(Taken from reihla
)This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club.
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.
The List1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov*3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin6. Neuromancer, William Gibson7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras15. Cities in Flight, James Blish16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman*25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
(the Canadian version is still "the Philosopher's Stone")27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny*33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon*36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke39. Ringworld, Larry Niven40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
(I actually read the original short-story version of this book.)
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson*44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester*46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer
Thirty-two out of fifty, with five "partials"... not too bad, I guess. One thing that does strike me about the list is how many of the books that I've read that have sequels... and how I very frequently burn out on those sequels.
I did see this list a while before on someone else's journal. Declaring the fantasy books to be a marketing ploy, he revised it to be heavier on SF. It was far enough back that I don't know quite where to find that new list, though.