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Top 10 SF Novels

Wired has an article on the reader’s choice for top 10 SF novels:

  1. Dune by Frank Herbert
  2. TIE: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  3. TIE: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  4. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  7. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  8. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
  9. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  10. Ringworld by Larry Niven

I’ve read all those. But I definitely wouldn’t have the same list for top 10.

There are some weird omissions in what was voted on, such as including The Ghost Brigades by John Scalzi but not Old Man’s War, which is in my opinion vastly better.

My own Top 10 would look like this:

  1. Ringworld by Larry Niven
  2. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  3. The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Leguin
  4. Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
  5. 1984 by George Orwell
  6. Dune by Frank Herbert
  7. A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter Miller
  8. Tau Zero by Poul Anderson
  9. The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
  10. Star Maker/Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon

Also, I think the original, short versions of Ender’s Game and Flowers for Algernon are vastly better than the novel length adaptations, and would recommend people hunt those down instead of reading the full length novels which I find padded out and distracting from the tightness of the original tales.

Of interest is that Wired kindly provides the full voting list so you can see the list of books they had folks vote on for the top 10. Any of those books are worth reading, so the full list is as handy as any top 10 in my opinion. Probably more so since you’ve got more than 10 books to read if you’ve already read the top 10. Of course, having been an avid SF reader in my youth I’ve read most of the books listed already but perhaps a re-read would be in order.

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