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Subject: Must read sci-fi/fantasy list rss

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Sean Franco
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I generally find these "must read" lists lacking, but this one actually impressed me on the actual range and slight obscurity to the contemporary reader.

http://flavorwire.com/408275/50-sci-fifantasy-novels-that-ev...

I've read 24 of these 50.
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Here's how my reading breaks down:

Read
Ender's Game
Frankenstein
The Left Hand of Darkness
Slaughterhouse-five
Harry Potter
Chronicles of Narnia
Solaris
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Nineteen Eighty-Four
The Stars My Destination
American Gods
Brave New World
The Last Unicorn
Something Wicked This Way Comes
The Time Machine
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
The Giver


Currently Reading
A Song of Ice and Fire

Partly Read
The Lord of the Rings (I have yet to finish the third book.)
Nine Princes in Amber (I read the first one, and wasn't that interested in reading the rest.)
The Time Quartet (I read the first one and thought it was just okay.)
His Dark Materials (I read the first two, and never got around to the third one. It's been so long since I've read them that I'd have to go back and read the entire series again.)
The Dune Chronicles (I read Dune, and heard from a lot of folks that I could stop there and not regret it.)
Foundation (I've read the first two, and would like to finish out the series.)
Discworld (I've read a handful of these, and liked them, but I don't have a driving desire to read everything in the series.)

Own But Haven't Read Yet
The Handmaid's Tale
The Mists of Avalon
Snow Crash
Neuromancer
Never Let Me Go
Kindred
The Once and Future King
Zone One
Among Others
Howl's Moving Castle


Will Be Buying Soon
Ubik (Dammit, Pieter!)

EDIT: Made a run to the bookstore over lunch!
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TonyKR
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I agree with Drew -- this list seems to be skewed towards the literary side (this isn't a complaint). A big giveaway is the inclusion of Margaret Atwood and using the AC Clarke award as the justification, but not including any AC Clarke anywhere on the list. (As a side note, I would've listed her Oryx and Crake instead.)

Anyways, 19 for me, but 5 or 6 of the others have been sitting in my to-be-read pile for far too long.
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Pugnax555 wrote:
I agree with Drew -- this list seems to be skewed towards the literary side (this isn't a complaint). A big giveaway is the inclusion of Margaret Atwood and using the AC Clarke award as the justification, but not including any AC Clarke anywhere on the list. (As a side note, I would've listed her Oryx and Crake instead.)
43 out of 50 for me.

I would disagree slightly. If it was trying to be more literary, I would have expected to see a Gene Wolfe on there, a Chris Priest on there, maybe even a Doris Lessing. It wasn't that it won the Clarke that it is on there, it is that it won the first Clarke Award, and that it remains to this day a very influential novel.

BTW it says "Arthur C. Clarke award, given to the best sci-fi novel in any given year." which is incorrect. It is for the best science fiction novel published in the UK (and which was submitted to the judges).
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Drew1365 wrote:
When the whole series is listed as one entry, it's a little difficult to decide how to respond.
I thought the same thing, which is why I broke it down like I did.
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23.

Some odd choices. The Drowned World was good, but a must read? And I read The Giver to my daughter just recently, I thought it was pretty bad.
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23 read. I will check out the 'never heard ofs' but a lot of the 'heard ofs' I've skipped on purpose.
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I'll speak up for one of the more "never heard of" books: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Patricia C. Wrede. I'm currently reading it to my 6 year old son for the second time. It starts with Dealing with Dragons and it's four books long (though the first is probably the best, the others aren't bad). If you have a kid aged 6-12, it's good read.
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BookandGame wrote:
I'll speak up for one of the more "never heard of" books: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Patricia C. Wrede. I'm currently reading it to my 6 year old son for the second time. It starts with Dealing with Dragons and it's four books long (though the first is probably the best, the others aren't bad). If you have a kid aged 6-12, it's good read.
I have two daughters in that age range who love fantasy, so I'm always looking for good books. But that book (Dealing with Dragons) doesn't seem to be in ebook format, checked Kindle and Google's book stores.

Edit: Finally found what claims to be a link to a free(?) download of the books. But clicking on the link leads to a series of ad-filled pages promising downloads on the next link, finally leading to a place where I download a .exe file. Yeah, like I'll run that. Weird.
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I've read 12 of them and am currently reading one other. Never even heard of the majority of them though.
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Harry Potter? Seriously?

JK Rowling can't write for toffee. Her characterisation is dreadful, her prose dull, wooden, uninspiring and offensively amateurish, and her ideas are unoriginal.

Any list with her on it shows the listmaker hasn't read anywhere near as widely as they should.

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Billy McBoatface
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VALIS13 wrote:
Harry Potter? Seriously?

JK Rowling can't write for toffee. Her characterisation is dreadful, her prose dull, wooden, uninspiring and offensively amateurish, and her ideas are unoriginal.

Any list with her on it shows the listmaker hasn't read anywhere near as widely as they should.
Ahhhhh, the potter haters. Should have known they'd show up in this thread.
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28 here.

As to the Potter haters, I don't care if it's not great literature (in your opinion), my kids loved it and it was something I could share with them. It led to discussions and may be the only books that all five of us have read.

I answered yes on Time quartet and Narnia and am not sure I read all the books of either. I loved Wrinkle in Time in third grade, but remember discovering the other books decades later and not being impressed. I wasn't crazy about Narnia and can't remember how many I made it through.
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26. I must admit that more than half that I did not read, I actually never heard of.

No idea how anybody can call this a definitive list of good SF, though. If it is about good SF, I am missing a lot, and I see some stuff that does not belong on it (Harry Potter is an OK read, but it is not good, nor is it SF, and Philip Pullman? The first book of His Dark Materials was pretty good, but the rest was awful crap.)
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Just noticed: 50% has not even heard of Philip Dick's Ubik? Will you people get off your asses and get a copy, please? While I prefer Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Ubik is definitely amongst his top books and a unique experience.

Instant Ubik has all the fresh flavor of just-brewed drip coffee. Your husband will say, Christ, Sally' I used to think your coffee was only so-so. But now, wow! Safe when taken as directed.

I just found that the full book can be read at: http://lieu-subjectif.org/workshops/hic-ubique/ubik.html. Not the best font, but at least you can check if it is something that you would enjoy.
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I took 15 years from reading and wished I didn't.


I have about 400 pulp classics from the 20s and 30s before I even start on modern stuff....which I do occasionally mix in.

Next up: my 10lb lot of EE Doc Smith paperbacks. Lensman first.
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Read 19, heard of all but 5. I'll have to browse the descriptions of those later.
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15 and some I didn't finish like Dhalgren; think I stopped after about 300 pages and can't remember a thing.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Altair IV wrote:
I took 15 years from reading and wished I didn't.
I'm sorry, what?!
I think he means he took 15 years off from reading . . .
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I've actually been looking for some recommendations and I'll probably reference this list. I actually have a copy of The City & The City sitting on my bookshelf that I was never quite able to get into.

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wmshub wrote:
BookandGame wrote:
I'll speak up for one of the more "never heard of" books: The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Patricia C. Wrede. I'm currently reading it to my 6 year old son for the second time. It starts with Dealing with Dragons and it's four books long (though the first is probably the best, the others aren't bad). If you have a kid aged 6-12, it's good read.
I have two daughters in that age range who love fantasy, so I'm always looking for good books. But that book (Dealing with Dragons) doesn't seem to be in ebook format, checked Kindle and Google's book stores.

Edit: Finally found what claims to be a link to a free(?) download of the books. But clicking on the link leads to a series of ad-filled pages promising downloads on the next link, finally leading to a place where I download a .exe file. Yeah, like I'll run that. Weird.
Yeah, we've been reading it in the dead trees edition. Looks like it hasn't been published in ebook format.
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24. But I have most of them sitting my shelf unread, if that's any help.

I'm guessing Andy is the other person who read The Female Man?
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Altair IV wrote:
Next up: my 10lb lot of EE Doc Smith paperbacks. Lensman first.
The Lensman and Skylark books are good pulpy fun, but I'd skip the rest (many of which are not actually written by the Doc anyway).
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19 for me. But like others, I didn't read ALL the books in some of the series.

Is it a "must read" if I know I've read it, but can't remember 1 thing about the book?
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