Monday, 11 November 2013

Twenty Five Greatest Books of all Time

They are all sci fi because sci fi is the greatest form of literature ever.
Books I have not read are highlighted in blue.

Book Reddit Rating
Book Steve Rating
To your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip Jose Farmer
1984 - George Orwell
1984 is the most influential Sci Fi book.  Surely the most widely read.
The Shadow of the Torture by Gene Wolf
Brave New World by Aldus Huxley
A companion piece for 1984. These two books define the future.
Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
Most of the best are the first book in a series. Hyperion is the best series in Sci Fi.
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynold
Crake and Onyx  by Margaret Atwood
I am not a huge fan of the author but this book hits every note and I fear predicts the future just like 1984 did.
Left Hand of Darkness by Ursala K LeGuin
The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F Hamilton
first novel in the Nights Dawn Trilogy
I like Ursala but she is not going to make my 25. Hamilton creates an unmatched space opera. I am only going to give one spot to an author on this list but like others he could have numerous selections included
I Robot by Issac Asimov
Foundation by Issac Asimov
Issac Asimov is one of the heros of Sci Fi and Foundation is his greatest work. Similar to LOTR in scope and impact.
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut

He must be on this list and I wont quibble. He, Harry Harrison and Douglas Adams by far the funniest people in Sci Fi history.
Contact by Carl Sagan
Glory Road by Robert Heinlen
My all time favorite author who has stood the test of time since I was 8 years old. I could have put 25 of his 32 books on this list.
Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson

The Sopranos of Sci Fi, not because its about the Mob but because this trilogy is so finely crafted.
Pandora's Star by Peter F Hamilton

Mote in Gods Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Sundiver by David Brin. Book one of the uplift series.
Another magical series about genetic uplifting of animals to human intelligence levels.
A Canticle for Lebowitz
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
Never got Canticle, had to read it for a course and close to hated it. Clarke is another who could fill this list. The Rama series rubs your face in the dirt of humanity, but we still dont learn.
Excession by Iain M Banks
Consider Phleebas by Iain M Banks
Banks writing is better than his imagination but he did create the comp belling universe of the  culture. I may have ranked him higher than deserved.
Starship Trooper by Robert Heinlen
Bill the Galactic Hero by Harry Harrison
Could have picked the Stainless Steel Rat series, but Bill is a mocking of Starship Troopers and hilariously funny.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick
The Man in the High Castle
No one has had more books made into movies including perhaps the best Sci Fi movie of them all  Totall Recall.
Ringworld by Larry Niven

If you see his name on the cover of a book read it.
2001 a Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke
Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
Barely Sci Fi but his body of work matches the best.
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
Lord Valentines Castle by Robert Silverberg. The Majpoor Chronicles
Joe does not make my list but this was a great book by an original thinker.  Silverberg is another author who never disappoints. This series is as vast as the galaxy.
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
To your scattered bodies go by Philip Jose Farmer The Riverworld Series
Reddit picked it as number one and I could have as well. There have been a couple of attempts to make it a HBO like ser
Neuromancer by William Gibson

Hyperon by Dan Simmons

Foundation by Issac Asimov

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Dune by Frank Hebert

Amber Series by Rodger Zelany


  1. Your mere mention of Cryptonomicon makes me happy. Literally my favourite book of all time

    The original Reddit list is quite good. I've read 15/25. Still 10 to go!

    1. 29 thanks, I really appreciate your comments. I really appreciate any comment so do not get uppity.:) I do not know where your gaps are. I am sure some of my picks were time and place. Would they hold up to 21st century and some kind of maturing scrutiny I dont know,. Wondering about this some time in the recent past I re read Heilens Citizen of the Galaxy. It was as good as I remembered.

    2. Allen when if there is a time we must justify our existence. Like this has never happened in the past and will never exist in the future. Hopefully this will not be determined by our ethnic or religious identity. So the lifeboat is full and they are throwing millions overboard because otherwise the whole thing will sink. I would hope taken into consideration saying Cyptonomican was my favorite book would save me a place after they had considered all those with advanced degrees I have to admit I would have said Foucaults Pendulum first.
      Thats the truth, of all I have read thats in my memory the greatest book ever written,

  2. Great list! I agree, sci-fi is the greatest genre of literature and of any genre of fiction. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep is on my list of books I want to read. I am a big fan of Blade Runner and it would be interesting to read the book that it is based on.