This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.
Instructions: Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.
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While I understand some of the choices on the list, I don't understand others. Nor do I like how they stopped with 2002. What's up with that? Oh. The list is a chestnut, apparently, and has been around since - of course - 2003. I wish there was some explanation of their criteria. Best sales, most influence on the genre, best writing -- something more than a list we're all going to spend far too much time debating and grumbling about who they left off. By the way, you aren't supposed to notice that 11-20 are alphabetical, eh? I like this commentary about the list - the comments back and forth and such. BTW: when you corner the bookseller (Science Fiction Book Club) to give out the top ten only they give this (to USA Today)as their answer:
J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings (1953-54) is the "most significant" science fiction and fantasy book of the past 50 years, say editors of the Science Fiction Book Club. The rest of the top 10:
2. Isaac Asimov's The Foundation Trilogy (1963) traces the life of Hari Seldon, a "psychohistorian" who attempts to map the best course for the next millennium after the fall of the empire.
3. Frank Herbert's Dune (1965) creates a desert planet whose sole commodity, the intoxicating spice Melange, drives its inhabitants to greed and destruction in the year 10,991. David Lynch directed the 1984 film.
4. Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) features a child from Mars who adapts to life on Earth and founds his own church, which resembles a swinger's club.
5. Ursula K. Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea (1968) introduces a boy named Sparrowhawk who becomes a wizard's apprentice.
6. William Gibson's Neuromancer (1984) introduced cyberspace in the story of a young cyberspace cowboy challenged to hack the unhackable.
7. Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End (1953) tells of aliens who offer peace to humans, who sacrifice greatness in accepting.
8. Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) imagines the world in 2021 after a war has destroyed most species and they are replaced by robotic clones and human-like androids; inspired Ridley Scott's 1982 movie Blade Runner.
9. Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon (1983) retells the story of King Arthur from the female point of view. Became a 2001 miniseries on TNT.
10. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 (1953) creates a futuristic world in which books are banned and burned; remains a staple of high school reading lists and favorite of free speech advocates. A 1966 François Truffaut movie.
All of which I have read. Excellent.
Another interesting list is the top 50 science fiction and fantasy novels for socialists, of which I've read 9.