Monday , May 27 2024

Top 50 Sci-Fi of the Last 50 Years

The Science Fiction Book Club celebrate their 50th anniversary by selecting “The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002”

    1 The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
    2 The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
    3 Dune, Frank Herbert
    4 Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
    5 A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
    6 Neuromancer, William Gibson
    7 Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
    8 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
    9 The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
    10 Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury

    The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
    A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
    The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
    Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
    Cities in Flight, James Blish
    The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
    Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
    Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
    The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
    Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
    Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
    Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
    The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
    The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
    Gateway, Frederik Pohl
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
    I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
    Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
    The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
    Little, Big, John Crowley
    Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
    The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
    Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
    More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
    The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
    On the Beach, Nevil Shute
    Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
    Ringworld, Larry Niven
    Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
    The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
    Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
    Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
    Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
    The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
    Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
    Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
    The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
    Timescape, Gregory Benford
    To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

The first ten are in order of importance, the remaining 40 in alphabetical order.

USA Today writes:

    The top choice was obvious, says Andrew Wheeler, one of four editors to compile the list. ”In influence, The Lord of the Rings is head and shoulders above anything else. Tolkien set up all the rules on how to write a story like this.”

    ….Boosted by new movies of the first two parts of the trilogy, his book sales last year were topped only by Rowling and romance writer Nora Roberts. A biography by British scholar Tom Shippey dubbed him ”author of the century.” A readers’ survey by crowned his trilogy ”book of the millennium.”

    Wheeler says editors ”split the difference between what’s best and what’s most popular. Books are important for different reasons.”

    * No. 2, Isaac Asimov’s The Foundation Trilogy, published in one volume in 1963, creates ”a universe of scope and depth unmatched in its day and only rarely since,” he says.

    * No. 3, Frank Herbert’s Dune, ”brought new ecological insight into science fiction” in 1965, editor Ellen Asher says.

    * No. 6, William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the newest book in the top 10, ”ignited a literary movement, the cyberpunks” in 1984, Wheeler says, ”and launched a million impressionable readers headlong into the world of computers.”

Do you agree with this assessment?

About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted,, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

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