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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:22 PM 
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There are a billion of these lists on the internet, of course, but here is a recent one from a slightly different perspective. It was collected this summer by voting on NPR's website, so I suppose it's a bit skewed toward leftish-leaning, American, cerebral types. Participants in the survey picked their top five books, in order, and the NPR peeps collected the data from 60,000 voters or so. Here's the list:

Quote:
1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
6. 1984, by George Orwell
7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman
11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman
12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan
13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson
15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore
16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov
17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein
18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss
19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick
22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King
24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke
25. The Stand, by Stephen King
26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury
28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut
29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman
30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein
32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey
34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller
36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne
38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys
39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson
44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven
45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White
48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman
49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke
50. Contact, by Carl Sagan
51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons
52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
54. World War Z, by Max Brooks
55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle
56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman
57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett
58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson
59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett
61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind
63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke
65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson
66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist
67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson
72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson
76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke
77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey
78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin
79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan
90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury
92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley
93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge
94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov
95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson
96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis
98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville
99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony
100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis


It's kind of baffling to me how skewed this list - which is supposed to reflect the best books in the genres, of all time, ever - is toward stuff published in the last twenty years. (George R.R. Martin at #5? Really? And I love Neil Gaiman, but should everything he's ever written really be in the top 50?) On the whole, though, I think it does a pretty good job of listing, if not ranking, the Geek's Great Books. I was disappointed not to see Octavia Butler in there, since Kindred and her Parable books are fucking amazing, but she does appeal to a pretty narrow audience. I'd also like to see Zelazny's Lord of Light up there, and some more of Ursula Le Guin's stuff (at least the Earthsea books). We and The Sirens of Titan also belong in the top 30 or so, imo.

So which of your favorites got passed over? Who should get bumped off the list for being a worthless hack? (I'm looking at you, Robert Jordan!)


Last edited by noojens on Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:41 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 1:45 PM 
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No Tad Williams. No Melanie Rawn. No thanks!

(at least they gave love to Ender's Game, though)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 3:22 PM 
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100badbooks.txt

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 4:18 PM 
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The Forever War should be much, much higher on that list.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:05 PM 
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Neesha the Necro wrote:
No Tad Williams. No Melanie Rawn. No thanks!

(at least they gave love to Ender's Game, though)



Yeah, he has some great stuff.

I wasn't a huge fan of the KingKiller stuff either...It was alright but I don't like the kind of books where the hero character seemingly knows everything, can do everything, is awesome at everything..etc..The whole Kvoth story read like a giant ego trip. I'm hoping the next book at least has a progressing storyline instead of 2 giant books of backstory.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:36 PM 
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Song of Ice and Fire is so very bad, but at least Amber and Xanth got some love.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:40 PM 
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Of all the choices on the list, you picked that one to say it is 'so very bad'? Just because it's popular now does not mean it's awful, sir. Book 3 was one of the best books I've read in a very long time.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:46 PM 
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It's Generic Fantasy Writing that panders specifically to Misunderstood Beta Males. Or, it's Stephanie Meyer's "Twilight" saga for guys.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 7:36 PM 
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I think you are letting the fact that it is now mainstream get in the way of your usually pretty good judgement. It is anything but generic. But you know all of this, which is why you rushed out to get the 5th book right when it came out.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:14 PM 
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(George R.R. Martin at #5? Really?


Without a doubt. He should have been higher. Tolkein may get credit from some people for being "first", but let's be honest. 90% of those books can be cut out as painful tripe in an age where people know what fantasy is and don't have to have every single detail spelled out for them over 5 or 6 pages. The only person worse than Tolkein on that detail was Jordan because you could at least understand why Tolkein did it, Jordan had no excuse.

Martin owns the genre at this point. Until someone better comes along and knocks him down.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:21 PM 
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Neesha the Necro wrote:
But you know all of this, which is why you rushed out to get the 5th book right when it came out.


Nah, I read the first two and moved on.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:22 PM 
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So you're talking about a series that you have no idea about. That makes your position even more laughable.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 9:33 PM 
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rugen wrote:
Martin owns the genre at this point. Until someone better comes along and knocks him down.

Okay, of fantasy writers who are working right now, I agree that Martin is one of the best. Certainly in the top five. But this is supposed to be a list of the best books evar!!1! Has a Song of Ice and Fire really had a bigger impact on the fantasy genre than 1984 (#6) did for Sci-Fi? In twenty years, will we still be geeking out about Tyrion? Or take Neuromancer (#14), which pretty much spawned the whole subgenre of cyberpunk. I just don't see Martin making that kind of lasting impact. His stories are nuanced and captivating, but... revolutionary? Meh.

Simply put, I think Martin ranked so highly on this list because, well, TV. The Game of Thrones series was f'ing awesome, and Martin's #5 spot is just reflecting his lion's share of the current geekspace.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 11:02 PM 
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Martin is way too high at number 5. Noojens put it pretty well.

Also, no Dragonlance books? They became garbage, but the original 3 were pretty influential, and well-written.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:23 AM 
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Heh, disliking Martin is much easier to understand when you are happy that Xanth got some love... Piers Anthony is a horrible horrible writer. He had a bunch of amazing ideas for stories that he really should have paid someone else to write. His books are fantastic when you're 12 though.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:16 AM 
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Larreth wrote:
I wasn't a huge fan of the KingKiller stuff either...It was alright but I don't like the kind of books where the hero character seemingly knows everything, can do everything, is awesome at everything..etc..The whole Kvoth story read like a giant ego trip. I'm hoping the next book at least has a progressing storyline instead of 2 giant books of backstory.

But... Kvothe isn't some superman who knows everything and can do everything. He's just really smart. That's his thing. Much like Sparrowhawk or Paul Atreides, Kvothe only has one superpower: he learns stuff really, really fast. In a series that's basically about Wizard College, I think the prodigy protagonist is totally natural.

I actually thought Kvothe's journeys away from the Arcanum in the second book felt rushed and, at times, a bit implausible (within the world as Rothfuss constructed it). The chance encounters with the Chandrian, the fortuitous apprenticeship with the Maer, and the convenient martial arts montage (you're the best - around!) had the air of stuff quickly happening to Kvothe, rather than Kvothe carving a niche out for himself, bit by bit, as at the Arcanum. Not that that's bad, per se; I guess I just like the scenes where Rothfuss lingers a bit. It gives a little more time to appreciate the richness of the characters and the world, not to mention the very polished and lyrical prose.

Speaking of Pat Rothfuss, I'm going to catch him at a reading/signing later this week (woot!). Anyone have some awesome ideas for stuff I should ask him?


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:26 AM 
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I agree, the org. 3 Dragonlance novels, plus the org. follow-up Twins series should be on there


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:22 AM 
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Quote:
Has a Song of Ice and Fire really had a bigger impact on the fantasy genre than 1984 (#6) did for Sci-Fi? In twenty years, will we still be geeking out about Tyrion? Or take Neuromancer (#14), which pretty much spawned the whole subgenre of cyberpunk. I just don't see Martin making that kind of lasting impact. His stories are nuanced and captivating, but... revolutionary? Meh.


For me, that is where lists like this fail. SciFi and Fantasy are two entirely different genres. I've never understood why they are continually lumped together. Trying to compare Neuromancer to A Game of Thrones is retarded. Sci Fi has had a lot of completely brilliant writers in it over the years. Fantasy....not so much. There's been a lot of fantasy players that have carved out a niche for themselves, but their stories are largely forgotten/forgettable. I've never particularly cared for Sci Fi, so while that half of the "SciFi/Fantasy" people had a lot to fall back on, Fantasy has been boring cut out characters in pre-pressed plots for a long, long time for those of us that tend to stick to the Fantasy side of the genre.

But no. I don't compare Fantasy to SciFi, because to me, that would be like comparing a new song to an apple pie. So that's probably why I am reading this list differently than most. I just blot out the sci fi parts. heh.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:15 AM 
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Totally agree with Rugen. I hate when Sci-Fi and Fantasy are lumped together when they are different, in my mind. I don't care much for sci-fi, but there is some that I really enjoyed. I also agree that George R. R. Martin is "owning" the fantasy genre at the moment. I just hope he doesn't pull a Jordan and die before this series is finished, because I don't think Sanderson could pull this one off. :study:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:50 AM 
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I think GRRM has already said that if he dies before it's done, it's done.

I also hate it when scifi and fantasy are lumped together. They couldn't be more different -- but I actually like scifi.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:46 PM 
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Yeah, he's rated far too high on this list, but he definitely belongs on it to be sure, at least in the Top 25 in my view.


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Zatronn1 wrote:
Piers Anthony is a horrible horrible writer. He had a bunch of amazing ideas for stories that he really should have paid someone else to write. His books are fantastic when you're 12 though.


You're probably right on that one, I read that series when I was... 14 maybe. But realistically, at least 70 of the 100 in this list really have no business being read by anyone in their twenties.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:27 PM 
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randy wrote:
But realistically, at least 70 of the 100 in this list really have no business being read by anyone in their twenties.

lol. "Kid stuff!" yells the guy who still trolls an internet message board for a video game where he played a magical midget named Binkee Furrytoes.

Seriously man, c'mon out of that geek closet, we won't judge.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:39 PM 
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I have been unironically playing and enjoying Magic 2012 on xbox for about three weeks, and fantasy writing is still The Worst.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:43 PM 
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randy wrote:
I have been unironically playing and enjoying Magic 2012 on xbox for about three weeks, and fantasy writing is still The Worst.


Your situation has not improved.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:17 PM 
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Quote:
Speaking of Pat Rothfuss, I'm going to catch him at a reading/signing later this week (woot!). Anyone have some awesome ideas for stuff I should ask him?


I met him at a signing in Seattle when the book first released. He's likable and engaging, but you won't get to talk to him very long, so you probably have time for like 1 question anyway. He's very popular atm, so his signings are packed. The clerks at the store said they hadn't seen a bigger turnout since Jim Butcher did a signing.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:49 PM 
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Elessar wrote:
Your situation has not improved.


Well yeah, I'm just saying there's a helping of sad geekdom in my life, but I guess not to the point that I'd read badly-written fantasy novels.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:34 PM 
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randy wrote:
Elessar wrote:
Your situation has not improved.


Well yeah, I'm just saying there's a helping of sad geekdom in my life, but I guess not to the point that I'd read badly-written fantasy novels.


You're Val Kilmer arguing with Tom Cruise over who was more gay.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:52 PM 
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(Dune should be #1)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:37 PM 
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Elessar wrote:
You're Val Kilmer arguing with Tom Cruise over who was more gay.


Pretty alpha of you, bro.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 8:56 PM 
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Zatronn1 wrote:
I met him at a signing in Seattle when the book first released. He's likable and engaging, but you won't get to talk to him very long, so you probably have time for like 1 question anyway. He's very popular atm, so his signings are packed. The clerks at the store said they hadn't seen a bigger turnout since Jim Butcher did a signing.

Hmm, that sucks, I guess I'll just try to get my books signed and maybe see if I can sneak in a question if he does a Q&A. Although this reading is at a little public library in bumblefuck nowhere on a Wednesday night, so maybe it'll be a bit less crowded.

Argrax wrote:
(Dune should be #1)

I kinda agree... I think Dune is a better book than Ender's Game hands down, though Orson Scott Card's sequels are much more consistently entertaining than the later Dune installments. The first Dune book was so concise, and flowed so well... the later ones get totally disjointed by comparison. But Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide were almost as good as Ender's Game, I thought.

I don't really see anything belonging at #1 more than LotR, though. And I have a soft spot in my heart for Douglas Adams, so anyone who wants him bumped down the list had best prepare for fisticuffs!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:13 PM 
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Dune was great (one of my favorites), but the series got worse and worse with every book, in my opinion. Although the Sword of Truth series got pretty ridiculous with every new book (and new catastrophe), at least they remained readable. I can't say the same about the Dune books. I couldn't even finish the latter books.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:26 PM 
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Really? I'm just finishing up House Corrino and I'm honestly really enjoying it. Where did you stop reading Neesha?

Dune compared to LotR, Dune seems simply more vast.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:03 PM 
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Huh. The new Dune books are actually good, eh?

I pretty much boycotted the non-Herbert stuff on general principle. Also, they kept springing up every few months with no real warning. Y'know, like... herpes? So I figured the books would be similarly irritating.

Plus, I have vague recollections from my teenage years of murky excursions into the depths of the Star Wars 'verse, sequel after sequel, prequels piled upon prequels, and I shudder to think how many hours of my life I might pour down the drain if I got started on the expanded Dune-iverse. That way lies madness...

Then again, I've been sane for a while now, and change is good. I suppose it couldn't hurt to try out just one of 'em, right? Is there a particular one of the new Dune books I should check out?

... Just one? ;)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 5:26 AM 
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My favorite books of the ones I've read in that list is the Foundation series. I have read those way too many times, and I still enjoy them.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:52 AM 
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I'll have to pick those up as well. I'd had the same feeling on Herbert, and was the same way with Christopher Tolkien released stuff as well until Children of Hurin turned out to be VERY well edited.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 7:56 AM 
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Oh, and as a side note on this list. It's a fucking crime to see Stephen R. Donaldson so low on this list. Thomas Covenant was a phenomenal series, assuming you liked Donaldson's writing style. Either way, he effectively wrote the antihero prototype for fantasy.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 8:48 AM 
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The FIRST chronicles of Thomas Covenant was fucking amazing. The SECOND? Pretty shit, honestly. I haven't had the courage to try the third.

Also, the new Dune books sort of suck, though I did like the prequels, despite Kevin J Anderson having written them.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:02 AM 
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I agree about the Thomas Covenant books, though I personally hated them. Anti-hero's should have some element to root for, but Thomas Covenant was just a shitty human being.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:14 AM 
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I actually enjoyed that fact. It's rare to see a protagonist with no redeeming qualities. There are a few song of ice and fire characters that are that way also (Cersei, Littlefinger)

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:14 AM 
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Yeah, same for me. I want to read books to escape from the norm. As in real life I'm not (normally) an evil heartless asshole (just merely an asshole) I sometimes enjoy the antihero or even the perspective of the villian, from the mindset of evil thinking what they're doing IS the right thing. It just fascinates me.

As for Van and Covenant, yeah, the second was definitely...forced. I didn't hate it, but I didn't enjoy. Much like I did with Orson Scott Card's follow-ups, I only read it out of respect for the first series. I haven't yet touched the third.

Another series I'm not sure I saw on this list that I enjoyed quite a bit was Stephen R Lawhead's Taliesin/Merlin/Arthur. It's surely not Top 100, but definitely within my Top 200.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:28 AM 
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Every time we discuss these things, I bring up Dave Duncan's A Man of His Word series. I really loved that series, but don't know too many people who read it.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:46 AM 
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Speaker for the Dead bored the everloving shit out of me for the first few chapters, I haven't tried it since.

I just threw book one of that series on my Kindle, Neesha. I'll give it a go after I finish re-reading Snow Crash.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 5:27 AM 
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Quote:
Another series I'm not sure I saw on this list that I enjoyed quite a bit was Stephen R Lawhead's Taliesin/Merlin/Arthur. It's surely not Top 100, but definitely within my Top 200.


I really liked those books too, and in fact have now read every book he has written. Not all are equal quality, but there is a lot of good historical fiction in his writing.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 8:18 AM 
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A list of "most enjoyed" could be very different from "most influential". LOTR is without a doubt the most influential on the genre but as for enjoyable reading ...meh. I'm just glad Harry Potter is not on the list. Dragonlance should have made it on there though. They were my favorite as a teenager but I'm afraid to go back and read them again for fear of disappointment.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:35 PM 
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Kitiari wrote:
A list of "most enjoyed" could be very different from "most influential". LOTR is without a doubt the most influential on the genre but as for enjoyable reading ...meh. I'm just glad Harry Potter is not on the list. Dragonlance should have made it on there though. They were my favorite as a teenager but I'm afraid to go back and read them again for fear of disappointment.

Yeah, that's a good point. This is an odd list, because the people who voted were asked for their "top" five. Not the five books they felt were the most influential, or the best, or their own personal favorites. Just the top ones - whatever that means.

I kinda like it, though. The list is a nice mix of lowbrow and highbrow. It's pretty honest and, for the most part, unpretentious (which is one of the great things about the genre, imo). I'm excited to check out some of the titles on the list that are new to me. I consider myself a pretty avid reader, but I've only read maybe 60 of these books (all of the top 20, most of the top 50; after that it's hit or miss). Lotsa fun ahead. :)


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:53 AM 
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To be honest, I started reading the replies above me and realized that I was spending a lot of time on conflicts of opinion that went past expression and became dick-waving. Forgive me if I repeat something someone else said earlier -- it was lost in the noise. :)

1. LOTR -- Okay, let's establish right out the gate that some of these entries are references to the merit of a whole series, not one volume. An earnest comparison of Tolkien with his Sci-Fi equivalent (Isaac Asimov) would be out of scope for this, so we're moving on.

2. I believe a dead author is getting excessive credit here, but I'm not closely measuring how much.

3. This should read "Ender's Game series", to include Speaker for the Dead, from which half this author's acclaim springs. Also I want fair credit for leaving him in the top ten despite being a thundering nutjob.

4. Agreed if we're talking about JUST the stuff Frank wrote. None of this "my son carried on the legacy" bullshit.

6, 7, 9, 13, 24. Fiction? Fantasy?

12. Wheel of Time was better work than Princess Bride (11).

15. I feel compelled to defend this spot from people who only saw the movie and think #15 is undeserved. You'd be hard-pressed to turn to any page in the original graphic novel and find any ten panels that didn't have fifteen meanings. It was brilliant.

16. No relation to that Will Smith abortion. At all.

17. Maybe this one's too high. Stranger was overhyped because it was "Heinlein, who showed us all how" (Niven, Pournelle and Barnes, Legacy of Heorot, dedication -- and it's a goddamn crime that that book isn't in this list). Practically almost everything Heinlein ever wrote was almost universally stolen -- his "Universe" ship is (no shit) the basis of every single even semi-realistic ship depicted in anyone's story ever since, ever. What Heinlein wrote and has never been stolen, necessarily hasn't been for one of two reasons: it's sacred (hint: nothing), or it's not worth stealing.

Nothing has been stolen from Stranger in a Strange Land except the concept of life on Mars, and Heinlein didn't beat Edgar Rice Burroughs into print with that.

21. Literary assistance for the unwashed: This book bred the movie "Blade Runner."

25. The Stand might be getting excessive credit for the surprising talent of some of the actors in the movie adaptation. The book itself was backbreaking work to slog through.

26. Jesus, why isn't this higher. A writer who can nuance the reader's perspective to align it through the lens of the witnessing character like Stephenson does here, combined with even a passing understanding of the relevant technology, makes this person a living national treasure. Pity he didn't follow through with later novels -- Cryptonomicon and Quicksilver were disappointments. Maybe he just couldn't outdo himself after this novel.

31. Dreck from after Heinlein fired his editor and became a political mouthpiece, but useful as a guide for how the mighty might fall.

43. Technical foul. Last I had checked, the Mistborn series wasn't finished, rendering any judgment at all premature at best and a marketing stunt at worst.

44. Clockwork Orange beat Ringworld? This list was populated by people who couldn't read, but remembered the movie!

46. Foul. The Silmarillion was adjunct to the Lord of the Rings series.

50. Understand: The book was way better than the movie.

59. This needs to be higher. Bujold is incredible when writing from inside Miles' head. Again, I'm aghast that this is lower than Clockwork Orange.

61. See 59. A plausibly alien race, yo. Back-story, selfish motives, willingness and ability to lie at will to the protagonists -- this was hard to get right. The alien race involved could only have been credibly created with Pournelle in the room (Ph.D's in Sociology, Molecular Biology, and Astrophysics).

67. What? Wolfwalker doesn't make the series, but Shannara does?

96. Lucifer's Hammer has been ruthlessly stolen from by Hollywood numerous times. You'll find pieces of it in "Volcano", "Dante's Peak", "Deep Impact", "Armageddon", and "2012".
Trivia: Lucifer's Hammer was an accident. Niven and Pournelle were writing Footfall, and the editor loved the meteor impact scenario so much that he ordered another book based just on that!

99. I'd have docked points for abject sexism, but that's the PC in me. Anthony should be here for Incarnations of Immortality, if he's here for anything.

100. What? Pedantic horseshit. I couldn't even get through That Hideous Strength. Perelandra had its merits, but by and large the series doesn't belong here.

Missing from the list: As mentioned, Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immortality series (at least the first six). Timothy Zahn's COBRA series. Steven Barnes' Streetlethal. As mentioned before, Niven/Pournelle/Barnes' Legacy of Heorot. Lloyd Alexanders Chronicles of Prydein (which included "The Black Cauldron" second of five).


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:57 AM 
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Reviewing later posts -- hell yes, Lawhead gets an honorable mention vote from me too. I read the Taliesin/Merlin/Arthur series, but there's also merit in the Hall of the Dragon King series if you can ignore all the evangelism Lawhead loaded the spoon with.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:50 AM 
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anyone read the Bronze Canticles trilogy by Tracy and Laura Hickman ? picked all 3 paperbacks up at a yard sale on Sat. for .75


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