NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books

I’ve been meaning to comment on this for a while, but haven’t gotten around to it until now. A couple months ago, NPR put out the call for fans to nominate the best science-fiction and fantasy books. Out of several thousand nominations, NPR narrowed the list down to a few hundred, then had another voting period, finally ending up with the top 100 books (or series).

Like most lists, especially crowd-sourced lists like this, there are many quibbles to be had, but it’s a pretty decent list. Below, I’ll bold the ones I’ve read and add annotations where I can, then follow up with some comments.

  1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien – An unsurprising choice for the top slot, and while it may not be my “favorite” series, it’s hard to argue with it being the most influential of the books in this list (indeed, many of the fantasy novels below are deeply indebted to LotR).
  2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams – Another unsurprising pick, though my shocking nerd confession is that I don’t seem to like this as much as most other nerds. Go figure.
  3. Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card – Given Card’s reputation with the NPR crowd, I’m surprised this book made it this high. Of course, he doesn’t espouse any despicable views in the book, and it is very good, so it’s well worth reading.
  4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert – I’ve only read the first book, which is fantastic. I never got around to the sequels though, and from what I’ve heard, I’m not missing out on much.
  5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin – I’ve not read any, though I’ve seen the first season of the TV show, which is excellent. Probably more likely to keep following the show than read the books. I have to wonder, given some of the heavyweights that fell below this book, if the TV series gave this entry a bit of a boost in the voting…
  6. 1984, by George Orwell – A classic, probably deserves to be higher on the list, but it’s hard to argue with a top 10 slot.
  7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury – Another shocking nerd confession – I haven’t read any of Ray Bradbury’s books. Consider this book on the list of shame.
  8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov – This one always seems to come out near the top of lists like this, but I’ve always preferred his robot books.
  9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley – I should read this someday, but I just can’t muster the enthusiasm to read dystopic stuff these days.
  10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman – I like this book a lot, but 10th best SF/F book of all time? I don’t think so. I wonder how this one got to be so high…
  11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman – I’ve never read this, but I get the impression that the movie is better than the book and that the book is getting a bump due to the sheer awesomeness of the movie (which is brilliant).
  12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan – Never read any of it. It may surprise you to learn that I don’t actually read much in the way of fantasy novels (though obviously I’ve read some of the ones on this list).
  13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell – Another classic, and one that I now like despite being forced to read it in school (seriously, being able to climb out of that cellar is a big feat in itself).
  14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson – Probably the best of the Cyberpunk novels, which isn’t say that much since it was really the first of the Cyberpunk novels. Still, it’s a good one, deserving of a lot of the praise it gets. Wouldn’t be as high on my list, but I can see why it’s here.
  15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore – It is probably the best comic book series of all time, well worth the placement on this list.
  16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov – Well here’s the weird thing. They grouped the Foundation novels together (along with lots of other series on the list), but not the Robot novels? I really like I, Robot, but I like the way the series goes as a whole (I guess people aren’t as big a fan of Asimov’s latter work where he tied Robots and Foundation together).
  17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein – Heinlein makes his first appearance with… one of my least favorites of his work. I suppose it does represent more of a cultural touchstone than his other work, and I know this novel was one of the driving forces behind the 60s counter-culture, so I guess it’s not a surprise that the NPR folks like it, but still. Luckily, more Heinlein shows up on this list.
  18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss – I’ve not read this fantasy series, though lots of folks really seem to love the first novel. I’ve heard mixed reviews of the second book, and like a lot of fantasy series, who knows how long this will go (I believe it’s planned at 3, but so were a few other long-running series, so again, who knows). I also can’t think of this book without thinking of Scalzi’s story of “hearty stew” fantasy.
  19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut – Another one that goes on the list of shame (at least I’ve read some Vonnegut before).
  20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley – Is this the first female author on the list? Damn. Well, it’s a justified classic novel, probably belonging higher on the list.
  21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick – I’ve never read this, but I have to wonder if the fact that everyone knows Blade Runner was based on this story has anything to do with its performance.
  22. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood – Never read it and I’m not a big fan of dystopias either, but at least there’s another female author in the top 25…
  23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King – A series filled with high highes and very low lows. Difficult to describe, but there was a time when I loved these books. But the series kinda finished with a wimper. I had kinda steeled myself against the ending, knowing that it could not possibly live up to what was being built up in the earlier novels, so I didn’t hate the ending, but it was still an unsatisfying conclusion. I might, however, make a case for Wizard and Glass, it being an interesting and tragic tale that is, perhaps more importantly, mostly self-contained. (As an aside, both the Dark Tower series and the previous book on this list, The Handmaid’s Tale, feature a city-state known as Gilead – a biblical reference, but interesting that these two were ranked next to each other.)
  24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke – An interesting choice for the first Clarke novel on the list. Once again, i wonder if it gets a bump from its incredible movie adaptation. Still, it is a very good book that I did enjoy (even having seen the movie).
  25. The Stand, by Stephen King – I do really love this book. There are some issues with the ending, but something like “the hand of God came down and saved them” works infinitely better on the page than it does on the screen (not that I’d hold up the TV mini-series as something particularly good). Well worth a read, probably my second-favorite Stephen King novel (with the first being The Shining, which probably doesn’t qualify for this list).
  26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson – If the aforementioned Neuromancer popularized Cyberpunk, Stephenson put the final nail in the coffin with this satirical, action-packed romp through cyber-space. It’s a surprisingly prescient novel, though it doesn’t get everything quite right. Stephenson is my favorite author, but I would have ranked Cryptonomicon higher (more on that below).
  27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury – On the list of shame.
  28. Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut – On the list of shame.
  29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman – I was always under the impression that Gaiman’s Sandman stuff didn’t hold up as well as some of his other work, but I guess people still love it. I’ve never read it, and probably won’t…
  30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess – Never read it. If the rest of the list is any indication, there seems to be an inflation of rank for films with great movie adaptations…
  31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein – An interesting thought experiment from Heinlein, who basically originated the modern military SF genre with this novel, but there’s not much of a story here. An important book, but one that would probably chafe a lot of readers with its ideas and the bald way Heinlein presents them.
  32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams – Saw the movie, probably won’t read it, makes sense to be on the list though.
  33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey – Eh, fantasy. Only the third female author so far.
  34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein – My favorite of Heinlein’s novels, its libertarian themes and strange sexual politics could probably turn off readers, but there’s a well paced story that accompanies things this time, and I really enjoyed the novel.
  35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller – Never read it, but it’s in the queue somewhere.
  36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells – On the list of shame, though of course I know the general idea of the story (which says something about its importance, I guess).
  37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne – See previous entry.
  38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys – I’d heard of this, but never knew what it was about until now, and I kinda want to read it now.
  39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells – See The Time Machine above.
  40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny – It’s in the queue somewhere.
  41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings – Another fantasy series. Good to know if I want to read some fantasy, but I doubt I’ll get to this anytime soon.
  42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley – The fourth female author.
  43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson – More fantasy I’m unlikely to ever read.
  44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven – In the queue somewhere, I think my brother might even have a copy somewhere, but I just haven’t gotten to it yet.
  45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin – Wonderful SF novel probably deserving a higher spot on this list. And the fifth female author so far.
  46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien – A little bit of a cheat, as I haven’t read the whole thing, but still. Why isn’t this considered part of the LotR series?
  47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White – I think I read this for school? King Arthur and stuff? Must not have made much of an impression.
  48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman – In terms of pure enjoyment, I think this is Gaiman’s best. Real page-turning stuff here, and a more satisfying narrative than American Gods or Stardust.
  49. Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke – A solid choice and a good novel, but I’ve never been as in-love with it as everyone else. There are a couple other Clarke books I’d put ahead of this one.
  50. Contact, by Carl Sagan – Adaptation bump? Whatever the case, I’ve heard that the movie kinda stops short, while this one make a bolder statement. I’ve always really loved the movie, but if it really does betray the book, I’d find that disappointing.
  51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons – The first book is certainly on my list to read, but I’ve heard the rest of the series is kinda meh, and then there’s the fact that I’ve never actually read a good book by Simmons (I read one of his weird vampire books a while back and hated it so much that I drilled a screw through the book so that no one else would read it).
  52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman – I know I read this, and I’m pretty sure I liked it, but I don’t remember anything about it and it’s been sorta overridden by the movie adaptation in my mind (rightly or wrongly, I did enjoy the movie, which I understand diverges pretty significantly from the book)
  53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson – My favorite book of all time? Perhaps! Would definitely be higher on my list.
  54. World War Z, by Max Brooks – I can only imagine that this is on the list because people love zombies right now. I hate zombie stories.
  55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle – Fantasy. Fleh.
  56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman – Considered by many to be Haldeman’s response to Heinlein’s Starship Troopers, this is first rate SF and it actually features some semblance of a story. There are some flaws (in particular, the way he treats sexuality), but it’s still a great book.
  57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett – The only Pratchett I’ve read is Good Omens (co-written with Neal Gaiman), but I was underwhelmed by it and have never really sought out more Pratchett. I should probably do so at some point, but I guess we’ll see.
  58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson – Fantasy series. Fleh.
  59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold – Love that this made it on the list. I really enjoy these novels and am looking forward to reading more of the series. Would be higher on my list.
  60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett – See Small Gods above.
  61. The Mote In God’s Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle – I keep hearing about this novel, but I’ve never read it. It’s in the queue.
  62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind – More fantasy. Fleh.
  63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy – More dystopia. Fleh.
  64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke – I’ve wanted to read this for a while, I’ve just never gotten around to reading it.
  65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson – A study of isolation and grim irony. Does this get a bump from the movie adaptation? The movie kinda stinks. The book is far more disturbing, and it’s definitely influential in many of the horror writers who followed.
  66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist – More fantasy. Fleh.
  67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks – More fantasy. Fleh.
  68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard – I enjoy the movies, but I doubt I’ll ever get to the books…
  69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb – More fantasy. Fleh. But the blurb on NPR sounds nice, I guess. But then, zombies. Fleh.
  70. The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger – Doesn’t seem like it would be my thing, but I’d be open to reading it, I guess.
  71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson – More fantasy. Fleh.
  72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne – Familiar with the story, but never actually read the book.
  73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore – More fantasy. Fleh.
  74. Old Man’s War, by John Scalzi – Fantastic modern entry in the military SF canon. Scalzi’s tightest novel, though he’s got some other good ones.
  75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson – I’m surprised this made the list, as I’m convinced that Stephenson’s reputation for bad/rushed endings comes from this book. Still, it is a really good book, and you can see the transition he was making between Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. I would probably put Anathem higher than this, but I can’t argue with putting it on the list.
  76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke – This might actually be my favorite of Clarke’s novels.
  77. The Kushiel’s Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey – More fantasy. Fleh.
  78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin – I was less impressed with this novel and it probably wouldn’t make my list, but I can see why so many people love it.
  79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury – On the list of shame.
  80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire – Eh, really?
  81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson – More fantasy. Fleh.
  82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde – Never heard of it, but it sounds interesting.
  83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks – In the queue somewhere.
  84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart – Yet another Arthurian tale (I think this is the third on the list so far). Not much interest here.
  85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson – Very nice to see this one on the list despite it’s relatively recent release. A fantastic novel, his best since Cryptonomicon.
  86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher – More fantasy. Fleh.
  87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe – On my list of shame.
  88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn – I’m surprised this Star Wars series made the list. I loved this as a teenager, but when I revisited it a few years later, it wasn’t quite as riveting. Still a thousand times better than the prequels! And Grand Admiral Thrawn was indeed quite a great villain for the series. I’m glad Zahn got a place on the list. He’s a workhorse, but I tend to enjoy those authors.
  89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan – Not familiar with this, may have to add it to the queue!
  90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock – More fantasy. Fleh.
  91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury – *sigh* List of shame.
  92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley – More fantasy. Vampire fantasy. Fleh.
  93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge – One of the best portrayals of a truly alien species in all of SF. The ending is a bit… strange, but I really love the book (A Deepness in the Sky is pretty good as well and I’m really looking forward to The Children of the Sky, which comes out in October I think)
  94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov – As previously mentioned, I’m a big fan of the Robot series. Again, these are books I read as a teenager, and some of them don’t hold up as well, but the ideas are great.
  95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson – On my list of shame.
  96. Lucifer’s Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle – In the queue somewhere.
  97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis – It’s a really good book, but I’m not sure I’m as taken with it as some others.
  98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville – It’s been sitting on my shelf for, like, 4 years at this point. I have promised myself that I’d read it by the end of this year!
  99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony – Fantasy, but Piers Anthony rings a bell for me. I may check something of his out, maybe not Xanth though.
  100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis – I didn’t even know these existed!

I did some quick counting of the list:

  • I’ve read 38 of the books on the list
  • The breakdown between Fantasy and SF is arguable, but a quick count got me 37 fantasy, 63 SF.
  • Only 15 of the books on the list are written by women (and there’s at least one woman who comes up twice)
  • Of those 15 books by women, 7 are fantasy (again, the line between SF and Fantasy can be blurry for some of these)

I should note that despite my frequent “fleh” comments above, I don’t really have anything against fantasy, I just don’t read much of it and thus don’t have much to say about it. There are at least a couple series/books above that I’d probably check out at some point. I thought I’d have read more than 38 on the list, but when you consider that only 63 are SF, that does change things a bit, as my focus tends to be on SF.

I’m not sure what to make of the disparity between male and female authors on the list. Is it that there are less female authors of SF/F? Or is it that there are less female readers voting? I can think of one glaring omission on the list – The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russel is superb, and would certainly be on my list (I’m pretty sure it was on the shortlist, but got culled when NPR cut down to 100). Thanks to my incessant Bujold reading, 10 of the 23 books I’ve read so far this year have been written by a woman (though again, most of that is Bujold). I could probably improve that to 50/50 by the end of the year, which would be nice.

And that about covers it. How many have you read?

Update: Forgot to bold one of the books I read, so my count at the end was off. Updated!

16 thoughts on “NPR’s Top 100 Science-Fiction, Fantasy Books”

  1. Oh my. You should rectify your shame and read some Bradbury. His SF space stuff is extremely dated, enough to make it a kind of entertaining read…sort of like really early Henlein. “Something Wicked this way Comes” is prefect for this time of year…actually a lot of Bradbury is. “The October Country” and “Dandelion Wine” are two excellent collections of short stories…I liked Fahrenheit 451 well enough, I guess, but it’s nowhere near the top work of his I would recommend.

    To my own deep shame, I’ve never read Asimov’s Robot Series. I read Foundation, or at least the first three, and thought it was ok, rather stilted.

    Speaking of Heinlein, I agree that “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” was good, and “Stranger in a Strange land” was meh…I liked Stranger at first, but it really went off the rails with the free love stuff.

    I’ve read “The Once and Future King” or at least the first book of the trilogy and liked it, and the “Crystal Cave” series by Mary Stewart is actually quite good, if that’s your cup of tea.

    I’ll have to tally up how many I’ve actually read…and yeah, how is Robert Jordan’s “Wheel of it-won’t-stop-even-though-the-poor-man-is-dead” series make it and “The Sparrow,” one of the best books of the past decade didn’t?

  2. 47 total, not bad. Oh, and “Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell” was excellent…maybe not everyone’s thing, but probably one of my top ten books.

  3. My biggest quibble is that I feel like the YA label was used way to liberally on the women, particularly Le Guin. I don’t think Earthsea is any more YA than Ender’s Game and I have a feeling it would have made the top ten if it hadn’t been kicked out for being YA.

  4. Yes, I know, that’s why it’s called a list of shame:p Seriously, I was thinking about picking up a horror book or two for Halloween, and “Something Wicked this way Comes” sounds like it might hit the spot (without getting too horrory).

    Asimov’s robot series appeals to my “working within the box” tendencies – he sets up these rules, then he spends a few books subverting them in great fashion. I agree that Foundation’s prose can be stilted, and indeed, most of Asimov’s stuff is kinda like that. I get the impression that a lot of people read Asimov when they’re teenagers and aren’t as discriminating when it comes to style and narrative structure. Asimov also seems to take some crap for trying to tie Robots and Foundation together in some of the later books (if you do read the robot books, you should probably also read Prelude to Foundation, which I really enjoyed – though I haven’t really revisited it in 15 years)…

    Stranger in a Strange Land is the origin for the term “grok” which I think is an interesting concept, but I definitely agree about all the free love stuff. I like some of his juveniles as well (particularly Tunnel in the Sky and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel)

    Sov, yeah, I can see how that would be grating, though I think it did disqualify a number of Heinlein and other “golden age” SF as well. I don’t really make much of a distinction about that sort of thing myself, and I think I have Earthsea books in my queue somewhere. But even if those were on the list, it still seems rather skewed towards the male…

  5. I realize it’s still pretty devoid of having any females, but it would have been a moral victory to have cracked the top 10 or top 5 and I think Earthsea could have done it.

    I wonder if it would seem as skewed to you if I hadn’t badgered you into reading Le Guin and Butler ( and maybe Russel too, my mother discovered The Sparrow and gave it to me as a present and I campaigned for a lot of people to read it) though? I champion them so much not because I expect that they will be wildly popular (although Le Guin sort of is) but because in my opinion they just write better than most of the men…

  6. Maybe, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about more and more lately, and not just in SF. Take movies, for example. How many female directors can you name off the top of your head? And to complete the trifecta of my obsessions, women and beer seems to be a perennial topic as well.

  7. I’ve read far fewer than you – just 17 from the list, though most of those are series….are we counting individual books? Then it would be at least 40.

    While I am a fan of sci-fi and fantasy (enjoy both about equally), I am quite picky and prefer great writing in addition to intriguing plots. That said, I did love Asimov’s Robot series and short stories. Not that Asimov is a horrible writer, but as has been said, he’s a bit stilted.

    The short story format is a great way to balance against this problem though – I can put up with less-than-stellar writing if the story is shorter, and especially if it’s part of an anthology of stories from many different authors.

    Anyway, Mark, I wouldn’t recommend The Time-Traveller’s Wife for you. I loved it, but I say it’s definitely chick lit. Though I think if you started it, you would quickly get caught up in the story. The time-travelling aspect reels you in. And who knows, maybe you would be teary-eyed by the end. =P

  8. Hmm, thinking of women getting short shrift leads me to ask, where is the Wrinkle in Time series? I guess it’s considered YA, though I don’t necessarily think that should be enough to exclude it.

    I still use the word “grok.” =) Really, I loved the first half or so of that book, it just seemed like the free love stuff was a curveball and just kept getting creepier. A friend recommends The Cat Who Walked Through Walls, but I haven’t gotten to it.

    I’ve always meant to go back and read more Asimov, but yeah, I think it is probably best experienced as a teenager. Bradbury works a little when you’re younger too, I think, though not because his prose is stilted; he writes with a sort of “nostalgia lens” that I think is particularly effective for a younger reader. I may not be making any sense there.

  9. Intriguing plots or ideas and storytelling are probably what draw me in the most. Stilted prose can be distracting, but in general, I think Asimov was able to overcome that. But it is something that had to be overcome. I appreciate good writing as much as the next guy, but sometimes prose becomes a reason unto itself, and I’m not as big a fan of that. In SF, ideas are paramount, which I think is why I enjoy it so much.

    Also, you’re like the third person to tell me not to read the Time Traveller’s Wife. It’s certainly not something I was planning to do!

    Ah, Wrinkle in Time! Almost definitely disqualified for its YA nature, though I didn’t look into it. But yeah, that would be on my list.

    I’ve definitely read some stuff lately that I enjoyed, but not as much as I probably would have if I had been a teenager when I read it… In most cases, it’s older, “golden age” stuff, which has importance beyond the book itself (for example, in the way it influenced and shaped the genre, etc…) I will almost definitely be picking up Something Wicked this way Comes… after I read Reamde, of course (got it in the mail today – probably won’t start it because I’m traveling and it’s gigantic, but still – exciting)!

  10. The list is better than expected for a popular booklist, though there are some fairly glaring omissions. While I did expect there to be a disparity between female and male authors, I do think 15 out of a hundred is still skewed, especially since some great female authors like C.J. Cherryh or Ursula Le Guin are mysteriously absent. Don’t give me that “young adult” tripe – if Ender’s Freaking Game counts, then so does Earthsea, and it doesn’t explain why any of her non YA works like The Dispossessed or The Lathe of Heaven aren’t there.

    “The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard – I enjoy the movies, but I doubt I’ll ever get to the books…”

    Considering the films have next to nothing to do with the original stories, you might be surprised.

  11. Well, there actually are 2 Le Guine novels on the list (Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed), so at least there’s that. Cherryh isn’t, but from what I’ve heard, she does deserve to be (I’ve got a novel of hers in the pipeline for later this year).

    Regarding Conan, I don’t doubt it, but it’s still probably not something I’ll be checking out anytime soon. Too many books, too little time…

  12. I agree with many of the comments from your post and the other posters, especially regarding the awesomeness of le Guin and your surprise to see Anathem on the list.

    I really only disagree with your guess that “the princess bride” film was better than the movie. The movie is a joy, but the book is deeper, funnier, and more meta.

  13. The Sandman Series is infinitely better than watchman, but also about 10x longer 🙂

    Watchman was got me into graphic novels, but sandman was what cemented me there. If you’re into literature, as I imagine anybody looking at this page is, you’ll love the sandman series as there are many literary references.

  14. p.s. Cool! If you do read it my advice is this: Find the newest edition you can. At each major anniversary/rerelease, he adds a chapter to the (80%-90%) fictional framing device about his family and why he had to “abridge” the book. You don’t want to miss them.

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