both in film and book and TV series (which is probably why it's higher than say Foundation.) Multi Award winner. Influence on many other writers, who have since recommended it also.

    Of the list, I've read the ones in red below:

    50. Embassytown
    49. Zoo City
    48. The Windup Girl
    47. Uplift: Book 1: Sundiver
    46. The Reality Dysfunction
    45. Cat's Cradle (Long while ago!)
    44. SF Masterworks: The Difference Engine
    43. SF Masterworks: Centauri Device (Have to read, just not got to it, yet.)
    42. The Drowned World
    41. SF Masterworks: Pavane

    40. Make Room! Make Room!
    39. The Player Of Games
    38. Altered Carbon

    37. SF Masterworks: Dying Inside
    36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy Of Four
    35. SF Masterworks: Blood Music
    34. S.F. Masterworks: Lord Of Light
    33. SF Masterworks: Rendezvous With Rama
    32. Zones Of Thought: A Fire Upon The Deep & A Deepness In The Sky
    31. Mars: Book 1: Red Mars
    30. SF Masterworks: Ubik (Tried it years ago, didn't finish it)
    29. Fahrenheit 451
    28. The Death Of Grass
    27. SF Masterworks: Inverted World (Have to read, not got to it, yet.)
    26. SF Masterworks: The Female Man (Have to read, not got to it, yet.)
    25. SF Masterworks: Helliconia: Hellonica Spring, Helliconia Summer, & Helliconia Winter
    24. S.F. Masterworks: I Am Legend
    23. Day Of The Triffids
    22. War Of The Worlds
    21. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
    20. A Canticle For Leibowitz
    19. Ender's Game
    18. Snow Crash
    17. Foundation
    16. S.F. Masterworks: The Stars My Destination
    15. SF Masterworks: Flowers For Algernon
    14. SF Masterworks: Stand On Zanzibar
    13. Left Hand Of Darkness

    12. S.F. Masterworks: Babel 17
    11. Ringworld
    10. SF Masterworks: Timescape
    9. Childhood's End
    8. The Man In The High Castle
    7. S.F. Masterworks: Gateway
    6. SF Masterworks: Dispossessed
    5. SF Masterworks: The Demolished Man
    4. Neuromancer
    3. Fantasy Masterworks: Book Of The New Sun Book 1 & Shadow & Claw Book 1
    2. S.F. Masterworks: The Forever War

    1. Dune


    A couple of those in black I'm actually not sure if I've read or not: if so it was a long while ago. I'm fairly sure I gave Dying Inside and Babel 17 a try, but really can't remember much about them. I suspect I didn't finish Babel 17, for some reason.

    Mark
    Last edited by Hobbit; May 11th, 2012 at 04:03 PM.
    Mark

  9. #9
    Registered User Seli's Avatar
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    Red for finished, blue for on pause.
    50. Embassytown
    49. Zoo City
    48. The Windup Girl
    47. Uplift: Book 1: Sundiver
    46. The Reality Dysfunction
    45. Cat's Cradle
    44. SF Masterworks: The Difference Engine
    43. SF Masterworks: Centauri Device
    42. The Drowned World
    41. SF Masterworks: Pavane
    40. Make Room! Make Room!
    39. The Player Of Games
    38. Altered Carbon
    37. SF Masterworks: Dying Inside
    36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy Of Four
    35. SF Masterworks: Blood Music
    34. S.F. Masterworks: Lord Of Light
    33. SF Masterworks: Rendezvous With Rama
    32. Zones Of Thought: A Fire Upon The Deep & A Deepness In The Sky
    31. Mars: Book 1: Red Mars
    30. SF Masterworks: Ubik
    29. Fahrenheit 451
    28. The Death Of Grass
    27. SF Masterworks: Inverted World
    26. SF Masterworks: The Female Man
    25. SF Masterworks: Helliconia: Hellonica Spring, Helliconia Summer, & Helliconia Winter
    24. S.F. Masterworks: I Am Legend
    23. Day Of The Triffids
    22. War Of The Worlds
    21. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
    20. A Canticle For Leibowitz
    19. Ender's Game
    18. Snow Crash
    17. Foundation
    16. S.F. Masterworks: The Stars My Destination
    15. SF Masterworks: Flowers For Algernon
    14. SF Masterworks: Stand On Zanzibar
    13. Left Hand Of Darkness
    12. S.F. Masterworks: Babel 17
    11. Ringworld
    10. SF Masterworks: Timescape
    9. Childhood's End
    8. The Man In The High Castle
    7. S.F. Masterworks: Gateway
    6. SF Masterworks: Dispossed
    5. SF Masterworks: The Demolished Man
    4. Neuromancer
    3. Fantasy Masterworks: Book Of The New Sun Book 1 & Shadow & Claw Book 1
    2. S.F. Masterworks: The Forever War
    1. Dune


    So for a large part I've missed some recent books I still intend to read and a bunch of older books, about half of which I'm fine with never having read.

  10. #10
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Bold: read.
    Italicised: own but not read yet.

    50. Embassytown
    49. Zoo City
    48. The Windup Girl
    47. Uplift: Book 1: Sundiver
    46. The Reality Dysfunction
    45. Cat's Cradle
    44. SF Masterworks: The Difference Engine
    43. SF Masterworks: Centauri Device
    42. The Drowned World
    41. SF Masterworks: Pavane
    40. Make Room! Make Room!
    39. The Player Of Games
    38. Altered Carbon
    37. SF Masterworks: Dying Inside
    36. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Trilogy Of Four

    35. SF Masterworks: Blood Music
    34. S.F. Masterworks: Lord Of Light
    33. SF Masterworks: Rendezvous With Rama

    32. Zones Of Thought: A Fire Upon The Deep & A Deepness In The Sky
    31. Mars: Book 1: Red Mars
    30. SF Masterworks: Ubik
    29. Fahrenheit 451
    28. The Death Of Grass
    27. SF Masterworks: Inverted World
    26. SF Masterworks: The Female Man
    25. SF Masterworks: Helliconia: Hellonica Spring, Helliconia Summer, & Helliconia Winter
    24. S.F. Masterworks: I Am Legend
    23. Day Of The Triffids
    22. War Of The Worlds
    21. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress
    20. A Canticle For Leibowitz
    19. Ender's Game

    18. Snow Crash
    17. Foundation
    16. S.F. Masterworks: The Stars My Destination

    15. SF Masterworks: Flowers For Algernon
    14. SF Masterworks: Stand On Zanzibar
    13. Left Hand Of Darkness
    12. S.F. Masterworks: Babel 17
    11. Ringworld
    10. SF Masterworks: Timescape
    9. Childhood's End
    8. The Man In The High Castle
    7. S.F. Masterworks: Gateway
    6. SF Masterworks: Dispossed
    5. SF Masterworks: The Demolished Man
    4. Neuromancer
    3. Fantasy Masterworks: Book Of The New Sun Book 1 & Shadow & Claw Book 1
    2. S.F. Masterworks: The Forever War
    1. Dune

    An odd list in places. What the heck is Sundiver doing on there? It's probably Brin's weakest novel. Startide Rising and The Uplift War are comprehensively superior on every level (they're also festooned with awards and critical praise, whilst Sundiver isn't).

    I'm also really confused by their eligibility criteria. Why just the first half of The Book of the New Sun when the four volumes really do form one continuous story? Why not the omnibus of all four? And why the first four HHGTTG books when it's a five-book series but only the first two have widespread acclaim? Also, The Wind-Up Girl seems to be as much hated and loathed as it is acclaimed, which makes it an odd book to put in there, and Foundation being so high definitely makes the list questionable (it hasn't aged well at all).

    Also, isn't Harrison's Light a lot more critically-acclaimed than The Centauri Device (which I believe the author has disowned)?

    Also, no Beggars in Spain or Doomsday Book? And Timescape really isn't so good as to warrant a Top 10 spot.

  11. #11
    I was rather disappointed with Dune. I'd heard endlessly how it was the science fiction novel to read, but I found it rather average, bordering on boring through some parts.

  12. #12
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INeedAUserName View Post
    I was rather disappointed with Dune. I'd heard endlessly how it was the science fiction novel to read, but I found it rather average, bordering on boring through some parts.
    This is why we need a better rating system for books. I think I like Dune more than you but not nearly as much as some people seem to say they do. The story has a lot more "atmosphere" and less excitement or even ideas than a lot of other SF. So readers need to figure out what they like and we need the different characteristics rated in relation to some references.

    psik

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    This is why we need a better rating system for books. I think I like Dune more than you but not nearly as much as some people seem to say they do. The story has a lot more "atmosphere" and less excitement or even ideas than a lot of other SF.

    psik
    Well, time moves on and innovative novels can seem mundane, trite, and clicheed in comparison to their successors. Allowing for the hype and hubris, Dune was pretty special when it came out in relation to its predecessors and its contemporaries, and in the perspective of the mid-late 1960s in general.
    Last edited by Hitmouse; July 10th, 2012 at 05:17 PM.

  14. #14
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hitmouse View Post
    Well, time moves on and innovative novels can seem mundane, trite, and clicheed in comparison to their successors. Allowing for the hype and hubris, Dune was pretty special when it came out in relation to its predecessors and its contemporaries, and in the perspective of the mid-late 1960s in general.
    But I read it not long after it came out. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Dune because it is old.

    As far as I am concerned Revelation Space can't touch it, though I suppose it tries to have "atmosphere" also. It does not have characters that I could give a damn about.

    psik

  15. #15
    I'm not seeing Hyperion on that list. List has no credibility if that's the case. I think Hyperion is on most people's top 10 list, let alone top 50. Just sayin...

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