111 Science Fictions Books to Read Before a Supernova Kills Us All
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And here are the results! Books with 7 or more votes made it to the list.
1984 by Orwell, George
Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury, Ray
Dune by Herbert, Frank
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe by Adams, Douglas
Frankenstein by Shelly, Mary
I, Robot by Asimov, Isaac
Ender's Game by Card, Orson Scott
Brave New World by Huxley, Aldous
Foundation by Asimov, Isaac
The Time Machine by Wells, H. G.
The War of the Worlds by Wells, H. G.
2001: A Space Odyssey by Clarke, Arthur C.
Invisible Man by Wells, H. G.
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Verne, Jules
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Verne, Jules
The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood, Margaret
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Stevenson, Robert Louis
A Clockwork Orange by Burgess, Anthony
Slaughterhouse-Five by Vonnegut, Kurt
Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Martian Chronicles by Bradbury, Ray
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Dick, Philip K.
Childhood's End by Clarke, Arthur C.
Flowers for Algernon by Keyes, Daniel
The Caves of Steel by Asimov, Isaac
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Bradbury, Ray
Jurassic Park by Crichton, Michael
Neuromancer by Gibson, William
The Nine Billion Names of God by Clarke, Arthur C.
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Miller, Walter M.
Nightfall by Asimov, Isaac
Starship Troopers by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, Robert A.
The Mote in God's Eye by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
Red Mars by Robinson, Kim Stanley
Ringworld by Niven, Larry
The Andromeda Strain by Crichton, Michael
Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut, Kurt
Cyteen by Cherryh, C. J.
I Sing the Body Electric by Bradbury, Ray
Snow Crash by Stephenson, Neal
The Day of the Triffids by Wyndham, John
Contact by Sagan, Carl
On the Beach by Shute, Nevil
The Illustrated Man by Bradbury, Ray
The Lathe of Heaven by Le Guin, Ursula K.
The Ship Who Sang by McCaffrey, Anne
The Stainless Steel Rat by Harrison, Harry
The Stars My Destination by Bester, Alfie
Barrayar by Bujold, Lois McMaster
The Forever War by Haldeman, Joe
The Giver by Lowry, Lois
Cryptonomicon by Stephenson, Neal
Foreigner by Cherryh, C. J.
Rendezvous with Rama by Clarke, Arthur C.
The Dispossessed by Le Guin, Ursula K.
The Gods Themselves by Asimov, Isaac
The Time Traveler's Wife by Niffenegger, Audrey
Children of Men by James, P. D.
Dangerous Visions by Ellison, Harlon
Downbelow Station by Cherryh, C. J.
Old Man's War by Scalzi, John
Crystal Singer by McCaffrey, Anne
Doomsday Book by Willis, Connie
Lucifer's Hammer by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
The City and the Stars by Clarke, Arthur C.
The Demolished Man by Bester, Alfie
Blood Music by Bear, Greg
Footfall by Niven, Larry and Pournelle, Jerry
Hyperion by Simmons, Dan
Solaris by Lem, Stanislaw
Songs of Distant Earth by Clarke, Arthur C.
Stand on Zanzibar by Brunner, John
Stars in my Pocket, Like Grains of Sand by Delany, Samuel
The Diamond Age by Stephenson, Neal
The Island of Doctor Moreau by Wells, H. G.
The Man in the High Castle by Dick, Philip K.
The Midwich Cuckoos by Wyndham, John
Time Enough for Love by Heinlein, Robert A.
To Ride Pegasus by McCaffrey, Anne
To Say Nothing of the Dog by Willis, Connie
To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Farmer, Philip Jose
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Wilhelm, Kate
A Princess of Mars by Burroughs, Edgar Rice
A Scanner Darkly by Dick, Philip K.
Anathem by Stephenson, Neal
Grass by Tepper, Sherri S.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Finney, Jack
Little Brother by Doctorow, Cory
Sphere by Crichton, Michael
Tau Zero by Anderson, Poul
The Best of Cordwainer Smith by Smith, Cordwainer
A Fire Upon the Deep by Vinge, Vernor
Alas, Babylon by Frank, Pat
At the Mountains of Madness by Lovecraft, H. P.
Babel-17 by Delany, Samuel
Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut, Kurt
Chrysalids by Wyndham, John
City by Simak, Clifford
Double Star by Heinlein, Robert A.
Earth by Brin, David
Gateway by Pohl, Frederik
Islands in the Sky by Clarke, Arthur C.
Kindred by Butler, Octavia
More Than Human by Sturgeon, Theodore
On Basilisk Station by Weber, David
The Coelura by McCaffrey, Anne
The Pride of Chanur by Cherryh, C. J.
The Speed of Dark by Moon, Elizabeth
The Ugly Little Boy by Asimov, Isaac and Silverberg, Robert
Uglies by Westerfeld, Scott
Morphy, you are the best! I'm going to print this and read my way through the list. I've read many of them already.
When is that supernova scheduled, because I've got some reading to do!?
I think I voted for all of those. Thanks for doing this Morphy. Is this in a LT library where we can sort it?
Oh, my. I've only read 24 of those 111. I'd best get some reading done! :)
You are a wonder! I've read 12 of them, which is more than I thought I would have read.
Thanks Morph, I've only read 15 on the list though many of the others are unofficially on my TBR pile.
I've read 15, all of them in the top half of the list. 2 more on the TBR pile for this year. I guess I'm not very adventurous about trying new writers.
19> I guess I'm not very adventurous about trying new writers.
Not to worry; most of them are actually pretty old!
Wow, what a great list! Thanks!
I'm looking forward to adding the library to my interesting libraries.
That's a great list and thanks so much for all the work you put in to make it happen
hmmmmmm, I've read 43 for sure, a couple other possibles that I'm not sure of as it'd have been MANY years ago if I did
I've read 43 as well. Though some were so long ago all I remember is the title and author.
#27 - Ack! That book shouldn't be on any list. ;) Just a personal opinion after reading it.
30> I concur wholeheartedly! I think it's a good thing they gave away so many free copies, otherwise noone would want to read it of their own free will. Actually, its probably not a good thing, considering all of the bad reviews it has gotten on LT.
Oh man, only 10 when all is said and done. Arg- I thought it would be more.
Thanks for doing this Morphy!
I've read 51 for sure, and there are a few possibles that I might have read but I don't remember for sure. Been a loooong time since I read some of them though.
Yikes, my husband has read about 73 of those. I've got some catching up to do, I've only read about 30 and some of those I don't remember at all.
Thanks Morphy! My husband has been on a multi-year reading slump. Nothing's been holding his attention, except for the odd book here and there. Normally he reads more and faster than I do. Actually, he still reads faster than I do, when he does read. I just showed him this list and the 1001 Fantasy Books list and he asked me to print out both for him. YES!
Yay! Morphidae - Savior of Slumped Readers Extraordinaire
edit for fixing misspelling
Thanks for putting together this list, Morphy! I'm currently at 41 and in the process of making it 42 after a trip to the library yesterday. (Something Wicked This Way Comes)
I've actually read 35 of those. More than I thought. Thanks Morphy, lots for the TBR here.
I've only read 9 of these, but I'll read Neuromancer sometime soon, bringing it up to 10.
The Guardian makes its own list. Not sure those all qualify for fantasy/scifi, plus understandably UK-centric, but interesting.
I've only read 30. I own quite a few of them and just haven't managed to read them yet.
Wow, I've only read 12 of them! And I consider myself a sci-fi geek. Tut tut. Just not good enough!
I read 73-is that impressive? Seriously, these might have won the votes but a couple...well, I've read better-or, at least, more seminal stories than some chosen. But it is still a pretty good list-must have taken some serious work to assemble. Thumbs up!
#47 - We did it together, here, by vote, so it reflects what we here at the GD thinks. Morphidae organised it all, and did all the manual work.
I've read 76, but largely because the list tends toward older works I read long ago.
Just counted. I'm at 43 and a half, plus one more in my TBR pile. That and-a-half is likely to stay that way, as I have no intention of finishing it.
It's Anathem. I think there is a really interesting story in there, somewhere, buried under deliberate obfuscation.
Oh, I loved Anathem, it's his most accessible and well-written book to date!
Well, well - we can't all be alike. Luckily. :D
Actually I've LOVED all Stephenson's other books-- just not that one. A rare miss.
Hard not to enjoy Snow Crash, as cliche as that recommendation has become...
I gave Cryptonomicon to my dad the Yule it was released - it was a decision based on my own enjoyment of it. He promptly went on to scour the market for books on the history of cryptanalysis and cryptography. Just saying that SOME weird minds find it a great and inspiring book, for all its shortcomings ;-)
(It was his first Stephenson. But he bought all three Baroque Cycle books as they were published, so...)
I took Cryptonomicon on a cruise for pleasure reading - LOL. I got about halfway through and accidentally left it on the ship, bumming me out until I could get a replacement copy. I also enjoy any book about cyrptanalysis and cryptography (fiction and non-fiction).
I'm not saying it's not GOOD, just... weighty. Those of you who've dropped it on your foot know what I mean.
FWIW, I loved the Baroque Cycle. Slow going, though.
I too loved the Baroque Cycle. But often enough it feels like I'm the only one. Nice to find some people who actually agree with me ;D
>60 reconditereader: yep it could make a nice doorstop - paperback or hardback :)
yeah, never finished the Baroque Cycle for multiple reasons (will go back at some point). One of those reasons was the size: the books are really hard to read on the metro while standing and carrying them in my bags was causing pain in my shoulder and back.
11 down, 100 more to go! Great list...thanks for putting it together!
just found this list, even though I've been a group member since February, sigh. :) I have read a few and a few I really want to read. I'll have to print the list and read through it. Thanks for putting it together!
I was just going through this list to see what I might want to read. Trying to pick one I haven't read is tough. I want to read them all now!
I just bought Kindred for my Kindle. Last week, Amazon had several of these books for 99 cents.
Suddenly nearly two years had passed...
Just found this list.
I've read quite a few of them.
Quite a lot of others I'm not sure if I'm recognising titles I'm aware of and meant to read, or if I've actually read them when I used to read nothing else. Now I'll have to look out for them again. I know I've read a lot of HG Wells and Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Asimov, Anne McAffrey and a few others.
Kudos for Something Wicked This Way Comes. Loved that book since I was 15. Which is a while ago now.
I just finished Neuromancer. It was ok. I gotta get me some Samuel Delaney up in here. Keep meaning to read him.
My brain hurts from trying to remember whether I've read some of these; it's been so so long ago. I count 47, give or take, that I've read.
Any updated data on supernova's arrival?
I have no idea about the supernova schedule, but I think the list might be a bit different if we did one today, almost 10 years later?
Some great works has been published since.
As the lists’ creator, I have thought about this, especially with the fantasy list. However, the GD doesn’t have the activity/members it had in it’s heyday and probably can’t get the votes to make it worthwhile. It was a huge undertaking.
Did we ever finish the fantasy list? Or did it just not get linked in the group header?
>77 Morphidae: Lists and fun facts here:
>79 Morphidae: I was thinking something like, I don't now, perhaps using Google Forms or something? I haven't explored it, but perhaps as a more collaborative effort, given the huge work you had to do all on her own, back in the days?
Then, again - as you say the activity is not as high nowadays, so maybe too much hard work and relatively few voters.
>80 gilroy: Because it was such a huge undertaking (1001 books, six surveys) there wasn’t really one dedicated thread.
Search for “1001 Fantasy” in Talk for additional threads.
>81 Busifer: There were upwards of 40+ votes for books. We just don’t have the numbers anymore.
>82 Morphidae: Oh, no worries. I'm thinking of taking the three lists and posting them onto the List Challenges website (with links back to here, of course) just for fun.
There are four: fantasy, science fiction, nonfiction, and mystery.
If you like, on my profile page, there is a link to the library/thread for each list.
The libraries can be sorted by number of votes (via tags.)
>1 Morphidae: It seems I may belong in this group. I have read 105 of these, although there are 4 others I'd like to re-read, not remembering them well. It may be that I have cheated by having read science fiction for over 55 years.
>61 Busifer: and some other folks. I loved the Baroque Cycle, too. And Crytonomicon. I have not read two of his early ones, but I've just bought them. I have some great readers in my family, but I couldn't see those first two appealing to any reader buy my eldest son. He really liked them, too, but not as much as I did.
I'll have to go look at the fantasy list now.
>85 sallypursell: I am glad you have found us! There are several here who have if not 55 years of reading, at least a number close to it, experience. :)
Said I was going to do this several months ago and I finally got around to it.
I've added this list to the List Challenges website. Here's the URL to play:
>91 sallypursell: "as I figure out what you are all about"
Well, good luck with that! We range from Piffle parties and running from Roombas, to interesting and deep discussions of books we are reading and travelogues of the trips various members take. Also, most anything in between you can think of except politics and religion. We like to keep things pleasant and comfortable here, lots of encouragement and kindness.
Mostly we all like to read and talk about what we are reading. We read things from many different genres.
>95 Busifer: I have no idea what piffle is, although I am a native speaker. I despair of ever learning another language as well as others have learned English. Living nearly 1000 miles from every border, even with Canada, there is less incentive to learn. I have studied, a little or a lot, several languages. I can speak intelligibly in Spanish, but my understanding of spoken Spanish lags far behind. I just get so little experience listening. I can't bear most TV, even from the US, so watching Spanish TV is out. I can read only with a dictionary, although kids' books are easier. That slows down the process enough to take much of the interest out of it. I guess I don't want it enough.
>96 sallypursell: A Piffle Party is when we make fun and nonsense, often but not always in support of someone who want to start a new thread based on the present one: when a thread has reached 150 posts the option to ”continue this topic in a new thread” link appears. We then bring out the cheese and the PGGB’s - pan-galactic gargle-blasters - https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Pan_Galactic_Gargle_Blaster - and start writing nonsense posts.
PGGB’s is an old tradition. We bring them to every party.
I get why not everyone learns a foregin language. I have studied Spanish, Italian, and German, besides English, and I can only converse in English, plus my native Swedish (though I understand Norwegian, and Danish if I’m lucky.)
Each of the other languages I started with the intention to actually be able to speak it, but somehow I always lost momentum, and now all I have is fragments.
I find that to truly speak another language you need to enter the mindset of the culture as well. And with English one has to switch between a lot of slightly different cultures (nevermind pants and trousers, and the evasive biscuits, lol). And that’s quite enough for me, at the moment.
>97 Busifer: LOL about the biscuits. :)
>91 sallypursell: Welcome to the group! I’ve found it to be a very friendly and welcoming place where one can have interesting conversations, whether silly or serious, with a minimum of the drama that one often finds on the internet.
As far as the list goes… I’ve only read 28 of them, with several others on my to-be-read list. I didn’t get addicted to SF&F until I was in my early 20’s, about 20 years ago, and it’s only in recent years that I’ve been able to find a reasonable amount of time for reading again, so I still have a lot of catching up to do!
What a great list! LT says I have 54 of them, after I added a couple of my collection I had not put in LT and I know there's a couple of others I need to catalog. There's a few I've read I'm not positive I own and I see I have a lot of reading to do! Fantastic list! Did I miss a voting thing somewhere?
>98 YouKneeK: If you need recommendations on where to start I'd be glad to help! :)
>94 suitable1: Those are great books! They are extremely dated now, and probably were when they were written, but so much fun!
Seconding what MrsLee said in #87 and #93. I’m one of the “several” mentioned in #93, and I’ve found the GD a very congenial place.
An excellent example of a Piffle Party is this thread: https://www.librarything.com/topic/296286.
And as to statistics, I've read 17 of them, mostly a long time ago (most recent would have been The Andromeda Strain, which was a re-read; I decided that the science didn't hold up). Because I can't count, I copied the list into a Word document and got Word to count them for me, which allowed me also to note that Arthur C Clarke is a clear winner in terms of numbers, with 7 titles. Of the other "Golden Age" authors represented in the list, Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury and Robert A Heinlein have 5 each (ETA not counting 1 that Asimov shares with Robert Silverberg).
And I have read 18 - but that includes some Bancroft Classics i.e. highly abridged versions aimed at children.
And I am pleased to see that 3 John Wyndham's made the list.
>99 Karlstar: From 2008 - 2011, I ran polls on Science Fiction, Fantasy, Non-fiction, and Mystery.
111 Science Fictions Books to Read Before a Supernova Kills Us All
List by Votes: https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/111_Science_Fiction_by_Votes
Arthur C. Clarke has seven books listed.
1001 Fantasy Books You Must Read Before You Are Turned Into a Newt
List by Votes: https://wiki.librarything.com/index.php/1001_Fantasy_by_Votes
Mercedes Lackey has nine books listed.
111 Books to Read Before Your Brain Atrophies
50 Mysteries to Read Before They Find the Body
I'd think about doing update polls, especially for the fantasy as it's over 10 years old, but I don't think GD has the numbers anymore. As you'll see from looking at the vote tallies, there were almost 50 votes for the most popular books. I don't think we have even half that many active members anymore, do we?
>104 Morphidae: Because I am weird like that, I copied the list of posts from the GD front page and sorted the members' handles so as to get a sense of who posts on GD regularly. It's not exactly scientific because it's just a list of who posted last on each thread (since 31 March or thereabouts). I got 39 separate members. Most of the usual suspects (except for jillwmo) seem to be there:
ETA I can think of a couple of others who post in GD fairly regularly too--as I said,it's not scientific.
Where I grew up personation on election day was a thing, so we could get the numbers up. :-)
>106 pgmcc: As they used to say in Sydney, vote early, vote often. So who have you been personating, or vice versa, Pete?
>104 Morphidae: Okay, so I'll start work on getting these lists over to List Challenges the next few days. :) The Science Fiction one is up. (Already had over 120 people take it! Average number read off the list from that grouping: 20)
I'll probably trim the Fantasy list a touch, because 111 books was a lot of work. LOL
>105 haydninvienna: Didn't realize I had voted on the old threads. Huh.
>109 gilroy: That's a partial list of people who've posted in the last several months, not of people who voted.
>109 gilroy: >105 haydninvienna: was answering >104 Morphidae:'s query about the number of active member here in the Dragon.
We've actually had a bit of a resurgence in the last year or so. We're usually in the top 8 groups for number of posts in a week, and often in the top 4. And no, it's not just the same 5 people posting 60 times. LOL
1000 books is too man; I don't have the patience to even check how many I have read. But for Fantasy, I had read 88 of the first 111.
Going to the Mysteries next.
>112 Karlstar: List Challenges is another website (by that name), where you can check off which books (or videos, or countries) you have read (etc.) on a list, and compare yourself with other readers. You can also vote the list items up or down. Since the site has higher traffic than here, the results are quite interesting.
>117 -pilgrim-: Thanks! It was puzzling me that I couldn't find anything of the sort here on LT and I'd never heard of that other site, should have googled it.
>118 Karlstar: Beware. Your 'to read' list will explode. :o)
Okay, so the supernova list and now the brain atrophies list are over on List Challenges for people to take.
Here's the link for the nonfiction list:
Fun stats from the supernova list so far:
792 people have checked this off so far. (1480 people have looked it over)
Average checks is 23 books.
Most frequently checked book is 1984. Then Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, Farenheit 451 and Brave new world. Frankenstein rounds out the top 5.
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