NPR, Your Picks: Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books


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NPR hosted a listener survey of SF and fantasy books in the summer of 2011, first inviting nominations and then vetting the nominations (to, for example, exclude YA and horror books, which will be covered in subsequent surveys). The panel of experts who vetted the nominations consisted of John Clute, Farah Mendlesohn, and Gary K. Wolfe. Then listeners selected up to 10 titles from the nominees, resulting in a ranked list of 100 titles, many of them series titles or first books of series.

Ranked: Yes

Titles Cited: 100

Publication: http://www.npr.org/2011/08/11/139085843/your-picks-top-100-science-fiction-fantasy-books, 2011

  1. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings (series, 1954-1955)
  2. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Pan, 1979)
  3. Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game (Tor, 1985)
  4. Frank Herbert, The Dune Chronicles (series, 1965-1985)
  5. George R. R. Martin, A Song of Ice and Fire (series, 1996-)
  6. George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (Secker & Warburg, 1949)
  7. Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451 (Ballantine, 1953)
  8. Isaac Asimov, The Foundation Trilogy (series, 1951-1953)
  9. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (Chatto & Windus, 1932)
  10. Neil Gaiman, American Gods (HarperCollins/Morrow, 2001)
  11. William Goldman, The Princess Bride (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1973)
  12. Robert Jordan, Wheel of Time (series, 1990-2013)
  13. George Orwell, Animal Farm (Secker & Warburg , 1945)
  14. William Gibson, Neuromancer (Ace Special, 1984)
  15. Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (DC Comics, 1987)
  16. Isaac Asimov, I, Robot (Gnome, 1950)
  17. Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (Putnam, 1961)
  18. Patrick Rothfuss, The Kingkiller Chronicles (series, 2007-)
  19. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Slaughterhouse-Five (Delacorte, 1969)
  20. Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (Lackington Hughes, 1818)
  21. Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Doubleday, 1968)
  22. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale (McClelland and Stewart, 1985)
  23. Stephen King, The Dark Tower (series, 1982-2012)
  24. Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey (NAL, 1968)
  25. Stephen King, The Stand (Doubleday, 1978)
  26. Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash (Bantam Spectra, 1992)
  27. Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles (Doubleday, 1950)
  28. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Cat's Cradle (Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1963)
  29. Neil Gaiman, The Sandman (series, 1988-1996)
  30. Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (Heinemann , 1962)
  31. Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers (Putnam, 1959)
  32. Richard Adams, Watership Down (Rex Collings, 1972)
  33. Anne McCaffrey, Dragonflight (Ballantine, 1968)
  34. Robert A. Heinlein, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress (Putnam, 1966)
  35. Walter M. Miller, Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz (Lippincott, 1959)
  36. H. G. Wells, The Time Machine (Henry Holt, 1895)
  37. Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (George Smith, 1873; France 1871)
  38. Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon (Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966)
  39. H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds (Heinemann, 1898)
  40. Roger Zelazny, The Amber Chronicles (series, 1970-1991)
  41. David Eddings, The Belgariad (series, 1982-1984)
  42. Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Mists of Avalon (Knopf, 1983)
  43. Brandon Sanderson, Mistborn Trilogy (series, 2006-2008)
  44. Larry Niven, Ringworld (Ballantine, 1970)
  45. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (Ace Special, 1969)
  46. J. R. R. Tolkien, The Silmarillion (Houghton Mifflin, 1977)
  47. T. H. White, The Once and Future King (Collins , 1958)
  48. Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere (BBC Books, 1996)
  49. Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End (Ballantine, 1953)
  50. Carl Sagan, Contact (Simon & Schuster, 1985)
  51. Dan Simmons, Hyperion Cantos (series, 1989-1997)
  52. Neil Gaiman, Stardust (DC Comics/Vertigo, 1998)
  53. Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon (Avon, 1999)
  54. Max Brooks, World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War (Crown, 2006)
  55. Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn (Viking, 1968)
  56. Joe Haldeman, The Forever War (St. Martin's, 1974)
  57. Terry Pratchett, Small Gods (Gollancz, 1992)
  58. Stephen R. Donaldson, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (series, 1977)
  59. Lois McMaster Bujold, The Vorkosigan Saga (series, 1986-)
  60. Terry Pratchett, Going Postal (HarperCollins, 2004)
  61. Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, The Mote in God's Eye (Simon and Schuster, 1974)
  62. Terry Goodkind, The Sword of Truth (series, 1994-2007)
  63. Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Knopf, 2006)
  64. Susanna Clarke, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (Bloomsbury, 2004)
  65. Richard Matheson, I Am Legend (Fawcett Gold Medal, 1954)
  66. Raymond E. Feist, The Riftwar Saga (series, 1982-1986)
  67. Terry Brooks, The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (series, 1977-1985)
  68. Robert E. Howard & Mark Schultz, Conan the Barbarian (series, 1932-1936)
  69. Robin Hobb, The Farseer Trilogy (series, 1995-1997)
  70. Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife (MacAdam/Cage, 2003)
  71. Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings (Tor, 2010)
  72. Jules Verne, Journey to the Center of the Earth (J. Hetzel, 1864)
  73. R. A. Salvatore, The Legend of Drizzt (series, 2004-)
  74. John Scalzi, Old Man's War (Tor, 2005)
  75. Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age (Bantam Spectra, 1995)
  76. Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama (Gollancz, 1973)
  77. Jacqueline Carey, Kushiel's Legacy (series, 2001-2007)
  78. Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed (Harper & Row, 1974)
  79. Ray Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes (Simon & Schuster, 1962)
  80. Gregory Maguire, Wicked (HarperCollins, 1995)
  81. Steven Erikson, Malazan Book of the Fallen (series, 1999-2011)
  82. Jasper Fforde, The Eyre Affair (Hodder Headline/Hodder & Stoughton, 2001)
  83. Iain M. Banks, Culture (series, 1987-2012)
  84. Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave (Hodder & Stoughton, 1970)
  85. Neal Stephenson, Anathem (Morrow, 2008)
  86. Jim Butcher, Codex Alera (series, 2004-2009)
  87. Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun (1980-1983)
  88. Timothy Zahn, Thrawn Trilogy (series, 1991-1993)
  89. Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (series, 1991-)
  90. Michael Moorcock, The Elric Saga (series, 1965-1977)
  91. Ray Bradbury, The Illustrated Man (Doubleday, 1951)
  92. Robin McKinley, Sunshine (Berkley, 2003)
  93. Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon The Deep (Tor, 1992)
  94. Isaac Asimov, The Caves of Steel (Doubleday, 1954)
  95. Kim Stanley Robinson, Mars Trilogy (series, 1992-1996)
  96. Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle, Lucifer's Hammer (Playboy Press, 1977)
  97. Connie Willis, Doomsday Book (Bantam Spectra, 1992)
  98. China Miéville, Perdido Street Station (Macmillan, 2000)
  99. Piers Anthony, Xanth (series, 1977-)
  100. C. S. Lewis, The Space Trilogy (series, 1938-1945)

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