August 5 2011

The NPR Science Fiction & Fantasy Poll

NPR is conducting a poll on the top 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy books/series. To be more precise, it is to select the top 100 out of a list of around 250 works that they had culled from 5000 responses to an earlier free form poll. You get to select 10 entries out of the list and submit those as your favorites. They will then gather the results for the top 100. They leave the criteria for selection up to you. Here’s my process–I went through the list clicking works I really liked. When I had ten, and arrived at a new title that I also really liked (there are really a lot of very good works on the list) I would briefly decide if I liked it better than prior works. I think the key is to have fun and not agonize about it.
Here are the works I selected:

The Black Company Series, by Glen Cook
The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny
Lord Of Light, by Roger Zelazny
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson
The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein
Neuromancer, by William Gibson
Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
Stand On Zanzibar, by John Brunner
The Vlad Taltos Series, by Steven Brust

They are in the same order they were in the NPR list — alphabetical by title. If I went back and did it again, I might get slightly different results but I think these are a pretty good sample and represent my taste in books pretty well.

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Posted August 5, 2011 by user in category "Book review


    1. By Steven Halter (Post author) on

      Neuromancer remains one of my favorites to this day. The story has just such a wonderful feel to it. It always sucks me in. Glad you are liking it.
      Have you read others in the list above?

      1. By EE Giorgi on

        No, I confess I’m just starting to read sci-fi and your blog has been a great push for me to go this direction, so thank you! 🙂
        Which one should I pick next off that list?

        1. By EE Giorgi on

          PS: I was actually thinking of reading another one by Gibson (I’m really enjoying his writing!), next, and again, I do welcome your recommendations. Thanks!!

          1. By Steven Halter (Post author) on

            If you’re enjoying Neuromancer then you would probably also like Gibson’s other books in the “Sprawl Trilogy” composed of Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986), and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988).
            Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson has some similarities but a very different style. The term Snow Crash refers to what happens to a Mac screen (old style) when the Mac crashed–it turns to snow rather than Windows Blue Screen of Death. This contrasts to Gibson’s “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.” (An opening line that I love.)
            Shockwave Rider by John Brunner is another classic in the area. It deals more with the Future Shock side of things than the other two.

      2. By EE Giorgi on

        sorry, I’m replying here because I can’t see the reply button on your last comment. Anyways, thank you for the recommendations, I’ll order those. Also, I loved that sentence too, one of my favorites so far together with the following: “His ugliness was the stuff of legend. In an age of affordable beauty there was something heraldic about his lack of it.” Pure genius. 🙂
        Thanks, have a great week-end!


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