1000 Novels Everyone Must Read

The Guardian is publishing lists of novels everyone should read, and here are their science fiction/fantasy selections:


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 Enstein 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)
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)
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-)
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)


As many people have already pointed out, many of these titles are not SFF. But what the heck, right!?!


Every time lists like this one appear, I realize that I'm not as well-read as I'd like. In addition, I realize that many books that critics adore put me right to sleep and were a waste of my time. Still, I take heart from the fact that I agree with many of these selections. . .:-)

18 commentaires:

Janet said...

I count 27 I've read. I don't know if that's good or bad.

Maybe you should make your own list.

Anonymous said...

No Robert Jordan or George R.R. Martin? lol

Anonymous said...

orson scott card?

I second no GRRM.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I've only read 13 of the must read books in my favorite genre. Either I haven't read nearly as many good books as I thought or they have no idea what they're doing. And as far as miscues on the list, no Richard K. Morgan or Stephen Erikson? Really?

Dream Girlzzz said...

With those intellectual wankers at The Guardian, what did you guys expect??? Some great choices in there, sure, but some selections are just plain weird...

ShadowofGod said...

There's another section called "imaginary worlds" or something. Most of the true sf and fantasy is there, including LotR.

Anonymous said...

They don't have Erikson or Martin on there, because high fantasy is pretty far from what literature is. These are books everyone 'must read', as in, something is in them for everyone. I can guarantee that Jordan or Erikson is not for everyone; hell they're not even for me.

Literature is something that exists beyond entertainment or catchy plots.

Anonymous said...

haha, as soon as I post that, I see 'Clive Barker' on the list...

-Woozy

Anonymous said...

Pat - I didn't let the folks at Ran's into the secret - that MJH was on the '1000 novels' panel. I was waiting for someone to point it out, but nobody did. Maybe I'm the only one that actually reads the Guardian!

I think more people are missing the point here than at Ran's though - and I thought it would be the other way around.

Baptiste said...

From my point of view, this feels a lot more like a list of litterature classics that had, for some reason or another, an impact on the litterary world than it does a list of book you would actually recommend to someone for reading.
For instance, the books chosen for K Dick or for W. Gibson may be their most emblematic but are far from being their best imo.
And what can then be said about the absence of giants of the genre like Zelazny, Scott Card, Martin, or others... Or this they put classics in it, the absence of Jules Verne who very nearly invented science fiction.

Patrick said...

Isis: I knew MJH was a reviewer for The Guardian, but I wasn't aware that he sat on the panel.

Interesting. . .

Anonymous said...

Pat - he was on the panel for the whole '1000 novels' thing, i.e. his name was mentioned in all the other genres too, but I'm thinking I can see his hand in a lot of the SF&F choices.

The one 'wrong choice' that leapt out at me was American Gods - who would list that title as Gaiman's best? I'd be more inclined to pick a collection of his shorts than a novel.

Seriously though, you have no idea how much amusement I get from people asking where Erikson is. Hey guess what, there's no Bakker either.

Really, what does Jordan represent about the genre that is not contributed by an author who is actually in the list? Ditto Martin, Card and so on...

I'm even more disappointed in insular SF&F fans than I expected to be. Boooo!

Ron said...

I've read 24, but really, why pick that Moorcock when his Elric series is what he is known for and really pushed the anti-hero?

Anonymous said...

And leave off Dandelion Wine? Or for that matter, not put ANYTHING by Ray Bradbury on the list? For shame!

Ellestra said...

I was surprised by how many I've read - 48. This is the product of my childhood reading habits when I read anything even slightly resembling sf and didn't have much choice but the classics since there wasn't much else out in, then, communist Poland. However, some of them I barely remember which means they are not much of must reads as those should leave lasting impressions.

Anonymous said...

With so many classics on there, it surprises me the don't have 1984, which certainly fits more into the sci-fi genre than a lot of others on that list.

Anonymous said...

Nineteen Eighty-Four is on there. So is Bradbury. Pat has just copied it incorrectly.

Anonymous said...

An odd mess. The Pratchett selection is very general -- the Discworld series, which is up to what now? 9,824 books. They chose the collective 'Chronicles of Narnia', instead of individual books. And the entire Earthsea series by LeGuin. Meanwhile they only select Asimov's Foundation (not the series) and the first Harry Potter?