70 Most Memorable Science Fiction & Fantasy Books I’ve Read (to date)

Aspiring Writer and Book Blogger Kris Keegan did it, so I thought a list of my own top genre books would be fun. I am not listing these in any particular order. And where series are involved, I just list the series rather than individual books. But this is a list of books with great meaning to me. Unlike the NPR list which was definitely flawed, this one reflects the books which changed my life in many ways. Some because they opened my mind to new possibilities. Some because they were such a ball. Others for philosophical or craft reasons. In any case, it’s a personal list. I’m sure many of your favorites might be missing and some listed you might question. Feel free to recommend books for future reading in comments.

1) The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein
2) The Chronicles Of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
3) The Majipoor series by Robert Silverberg
4) The First Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson
5) A Song Of Ice And Fire by George R.R. Martin
6)  The Foundation series by Isaac Asimov
7) Animal Farm by George Orwell
8 ) Flowers For Algernon by Daniel Keyes
9) The Psalms of Isaak by Ken Scholes
10) The Greywalker books by Kat Richardson
11) The Thrawn Books by Timothy Zahn
12) Splinter Of A Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster
13) Death Of A Starship by Jay Lake
14) The Quadrail Series by Timothy Zahn
15) Deadman Switch by Timothy Zahn
16) The Retrieval Artist series by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
17) The War of The Worlds by HG Wells
18 ) 20000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne
19) The Chronicle Of A Distant World series by Mike Resnick
20) The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer
21) The Unremembered by Peter Orullian
22) Black Blade Blues by John A. Pitts
23) V: East Coast Crisis by A.C. Crispin & Howard Weinstein
24) Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
25) The Ender books by Orson Scott Card
26) The Eye Of The World by Robert Jordan
27) Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell
28 ) Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
29) The Time Machine by HG Wells
30) Journey To The Center Of The Earth by Jules Verne
31) The Elenium by David Eddings
32) The Tamuli by David Eddings
33) Kirinyaga by Mike Resnick
34) A Hymn Before Battle by John Ringo
35) The Sherlock Holmes books by Arthur Conan Doyle
36) Tarzan Of The Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
37) Nightfall by Isaac Asimov & Robert Silverberg
38 ) Ivory by Mike Resnick
39) The Outpost by Mike Resnick
40) Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
41) Wizard’s First Rule by Terry Goodkind
42) Diving Into The Wreck by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
43) Mainspring by Jay Lake
44) The Secret Of Sinharat by Leigh Brackett
45) Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
46) Deceived by Paul S. Kemp
47) The Skylark of Space by Edward E. Smith
48 ) Thinner by Richard Bachman
49) The Stand by Stephen King
50) Starship Troopers by Robert Heilein
51) Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice
52) Brasyl by Ian McDonald
53) The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
54) Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
55) Misery by Stephen King
56) Watership Down by Richard Adams
57) Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
58 ) The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
59) Firestarter by Stephen King
60) This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti
61) Dona Flor And Her Two Husbands by Jorge Amado
62) Jaws by Peter Benchley
63) The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
64) The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales
65) A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
66) The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi
67) Steampunk Prime edited by Mike Ashley
68 ) The Tales of Uncle Remus
69) Spellwright by Blake Charlton
70)  Black Halo by Sam Sykes

I am stopping at 70 for various reasons. For one, I really have fallen behind in reading classics and keeping up with a lot of other genre fiction. For years I focused on nonfiction research during my masters and other genres as well. So, while I read a lot in my youth and in the past three years, my reading pile occupies most of my bookshelves and I am way behind. But these are the books I remember most fondly of those I’ve read. They are certainly not all. And I will revise and add to this as time goes on. Which are your favorites? What would your list include? Feel free to post in comments. I’d love to hear them.

Books Read This Year…so far

Rage Of The Behemoth, Ed. Jason M. Waltz, Rogue Blades Ent.
The Black God’s War: A Novella, Moses Siregar, III, self
Predators I Have Known, Alan Dean Foster, Open Road
A Hymn Before Battle, John Ringo, Baen
Shades Of Milk & Honey, Mary Robinette Kowal, TOR
Sales & Sorcery: Tales Of Nautical Fantasy, Ed. W.H. Horner, Fantasist Ent.
Space Grunts, Ed. Dayton Ward, Flying Pen Press
Hellhole, Kevin J. Anderson & Brian Herbert, TOR
Jedi Search, Kevin J. Anderson, Del Rey
Diving Into The Wreck, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, PYR
The Disappeared, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ROC
Extremes, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ROC
Consequences, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, ROC
Deceived (Star Wars Old Republic), Paul S. Kemp, Del Rey
Blood of Ambrose, James Enge, PYR
Black Halo, Sam Sykes, PYR
Mayan December, Brenda Cooper, Prime
Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor, DAW
The Falling Machine, Andrew Mayer, PYR
Deathless, Cathrynne M. Valente, TOR
Beast Within 2: Predator & Prey, Ed. Jennifer Brozek, Graveside Tales
The Unremembered, Peter Orullion, TOR
The King Maker, Maurice Broaddus, Angry Robot
Black Blade Blues, John A. Pitts, TOR

Currently reading:

The Desert Of Souls, Howard Andrew Jones, Thomas Dunne
The Tears Of The Sun, S.M. Stirling, ROC
Camera Obscura, Lavie Tidhar, Angry Robot

Interesting reading year. Most of this list was associated with either #sffwrtcht or reviews for Tangent (through March). A few things got squeezed in for me. I am reading two current books to review for Grasping For The Wind and SFSignal (way behind) but hope to finish both soon.

I’ve really enjoyed the diversity of my reading and have gotten into some publishers I was not familiar with before: Angry Robot, ROC, Graveside Tales, Flying Pen Press, Prime, Baen, Open Road, DAW. These are the first books I’ve read from them.  It’s obvious I read a lot of TOR and PYR sends me more ARCS than anyone. I’d like to expand my horizons a bit in the rest of the year and get some variety of editing tastes and styles but it all depends whom I book on #sffwrtcht, I suppose. I’ll have Splashdown, Pocket, Doubleday and Bloombury coming up so far. This includes my first YA book in years for Greg van Eekhout. I also read my first urban fantasy books and will have at least one more coming up soon.

Authors whose novels I’d not read before are: John Ringo, John Pitts, Nnedi Okorafor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Maurice Broaddues, S.M. Stirling, Lavie Tidhar, Brenda Cooper, Howard Andrew Jones, Paul S. Kemp, Moses Siregar, Andrew Mayer, James Enge, Peter Orullion, and Mary Robinette Kowal.

I am glad I get the opportunity to read such diversity. I have enjoyed all these books in various ways and recommend them to you, although I’d be happy to make specific recommendations for anyone who contacts me.