102 Science Fiction Must Reads

Edwin Abbot, Flatland

Douglas Adams, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Poul Anderson, Tau Zero
Piers Anthony, Macroscope
Isaac Asimov, I Robot
Paulo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
Ian M. Banks, Consider Phlebas
Greg Bear, Blood Music
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward
Gregory Benford, Timescape

Alfred Bester, The Stars my Destination

Michael Bishop, No Enemy But Time
James Blisch, Cities in Flight
Ben Bova, The Towers of Titan
Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Planet Savers
David Brin, Startide Rising
Fredric Brown, The Lights in the Sky are Stars
John Brunner, Stand on Zanzibar
Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Lois McMaster Bujold, The Boarders of Infinity

Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter Adventures on Mars Collection
Pat Cadigan, Mindplayers
Karel Capek, R.U.R.
Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
C.J. Cherryh, At the Edge of Space
Arthur C. Clarke, The Fountains of Paradise
Henry Clement Stubbs, Mission of Gravity
L. Sprague De Camp, Lest Darkness Fall
Samuel R. DeLany, Einstein Intersection

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Cory Doctorow, Little Brother
Harlan Ellison, Again, Dangerous Visions
Carol Emshwiller, Carmen Dog
William Gibson, Neuromancer
Kathleen Ann Goonan, Queen City Jazz
Nicola Griffith, Ammonite
James Gunn, The Listeners
H. R. Haggard, She
Joe Haldeman, The Forever War

Harry Harrison, Deathworld

Raymond Healy, Aventures in Time and Space
Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers
Frank Herbert, Dune
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
C. M. Kornbluth, The Best of C. M. Kornbluth
Nancy Kress, Beggers in Spain
Henry Kuttner, Fury
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Disposessed

Fritz Lieber, Conjure Wife

Stanislaw Lem, Solaris
Jack London, Before Adam
Ian R. MacLeod, Song of Time
Ian McDonald, The Dervish House
Jack McDevitt, The Engines of God
Barry Malzberg, Beyond Apollo
George R. R. Martin, Fevre Dream
A. Merritt, The Moon Pool
China Mieville, Perdido Street Station
Michael Moorcock, Gloriana
Richard K. Morgan, Market Forces
James Morrow, Shambling Towards Hiroshima
Linda Nagata, Deception Well
Larry Nivin, Ringworld's Children
George Orwell, 1984
Alexei Panshin, Rite of Passage
Frederik Pohl, Works of Frederik Pohl
Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye
Kim Stanley Robinson, Red Mars
Pamela Sargent, Venus of Dreams
Robert J. Sawyer, Hominids
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, The Healer's War
Robert Sheckley, The Status Civilization
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, Frankenstein
Lucius Shepard, Green Eyes
M. P. Shiel, The Purple Cloud
Robert Silverberg, Dying Inside
Dan Simmons, Hyperion
Joan Slonczewski, A Door Into Ocean
Norman Spinrad, Bug Jack Barron
Olaf Stapeldon, Last and First Men
George R. Stewart, Earth Abides
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash
Charles Stross, Accelerando
Michael Swanwick, Stations of the Tide
William Tenn, Venus is a Man's World
Sheri S. Tepper, The Gate to Women's Country
James Tiptree Jr., Brightness Falls From the Sky
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
A. E. Van Vogt, The World of Null-A
John Varley, The John Varley Reader
Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep
Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan
Ian Watson, The Embedding
H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
Jack Williamson, The Humanoids
Connie Willis, Lincoln's Dreams
John Wyndham, Day of the Triffids
Eugene Zamiatin, We
George Zebrowski, Macrolife

Last year NPR put out a list of the top 100 science fiction and fantasy novels as voted on by their listeners. Such lists can be helpful for keeping up with the current zeitgeist of a genre (or in their case, genres). However, lists voted on by the public tend to severely underestimate the influence of older works which are not currently on everyone’s mind. For a more balanced picture of a genre, you need to find a list like the one created by the Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas. They created their Basic Science Fiction Library to help public libraries know what books they should carry and to help scholars understand which authors have been influential in shaping science fiction over time. Many of these books are older; not all of them are either in print or available for the Kindle. However, the majority can be found.

By Erik Wecks -February 5, 2012 – Follow @erikwecks



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