Mike’s Prattle

Miscellaneous

A bunch of SF/F books Guardian says you should read

Posted by Mike on January 27, 2009

Guardian had a list of 1000 books you should read, and these were the Science Fiction and Fantasy selections. I was curious as to where I stood, so I bolded what I read and italicized what I own and still need to read. And it’s kind of scary since I’ve barely read anything in the last year, with other things taking up my attention (particularly Olfactory Rescue Service, Nephies and Oblivion). After the break:

Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
Brian W Aldiss – Non-Stop (1958 )
Isaac Asimov – Foundation (1951)
Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin (2000)
Paul Auster – In the Country of Lost Things (1987)
JG Ballard – The Drowned World (1962)
JG Ballard – Crash (1973)
JG Ballard – Millennium People (2003)
Iain Banks – The Wasp Factory (1984)
Iain M Banks – Consider Phlebas (1987)
Clive Barker – Weaveworld (1987)
Nicola Barker – Darkmans (2007)
Stephen Baxter – The Time Ships (1995)
Greg Bear – Darwin’s Radio (1999)
Alfred Bester – The Stars My Destination (1956)
Poppy Z Brite – Lost Souls (1992)
Algis Budrys – Rogue Moon (1960)
Mikhail Bulgakov – The Master and Margarita (1966)
Edward Bulwer-Lytton – The Coming Race (1871)
Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange (1960)
Edgar Rice Burroughs – A Princess of Mars (1912)
William Burroughs – Naked Lunch (1959)
Octavia Butler – Kindred (1979)
Samuel Butler – Erewhon (1872)
Italo Calvino – The Baron In the Trees (1957)
Ramsey Campbell – The Influence (1988 )
Lewis Carroll – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
Lewis Carroll – Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (1871)
Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus (1984)
Michael Chabon – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)
GK Chesterton – The Man Who Was Thursday (1908 )
Arthur C Clarke – Childhood’s End (1953)
Susanna Clarke – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel (2004)
Michael G Coney – Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975)
Douglas Copeland – Girlfriend in a Coma (1998 )
Mark Danielewski – House of Leaves (2000)
Marle Darrieussecq – Pig Tales (1996)
Samuel R Delaney – The Einstein Intersection (1967)
Philip K Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968 )
Philip K Dick – The Man in the High Castle (1962)
Umberto Eco – Foucault’s Pendulum (1968 )
Michael Faber – Under the Skin (2000)
John Fowles – The Magus (1966)
Neil Gaiman – American Gods (2001)
Alan Garner – Red Shift (1973)
William Gibson – Neuromancer (1984)
Charlotte Perkins Gilman -Herland (1915)
William Golding – Lord of the Flies (1954)
Joe Haldeman – The Forever War (1974)
M John Harrison – Light (2002)
Robert A Heinlein – Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
Frank Herbert – Dune (1965)
Hermann Hesse – The Glass Bead Game (1943)
Russell Hoban – Riddley Walker (1980)
James Hogg – The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)
Michel Houellebecq – Atomised (1998 )
Aldous Huxley – Brave New World (1932)
Kazuo Ishiguro – The Unconsoled (1995)
Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
Henry James – The Turn of the Screw (1898 )
PD James – The Children of Men (1992)
Richard Jefferies – After London; Or, Wild England (1885)
Gwyneth Jones – Bold as Love (2001)
Franz Kafka – The Trial (1925)
Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon (1966) (have read original novella)
Stephen King – The Shining (1977)
Marghanita Laski – The Victorian Chase-longue (1953)
Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu – Uncle Silas (1864)
Ursula Le Guin – The Earthsea series (1968-1990)
Stanislaw Lem – Solaris (1961)
Doris Lessing – Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)
David Lindsay – A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)
Ken McLeod – The Night Sessions (2008 )
C S Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56) read a couple of them
Hilary Mantel – Beyond Black (2005)
Michael Marshall Smith – Only Forward (1994)
Richard Matheson – I Am Legend (1954)
Charles Maturin – Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)
Patrick McCabe – The Butcher Boy (1992)
Cormac McCarthy – The Road (2006)
Jed Mercurio – Ascent (2007)
China Miéville – The Scar (2002)
Andrew Miller – Ingenious Pain (1997)
Walter M Miller Jr – A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)
David Mitchell – Cloud Atlas (2004)
Michael Moorcock – Mother London (1988 )
William Morris – News From Nowhere (1890)
Toni Morrison – Beloved (1987)
Haruki Murakami – The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995)
Vladimir Nabokov – Ada or Ardor (1969)
Audrey Niffenegger – The Time Traveler’s Wife (2003)
Larry Niven – Ringworld (1970)
Jeff Noon – Vurt (1993)
Flann O’Brien – The Third Policeman (1967)
Ben Okri – The Famished Road (1991)
Chuck Palahniuk – Fight Club (1996)
Thomas Love Peacock – Nightmare Abbey (1818 )
Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan (1946)
John Cowper Powys – A Glastonbury Romance (1932)
Terry Pratchett – The Discworld series (1983-) read 2 or 3
Christopher Priest – The Prestige (1995)
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials (1995-2000)
François Rabelais – Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-34)
Ann Radcliffe – The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
Alastair Reynolds – Revelation Space (2000)
Kim Stanley Robinson – The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)
JK Rowling – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (1997)
Salman Rushdie – The Satanic Verses (1988 )
Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry – The Little Prince (1943)
José Saramago – Blindness (1995)
Will Self – How the Dead Live (2000)
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818 )
Dan Simmons – Hyperion (1989)
Olaf Stapledon – Star Maker (1937)
Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash (1992)
Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)
Rupert Thomson – The Insult (1996)
JRR Tolkien – The Hobbit (1937)
JRR Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings (1954-55)
Mark Twain – A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court (1889)
Kurt Vonnegut – Sirens of Titan (1959)
Robert Walser – Institute Benjamenta (1909)
Sylvia Townsend Warner – Lolly Willowes (1926)
Sarah Waters – Affinity (1999)
HG Wells – The Time Machine (1895)
HG Wells – The War of the Worlds (1898 )
TH White – The Sword in the Stone (1938)
Gene Wolfe – The Book of the New Sun (1980-83)
John Wyndham – Day of the Triffids (1951)
John Wyndham – The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)
Yevgeny Zamyatin – We (1924)

I’d add Edward Whittemore’s Quin’s Shanghai Circus, George R. R. Martin’s Ice and Fire series (the second and third anyway), and a couple others. Very glad to see Foucault’s Pendulum though…

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5 Responses to “A bunch of SF/F books Guardian says you should read”

  1. dt said

    You’ve read slightly more than I from that list, but knowing how much reading you have done in this area I’m a bit surprised that you’ve missed these! 😉

    Anthony Burgess – A Clockwork Orange (1960) (Though I think “The Wanting Seed” is better)
    William Burroughs – Naked Lunch (1959)
    Philip K Dick – Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
    Aldous Huxley – Brave New World (1932)
    Franz Kafka – The Trial (1925)
    Stanislaw Lem – Solaris (1961)
    Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)
    Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)

  2. dt said

    8) <—- So that’s why you had that extra space!

    • Mike said

      Hey dt! Right about the space 😀

      I’m fairly unlikely to read about half the ones you listed, pretty much all the ones that have had movies made, just due to overexposure. I realize the books are probably a lot better, but I think at this point it’s a matter of choosing which books I’ll be able to read in my lifetime. I’ve got a big stack of PKD as it is (I’m in the middle of Scanner Darkly for one), but if I live long enough I’ll probably get to that one. I think that’s the lament, that I won’t be able to get to everything I’d want to. :\

  3. dt said

    Fair enough, but even though it has had two films made of it, give “Solaris” a try. I found it to be a really good read.

  4. Mike said

    That is indeed one I’d like to get to at some point. Probably because I had trouble staying awake during the first film and trouble watching the second. 🙂

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