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Best Science Fiction Novels


SEE ALSO IN OTHER CATEGORIES
(not included in this list):
- BEST SPACE-THEMED SF NOVELS
- BEST TIME-THEMED SF NOVELS
- BEST APOCALYPTIC NOVELS
- BEST SF SERIES

Again let me repeat, this list omits any SPACE-themed or TIME-themed or "END-of-the-WORLD" themed novels - they get their own "best lists"! This list only reflects how something impressed me as an individual reader, not necessarily corresponding with the impact on SF field in general, critical acceptance, etc. Plus my reading time is limited for long novels, so many of good (or new) writers would be absent.

_____________________________________________________
FIRST PLACE Best SF Novel

William Gibson "Neuromancer"

_____________________________________________________
SECOND PLACE Best SF Novel

Michael Chabon "The Yiddish Policemen's Union"
Arthur Clarke "The City and the Stars"
Douglas Adams "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"
Poul Anderson "Brain Wave"
Isaac Asimov & Jerome Bixby "Fantastic Voyage"
Alfred Bester "The Demolished Man"; "The Stars My Destination"
Samuel R. Delany "Triton"
Philip K. Dick "Time Out of Joint"; "UBIK"
Philip Jose Farmer "Dark Is the Sun"
William Gibson & Bruce Sterling "The Difference Engine"
William Gibson "Mona Lisa Overdrive"
K. W. Jeter "Farewell, Horizontal"
Murray Leinster "The Forgotten Planet"
Stanislaw Lem "Return From The Stars"
David Mitchell "Cloud Atlas"
Christopher Priest "The Inverted World"
Michael Shea "The Colour Out Of Time"
Lucius Shepard "Life During Wartime"
Clifford Simak "The Goblin Reservation"
"Way Station"; "The Werewolf Principle"
Neal Stephenson "Snow Crash"

_____________________________________________________
THIRD PLACE Best SF novel

Arthur Clarke "Earthlight"
Douglas Adams "The Restaurant at the End of the Universe"
"Life, the Universe, and Everything"; "Mostly Harmless"
Kenneth Bulmer "Cycle of Nemesis"
Ray Cummings "Beyond the Stars"
Philip K. Dick "Martian Time-Slip"
"The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch"; "The Unteleported Man"
Gardner R. Dozois "Strangers"
Philip Jose Farmer "The Lovers"; "The Night of Light"
"Tongues of the Moon"
Oscar J. Friend "The Water World"
William Gibson "Count Zero"; "Idoru"
"Pattern Recognition"; "Virtual Light"
Edmond Hamilton "The City at World's End"
M. John Harrison "The Centauri Device"
Frank Herbert "Destination: Void"
"The Dragon in the Sea" ("Under Pressure")
Dean R. Koontz "Fear That Man"
Fritz Leiber "The Silver Eggheads"
H. P. Lovecraft "At The Mountains Of Madness"
Ian McDonald "Desolation Road"
James Morrow "The Wine Of Violence"
Andre Norton "Perilous Dreams"
Bob Shaw "Dagger of the Mind"; "Medusa's Children"
Clifford Simak "Highway Of Eternity"
"They Walked Like Men"; "Time And Again"
Michael Swanwick "Vacuum Flowers"
John Varley "Millenium"
Jack Williamson "The Humanoid Touch"; "The Moon Children"
Evgeni Zamyatin "My"
Roger Zelazny "The Dream Master" ("He Who Shapes")

_____________________________________________________
FOURTH PLACE Best SF Novel

Isaac Asimov "The Caves of Steel"
Alfred Bester "The Computer Connection"
Anthony Burgess "A Clockwork Orange"
John W. Campbell "The Ultimate Weapon"
Arthur Clarke "Childhood's End" ; "The Deep Range"
Samuel Delany "The Einstein Intersection" ; "Nova"
Philip K. Dick & Roger Zelazny "Deus Irae"
Philip K. Dick "The Game-Players of Titan"
"The Simulacra"; "The Crack in Space"
Gordon R. Dickson "Space Swimmers"
William Gibson "All Tomorrow's Parties"
Robert A. Heinlein "The Puppet Masters"
Frank Herbert "The God Makers"
Damon Knight "Mind Switch" ("The Other Foot")
Henry Kuttner "The Creature from Beyond Infinity"
("A Million Years To Conquer")
Sam Lundwall "No Time For Heroes"
Ursula Le Guin "The Word For World Is Forest"
Murray Leinster "The Brain-Stealers" ("The Man in the Iron Cap")
Stanislaw Lem "The Voice Of The Sky"
Milton Lesser "Jungle In The Sky"
Julian May "The Many-Colored Land"
Alexander Mirer "Dom Skitaltcev"
Walter Miller Jr. "A Canticle for Leibowitz"
Michael Moorcock "An Alien Heat"; "The Hollow Lands"
"The Ice Schooner"
Richard Morgan "Altered Carbon"
Larry Niven & Steven Barnes "Dream Park"
Andre Norton "Garan The Eternal"
Christopher Priest "The Space Machine"
W. T. Quick "Dreams of Gods and Men"
Spider Robinson "Telempath"
Rudy Rucker "Software"
John E. Stith "Manhattan Transfer"
Bob Shaw "The Ragged Astronauts", "The Wooden Spaceships"
Robert Silverberg "Downward to the Earth"; "The Man in the Maze"
"To Open the Sky"; "The World Inside"
Clifford Simak "All Flesh Is Grass"; "Ring Around The Sun"
Bruce Sterling "Involution Ocean"
A. & B. Strugatskie "Otel "U Pogibshego Alpinista"
Theodore Sturgeon "The Cosmic Rape" ("To Marry Medusa")
"The Dreaming Jewels"; "More Than Human"
A. E. Van Vogt "More Than Superhuman"; "Slan"
"The Shadow Men" ("The Universe Maker")
Jack Vance "Brains Of Earth" ("Nopalgarth")
"The Five Gold Bands" ("Space Pirate"); "To Live Forever"
Jack Williamson "The Humanoids"
Dave Wolverton "On My Way To Paradise"
John Wyndham "The Chrysalids"
"The Kraken Wakes" ("Out Of The Deeps")


----------------------------------------

Also see:

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL:
Best SF Novel (General Themes)
Best Space SF Novel
Best Time SF Novel
Best Apocalyptic SF Novel

BEST SCIENCE FICTION COLLECTIONS

BEST SCIENCE FICTION SERIES:
Best SF Series (general themes)
Best Space SF Series

BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA:
Best SF Novella 1920-1960 (general themes)
Best SF Novella 1961-now (general themes)
Best Space SF Novella 1920-1960
Best Space SF Novella 1961-now
Best Time SF Novella
Best Apocalyptic SF Novella

BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORY:
Best SF Story 1920-1960 (general themes)
Best SF Story 1961-now (general themes)
Best Space SF Story 1920-1960
Best Space SF Story 1961-now
Best Time SF Story
Best Apocalyptic SF Story

BEST FANTASY NOVEL

BEST FANTASY COLLECTION

BEST FANTASY SERIES

BEST FANTASY NOVELLA

BEST FANTASY STORY:
Best Fantasy Story 1920-1960
Best Fantasy Story 1961-now

---------------------

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COMMENTS:

6 Comments:

Anonymous omniniaf said...

I take it you have not read any Alastair Reynolds? And not even a mention of Dan Simmons Hyperion Cantos? At least I would have has these two somewhere in there. I see some Vance, but wheres the rest? Wolfe? H.G. Wells has some killer stuff out there (books, not movies). I'm not a huge fan of cyber-punk but Gibson is creative (although personally I think he's a snobby elitist).

4:17 PM  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

Hey, thanks for comment! Guess what, Reynolds on the first place in my series list... plus second place "space sf novel" for "Revelation Space" (so far I read only 2 of his novels, but lots of stories - see his individual entry under R). I have not read Simmons' Hyperion series but definitely plan to. I prefer Vance's short fiction to his novels (see his stuff all over "SF story and SF space story" lists). Same goes for Wolfe. His short fiction is brilliant, but novels could be less focused. H. G. Wells is outside of the time scope of my reviews, as I start from the birth of pulp magazines in the Twenties. However, my Spyglass reviews reach 100 years back and will cover him, too. It's interesting to read your remark about Gibson... I value his stuff a lot, but may agree about elitist aftertaste from his recent novels. Good points all, thanks.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous omninaif said...

My bad, I guess I rushed into that whole Reynolds thing without looking through it 'all'. I have a tendency to do that.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really need to read some Lois McMaster Bujold. She writes both science fiction and fantasy, and has won four Hugos and numerous other awards. And she only gets better and better!

8:06 PM  
Anonymous Al said...

It's good to see "The Demolished Man" rated so well, but I can't seem to see "Dune" anywhere - maybe I missed it under the series category. Also Gene Wolfe's "Books of the New Sun" are stunning, and I would seriously recommend John Varley's "Gaean Trilogy" to read - they will never qualify as great books, but they culminate in one of the most fantastic, and enjoyable battles you could ever read about.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Avi Abrams said...

re: Lois McMaster Bujold
- Yea, I'll give her a try...so far has slipped through the fingers

re: Al
"Dune" ended up as THIRD PLACE SPACE sf novel, which is very cool. However the rest of the series seem not to live up to the expectation (too bloated for my liking)
- I definitely have to give Gene Wolfe trilogy a try, but he can be quite obscure in his style sometimes.
- I love Varley, have not read Gaean trilogy yet.
thanks for your suggestions!

4:58 PM  

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