NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction & Fantasy Books

…That Were Not Written For Kids, which you can tell because those would have kids in them, well except for Ender’s Game which is about a kid but made the list anyway but hey we’ll have a YA list too but that’ll be YA fiction in general, not just F/SF which actually? For me is a more valid division – I’d rather read F/SF for kids than, say, tragiporn for any age group (House of Sand and Fog you need to DIE DIE DIE).

Anyway, here’s the list, which they compiled by holding a vote and if I may say so, couldn’t we honor the pioneers of the genre with one book each, to leave more space for writers who can, um, sort of write? The best Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land), the best Asimov (Foundation), then stop. Heinlein’s dirty old man fantasies are simply icky, and he’s too heavy-handed with the politics, and Asimov’s I Robot predicted that in the future robots would think and feel and read our minds, but that people would still talk like 40s gangster movies. I actually really like most of what Asimov had to say, but I find his writing style clunky.

But I digress. I went through the list, checked off the ones I’d read and clocked in at an embarrassing 37 (bad geek! What, did you have friends in high school or something?*), so there’s my assignment. I organized the list into 1) done read, 2) gotta check that out, and 3) no thanks. For the record, no thanks means I did at least read a few chapters before deciding I had no interest in hanging out with these people, and there are only five such rejects, plus Conan the Barbarian which I totally judged by its cover so sue me.

*ahem, no. No I did not. I have friends now, whom I knew in high school and who have subsequently forgiven me for being such a surly eyeliner-bitch back then, but no, at the time I had books instead of friends, which is why I should have done a lot better on that list. Actually, if they’d included F/SF for younger readers, I might have done.

So in the past week or two I’ve read The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (the novel that was the basis of Bladerunner), and Carl Sagan’s Contact. I’m partway through The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (fairly engaging so far), and already gave up on Starship Troopers after a chapter of action and two chapters of blah blah blah. And I’m about halfway through Dune (Frank Herbert), which started slow but became really engaging and interestingly realized. I probably won’t read the whole series, since I don’t think you have to to be able to check it off the list – for instance, I know I got tired of reading about Xanth before Piers Anthony got tired of writing about it.

So that’s what I’m reading. Howbout you?

Song du jour of the day, if you made it this far: Airplanes, by B.o.B. and Hayley Williams

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