NPR: Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

There was no way I would miss voting for  NPR’s Top 100 best Science Fiction, Fantsy Books  nor am I afraid to slowly read every single book on this list (excepting the one or two series that I didn’t like).

During the voting period, everyone was allowed to choose 10 books out of a pre-selected list (YA was not included). I was kind of unsure what to vote for since I didn’t necessarily know all the books on the list but I quickly found 10 that I considered among the best I had read and voted for them (they all made it into the final list, yay). If you’re wondering why my list here contains more than 100 books – I listed the books in trilogies and series even when only the first book was chosen.

Books that I’ve already read are printed bold and if I wrote one, there’s a link to myreview.

  1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams 
  3. The Ender Saga, by Orson Scott Card
    1. Ender’s Game
    2. Speaker for the Dead
    3. Xenocide
    4. Children of the Mind
  4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert
    1. Dune
    2. Dune Messiah
    3. Children of Dune
    4. God Emperor of Dune
    5. Heretics of Dune
    6. Chapterhouse Dune
  5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin
    1. A Game of Thrones
    2. A Clash of Kings
    3. A Storm of Swords
    4. A Feast for Crows
    5. A Dance With Dragons
    6. The Winds of Winter
    7. A Dream of Spring
    8. Dunk & Egg Novellas
      1. The Hedge Knight + Graphic Novel
      2. The Sworn Sword
      3. The Mystery Knight
  6. 1984, by George Orwell
  7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury 
  8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov
    1. Foundation
    2. Foundation and Empire
    3. Second Foundation
  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 (and Brandon Sanderson)
    1. The Eye of the World
    2. The Great Hunt
    3. The Dragon Reborn
    4. The Shadow Rising
    5. The Fires of Heaven
    6. Lord of Chaos
    7. A Crown of Swords
    8. The Path of Daggers
    9. Winter’s Heart
    10. Crossroads of Twilight
    11. Knife of Dreams
    12. The Gathering Storm
    13. Towers of Midnight
    14. A Memory of Light
  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
    1. The Name of the Wind
    2. The Wise Man’s Fear
    3. (The Doors of Stone)
  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
    1. The Gunslinger
    2. The Drawing of Three
    3. The Wastelands
    4. Wizard and Glass
    5. Wolves of the Calla
    6. Song of Susannah
    7. The Dark Tower
    8. The Wind Through the Keyhole
  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
    1. Preludes & Nocturnes
    2. The Doll’s House
    3. Dream Country
    4. Season of Mist
    5. A Game of You
    6. Fables and Reflections
    7. Brief Lives
    8. World’s End
    9. The Kindly Ones
    10. The Wake
  30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess
  31. Starship Troopers, by Robert A. Heinlein
  32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams
  33. Dragonriders of Pern, by Anne McCaffrey
    1. Dragonflight
    2. Dragonquest
    3. The White Draong
    4. Dragonsong
    5. Dragonsinger
    6. Dragondrums
    7. Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern
    8. Nerilka’s Story
    9. Dragonsdawn
    10. Renegades of Pern
    11. All the Weyrs of Pern
    12. The Chronicles of Pern: First Fall
    13. The Dolphins of Pern
    14. Red Star Rising
    15. The Masterharper of Pern
    16. The Skies of Pern
    17. A Gift of Dragons
  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 Keyes
  39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells
  40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
    1. Nine Princes im Amber
    2. The Guns of Avalon
    3. Sign of the Unicorn
    4. The Hand of Oberon
    5. The Courts of Chaos
  41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings
    1. Pawn of Prophecy
    2. Queen of Sorcery
    3. Magician’s Gambit
    4. Castle of Wizardry
    5. Enchanter’s End Game
  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
    1. Hyperion
    2. The Fall of Hyperion
    3. Endymion
    4. The Rise of Endymion
  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
    1. Lord Foul’s Bane
    2. The Illearth War
    3. The Power That Preserves
    4. The Wounded Land
    5. The One Tree
    6. White Gold Wielder
    7. The Runes of the Earth
    8. Fatal Revenant
    9. Against All Things Ending
    10. The Last Dark
  59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold
    1. Cordelia’s Honor
      1. Shards of Honor
      2. Barrayar
    2. Young Miles
      1. The Warrior’s Apprentice
      2. “The Mountains of Mourning”
      3. The Vor Game
    3. Miles, Mystery & Mayhem
      1. Cetaganda
      2. Ethan of Athos
      3. “Labyrinth”
    4. Miles Errant
      1. “Borders of Infinity”
      2. Brothers in Arms
      3. Mirror Dance
    5. Memory
    6. Miles in Love
      1. Komarr
      2. A Civil Campaign
      3. “Winterfair Gifts”
    7. Miles, Mutants & Microbes
      1. Falling Free
      2. “Labyrinth”
      3. Diplomatic Immunity
    8. Cryoburn
    9. Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
  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
    1. Wizard’s First Rule
    2. Stone of Tears
    3. Blood in the Fold
    4. Temple of the Winds
    5. Soul in the Fire
    6. Faith of the Fallen
    7. The Pillars of Creation
    8. Naked Empire
    9. Chainfire
    10. Phantom
    11. Confessor
    12. Debt of Bones
  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
    1. Magician
    2. Silverthorn
    3. A Darkness at Sethanon
  67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks
    1. The Sword of Shannara
    2. The Elfstones of Shannara
    3. The Wishstone of Shannara
  68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard
  69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb
    1. Assassin’s Apprentice
    2. Royal Assassin
    3. Assassin’s Quest
  70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger
  71. The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson
    1. The Way Of Kings
    2. Words of Radiance
    3. Oathbringer
    4. Rhythm of War
  72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne
  73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore
    1. Homeland
    2. Exile
    3. Sojourn
    4. The Crystal Shard
    5. Streams of Silver
    6. The Halfling’s Gem
  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
    1. Kushiel’s Dart
    2. Kushiel’s Chosen
    3. Kushiel’s Avatar
  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
    1. Gardens of the Moon
    2. Deadhouse Gates
    3. Memories of Ice
    4. House of Chains
    5. Midnight Tides
    6. The Bonehunters
    7. Reaper’s Gale
    8. Toll the Hounds
    9. Dust of Dreams
    10. The Crippled God
  82. The Thursday Next Series, by Jasper Fforde
    1. The Eyre Affair
    2. Lost in a Good Book
    3. The Well of Lost Plots
    4. Something Rotten
    5. First Among Sequels
    6. One of Our Thursdays is Missing
    7. The Woman Who Died a Lot
  83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks
    1. Consider Phlebas
    2. The Player of Games
    3. Use of Weapons
    4. The State of the Art
    5. Excession
    6. Inversions
    7. Look to Windward
    8. Matter
    9. Surface Detail
    10. The Hydrogen Sonata
  84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart
  85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson
  86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher
    1. Furies of Calderon
    2. Academ’s Fury
    3. Cursor’s Fury
    4. Captain’s Fury
    5. Princep’s Fury
    6. First Lord’s Fury
  87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe
    1. The Shadow of the Torturer
    2. The Claw of the Conciliator
    3. The Sword of the Lictor
    4. The Citadel of the Autarch
  88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn
    1. Heir to the Empire
    2. Dark Force Rising
    3. The Last Command
  89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon
    1. Cross Stitch/Outlander
    2. Dragonfly in Amber
    3. Voyager
    4. Drums of Autumn
    5. The Fiery Cross
    6. A Breath of Snow and Ashes
    7. An Echo in the Bone
  90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock
    1. Elric of Melniboné
    2. The Sailor and the Seas of Fate
    3. The Weird of the White Wolf
    4. The Vanishing Tower
    5. The Bane of the Black Sword
    6. Stormbringer
  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
    1. Red Mars
    2. Green Mars
    3. Blue Mars
  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
    1. A Spell for Chameleon
    2. The Source of Magic
    3. Castle Roogna
    4. Centaur Aisle
    5. Ogre, Ogre
    6. Night Mare
    7. Dragon on a Pedestal
    8. Crewel Lye
    9. Golem in the Gears
    10. Vale of the Vole
    11. Heaven Cent
    12. Man from Mundania
    13. Isle of View
    14. Question Quest
    15. The Color of Her Panties
    16. Demons Don’t Dream
    17. Harpy Thyme
    18. Geis of the Gargoyle
    19. Roc and a Hard Place
    20. Yon Ill Wind
    21. Faun & Games
    22. Zombie Lover
    23. Xone of Contention
    24. The Dastard
    25. Swell Foop
    26. Up In a Heaval
    27. Cute Route
    28. Currant Events
    29. Pet Peeve
    30. Stork Naked
    31. Air Apparent
    32. Two to the Fifth
    33. Jumper Cabel
    34. Knot Gneiss
    35. Well-Tempered Clavicle
    36. Luck of the Draw
    37. Esrever Doom
    38. Board Stiff
  100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis
    1. Out of the Silent Planet
    2. Perelandra
    3. That Hideous Strength

And because some books’ absence from this list was so striking, NPR published an addendum a while later.

  • The Parable Series, by Octavia Butler
    1. Parable of the Sower
    2. Parable of the Talents
  • Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany
  • The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russell
  • Grass, by Sheri S. Tepper
  • The Last Herald Mage Series, by Mercedes Lackey
    1. Magic’s Pawn
    2. Magic’s Promise
    3. Magic’s Price
  • We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  • The Foreigner Series, by C. J. Cherryh
    1. Foreigner
    2. Invader
    3. Inheritor
    4. Precursor
    5. Defender
    6. Explorer
    7. Destroyer
    8. Pretender
    9. Deliverer
    10. Conspirator
    11. Deceiver
    12. Betrayer
    13. Intruder
    14. Protector
    15. Peacemaker
    16. Tracker
    17. Visitor
    18. Convergence
    19. Emergence
    20. Resurgence
    21. Divergence

6 thoughts on “NPR: Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy Books

  1. Dina says:

    Of course I don’t mind. Thank you!
    I’ll be sure to check your blog to see how far you got on the challenge. *fingers crossed*
    EDIT: And I linked you back. 🙂


  2. Richard Rose says:

    The two books by Ursula Le Guin should be much higher, especially “The Dispossessed”. My top three: 1) LOTR – Tolkien, 2) Dune (Dune, Dune Messiah, Children of Dune) – Herbert, 3) The Dispossessed – Le Guin.


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