The OF Blog: Apparently there's this new meme about the Guardian SFF list

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Apparently there's this new meme about the Guardian SFF list

I'll have another post for the non-genre fiction in a bit (since I suspect I'll have read around an equal number, perhaps more, from that list. But here's the SFF list, with the bold denoting the ones I've read:

1. Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979)

2. Brian W Aldiss: Non-Stop (1958)

3. Isaac Asimov: Foundation (1951)

4. Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin (2000)

5. Paul Auster: In the Country of Last Things (1987)

6. Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory (1984)

7. Iain M Banks: Consider Phlebas (1987)

8. Clive Barker: Weaveworld (1987)

9. Nicola Barker: Darkmans (2007)

10. Stephen Baxter: The Time Ships (1995)

11. Greg Bear: Darwin's Radio (1999)

12. Alfred Bester: The Stars My Destination (1956)

13. Poppy Z Brite: Lost Souls (1992)

14. Algis Budrys: Rogue Moon (1960)

15. Mikhail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita (1966)

16. Edward Bulwer-Lytton: The Coming Race (1871)

17. Anthony Burgess: A Clockwork Orange (1960)

18. Anthony Burgess: The End of the World News (1982)

19. Edgar Rice Burroughs: A Princess of Mars (1912)

20. William Burroughs: Naked Lunch (1959)

21. Octavia Butler: Kindred (1979)

22. Samuel Butler: Erewhon (1872)

23. Italo Calvino: The Baron in the Trees (1957)

24. Ramsey Campbell: The Influence (1988)

25. Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

26. Lewis Carroll: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871)

27. Angela Carter: Nights at the Circus (1984)

28. Michael Chabon: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (2000)

29. Arthur C Clarke: Childhood's End (1953)

30. GK Chesterton: The Man Who Was Thursday (1908)

31. Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell (2004)

32. Michael G Coney: Hello Summer, Goodbye (1975)

33. Douglas Coupland: Girlfriend in a Coma (1998)

34. Mark Danielewski: House of Leaves (2000)

35. Marie Darrieussecq: Pig Tales (1996)

36. Samuel R Delaney: The Einstein Intersection (1967)

37. Philip K Dick: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)

38. Philip K Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962)

39. Umberto Eco: Foucault's Pendulum (1988)

40. Michel Faber: Under the Skin (2000)

41. John Fowles: The Magus (1966)

42. Neil Gaiman: American Gods (2001)

43. Alan Garner: Red Shift (1973)

44. William Gibson: Neuromancer (1984)

45. Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland (1915)

46. William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)

47. Joe Haldeman: The Forever War (1974)

48. M John Harrison: Light (2002)

49. Robert A Heinlein: Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

50. Frank Herbert: Dune (1965)

51. Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game (1943)

52. Russell Hoban: Riddley Walker (1980)

53. James Hogg: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824)

54. Michel Houellebecq: Atomised (1998)

55. Aldous Huxley: Brave New World (1932)

56. Kazuo Ishiguro: The Unconsoled (1995)

57. Shirley Jackson: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)

58. Henry James: The Turn of the Screw (1898)

59. PD James: The Children of Men (1992)

60. Richard Jefferies: After London; Or, Wild England (1885)

61. Gwyneth Jones: Bold as Love (2001)

62. Franz Kafka: The Trial (1925)

63. Daniel Keyes: Flowers for Algernon (1966)

64. Stephen King: The Shining (1977)

65. Marghanita Laski: The Victorian Chaise-longue (1953)

66. Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas (1864)

67. Stanislaw Lem: Solaris (1961)

68. Doris Lessing: Memoirs of a Survivor (1974)

69. David Lindsay: A Voyage to Arcturus (1920)

70. Ken MacLeod: The Night Sessions (2008)

71. Hilary Mantel: Beyond Black (2005)

72. Michael Marshall Smith: Only Forward (1994)

73. Richard Matheson: I Am Legend (1954)

74. Charles Maturin: Melmoth the Wanderer (1820)

75. Patrick McCabe: The Butcher Boy (1992)

76. Cormac McCarthy: The Road (2006)

77. Jed Mercurio: Ascent (2007)

78. China Miéville: The Scar (2002)

79. Andrew Miller: Ingenious Pain (1997)

80. Walter M Miller Jr: A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960)

81. David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas (2004)

82. Michael Moorcock: Mother London (1988)

83. William Morris: News From Nowhere (1890)

84. Toni Morrison: Beloved (1987)

85. Haruki Murakami: The Wind-up Bird Chronicle (1995)

86. Vladimir Nabokov: Ada or Ardor (1969)

87. Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife (2003)

88. Larry Niven: Ringworld (1970)

89. Jeff Noon: Vurt (1993)

90. Flann O'Brien: The Third Policeman (1967)

91. Ben Okri: The Famished Road (1991)

92. Chuck Palahniuk: Fight Club (1996)

93. Thomas Love Peacock: Nightmare Abbey (1818)

94. Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan (1946)

95. John Cowper Powys: A Glastonbury Romance (1932)

96. Christopher Priest: The Prestige (1995)

97. François Rabelais: Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-34)

98. Ann Radcliffe: The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)

99. Alastair Reynolds: Revelation Space (2000)

100. Kim Stanley Robinson: The Years of Rice and Salt (2002)

101. JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (1997)

102. Salman Rushdie: The Satanic Verses (1988)

103. Antoine de Sainte-Exupéry: The Little Prince (1943)

104. José Saramago: Blindness (1995)

105. Will Self: How the Dead Live (2000)

106. Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)

107. Dan Simmons: Hyperion (1989)

108. Olaf Stapledon: Star Maker (1937)

109. Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash (1992)

110. Robert Louis Stevenson: The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

111. Bram Stoker: Dracula (1897)

112. Rupert Thomson: The Insult (1996)

113. Mark Twain: A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur's Court (1889)

114. Kurt Vonnegut: Sirens of Titan (1959)

115. Robert Walser: Institute Benjamenta (1909)

116. Sylvia Townsend Warner: Lolly Willowes (1926)

117. Sarah Waters: Affinity (1999)

118. HG Wells: The Time Machine (1895)

119. HG Wells: The War of the Worlds (1898)

120. TH White: The Sword in the Stone (1938)

121. Gene Wolfe: The Book of the New Sun (1980-83)

122. John Wyndham: Day of the Triffids (1951)

123. John Wyndham: The Midwich Cuckoos (1957)

124. Yevgeny Zamyatin: We (1924)

55 out of 124. Not too shabby, I suppose, although this list is rather...odd. Time to check out the Top 1000.


Anonymous said...

That is a very odd list. Strangely, a lot of the books I have read on there I wouldn't consider to be SFF...

Eileen said...

That list is very odd. I mean, Toni Morrison? And where the heck was Dean Koontz? What exactly qualified as speculative fiction for them?

They listed a couple of utopian/dystopian novels there, so why not Thomas More's Utopia, the book that started the entire genre? What about Edward Bellamy's Looking Backward? Not too many people have heard of it now, but it was the bestselling novel of the 19th century after Uncle Tom's Cabin and Ben-Hur.

Daniel Ausema said...

Of your haven't-reads, I strongly recommend Riddley Walker. Post-apocalyptic, written in a demotic form of English, sort of like A Clockwork Orange, except much more extreme, and a truly strange take on Punch & Judy shows.

Anonymous said...

I also find it British writer skewed. will be blogging about it soon. some real crap on the list, too. jeffv

Anonymous said...

True Jeff. I suppose you could say "Well, it's a British newspaper..." but that's no excuse.

Hope I'm not coming across as too much of a molotov-cocktail chucking genre-crusader here by the way, it's just that literary elitism is something I absolutely cannot stand in any shape or form. It really gets my back up.

Unknown said...

Well, the order is strictly alphabetical, so we can't really fault them for that.

I agree, though, that the list as a whole is strange, and contains much that doesn't seem to be within strict genre boundaries. But if it somehow gets a few more people interested, then what the heck? Maybe they'll try Toni Morrison and think, well, that was fun, what else is on the list? And then try Mieville and get hooked on the real stuff.

It could happen.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you've missed 25 of the titles on the list off. See my blog for the full list.

Lsrry said...

Thanks, Martin! I'll add those after work.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the numbering threw me.

Unknown said...

The lack of Pratchett on a British SFF list is a bit mind-boggling.

Anonymous said...

They have in fact included all of the Discworld novels as one choice.

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