Panama (spwebdesign) wrote,

Essential Sci-Fi/Fantasy

After my previous blog, I've been doing some thinking about sci-fi/fantasy novels. When I was a kid, this was my preferred genre. But in high school and college my reading tended more towards the classics of literature (you know, dead white men, for the most part), and I realize I have forgotten most of what I knew of the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

I'm thinking I might like to rediscover this genre. And since several of you are far more voracious readers than I am and are more intimately familiar with this genre, I am soliciting your help. Let's try to put together a list of essential science fiction and fantasy reading (some of which I've read but wouldn't mind re-reading). I'll start, but please fill in any ommissions and feel free to let me know if anything listed should be excluded. Here goes, in completely random fashion:

Isaac Asimov: Robot, Empire, and Foundation series
Arthur C. Clarke: 2001, 2010, 2061, Childhood's End, and Rendezvous with Rama
Ray Bradbury: Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and the Earthsea trilogy
J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion, Lost Tales, and Unfinished Tales
Robert A. Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and Tunnel in the Sky
George Orwell: 1984
C.S. Lewis: Chronicles of Narnia
Douglas Adams: The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Frank Herbert: Dune series
Piers Anthony: Xanth series
Alduous Huxley: Brave New World and Brave New World Revisited
Orson Scott Card: Ender's Game (and others in series?)
Lloyd Alexander: Chronicles of Prydain
Madeleine L'Engle: Time Quartet
Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
Stephen R. Donaldson: Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series
George R.R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire series
H.G. Wells: The Time Machine and War of the Worlds
Neal Stephenson: Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash
William Gibson: Neuromancer
Kurt Vonnegut: Cat's Cradle and Breakfast of Champions
Philip Jose Farmer: Riverworld series

Now, as you go through this list and think of things to add or cut, keep in mind that I like books that make one think, that explore important themes, not just entertaining fluff. I'm really looking for the pillars of sci-fi and fantasy, the sort of books which could stand on their own outside the genre if need be. Your thoughts?
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